Monthly Archives: January 2012

Consulting is relationship building

I hosted a party this weekend for my MBA classmates. It was a lot of fun to see everyone and check in on life after MBA. When I was ask what I was doing, of course I said consulting and teaching.  The follow-up of course was “How do you sell yourself?”  This is accompanied by that “I’m not cut out for sales. I don’t have the personality for it.” I said “PrimariIy, I build relationships.” My husband laughed and said “No, Hill you make friends….for life!” Ok so I have friends from every stage in my life. My oldest friend is from the age of 6, and we still chat regularly.

The myth that selling your services requires the boisterous “can sell Holy water to Jesus” personality is just that, a myth. People want to know that you genuinely want to help them solve their problems and at a fair price. It is also worth mentioning that marketing and selling are too different things. When you market you help point out a need for a service or product. Good marketing creates the demand for the service. Selling is convincing clients to make this transaction with you or your company.  I find sincerity is my best attribute. I genuinely want to help people and I love solving problems. By the time a client reaches out to me, they have already decided that my skills are something they are interested in. This is the time when they are genuinely debating on finishing the transaction with me. I don’t need to go into heavy car sales mode, I just need to make a new friend. I know this means my circle of friends keeps growing, but my husband is right, I befriend, for life!

Here is a great site with steps to work  on selling your service!

Verify your following!

Knowing that the people who follow you on Twitter are real people is a good thing. Especially if you use Twitter for business. someone who uses your Twitter following metric for the reach of your company. If you offer services in social media marketing, this can be crucial. TruTwit can help. They take the time to verify your following for you. Because social media is important to what I do, I use it. So when you click on the follow @crazphotochick button you will receive a direct message from TrueTwit asking you to verify that you are human. It works like buying concert tickets online where you get the Captcha image of weird-looking words. You are asked retype them to verify yourself.

The neat thing about the service is that people can still follow you with the click of a button. They have about a week to respond to the direct message so it does not require them to stop what they are doing to respond to your message. They can get around to it when they have a chance. The benefit for you is that you can provide stats on verified followers of a brand, person, team and we all know proven stats sell.

You can check it out for free then decide if it’s a service you want to keep it is just 20 bucks a year. Again. I get nothing for sharing their service, I just like to share things that work.

Texture to skin tutorial

This is a fun tutorial that allows you to change skin texture to stone.


Advertising your services, affordably.

If you have found yourself returning to freelance work, and you are wondering how to grow your customer base, here are a couple of things you might want to check out. Facebook has recently launched a contest for up to 10,000 dollars in free FB advertising if you have a business page. Here is the link.  Also here is a free advertising loop for Linkedin. You must join the group here,   then you can add your info here, while you wait for approval.  Once approved, your info will be advertised on their LinkedIn loop of advertising for free.

Want to learn more but don’t have the time?

I’m still in learning mode after finishing my MBA in December, 2011. So I take the time to read all the leadership and new/social media books I can find because my WPM, words per minute, is still in overdrive. You may not have the time to go back to school or read a tone of the latest books but what if you could listen to a lecture series from a top University over your lunch break? With iTunes U you can. You know you have seen the link in your iPhone or iPad for iTunes U , Have you ever clicked on it? I’m currently watching a series of business leadership lectures from MIT, free! Sadly, these great lectures only have 52 reviews because so few people know they can literally go back to school on their phones, with no tuition. Pick a topic and learn from the best academics in the world. I may not matriculate from MIT but I can be as sharp as their grads! Isn’t getting the knowledge the real point?

Clipping paths from a selection

Today’s tutorial is a quick lesson from my course. In Photoshop CS 5 it is now easier than ever to create a clipping path around an object from a selection.

No laughing at my voice 🙂

Clipping path tutorial

Share your wisdom with me, please.

How do you stand out  in a job market that is over saturated? I have heard of being aggressive, but how aggressive can you be before one becomes rude? Writing a good resume is key, I get that it is your first impression, but what if your impression never makes it to the hiring manager? Computerization has handicapped the people person in my opinion. Layers upon layers of digital red tape. A  lot of the programs upload your resume and then require you to trim and reformat so much, that none of the design you put into the document is evident by the time you reach the summary page.

So what’s a people person to do? Sure there are networking events, but often the hiring managers are not at these functions. Job fairs and lines are not really effective since everyone is there lined up for the same two positions and often recruiters are slightly dazed when it is your turn.

I do well when I come in contact with real people, as my husband puts it I’m more interested in connecting with people than I am about anything else. If I make a good connection with someone, I will be a loyal patron. When I explain to my husband that we are going to a particular wine shoppe on the other side of the metro, rather than the one conveniently located down the street, he laughs and says “you must have made a new friend!” He’s usually right! My ability to connect with people is my best weapon. Sure I have a wealth of other skills, but how does one do battle in this economy without your best weapon?

People are the foundation of all business, yet so many businesses have infused processes that are designed to specifically to keep you from connecting with the real people doing the hiring.  So while I usually have something to offer you here each day, today I want to know your thoughts on getting past the computerized gate keepers? Feel free to post articles or information, Im sure all of my readers would like to know this as well! Thanks -Hill


Digital Noise reduction in CS 5

Reducing digital noise is a lot smoother in Photoshop CS5. Here is a quick tutorial on how to clean up digital noise efficiently in CS 5. Digital noise tutorial

So much more than a To Do List!

As a new media consultant the occasion arises when I need to hire sub contractors. When I do I assign tasks with HiTask. It is a to do list, organizer and project management software in one. It features a mobile application for my iPad and iPhone and allows me to send assignments, set deadlines and track the progress of jobs for minimal cost. It’s only 5 bucks a month or 42 dollars a year, the longer you use it the cheaper it is. They also offer a high security business version. HiTask is also a great business solution for companies that are no longer investing in high cost assignment systems. Photo assignment editors at newspapers around the world, this is so much better than a database and email system. I only wish I had found this when I was still running a photo department. Enough listening to me go download your trial, you won’t be sorry.

Creativity, not just for creatives!

We all benefit from creative thinking. Yet we all hit mental road blocks. I know a lot of the posts on my site seem geared towards the naturally creative but the truth is you are as creative as you feel. It is all about how you express that creative solution. A unique approach to a problem is as creative as a sculpture. It’s all about the medium you choose. For me photography and Design are my creative releases, yet the right brain exercise helps me think of unique solutions to every obstacle in my life and career. Creative exercises really get the juices flowing. Here are two great articles about simple exercises to help you find your passion.

Five Creative Exercises to find your passion.

Creative thinking won’t put you in a sweat!