//Just in case I need this later // ////

Archive for For Freelancers – Page 2

Custom Pin It Buttons

Custom Pin It Buttons | www.trinidadpena.com

Last week, I showed you how to install a “pin it” button plug-in on your wordpress website. This week, I’m giving away free pin it buttons, that you can customize!

{In my best Oprah Voice} Custom pin it buttons for everyone! Look under your chair! You get a custom pin it button! And you get a custom pin it button! And you get a custom pin it button!

Let’s Customize them!

You can download them here, and just use them as-is. But these buttons are customizable using Photoshop. I lost ya, didn’t I? But I don’t know how to use Photoshop AND it’s expensive. If you have a blog or a website that you are using images on regularly, photoshop is for you. It’s going to take the look of your site to the next level. You can get photoshop elements for about $70 on amazon*. It’s pretty much photoshop lite. It’s cheaper and will fulfill most people’s needs unless you are a photographer, or want use it for video editing. You can also download the trial version for free to use for this tutorial.

If you are baller, alternatively you can get the full $600 version* or download the full trial.

But, I don’t know how to use Photoshop!

You my friend are suffering from Photoshop-phobia. But I got you. You don’t have to fear the Photoshop. I’m going to take you step by step and show you how to change the font and colors of these buttons. I’ll also be making more Photoshop tutorials so you’ll be a wiz in no time. Let’s get started.

Changing Fonts

Changing Fonts in Photoshop | www.trinidadpena.com

Pretty painless, right? Next, we are going to change the colors of our custom pin it buttons.

Changing Colors

Changing colors in Photoshop | www.trinidadpena.com

Did this help calm your Photoshop-Phobia? Are you going to try to customize your buttons? Do you have a specific Photoshop problem that you’d like me to tackle? Let me know in the comments.

Terms of use: The images or documents you download in this post are free for personal and commercial use. You can use them on both personal or business sites. Just don’t sell them or post them on your blog for download as your own. That’s a pretty crummy thing to do. Also try not use them for anything salacious. See mom, I put that in there just for you.

Where appropriate please, link back to this post.

*These are my amazon affiliate links. Unless you want to spring for the adobe cloud subscription service, amazon usually sells the software for a bit cheaper than the adobe website.

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How to brand yourself

How to Brand Yourself

When people think of branding, they think, “Oh, that’s my logo.” It’s much more than that, though. Branding is the way a brand looks, speaks and behaves. So, how do you brand yourself?

Images Above: Lebron is so Nike | New Balance searches for Nirvana

Get a personality

Most major brands have very distinct brand personalities. They have human personality traits that set them apart from competitors and call in a specific kind of consumer.

For example, Nike and New Balance sell athletic gear, but the companies have very different personalities. One is bold and embodies the attitude of a champion; the other is about finding balance and takes cues from a zen master. Your decisions on how to brand yourself should show the same kind of personality.
If you’re a creative type — especially if you’re a one-person shop — then your brand personality is about you.

  • Are you funky and cutting edge?
  • Are you techy with a little bit of geek chic?
  • Are you classic and dependable?
  • Are you earthy and outdoorsy?

Try to pick a part of your personality that is going to speak to your target audience, but that also makes you different than your competition and play it up, baby! Personality is often why people chose one brand over another, so really start to emphasize yours.

Make it visual

Once you’ve defined your brand personality, learn how to brand yourself visually. People tend to skim on the web, so give them some eye candy. Personalized images, custom typography and other stylized elements get people focused and excited about your message.

The Alison Show does a great job of using stylized elements and writing blog posts with personality!

The Alison Show does a great job of using stylized elements and writing blog posts with personality!

At minimum you want lock in:

  • A logo
  • 2 colors
  • 2 typefaces

You can also choose some reoccurring graphic elements such as patterns. If you are hiring a designer, a seasoned professional will ask questions about personality and possibly create a mood board before they start designing. If you are going it alone, try checking out my typography and color theory sections for more information on how to brand yourself or your business.

Don’t go a’ changing

The most important lesson in how you brand yourself is consistency. People trust what they recognize. They like when you meet their expectations.

So, pick your colors and fonts and stick to them. Don’t throw a stray font or color here and there (I know — it’s tempting). If you want a little variety, decide up-front to switch one or two elements occasionally and limit your experimentation to those elements. Always use your brand voice in your copy and correspondence, even in quick e-mails.

Keep a cheat sheet with your fonts, color and brand personality references and use it everywhere.

I mean EVERYWHERE. Yes, this means your website and business cards — but also your social media profiles, newsletters, e-mail signatures, invoices and packaging.

Bri from Design Love Fest does a great job of being consistent with her branding.

Bri from Design Love Fest does a great job of being consistent with her branding.

If you send snail mail, custom rubber stamps or stickers turn ordinary envelopes and boxes into custom pieces that have your special touch. It matters. People often tweet pictures of my packaging because they feel like they just got a present.

Go! Start Now!

Now you have the basics — personality, visuals and consistency. So, get going! You have the tools to become a lean, mean branding machine. Go make me proud.

If you still need a little help, shoot me an e-mail and we’ll get started on your free consultation.

 

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Hourly Rate Calculator – A Tool for Freelancers

 FreelanceSwitch's Hourly Rate Calculator

Setting your hourly rate is a daunting task for many freelancers but once again, the internet comes to the rescue! This time in the form of freelanceswitch’s handy hourly rate calculator.

Let’s get calculating!

This nifty rate calculator takes into consideration your:

  • business costs
  • personal costs
  • how many hours you can bill
  • how much profit you’d like to make

It then tells you what your ideal hourly rate is and the rate you need to charge just to break even. You still need to consider what the going rate is in your neck of the woods and how much experience you have, but this is a GREAT starting point.

Once you know what your hourly rate is, it’s easy to create packages for your services simply by estimating how long they will take. Plug in the numbers into your custom contract and you are officially in business. Happy calculating!

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