lundi 5 janvier 2009

Please change your RSS feed!

Yeah! I've switched my blog to Wordpress AND to my current server, so I will be saying bye-bye to Pot aux roses and Bite...

Don't worry though, all the posts here have been transferred to the new blog. So all of you subscriber to Bite, please change your RSS feed to:

or head to

I'll figure out a way to direct traffic to the new site, so see you there :)

Ps: I now know what to expect in my tummy! If you're curious to know too, check it out here:

lundi 25 août 2008

David Heinemeier Hansson at Startup School 08

This guy is a partner at 37signals, the creator of basecamp and Rails. He gives an inspiring (and quite funny) speech on making money online. It's a 30 minutes worth of your time ^_^


lundi 11 août 2008

Website Relauch Specials!


I just finished the re-design of my graphic design website! YAY! See a blurb from the main page:

«Rose Flash is a one-woman graphic and web design studio. You have come to the right place for your branding needs. Why? Because I specialize in women-run businesses branding. My job is to turn your vision into visibility.

At Rose Flash, you will talk to the designer, the accountant, the marketing expert and the owner simultaneously! Talk about a time saver and a top-notch customer service! I have a design solution for your needs, whatever your budget is.»

Are you enticed to check it out? Want more? Look:

Now go!

mardi 5 août 2008

Top 10 Creative blogger lists on Pot aux Roses

Check it out »Le pot aux roses

samedi 2 août 2008

Let's talk about the birds and the bees and the flowers: Branding Philosophy

If you're in business, you know how important your branding, corporate image, corporate identity, whatever you call it, you know how important it is, right?


You figured you might as well use your four year old last drawing to work up your lingerie-line logo?

You figured you will wait when you have hundreds of clients to put the money into a good design?

You figured if you just put your information somewhere, someone will be interested?

You figured you would search the Internet for a clip-art, download it to your computer and put your business name beside it?


Your branding is «the first impression» you give to your clients. Unfortunately, we don't live in a world where we can see «inside beauty» first, or how good your customer service is, or how your product leaks with awesomeness!

The bees and the flowers
Ok, this is sounding dirty, but it's cuter than «the fish and the hook» image! So, let me talk about Orchids! Orchids are wilds, beautiful flowers. There are about 25 000 sorts of Orchids and in my mind, they are the world's master of branding.

You see, Orchids, trough millennium of evolution, have developed highly specialized pollination systems, so specialized that they often have ONE type of pollinators (insects, bats, birds). Some mimic their pollinator's female sent, taste and, yes, form so that the males literally attempts to mate with flowers. Some have «landing platforms» intended for their pollinators. An underground Orchid even rely on ants to reproduce itself.

So why am I going discovery channel on you? Well..

You are the Orchid! You have to specialize your branding to attract your targeted clients in order for you to survive your market!

Orchids did it in millenniums, you can do it in less time I'm sure. All you need is to find what will convey your audience to look at you and want to buy you instead of other flowers about. If you don't know, I suggest you do a market research and hire a professional graphic designer. After all, your business survival depend on it!

mardi 4 décembre 2007


You did it, you're in Business! Congratulations. Now what? Well, you'll probably want to sell your services-goodies-gizmo. That is, if you want to stay in your new position!

Let's talk about your first promotional tools (promo in short). First off, as mention in a previous article, you'll need to do a market research before investing in any promos. You're in business to make money, not to burn it or trowing it away in useless tools!

So first off, let's ask the real questions:

1- Who is your targeted market?
2- What are their buying habits?
3- When do they buy?
4- What are you selling?
5- What Tone is appropriate for your overall look (I'll get to that later)?

If you haven't got the answer to those questions, then there's no use to create empty promo tools. Get your market-study going, then come back later to read this :)

Have you notice that I haven't ask what were your taste visually? What the on going trend was? Thought it can be useful to know, keep in mind that Promo tool are all about your future clients, their needs, their buying habits. Your promos are kinda like what we French folks refer to an «avant-goût» which literally translate to a before-taste, or Tongue teaser. Which now you can tell why knowing what your clients like is meaningful: you don't want them to say «yucky» while «tasting» to your tongue teaser!

Next? Well, you'll have to make choices! If your a freelancer, small business owner or even a big company owner, I guess you're on a budget! Especially when talking about marketing! So to help you make those choices, here is a round-up first-promo-list.

1- The business card AKA your best marketing friend.

Business card SHOULD BE your FIRST promo EVER. Easy choice huh? There's A LOT to chat about business cards. Like a whole post. Coming soon, I promise!

2- Website

Websites are costly and they DO NOT guaranty sales. If you're not HTML-CSS savy and that you don't have the budget to hire a webmaster/web designer (1000 up to 25000$) then some cheap solution exists. You can open a free account at Blogger and create a business blog to show off your talent-services-goodies. You can also set up an Etsy shop if you sell handmade goods. You can go to Ebay also. There are tons of «portfolio» websites where you can have a webpage. Some are free, some demand monthly fees. But I do recommend that once you have a budget for a website, that you hire a pro to do it. You DON'T want to have an unprofessional image overall, or to have a non-user friendly website (ie: malfunctioning cart, weird navigation system).

3- Mailout and Newsletters

I've put those in the same group: Mailout and Newsletter are WORTHLESS if they are not sent to targeted clients. I'm not a strong beleiver in purchased newsletter or mail-out lists (yes, those exists!); when I receive an unwanted newsletter or ad in my inbox (and I receive them by the hundreds) I am bothered by it, and think SPAM (thanks God for Spam filters!). The same goes with the weekly Mailout I receive which go directly in my recycling bin. What a waste! BUT, and this is very important, if you manage to make people want to subscibe to your Newsletter or mailout, then we're talking! Picture this, those folks want to know the wereabout of your goodies/services! Che-ching!, if you excuse the expression!

4- Etc.

And by etc, I mean all the remaining promo you can thing about. It can be an ad in your local newspaper, a pen with your sparkly logo on it, Postcards, Radio ad, a look-book... Really, the sky is the limit (or most certainly your budget!) Be intelligent in your promo sending though: target to whom you will sent them (do your research! How many people read the magazine you want to place an ad in?), target the moment you will sent it (don't send your promo for an editorial on your Chrismas lights in December! Too late!), target your promo to the right person (don't send your look-book to the receptionnist!).

Wow! This is a long article! Ok, I'll finish this one with the Tone of your promo. What I mean by this is that different people will be interpelled by different images. Think of it as a bait (sorry for this terrible analogy, I coudn't find a better one!). The tone acts as a bait to attract the right customers (like your targeted customers, hopefully!). Time for some visual example you say? Okay!
Example 1:

Example 2:
Ok, so these are basic Letterheads, logo and business cards with the same information on them (Truc Muche means Gizmo in French). Now, see the difference? Colors, fonts, layout. They give a very different vibe to the promos, don't they? That's the tone. Different markets and customers, different tone.

I hope this was usefull for you! This was a crash course, I've only scrached the surface of it! I'll chat more about promo in the futur. Feel free to ask questions in the comment area or simply put some comments or request. Anything you would like to know or chat about in a futur article?

samedi 13 octobre 2007

5 Creative online marketing tips for creative professionals

Being a freelance professional = multi-tasking. Yes, we have to take care of the bills, meet clients, do some market research and promote the heck out our services. And actually work, obviously.

So finding new clients and «getting out there» often seems like, umm, desperation? Let us not despair: There are literally Tons of ways to promote online. Here are some which I've tested and which I invite you to discover. Most of them are free or really cheap.

1- Blogs
Blogs are personal web-logs, kinda like a diary. But they can become a promotional venniu if you use it to let your customer know about your products. I regularly post new illustrations on my blog Pot-aux-roses. If you don't have a website yet, a blog can put you on the online map, so to speak. You can get free accounts with Blogger and set up your blog pretty easily.
You can also create a blog for information purpose (like this one you are reading :)) If you are a professional or have extended knowledge in something, well a blog can drive to your website(s) a good amount of traffic.

You can also comment on other blogs. Now, this is more tricky, as it is regarded impolite to do some shameless promotion on a blog that is not your own. But an intelligent comment with a link to your own blog-website in the signature is ok.

2- Portfolio sites
There are a lot of website where you can create an account to then upload pictures of your product on your page. Some Portfolio sites opt for a screening process which you need to apply for. Other don't. Here's a list of some of those websites:

Etsy is like an online craft market. You can find almost everything you can imagine IF it's handmade. You can set up a shop and sell your goodies there; they take a small commission fee when you sell something. It's a real Easy Peasy set up and they have manage to create a thriving online community. This year I was thinking to do ALL my holiday shopping there!

4- Online Forums
Online forums are communities in which you can post comments, you have to once again create an account in order to do so. These place are little gold mines because lots of experience people can give you professional advices (or not!). In my first year of business, I've joined the Switchboards and learned priceless how-to in marketing, tips on managing a small business. I highly recommend it!

5- Editorials blogs
Now this is a subject which will need an entire post to deal with! All I'll say here is, in my experience, getting online press has been really awesome (brought me sales every time and unlike online ads, it doesn't cost a dime!) but it demands a lot of time to manage. So keep posted, I'll chat a bit more about it later.

So voilà! In my experience, promoting online isn't quite enought tought, you still have to promote also with promo material such as business cards, postcards. In another post I'll chat more about fist promo tools to have when starting up a business.