Friday, July 5, 2013

#AshleyAlikoDesigns – #Custom Photo #Quotes, July 2013 #SmallBusiness

Ashley Aliko Designs – Custom Photo Quotes
July 2013 Small Business

Intro: There was a time not too long ago that I was at a major crossroads in my life. I had to dig deeper emotionally and find a way to utilize my skills, abilities and talents as a designer to benefit the people I work with or to get out of the industry entirely. The thought of escaping this circumstance I had created and returning to school for an entirely different occupation occurred to me several times. I loved the thought of being in school again. In reality, I had misplaced my sense of humor and everything became increasingly serious in all aspects of my life. I was not living life or doing work as I had intended. In retrospect, it is clear to me now that I had to face that struggle in thoughts and ideas about my life to get to the next step in creation of what would satisfy me.

Ashley Aliko is a graphic designer and illustrator living in Hemet, CA with her dog Lili. Her focus is on creating customized and branded photo quotes for entrepreneurs who no longer have time to create their own.

After speaking with a dynamic and driven goals coach, she helped me to sort out some of the basics of my life and came up with this amazing idea. I could not quite grasp all of the details of the idea upon first listening. She shared the potential for a niche need for busy entrepreneurs to have their own customized and branded photo quotes that would get fans and communities going back to their site to look at the products they were offering. It seemed too simple. I sat with the idea for a few days learning more about how it could work. As she spoke further, she shared with me her train of thought in that having a customized and branded photo quote would be a great way for business owners to bring people back to their website rather than simply putting out a quote that so many have already seen and shared. It would also create a way for the busy entrepreneur to have pre-set what they want to share with the world on the various social media sites. Additionally, since I was doing the work of designing and creating the customized and branded quotes, the busy entrepreneur didn’t have to and could focus on another business building area.

Since over 80% of the population learn visually, having a customized and branded photo quote that could be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram would keep the business in the public eye longer and the algorithm, known as EdgeRank  that Facebook uses to sort the relevance of posts could be increased for the business owner. She also expressed that since I was a trained and professional designer, if I could build trust with some of the business owners, I could create their quotes rather than the busy entrepreneur spending the time to create the quotes. I really liked what she was speaking about because I was able to find a way to create a useful service that could benefit beyond

And so it began: My new business model, Custom Photo Quotes. I started by branding Custom Photo Quotes utilizing Facebook. I then started volunteering for the Valley Community Pantry - a non-profit in the low desert helping families and seniors in need. After the customized and branded photo quotes displayed on the Valley Community Pantry Facebook page, readership increased, awareness increased as well as donations. The system that was put in place was starting to pay off. After meeting a very pivotal person whose business it is to influence design and presentation  through strategy... how people present their brand to the world, I then worked with a photographer, musician, another couple of non-profits and an entertainer, created their customized and branded photo quotes. They all reported increased traffic to their site as well as additional revenue from products being purchased. I was delighted. They immediately got in return revenue the cost of creating the photo quotes.

Communication: Ways to communicate with our customers have changed so quickly. Where once a yellow page ad would suffice to bring in new business, now we are a social media nation. We have not even tapped into the entirety of what the world wide web can offer as far as sharing our products and learning about additional resources.

Asking the question: What percentage of our world’s population have computers? Computer ownership is now at about 4-5% of the world’s population. However, with many social projects placing computers in the villages of developing countries, between 12-14% of the world’s population have access to a computer. Approximately 3-5% of the world’s population has internet access.

To put this into context:  “Only about 25% of the world’s population sleep in their own bed at night and only about 30% of the world’s population are rich enough to have a bank account!” Source:

This illustration reveals what is happening in the world of Facebook from 2011 Q1 - 2012 Q1: A substantial increase that is continuing to rise!

Social Media: With Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr now in the picture as viable means of sharing images and business.... the odds are even higher that you will be seen worldwide. LinkedIn now allows for images to be posted along with likes and sharing. We are in the beginning of new ways to communicate through the use of quotes that make your customers feel good, information that is useful and ways of keeping your business in front of your ideal customers who want to purchase from you.

Special promotion:  Purchase one customized and branded photo quote (plain background or one with an image) and get the second one FREE. A $14.00 value for $7. Offer expires 12/31/13. Contact Ashley on her Facebook page or email: to arrange designs and payment. Mention code, ICACustomQuote or mention my blog to take advantage of this great offer! 

Examples of Ashley’s work:
A - Dr. Flom
+ (A) Dr. Peter Flom. Bringing awareness about learning disabilities through attractive visuals.

B - Billy Roddy 
 + (B) Billy Roddy's Manhood from the Hood was a fantastic opportunity to work with Sweetie Berry at Chaffee Creek Creatives and Mr. Bill Roddy. Here the message is more epic and positioned to be hand-in-hand with blog posts and potentially a short video series.

C - Osiris Organization
+  (C) Osiris Organization. Bringing awareness of this non-profit through customized and branded photo quotes will follow the same model as Manhood from the Hood. Osiris Organization is run by Bill and Gail Roddy who are making such a huge and positive difference in their community. This project came into being working with Chaffee Creek Creatives.

D - Conveying Awareness

+ (D)  Jessica David, CHC, Conveying Awareness. Advocates for families to eat more fruits and vegetables daily. I met Jessica David when I reached out to her on LinkedIn after reading her blog and some Facebook posts. 

E - Ashley Aliko Designs
E - Ashley Aliko Designs
+ (E) Lighter and brighter examples of work that simply has a good message. I would post these at strategic times to remind myself to get up or take a deep breath.

F - Ashley Aliko Designs
F - Ashley Aliko Designs
+ (F) Being aware to use my own images or Royalty Free images, also creating quotes that have a general theme, as in these examples for Zen Thinking.

Reminder: Purchase one customized and branded photo quote (plain background or one with an image) and get the second one FREE. A $14.00 value for $7. Offer expires 12/31/13. Contact Ashley on her Facebook page or email: to arrange designs and payment. Mention code, ICACustomQuote or mention my blog to take advantage of this great offer!

If you’d like an opportunity to be featured on my blog, use the contact form on the right side of my blog (second from the top) to send me a request. Send me a short bio and your website links. If we're a good fit, I'll send you the criteria and cross-networking is a must! 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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