Recommended Reading Round-up: For Those Whose Life Doesn’t Move at the Speed of Twitter

For women business owners juggling work and family, the thought of kicking back with a cup of coffee and spending a free hour perusing some of the excellent business sites and blogs out there seems about as likely to happen as an afternoon at the day spa with your girlfriends. Who has the time?! The amount of material is overwhelming. It’s less stressful just to turn your back on it. Let those magazine subscriptions and e-newsletters pile up, and keep plugging away at the projects in front of you on your desk. But we all know you can’t grow your business without learning from others.

For the last few months, we’ve been trying to share one article a day with our colleagues and clients via Twitter (@InfusionStudio1). Just one article – often a blog post really. Something that will take mere minutes from your day to read. But that will keep you thinking for some time afterwards.

Most of the articles and posts we share relate to small-business owners, or else the ideas they contain could be applied to a business of any size. And we toss in a few design-related ones each week. Nothing too technical, usually an article that would also be of interest and/or inspiration to a business owner venturing into the world of logo design or advertising. Or maybe something that’s just for fun, like the best design books of the year or the world’s coolest office spaces.

And now, for those whose lives do not move at the speed of Twitter, we’re going to start a weekly round-up of our recommended articles.
Earlier this week, the Infusion Studio team was talking about how often we all wear our “customer hats.” Small-business owners are often so busy putting on and off their accounting, marketing, legal, product development, creative, etc. etc hats, we never think to step back and pretend to be the customer. “How to Examine Your Business from a Customer’s Perspective” from YFS Magazine walks you through four ways in which you can give your business this important critique. Highly recommended – whether you run a plumbing company or a law practice or a nail salon or… fill in the blank.

In keeping with the customer-hat theme is “Reality Check: What You See vs. What They See” from Fox Small Business. A quick read that will get you asking four questions to determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. For example, how often do you use the words “I/we” in your promo materials, versus the customer-oriented “you”?

This week’s recommended design article, actually a book review, “100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design” from Brainpickings.org is fun inspiration for anyone struggling to come up with their next marketing idea. Check out the examples of design firsts, ranging from the cover of a 1962 teen magazine (representing the first time teenagers were treated as adults from a marketing perspective) to “found typography” (the use of everyday objects to represent letters of the alphabet). Tossing around suggestions for your new ad or flyer will take on a whole new scope after you scroll through these innovative ideas. Suddenly, nothing is off limits – and isn’t that what brainstorming is all about?

Check back here next Friday to see what we’re reading in the coming days — or follow us on Twitter (@InfusionStudio1) for the daily recommendations. Suggestions always welcome!