Business Highlight: Hungry Workshop

This month we are focusing on a business on the other side of the pacific ocean

Hungry Workshop is a modern letterpress and design company based in Melbourne, Australia. They work with Melbourne’s leading creatives to produce timeless letterpress and specialty prints with unmatched quality (and probably sustainable efforts when it comes to letterpress, too).

At Hungry Workshop, sustainability is second nature. It is embedded in their process, their method, and their people. All of their work, including their letterpress, is powered by green energy.

Just like their clients, Hungry Workshop obsesses over the details. They consider the finished product, the materials they use, and ultimately the impact they are having on the world through each and every one of those details. For example, even the paper stocks they use and recommend are uncoated, recycled, and often tree-free (Now that is a company who has thought of everything!).

On that note, I have to mention their incredibly funky, yet creative website. Hungry Workshop uses their website to give you a glimpse into their work, using minimal, sleek fonts to showcase their specialty in letterpress. From the eyes of an individual who organically stumbled upon this website I would get the feeling that this company is comprised of engineers who are mechanics of their craft, what I would soon learn to be letterpress printing. Achieving that essence before people even read a word on your site is what I call IMPECCABLE branding.

That said, their finished products are elegant with an edge that I love as well. I mean, when this company says they care about quality— they mean it. They work with clients all across the board from artists to artisans, builders, bakers, chefs, creators, makers, tailors, and tinkerers; and they do so on a variety of different products from packaging, books and invitations, to business cards, swing tags, menus, stationary, gift cards and so much more.

In a world that is so digital, I love to see companies like this who not only still remember how important design is in terms of physical materials and assets but thrive at the intersection of creativity and physical creation.

For those of you that do not know, when I’m not creating digital designs, I love doing DIY projects and getting my creative juices flowing while using my hands; and I would venture to say that that is exactly where these folks’ happy place lies.

Did I mention that their workshop is also the epitome of great branding too? Their workshop, their website, and their final product all fit so well together; it makes my branding soul sing.

Furthermore, something super cool about them is that they also host in-person letterpress workshops! So, if you are like me and you love creating things with your hands, and/or you are interested in learning about letterpress, you should definitely check out the classes they host. I know for me, (once this pandemic is over) and next time I’m in Melbourne (which is soon I hope!)— I’ll definitely be popping in for a class!

So, if you are in Australia and want to support a company who is doing business the right way, truly understands that their work holds weight, and ultimately is making a greater impact by making an elevated way of doing business, second nature… Then I would highly recommend you check these hungry craftsmen out at their website, right here.

I hope this inspires you to elevate your own business and remember that making a greater impact does not have to be ‘extra’. It can be something we all do as default.

How to Create a Personal Brand

The best thing about a personal brand is that you get to be, just you.

Yes, I know, this can sometimes be a little tricky, because it brings to the surface some deep questions, like:

“Who are you really? Why are you doing what you are doing? What kind of values are important to you? How do you want to show up?”

If you ask me, those are all fabulous questions and a reason why I love what I do. I love to dive deep and bring out the golden nuggets that you have.

That is really what it is. Highlight your unique traits or quirks and use them to your benefit. Then swirl that up with the offerings you have, and you will never have to compete for work ever again.

That unique combination is your “magic” trick.

Yes, it will exclude potential clients and yes you want to do that.

I don’t know how often I hear, “I don’t want to exclude anyone.”

I get that. It feels a little backwards, because you want to serve as many as possible. The truth is that you shouldn’t and you can’t…at least not in a way where you can deliver a great outcome and client experience. At the end of the day, that is what you are looking for and what your clients are looking for – a great experience.

The only exception for this is when you are just starting out.

You want to take all the work you can so you can pay bills and figure out who your ideal client is, what your process is and/or how to optimize it. But as soon as you can start filtering out the people who are most fitted to work with you, I highly recommend you do that. It will be life changing.

A silly example, but here it is: would you want to go to a cardiologist to have your broken foot fixed?

They are both doctors, however, it doesn’t mean a cardiologist can help you in the specific way you need.  Same goes for you. By honing in on your way of being and doing, as well as what and how you offer your services, you will become the sought-after expert in that specific area.  People will know where to go. You will not be lost in an ocean of sameness. You will have a much easier time creating your experience, because you are not trying to talk to everyone, but rather a specific group who you understand and can support.

That sidetracked us a bit to branding in general, so to bring it back to creating a personal brand, I want to wrap it up with this: don’t be afraid to dive deep and own your ways. Your people will love it (and you will love the results too).

Hint: Most often your ideal client is very much like you.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Oil! Website Maintenance Recommendations

Keep your site up to date.

Website maintenance recommendations are coming your way. But first, let’s remember the work it took you to get there and why you need to maintain your website in the first place.

I know, getting a website created and set up is a big deal…from figuring out your niche and your offerings, getting your message just right, doing a fancy photoshoot, establishing your new visual identity to display all over your website. It’s a lot of work, but it’s really an exciting time! And it’s even more exciting when it’s time to open the doors and let the world know you are here!

I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but I do want to keep it real. I don’t have babies, but I imagine it being sort of similar (except the website reveal is most likely a lot less painful)! You plan, prep and get set up for the special day. Baby arrives and there’s lots of joy and excitement, but then…the real work starts. It’s sort of the same with creating your business and launching your website. It’s super exciting, but then…the real work starts. (Not a good metaphor? Hit reply and let me know).

Now it’s time to “nurture” that business so that it grows and prospers.

You need to make sure the website is working for you, so that people are actually coming to your site. You do this through networking, blogging, podcasting, socialmediaing (that might not be a word, but it is now), YouTubing, speaking, advertising, stapling posters to the community board, etc. When you start growing your business you will also inevitably want to update your site as your business goes through different changes. i.e. changing your offers, adding services, adding pages and so on. All of this can be fun, if you set it up that way. What might be a little less fun is making sure your site is up to date and secure so you can keep serving folks through your site.

Think of it this way…

You get oil changes every 5,000 miles,

You clean your teeth every 6 month or so,

You visit the doctor annually to make sure you are healthy,

Your smartphone has a bunch of apps that need to be updated so they run smoothly.

 

Similarly, this maintenance is needed for your website. It needs to be up to date to run smoothly. It needs be as secure as possible. And, it needs to be backed up just in case something does happen.

If your site is on WordPress, here is a “little less fun” list I would recommend you take a look at, or have a professional take a look at for you:

  • Back up your site
  • Research Theme vs WP versions for compatibility so it’s safe to update
  • Backup WordPress, theme, custom CSS rules and other possible items
  • Update your copyright if it’s passed another year
  • Update plugins (in correct order)
  • Clean out any unused plugins
  • Check that forms and links work

 

Lastly, make sure your site handled all the updates without losing any information or displaying in a funky way.

It’s pertinent to stay on top of this, because you have put in a lot of work to get here, and I know you don’t want to have to deal with your site being down. It’s not only time consuming but could be very costly.  If you don’t stay on top of updates you are opening the doors to unwanted guests, like hackers and malware. And before you say it, I know your site doesn’t have anything valuable on it (like credit card information) and it’s just a small informational site, but the sad truth is…it doesn’t matter anymore. For some odd reason that I don’t know or understand, people like to go in and break things anyway.

To end this post on a good note, make sure to stay on top of your oil change, teeth cleaning, smartphone updates and website check-ups, and I promise you that life will run a little bit smoother (at least in those areas)!