We recently connected with Lisa Raymond and have shared our conversation below.
Lisa, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Alright, let’s jump into one of the most exciting parts of starting a new venture – how did you get your first client who was not a friend or family?
With my graphic and website design, it was doing a mock-up of ideas for a simple website and business card, and redoing a flier for an elementary school, which lead to a business referral. This approach worked well for a trio of roller-skating rinks, a web hosting company, and a business networking group.
For the social media management and training, I landed my first management client by writing blog articles and citing post analytics for people to review on their Facebook and Twitter accounts; I also did some social media training and public presentations at two libraries before I landed my first management client.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I was working in Corporate Training at Circle K in Phoenix and bored being someone else’s secretary, and in 1997 I decided to make a change. I’d been doing some minor adjustments to Power Point presentations and print collateral and was told I was pretty good and could make good money, so I enrolled at Al Collins Graphic Design School in Tempe (was also known as Collins College) to get a degree in Graphic Design. After school I wanted to be home with our two kids, so I started my own business.
My husband suggested I quit my job while I was in school, so, I’ve actually been a business owner since 1997 – graduated in 1998. I joined a business networking group with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and had some success. My business experienced a slowdown in 2000 and it worsened after September 11; my husband and I agreed to put our third child in daycare and I would get a job. I began working at the West Valley View newspaper from Aug. 2002 – Sept. 2008 and was subsequently laid off due to the Great Recession. I went to my mother’s, had a 5-minute pity party, then lunch with my mom, and started my business the next day.
It’s not been easy, but, it’s definitely been worth it! Thankfully I had a wonderful mentor I met along the way am still working with. I met some wonderful people at the Arizona Small Business Association, and started creating new business relationships through AmSpirit Business Connections. There’s still some up and down times, but, as I continue growing my business, I learn how to move past those times and put down processes for both growth and revenue generation with multiple services.
What sets me apart from printshops, website designers, or social media experts, is I absolutely work in my field each and every day. I’m a doer – which can become a trap for growth – I don’t just read or take tests so I can say I can do this. I subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud (the standard for print design), Canva, Sendible, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner (Michael Stelzner rocks!) and follow terrific thought leaders such as Mari Smith, Viveka von Rosen, and Simon Sinek (leadership).
I view website design and social media as being another type of canvas, which made it easier for me to use my skills to create branded images for digital marketing. When the COVID-19 forced shutdowns, many turned to ZOOM for meetings. I created branded ZOOM backgrounds for AmSpirit Business Connections, and Frank Agin made these available to his membership for download.
I love what I do! I’m insanely curious; my friends call me a learning machine. I can learn a software in a very short period of time. For example, I just taught my real estate brokerage client how to use PropertyBlastHomes.com, and I only learned this software on Saturday. There’s always another challenge, another way to learn something new!
As my business mentor once asked me (and still does), “Do you apply what you learn?” I strive to do that every day, with every client. They’re all special to me, I enjoy working with them and helping them achieve their marketing goals.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
The biggest pivot I made was going back to work in 2002. I applied just about everywhere and had about given up when I landed my job at West Valley View, a local newspaper. The lessons – and friendships – were invaluable, and helped me when I was ready to re-start my business!
In the graphics department, I really learned the value of both paying attention to details and staying on time. Newspapers, especially the local ones, tend to work on smaller budgets and focus more on customer retention, so getting work done on time but keeping the business relationship going is very important. I helped retain a classifieds ad because I was able to recognize and apply a font the client wanted to use; he later walked his classifieds ad up to a display ad for several months. I also did what was called a “spec ad” (speculation ideas) that started out as a 2x/year ad in our magazine, and eventually morphed into a larger ad for our newspaper. The final ad was a half-page! Both resulted in more revenue for my newspaper and happy clients.
In learning expediency at the newspaper, I applied this lesson to my business’ reboot, resulting in more clients until – pivot #2.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012. I withdrew from the clients I had so I could help her focus on her health. Ultimately she passed away in Nov. 2013, and I began my current business reboot in Jan. 2014. My business mentor encouraged me to create a lot of content during this time, but I found it very difficult to concentrate, which made the reboot that much harder.
What I’ve learned from all this:
1. Don’t give up!
My hero is Charlie Brown. He never gives up hope he will one day kick that football and win at something. His attitude can sometimes be self-defeating and a self-fulfilled prophecy, but he keeps on trying. It’s a great lesson for all of us to embrace.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on NFTs. (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice
NFTs aren’t for everyone and probably will end up lasting longer than they should, but become siloed into pockets of groups who will keep them going. It’s about digital art, and the appreciation of art is very subjective. What someone thinks is fantastic may be rendered as gross to someone else. How they will continue to be marketed will determine not just their value, but the prowess of the one marketing them.
- Website: https://visiblymedia.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisaraymondaz_visiblymedia/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VisiblyMedia/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisajraymond/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/visiblymedia
- Other: https://www.alignable.com/phoenix-az/visibly-media-llc-2 https://mewe.com/p/visiblymedia
Michael Holian, International Director, Toastmasters (post & story)