Playing Catch Up

As many of you may have probably noticed (and then again, maybe not), I’ve been all but missing from my blog for the past couple of weeks (with the exception of an update or two on the progress of my new business, Phoenix Moirai, and my weekly movie mayhem review). But I have a good reason: I’ve been laser focused on meticulously building the website for Phoenix Moirai, not only to get it up and running (which I needed to do if I wanted to get any business whatsoever), but to avoid a healthcare.gov-style meltdown (of course, there was very little possibility that would ever happen, since my website is nowhere near as complicated as that; not by a long shot).  But now that it is officially complete (and live — check it out: www.phoenixmoirai.com), I can take a breath and catch you all up on a few other things I’ve had on my brain.

Learning a little something new —
I can’t say that the Phoenix Moirai website is a historic revelation in web design, but it is exactly how I had it pictured when I first finished the logo. Not only that, but it does what it’s meant to do — showcase the services Phoenix Moirai provides in a clean, efficient manner. I spent a lot of time writing engaging text for all of the different services, delivering detailed and consistent descriptions (and disclaimers when needed) while keeping it from feeling repetitive. But most of all, I needed to make sure it was free of all spelling, grammar and other technical and creative errors. I am, after all, promoting my editing services, so if my own website was a mess, I wouldn’t have much validity now would I?

But what took the most time, I think, was in the days I spent learning a thing or two (or three…) about javascript and php coding. I have always been more of a visual designer — a WYSIWYG natural, if you will — but I knew going in that if I wanted to compete with other website designers, I had to up the ante in my own level of knowledge. I spent several days hunting down different tutorials online and playing around with different types of coding for some things I was looking to do for my own site. Some of them I was able to understand better than others (mostly javascript coding over php), and for those I still need a little work on, I went in a different direction until I can better enhance my skill level.

I do have a better basic understanding of what javascript and php entails now, and though I know I am going to need a lot more practice in both (and plenty more tutorials, if not actual schooling) to get anywhere near good at it — at least on a more intermediate level — I’ve never been one to back down from an intellectual challenge. I mean, the reason it took so much of my time is because every time I tried and failed to make something work, it pushed me to try harder and look for better answers. Now that I have the website up and running, I will take some more time to get to know them even better, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to grow in this area.

Kiss the Brides Expo —
Toward the end of last week, I took a break from my site (constantly reading and rereading and rewriting and revising can push even the most prolific person to become blind to what they’re doing) and started exploring some ways I might be able to drum up a little business once the site was done.

As I’ve mentioned before, my initial reason for starting Phoenix Moirai was because of my videography work at my sister’s wedding. I had been told that there were bridal expos (one of which my other sister had attended before her wedding a few years ago) that future brides and grooms would attend in order to find the right vendors for their wedding. It was definitely something I felt would help me gain some traction in the area of wedding videography, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to really afford it. It’s a poor excuse, to be sure, as starting a new business requires spending money you don’t have in order to gain more business, but it’s something that’s always floating about in the back of my mind, nonetheless.

During my research of different bridal expos, I stumbled across the Kiss the Brides Expo website. I liked how their site was set up (a lot better than most others), so I emailed them for a vendor agreement, mostly to see how much it would cost to participate. The exhibitor fee was in the ball park of the other expos, but it wasn’t until I spoke with the organizer of the event that I put all of my financial concerns to bed and made the decision to go for it.

The organizer mentioned that the turnout for the previous event was over a thousand people, as was the one before that. He also mentioned that the only other videography service that was signed up for the expo had dropped out, which would leave me as the only business to provide this service (unless, of course, one of the photography exhibitors also had a videography service included).

Regardless of whether either of those claims was true, it all came down to the fact that no matter how many people attended, an expo like this would, in the very least, give me exposure. And right now, as a new business, that’s precisely what I need. It’ll require some time in designing and printing brochures and other paraphernalia that will help showcase my services, but in the end, if I can get just a couple of brides to book me for their wedding, the upfront costs won’t matter because I’ll be generating revenue that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Here’s hoping it works (and I can actually put my best foot forward enough to sell my business and my services the way I need to).

Fluctuating clientele  —
If you were keeping up with my updates, I mentioned that another reason I started Phoenix Moirai was because I had several potential clients already lined up. Here’s where I’m at with them: I’ve lost touch completely with one of them; one needs some time before moving forward; one is waiting for some paperwork to come through; one is in limbo, but is still in “potential” status; and one has gone with another designer for the bulk of her services (which, honestly, hit me a lot harder than I would have expected), but she’s still interested in hiring me to do some writing for her site and possibly a video.

So it’s not bad news; far from it. They’re still around, it just might take a little more time (and effort) to turn them from potential to paying clients. If there was a silver lining to it all, it did give me that extra time to remain focused on my website. Not only that, but I did recently get a business card and window decal design request (albeit from my sister, but hey, it’s a job, right?) and I may have another potential client coming out of the mist soon, so there’s that.

No one said I’d have instant work and notoriety; it takes time to build a new business. At least I have some possibilities percolating in the pot and am not fishing alone in the desert.

The Olympics have stolen my television —
Not literally, of course, but because of the Olympics, all of the major networks (except for FOX) have benched their best to stay out of harm’s way. Which I guess could be a good thing, as I watch far too much television as it is. But seeing as how I’ve never been all that interested in the Olympics to begin with, I definitely can’t wait for the end of February when all my favorite shows come back in full bloom. At least I still have my Justified, The Walking Dead and Face/Off to keep me company until then!

New novel still on hiatus
It really sucks, but ever since that first week of January (when I completed those 13,000 some-odd words to begin my new novel), I haven’t had a chance to write any further. I’m itching to get back to it, though, so I should be able to start writing again next week… hopefully!

I should be getting back to the normal run of things next week, so expect a return to my usual posts. But should I go missing again for an extensive amount of time, it probably means I’m bogged down with work and can’t find time to jump on and speak my mind. Which is a good thing, if you ask me!

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