Introducing SD Marketing founder, Steph Downman. With a mission to assist businesses in building their brands and maximizing every opportunity, Steph and SD Marketing provide exceptional design and branding services that leave clients free to focus on their business.
We sat down with Steph to learn more about her journey as an entrepreneur and what sets SD Marketing apart from other design studios. With experience working with both start-ups and established businesses, Steph shares her thoughts on the importance of branding and why it should never be done cheaply. She also gives valuable advice to those starting a career in branding and design.
Read on to discover more about Steph’s passion for building successful brands and how she motivates her team to achieve success for their clients.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Steph: When I was young, I always knew I would be my own boss and work for myself. I could never quite become 100% comfortable in one job, not being able to grow and continue to move up. I knew that if I love what I do and commit to it, the rest will follow with financial stability and success.
Q. In your opinion, what sets SD Marketing apart from other design studios?
Steph: Building brands is about maximizing every opportunity. Graphics and visuals are a huge part of each brand and how each business is portrayed in the market. Every interaction a client has with a business should embody the brand and make a lasting impression. We assist businesses by guiding them to see what their stand-out points are and we work side by side with our clients to speak their language to understand closely how we can help them.
Q. How has your experience in working with both start-ups and established businesses shaped your approach to branding and design?
Steph: Many businesses no matter their size need a marketing strategy, and brand guidelines to follow. There have been established businesses we have worked with benefit more from working with us than start-up businesses. Just because the business is established and could have been around for years, does not mean its marketing or branding is working. It does not mean that everyone knows who they are, where they are, or what they do. This is where we step in.
Social media is at the forefront of our business and it is no longer a means to an end tool that we use. Social media is the core of all of our marketing strategies as social media platforms are key to building, establishing, and maintaining your online brand identity. It is one of the most effective ways and efficient ways to market your business.
Q. Can you share your thoughts on the importance of branding and why it should never be done cheaply?
Steph: People want to hire and buy from businesses that look good, catch their eye, work with confidence, are knowledgeable, and are exciting. People are initially drawn to brands and businesses by their visual look, and this is why branding is so important.
Each business will initially be remembered or forgotten because of its branding. The impact of branding means more for first impressions than your sale price of the hourly rate. If you look at the part, and act the part, you can typically also charge the part and not be questioned.
Q. How do you lead and motivate your team to achieve success for clients?
Steph: My team is amazing, they always go above and beyond for our clients. I believe a big contribution to their success is from giving them the time of day to listen to their concerns, assist them with advice, provide the right training, and remind them how important they are and how they contribute to the business. All of these things together help support the team to enjoy the job and their projects.
Q. What advice would you give to someone starting a career in branding and design?
Steph: Being a designer is so much more than the creative side of things. You get to communicate with others and working with graphic design allows you to have open conversations with clients and dream outside the box. I love making a difference in businesses.
If I could give you any advice it is to work on projects you really enjoy and have an interest in, the more you like the project the more you will put into it. When you love your job and you love the projects you work on, you won’t ever feel like you’re at work.
To keep up to date with Steph, connect with her on Facebook. To work with the SD Marketing team on all your branding needs, get in contact here.