1. Will you design my website?
Probably not. I used to offer website design and coding, but it was kind of a nightmare. I give a serious hat tip to anyone who makes it their primary business, because websites have an uncanny way of sprouting multiple heads halfway through the project and dragging on forever - despite the best planning efforts. If you have a simple site in mind and can offer me something like a side of beef, several bushels of apples, or garden fence lumber, let's talk.
2. What's it like to work with you?
For new clients with small projects and returning clients, I'll primarily email with you to get a sense of scope and then give you an estimate of time and cost. If you've got something a little more intense in mind—say, email marketing strategy or identity work—we'll have an initial phone call where I'll ask you all kinds of juicy questions. Assuming it sounds like we'll be a good fit, I'll put together a proposal detailing solution options, timeline, and pricing. After that you can expect a Statement Of Work, Master Services Agreement, and Project Schedule. For larger/longer projects, I incorporate regular check-ins by phone (though you may hear my treadmill in the background - refer to question #8) to compliment email communication. And of course, if you're in the Maine area I'd love to have you over for tea and snacks.
3. How much do you cost?
My hourly rate is $125. For smaller projects, I'll give you an estimate and if for some reason the work takes less time I'll only charge you for actual hours spent. For larger projects, we'll sign a whole bunch of legal stuff to make sure we're clear on budget and expectations (see #2). Changes to pricing will only coincide with significant changes of scope. I can arrange for a variety of payment plans and will also give discounts for larger blocks of hours. I know what small business is like and I want you to feel comfortable, confident, and totally psyched.
4. Is Parallel 45 your full-time job?
Nope, but it used to be. Then I stumbled across a kickass position at MarketingProfs that I love and which has allowed me to learn even more about marketing. Working there plus consulting through Parallel 45 may have me working a bit more than the average bear, but it's worth it to be able to support my family and the homestead life we're building.
5. How do you do everything that you do? Are you crazy?
The answer to the latter may depend on if you ask me, my mom, or my husband. As for the former: I get a crapton of sleep, eat and drink really well, walk an average of 60 miles a week (see #8), meditate, and set lots of goals. You thought it was going to be some magic GummyBerry juice from the rainforest, didn't you? But no - taking really good care of my body and brain means that when I'm awake I go up to eleven.
6. Are you still a letterpress printer?
I'll always consider myself to be a letterpress printer, even though I don't run a shop or have any of the equipment anymore. I do still have access to some presses and plenty of industry contacts, though, so if letterpress printing is something you're interested in just ask.
7. Do you still design wedding invitations?
I haven't since that ceased being my primary business, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't. Ask me if you'd like to see more of my wedding design work and printing (I have just a few photos).
9. I hear you have an awesome treadmill desk - what's the deal?
You may have noticed that I'm huge lover of (and experimenter with) food, and I'm totally not into deprivation. I'd much rather haul serious ass and then eat all the éclairs. To stay fit, I ride my horse several times a week and I've also put together my own treadmill desk instead of spending thousands on a pre-fab monstrosity (and hours battling my unwillingness to go to the gym). I walk anywhere from 5-18 miles every day during work hours - yes, while I'm typing and yes, even while doing super fussy design work. I could write an entire book (and in fact, plan to do so) about my setup and the benefits of lots of walking. In addition the lack of eclair-guilt, I've also been astounded to observe improvements in my blood pressure, sleeping, migraines, skin, focus, creativity, and general happiness level. Don't get me started. I'm a little bit of an evangelist.
9. How long do projects take to complete?
Depending on urgency and my current workload, smaller projects are usually completed within a week or two. As I mentioned in #2, I do my best to provide you with an accurate time and cost estimate at the beginning and stick to promised dates. Larger projects with contracts come with a detailed timeline, draft and final delivery dates, and emails throughout include reminders about next steps.
10. Can't you just make me a quick logo?
As Austin Powers might say, "This sort of thing's not my bag, baby." If you've got no budget to speak of and just need something to throw on your business cards for your first networking meeting, I totally get it. There are plenty of freelancer sites where you can hire less experienced folks to whip something up. When you're ready for a deeper dive, I'll be here for you.
11. What about other design / marketing projects that aren't listed on this site?
Sling 'em at me! The projects I talk about here are the ones I like to work on best and the ones that are most frequently requested. But I have plenty of experience in other areas and would love to hear your questions and new ideas.