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Member Spotlight: Designing A Lifestyle

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Kathy Johnson has been an NASE Member since 2006. She owns Kathy Johnson Graphics in Poway, Calif.

Tell us about your business.

My business is a design service geared toward small businesses. I specialize in designing printed pieces, websites, videos and copywriting. I believe if a business doesn’t have professional looking materials they won’t be taken seriously. I design a large variety of print projects including books, catalogs, print ads, brochures, newsletters, and technical manuals. Logo design is another area that I specialize in. I also design websites, short movies and YouTube videos for clients.

Why did you start Kathy Johnson Graphics?

I started the business over 20 years ago because I didn’t want to do the exact same thing all the time. After several years of working as a production artist in a variety of companies, I decided to go out on my own because I wanted variety in the type of jobs I was working on and not to be tied to a rigid work and commute schedule.

What challenges have you faced in running your business?

The primary obstacles for me have been keeping a steady flow of work coming in and keeping my technology current. I’m not sure I’ll ever totally overcome these challenges, and I know all I can do is keep working at it. I look for stable companies to work with, which helps with the steady work flow, and I have a wonderful computer tech on speed dial for the technology challenges.

How do you market your business?

The majority of my marketing is word-of-mouth from satisfied clients, and I’ve found this is by far the best source of referrals. I have my logo and contact information on the majority of the websites I design, and I advertise in the printed programs and websites for school activities my children are involved in. I also use LinkedIn to reach connections that are in my target market.

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

The flexible schedule is one of the key things for me and the other key is the challenge of constantly learning new things to keep up with what my clients need. It’s never boring because I’m always learning something new, researching to solve a problem or just trying to put a new spin on an old problem.

What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fellow NASE Members?

Spend the time to develop relationships with your clients. Be the one they want to call because you’re a known quantity and easy to work with. There are always other people out there who can do what you do, so you need to be the person they would rather work with.

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Your business could be featured in SelfInformed’s Member Spotlight or in another NASE publication. Let us know you’d like to be featured and tell us more about your business on our Publicity Form.

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