SBBM #23: Meet Yiying, The Twitter Fail Whale Designer

SBBM #23: Meet Yiying, The Twitter Fail Whale Designer

Imagine being responsible for designing one of the world’s most famous online branding…and being paid less than five bucks for the privilege! Our guest did exactly that… and she’d do it again tomorrow! Meet, Yiying, the designer of Twitter’s Fail Whale… Yiying was a delight to have on the show where she shares:

  1. The story behind that famous design;
  2. The critical elements to writing that perfect creative brief;
  3. The importance of visual branding;
  4. How much you should pay for a logo;
  5. Her dream to redesign the Google logo…In fact, she’s already done it!

So, grab a cuppa and a note pad… and strap in in for another ripping episode of Small Business Big Marketing.

Links discussed in this show:

Meet Yiying, The Twitter Fail Whale Designer (PDF Transcription)


Episode Transcription

SBBM #23 – Meet Yiying, The Twitter Fail Whale Designer

Ms Evancich:  This is the Small Business Big Marketing show with Tim Reid and Luke Moulton.  This show is lovingly put together for small business owners by small business owners to get practical ideas about attracting more customers more often.  So, if you’re serious about building your business strap in for the ride.  Now, here’s your hosts, Tim and Luke.

Tim:  Lukey, Lukey, Lukey.  What is that sound I hear?

Luke:  Well that’s right.  That’s right, Timbo, I have had a lovely gorgeous daughter about a week and a half ago.

Tim:  Probably you haven’t.  Your wife might have.

Luke:  Yes, well she did do all the hard work.

Tim:  Yep, correct.  Correct.  Congratulations, mate.

Luke:  Thanks, mate.

Tim:  Gee, noisy child, hey, all that crying …

Luke:  No, she’s …

Tim:  … just quiet it down a bit.

Luke:  She’s been an absolute angel so far.

Tim:  Has she?

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  Has she?  A marketer to be, do you think?  Has she got the glint in her eye?

Luke:  Yeah, look, she’s not talking yet so it’s a little too early to tell.

Tim:  Yeah, it is hard, yeah.  But often you can tell, a bit of gut … gut instinct.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  Gut feel, you know, like …

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  … look at her and go, yep, cut out … cut out for marketing, hey.

Luke:  I think we’ll have to wait and see on that one, Timbo, but …

Tim:  Is she wearing the big brands?  I mean, you’ve got … I know you’ve got a … what’s the stroller you’ve got?

Luke:  Oh, I can’t remember the brand.

Tim:  Yeah, a McLaren.

Luke:  But I tell you what …

Tim:  McLaren.

Luke:  … it’s got more bells and whistles than my car that pram.

Tim:  Mate, that … that stroller would win a Formula 1 race.

Luke:  Yep, yep.  No, she’s currently wearing Bonds.

Tim:  Oh, yep.

Luke:  Good Australian brand.

Tim:  Yeah, yeah, good.

Luke:  Taken overseas now and made in China.  But anyway.

Tim:  Okay, okay, that’s fairly …

Luke:  (1:28).

Tim:  Fairly intellectual of you to start the show.  Hey, listeners, congratulations to Lukey and his lovely wife Kim and welcome to the world little baby Isabella.

Luke:  Isabella.

Tim:  Great name.

Luke:  Thank you very much.

Tim:  Great name.  So it’s … it’s just lovely to have an additional part to the Small Business Big Marketing family.  Is she on Twitter yet?

Luke:  No.

Tim:  Or LinkedIn?

Luke:  No.  I’d better go and register all her social media and give it to her as her week two birthday present.

Tim:  Yeah, yeah.

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  I must get … I must get LinkedIn with her.  And people of that age, what is she, a week and a half, what social media are they into, is it … are they more MySpace or Facebook?

Luke:  Well she is actually … I have put her on my Facebook so you’re welcome to check out the …

Tim:  And she is on Small Business Big Marketing’s Facebook.  Well sort of like …

Luke:  Introduction.

Tim:  … an announcement.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  And you know what, Lukey, putting all that aside, beautiful, there is a sense of family developing in Small Business Big Marketing.

Luke:  Indeed.

Tim:  You got a lot of pats on the back or …

Luke:  Yes, yeah.

Tim:  … comments on our Facebook wall when I announced that you had become a father.

Luke:  And also on Twitter I received …

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  … a lot of lovely feedback from family and friends …

Tim:  Friends.

Luke:  … and …

Tim:  You were going to say fans.  God you’re arrogant.  I hope she doesn’t inherit that.  I know what listeners would be thinking …

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  … no, he’s not, you are Tim.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  What do you mean yep?  Hey, Lukey?

Luke:  Timbo.

Tim:  But there is, I mean, you know, we started this out and this whole Web 2.0 or whatever it is, Web 2.0 is antique now, but community, you know, like as marketers building community.  And I honestly feel I could say as of the last show there’s a … there’s a real sense of community developing and its taken time.

Luke:  Yeah.  I think a lot of people struggle with whether they should actually put themselves out there.  I certainly know that some of the … some of the people that … even the people that I work with don’t want many people knowing about the private parts of their life.  But I, you know, I think that if you’re going to connect properly and develop rapport with people then, you know, you should be sharing these sorts of things, you know.

Tim:  There’s a fine line.

Luke:  There is a fine line.

Tim:  You know, like if my wife had a baby I wouldn’t announce it on a podcast but … no.

Luke:  Yes, you would.

Tim:  Yeah, I would, yeah, yeah.

Luke:  Hang on, haven’t you announced that you’ve got a dog?

Tim:  I think I did.  In fact, we are doing this show from my home.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  And my dog …

Luke:  Charlie.

Tim:  … Mr Charlie Bucket to you is wandering around.  So if you do hear a bark every now and then, listeners, just put up with him because he’s a lovely little fella.  Hey, community also in the sense, Lukey, getting lots of listener questions.

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  And feedback.

Luke:  Yeah, yeah.

Tim:  And written reviews on iTunes.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Which are, you know, great.  And, listeners, if you haven’t …

Luke:  And I think that was after … because in the last podcast I made a very sensitive appeal …

Tim:  Oh, yes.

Luke:  … that we wanted to hear more from you and we still do, so.

Tim:  Yes, you did.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  You did.  In fact I think we lost half our audience.  We’re down to two.

Luke:  One of our listeners I think even setup a Twitter hash tag, I love Lukey I think it was.

Tim:  It did not.

Luke:  Seriously.

Tim:  Are you serious?

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  I’m very upset.

Luke:  Yeah.  There was only one message under the hash tag.

Tim:  Listener, if that is you could you please contact me

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  I’m very cross.  But there is good community.  One of … the next show in actual fact we’re going to just dedicate to listener questions because we’ve got some rippers.

Luke:  Yeah, we’ve …

Tim:  So we will do that.  Lukey, I won’t ask what’s on your mind, which is where we start.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Because we’ve kind of covered that.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Clearly Isabella …

Luke:  Isabella.

Tim:  … is on your mind.

Luke:  Timbo, what’s on your mind, mate?

Tim:  My little baby is on my mind, Lukey.

Luke:  Which is?

Tim:  An iPad.  Stop it.  Stop it.  I’ve got an iPad.  I did not intend to go and buy one.  I can honestly say … maybe subconsciously I did.  I was wandering through the shops on Friday night, the Friday they came out, and I walked home with one.

Luke:  You just did it to tease me, didn’t you?

Tim:  Yeah.  Look, maybe I did.  But I can now say a week into owning it that, yeah, I like it.  It’s an object of art.  It is not an object of productivity or … it hasn’t improved my business life one iota.  Except that I have the ability to consume more blogs …

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  … and video and podcasts and stuff like that.  So, you know, whereas I found it hard to go and, you know, sit down and read a blog with the laptop or in front of the computer …

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  … I know do it.  What’s your smile about?

Luke:  This is one of the main reasons …

Tim:  Here we go.

Luke:  … why I haven’t got one.

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  Is I believe it will take time away from my family.

Tim:  Right.

Luke:  It is so easy to consume more stuff …

Tim:  Right.

Luke:  … on the web with an iPad …

Tim:  You’ll get over that.

Luke:  I’m sure I will.  But when I get one I’m not sure that my wife will.

Tim:  Yeah, okay.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  Fair enough.

Luke:  I think … I think it’d be a great tool for people travelling.

Tim:  Yeah, absolute ripper.  And school kids.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  School kids who are carrying so much in their bags, you know, like a school kid in high school is a chiropractor’s dream.  So the iPad is the chiropractor’s enemy.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  But, yeah, you know, look, I’m glad I got one.  I haven’t quite figure out its role in life.  I want to start blogging from it, it will allow me to blog more.  But then I’ve got to get the photos onto it somehow, you know.  The iPad store, the app store, a bit of a ghost town, you know.  They say there’s thousands of apps.  Most of them are iPhone iPad apps.  So they’re not dedicated iPad apps.  Haven’t lost faith in it by any stretch, love you Apple.  But, yeah, it’s not … it’s not a deal break … dealmaker, you know?

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Now, Lukey.

Luke:  Timbo.

Tim:  Little story.  Little story.  Had a plumber, had a plumber come earlier this week to my place.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Reason for the plumber coming.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Blocked toilet, blocked toilet.  Which, you know, classic plumber job, don’t you reckon?

Luke:  Yeah, yeah.  Well …

Tim:  You know, like …

Luke:  You would think so.

Tim:  Part of the gig, you know.  Not your favourite part of being a plumber.

Luke:  No.

Tim:  But part of the job.

Luke:  Possibly a reason why you wouldn’t become a plumber.

Tim:  Correct.  Correct.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  So he gets here, and I’ve got other things that I want him to do, change shower heads and do other stuff.  I take him to the toilet as the first stop as this is the first thing you do and he looks at me and he goes, “I don’t do shit.”  There it is.  Okay.  So I said, “What?”  He said, “Yeah, I don’t do shit.”

Luke:  Wow.

Tim:  “You wouldn’t either if you’d seen what I’d seen,” he said.

Luke:  Yeah, yeah.

Tim:  You know, so I go, “Well, hmm, interesting.  Maybe should have told me that before you came.”

Luke:  Yeah, done a little bit of …

Tim:  Yeah, yeah.

Luke:  Asked for a quick brief on the job perhaps.

Tim:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s right.  So anyway he did some stuff and the toilet is still blocked and he’s given me the number of a guy who …

Luke:  Who does shit.

Tim:  Who does shit, yeah, yeah.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  So point being, like, I mean, that’s a pretty obvious marketing lesson to me.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  But maybe it’s not.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  Maybe the lesson is be really clear as to what you do and what you don’t do.  And I’d even as far as going … indicating what it is you love.  Like I say to my clients, “I don’t love marketing plans,” in fact I don’t do marketing plans, yeah.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  But I’ve got people who can do marketing plans.  I’m much more like let’s go and do it, you know.

Luke:  Yeah, yeah.

Tim:  Here’s what I suggest you do, here’s why I suggest you do it, here’s how we do it, now let’s … you into it?  Right.  Let’s do it.

Luke:  Yep.  You prefer to workshop it, Timbo.

Tim:  Oh, that sounds a little bit kind of Oprah.  But I’d prefer to just kind of, yeah, I’m a practical …

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  … emotional marketer.

Luke:  Yeah, you prefer the group grope, yep.

Tim:  The group … I thought … I thought you said that.

Luke:  Just … just on … going back to tradies, I’ve got an interesting one as well.  I have an electrician that’s done a little bit of work of work on our house and he sent me an invoice and it was someone that I’d, you know, someone referred me to this guy and I hadn’t actually seen or heard his business name because he just came and said, “My name’s Peter,” and lovely bloke, which is why I want to get him to do more work.  But I looked at his first invoice and his business name is P&S Electrics.  Now, say that when you pick up the phone, try and say P&S Electrics really quickly.

Tim:  P&S Electrics.

Luke:  Correct.  Now, that’s probably someone who hasn’t really put a great deal of thought into his business name and may perhaps need to reconsider.

Tim:  Well, yeah.  I mean, I think that a lot of tradies do that, they kind of go just with their first name or whatever, you know, their name, you know …

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  … Evan’s Electrics or whatever it might be, P&S Electrics.  There is … it is worthwhile.  I’ve just … I’ve done a whole lot of naming the last few months for different clients …

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  … and getting it right, gee it’s good.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  It’s good from my point of view but the client, you just hear the penny drop.  When the client gets the name, they just go, “You nailed it.”  You know, “Like we love it.  We saying it.  We love answering the phone,” you know.  And, you know, yeah, clearly P&S Electrics is not something that you can just be punching the air about.

Luke:  Yeah, and funnily enough he never actually says his business name when he picks up the phone.

Tim:  Right.  And hello to all those electricians out there.  Lukey, we have got a ripper guest today.

Luke:  Yes, we have.

Tim:  We have got the Yiying.  The Yiying.  That’s her name Yiying.

Luke:  Yiying, yep.

Tim:  And Yiying is responsible, she designed the Fail Whale for Twitter.

Luke:  Yes, she did.

Tim:  Do you know what that is, Luke?

Luke:  I know what it is.

Tim:  What is it?

Luke:  Basically it’s when … when Twitter goes down, as in when it’s unavailable …

Tim:  The whale goes up.

Luke:  … or there’s an error on their site somehow …

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  … this beautiful, beautifully illustrated whale …

Tim:  It does.

Luke:  … appears on the screen and …

Tim:  Being lifted by whatever the Twitter birds are.

Luke:  Yes, little …

Tim:  Sparrows or ..

Luke:  … sparrows or something.

Tim:  Sparrows.  She designed it.

Luke:  She did.

Tim:  So that’s kind of like a good thing to have on your portfolio, global brand.

Luke:  Indeed.

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  Indeed.

Tim:  But interestingly enough the way it came about isn’t maybe how you would expect it to.  So she’s going to share that up front with us …

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  … in her interview.  She is … she is a … is the word dearth of information?  Is it a dearth of information?  She is an ocean of information.  We’ll use ocean.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  Because this is about Fail Whale.  So Yiying is an ocean of information about creativity and particularly the importance of branding and logo.  She’s very very very passionate about.  And I think if you’d … listeners, if you don’t attach importance to your visual design, then maybe by the end of this show you will.

Luke:  Yes, indeed.

Tim:  Because her passion is, you know, it’s very tangible, isn’t it?

Luke:  Sure is.

Tim:  So, Lukey, we started by asking Yiying how she came to design the Twitter Fail Whale.

Luke:  Fail Whale.

Tim:  Over to Yiying.

Yiying:  I did the image … initially it wasn’t for Twitter at all.  I did it when I was a student at uni and I did it as an eCard and sent it to friends when overseas friends invite me to come over for party on Facebook.  So instead of sending emails all the time and say I can’t come, I just did a visual eCard which is that image.  Sort of I’ve got a big dream to achieve but sort of it’s kind of hard to do it, it’s kind of surreal, I’m just sending it, you know, overseas as little birds lifting up a whale as some dream impossible to achieve kind of thing.  If you get it.  And then I put it online as exposure kind of before I graduated from uni.  And after a year or two years’ time the cofounder from Twitter he just picked it from iStock, that’s the story.

Luke:  Wow.

Tim:  Is that right?  Just straight out of iStock?

Yiying:  Yep.  Because iStock at the time, in the beginning when I joined it it was sort of like a share like … almost like community based website like Flickr pretty much.

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  Yep.

Yiying:  But in the beginning it wasn’t for commercial use and then later on it was just gradually become more commercial and engaged with Getty Images.

Tim:  Hey, Yiying, did he buy the high res or the low res version?

Yiying:  He actually bought it as … he … I’m pretty sure he bought it as a vector, as a standard licence.

Tim:  Okay.  So it was actually around 50 US as opposed to the 25 US that you could have got.

Yiying:  I think it was actually five bucks.

Tim:  No way.

Luke:  Wow.

Yiying:  Yeah, yeah.  That was … that was back then.  Because Twitter was a … I think they were just as a start …

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  … start-up company because they’re all entrepreneurs.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  And (13:58) understand that situation, you know, when you …

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  … you start up a company with not a lot of income and they just did it and …

Tim:  Can I just get this really right and really clear …

Yiying:  Yeah, sure.

Tim:  … for our listeners, Yiying?

Yiying:  Yep.

Tim:  You’ve designed the Fail Whale logo for Twitter, one of the biggest brands in the world right now, you got paid $5?

Yiying:  Yeah.

Tim:  Wow.

Yiying:  No, actually probably even less than that, to be honest.  Because at the time iStock gives probably 40% or 30% to the contributor and they keep probably 60%-ish.

Tim:  Okay.

Yiying:  So I probably literally, $5 times 30% probably just $1.50.

Luke:  Wow.

Tim:  We’re just getting the hat out and passing it around the studio.  By the end of this interview we may well have doubled your … the amount you made from that logo.

Luke:  Hang on, Timbo, I’ve actually seen Yiying’s client list, I don’t think she needs it.

Tim:  Okay.  Okay.  So the payoff came afterwards, Yiying, correct?

Yiying:  What’s that, sorry?

Tim:  The payoff, having designed that logo and not getting paid a lot, maybe a coffee in Maccas, you have subsequently got a whole lot of work as a result of it, yeah?

Yiying:  In a sense, yes.  I guess it’s not just because of that but it’s very hard to calculate to be honest but I would say yes.

Luke:  So, Yiying, I’ve seen your client list, I’ve seen amongst others there’s Animal Logic there.  So how have you … how have you come to pick up these such fantastic clients?  I mean apart … apart from the fact that you’re a very talented designer, what have you done to actually attract these sorts of clients?

Yiying:  Animal Logic at the time was actually even before for the Fail Whale business actually.

Luke:  Wow.

Yiying:  That was right after I finished my uni and one of my friends was working at Animal Logic and (15:51) each other and the design community always are around and that’s how we actually … and also that’s how other people pretty much traditionally get their jobs and everything.

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  Networking.

Tim:  Networking.

Yiying:  Networking, absolutely.

Tim:  You’re a good networker.  I met you at TED, didn’t I?  We were networking.

Yiying:  Yeah, that’s right, we met at TED Darling Harbour.

Tim:  Did I come up and sort of glushingly … is glushingly a word, Luke?  Did I come up and go, “Are you the Twitter designer?  And can I meet you?” and …

Luke:  Can I have your autograph?

Yiying:  Oh, we know you.  We know you.

Tim:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Hey, have you signed any autographs?

Yiying:  Yes.

Tim:  Oh, wow, really?  Luke and I are still waiting.

Yiying:  We did actually, because when I was in … when I was over in San Francisco …

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  … last year we had a fail party which is sort of, what do they call it?  They call it the celebration of failure of the economic and they actually did a huge cake with the jam doing like a … going … economic going down.

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  That sort of graph.  And I think I bought like 500 Fail Whale cards and I just signed them away and then gave them to people.

Tim:  Oh, so you weren’t asked, you actually decided you’d hand out some autographs off your own bat, did you?

Yiying:  I didn’t even thought that’s an autograph, I just thought it’s sort of giving away …

Tim:  Oh, yeah, nice gift.

Luke:  Yeah.

Yiying:  Gifts, yeah, exactly.

Tim:  Hey, Yiying?

Yiying:  Yeah.

Tim:  Can we talk …

Yiying:  Yep.

Tim:  As you know, our listeners are generally small business owners.

Yiying:  Mmm hmm.

Tim:  And like many of us, creativity is often a very scary thing.  You’re … is it … am I right as saying you’re regarded in the top 100 creative people around the place at the moment?

Yiying:  That’s according to the newspaper.

Tim:  Some crazy statistic.  So you’ve got a bit to say on creativity.  So what do you believe defines creativity, what is being creative?

Yiying:  I think, and from my own point of view, finding creativity it’s actually finding the creativity from yourself.  So it’s not something that you come out and hunt for, it’s something within you.  It’s … you’ve just got to dig it out.  I believe everybody has creativity in themself, it’s almost like a seed.  It’s just you need … you really need the good weather and you need to look after it and also dig it out later on when it … when it actually grows.  So everybody would be able to have …

Luke:  Is there anything that you can do to encourage that creativity out of you?

Tim:  Oh, good question, Lukey.

Luke:  Can you, you know, is it a matter of finding things that inspire you or is it …

Tim:  Let’s start at the easier stuff, is there a tablet you can take … no, no, no don’t even go there.  Don’t go there.

Luke:  Yeah, don’t go.

Tim:  Good question, Luke.

Yiying:  I would take (18:38).  Because it’s funny that … that was sort of off the topic, you can feel free to cut it later on, because it was funny that one of the drug and alcohol use young people community, they actually approached me days before and asked me to do another interview with them and I thought that’s a little bit sort of freaky because I said, “Oh, I’m actually … I’m not really sort of getting involved of one of those things,” like I … because I come from a very traditional family and I don’t really have a lot of a chance to, you know, get drunk and probably drugged up and get some inspiration and see shapes and …

Tim:  Yeah, yeah.

Yiying:  … and hearing, you know, hearing colours, that sort of thing.  I don’t really have …

Tim:  I love that phrase, hearing that colours.  That is just … I just love it.

Yiying:  Hearing colours.

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  And seeing sounds.

Tim:  Seeing sounds.

Yiying:  That sort of thing.

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  I … like, I mean, you know, there’s people doing that and I totally think that’s, you know, different people have different way of doing things, but for me I do believe that there’s a natural way to get naturally high.  Because sometimes when people look at someone’s work such as the Zodiac Symphony, which is like Zodiac (19:49) which is inspired by mathematic equations, some people look at it and just go, “What did you take?” and I said, “Well I just studied maths and I thought maybe to link them up and see them … see some of the relationships between some of the very sort of geeky boring statistics with some interesting colour and shapes and” …

Tim:  So, Yiying, I just want to summarise the interview so far, you made $2.45 from designing the Twitter logo … Twitter Fail Whale logo.  In ways of becoming creative you suggest alcohol and the Zodiac Symphony?

Yiying:  No, I didn’t suggest alcohol and the Zodiac Symphony.

Tim:  Okay.

Yiying:  I said I believe the fact that without taking alcohol, without … without, you know, taking drugs you can still be very creative.  That’s …

Tim:  Absolutely.

Yiying:  That’s my point of view.  Because that’s just … that’s just how, from my own experience, I haven’t taken anything extreme yet.

Tim:  Do you get frustrated when you see small businesses promoting themselves in a very, what I call, wallpaper fashion?  And by that, I mean just stuff that you don’t notice.

Yiying:  The stuff that I don’t notice, you mean, for example?

Tim:  I just see a lot of small business not, I guess, having the courage to promote themselves in a creative way so they fall back on maybe standard names, standard designs and …

Luke:  You know, the best example I’ve come across so far …

Tim:  Yeah, go.

Luke:  … I’ve seen recently is a local …

Tim:  My website?

Luke:  No, no.  A local Lions Club magazine.

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  Yep.

Luke:  You should see some of the design in there.  It is bereft of all design.

Tim:  Yeah, but what goes around comes around.  That might be like retro in five years’ time.

Luke:  Yiying, do you … do you … I mean, obviously you can’t take on every client that approaches you possibly, I mean I understand that you’re quite popular, do you …

Tim:  Do you want to do a drawing …

Luke:  Do you pick and choose who your clients are?

Yiying:  In the beginning I’m actually not.  Like even doing interviews and stuff, like I don’t really have a chance to … because I don’t have any assistant or anybody to …

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  … really help me and choose whatever.  But I …

Tim:  Just take whatever interviews come along?

Yiying:  I trust my instincts.  And I … it’s almost like … like you said before, I was listening to the interview of you with the Bra Queen and I was sort of laughing while I was listening, I think it’s …

Luke:  That’s Tim’s favourite by the way.

Yiying:  I think everybody is … can really see them as a brand, to be honest.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  And when you approach somebody it’s your attitude and also your way of saying things, it all has a certain value.  Same thing with small business, you … you don’t really see yourself as, you know, you know, just go to approach people and because of that that you want to make money but also you make connections and maybe that connection might take you to some further steps, you never know.

Tim:  Yeah, okay.

Yiying:  And I always sort of thinking, you keep a good intention in yourself and try to help people as soon as … sorry, just help people in the same time as much as you can, not really expecting too much of a return.  And sometimes it turns out quite nicely.  Same thing with how I upload, you know, images onto iStock.  iStock, I really wanted to showcase my work, that’s my intention.  But in the same time people who like my work might see some of my personality in it and maybe that would lead me to somewhere else.  I don’t really have like a huge, a very huge desk like … what do you call it?  Sort if … how do I find the right word?  I don’t really have …

Tim:  I think what you’re saying is do good things and good things will come.

Yiying:  Yeah.  It’s like …

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  … you don’t really have a huge expectation in the beginning because it, you know, even you expect really high, if you have a lot of big aims, things could really screw up sometimes, you know.

Tim:  Yeah.

Yiying:  Things happen.  So I think it’s really sort of building up … building up a good relationship with you, with your clients, with your friends and something good will return to you as well.  It’s just a very general sort of philosophy that I believe in.

Tim:  Yeah, it’s a great philosophy.

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  Yiying, the critical components, getting back to a little bit of rational marketing strategy, the critical components of a creative brief.  So if one of our listeners is about to go and brief someone to do a logo tomorrow or website design, what are those things that they must share with their designer to get the best result?

Yiying:  Okay.  Firstly you’ve got to understand your keywords of your company.  So usually if I’m … if somebody briefs me, if somebody wants me to design a logo I usually ask them to summarise in ten words of what their company is, mostly adjectives.  So that will give me an idea of what kind of colour, what kind of shape, what kind of, you know, look and feel they’re looking for.  And also through your words I will have a sense of what you want the logo or identity to be appealing to the viewers or the audience, which I think is very important.  And also I think once they … once they’re ready to give me, you know, their idea or the look and feel of how the logo should be, then I can start it to work and I will start to find the right typography to match it up.  Another very important thing is, I think, especially when you ask somebody to design something, you need to be open to their idea as well.  You need to communicate rather than always sort of go, “I am the right person, like I’m always right,” not really listening to the designer.  Because it’s a … it’s a two-way communication.

Luke:  Yiying, I mean, obviously you’ve had a bit to do with iStock photo, what do you think of other crowd sourcing design sites like 99designs, for example?

Yiying:  I think iStock photo it is, it’s a great way, and also Getty Images, they are great channels for creative people.  Especially you know how to use it wisely.  I suppose different creative people, say, if you’re a photographer or, say, if you’re an illustrator, you should really treat your work differently to different sites.  For example, some photographer would put their images onto Flickr and I think now from two years’ time I sort of really realised the importance of taking care of your intellectual property (26:33).

Tim:  Choosing the right places to show your work.

Yiying:  Absolutely.

Tim:  It’s all part of your brand, isn’t it?

Yiying:  Absolutely.

Tim:  Do you think 99designs and Elance and oDesk are devaluing designers’ work?

Yiying:  Well from my own point of view, I sort of … I wouldn’t really use 99designs simply because I see logo design as a craft and I really … I believe the fact that logo design is not something that you can just, you know, grab an image and put some text and that’s it.  That, you know, that’s the work.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  Most of the time when clients approach me we actually sit down and we chat about it and really are getting to knowing what they … they need for and what their business is.  And I actually just do the tailor for them.  I mean, it’s almost like buying clothes, it really depends on people’s choice.  I mean, you can really go to a supermarket and just get a, you know, get a t-shirt.  But if you are actually going to, you know, go to some important business meeting or whatever, you’re actually wanting to choose the clothes, or for your 21st birthday or something like that, you’re actually wanting to choose something that is actually you, that is actually for you or for your business.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  So I think really importantly for logo agency especially, it’s not like clothing, you can just wear this today and you can wear that, you know, next day, it’s something that probably would grow with you.  Imagine, you know, McDonald’s when they start their business if they change the business logo all the time then people wouldn’t remember it as (28:09).  I mean, it doesn’t necessarily saying that, you know, a good logo would make your business brilliant, but I do think a good logo, almost like a name or almost … it’s part of you, it’s a part … it’s part of the culture.  So I really think to get a good logo I’d recommend people to actually get a good logo designer to design it for them.  Because later on ultimately it will become the asset of the company.

Tim:  Love it.  Absolutely … can we frame that, Luke?  Is there any way of framing audio?  Because what you just said, Yiying, about logo design is spot on.  This is a really really tough question because I know there’s no right answer to it, but I know all our listeners are thinking it, how much does a logo … how much should you pay to get a logo designed?  And I know you can’t answer that with a figure but how do you go about it because obviously that’s going to determine who you then choose.

Yiying:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think usually when I am getting approached by people, it really … it depends on how big the company or the organisation is.  Sometimes if it’s a start-up company I would consider give a bit of discount.  And also, you know, it really depends on what kind of application you would apply for.  So, say, if you are actually just doing business consultancy then you don’t really have any product to apply the logo on.  Maybe you probably would have annual conference then you might want to use the logo, just print it on t-shirt as a promotional item.  But, say, if you actually have a company like a fashion brand and you … you asked me to do a logo for you, maybe later on when you’re like Supreme and some other company, when your company is growing bigger, that actually … the logo actually becomes your asset.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  And you can actually use that as … as a fashion accessory you can probably print it on t-shirt, you can print it on scarf, or even make some accessory out of it.  Then the logo actually could transfer into item onto mugs onto mouse pad.  So the value of the logo actually becomes bigger and …

Tim:  Increases over time.

Yiying:  Yeah, so it actually increase with the business.  So for me, like I’ve learned a lot after even like after I graduated, I realised that actually the logo grows with the business.  So don’t even think that, you know, you paid 500 bucks the logo would just, you know, the value of the logo would be just like that.

Tim:  Yep.

Yiying:  But it’s actually a constant evolving of your company that actually also makes the logo grow.  For example, if you paid $500 or $5000 or even like ANZ, the recent campaign of their logo …

Tim:  Like $15M, wasn’t it?

Yiying:  Yeah, it could be …

Tim:  That is wrong, wrong, wrong.  So, yeah, that is wrong.

Yiying:  I was looking at it and … that was …

Tim:  Hey, Yiying, one last question, one last question.

Yiying:  Yeah.  Okay.  Go.

Tim:  Because we know that you have a very big dream project.  What is it?

Yiying:  Well I was actually really, I mean, I’ve already done it actually.  I’ve just not … haven’t got the chance to release it.  I have a dream job which is really refresh the current Google logo.

Luke:  Oh, cool.

Tim:  You actually got the gig?

Yiying:  I haven’t got the gig.  I just … I had a … I just had like had the passion of doing it, that’s it.

Tim:  So you’ve done it?

Yiying:  Yeah, I’ve done it.  Because I just thought, I was looking at it, I received a very random email from one mate of mine and they just said, “Well you probably can do a better job.”  I mean, I respect what has been done but I just thought, why not just try …

Tim:  When are we going to see what you’ve done?

Yiying:  Huh?

Tim:  Can you release it on our show?

Yiying:  I mean, that’s the thing, like I don’t know whether there’s any problem with the … the copyright, you know what I mean?

Tim:  Nah, there’s absolutely none.  You check with your lawyers and come back to us.  But we would love to release it to the world on Small Business Big Marketing.

Yiying:  I’ve done it.  I mean …

Luke:  Exclusive.

Yiying:  I’ve done it and I’ve also done a very cool little animation about it.  And I’m sure you … I can show it in private time if I come to Melbourne later on.  I mean, I’d love to show you.

Tim:  All right.  Well we might do that.  We might do a little … when you’re in Melbourne …

Luke:  We’ll get a trademark lawyer on our next show, Timbo, and we’ll see what we can do.

Tim:  When you’re in Melbourne next …

Yiying:  Yes.

Tim:  … come along and we’ll do our very first vodcast and we’ll reveal your work on it.  Can we do that?

Yiying:  Yeah, why not.

Tim:  Sweet.

Luke:  Fantastic.

Tim:  Love it.  Hey, Yiying …

Luke:  Yiying …

Tim:  … thank you so so much for sharing.

Yiying:  Cheers.

Tim:  Loved it.

Luke:  Thanks, Yiying.

Yiying:  Thank you.

Tim:  See you soon.

Yiying:  It’s great to talk to you.

Tim:  Bye.

Yiying:  Seeya.

Luke:  Bye.

Yiying:  Bye.

Luke:  What a fantastic interview with Yiying, Timbo.  What did you reckon?

Tim:  I reckon she is a highly passionate individual and highly creative.

Luke:  She sure is, yeah.  And one of … a couple of points I got from that was you never know where inspiration is going to come from and I think people certainly need to … to always look around.  You know, you’re not always going to find it in a book.  So …

Tim:  Yep.

Luke:  And to keep putting yourself out there.  Certainly one of the things that she has done is to …

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  … put her work out there and …

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  And she, as a result, the universe has provided …

Tim:  Oh, yeah.

Luke:  … as you would say, Timbo.

Tim:  Absolutely.  And it has.  And she … she does, she just puts it out there and good on her, I reckon.  So we have got a couple of other things, Lukey.  Listeners, don’t forget to sign up and come along to the Small Business Big Marketing Intensive.  It’s a two day marketing workshop at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne in August.  Go to our website Small Business …

Luke:  2010.

Tim:  2010, yeah, that’s right.  Because we don’t want people listening in five years’ time to this episode and going, “How do I get in?”

Luke:  Correct.

Tim:  August.  Caulfield Racecourse.  Two full days of marketing gold, Lukey.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  So go to our website and click on Intensive and you can read all about it.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  What else have we got, Lukey?

Luke:  We have our Facebook page, Timbo, if you want to …

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  … join us on Facebook.

Tim:  Do join us.  We are building that community and you will find out more things that are going on.  You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to the show.

Luke:  Indeed.

Tim:  There’s a little video of Lukey and I being quite silly and immature.

Luke:  So just go to if Facebook is your thing.

Tim:  Lukey, $5 I spent on fiverr the other day.


Tim:  Correct.  And that is … we have now got the Small Business Big Marketing milk carton and cereal box, I think.  Which is of absolutely no use.

Luke:  I just want to know what we’re going to put in them, Timbo.

Tim:  I have no idea, mate.  But, yeah, that’s a bit of fun.  We continue to spend $5 on things that we can use to promote our show.

Luke:  Yeah.  So …

Tim:  I don’t know how we’re going to use those two things …

Luke:  No.

Tim:  … but anyway they’re done.

Luke:  But, listeners, if you give fiverr a go we want you to write in to us.

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  Either tell us on Facebook or …

Tim:  Yeah.

Luke:  … send an email to …

Tim:  And …

Luke:  … and tell us all about it.

Tim:  We’ll upload those … those little packaging exercises to Facebook and to our show notes.

Luke:  Yep.

Tim:  Hey, thanks once again to The Transcription People.


Tim:  Yeah, they continue to transcribe every show.  And, Lukey, we even got an email earlier this week from a fellow, and I don’t have it in front of me, but basically saying what a great thing it is to transcribe every show …

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  … because it helps …

Luke:  The hearing impaired.

Tim:  … the hearing impaired.

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  So that’s a, you know, something often we don’t consider.

Luke:  Yeah, yeah.

Tim:  That, you know, there’s a whole market of people out there that are either hearing impaired or sight impaired, they run businesses.  So it’s a good question to ask yourself as a small business owner, what are you doing to make it easy for those people with those impairments to do business with you.

Luke:  Accessibility.

Tim:  So thank you to that listener who sent that in and thanks to for continuing to transcribe every show.  Lukey.

Luke:  Timbo.

Tim:  Enough.

Luke:  That’s it.

Tim:  Last thing.

Luke:  Yes.

Tim:  Listeners, go to our website and sign up and you will get a marketing idea a week for 52 weeks.

Luke:  For 52 weeks from your …

Tim:  Crazy.

Luke:  … your fantastic book Cha-Ching! Timbo.

Tim:  Cha-Ching!  Are we mad?

Luke:  We’re crazy.

Tim:  We are just whacky whacky people.

Luke:  Yeah.

Tim:  So go to and sign up there and you will automatically start to receive a marketing idea a week from my book Cha-Ching!  If you can’t wait a week …

Luke:  And they …

Tim:  … for a year, buy it.

Luke:  And there’s a … there’s also a work …

Tim:  There is a worksheet.

Luke:  Worksheet, thank you, Timbo.

Tim:  At the end of each of idea.

Luke:  At the end of each idea, so …

Tim:  It’ll help you implement it.

Luke:  So it helps you put it into action.

Tim:  Lukey, enough talking, I think.

Luke:  Yeah, indeed.

Tim:  We must go.  That is far too long for anyone to listen to us rambling on.  Listeners, thanks a million for being part of the show.  We’re nothing without you.

Luke:  No, indeed.

Tim:  You’re the wind beneath our wings.

Luke:  That’s enough, Timbo.

Tim:  Sorry.

Luke:  We’ll catch you next time, guys.  Seeya.

Tim:  Seeya.

Ms Evancich:  You’ve just come that little bit closer to getting your business booming thanks to the Small Business Big Marketing show with Tim Reid and Luke Moulton.  Please keep in mind that the information, opinions and ideas expressed in this show are those of the hosts and interviewees and theirs alone and they don’t necessarily reflect those of their past, current or future employers.

End of Podcast.

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Marketing Wake Up Calls

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