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B2B ID: Carey Baker, Midnightson Designs

NAME: Carey Baker

JOB TITLE, COMPANY: Owner, Midnightson Designs, Northampton

WEBSITE: www.midnightsondesigns.com

AGE: 55

WHEN THE BUSINESS STARTED: 2010

WHAT YOU DO: Help small to medium businesses and organizations create a profitable online presence using Web design, video, graphics and social media. I also optimize clients’ Web content, create incoming links and generate analytical reports.

EXPERIENCE: Having been an artist all my life, I am now focusing on design and project management. I started out as a graphic designer before college but changed my major to industrial design in my second year. After school, my first two jobs were in the New York City area as a display designer. My experience in the Pioneer Valley includes work in 3-D design, such as kitchen design, and architectural millwork.

THE MARKET: Owners of small to medium businesses, artists and nonprofits all over western Massachusetts and eastern and northwestern Connecticut.

HOW YOU REACH OUT TO IT: I enjoy networking and meeting new people, even visiting events unrelated to design, such as community meetings, art openings and fundraising events, to appease my curiosity. I also use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare to connect to the larger community. I call them the Fab Four.

WHAT FINANCING HURDLES HAVE YOU FACED AND HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? Cash flow is an issue many businesspeople have expressed to me. I offer services such as website maintenance and search engine optimization that clients can pay for on a monthly basis to help them budget, which also helps me with cash flow issues.

KEY TO SUCCESS: Focusing on a variety of skills to stay abreast of what works online and asking lots of questions to understand how to help others succeed.

CHALLENGES: Balancing work life and time off. Since I enjoy the work I do, that line gets blurred. Another challenge is the search for inspiration. Although the Internet has a lot of digital inspiration, it can also become a proverbial rabbit hole.

MISSTEP YOU LEARNED FROM: The lowest price does not always get the job.

WHAT OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM YOU: Always thank your potential clients before they become your clients, and thank clients even when the relationship doesn’t work out.

WHO HELPED MENTOR YOU PROFESSIONALLY? My friends, who are small-business owners; my uncle, an art director and textbook designer; and my Mastermind group of five “solopreneurs” who meet monthly to help hold me accountable.

TOP GOALS FOR 2013: I will be expanding my offerings of mobile and video marketing to 30-plus businesses. My goal is to spend more time with these businesses to show them how they can have more marketing avenues to advertise.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS SEEKING BUSINESS SUCCESS: Do what you really enjoy so it doesn’t seem like work.

PARTING THOUGHT: Try to pay it forward as much and as often as you can.

B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle, owner of Beetle Press in Easthampton. Beetle Press offers writing, editing and graphic design services. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Beetle at beetlepress@charter.net.

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