Monday, November 17, 2008

Spotlight On: Kelli Standish, Founder of PulsePoint Design, Part Two!!

Kelli is such a fascinating woman of God, I just couldn't get enough of her! So, here is part two of our interview, with some more photos of this lovely lady. Please visit the links to her work and get to know her professionally.

On Wednesday, I'll be posting the final portion of our extensive interview, letting you see the "fun" side of Kelli...and it may give you some ideas for Christmas:-)

5) Reading preference: fiction (specific genre) or non-fiction?

I like both. My reading appetites are really varied. For instance, I’ve just read a very compelling book called Sex, Lies, and Handwriting, about what our handwriting reveals about our character. On the fiction side, I’ve just re-read one of my favorite novels of all time: Arabian Winds by Linda Chaikin. My overall preference in fiction is anything with a strong suspense line and an exotic location.

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6) How did you get involved in web design?

In 2002, I was bedridden with a mystery illness. I’d been to twenty one different specialists, been hospitalized several times, and no one could figure out what was wrong. I was literally wasting away to nothing, and couldn’t even keep water down. At that time, I was also pursuing a writing career, and getting to know different authors in the Christian writing community. I found that there was a common pain and fear in the hearts of all these writers: They were giving their very, very best, but sales numbers were low and discouragement was high. So I asked myself, what can I do? How can I step up and make a difference? How can I serve despite my illness?

The result was FocusonFiction.net . All I had to work with at the time was a dial up connection, a very old version of Photoshop, and (gasp!) Microsoft Publisher as a web design software.

My original plan was to run the site for 8 weeks leading up to Christmas, featuring one author per week, and shamelessly spamming my personal mailing list about each interview. The results from those weeks were shocking. There was an outpouring of interest from Christian readers, and an entire list of authors asking for a feature. And so the site continued. Within two years time, we were an internationally known interview and review site, with a volunteer staff of ten.

During those two years, I also discovered that many web design companies, even in the CBA, were preying on authors’ lack of knowledge. Charging exorbitant fees, and providing what (in my opinion) were shoddy web sites. Authors kept asking me for design firm referrals, but there were few firms that not only understood design and web marketing, but also understood the specific needs of authors and the CBA readership. So I began PulsePoint Design to meet those needs.



7) You've created some amazing book trailers. How did that get started?

I believe we need to pay close attention to overall Internet trends, and to marketing investment trends in ABA publishing houses and booksellers. Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a massive increase in online video usage and popularity. These observations convinced me that video shorts, online video, and video marketing in general is more than a trend. It’s a major player in the future of Internet Marketing. So, we began our PictureBook Trailers service for three reasons:

a.) I wanted our clients to be on the cutting edge, rather than chasing the caboose after the train had passed by.

b.) At the time, there was only one major book video production company available to authors, and that company specialized in bodice ripper, horror, and werewolf novels. We wanted our clients to have an alternative: A production team that understood their readership.

c.) We also believe that a bad book promo video is worse than nothing at all. So we wanted to produce trailers that went beyond slapping a few hard-to-read lines of text over some grainy stock images or clip art. We wanted to produce trailers that intrigued, that didn’t violate readers’ imaginations, and that were worthy of respect. I hope we’ve done that.

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8) Share the vision of PulsePointDesign with my readers.

We believe the God of the Universe could have chosen any method to deliver His message of hope and freedom. He chose to send a Son who told stories.

Our mission is to support—through career coaching, technology, and advocacy—those who tell His stories today. Some may call us biased, but we believe we have the most gifted, inspired clients on the planet. We take our calling to support them seriously.



We also believe that design and marketing are not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process. Instead, our web sites and Internet marketing plans are unique to each author; customized, and based on strategy developed out of an overflow of the author’s love for their readers, the author’s personality, and the author’s God-given callings.

We do not believe in the word "impossible", and we are rabid in our pursuit of new technology to enable our client’s dreams.



PulsePoint Design is guided by Four Pillars of Service. These pillars are our core commitments to every client. They are the bedrock on which our company was founded, and they influence every choice we make and every design we create. These commitments are as follows:



1.) We Will Protect Our Client’s Time- This means using every technology at our disposal to create a site that will serve and support the client – automating tasks they’d otherwise have to do over an over again, and making connections with readers easy and secure—so that they can do what they’re supposed to do: write!

We will also analyze any new web ideas they propose (Shopping carts! Blogs! Forums!) on a timezapper scale. If we sense they may devour our client’s time and prevent them from writing, we may suggest alternatives.



2.) We Will Protect Our Client’s Finances- This means finding creative ways to get the client the things they need, without sending them to bankruptcy. So, for instance, if a client’s competitor has a site full of bells and whistles that leave everyone talking, we’ll find a way to create something even better for our client… and keep it affordable.



3.) We Will Protect Our Client’s Image- This means we may encourage a client not to include that scary photo from high school, or the one of them in their bathrobe, in their online photo album. We may suggest they delete web text that could cause offense or make them look bad. We may suggest edits to their welcome page for flow, professionalism, search engine optimization, and clarity. We use the full measure of our editing, career coaching, and marketing skill to protect our clients’ reputations and online image.



4.) We Will Protect Our Client’s Privacy- Each day we hear prayer requests and inside-the-industry stories that no-one else will ever learn. Why? Because anything shared with a PulsePoint Design staff member is held in the strictest confidence. We have sworn a solemn oath that we’ll never use our knowledge to gossip, slander, name-drop, or manipulate situations to our advantage. In addition, we are very vigilant in our protection of client’s privacy from external threats. Using every technology tool we possess, we guard our clients’ family information, private address and phone information, e-mail security and financial information online, and teach them how to do the same.



9) Care to spotlight some of your best work?

Recently, we’ve reveled in geeky glory over
Dawn Meehan’s new site: www.becauseIsaidso.com,
over Terri Blackstock’s site: www.terriblackstock.com,
over Ann Shorey’s new blog: http://annshorey.blogspot.com/,
and over the Trophy Chase Trilogy trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjUprt6cfAc .
But honestly, we pour our heart and soul into every site we create. Every design for every client, whether that client is a bestselling author or brand new to the publishing industry, is a top priority for us, and we’re proud of every single one.

Be watching for part three of my exclusive interview appearing on Wednesday:-)

Happy Reading!

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3 comments:

Cindy Swanson said...

Kelli is an amazing women who is really stepping up the game for Christian publishing! Her book trailers are the best out there, in any genre. I'm privileged to have worked with her...and I actually said those things BEFORE I ever worked with her!

Thanks for the terrific interview!

Rel said...

Wow - you have such an amazing story Kelli! Where's your autobiography???? Fiction lover that I am, I'd even read it :) What an example you are to us all.

Great work, Deena - thanks for sharing such a wonderful story with us about Kelli and her fabulous PPD business!

ForstRose said...

Wow quite the story and I really like the "pillars" for the business. I think all companies could benefit from similar policies.

Melissa