Rinse and Repeat

Communicate your message consistently to connect with your clients authentically and create a thriving business naturally.
I was giving a talk the other night at a Business Brainstorming Meetup and the topic of marketing came up, as it always does. Marketing is intrinsically connected to graphic design and branding and it was interesting to note that most of the business owners in the room were overwhelmed with marketing their business. When we start our own businesses we do it because we're skilled at something and we want to share our skill to help others. What most of us don't realise is just how much time it takes to market and promote, whether that's through networking, advertising, social media, emails or website, it all takes up a tonne of time!  Trends are dictating that visual branding is more and more important, especially online, because everything we send out, post or print is first seen visually, and it's that first impression of your business that's so important. Communicate-your-message-sassybranding.com Social Media, although overwhelming and confusing at times, is a wonderful way to promote and market your business. Firstly it's free (unless you choose paid advertising) and the potential reach is huge. My best piece of advice to you is to be consistent in your graphics and stick closely to your branding. As tempting as it can be to change colours and update logos, it's advisable not to because it causes confusion and people won't remember you if you keep changing the way you look. It's about building trust, being reliable and professional. My role is to guide you and create the graphics that represent your business, but most importantly it's to make sure that everything you post or print is visually consistent and carries the same brand/colour/theme/look throughout. That's how you create a recognisable brand. Consistency is crucial. If you'd like to discuss your branding further or want some help with your graphics, contact me here and let's organise a time!

How to get more likes on Facebook

Sassy Branding“I know Facebook can be good for business, but I don’t know what to say…” sound familiar? Facebook is all about being social, that’s why it’s called Social Media. There’s no need to be stuffy and boring when you’re sharing information and news on your business page, just be yourself. People want to connect with people, that’s why it’s important to be social, transparent and engaging. Still sound too hard? OK, try these steps… Show your personality: Inject a bit of humour into your posts, be a little bit vulnerable and share some daily experiences. That doesn’t mean telling us what you had for breakfast (unless it was something amazing in an exotic country), but things that make your heart sing. For example, I recently toured Italy with my art tutor and classmates, and we painted every day in the local Italian towns (I had to keep pinching myself – it was AMAZING!!), so I shared some of my musings and photos about that trip. The response was great, for some people it brought back memories, others were inspired to travel and others talked about their desire to paint, or dance or sing… Your vulnerability gives others permission to do the same and share their thoughts and feelings. Share your knowledge: Tell us why you’re the expert in your field. Share stories of encounters with clients, talk about the great outcomes you’ve had and really importantly, tell us how your clients have benefitted from your services or products. Post testimonials. Give us some tips that are relevant to what you offer. For example, I have a ‘Tip of the Day’ and post one sentence that might be useful to someone out there, such as “Use white vinegar to wash windows, it’s cheap, environmentally friendly and works a treat!” If you don't have any tips, jump on to google and find some. Use images: Images are powerful and a great way to engage people. It’s statistically proven that pictures and graphics get more likes and comments than plain text. Personally I like to use both and when I do post images, I mostly use ones I’ve created myself and try to make sure my branding is on it somewhere. So now you’re thinking; “Well it’s alright for you, you’re a designer” – true that. But there’s a groovy little program called picmonkey, it’s free and easy to use to make your own graphics. Go on, give it a try! See that pretty quote up there on the left? I posted that graphic on Facebook the other day and it got more than 50 shares… what a great way to organically promote your business! There are heaps of other ways to engage and connect on Facebook, but try these for starters and see how you go. Oh, and the other thing that’s really important is consistency. Post at least once a day. It’s the same principle as branding, the more you do it, the more people will get to know you, trust you and share your stuff. Mix it up, be creative and have fun! Have you got any other ideas? Share them here... Back to Previous Posts

How to make your website work for you

Write it
Make sure your web text is well written. Writing for the web is a lot different to writing for advertisements or articles. Your text needs to be compelling and engaging to keep your reader reading. It's also a great idea to offer benefits, reminding your reader of the benefits of your services or products, keep it short, sharp and interesting. There's nothing worse that meaningless waffle.

Build it
Once you've got people going to your website, you want to keep them there. Use your website to capture your reader's details. By offering a free e-book or a regular newsletter, a webinar or any number of other freebies, your reader can sign up and then go on to your database. You can now build a list of interested readers who value what you offer and could be potential clients. Treat them like family.

Promote it
Market your site in all possible places. Google loves a website that has lots of visitors. There are a multitude of ways to market and promote your site. Add your web address to your social media sites, put it on your business cards and brochures, write comments on other people's blogs and offer testimonials. Can you think of any others?

Blog it
Blog blog blog! The benefits of blogging are huge. Not only do you keep your web content fresh and new - Google loves fresh content - you can send your blog to your database and connect with those who've subscribed to your site. Blogging helps to promote your business and gives you expert status. Don't know what to blog about? Ask yourself "what are the main problems my clients have?", then blog the answer! Connect your blog with facebook and twitter so it reaches even further.

Maintain it
Commit to spending some time on your website every week. It's as important as doing your bookwork! Keep content fresh, blog regularly and send out newsletters. Adding video and audio is great too. If you've invested your hard-earned cash in your website, you need to make sure it keeps working for you.

Do you have any other tips to offer? Comment below and don't forget to leave your web address 🙂 Have a happy day!

What if facebook disappeared tonight?

I was wondering today, where would we be without Facebook? I don't know about you, but I think I've become quite dependent on it. One of the main reasons I use facebook is to find out about events in my local area. Gone are the days when you waited for an invitation in the mail or had to buy the paper to see what was on. I also keep in touch with friends, family and clients via facebook and it's an excellent referral tool for my business.

So, where would we be without facebook? If you're in business, are you entirely dependent on facebook for connecting with your clients, posting events and marketing your business? If so, and facebook disappeared overnight, what would you do? How would you contact your clients and potential market? Do you have a database of everyone's details so that you can contact them outside of facebook? If not, it might be time to get one together hey?

None of us own facebook, so we really have no control over it or the content we place within it. It could quite easily vanish and there's nothing we can do about it! Scary eh? The smart thing to do is make sure you have other avenues where you can build and develop your online business presence,  for example; a website, a blog, and other social media accounts like Linkedin and Twitter.

So, what would you do if facebook disappeared? How would you feel? I'd  love to know.

Are you a stalker or a talker?

Stalker or Talker?I’ve come to a conclusion. There seem to be two categories of people on Facebook; stalkers and talkers. I’m a talker, which one are you?

I didn’t realise the significance of this until I ‘un-friended’ someone who had never said anything. Ever! There was nothing on her profile page, no photo, no information, nothing!  One day I was de-cluttering and I deleted her. This was a girl I went to school with way back in the 1970s (I know, long time ago eh!) and I hadn’t seen her since 1997, so I figured there wasn’t really any connecting going on, just stony silence.

Guess what happened! Less than 24 hours after I’d ‘un-friended’ my friend, she sent me an email (aha! So she could contact me if she wanted to!) asking if I’d deleted her! My response was; “yes because you don’t communicate”, and she said that she didn’t ‘get’ facebook and didn’t know how to post comments. Conclusion: she’s a stalker!!

Just goes to show doesn’t it, you never know who’s watching. Facebook is about connecting, being friendly and sharing. So don’t be a stalker – yes, I’m talking to you!

Go on, I dare you to leave a comment :o)

Blog Challenge Day # 6 – Marketing with honesty

Facebook Icon6 January 2011

Have you heard the hype about social media of late? Seems it’s the new way to market your business, build relationships and create an online presence. Not to mention keeping in touch with long lost friends, finding relatives who might, one day, leave you their millions and spying on your children.

Last month I took myself off to a facebook workshop – who would’ve thought we’d be educating ourselves to communicate via typing as fast as possible over long distances and mostly to people we’ve never actually met in person! I know, I sound like my grandmother, but really, who would’ve thought?

Anyway, you can ‘poo poo’ facebook and twitter and all the other social media sites as much as you like, but in reality it really is the best way to advertise and connect. Seriously! I love it, I really do! I can’t wait to learn more and then I can help my own clients with their FB profiles.

Since I’ve ventured into facebook and twitter my business profile has been exposed to a lot of people and new clients have found me, some I’ve never met in person. It works, and the part I love most is being able to recommend other people’s businesses. Here’s an example: I designed a flyer for a lady who was referred to me by my brother after I’d done some pro bono work for his fundraising venture, anyway, I posted on FB that I’d designed the flyer for my new client and added a link to her website recommending her beautiful gift hampers. A FB friend of mine saw my comment, followed the link to the gift hampers website and bought a hamper! She was delighted with the service, price and quality and then commented a few days later on FB about how happy she was. That sort of exposure is priceless! And you know what? It’s all based on trust; my friend trusted my recommendation and bought the hamper because she knew me.

Paying it forward is the most important part. Another example: A friend of mine (who I’d never met in person at that point) started up a facebook page that promoted local businesses. She wrote a post about my business, from that I got a phone call resulting in a new client who I’ve since done a lot of work with. It didn’t cost me a cent!

That’s why it’s important to be trust worthy, reliable and authentic. So, if you’re not already tweeting on twitter and posting on facebook, get to it and do it! Be consistent, honest, friendly and professional. Show off a little so people can see what you do, it’s OK to brag - I did just the other day and have had two calls already from people who want facebook Welcome pages designed!

It’s worth it, really. Do it with pride and remember to pay it forward and if you’re going to spy on your kids, don’t write on their wall. Here's a little video with stats - well worth the 3 minutes it takes to watch. Have a happy day!

See you there! www.facebook.com/WitchWords

Showing Face

Here's a sample of the stuff that goes on in my head on a daily basis. Cracked myself up with this one, so thought I'd share the giggles. Enjoy!

Sue: Hello, nice to meet you, I’m Sue

Jenny: Yes, I know

Sue: Have we met before?

Jenny: Yes, we’re friends

Sue: Oh, I’m usually really good with faces but I don’t remember you

Jenny:  We’ve been friends since last December. I know all about you, your son just graduated, you had dinner with some girls last week, your favourite colour is red... we’re good friends.

Sue: How do you know all that when I know nothing about you?

Jenny: Don’t you get my updates?

Sue: Not that I know of

Jenny: So did you like me?

Sue: I don’t even know you, how can I like you?

Jenny: Easy, you just choose to like me. I liked you.

Sue: When did you like me? And why don’t you still like me?

Jenny: I do, I still like you. Did you like me?

Sue: Um, I don’t know if I like you, how can I know that when I don’t know you?

Jenny: But we’re friends

Sue: No we’re not

Jenny: Yes we are

Sue: I don’t understand

Jenny: That’s OK, I still like you

If Jenny had put her face on her Facebook profile instead of that cute photo of her dog, Sue would’ve known who she was!

Jeanne's Tip: If you want to make friends and be liked, show your face! Hope that put a smile on your dial!

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