One of the biggest hurdles I see small business owners and entrepreneurs run into with their marketing, is not being prepared with their branding and design.
A classic example is they may be half-way through a task (i.e. writing a blog post) and then realise they need to create a blog image. Only, they aren't sure what colours to use, they haven't got a suitable photograph and their logo isn't formatted correctly. Next thing you know, they have * wasted * hours prepping those key elements, just so they can finalise one blog image for one blog post!
Don't worry, I've been there myself as well!
But thanks to the careful prepping of my business branding building blocks, I've found the whole marketing process has not only been completely streamlined (saving me so much time!) but the overall look of my marketing is far more consistent.
This moment of realisation came when I was doing business planning for 2021. There were changes I wanted to make to my business model and structure, and I was mindful of some upcoming expenses. Being a primarily online provider of services (i.e. I don't have a building or office space that I rent), the main expenses to run my business are software-based (i.e. website hosting, Microsoft suite, social media scheduling software etc). So I thought, it's a good time to check how much money I'm spending on these online programs to see whether there was scope to save some money or afford some new tools for 2021.
I started by writing about a list in dot-points, but it just wasn't working.
I don't know about you, but I'm quite a visual person - I find it much easier to digest information when it is laid out clearly (and preferably with some colour coding!)
It is almost impossible to build or grow a business in the 2020s without employing the use of technology in one form or another. At the basic end you need an email account and Facebook Page ... and then it can evolve through to online payment gateways, customer management systems and data analytic software.
For some, the technology itself is a fundamental aspect of the product or service. For instance, an online coach is going to intricately rely on software like Zoom to conduct their 1:1 coaching services. For others, technology will serve the primary purpose of communications and marketing - allowing them to connect with their audience through Facebook Groups, YouTube channel or webinars. Finally, there's the 'admin' side of things - for instance your online calendar or invoicing software, which allows you to keep track of appointments and client payments.
As I said, it's almost impossible to escape the use of technology in your business!!
I know it sounds a bit crazy, but please hear me out!
I’m not talking about using PowerPoint over Canva for delivering presentations. I’m talking about using PowerPoint over Canva for content creation – i.e. reports, CVs, flyers, worksheets, lead magnets, invoices, letters, social media graphics, course materials, and even Facebook cover photos.
You’re probably familiar with PowerPoint as presentation software, and Canva as the go-to document/content creation software. I mean, it’s the bees knees right – how could another program be any easier!?
For the record, I think Canva is fantastic! I used it for years, and I regularly deliver training on how to use it. The founder of Canva (Melanie Perkins) is from Perth, Western Australia – just like me! The fact that a woman from little ol’ Perth was able to forge such a successful global tech company is an absolute inspiration to me. She identified a problem and came up with an...