In business, the tools you use matter. If you want to grow and be taken seriously, then you need to invest in the right equipment for the job.
Now, while you're in start-up phase it's completely understandable that you'll do things differently. Your budget will be tighter, and you will still be testing the waters with your product and finding that ideal audience. It's not necessarily going to be the time to dive all in and spend up big on tools that you're not sure will be helpful or even needed in a year's time!
However, as you move past that side-hustle/start-up phase your mindset starts to shift. You're now experiencing some success - people are pickin' up what you're puttin' down, so to speak! You're onto a good thing and starting to make some consistent income from what you do. So naturally, this is the time where you start to invest in some more professional tools. This is necessary now, to help you improve the quality or scope of your...
Start of year is my favourite time to get things sorted.
It's when I organise my pantry (seriously, I spent over 2 hours on it this morning!)
It's when I unsubscribe from all those email lists I'd randomly joined throughout the year but never actually open or read.
And it's when I get my social media processes sorted for the coming months.
Now getting your social media marketing organised and streamlined can seem like a daunting task! That's why I want to share with you my simple strategy for getting set up that won't take you months of headache or hassle.
First thing's first. Make sure you're happy with your overall branding - because most of your social media / digital content is going to draw upon this.
You can read more about the must-have inclusions in your style guide over here, but in a nutshell, you want to make sure your style guide includes: fonts, colours, imagery and your logo.
Now as a bonus tip: it's not enough to just...
Colour is everything in branding.
It grabs ours attention.
It evokes specific emotions.
It indicates a target market.
And as a business owner looking to develop their brand and streamline their marketing, it is essential that the colours used across all your promotional materials remain consistent.
This is because consistent branding:
There is one (well, actually there's likely to be several) special 6-digit codes which all business owners need to know about, which will make their designs consistent, professional and easy to create - hex codes.
Your computer displays RGB colours. Every RGB colour can be represented as a 6-digit code, known as a hex code. This code basically tells the computer which colour to display! It is initiated in most programs (Photoshop, Canva etc) by the # symbol, followed by the 6 digits.
For example, #ffffff is the hex code for...
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...