Time To Refresh
Spring is finally here and for us, these warmer days are just what we need to motivate and energize ourselves for the upcoming year. One area we like to focus our attention on is how well our business is performing and if it is gaining the growth it needs. If it isn’t, what are some strategies that can help it gain momentum?
Your business is something that you hold dear to your heart. You have devoted so many countless hours growing it and making it what it is today. In those beginning stages, it is all about ‘Full Steam Ahead’ (and many MANY cups of coffee), and focusing energy on growing your following so that you can gain more business to just survive those first months and years. At some point though, you may reach a stage where you are able to exhale and re-evaluate you strategy and make a plan for the future of your business. Spring is a great time to do just that. Just as we do a deep spring cleaning at home (or at least fantasize that we have time to do a deep clean at home), your business can use that attention as well. You may find that you have developed a niche or a group of customers that come to you for a specific item and that is wonderful! Learning about your target audience is very helpful in that you can then think of a plan to market towards them. Don’t have a niche yet? Don’t worry, you may not need to be as selective in the beginning and may benefit from casting a much larger net to reach your target audience and learn who you appeal to most. Whichever you may fall into, we have some tips here to think about when it comes to giving your business a little lovin’ this spring. Hope you enjoy!
5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Copy
INTERVIEW WITH CAROLYN BOTHWELL - COPYWRITER AND SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST
Spring has officially sprung. Meaning? It’s time to look at those untouched resolutions (guilty) and hit the refresh button for the season of renewal. As a copywriter, I take an idea or a mission and give it a fresh, cohesive message that speaks to a specific target audience. Here are five simple ways that you can do the same for your brand.
1. Let your customers do the work for you
Before you spend hours crafting the perfect message or honing in on your brand’s ethos, take a minute to listen to how your audience speaks. If you’re an existing brand, schedule time with your customer service team. What questions are the customers asking? What are their pain points? What do they love?
If you’re just starting out, look at complementary brands with a similar target audience. Then, go to their Instagram account. What are people commenting? What’s working? What’s not? Listen to the customers and say what they’re saying.
2. Don’t forget the small stuff
Your Instagram bio. Your email signup. Your subject lines. When you’re refreshing your copy, don’t overlook the areas that drive conversions and capture leads. They may be small, but they are mighty. Make sure your copy is actionable and tells your audience exactly what you want them to do.
3. Consistency is key
Take time to do a copy audit. Consistency through capitalization, spelling, and punctuation keeps your users from getting confused and/or distracted. And, it makes your brand look polished and thoughtful.
4. Less is more
Welcome to the world of skimmers. (Why do you think there are only 5 tips here?) As a brand, you have about three seconds to grab your users’ attention. So your messaging needs to be succinct and clear. Have a lot to say? Break it out in copy blocks.
5. Consider outside help
There comes a time when every business realizes “we need a copywriter.” When you begin looking for a copywriting, consider your budget and your needs. Take the time to look at a few portfolios. For the best results, find someone who is deadline-driven and has experience working autonomously.
-Written by Carolyn Bothwell. Carolyn is our in-house copywriter and if you find you need help with your content, reach out to her.
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
Sites that offer free photos and video for your website/Social
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” You’ve heard that saying throughout your life, right? It rings true much more these days with platforms such as Instagram leading the pack for business marketing. If you are starting out you may not have the budget for in-house or brand photography. What are your options in making your website and social media look on point? Here we share our favorites for finding the perfect images and mockups to represent your business.
1. Unsplash- Royalty Free Photography
Unsplash is a great resource for free, stock photography that is gorgeous. You can search by category or simply explore curated feeds of images taken by photographers all over the globe.
2. RawPixel - Royalty Free and Paid Photography
RawPixel is similar to Unsplash but does offer some premium photography that can be purchased. One thing we like about RawPixel is that they offer a pretty eclectic mix of photos with lots of color - sure to grab attention.
3. Graphic Burger - Royalty Free Photos and Mockups
Graphic Burger is a great resource for background images, textures and mockups. We love their unique patterns that can be used for creating print materials such as business cards and brochures.
4. Pexels - Royalty Free Photography + Video
Pexels is very similar to Unsplash in that you can search by category or browse through a curated feed but with the addition of one very cool feature: free videos. Videos are typically quite costly to purchase on sites like Shutterstock or iStock, but Pexels offers some free footage which is a huge plus in our book!
Tools For That Feed
Here are a few apps that will help you plan and grow your instagram account
Now that you have your content in top-top shape and imagery to boot, it’s time to apply this new look to your Instagram feed to help drum up new exposure and business. Planning your posts on Instagram can be time consuming, and when you have your own business, time is not something you have in excess. We test drove a few apps that will help you plan and schedule your posts to better curate a well-thought out feed.
Planoly - Instagram Scheduling App
This is a great app for mobile and desktop that helps you manage, schedule and post your content. We love that you can track your insights, have the option to add shoppable links, and it is very user-friendly. Here is a little snip-it from the Planoly website: “Planoly was thoughtfully created from a designer’s and editor’s point of view. Beautifully crafted to be simple, clean and easy to use. It’s the FIRST VISUAL PLANNER for INSTAGRAM. Clear and to the point web and mobile app — Planoly is the most effective visual social media planner on the market (oh, and you can schedule too)!”
2. Later - Instagram Scheduling App
Later is another app that is used to help you manage and schedule your Instagram feed. We like Later in that it has some great video tutorials that helped us learn how to use the app to its full potential. Here is some info about Later from their site: “Later helps streamline your social media strategy so you can set yourself up for more sales and success. Our features focus on visual scheduling, media management, marketing and analytics. Here at Later, our goal is to simplify Instagram marketing and make it accessible for all businesses.”
3. People Map - Instagram Research and Growth App
People Map is a bit different from Planoly and Later in that you use this app to grow your instagram following so that all that hard work you are doing in making that feed look pretty, you will get the recognition you deserve and the business growth you are looking for. We found a huge boost in our followers after using People Map for a few months. It does take time to put this tool to full use, but in our opinion, it is worth it.
4. Instagram Marketing Course
We actually started here, taking this very course. We understood Instagram but felt we wanted to learn more about how to make our page work for us in growing our business. This course was awesome. We loved watching it! It is put on by Puno, founder of I Love Creatives and People Map. We love her energy and the tips she had for us helped us grow our following from around 5000 to what it is today. The course does cost money but the great thing is that you have it forever. We often revert back to some of our notes and slides about different topics.
We hope you enjoyed our tips here to freshen up your look. If you are interested in staying in touch for upcoming newsletters with more tips to help grow your business, please sign up!