COMM0014 Blog #7 – What have I learned

I have learned a lot during this online course. I have learned that storytelling is valuable when creating content for social media posts. Storytelling is how you’re going to grab your audiences during various projects. I recently watched a few videos on some essential and heavy tops – sexual violence. While watching the video, I noticed that they used the “tell a story” aspect to really drive home the importance of content. I found that I was more invested in listening and watching each person tell their story or experience. I have done a few different pieces of training about sexual violence and have watched various videos. Most of them were scripted: basic wordage with a silly concept with a matching video. The students’ storytelling was geared toward their peers and audience of similar interests.

I have also learned that most audiences enjoy storytelling because it gives a very human feel to their content. It makes it highly relatable to their followers or customers. I know that I prefer when I can put myself in someone’s place than some cold corporate sales. When looking for a product on social media, I tend to support someone willing to share a piece of themselves with their customers.

Taking this course has also helped me be more comfortable with writing in general and forcing myself to write more than I am used to. I am more willing to write more content than I usually would.

COMM0014-Blog#6 – What do I hope my business accomplishes?

That’s very hard to break down into one answer. I want my business to accomplish many things. When I started my journey in creating my Queen Bee business, I had to think outside of the box and determine who my audience was, what they wanted, or why they wanted to buy from me? Some products can really sell themselves, which I think beeswax candles are. This type of product is consumable, and in turn, I will have repeat customers, and there is a specific type of person out there that wants to buy and only burn beeswax candles in their home, office, or personal space. After my few sales, I discovered that most people gravitate towards someone kind, polite, and inclusive when trying to sell something to them.

When narrowing down what type of accomplishments, I wanted a company where someone could stay that I was kind and patient with them when buying. I want someone to tell all their friends about the service they received when dealing with me. Another accomplishment I wanted to have growth, which I think every company wants, but I wanted to have small gains; I wanted to add a new product or new style of candle. I wanted to make a little more than the year before. I didn’t wish the greed of money-making to fuel my side hustle; I didn’t want to rule my whole world.

When I reflect on my business, I was able to make my small gains and grow a little bigger each year. I have been able to use the money I make as travel money and go on a few trips. I think that the goals I set out to make are currently being met, and I hope that I can still make small accomplishments that I set up for myself years ago in the next few years.

COMM0014 Blog #5 – What is my personal brand?

A personal brand is a complicated reflection of one’s self to explain. What is my personal brand on my social media accounts? That’s an easy question to answer. It is the bare minimum. I don’t feel like I need to post a photo for every aspect of my life or have a witty caption. I also don’t crave the validation of comments and likes to add value to my life. I would ask myself, what is my personal brand in my real life, personal life? I would say that I am an extrovert. I am very social and enjoy spending time with loved ones and friends. If I were to ask my colleagues my best trait (which is an exercise we have don’t many times for team training). I think they would describe my “personal brand” as loyal, strong welled, a team player, and always wanting to help where it’s needed. I am sure they would also say that I am opinionated and have my own strong ideas about life. I always have said that my quarks and strong ideas are “part of my charm,” which I think is another way to express my personal brand. At the end of the day, if I were I have to describe my brand, or what makes me stand out amongst all the other people out there, is that I can be quirky, strong welled, but always be loyal to a friendship, and someone that anyone could count on in times of need, or in times of adventure.

Check out my Instagram to see how little I post things.

Also, check out what style of music I am listening to, music is food for my soul, and I listen to just about anything that makes my ears happy.

COM0014 – Blog #4: Case Study – Student Association

The business chosen for the case study is the Student Association of St Lawrence College. The company is a non-profit organization representing a membership of approximately 10,000 students. I decide to analyze their social media practices on Instagram (@sa_slc). 
They currently have 2,344 followers and 602 posts. They post on average 1 to 2 posts each day, and I have noticed they seem to have minimal engagement or interaction. Most interactions such as likes, comments, and shares seem to be only on posts that give away free items with a significant dollar amount. They post different content with each post and always have engaging written content. I find that their written content doesn’t always have a “call to action,” such as a survey question or visit a location for an event. They have very few comments on their posts, resulting in a lack of interaction with the company membership. 
Suggestions I would give the Student Association about their approach would be to have more calls to action with every post to encourage engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares. One strategy I would suggest is, placing multiple events within one post instead of spreading them out. Another approach they could use is sharing the post to their stories and forcing their followers to view the post and comment.  
Overall, I feel they are doing a great job with continuous posting to try and get engagement with their students, but they are just a little sort with the interactions they are having with the membership/students.

COMM0014 – Blog 3 –

Target Audience for Queen Bee

This year, I researched my target audience for Queen Bee to try and gain more customers. I firstly looked at my insights on my Instagram over the last 90 days. I looked at followers, top locations, age range, and gender. The numbers were interesting; I lost followers, even though I gained daily followers. Geographically, Kingston, Ontario, is where most of my followers are from, and the age range is 25-44. I found out that 88% of my followers are women. With that quick view, I know that I want my location range to expand and that I believe that I will organically gain more followers and customers if I do a few paid posts on my social media accounts. (Samples of Instagram insights below article)

I also reviewed my engagement, which is one of my biggest struggles. Over the last 90 days, my post interactions have gone down 82%, with only 11 comments on some of my posts. A tool that I have been looking into is using a scheduling program. I want to start getting my posts, stories, and other content ready and scheduled to take away the stress of ensuring I am posting and engaging with followers enough. I have reached out to fellow candle makers to see if they have any advice, and they have given me a few tips and tricks.

One of my strategies for 2022 is to hire a photographer to take professional photos for social media and my website. A few years ago, I had a friend do a mini photoshoot. I found that my engagement and sales both went up significantly with just the simple change of some photos. Well, searching for a photographer, I looked back on some of my photos to see when I received more engagement. My audience would comment, like, or share a post compared to other quick pictures and a theme. While searching for a photographer, I ensured that the style of photos with the best engagement is the style or brand I want to continue to use.

When I reflect on my target research, my audience is female in the late 20s to mid-’40s, and when posting content, I need to keep this in mind engaging those customers for feedback and more sales for my company.

Overall followers for 90 days.
Top location of followers.
Age, and gender insights for Queen Bee.

COMM 14 Blog #2 Storytelling and Communication Styles

Learning different commutation styles is hard to negative, and I wish there were an owner’s manual for each person you meet. Communication can mean so many things to everyone when trying to relay information from your head to social media. Some people enjoy short and sweet posts, while others like a longer explanation for them to engage with a social media post.

During my assignments with exploring writing and communication, I found that I prefer to keep things relaxed and more fun for the reader. I want my words to reflect who I am in person. But is that what my audience wants? I have no idea. I am learning that I need to try a few different storytelling styles to see how others engage with it. I have noticed that I engage with social media posts more when there is a little back story to their posts or photos and when they ask a question with feedback. I tend to comment on those types of people because I feel as if my thoughts count, and someone wants my opinion. With some of my social media posting and blogging, I will also try to include a question or feedback from my audience to see if I get more interaction from them.

COMM 14 – Assignment #2 – Who am I?

Who is ASHLEY GOODWINS, you ask? Well, I was born and raised in Kingston, ON. I was lucky enough to have a Mom and a Dad present for all of my life and still counting. I also have an older brother, Kyle – yes, we were babies of the ’80s. I had a few health issues as a kid, but I didn’t let that define me. I think it made me stronger as a person. I loved school, had good grades, and had lots of friends during my whole academic life. The older I got, the more independent, determined, and creative – my mom would say I was a pain in the ass with an attitude. I like to say that it’s part of my charm.

Fast forward a few years, breakups, friendship changes, moving cities, and job changes bring me to my current stage in my life. Queen Bee, a side hustle making beeswax candles. I started thinking of what I could do creatively and make a little cash money with my extra time. I always loved candles, but I have a TON of allergies, you name it, I have a reaction to it. 

 I researched and found that beeswax was the best option, and bonus, I always have loved the sweet honey smell of the beeswax candles. So, I started my mission on getting supplies ordered and finding everything I could locally. I was able to find my wax from a local beekeeper named Bob. I signed up for my first craft sale in March 2014. I loved chatting with people about my products and was happy with how much I sold. I started with a small product line, and over the years, I have added a range of different styles. Each year I learn new things about running a small business. Last year, I finally created a website and invested more into Queen Bee. I hired a local photographer to take photos and some online marketing and social media courses. Queen Bee will have a few upgrades this year with a new, improved workshop.

The best part of running a side hustle having some extra money in the bank. Queen Bee has given so much back to me because it has allowed me to pay off some school debt and TRAVEL! I have been able to explore some fantastic places. This year, some goals for Queen Bee and me are to do a little more travelling and hustle a little harder. Thank you for wanting to support my business. With each order you make, it warms my heart, and I can’t thank you enough. 

COM0014 – Blog #1: An Evening I Will Never Forget

In March of 2020, I went to New York City with Ellen. Why NYC, you might ask, well we went to a concert. We found out that our favourite musician will be playing at the Radio City Music Hall in the spring. I simply sent her a message on some random Thursday saying, “DERMOT KENNEDY IS PLAYING IN MONTREAL OR NEW YEAR CITY IN MARCH. Should we go??” Her response was, “YES, OF COURSE.” I sent the following message, “ARE WE GOING TO NYC?”. We bought our concert tickets and booked the hotel and transportation. 

We arrived on Sunday night for our six-day adventure in NYC. Our hotel was right beside the Radio City Music Hall – PERFECT. We saw the posters around the building advertising that Dermot Kennedy was playing there in just a few days. 

During the week, we did the touristy things like walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway play and took a tour at the Tenement Museum. Finally, the day was here- THE CONCERT! The Radio City Music Hall is something to see in real life. The ceiling is gold in colour, and the walls are covered with deep red fabric with massive murals. We found our seats in the front row, and we were ready to sing our hearts out. The opening act was good, but it was time for the main show. The lights are dark, and a single spotlight comes on, and the music starts, and it was magically. The crowd went quiet then began to sing along. An evening I will never forget. 

It was the next day, and we had one more day left on our trip when the news started to buzz about the COVID-19 cases have hit New York City. It began with the family that was in the Grand Central Station. The next day it doubled and then tripled in numbers. For a second, we thought, should we head home early? Nah, it’s okay, it’s fine. We are only here for another day. So we stayed close to our hotel with little to no worry. We headed to the airport and waited for our plane. The airport had an eerie feeling with people wearing masks and keeping distance with fear. We were happy to get back to Canada and back to our homes. 

 The following week the world had shut down, and the WHO declared a pandemic, and we were sent home to work. Still to this day, we saw to each other, “Remember that time we went to NYC, and there were covid cases, and we came home, and the world hasn’t been the same since.” 

What would you have done, ended your trip early, or continued it thinking, this might be my last chance for an adventure?