As a freelance graphic designer knowing my target audience is essential to gain new clients and to get the type of jobs I want. Although my target audience is somewhat broad it does target a certain crowd. The target audience for my graphic design business is both females and males, with a higher level of education, potentially business owners or entrepreneurs, single or married individuals that may not have a family due to a busy life of business.
My target audience are creative individuals that own their own business or have a side hustle/hobbies they want to promote such as a YouTube channel, online blog or make/sell their own products. My target audience is highly active on social media, they use it as a promotional space and a way to stay connected with their friends, family and their own target audience. They are middle to upper class and can afford to spend a little extra money on a designer to help further their business. These people are leaders and are business driven individuals that aspire to be on top.
Some way I can reach out and meet my target audience is by promoting my services on social media platforms, my target audience is trendy and up to date on social media, they are creative and reaching out and promoting myself on social media would be the best way to reach them. These are busy people who do not have a lot of time to search for a service they need, they want something fast and easy to find.
This week I read and learned a lot about communication styles and how to properly write for the web. Some of the most important information I took away from this lesson was that when creating content for the web you want to create content that takes people from an inspectional phase; which is when the reader is skimming your words and not absorbing any of the content, to an analytical phase; which is when the reader is engaged with your content and is absorbing what you have to say. Another important thing to remember when writing content for the web is to not bury the lead, try writing with the inverted pyramid approach which is starting with the most important information and ending with content that is relevant but not critical.
Some other things to know when creating content for the web is before writing make sure you have a clear end in mind, and make sure when writing the beginning, middle and end are clear and distinguished. A common mistake people make when writing is writing in a passive voice when they should be writing in an active voice; which is putting the subject in an active role.
A few more things to keep in mind when writing content for the web is as important as tone and clarity are when writing, remember that grammar, spelling and punctuation are equally important and should not be over looked. As almost everything else practice makes perfect!
Ever since watching the movie Into the Wild in high school all I’ve ever wanted was to visit the beautiful lands of Alaska. This year that dream finally came true, about two months ago I decided what the hell, packed a bag and got on a plane. This trip was very exciting for me because not only was I travelling somewhere I have always dreamed about but this was a trip I was taking all by myself. Scary right?? Not really. Everyone went on and on about how I would be lonely or it was unsafe, and okay yes the idea of a 20 year old girl travelling alone does not sound like the best idea but I loved it! I got to do whatever I wanted and was completely on my own schedule. When travelling alone you learn a lot about yourself, you learn how to problem solve in a crunch and you learn to just go with the flow (something I sometimes have a hard time with). I would highly suggest travelling alone at least once in your life, I promise you’ll love it and want to keep doing it.
I spent the first four days of my trip in Anchorage the capital of Alaska. When I landed in Anchorage I was blown away by the mountains that surrounded the town. They were huge! Everywhere you looked all you could see were mountains, and right then I knew I was going to fall even more in love with this place. I am a go go go type of person, I figured since I was only here for a short time that I wanted to see as much as possible so in my four short days I managed to accomplish a lot such as; Botanical Gardens, Anchorage Museum, Heritage Centre, Glacier Boat Cruise, Hiking Flattop Mountain and Hiking Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Not to mention all the incredible restaurants I got to try and all the delicious craft beer to go with it.
After my four days in Anchorage was up I boarded a quick flight up north to Fairbanks. Even though Fairbanks is a small town mainly known for gold mining and oil drilling I still managed to jam-pack my two days there. One the first day I was there I toured around the city and went hiking through the mountains with some huskies, visited the Fairbanks museum, Botanical Gardens, visited some breweries, and visited the Fairbanks Ice museum. Sounds busy right? Well it was but nothing like my next day! My second day in Fairbanks was a looooong day.. I went on a full day bus trip to the Artic Circle. In case you do not know what that is, that is basically the highest point up north in Alaska. Sitting in a small tour bus for 15 hours driving on winding bumpy un-paved roads sounds horrible and yes okay it was not the most fun ride I’ve been on but it was 100% worth it. We got to see some beautiful sceneries and I can officially say I have crossed the Artic Circle. On the way home we got to see the Northern Lights and they were so beautiful I could even begin to describe them.
Overall my trip to Alaska was incredible for many reasons, I got to see so much and learn so much about a different way of life. I learned a lot about wildlife, especially moose (considering they are everywhere in Alaska)! The thing I learned the most about was myself, I learned how to figure out everything, how to problem solve in difficult situations and I learned my own strengths. A very successful trip in my opinion.
As a graphic designer the first thing we are taught is the importance of branding and especially the importance of personal branding. The first steps to putting yourself out there are having a well-rounded personal brand to establish yourself by. How can you expect people to want to work with you and trust you to create an ever-lasting brand identity for them if you do not even have one for yourself?
What they do not teach or really tell you is the importance of carrying out your personal brand on social media. Yes, we have personal websites that have our branding applied to them but not everyone applies that to their social media as well. What do I mean by applying your personal brand to social media? Having all your profile pictures in sync, having a well curated Instagram theme, using colours that are part of your brand and posting content relevant to your brand’s mission statement.
In a previous blog post of mine I talked about the importance of an Instagram theme. I’ll explain again what I mean by that; having all your images be similar in content and/or the use of similar colours within images. Now it might seem easy or maybe you’re thinking that that does not sound easy at all and you would be right. It is very hard to properly execute and maintain an Instagram theme. It limits what type of content you can post, which makes it difficult to post regularly and keep your audience intrigued. Now I will admit I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to this topic, I have a personal brand (sort of, it is in transition right now so bare with me) but it is not very well executed over my social media. Hey now before you roll your eyes like I said my brand is in transition and properly executing an Instagram theme is very difficult but can be extremely rewarding.
Here is an example of my Instagram page and branding, notice similar colour tones and themes within the images:
Here is a great article I think you should read on the importance of personal branding and social media: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding
Think you’re up to the challenge of creating and running your personal brand on social media?
— Social Media Posts —
Twitter: the importance of personal branding and social media: http://bit.ly/2hWymWN
Facebook: Checkout my latest blog post to find out why carrying your personal brand onto your social media is so important! https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/personal-branding-in-social-media/
Remember the dark days of having to choose a restaurant by just pointing to one? Taking the risk of not liking anything on the menu and just winging it. Well thanks to social media we no longer have to face those fears. Alright I’m being a bit dramatic but I am a huge foodie and I can be a bit picky when it comes to picking what to eat so I’m the kind of person who always looks online ahead of time. Not only do I go a quick google search to browse the menu but I search TripAdvisor to see ratings and reviews, I creep Instagram to see images of the dishes to see what looks good to eat. Okay, I am a bit extreme but hey I love food and I take it seriously because I do not want to be disappointed.
Another thing I love about social media and the food world is food blogging/food pictures. I love taking pictures of my food and posting them to Instagram, and people always ask me why I do this and do people really want to see this? I mean I hope they do, but the reason I post pictures of my food and give them reviews is so my friends/followers can see how great this place is and check it out for themselves. If a restaurant has a great atmosphere, amazing food and good staff then you better believe I will stand behind them and post on all social media about them to get the word out there.
This is the level of dedication to food blogging I aspire to have.
A huge benefit to sites like TripAdvisor is for travellers to find great local restaurants in an unknown area. I have two examples of how this is beneficial to the user:
- I was travelling in Europe and I used TripAdvisor to find local cafes and restaurants to eat in and every one I went to was absolutely incredible and for sure not somewhere I would have found on my own. Being able to see ratings and reviews really came in handy.
- I am planning a trip to Alaska in a month and being vegetarian poses a difficultly when trying to find places to eat, especially up north. Being able to look ahead of time on TripAdvisor to not only find good restaurants in the area but also find ones that are vegetarian friendly so I don’t have to worry while I’m there is a huge benefit.
Check out some of Ottawa’s local food blogs for some great suggestions on where to eat:
Narcity Ottawa / Apt613
— Social Media Posts —
Twitter: Do you love food as much as me?! Check it out: bit.ly/2vr6ss4
Facebook: Are you as crazy about food when it comes to me? Check out my latest blog post about the benefits of social media in the foodie world: https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/how-many-stars-does-it-have/
What ever happened to chivalry and old school dating? You know where you run into a cute boy and they ask you on a date, they pick you up at the door and take you to dinner and dancing, walk you home and kiss you goodnight. Now guys just swipe right on Tinder to let you know they are interested. Sure I am a millennial in many way I will admit that; I am addicted to my cellphone, social media and $7 Starbucks coffees but when it comes to dating and relationships I’m old school.
I refuse to use dating apps and I refuse to let social media run/ruin our relationships. Not only is social media ruining the way we meet people it is ruining the way we date them too. We see them like another girls picture or we see Snapchat stories of them out at a bar and we get jealous and mad and it causes a fight. And thanks to Twitter we can easily let the world know how angry we are in a mass tweeting spree that we can soon regret and delete. Ah the joys of social media.
Another downside of dating and social media is we only post the glorious side to our relationships in the attempt to make other jealous. We don’t post the fights and breakups just the happy. Seeing these images can really mess with one’s mind. I can attest for this, I have recently become single and my timelines are constantly flooded with pictures of couples out to dinner, on dates, at the beach or kissing. I see these images and I get sad because I don’t have that and I feel lonely and jealous… but then I remember that all couples have fights and flaws you just don’t see. Dam you social media and your influence on us millenniums.
Here is an article that explains how we date now:
This Is How We Date Now
Do you think dating has been tarnished by todays use of social media?
— Social Media Posts —
Twitter: Old school or Social media, how do you prefer to date? http://bit.ly/2uuXBDU
Facebook: Do you think dating has been tarnished by todays use of social media? Check out my latest blog post about this subject:
One of the outmost important things for not only a company but an individual to have is proper social media identity and branding. As a graphic designer I can say with confidence that branding is everything. When a company has a good brand their products and services sell themselves. Now a days with social media being so prominent in our lives it is essential that companies execute their branding properly over social media as well.
What is an Instagram theme? An Instagram theme is all about visual consistency by using consistent composition, colours, and content throughout all your images posted to your account. Having an Instagram theme is important when running a companies account but also equally important for an individual as well. Using a theme for your personal Instagram account perceives you as a professional and shows potential employers the care and dedication you put into your social media presence.
Not sure where to start or what your theme should be? You can take many quizzes online or view themes on Pinterest. Here is a fun quiz you can take to find out your theme: http://www.teen.com/2016/07/11/quizzes-personality-trivia-teen-girls/instagram-aesthetic-personality-match-quiz/. Capture Your Style by Aimee Song is an amazing book I would recommend to anyone that needs help finding and executing your new style throughout your Instagram account. I encourage everyone to find their style and execute a proper Instagram theme.
— Social Media Posts —
Twitter: Do you think an instagram theme is important for a personal account?! #selfbranding #sorrydoesntfitmytheme
Facebook: Do you think an instagram theme is important for a personal account? Comment your thoughts below!