I have learned a lot over the course of the social media program such as how to figure out and define your target audience, ways to track and record analytics, and what to post on each social channel. There has been a lot of incredible sites and blogs that can help you discover new social channel sites and that help you discover different trends in the industry.
Two unexpected things I am taking away from this course is the major trend of email marketing for business. While reading through countless blogs and searching for new and upcoming trends within the online marketing world one that kept popping up was the trend of email marketing. I have never really considered this approach to online marketing before because I was too afraid of “spamming” people. After doing research and reading a few blog posts on this subject I’ve learnt that you need to have a strategy and engage your audience. The key is to be consistent whether that is emailing every week, month or quarterly.
Another unexpected thing I am taking away from this course is an app for networking that I discovered called Shapr. It is basically a Tinder style app for networking professionals. You create a profile based off your LinkedIn profile, let them know which industry you are in, how you prefer to meet with someone (ex. Coffee or after work drinks), what you are looking for (ex. Mentor, collaborations…etc.) and it lets you connect with others in the area that have similar answers on their profile. I was pleasantly surprised to find out such an application exists!
5x Your Traffic Using Pinterest with Jenna Kutcher – Webinar
I chose to participate in this event because Jenna Kutcher is an idol and inspiration of mine. She has become an incredible female entrepreneur and has grown her social media following into a huge community that drives her business. She is living my dream. I read her blog and listen to her podcasts constantly and she gives the best advice on how to be a female entrepreneur and how to rule your business. When it comes to using social media to drive traffic to my website Pinterest is the last thing to come to mind. I use Pinterest on a daily basis for clothing inspiration and recipes but never as a tool to drive traffic to my website!
“Last time I checked being popular isn’t paying my bills”
Something I took away from this webinar is that if you are a solo entrepreneur you need to be doing anything and everything to drive as much business as possible to your website to generate new clients and revenue. One of the best ways to bring as much traffic as possible to your website is by promoting yourself on any and every social media site you can think of. The best thing about marketing yourself on social media is that it is 100% free, you can choose to pay to promote yourself more but really you can do it all for nothing. You should take advantage of every site including Pinterest. Pinterest is essentially another Google, it is a search engine that people use and in my opinion people of a creative background tend to use this the most which is what you want as clients if you yourself are in a creative field.
I love anything Jenna Kutcher and if you are a female who is trying to make your way in the business world I highly recommend checking her out because she gives great advice and often hosts webinars that you can attend for free!
Here is a link to her website: http://jennakutcher.com
When it comes to networking I like to network both online and in-person with people. Although it can be easier to reach out to people online and see your network grow there isn’t anything better than a human connection. I would recommend networking both online and in person to reach as many people as possible. Also it doesn’t hurt to connect with someone in person then follow up by connecting with them later online, helps keep you fresh in their mind.
How do I network in person? I started by getting to know all my teachers in college and making sure they remembered who I was; I also built connections with the students in my courses as well. From there I built connections with guest speakers who came to talk to us and past alumni from the graphic design program. I have since built my network to reach people all over the industry, although I would still consider my network to be small-medium size I am happy with what I have accomplished in the short time in the graphic design industry.
How do I network online? LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my main go to social channel for connecting with people, that is what it was built for. I landed my internship for school at a very well know design firm by connecting with the owner on LinkedIn and messaging him on there as well. Any and every job I have had I make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn to help build my network. Although LinkedIn is the main networking tool I use and is built for that purpose, another social channel I use to network on is Instagram. I wouldn’t say I use this social channel too much to network as it is built and used more from a social aspect, but it does help. I have also connected with people I have previously worked with on Instagram, I feel it helps build a more friendly and social network as opposed to a business network on LinkedIn.
For future networking I plan to continue using LinkedIn and Instagram to help build my online network and possibly consider taking it to the next level by using Facebook to help build more of a professional network and not just with relatives. As for networking in person, I still carry around business cards in my wallet just in case the opportunity ever presents itself. I am also attending a women’s networking event here in Ottawa that I am greatly looking forward to. I hope to attend more events like this to help build my network in the Ottawa area.
Two companies that have great social media presences that stand out to me are Dove and Airbnb. These two companies both have generated a lot of followers on their social media accounts by using custom hashtags for their customers/followers to use.
Dove uses the hashtags #mybeautymyway and #realbeauty for their posts and encourages users to use them in their pictures or posts as well. Dove has run a lot of successful campaigns through social media by using their custom hashtags and encouraging their followers to post photos that fit the campaign and use the hashtag along with it.
Airbnb has done similar social media marketing by using the custom hashtag #livethere in their posts to promote living like a local which is the purpose and meaning of the company. Airbnb is especially known for their Instagram page because aside from posting food images travel images are the second use of Instagram. Airbnb posts incredible photos from all over the world to draw attention to the importance of living like a local as opposed to staying in a hotel.
One company that might surprise you with their lack of social media marketing use is Apple. Despite not having a Facebook page or Twitter account Apple is one of the most successful companies out there. But how much more successful could they be with social media marketing? I think Apple could really benefit from social media marketing and could really help boost their already sky-rocketing sales. Some first steps I think Apple should take is creating an Instagram page where they can post images of their products and new upcoming products. Another great use of social media for Apple would be a Twitter account where they could respond to customer tweets about their products whether that be what’s the upcoming launch date or helping users with issues they may be having.
My two favourite social media listening/monitoring tools are Google Analytics and Hootsuite. The reason I love and use Google Analytics is because it is a free online tool that is great for tracking analytics for your personal website. I myself have a personal website I use for business and I love being able to see how many people visit my website daily and what content they are looking at. I like being able to know how they got to my website and what type of device they are viewing it off of. Google Analytics is also very useful for SEO optimization. The second online tool I use is Hootsuite, this website is great because it covers lots of different social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress. You can collaborate with other team members and delegate tasks to others. This is a great site for someone like me because as a graphic designer we are always outsourcing or collaborating with others so having one platform to work under is beneficial.
My two favourite news sources online are Twitter and Facebook. I read through my Twitter feed every morning as soon as I wake up like the newspaper. For me the best thing about Twitter is I am able to follow specific accounts that I care about receiving updates from, such as the local news station for my town so I can get current and relative news updates to my location. I follow accounts based off my location so I am up to date with latest trends in my area. I also use Facebook as a source of news and updates because I enjoy reading articles about things that are happening in my area and other places. One thing I like about Facebook as a news source is you can check the trending topics and receive all kinds of updates around the world. I find I see more of a broader news source from Facebook because your friends share articles that you might not see otherwise.
Over the last couple week this course has taught me a lot about creating digital content and storytelling. I have learned a great deal about storytelling online; learning about clarity and conciseness, the importance of grammar, spelling and punctuation, using a passive vs. active voice in your writing. You should always begin writing with the end in mind, never bury the lead of your story and when writing use the inverted pyramid approach.
Target audience is another important piece of the puzzle that I learned a lot about. When assessing your target audience, the first step is to research the demographic and psychographic. You need to listen to clues about your audience and you need to get to know the community. After learning everything you can about your target audience, then you can assess how to properly write your content best for that audience.
A few other things I am taking away from this course is the difference between writing content for Business to Consumer (B2C) versus Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Government (B2G). I also learned which social media tools to use for each, for example the best tools for B2C are blogging, email marketing, Twitter, Facebook, and audio/video podcasting. The best tools for B2B are blogging, email marketing, Twitter, LinkedIn, Webinars and e-books and whitepapers.
I think the most important thing I learned from this course about creating digital content is the five steps to help you find stories inside your business. The five steps are Stop Editing, Get Out More, Just Tell It, Read Your Story and Sleep On It. These five steps will help you write the best stories you can for online.
What is your secret wish for your business?
I currently work as a freelance graphic designer, with just a website and word of mouth to promote myself. I have received a few jobs here and there that have kept me busy but nothing steady so far. My wish for my business in the future would be to run and own an actual graphic design studio somewhere local that has steady business. I would love to be my own boss and have employees to help me with design projects. The design studio would be small, somewhere around 5-7 employees that are all close and young like me. Ideally our clients would be small to medium local business in which we could help grow and expand with our design services.
My design approach is always modern and fresh, I would love to have clients who are on board for a modern approach for their business as well. Being mainly a graphic design studio, I would love to take my knowledge of social media marketing and also provide those services as well for our clients. I would love to be in charge (who wouldn’t), but I would also like to be heavily involved in the projects as well and not just direct them.
This is a large wish that will take a lot of time and effort to achieve so in the meantime my wish for business is to increase the number of freelance jobs I am receiving and to better promote myself through social media and word of mouth!
In my industry, personal brand is everything and you need a personal brand that sets you apart from everyone else because essentially you are all providing the same services. My personal brand is modern and clean and shows what I can offer clients which is a fresh modern twist to their own brand. I approach my brand and my clients the same way which is just being real and personable. I think remembering we are all people and treating everyone that way and just being open and real with people goes a long way. While still remaining semi-professional, I treat all my clients the way I would treat friends, skipping the formal greetings in emails and just replying normally is what I do. Not everyone will agree with my approach to running my personal brand but I know if I am requiring a service from someone I want them to be real with me and skip all this formal professional garbage.
My colleagues and clients would say my best traits are my organization and timely fashion. I am incredibly organized and always have been which is a great skill to have in any situation but especially when it comes to being a freelance designer with multiple clients and projects on the go… talk about files everywhere!! I pride myself in always responding to clients quickly and efficiently, I always complete my work on time and usually even before the due date which makes clients very happy. I tend to go above and beyond when it comes to working on a project for a client, I just want them to be happy with what they are getting from me. Personal brands and company brands are a big deal and can either make or break your company so I want to make sure I am providing my clients with something that will only further their business and make them happy.
Frank Body is an online store that sells a range of coffee-based skincare products. They are heavily involved on social media and have a great online presence that helped them turn into a multi-million-dollar venue just after a few years. Frank Body has a blog called “The Daily Grind” that has interviews with inspirational women and tips on how to keep your skin in good shape.
One thing Frank Body did through social media to really captivate their clients was start a “battle of the scrubs” competition which took all four of their scrubs and use hashtags for each to encourage clients to create their own content to show support for which scrub they liked best. To boost encouragement and engagement even more they offered a years supply of their products to the winner which helped get people from all over the world involved.
Something that stands out to me about this campaign is all the content and posts are from the users, they weren’t the company putting out these posts as advertisements so you know the products are good because it is not a forced post, it is natural and relatable. This campaign adds in a fun twist by making it a competition, it gets people involved more than just asking them to post what they think just because.
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.