My Personal Networking Plan for 2021

My Personal Networking Plan for 2021

Photo from Unsplash

In the new year, I want to launch my own social media business. So networking will and must be a big part of my marketing strategy in the next few months.

In anticipation of that I have already joined local entrepreneur Facebook groups where I am going to put my focus on in the next few months.

Especially now that we are facing Covid-19, my networking will be mostly online in the next few months. I am going to try my best to network in person as well, but since I’m immune-compromised I have to extra careful.

I plan to be more present in the (local) Facebook groups that I mentioned, to introduce myself and my business and to comment, ask questions and to answer questions. I want to give more to those groups than I want to take. And I plan on building relationships with some of the people in those groups and I hope to get some meaningful connections and to also further my business through that.

What options can you recommend for online networking? Let me know in the comments.

Marketing and Social Media Tools that Surprised Me

Marketing and Social Media Tools that Surprised Me

Photo found on Unsplash

During the last few months, while taking this social media certificate at Algonquin College, I have found quite a few new social media marketing tools and applications. Some were completely unexpected to me.
The two applications that I am going to mention in today’s blog, I want to explore more in the next few months.

TikTok

I started exploring a few new tools and I must say that I thought that I would be too old for TikTok because their demographic is between the ages of 16-24. But after giving it a closer look I started to like it and made an account. I am not sure yet how often I will post something there, because I am still figuring out the platform but the more time I spent on it the more I like it.
And quite honestly, I never thought I would say that about TikTok.

With 800 million active users this app can just be worth a try and be a powerful tool in the marketing strategy of any business.

Photo by: http://www.canva.com

Canva

The second social media marketing tool that was unexpected for me is Canva. Before I took the courses at Algonquin College I had heard about Canva, but I was surprised how user-friendly the tool is and that even the free version lets you create beautiful content for your social media platforms.
Recently I started using Canva to help create content for my first client that she used on her Instagram page (see screenshot below). This will be my go-to tool for the future for creating content.

What social media marketing tools and applications surprised you? Let me know in the comments below.

Strong and Weak Social Media Strategies – A Case Study

Strong and Weak Social Media Strategies – A Case Study

Dove Real Beauty Campaign
Image: Dove/picture-alliance/dpa

Dove had launched the Real Beauty Campaign in 2004 because of a global study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report. In this report, just 2% of women worldwide had described themselves as beautiful.
They started a worldwide conversation about the definition of beauty when they launched their campaign in 2004.

And the Real Beauty Campaign was probably one of the first digital campaigns that attracted a massive following (26 million people). Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is now going strong for over 15 years. They consistently release new and engaging content to their customers and followers and sometimes ask them to participate in it as well. Which makes the customers also the content creator.
Dove also makes great use of Facebook (almost 30 million followers), Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

But since Dove first launched their “Real Beauty Campaign” many other companies have jumped on the bandwagon to what we now call “Femvertising”.

Image source: https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html

Another strategy that I like, that is also part of “Femvertising” and that looks like it is paying off for the company is Mattel’s “Inspiring Women – You Can Be Anything” Campaign for Barbie that they launched after their sales started to drop 20% between 2012 and 2014.
Mattel knew they had to make some changes and with Barbie’s 60th birthday in 2019 they had some time to plan. They brought out a diverse range of dolls (skin/hair color) and of different professions, such as an astronaut, news anchor, judge, soccer player, pilot, firefighter etc. And also 20 Barbie dolls of real-life inspiring women, such as Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhardt and Sally Ride.

Just in time for Barbie’s birthday she also got her own YouTube channel, they partnered up with Virgin Atlantic Airlines to show younger girls the scope of what a career of a pilot, the cabin crew or an engineer looks like.

Barbie documented the launch of the new dolls around the world also on her Instagram account.

Thanks to those marketing efforts Barbie gained 75.000 followers across all platforms and received 4.5 times the digital engagement on social. And Mattel’s sales jumped up 12% after this campaign as well. Success all around!

Poor Strategies On Social Media – Ancestry.com

Image: Ancestry

In early 2019 Ancestry.com brought out an advertisement online that generated a lot of backlash and made them pull the ad fairly quickly.

If you watch the ad you will see that Ancestry.com is clearly romanticizing and whitewashing a slavery-era love story between a black woman and a white man.

In the video which is named “Inseparable”, the man presents a wedding ring to the woman, and then says that they can run away to “a place we can be together across the border”.

After the video was taken down Ancestry.com also issued an apology.

To prevent this, I think Ancestry.com should next time test and go over their ads with a test-audience. Mistakes like that can be avoided and if possible they should not draw on sexuality, gender, race or disability remarks when creating content.

They proved to us before that they can create great ads/strategies for example with the “My Story” Campaign.

Tools and Sources – My Favorites

Tools and Sources – My Favorites

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

In this blog post I am going to talk about my two favorite social media listening & monitoring tools and my two favorite sources for social media news & updates. I am going to explain why I like them more compared to their competition.

Awario & Buzzsumo

What I like about Awario and Buzzsumo is that they are very user friendly. Compared to Mentionlytics, Awario & Buzzsumo did not overwhelm me.
I am still a beginner in social media monitoring and listening and learn with each time that I use one of these tools.
But even after a week, I could not make much sense out of Mentionlytics.
But with Awario & Buzzsumo I was comfortable right from the start.

I had a trial with all of them, but their prices vary quite a bit. Awario starts at 49$ a month, Buzzsumo starts at 99$ a month compared to Mentionlytics which starts at 39$ a month.

Awario monitors social media non-stop and sends you updates per email if that is your wish.
And you get analytics, for example about a companies sentiment online. This can also be easily shared with your colleagues.

My favourite, Buzzsumo lets you track cost-per-click, you can find content through their search engine, you can track keywords and it shows you which keywords are the most popular for your chosen industry, it also lets you find influencers and you can watch the competition, monitor mentions of your brand name and lastly it creates reports for you that are easy to export and send to your boss or colleagues.

Mentionlytics is a mix of Awario and Buzzsumo. It is not a bad tool. I was just not comfortable with it and for me, their dashboard lacked some clarity on how to find, use and set up activities.

Sprout Social & Social Media Today

My favourite outlets for social media news & updates are Sprout Social and Social Media Today.

Sprout Social is one of the leading social media management tools and they also have a blog with news and updates about the social media community.
I find their blog very helpful and informative. Especially for a beginner in social media, they offer a lot of helpful advice and tips.

Another page I started following recently is Social Media Today. I like that they have a wide range of topics. You can find marketing, PR, social media, advertising and business-related articles on their website.

I also like Forbes or the Huffington Post, but especially Forbes is a bit too business-like for my taste. Most of their articles are business-related. I can not really say why it is not my favourite news page, but I find the tone that Sprout Social and Social Media Today write in, is more personal and authentic. They reach me more on a personal level.

What are your favourite monitoring & listening tools? And what are your favourite social media news outlets?
Let me know in the comment section.

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels.com)

What I learnt in this course is, that we need great storytelling for compelling content marketing that will grasp the attention of the consumer. Especially in the fast-paced world of social media in that, we live today.

I also learnt that we should not be afraid to make mistakes and not to over-edit our work. We learn and grow from our mistakes – as writers and marketers. In the past, I was always too scared to make mistakes or thought I should not write about a certain subject, but after this course, I will change that.

We also need to remember to be transparent in the relationship with our customers. So, I will try and find a piece of myself in every story that I will write from now on.

I was also too afraid to be too personal in the content that I post online, but now I will start to embrace that and be more transparent and share more personal stories.
Thank you!

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Photo by: Eike Peter Scholz; 2017

I never thought or even had the dream of becoming a model. But in 2011 I accompanied my sister to find her wedding dress in a Bridal Store in our hometown in Germany.

When we were ready to leave, the owner asked me if I wanted to model for her on the runway. And that’s how I landed my first model gig.

The owner of a bridal store hired me for three runway shows. I had never modeled before which meant I was about to learn how to pose and walk like a model on the job.

Luckily, some of the other and more experienced models gave me a few modelling lessons while we were waiting to go on the runway.

This experience was my first and only model experience until I met a photographer named Eike on the Frankfurt Zombiewalk in 2014, three years later. (He made all photos you can see on today’s blog post)

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz; 2014 – Zombiewalk Frankfurt

I don’t know how Eike saw that I could be a model for Portrait and Fashion photography, but he approached me that day at the Zombiewalk in Frankfurt and told me to message him to set up a photoshoot. Later I found out, that we just lived across the road from each other. Small world!

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz Fotografie

But this was the beginning of my modelling career. Since moving to Canada and because of Covid-19 it has slowed down quite a bit. But I’m sure it will pick up again when things get back to “normal”.

But you never know how your life might change. I certainly never thought I would model but I enjoy it very much and have found really good friends through it.

Did something like that happen to you as well? Let me know in the comments.

My Personal Brand

As a freelance model, I had to think quite often what kind of qualities or characteristics set me apart from models in my area.
One might be obvious. My red hair and my fair skin.

But the reason why some photographers keep booking me again or recommend me to their colleagues is that I am very professional, reliable, friendly, kind, confident and disciplined.

If need be, I can also plan and organize a hole photoshoot with a few days or offer an idea to a photographer. All of this I learned in the past 6 years of working as a model.

I have a Facebook business page and Instagram page for my modeling where I post about every two weeks. I also joined modeling and photography groups on Facebook to network and find new contacts for photoshoots (since I am still fairly new in town). Even when I do not post new content in those groups often, I do comment and/or engage on posts of other photographers and models.

After Covid-19 I plan to start meeting with photographers again. This time with photographers I have not made any photos yet to expand my network.

Any tips and tricks you can share with me? Then please, leave me a comment! Thank you.

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

In my post today I want to talk about the Daily Twist campaign that Oreo launched in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie.

What I like about this campaign is that Oreo is not trying to sell us anything with this ad.

They are trying to connect with the consumer and I believe they were successful.

How Oreo made advertising fun

They took holidays and days that we celebrate (like pride month, grandparent day), current & historical events, meme’s from the internet and landmarks etc.

Oreo shared those ads daily on their Facebook page. Their 30 million followers loved it and shared it with their friends without Oreo asking them to do that. People just loved it that much.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

Oreo’s Daily Twist was engaging, colourful, aesthetic and fun. This ad did not want to sell anything to you. It was entertaining.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

It shows us that advertising or engagement with our consumers does not always have to be “you have to buy this product!” Or “buy this product because it is the best out there!”. Ads can be fun and show off your product in a new way that your consumers have not seen before.

Try it out, you might be surprised!

Any similar ads that you can recommend to me? Or any advice on how to improve business to consumer advertising? Thank you for reading.

Characteristics You Need To Be a Professional Model

Model: Rena Grey (me) Photo by: Venustas Fotografie; 2017

Characteristics

The typical characteristics that a good photographer should have are:

Patient

  • Be patient. Taking the right photo is not always as easy as it looks and the set have to set up and the photographer must get ready as well.

Confidence

  • You must show confidence in the way you enter a room or in the way you express yourself. You might not be as confident as you present yourself, but no one must know that! 😉

Commitment

  • A model must be committed to the project. Especially in the beginning, you might get a lot of “no’s” before you hear a “yes”. And photographers might cancel on you as well. Be prepared for that.

Persistent

  • As I just mentioned you might hear a lot of “no’s”. You must embrace those and just believe that you will get the next job. It is not personal.
  • Be realistic that millions out there want to be a model.

Creative

  • A model needs to be creative. Especially when you are not working as a big model like Heidi Klum, then photographers might ask you for an idea and the vision for the final photo.

Communication Skill

  • A model needs to be able to communicate with the photographer behind the lens on how they need to move and what vision they have for the final photo (which should also be discussed before the Photo shoot).

Professional

  • Modelling is not as easy as it looks. Models must be in perfect “condition” when they arrive on set. Remember to be always on time, friendly, return calls and dress professionally.

Tools and Strategies

The tools a model should be using online are Instagram, Flickr and Facebook. From my personal experience, I can say that those are the best platforms to reach photographers.

I tried Twitter, but I just was not able to get a good following there.

Another thing I can recommend is to look at Facebook and Instagram Insights. This way you will know which post was most loved by your followers and you can create more content like that.

In the beginning, I joined all my local photography Facebook groups as well, to connect and to make the community aware that I exist. This way I was able to slowly expand my model portfolio and my network.

I also used Facebook Ads in the very beginning to grow my Facebook business page, which helped a lot and I have some of the followers to this day.

Another thing I did was to use hashtags every-time I posted a photo (for example #ottawamodel #portraitoftheday #portraitphotography). And sometimes that is how the photographers would find me too.

Do you have any other tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments.

Storytelling – A History & What I Learnt About It

Photo by Lady Escabia from Pexels

What I learnt this week was that to write good content, we have to learn and understand the history of storytelling and that there is a method to good storytelling. Like the “Inverted Pyramid Writing”.

Of course I knew that humans have been telling stories since ancient times, but I think we rarely think about that in our daily lives.
Even printing books is fairly knew if you think about how long humanity exists.

1450 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and made books widely available for the common people.

And as mentioned this week, now we have radio, movies and the world wide web with which we can share our stories.

All that happened in the last 100 years. I think sometimes it is hard for us humans to catch up with all of that. Especially with social media and how fast it develops and changes.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had never heard of the “Inverted Pyramid Writing” before.

Algonquin College – Digital Communication Course

But when I think about the many articles that I have read, then I can see that the writer used the Pyramid to create good content.
I will keep this in mind and try to do the same for my blog posts.

What did you learn about good storytelling and the history of it? Let me know in the comment section!