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I sometimes get asked what my job is. Specifically, as a writer: where/what do you write? How does a writer make money? Are you paid for your blog? Is there a day job we don't know about? Those sorts of things.
It's a funny little gig. I worked in the corporate world for years and years and never had that "dream" of someday making it as a writer. My dream was to feel inspired creatively. To work with people I love. To continually train my 'eye.' To learn about art forms of all types. And, eventually that lead to writing.
Honing in on what that truly meant for a j-o-b took a little time.
Something I don't specifically "advertise" much (in whatever meaning that word has these days) is the other part of my job. Consulting work. I've grown that part of my business organically, word of mouth mostly.
So truly here's what my job is:
- As stated: I'm a writer. As lots of you know I have a book coming out this fall (and published book #1 in '14). I write this blog, which means I have sponsored posts both here and on instagram too, and those sponsorships are specific to brands that I already love and am thrilled to share with you all. Plus I occasionally contribute to other sites or publications too.
- Secondly: I'm a creative concepter. So what exactly does that mean? Well first I'll back up. In 2011 I launched a company (which I've talked about in previous brand posts) that produced fashion events. My team produced upwards of 50 fashion & design focused events a year. Our targets: influencers, media, buyers and tastemakers. Before that my corporate job was with a beauty brand for 10+ years. I worked in sales, marketing, operations and more.
In 2016 I shifted my focus. I believe the future for creatives often lies in the digital world and experiential concepts.
So presently: As a creative concepter I have clients of all types: authors, educators, bloggers, and beauty brands to name a few, of which I create digital strategies for. Some days I'm coaching them on their digital presence. Some days my team and I develop websites and some days it's look books, Instagram and Facebook pages, and it's all with a goal of attracting new business directly through the digital space.
Here's a few examples of our clients whose stuff I'm just loving right now.
First is Life Butter Radio. Life Butter is a podcast and blog out of London dedicated to both celebrating and demystifying wellness and beauty. It's a place where science meets lifestyle. For Life Butter our focus is to develop aesthetically brilliant social media pages filled with copy and images that speak to what the host of the show shares on the podcast and blog.
Second is Cinderella Chats. Cinderella (yes that's her real name) is an author and creative, whose talents include not only writing, but wedding planning, workshop and event hosting, speaking and more. For Cinderella our goal was to build a website filled with girly sparkle that will attract women of all ages to celebrate each other. Cinderella's mission was key to our strategy: encouraging women to keep their heads up and standards high!
Third is Paris Parker Salons & Spas. Paris Parker is a beauty company with 9 salon and spa locations: their mantra: “be your best self, live your best life.” Our work for Paris Parker involves image concepting, seasonal look book development and social media strategy and execution.
I'm sharing this with you today for a few reasons. I'm often asked what first steps to take when building a brand strategy if your budget is teeeeeneeeensy.
Or, how to build a strategy when you're starting from scratch or relaunching your business for example. Or, how to create a blog when you can't pay a developer tens of thousands of dollars, and even if you can, how do you get people to actually read it?
I'm excited to speak on this exact topic at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (p.s. this part's a shameless plug and I beg all of you in New Orleans to pretty please come to my class and hang with me, we'll have fun I promise). Plus, I've started an e-book series on the topic as well.
So whether it's developing a website, a digital look book, or creating a social media plan there's a strategy to it all. My first e-book covers the basics. (There's a link below to get it!)
It includes an overview on the most popular social media channels, questions to ask yourself when determining your market, an overview of the apps I recommend for iPhone photos and a few do's and don'ts when creating social media posts.
Part 2 is coming next, it'll focus on developing your brand voice. No matter what you're doing: launching a new blog, building your instagram page, creating an online shop, you're voice is key. How your potential readers/followers/shoppers 'hear' you determines what conversation they'll be willing to have back.
A note: what we don't focus on is how to reach 10K followers on instagram for example, because our goal is dedicated and engaged customers for our clients. The real deal brand "you" takes time and commitment to content and relationships, we believe the "followers' will come with a commitment to being your best digital self (and your best IRL self too, of course).
If you're interested in receiving part 2 and other brand strategy tips sign up for my e-mail list here!
I hope the e-book is helpful to you all! Feel free to share it with friends and let me know how it's working for you. In the meantime, my team (all #girlbosses in their own right) and I are working quickly to get Part 2 ready for you. And! Be sure to give a listen to Life Butter, a hello! to Cinderella and a follow to Paris Parker.
Plus, here's a few goodies to dress up your office.
Thanks for being here you guys!