Brand ambassadors and small businesses are on social media all the time - they're constantly "on" and connected using live streams to show their viewers behind the scenes, exclusive sneak peek previews of their beautiful models, overlay shots and highly edited product shots.
What avenues are you currently using for yourself? Can you easily translate the platforms you already use towards your creative business?
Is your business reflective of your own personal brand? Can you keep this theme consistent throughout all the platforms you decide to use?
Creating a separate profile for your business is a helpful option, not to mention free - if the context of your business is different from your own personality and aura.
Instagram has an extensive, international reach, attracting new followers and customers every minute, with strategic use of appropriate hashtags and profile follows. Instagram stories, a newer feature allows you to create 10 second videos, Boomerang animations, or live videos of static events you'd like to broadcast to your viewers.
Snapchat has surprisingly taken the media by storm - many digital publications (i.e. BuzzFeed, MTV, People Magazine) are opting for Snapchat stories to convey a personalized outlet for users to 'snap' to their friends. Similarly to Instagram, you can create 24-hour static snaps that are accessed through your story, however you can also
Just don't go overboard with posting your selfies of Dog-Licking filters.
Creating a Facebook business page that is separate from your personal profile makes it organized and streamlined to create a public feed that users can follow and subscribe to. You can boost posts and create Facebook ads easily by creating a daily or weekly budget that you can control based on your targeted audience reach. Compared to Google Ads, Facebook ads are a feasible alternative if you do not have a large marketing budget and are hoping to do some initial market testing. Analytics such as impression count, post activity, and call-to-answer count is vital to helping you understand how to better cater to your online audience.
If you don't already 'pin' your dream wedding dresses, your perfect brunch spread, or the cutest Shiba Inus you come across on the World Wide Web, I will inform you that Pinterest can be a remarkable asset for creative businesses.
It is a curation of images and links, categorized in collections called 'boards.' Boards convey ideas and themes in the voice of the business to your target demographic. If you have a US bank account, you can also allow followers to buy directly from any of your own pinned products.
Using apps like Later on your mobile device and IFTTT ("If This Then That") to streamline your digital accounts (i.e. social media platforms, Google account, iOS account) will not only make your life more manageable but also free up your own personal time from posting the same posts on many different platforms multiple times throughout the day. It is important to schedule posts such as seasonal sales in advance to reach a wider grasp of your niche audience while they are active on their social media apps (i.e. 9am & 5pm on weekdays). These times and days will all change depend accordingly but if you do your research and test out a few time slots per day, you can be sure to hit a larger fraction of your key demographic.
Email marketing (i.e. MailChimp) can be quite helpful when used in tandem with regular updates on your social media channels. The advantages with email marketing are that you can control and filter what your subscribers are interested in based on email opens, post clicks, responses to your call-to-action and other analytics that are provided. Obtaining subscribers can be sourced from sign-up forms that you can plug in to your social media channels (i.e. Twitter or Facebook posts) or by asking viewers to subscribe via a simple pop-up on a website landing page is also an option.
This is just a snippet of the variety of social media channels that you can use to help optimize and enable your business marketing - mostly all for free and at the ease of your smartphone. This list is not limited to also include the following:
I started social media channel accounts for Facade Toronto, based on the apps I was drawn to and was already using organically. Instagram and Facebook are huge helping stones in helping me integrate my shop's products, analyze viewer activity, and promote the hell out of flash sales and more relevantly, this blog.
In turn, they have also helped me reach new followers and customers just by using the right #hashtags, keeping consistent and authentic with the brand aesthetic, and connect on a personal level with other business owners and designers around the world.
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One of the greatest advantages of working in the creative industry is coming into contact with the sheer amount of talent that you can work and collaborate with on projects. The digital age has definitely sealed the deal in helping us approach industry professionals and start-up gurus with a slick email conversation, direct message, tweet, or Instagram message.
Oftentimes we are caught under the impression that if we have an incredible roster of big-name talent helping and supporting our brand, that we will have made it - whatever that means.
Be careful and diligent in the beginning about whom you decide to bring into your brand as you want it to stay consistent and as authentic as possible throughout its lifetime.
First and foremost, are you working as a partnership or a sole proprietor?
The most immediate thought when starting a creative business is how much $$$ will be involved?
Fortunately, if you are a young adult living in the GTA and under 29 years of age, there are lots of great resources, FREE of cost and easily accessible as long as you have an open mind to apply.