I recommend this to anyone wanting to market their business online. The content is a great refresher, even if you're already selling online. It covers the basics and is a reminder of how important the details are in digital marketing.
It's the end of January 2018, and I'm posting images from my social media brainstorming on social good posts for the year. My post also illustrates a creative process, which you can try to emulate on your own, or hire me to do for you. In summary, the steps are:
- Write down all ideas, at a time when it feels important.
- Do online searches to expand the idea, collect your favorite.
- Analyze what you like the most, recreate the core design.
- Design materials and format for use, schedule, and publish!
1. Brainstorming 2018 social promotion
What gets me motivated is experiences of waste and what makes me depressed is scarcity. By thinking about what consumes my mind the most, I'm identifying what issues I would like to work through this year. My goal is a greater understanding of what actions I can take to result in positive change. The problems I'm thinking about are:
- Work less, get paid more. How much should I work?
- Work smarter, not harder. What is the value of free time?
- Relax, stress kills. What can I do to live a good long life?
2. Expanding with incremental change
I reflect on my brainstorm with a more calm mind and see I'm very polarized in my thinking. I have a black and white view of issues when in reality there are many colors. My mind is highlighting differences, but I can easily break the limiting perspective into more possibilities. I do this by illustrating change, as I have in the example below, simply by adding one middle image to the picture. I start with a polluted city, in the center I add a seaside town, and finally an isolated cabin in the mountains.
Ideas about change in scale can be more magical and also dramatic when we look at examples of living creatures. In thinking a little more about what concerns me, I feel so uplifted by images of natures metamorphosis. Images of biological change are inspirational to me because I see life is full of sudden and magical changes. Here are two pictures that show changes in a frog and a moth. Isn't is amazing?
3. Analyzing and recreating a Good example
The women's march inspires me because they made many images available to be used in promoting their causes. There are many creative signs made for this movement too. As direct inspiration, I'm emulating it by publishing this post.
These are the graphics style notes I made about their work:
- Limited color
- Graphic/illustration image or just text
- Call to action, strong unifying theme
- Focus on face
4. Formatting, scheduling, and publishing
The result of this project is six square images to use in social media to promote critical thinking. Along with the graphic, I will include a quote and a reflective question in the social media posts.
The social media graphics include my passion from the initial brainstorm, but also cover research. I selected black, yellow, and purple as the primary colors. Yellow and purple are opposite each other on the color wheel and represent the kind of polarizing thinking associated with the tension in motivating forces. I selected graphics of heads with different colors and style to illustrate changes in thinking, diversity, and personality.
- What creative technique is the most relaxing?
- If you work less, what would you create in the free time?
- Where can you freestyle express yourself to release stress?
- “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.” ― Mary Oliver
- "Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind." — Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Click here to download all six jpg files. I'm sharing with under the share-and-share-alike creative commons license with no commercial use. Please join me in promoting creative mindfulness this year, and if you like these graphics, please share them.
As a visual designer, my business is a sole proprietorship which is an enterprise owned and run by one person where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. I review my marketing at least once a year and use LivePlan to manage it. The graphics below are from last year. I will be making new graphics for 2018 based on these notes.
The marketing strategy
My marketing strategy matches Foreverbird Studios brand position. Foreverbird Studio advocates meaningful connection, sustainable design, and original creative work. To communicate this I use intimate content marketing strategies, and that means I publish original content in my name and write in a casual, conversational tone. However, I don't talk about myself all the time. I talk about the people I collaborate with and creative work that inspires me. You can meet the people I collaborate with on my Creative Community page.
It's taken me years to figure out my strategies, and it is still a work in progress. Reporting shows I had a spike in people liking my content even though I had a dip in visitors. More likes and comments are what I want to see, and I'm not concerned about a dip in overall page views. Imagine a bull's eye target, and the small center is also the most valuable. I intend to reach people who appreciate what I do. In 2018 I will be publishing less frequently but spending more time on each article.
The marketing budget
A marketing plan usually is about 7-10% of operating costs. If you are a startup, that could be upwards of 30%. Most of my marketing is person to person networking. I do not do any paid advertising, but I do promote some ads in social media.
I benefit from my past work in content marketing. I have been blogging for eight years, so people find my site from search, social media, and direct links. I expect to have over 6k people in 2018. To put that in perspective, Yelp recently charged me $14.74 per click. If I planned to pay Yelp for 6k visitors, it would cost me $88,440 next year in advertising.
The most significant cost in my budget is my time. In 2018 I plan to spend about $30 on event fees and 8 hours of my time each month.
The sales funnel
It's vital that my marketing efforts lead to sales because I need to make money. Sales and product pricing is the area of marketing I will be working on and my focus is on in-person sales in 2018. I will continue to optimize and clean up my online and retail presence by writing user experience cartoons. I plan to translate these so I can utilize the new MailChimp automation email capabilities.
Setting up a content marketing schedule helps in attracting customers who are interested in purchasing your product. There are two main parts to this task. The first part of the task is to create the content. The second part to this task is to set up a publishing schedule.
If you are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign you may or may not want to read this post. It includes an example low budget crowdfunding marking plan.