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How to Optimize Your Instagram to Get More Clients

For the past 10 years, I’ve had the pleasure of managing Instagram strategies for a variety of brands including Carolina Parent magazine, UNC-TV, RainbowMe Kids, and more. Even with Hey Awesome Girl’s small Instagram account, we’ve been able to attract many clients and leads to our six-figure business.

When it comes to Instagram, apart from getting instagram followers, there are a few things you want to keep in mind in order to use it to grow your online business: how things look and what your content says. Both things are essential to your profile being discoverable and attractive for social media audiences.

Here are the 5 things you can do to optimize your Instagram account. 

1. Optimize your account profile

That means having an appropriate and easy-to-see profile image, if you’re a business that means using your logo or image representative of your company. If you’re a personal brand, it’s best to use a picture of yourself.

How to optimize you Instagram account profile:

  • Use a concise, keyword-rich bio.
  • Include keywords in your bio that your target audience would be searching for.
  • Pick a category for your type of business.
  • Add a call to action at the bottom of your profile.

Optimizing your profile will help your potential clients and customers find your profile more attractive.

Optimizing-Instagram-for-Consulting-Business-profile

2. Curate your post images

Consider using a consistent color scheme, or filter so your images match. Or use a grid layout where every other image has a different look or filter.

Keep in mind too, that if you’re using your Instagram account for business, your content shouldn’t be about what you want to see, but what your target audience wants to see. Consistently deliver that content so your potential clients and customers want to follow you!

curate your social images

3. Use hashtags to make your content discoverable

Hashtags are a way to organize content on Instagram, by grouping it together. Think about the hashtags that matter to your target audience and then use them in your content.

Hashtags make your content discoverable on instagram. When you use the right hashtags, your target audience, your potential clients and customers can find your business.

use hashtags on social media

4. Post a variety of content types

What should you actually post on Instagram if you want to get more clients, customer and gigs online? You want to use a content mix that does a numbers of things:

  1. Helps make people want to engage with your content;
  2. Helps people understand who you are and what you do; and
  3. Promotes what you do so you can actually book clients, customers, and gigs. 

I call these content categories “Amplify, Brand and Sell” Content.

Your “Amplify” content appeals to your target audience. This is stuff they want to like, share or save. The engagement with this type of content amplifies your results in the Instagram algorithm and it helps more people become aware of your business.

Your “brand” content gives people insight into who you are as a company or brand or as a person.

Your “Sell” content drives people to take action towards working with you.

Make sure you have a good mix of the three. Too much of one or the other type and your Instagram strategy won’t be effective.

vary your content types

5. Check your analytics and repeat what works

The last thing you want to do is check your Instagram analytics, or "Insights." Upgrade your instagram account to be a business or creator account and you’ll have access to analytics to help you understand lots of things to make your Instagram strategy more effective. 

With access to Instagram Insights, you'll be able to understand things like:

  • How discoverable is your content?
  • How many interactions does your content get?
  • What’s your audience looks like?
  • What of your content is most popular?

Reviewing your analytics can help you understand what to post more of so you get better results from your Instagram account for your business.

use analytics to find what works

Those are the 5 things you can do to optimize your Instagram account for more clients, customers and gigs.

Again, those things are:

  1. Optimizing your account profile
  2. Curating your profile images
  3. Use hashtags to make your content discoverable
  4. Posting a variety of content types
  5. Checking your analytics and repeat what works

Want to take this even further?

Grab our free Instagram profile Cheatsheet—it includes a cool Instagram carousel post template, for making some beautiful and dynamic IG posts.

Instagram Profile Cheat Sheet
Get Our Instagram Profile Cheatsheet and Post Template

How to Set Goals You Actually Want to Achieve – ManiPlan with Hey Awesome Girl

Do you ever find yourself setting goals only to realize that you feel totally overwhelmed or uninspired at the idea of achieving them?

Well today, I'm going to share with you a system that helps me plan beautiful goals that I actually want to achieve... and trust me, it makes it a helluva lot easier to accomplish them.

I'm a BIG goal setter. I was that kid in elementary school who would write out her goals for the new school year every summer and write highly detailed plans for achieving those goals. If there was a goal that needed to be accomplished, my little Capricorn brain could create a plan for achieving it. I JOYFULLY did this every year, sometimes a few times per year for decades.

But, true story, as I got deeper into running my own business (one that would later turn into Hey Awesome Girl), I would set goals and make plans only to feel really, really depressed at the idea of achieving those goals. For some reason when it came to business, something had gone seriously wrong with my goal-setting mojo.

The interesting part of this was that at the same time that my typical goal setting mojo no longer seemed to work for me, I'd discovered a new practice that was working for me - really, really well... Back then I called it ManiFiction... and here's what it is and how I discovered it.

In 2010, I was 25, I'd just quit my full-time job at a regional magazine and started my own business. My ex-husband and I also separated that year. Over the next several years I went through a TON (like a ton - ton) of ups and downs in life and business. Some were earth-shattering, some were challenging, some just fuckin' sucked... but during that time I also got deep into studying a topic that I'd been interested in since I was a kid: fiction writing.

I studied screenwriting tips for fiction writers. I devoured writing craft books and I immersed myself in many, many stories of love and adventure. The craft of storytelling allowed me to make a ton of connections in my brain that still serve me to this day in my work.

But fiction's most valuable asset to me was that it gave me a tool to escape my often harsh realities and see things differently. So I started applying it to my life. I started writing stories about what my future could look like and I called it ManiFiction = Manifestation + Fiction.

Now, while my mom could tell you about one of my earliest works of ManiFiction from my 6th-grade journal that featured me and a cute boy whose name I can't even remember – that little story got me grounded for MONTHS! – ManiFiction in my adult life served a purpose other than just entertaining me.

ManiFiction for me started as a way to feel better, to cope with difficult situations, and to heal myself, but it morphed into a really beautiful system I use often to set goals that feel good.

Once I realized the power of this craft, I started calling it ManiPlanning, because it's a beautiful combination of manifestation and planning. I loved it so much that I made it a Hey Awesome Girl value.

As Hey Awesome Girl celebrates the 4 year anniversary of its inception – the idea for Hey Awesome Girl came to me on October 16, 2016 – we're hosting a ManiPlanning Workshop in our free Hey Awesome Girl Community. We'll discuss details on how to ManiPlan and support each other in the process. Join if you want to participate in real-time and enjoy the outline of our process below.

How to Set Goals You Actually Want to Achieve! AKA How to ManiPlan with Hey Awesome Girl

Why ManiPlanning: At HAG, we believe that planning should be beautiful, emotional, inspiring, and infused with the power of storytelling and manifestation.

This is the best way to create goals and plans you actually want to execute!

How many times have you made plans for yourself that sit on metaphorical shelves, collecting digital dust because you aren't actually motivated enough to achieve them?

🙋🏾‍♀️ I KNOW I'm not the only person who has plans - on plans - on plans, but sometimes looks at them like "Ugh! I don't actually want to do this!"

How ManiPlanning is different: ManiPlanning, at its simplest level is 3 easy steps, based on a VISION that you have for your life. It's the vision that is key to the likelihood of you executing the plan.

Your vision has to be strong, pure, and infused with a ton of emotion in order for your ManiPlan to be successful.

Here's how to create your ManiPlan:

Set a timer and write your vision for the next 6-months

Step 1: Set a timer and write your vision for 6 months from now

Look at the calendar and pick a date 6 months from now. Now open up your favorite writing software or journal and put that date at the top of the page.

Now set a timer for 30 minutes (you can write longer if you need to, but start with 30 minutes) and write a story, from the first-person point of view (as if you were writing in your journal) about where you are, what you have and what you're doing.

write out the emotions you want to feel

Step 2: Write out the emotions that you want to feel in your future

Infuse your story with a ton of emotion. Within your story, write about how you feel at this point in the future. How happy are you and why? If you can't authentically write from a place of pure joy, your vision might not be something you actually want to achieve. Consider starting over.

write out how you will accomplish this

Step 3: Write out how you accomplished it.

Now look over your vision and your emotions, look at the date you put at the top of your assignment, then outline how you achieved these results.

While you're basking in your feelings of accomplishment, outline how you got there. What did you do to achieve these big goals in the next 6 months? Use the positive emotions you feel to joyfully write out your plan with as much actionable detail as possible.

Writing about the steps you took to achieve your goals in the past tense will help you feel the feeling of success and you'll be more confident when you undertake the journey to accomplish your vision.

Is your vision logical, ambitious, crazy, inspiring? It's great to have a big beautiful vision, but the vision needs to be executable in order to put the PLAN in ManiPlan.

Got it? That's it, that's the basics of ManiPlanning.

Try it a few times to get the hang of it.

Remember: Your emotions are your only judge for this assignment and you only get a pass/fail grade. If your vision and plan make you feel good and inspired, it's a pass. Otherwise, it's a fail and you should start over until you get a pass.

If you want to get more ManiPlanning guidance as well as some inspiration to help you finish this year strong, join our "Finish 2020 Strong" ManiPlanning Challenge by joining the Hey Awesome Girl Community on Facebook.

Here's to you manifesting your biggest, most-beautiful dreams! 🥂

Best,
Tivi

3 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Consulting Business

I talk to many creative people who want to turn their passions or hobbies into a career in the consulting business that will allow them to quit their day job. They have big dreams fueled by the profound sense of unhappiness they feel heading into their job day after day. But, usually, there are 3 things they don't consider before making the leap into consulting full-time.

I, myself, learned some of these lessons the hard way. 😂

1. Working for yourself is WORK. Hard work. Some of which you won't get paid for.

When you first start planning to work for yourself, you may not think about all the extra work you will do that you DON'T get paid for directly. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks and responsibilities that have to be taken care of that no one pays you for if you're a one or two-person show. For example:

Business planning - This can be a big timesuck if you do it right. You could spend hours and hours on branding and marketing plans or you could shell out money to have someone else do it for you.

Accounting - Keeping track of finances, even with top-of-the-line accounting software takes time and resources.

Technology - if you have a website, Facebook page, Instagram account, Etsy store, analytics accounts - who is managing that for you?

Prospecting - looking to add clients? Chances are you will spend lots of time in the courting phase before you even...uh, score with them.

Note: I type this at 5 o'clock in the evening and have been up since 5 am. I will probably bank 11-12 hours of total work time today, much of which isn't actually billable.

2. Some people are employees and others are bosses.

There's no other way to put this, but some people shouldn't work for themselves because their personalities scream "employee."

An employee personality is someone who constantly needs direction, approval, and permission.

If you're stepping out on your own, you are the end-all be-all. If you aren't a self-starter who can roll with the punches, make things happen, and handle being the HBIC - rethink your desire to strike out on your own.

One thing to keep in mind is, you may start off with an employee mindset simply because this is what you are used to. Don't let this discourage you. Keep working at it and break into boss-mode. If you screw up (and you WILL screw up,) dust yourself off and try again.

3. Luck is unheard of.

If you're sitting on your hands waiting for someone to notice how truly amazing you are, you better pack it up, babe.

This is one of my favorite quotes—and I apologize because I don't remember who said it:

"Luck is half preparation and half opportunity."

If your big break comes and you're not ready to grab it by the short and curlies and take it for the ride of your life, then luck is just another thing that's passed you by.

Work, then work, then work some more. Then, when the opportunity comes, you'll be ready to pounce.

Ready to start your consulting business?

Get a head start with our Consulting Kickstart training program, an in-depth training designed to teach you the basics of how to launch, scale and grow a successful online consulting business.

Creating a Digital Consulting Business Plan that Works

What’s the saying... If you fail to plan you plan to fail? While there is some debate on the origin of the phrase, there’s no doubt about the truth of the statement, especially when it comes to running an online consulting business and creating a business plan.

If you don’t plan for your business’ success, you're planning for it to tank.

Yes, running a successful online consulting agency is about talent and skill – maybe even a skill that you're naturally good at – but talent and skill alone will NOT make you a success.

You need a plan. Specifically, you need a BUSINESS plan.

Wait! Stop! Before you freak out and hit the "back" button in your browser or try to leave this site by Googling “Is Tiger King real?” in your search bar, stop for a minute and consider what I'm saying.

If you want an online consulting business, one that actually MAKES you money, you NEED to make a plan!

Don't procrastinate. Don't put it off any longer. Start somewhere! Start right now! Let me help!

Here are 3 simple steps to making a starter business plan for your online consulting business!

Creating a Digital Consulting Business Plan That Works

Step 1. Write down where you want your business to be in yearly intervals.

Be specific. "I want to be rich in 3 years" won't cut it.

Separate your goals into three goal categories: monetary-based, structure/product-based, people/reach-based. You need to do this for the next 2-5 years. Seem daunting? Do it anyway. If you want a business, you gotta think long term, because success comes from sticking with it for the long-term.

For example, a new creative strategy consultant might have the following goals broken up by category:

  • Monetary goal: "In three years, I want to have $10,000 in revenue from my business every month;"
  • Structure/product goal: "In two years, I want to expand my services to include communications and marketing;”
  • People/reach goal: "In one year, I want to have 5 customers per month.”

Why should you break your online consulting business goals down this way?

At their essence, these are the most essential parts of business:

  • Money – without it you're just a starving artist.
  • Product – what are you offering? How can you improve it? How can you better meet the needs of the market?
  • People – if people don't know about your business, you don't have one. See starving artist reference.

Step 2. Put your goals on a calendar and work backward to today, breaking down your goals into smaller steps.

Break them down into three-month interval goals so that you have specific goals every quarter. You'll also need to consider how your goals relate to each other. At this point you may discover that you need to increase your timeline or increase your productivity in order to reach some goals. Don't be afraid to make adjustments.

For example, our lovely creative consultant realizes that in order to reach $10,000 per month, she needs to sell X amount of products to Y amount of people, which means she'll probably need to reach Y-cubed amount of people. And right now, she's just starting out.

Seem overwhelming? It is! And that's fine. This is why it's important to break your goals down into measurable, yummy little bite-sized portions so you can easily digest them.

You can do it!

Our little creative consultant can too! She determines that for the next three years, she needs to solidly connect with 20 people a month to tell them about her business, while actively seeking to maintain previous relationships she nurtured.

How does she do this? Well, my dears, you're getting ahead of me, but read on.

Step 3. For each 3 month goal make daily, weekly + monthly actionable steps.

Break down ways to actually reach your goals! Really, break them into tasks you can accomplish.

For example, our hard-working, ambitious creative consultant decides that in order to produce 20 "solid" contacts a month, she'll need to reach a lot more than that.

She makes the following actionable steps, for example:

  • Connect with five people/businesses every day via three separate social networking streams. (that's 15 connections a day)
  • Send an email to 10 businesses a week about her company.
  • Contact five complementary businesses a month to build relationships (Our brainstorming consultant figures if she can connect with a PR agency or website designed, she could build relationships with their client base.)
  • Outside of regular business operations, our creative consultant plans to talk to seven additional people a week about her business.

Everyone's favorite creative consultant also has a website that she updates regularly with pictures of her work and information about her business. She also encourages everyone she speaks to or connects with to sign up for her email newsletter, which she decides to send out every two weeks with specialized content about her craft. This allows her to update people she's met in the past on what she's doing – and, in a way, she's still nurturing those relationships.

Take the Next Step: Optimize Your Website and Social Media

Did you write all of this down? You should have. I'm a firm believer that writing down plans and goals is the fastest way to accomplishing them.

Once you're done with these steps, you'll have an actionable roadmap away from being a newbie consultant and toward a sustainable business.

And, remember, this is just a start. Your business plan should be a living document that you reference frequently and update as needed.

How to Create a Brand Style Guide + Our Step-by-Step Branding Process

Back in 2010, when consulting became my primary job, I launched my business by teaching an online branding class. I taught creative entrepreneurs how to build a cohesive brand and touched on the most important elements of a brand style guide.

I’ve always been drawn to the idea of branding, probably because branding has always felt like storytelling to me. It’s a heroine’s journey. It’s an experience to behold.

I’ve never wanted to be “told” what a brand is, I’ve wanted to be shown.

As with my favorite books, the BEST brands are love and adventure stories. Stories to which I can relate. The best brands communicate value, belonging, fit, aspirations and so much more. There’s tremendous power in a compelling brand, a power that transcends just a logo.

My favorite brands are more than a logo. The logos are merely a trigger for an emotional experience or a “story” that I tell myself related to their products or services.

I, legit, FEEL things about these brands, and not just because of their visual identity.

Apple brand identity

When I think about Apple, I feel empowered, productive, modern, but also cool; like I’m a hip, tech-savvy creative – or hacker – who frequents coffee shops and embraces minimal, intentional aesthetics.

When I think about Target, I feel inspired. I feel like I’m in the millennial female equivalent to Disneyland – a magical land of wonder, delight and beautifully organized affordable affluence where paychecks disappear faster than you can say Merona.

Target brand identity
ban.do brand identity

When I think about ban.do, I feel like a modern hippie. A chick who feels powerful in pink, but doesn’t take any shit. A woman who has the freedom to surround herself with cutesy products and snarky circumstance.

The fact is – in my mind – neither of these descriptions is far from the truth because the important thing about these brands is that they help me confirm the narratives about myself.

Because here’s the thing: effective branding isn’t about what the branding says about the company, but what the branding says about the consumer.

As I describe in many of my current branding classes: An effective modern brand, a brand that connects deeply with people, is the combination of five key things: your product, your “why,” your brand identity, your brand essence, and strategic marketing.

But what I want to highlight explicitly is how important your target audience is to this equation. They. Are. Everything.

Because they are the heroines of your brand journey and brand experience.

"Effective branding isn't about what the branding says about the company, but what the branding says about the consumer."

And a brand should be an experience. But how do you create an experience with your brand? You do this by creating (and sticking to) a brand style guide. I’ll walk you through my step-by-step branding process for creating one.

But first to put a sharper point on why this matters.

Without a brand experience, your brand:

  • Feels only like a logo.
  • Seems purely transactional.
  • Doesn’t create super fans or excited repeat customers.
  • Might be inconsistent or hard to remember.
  • Won’t produce the results that you want for your business.

With a brand experience, your brand:

  • Is easier to remember.
  • Attracts the right customers.
  • Converts more browsers into buyers.
  • Is easier to maintain and run.
  • Operates with more ease.

Want a done-for-you brand style guide? Our design services can help. Get a brand that is simple, purposeful and crafted to help you grow.

LEARN MORE!

I recently re-organized the Hey Awesome Girl website design services with an improved backend workflow, to offer a quick but effective way to build beautiful, customized, low-stress, but high-conversion websites… but making a great site starts with your brand. This is why I include brand development in every website project – even if you already have a logo and color palette.

The goal is to define (or refine) not just the brand files, but the whole experience. The brand story.

At a basic level, I do this by helping you create a brand style guide. So let’s walk through how you do that.

Create a Brand Style Guide

How to create a brand style guide + Our step-by-step branding process

Step 1: Start with why (and who, how, what and where) – complete a detailed interview or survey.

Before you even start designing you need to understand what you want to represent with your brand and your brand experience. It’s not enough to “just know it” in your head. You have to be able to articulate it. You have to be able to tell that story and show it consistently for your audience.

I help clients articulate this by having them complete a detailed survey before I start designing.

While I ask some questions about the business owner, I focus more on the product, the audience and how the two relate and connect.

Because remember: Your brand experience is NOT about you. It’s about your customer.

Yes, it is your business  – and I do recommend that your branding process starts with your mission, "why," etc., – but you don’t have a company without customers, and a brand only really exists in the hearts and minds of the people who support it.

A meaningful brand is meaningful because people relate to something within the brand.

So I recommend starting your branding process with an in-depth questionnaire designed to help you get to the core of what your brand is, what it provides to consumers and who those consumers are.

Your brand experience is not about you, it's about your customer.

Some questions to ask yourself during this first step are:

  • What are the USPs (unique selling points) of your product?
  • What problems do you solve for people with your product?
  • What does your target audience secretly wish were true about their lives that your product can help them with?
  • What emotions do people feel when they interact with your product?
  • What story do consumers tell themselves when they interact with your product?

These are just a few questions that will help you get to the heart of your brand.

I have an in-depth questionnaire for my branding and website design clients. I’ve taken many of them and converted them into a workbook to help you uncover the core of your brand experience.

Step 2: Look for a jumping off point.

pin color palettes that appeal to your brand

Once I’ve journeyed deep into exploring the descriptions of the company, the products, and the audience with an in-depth survey, then I need a jumping off point to start designing.

While a survey gives me lots of in-depth written information that I can start designing with, a large part of branding is taking the vision out of the client's head and putting it on paper. And – let’s be real – for individual businesses, appealing to the desired aesthetics of the business owner is essential for a satisfying working relationship.

Yes, I said – and I will repeat – Your brand experience is NOT about you. It’s about your customer, but I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t think that the desires of the business owner come into play in the design process. I want my clients to be happy, so I don’t just guess what they might want for their design out of thin air – or worse – tell them what they should have.

I prefer to take my lead from the client by making them SHOW me what they like before I start designing.

As part of my brand design process, all clients are required to create a visual inspiration board. The best way I’ve found to do this is via a shared secret Pinterest board. Pinterest is a designer’s heaven and an easy way to curate ideas for design.

And you can use it too. Whether you’re working on your brand yourself or for clients, before you start designing, browse Pinterest and curate some inspiration.

Hey Awesome Girl clients are required to pin a minimum of 30 things to help with the design process, including:

  • Five websites
  • Five logos
  • Five fonts
  • Five color palettes
  • Five patterns or textures
  • Five symbols or icons
pin logo examples for inspiration

The idea is for the client to start taking what’s in their head and putting it into a format that I can then use as a jumping off point for design. The private Pinterest board gives me an idea of my client’s visual aesthetic and what design elements appeal to them.

It’s a helluva lot easier to use things they have identified that they like as inspiration rather than trying to guess.

pin patterns and textures that complement your brand

Step 3: Codify the experience and overall mood.

From here, I combine the visual aesthetics with the feedback from the survey to create a brand mood board. Creating a mood board is an essential step in the design process because once you get this right, it’ll set the tone for all the work you do.

I’ve done branding and website design in the past without this step and, trust me it was a pain in the ass. Without the brand mood board, you don’t have a clear sense of what the client likes or what she is trying to portray systemically with her brand. So then what happens? From my experience, you end up going back and forth about design elements and problems that could have been avoided. No one enjoys that experience, and you end up creating designs that are subpar to what the client initially had in their head.

For that reason, I now start designing with client input. It helps mitigate stress on both sides.

Design work is hard enough. Because we all have an idea in our head of what things "should" look like and most of the time we can't articulate it. But we can say what it’s *not,* right? So starting with the survey and Pinterest board will help you avoid creating things that don’t align with what the client's internal mental design looks like. Additionally, the process leading up to the mood board development creates the relationship you want to have between designer and client.

In that, the client has to be prepared to communicate openly and specifically about their brand visually and verbally. And based on the survey and the Pinterest pre-work, you can usually tell which clients don’t know what they want because things they’ve said in the survey and the elements they pinned don’t “add” up.

The brand mood board is an opportunity to sync up the visual and verbal descriptions to set the overall tone for the brand.

So what’s on the brand mood board?

The brand mood board gives examples of a visual style and color palette for the brand. It also includes adjectives to describe the brand.

brand mood board

It’s the first snapshot of the brand experience. It gives you a measuring stick against which to measure other brand elements for "fit" and alignment.

Step 4: Develop the brand identity.

Once the brand mood board is set, then you can start on the specific elements that most people think of when they hear the word “brand” …as in the brand identity.

The brand identity is the concrete representation of a brand. For the sake of my design process, this is when I develop the elements like the:

  • Logo
  • Submarks
  • Patterns
  • Fonts
  • Logo variations

I also include the final color palette with the brand identity, so everything is in one spot for reference.

Step 5: Create guidelines and samples for regular usage.

So based on the questionnaire I know what additional branding elements are needed for the brand. These might be things like an email signature, email newsletter template, etc.

Some of these things I create standard during the branding process, but there may be other ways that you leverage your brand for which I don’t create specific collateral. When it comes to non-traditional usage, this is where your brand guidelines come into play because they outline how to leverage your brand experience when there’s an “irregular use.”

The brand guidelines are a file or folder that includes the following:

  • Brand style guide - this guide outlines the elements necessary to create the consistent and cohesive brand experience. This might mean creating standard content that outlines the following:
    • About the Brand
    • About the Product
    • Mission
    • Target audience
    • Logos, variations, and usage – Include instructions for use as well as best practices
    • Color Palette
    • Typography combinations – what font combinations will you use
    • Imagery and mood - the mood board is a visual reminder of the aesthetic. This helps when picking images to use with your brand. If the pictures don’t seem to “fit” with the mood board, they will probably seem off-brand if you use them.
    • Brand words cheatsheet - which is a doc that outlines words or phrases to use in association with your brand and why they matter for your brand experience.
  • Files for all:
    • Logos
    • Submarks
    • Patterns
    • Fonts
    • Logo variations

Want a done-for-you brand style guide? Our design services can help. Get a brand that is simple, purposeful and crafted to help you grow.

LEARN MORE!

The great thing about this design process is that, not only will you finish it and have an excellent brand guide and guidelines to help you create a beautiful brand experience, but because of the way it’s structured, you’ll have a really in-depth vision of how your brand feels before the collateral design process even starts.

This enables emotion-infused, consistent design. Emotion-infused, consistent brand design is vital because it will represent more than just a logo and a bunch of colors to your audience. It helps create that experience and that story.

While there are a few more micro-steps that I would follow when creating a brand for clients, the above five steps will help any company define or refine their brand.

I can’t highlight enough how important the initial survey and the Pinterest board are, however. They are the jumping off point for creating a successful brand experience. It’s a short time investment – maybe an hour of your time – but it’s worth it to build a reliable brand.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the questions I would ask before you start the branding process AND a brand style guide template, download the free “Creating a Brand Style Guide” Workbook.

It helps you create a brand style guide for your own business.

5 Search Engine Optimization Resources for Your Lifestyle Business

One of the main goals of your website is categorizing your brand for search engines.

This means SEO, SEO, SEO! Search engine optimization still matters. You don’t have to be an SEO master to have a profitable website, but you do need to spend some time regularly working on your SEO. The key to proper search engine optimization is to use words people will search for when they want your specific type of product, and be consistent with using those keywords, and words like them on your site.

SEO can be a complicated process, so if you need additional help with this, here are some resources to help.

5 Great Resources for Learning Search Engine Optimization for Lifestyle Businesses:

1. Google Webmaster Central Blog

Want to improve your search engine optimization for Google? Get tips directly from Google! Read the Search Engine Optimization Starter GuideGoogle Webmaster Central also has a regular blog with several good resources too.

2. The Moz Blog

Moz is a great resource for SEO info, guides, and services. On the Moz blog the industry's top wizards offer their best advice, research, how-tos, and insights—all in the name of helping you level up your SEO and online marketing skills.

3. Can I Rank

Can I Rank is the first SEO software that uses artificial intelligence to give you specific action recommendations rather than just data. They also have a good blog that outlines SEO strategies and resources.

4. QuickSprout

Quicksprout is a GREAT business and marketing blog by Neil Patel. He has an in-depth SEO guide that tells you just about everything you need to know to get started with SEO.

5. Hey Awesome Girl Website Marketing Audit

We offer an in-depth website marketing audit for brands who need help with their SEO. Our Website Marketing audits use advanced SEO systems and solid strategies to analyze your SEO and create a plan for you to improve your results.

BONUS: some other great SEO and website marketing resources we love:

Search Enging Optimization resources for lifestyle businesses
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