We are thrilled to announced that Dona was recently featured in an article by the Small Business Development Centers of Indiana. Take a look at the article here:
Visit the SBDC website HERE.
There are three areas to consider when choosing visuals for your Posts; 1) Types of visuals, 2) What visual would best draw attention to your post, and 3) Where to find the visual you are looking for. So, let’s address each of these areas separately.
therefore, consider which type would drive home the topic or theme of your article, appeal to the emotions of your reader, and drive your reader to the desired action you want from them reading the article. Visuals to consider include 1. Flip books (Best used as a link to draw readers to your website where the Flip book is a landing page, like a demo of pictures taken from a drone.) 2. Illustrations (It is best to use original illustrations, but take caution when using illustrations that they are professional and reflect the tone and messaging of your brand.) 3. Screenshots (Mainly used when explaining a process, tips, step-by-step walk-through and checklists.) 4. Slideshare (A great way to share the thoughts you are trying to make in your article.) 5. GIFs (GIFS are easy to share on social media and can more quickly appeal to your reader’s emotion while portraying your brand’s human side.) 6. Infographics (Infographics are used not necessarily for the design but for the research itself. You have to commit to the time and energy for getting the data and creating a useful the visual story from that data.) 7. Gifographics (Gifographics are basically infographics on steroids.). And some easier to find visuals include Memes, Data, Quotes, Videos, and Photos. More on these below.
MEMES. Let’s start with one that we are starting to hear a lot about these days but are not always clear about what it is exactly. The most common Memes are humorous images with memorable text added and is intended to quickly spread an idea, behavior, or style rapidly by internet users.
DATA visuals. Does your article have statistics or data you want to drive home? Then Data centered visual may be what you choose. Graphs and charts can create a curiosity in your readers and result in more trackbacks and shares. Making data graphs, bars-charts, pies, etc. demonstrates your well-researched information in a way that makes the reader not only remember but want to share.
QUOTES. Do you have a quote from an influencer in your field that supports the information in your article? You can use that quote added to a picture or on its own in a banner as an attraction getter!
VIDEOS. In today’s hurried world a video can be the difference between someone hearing what you have to say or not. If you use a video make it short, to the point, leaving the reader/listener wanting more, then expound on those points in the article.
PHOTOS. The main thing to remember about photos is to use them wisely and optimize the image file size for the web. Large files negatively affect your site’s loading speed. If your website is through WordPress you can use image optimizer plug-ins such as Optimole, Imagify, Smush Image Compression and Optimization, EWWW Image Optimizer, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, or Compress JPEG & PNG images by TinyPNG.
That is a great way to cut costs, however, make sure you Optimize the images before posting them. The best thing about using your own images is that you don’t have to worry about copyright issues!
If you chose to download images from the web please make sure you are pulling from a site that has free images with no copyright restrictions. When looking for images look for those that are Royalty Free, Creative Commons or Public Domain. These most times are free for use on your website or in an article. Read the fine print carefully because there are different restrictions and conditions for each of these, such as not selling or use the image for your branding. Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright and artists subscribe at different levels which are very nicely explained at Flickr, Creative Commons. And then Public Domain is essentially images with no copyright either because it expired, or it wasn’t eligible for copyright in the first place. Many of these photos were created for government use and surprisingly attribution is still often required. So be careful.
Follow these steps and guidelines and you will create an article where others are drawn to with curiosity. For a list of sites where you can find free images, fill out the quick form below with your email and we’ll send it your way!
Every day we have ideas. Some ideas are small and help us get through whatever is in front of us. Some are ideas that lead to goals. But goals will not become reality without a plan. That’s where vision boards can help. Vision boards are a relatively new way to see your goals. They are a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on what truly matters to you. Basically, a vision board is any kind of board where you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life. By creating a board that contains your dreams and goals and setting it in a place where you see it every day, you essentially are practicing visualization daily.
So, the big question is, what does one put on a vision board? There are 6 main areas that you want to cover: relationships, career and finances, home, travel, personal growth (including spirituality, social life, education) and health. You will start by writing these down and then writing down goals under each area. From this you can search magazines, draw pictures, use photographs, or print images off the internet. Take your board and separate it into areas. There are as many ways to do this as there are ideas in your head. Then you take the images and put them in the appropriate areas.
Some people make one big board for everything and others make several smaller boards. For example, if you had buying a car on your big board, you could use a piece of paper to put the specifics of how the car will make you feel or what you need to do to be able to afford the car. Each area of our lives affects each other, so starting with one central vision board usually makes sense, but smaller boards can be helpful too.
A big thing to remember with vision boards is that they are never finished. You make your vision board and then as time goes on, maybe a vision changes, or something happens that changes the steps. You can always make changes to your vision board. It is good to leave some blank space so that when new things happen you can add or rearrange them. Then choose one time a year to completely revamp the board and make sure you are clear for the next year.
So, if you are ready to make some goals and changes in 2021, maybe a vision board would be a good start for you! Just remember this simple 6 step process:
If taking your business to the next level or reclaiming your life by reclaiming your time is part of your vision board, VA on the Spot can help! Contact us today!
Our friends at Digital Information World put together a great infographic discussing what they see as the top 2021 social media trends and we wanted to take that and expand on it.
The first trend they discuss is that audiences will be more socially conscious. COVID-19 has made us all take a step back and look at not just our influence of those around us, but also the influence we have on each other around the world. The more you can post about that and include those thoughts and issues, the more interaction you will receive.
The second is monitoring fake news. We all saw this with the election, but more and more in 2021 people are going to be concerned with ensuring the information they find is accurate. This is a great opportunity to examine your website and social media and not only make sure the information there is correct but be sure your content strategy includes correct information that will continue to enhance your brand.
The third discusses the 3 biggest social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will continue to adapt to changes and dominate the social conversation. If you are not active in at least 2 of these 3, make sure you are not just listed but also posting and interacting with others. While Google is not a social media giant, they are still very much in control of what happens on the internet, so you want to be sure you are listed there as well.
The fourth is that “old-school” marketing is coming back. Podcasts are listened to by more people now than in the past 5 years. If you are able to establish and develop a podcast, you will for sure be at the top of the list.
The fifth deals with gaming. You might be wondering what your business has to do with gaming, but with more and more people spending time on their devices playing games, if your target audience spends a lot of time gaming, you want to consider advertising on those games.
The sixth is that conversational marketing will drive sales. Marketing and social media are transitioning into a two-way conversation. For a long time, as long as you posted, everything was fine, but now search engines are looking for interaction between businesses and their followers.
The seventh shares that nostalgia marketing will engage your audience more than ever before! The more you can relate what you are discussing to something from the past, the more engaged your audience will be.
This eighth is that messaging will become more memetic. Create memes. There are so many ways to create original memes and that is what people are going to be responding to, especially the younger demographic.
The ninth is of course COVID-related. The 4 C’s – community, cleanliness, contactless, compassion are going to continue to trend in 2021. Businesses need to make sure they are addressing each of these issues/concerns and speaking to potential customers about the solutions they offer.
The tenth is probably one of the most refreshing. Remixing brand content is predicted to be more effective than unique content. Take those blogs and posts that you have written throughout the years and change them up a bit. You might be surprised at the traction you get.
At first glance, this list might seem overwhelming. As fellow business owners we understand! For help developing, editing, enhancing, and enacting your social media marketing plan, contact VA on the Spot today!
We can all agree 2020 has been a roller coaster for businesses. However, we know winter is coming and projections are that COVID numbers will rise and we need to continue to be careful. So, the big question is how do you keep your business going during this time were people are so concerned with just staying safe? We have developed 4 simple ideas to help you and your business through this time.
When business is busy, we often do whatever we can to stay afloat and don’t really take time to evaluate what we are doing. Take this time to look at your current marketing strategies. Pull as many numbers as possible and determine your Return on Investment for each strategy. If one isn’t making you money, don’t do it and look for something new.
Your niche is your niche and while that hasn’t changed, the environment around us has. This raises the opportunity to change up, add, or delete keywords. Make yourself relevant. Include keywords that reflect what consumers are thinking and more importantly feeling. Add those to your existing keyword phrases.
With fewer people actually coming into stores, social media is going to continue to be the best way to communicate with your customers. Let them know what your holiday hours are, any specials you might be running, and even tips that would be helpful to them. Figure out what your customers are thinking and feeling and appeal to that. Provide them solutions for their problems, but always make sure you are connecting with the way everyone is feeling in the current climate.
This is an amazing opportunity to reach potential customers you have never been able to reach before. Connect with people on a deeper level. Start making and posting videos to your website. Do a podcast. Have guest writers on your website and social media. Offer special discounts to frontline workers. Support a local charity. All of these things will not only increase your reach but will also appeal to a wide variety of potential clients.
Unfortunately, many small and midsized businesses have closed this year. However, many have also started and grown. While there is no foolproof plan, these steps will help your business continue to thrive amid the continued pandemic. We can’t change our circumstances, but we can look at them as temporary and adjust as best we can to meet the challenge and come out on top.
If you find yourself without time to implement new or different strategies, VA on the Spot would love to help you! Our goal is to help small and midsized business owners reclaim their life by reclaiming their time. We provide expert executive assistant services in a variety of areas to meet as many needs as possible. Call 317-288-5748 or visit our website at VAontheSpot.com today to see how we can help you and your business.