How to identify your target audience

Spoiler alert, “everyone” is NOT your target audience. I’ll repeat that one more time: You can not be right for everyone. And that’s a beautiful thing! Trust me. 

Think of butter lettuce (bear with me here). I have a lot of picky eaters in my life, and I’ve never heard a single complaint about butter lettuce. It’s not as offensive as the textures of mixed greens, or worse, spinach + kale. I get plenty of complaints over those. And it’s more nutrient dense than an iceberg wedge. All and all, it’s a decent option for a quick salad. But am I excited about it? Rarely. Do I have problem choosing the next best option if it’s not available? None. It’s forgotten by the time I’m browsing for cucumbers.

Butter lettuce is universally accepted but rarely sought out. Don’t let your brand be butter lettuce.

You want your products to be PERFECT for someone, and completely wrong for someone else. You are cilantro. Or avocado. People either love you and can’t get enough, or you’re simply not for them. And that’s okay because that’s how you connect with your people.

These are the people who are first to register for your new course. And they share your blog posts & emails with their inner circle. 

Maybe you haven’t found these people yet, and that’s perfectly okay. By showing up as unapologetically you, and creating a brand you are proud of, you’ll find them. 

Here's a quick exercise to help you identify your target audience: 

WHAT ARE YOU OFFERING?

Let’s say you’re launching an organic skincare line. Everyone with skin could benefit, sure. But who is gong to be your champion customer? We need to break it down further. 

HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR PRODUCT OR DELIVER YOUR SERVICE?

For our organic skin care line, it makes sense to start with the ingredients. Simply being organic isn’t enough. Do they work best for young skin? Or mature skin? Are they free of common allergens?  

Our organic skincare ingredients create such a healthy glow, you can skip the foundation all together. And it’s fragrance free. Plus, it includes our uniquely crafted chemical free SPF that minimizes UV damage and reduces early signs of aging. Ideally, you start using this product before signs of aging appear, as it’s easier to prevent than reduce existing signs of damage. 

COST / PRICE POINT:

Creating this line isn’t inexpensive. You are sourcing the best quality products available, and packaging them in eco friendly materials, with an innovative design that is equally beautiful + functional.

Our products are for people who are willing to invest in quality, and sustainability is important to them. These won’t be your bottom shelf drugstore products, but they aren’t La Mer either. They are priced similar to high end department store lines, but with more transparent and environmentally friendly ingredients. 

IS IT MASCULINE / FEMININE / GENDER NEUTRAL?

Skincare is traditionally seen as feminine. You think of women with their beauty routine, and because of this, many products are pink and branding leans towards feminine.

No pink tax here! We plan to use warm earth tones on our labels and want them to feel beautiful and luxurious, while not being overly feminine or gendered. Our skin care has no frills, and we feel everyone deserves a healthy and easy to use product for all types of skin needs. 

Now you have a good amount of information. Your product may work for everyone, but it’s ESPECIALLY beneficial for a certain group of people. You can make this as detailed as you want and your product will determine how “niched down” you’ll need to go. For the sake of this exercise, we have enough information to outline our target: 

Affluent people ages 25-40 living in sunny areas who need a daily, allergen free skin care product, preferably produced with environmental friendly, fair trade practices.

Now, that’s something we can work with. When you start to promote your product, you know who you are speaking to. What attributes are important to them. How to make them feel a connection to your brand. They feel seen in your branding. This isn’t to say people outside of this target won’t be drawn to your product. We’re not excluding anyone. But we are presenting an opportunity that fosters connection and long term relationships.

It’s worth noting that this post is intended to be a basic approach to finding your target audience. When we work together one on one, we’ll go significantly deeper into research and testing to determine your in depth target audience profile. 

Next up, how do you brand your business? You know who you’re trying to reach, but how do you catch their attention? Let’s look at color theory and how that affects perception. 

Tips & Tricks For Instagram Videos

Let's talk about how to take your videos to the next level with these tips and tricks for shooting Instagram videos.

the set up:

  • Use Your Phone: The audio & video quality on your iPhone is great for filming.
  • Mind Your Surroundings: Make sure you are in a quiet place, with a non-distracting background. If you are planning a series, using the same background will help viewers start to recognize you and can help build a consistent viewership. Use whatever you have to make it a cozy space – avoid anything cluttered that can take the viewer’s eye off of you. 
  • Use a tri-pod: Keep the camera steady at all times. I use a tripod like this one – it also has a remote control so you can start / stop filming remotely.
  • Mind Your Lighting: you want the lighting coming from above you. This gives it a more professional feel. Avoid casting awkward shadows, and make sure your face is clear. You want it feel like you’re taking to a friend, and not some shadowy internet creature. Something like this is great, you’ll want to play around with the brightness / temperature until you get the look you are going for. If you’re filming near a window, make sure the sun won’t move directly into the window while you’re filming. 

the logistics

  • Check Your Settings: On your phone, go into Settings —> Camera. You can choose the frame rate. I recommend 1080 at 30fps (usually the default). This is a clear picture, good quality but won’t take up the maximum amount of space. I also recommend turning the grid on – this helps you center yourself in the frame.
  • Lock your screen lightingOnce in the Camera app, tap on the screen to adjust the lighting. Once you’re happy with it, hold. You’ll see “AE/AF LOCK” appear on your screen. AE/AF LOCK stands for auto exposure/autofocus lock. This will stop the lighting from changing as you film.
  • Do a test run: See how the video and audio look and sound. How’s the lighting? How’s the audio? Do you need a mic?
  • Film vertical for IG: it will crop slightly for the preview in feed so make sure you leave a good amount of room to add text / logo that won’t be cropped out. Check out a few videos to see what works well.

bonus tips

  • Mind your Time Length:  Video for your feed is capped at 60 seconds. IG TV videos can be 60 seconds – 10 minutes. Stories are sequences of up to 15 second clips, and Reels can be up to 30 seconds. 
  • Captions: Many people watch with the sound off so depending on your content, you may need to add captions. IG is supposed to roll out a captioning feature this year – in the meantime, there are third party programs that allow you to add captions / subtitles. 
  • Don’t zoom when filming. If you need to get closer, move the camera or move yourself. This will impact the resolution and make your finished product pixelated.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode while filming. This will stop it from buzzing with alerts or interrupting filming for a call. Do Not Disturb also works.
  • Tie it back to what you want viewers to do – include a pitch for your upcoming book, invite them to subscribe to your email list, book you for speaking gigs, etc. Give the viewer value but don’t be afraid to take it next level. If they’re watching until the end of your video, they like you enough they’ll want to continue learning more. 

Which IG Video Style is Right For You?

IG TV Videos

The longest of the three, IG TV videos appear in the feed for 60 seconds, giving the viewer the option to continue watching. You can film up to 10 minutes of content with most accounts. You’ll want a strong opening to hook the viewer into watching the duration of the video.  

IG Reels

Set to music or audio, these are fast, fun and addicting. You want them to be short & sweet, and show off your business personality. Great for giving quick tips or highly visual content. 

IG Stories

Stories are up for 24 hours* and each clip can be up to 15 seconds long. It’s great for time sensitive content, like behind the scenes footage or promoting an upcoming event. The best stories feel raw, natural and don’t need to be as polished as feed posts. 

*you can save selected stories to a highlight reel on your profile. 

WTF: Choosing the Right Font For You

choosing the right font

WTF = What The Font, obviously. How do you choose the right font for your business? Today, we’re going to answer your most pressing questions about fonts starting with the most important: 

Why should you even care about your font?

Trust me, it’s a lot more interesting than you may think.

Allow me to present Exhibit A:

Is it just me or does the first one feel a bit…stabby? You probably won’t be leaving that note for your significant other anytime soon. Or maybe you will, I don’t know your relationship. 

What I do know is that choosing the right font makes a world of difference.

HERE ARE three different types of fonts:

Serif, San Serif & Script

Serif fonts are the ones with the little feet.

Times New Roman is an incredibly famous one. Think back to reading the daily newspaper (in print). There is a good chance your local edition was written in a serif font, quite possibly Times.

Serif fonts are traditional. They are classic, sophisticated and trustworthy. You see them and think longevity.

Insurance companies, financial firms, and law offices commonly use them because they create a feeling of stability. 

If one of the pillars of your business is dependability, choosing a font in the serif family is a great move.

example of sans serif font

You already know what a Sans Serif font is, you’re looking at one right now.

Sans is a fancy french way of saying “without” so no little feet for this one.

These fonts come across as modern, elegant and minimalistic.

Apple is famous for using Sans Serif fonts. They make your brand feel youthful, and approachable.

Sans Serifs are the most versatile font option. If you want to mix them up, switch to all caps for dramatic headings (where you have seen that before?), bold them for emphasis or pair with Serifs and Scripts to create a dynamic flair.

Now for the fancy one!

Script fonts are the swirly, accent fonts. They are used to catch attention and create instant personality in your text. 

Like all good things, such as salt when you’re cooking, you want to use these in moderation. They should never, ever be used as body text. If you leave this lesson with one takeaway, let it be this: Never use a script font to write a paragraph. They are magical, enticing and captivating, but too much of a good thing makes your text impossible to read. 

They work especially well when paired with a Sans Serif, and can occasionally work with classic Serifs too, as long as you make sure there isn’t too much going on with the swirls and the feet.

Choosing the right font:

You want to choose the right font (or combination of fonts) that reinforces the consumer’s perception of your business. Think back to our earlier examples. If you’re hosting a Sweethearts Valentine’s Day event, you’re probably not going to want to use that murderous font. Unless of course, it’s a gathering of true crime lovers. In which case, that’s the perfect solution.

Think about your business. What is your business personality? What’s your vibe? That will help you determine which font makes the most sense for you. If you need inspiration, here are some beautiful combinations to get you started. And as always, if you have need guidance, I’m just an email away.

3 Signs You’re Ready For A Redesign

Take a moment to honestly look at your business marketing. Are you still excited to share it with potential clients or does it feel a bit… blah? Here are 3 signs your business is begging for a redesign.  

IT'S NOT WORKING

You did all the right things. You sat down and defined your target audience. You chose colors for your brand that really represent you. You built your website. You researched social media channels so you can be in the right place at the right time. And then nothing. Your people aren’t responding. What gives? 

Choosing branding that you love only goes so far. It also needs to align with your target audience. If you’re doing all the right things but not seeing success, first you need to look at your product or service. If everything is good there, chances are, your branding isn’t connecting to the right people. It’s time for a redesign.*. Sometimes that can be a small refresh that makes all the difference. 

*Now, before you run back to your designer demanding a refund, a caveat to this sign is time. Growth doesn’t happen overnight. If it’s been less than 6 months since your last big change, and you did quality work on your brand, give it some time to build traction. If you are concerned, schedule a complimentary consultation with me for a brand review so we can ensure you’re on the right track. 

YOUR BUSINESS HAS CHANGED

Look back to this time last year. Did your business look exactly the same? I’d be willing to wager a good amount that the answer is no. Businesses evolve, and they grow, just like people do. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but take a hard look at what has changed. What have you outgrown? What’s working? Where is there room for improvement? Are the images you picked when your business launched still the best representation of what you do? 

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Small changes can make a big impact. If you are curious about how your existing brand can better serve you, drop me a line and let’s chat. 

YOU ARE NO LONGER PROUD OF IT

Design can be trendy. Anyone remember the millennial pink craze from a few years back? Closely followed by minimalistic with nature accents?  Just like your personal style, your business is going to go through phases. The goal is to create a brand that stands the test of time, but also understanding that your business will evolve as it grows. Doritos is a great example of classic branding evolving over time.

If you’d rather send your clients to your social media channels instead of your website, or you find yourself making excuses for your marketing, it’s time for a change. I can help you through it. Let’s talk

5 Ways Social Media Boosts Your Current Marketing Strategy

So you already have a marketing plan in place. How do you leverage social media to boost your current strategy? Chances are, many of your ideal clients are on social media platforms already.

Here are 5 ways to use social media to enhance your current marketing strategy:

boost brand recognition

How do you get people to choose your brand over that other guy? Consistency. Make sure everything you do is on brand so they know that super useful post came from you. By being present and sharing quality information, they’ll think of you when the need arises. 

deepen customer relationships

People do business with people (and companies) that they like. This is your platform to show your personality (if you have no idea what your business personality is, let’s talk). By coming across genuine and adding value to their feed scrolling, they’ll start to learn more about you. And seek you out. Now, when you hit them with a targeted ad or special offer, they already like you and will be significantly more willing to hear what you have to offer.

get them off social media

Use it as a way to entice them to follow your business off of the social platform. Offer a cool freebie when they join your email list, or give a social media only promo code to use in your shop.

give exclusive access

This is where you get to be real. Show that personality behind your business, and go beyond your perfectly polished end results. Launching an event? Show behind the scenes footage as you prepare. Make them feel like they are a part of the full experience. Share a candid, live video of you unpacking a new product or a cute picture of your dog staring at your computer. Make your followers feel like insiders. 

Learn about your ideal customer’s wants & needs so you can better serve them

Listening to potential clients goes a long way. What features are they asking for? Which posts see better engagement? Paying attention to behavior on social media is a great (and free!) way to conduct research. 

If you’re not sure which social media platform is right for your business, I’m here to help. Reach out and we’ll set up a strategy session to discuss your business and find you the best direction.  

DIY Branding: A Simple Trick

brand planning - a notebook with a mug

What if I told you there is just ONE trick you need to know to elevate your work from DIY Amateur to DIY Designer Extraordinaire? Today, we’re going to focus on Do It Yourself branding.

Maybe you love design and you really enjoy putting your personal stamp on your business. Or perhaps you don’t have the budget yet to hire someone to do your branding and design. I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the #1 detail that makes you look like a design pro instead of a DIYer. I

consistency

There are many amazing, free resources out there. Canva.com is a great place to start. You can choose from hundreds of templates, colors, fonts, and pre-made designs.  It’s easy to find a bunch of creative ideas, pop in your content, and BOOM. Social media post won and done.

Not so fast. Templates are a great resource when customized for your business. But using too many different fonts, colors and styles can make your brand feel unprofessional and untrustworthy. Before you get lost in all the design potential, here’s a tip:

create yourself a simple brand guide

Make a document for your own reference. List out your favorite font or two and a simple color palette that includes a few shades to represent your brand.

This can be specific hex codes (if you know how to use them) or as general as “mocha” “cream” & “white”.

Then own it. Every piece you make includes that font pairing and at least two of your brand colors.

This consistency creates familiarity for your brand. You don’t have to be an expert about what each color means, but you need to create a consistent, recognizable presence. You do all this work to create a customer base, don’t let them get confused by inconsistent branding. 

You’ll see on this Java Bean example, they used a consistent font for both their marketing flyer & their menu.

The color scheme and font makes it feel cohesive, and instantly familiar to repeat customers.

If you find your DIY branding choices aren’t working for you in the long term, it’s okay to make a change. There are many ‘behind the scenes’ factors that go into branding. Sublimintial messaging, choosing the right font for your client base, color psychology, etc. It can be overwhelming.

If you need assistance, let’s talk. I have this helpful brand questionnaire to pinpoint where you are now, and where there’s room for improvement.  After you complete the questionnaire, we’ll schedule a 30 minute consultation to discuss your options.

Now go on and make your business shine! 

Interior Design

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customer

Tristique Turpis Ltd.

what we did

Graphic Design / Interior Design

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Paper Magazine

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customer

Tristique Turpis Ltd.

what we did

Web Design / Typography

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Pixie Wine Bottle Design

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customer

Tristique Turpis Ltd.

what we did

Photography

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Hot Paper Product Design

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customer

Tristique Turpis Ltd.

what we did

Graphic Design / Product Design

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