Where to get inspiration when you feel like blog posting is a chore

Where to get inspiration when you feel like blog posting is a chore

IF YOU’RE FEELING LIKE BLOG POSTING IS MORE LIKE A MAJOR CHORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE,
I MAY HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU TO GIVE IT SOME LIFE, AS WELL AS GIVE IT A FRESH VIBE +
VIEW THE WHOLE PROCESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT.

What if I said treat your blog posts like it’s a magazine? Would that peak your interest? As a designer I seek inspiration from many sources. One of them being from magazines, but it’s not just any old magazines. They are magazines that feature products with the latest colours, patterns and textures. They are usually choker full of images and latest articles on colours for the season, whether it’s for the home or fashion. One in particular I love is a local one called Your Home & Garden. The magazine is full of images of peoples’ homes and what you’d expect on how they’ve beautifully renovated it.   But when it comes to magazines – it’s not only what’s inside the issue but it’s also what’s on the front cover. For solopreneurs who create visual and written content, this is a resource tool worth it’s weight in gold. The front cover can be the deciding factor why people will buy that particular magazine over the others on the mag rack. Usually the front cover has a subject or hero, [whether it’s a cake for recipes or a person for fashion] and usually appealing with latest and vibrant colours or graphic work and stand out titles to grab your attention.

Here’s how you can steal these ideas and use them for your blog posts.

1. USE THEIR HEADLINES

The titles that we see on the front covers are what works. They’ve been tried and tested and approved by Editor of the magazine and they obviously work. Instead of stealing the actual headline use the keywords they have used. Here’s what I mean – take this heading on the Marie Claire cover.

5 rows you’ll have after having a baby (& how to get through them)

Instead try this: 5 xxx [insert your subject/industry pains] you’ll have when having/doing/being xyz [insert another pain point here] (& how to get over it/over come/ deal with it, etc).

 

You will also notice most of their headlines are positive – even though they may address a problem but they provide a solution for their audience + how to overcome the problem.

2. USE THEIR DESIGN IDEAS

Typically the front cover has a distinctive font plus one or two different fonts. For the magazine to be consistent [yep they need to use the same method we do and earn trust with their audience] the magazine will use that font in a different colour and size. This is not to only emphasis a main story, but provides a variety, distinctive character and make it a little more exciting to jump out for the reader.

My biggest tip for this one: use high quality awe-inspiring images.
Use free-stock-photo businesses like
unsplash.com if you have no budget 
or stocksy.com if you have a budget.

Your audience will more likely share and like awe-inspiring and distinctive images from your blog posts and social media if they’re worth sharing. And take a note next time you come across a magazine rack – stand for a moment and notice which magazine stands out for you? Ask, why does it stand out? Is it the subject or hero? Could it be the title? Or maybe the colour?

Let me know in the comments below if you have a #1 resource you like to turn to – I’m always open to new ideas.

Brand Moodboard Lemons & Blues

Brand Moodboard Lemons & Blues

Brand Moodboard inspiration-Kellieandco

Lemon & blue patterns from the Vintage Paper Collection at Creative Market here

 

I’m a true believer of standing up and playing your own game. We have to. Otherwise we follow other people’s lead… and we just blend in.

I remember when a client said to me once, “no body listens to a wall flower.” And she was right.

We have to stand out, stand tall. And choosing any old run-of-the-mill colour is not standing tall.

So if you’re tired of your brand looking same old. Try these gorgeous vibrant colours.

This Brand Moodboard is the first of a series for updating your new year new look with a fresh lemon, aqua and deep navy blue theme.

I love putting mood boards together with the textures, colours and elements all making up a scene. This creative process was kicked off with the lemons from unsplash.com and inspired by summer that’s coming up for us who are down under.

Discover the reason why I don’t want people to outrightly buy my latest workshop…

Discover the reason why I don’t want people to outrightly buy my latest workshop…

You read that right. I don’t want just anyone to buy my workshop that I’m running in a few months.

Why? If you are building an online brand – read on and you will discover why.

 

So throughout last year [2015] I spoke with many solo-entrepreneurs about crafting and writing an ebook either to sell or as their opt-in freebie. And do you know what kept being repeated back to me, and why their eBook was on the back burner? It was because they said [and a vast majority were saying the same thing], I don’t have any branding.

So that came as a surprise to me.

But then I noticed the clients I was lucky enough to work with didn’t have their Brand in place either.

These clients knew exactly who they serve, what their purpose is, their vision and their mission as well as their branding – logo, colors and fonts. Great! Or so I thought.

And these established gorgeous clients had me baffled as well.

 

Why have they not got a Brand Style Guide?

 

For years I worked in corporate and in each and every company I worked for, each and every one of them had a Brand Style Guide.

So what is a Brand Style Guide?

Basically, a brand style guide for a corporate business tells it’s employees what the company is about. What their story is. Th guide usually dives into the history of the business, how it was established and who were the company founders.

The brand style guide explains how they’ve established themselves in the market and who they serve. It can also explain the company’s philosophy and the meaning behind their tagline and what they stand for.

 

Here’s an example:

 

Canon’s main principle is ‘Kyosei’ – which means all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future.

 

A Brand Style Guide would dive into the details of their branding and elements. And for many companies, it would stipulate for their employees and suppliers what they can and can’t do with their logo. The guide provides the exact color details, such as the CMYK, RGB and Hex Codes are and which fonts should be used. Corporate businesses are very particular about what employees and anyone for that matter, and what they can and can’t do with their logo and their identity (and I understand why).

So that got me thinking some more!

 

Why don’t online solo entrepreneurs have a Brand Style Guide too?

It didn’t make sense!

It’s super easy to forward a PDF document off to each supplier when they outsource, rather than send a ton of emails with their logo in one, and who their audience is in another.

But it’s not only about that, as I believe a Brand Style Guide is so much more.

 

So I introduced last year with my 1 on 1 clients on creating and designing a signature brand.

We worked on how they wanted to show up online. And to gain even more clarity, I took them through a step by step process of understanding:-

  • their purpose in order to understand who they serve
  • what their vision is – where they were heading
  • who they are (this one was a biggie) because apparently adding more of “you” into your brand is a lot hard than one might think, and
  • adding voice to this as well.

You could almost compare the whole brand styling process similar to a wardrobe stylist like Rachel Zoe. Loving that!

 

Creating and designing a Signature Brand is now more achievable

This powerful booklet saves hours upon hours trying to figure out a style and how you ‘should’ turn up online.

Why – because keeping a consistent look and feel throughout your website screams you being a professional, and that’s what you’re about and you take your business seriously.

So for 2016, I want to take this as my purpose, my vision and with my message:

I’m going to make designing and building an online brand so much more easily accessible and especially to those who need it the most

And by doing this, I’ve kickstarted the new year with a Brand & Website Challenge…Am I Your Client?

It’s for heart-centered entrepreneurs who would love to focus on:- 

  • what their character style could be
  • their mission, their vision and
  • their voice.

It is then working through this and they have gained more clarity as to where they’re heading with their business, we can then finalize their brand identity and dive into their branding elements in the live virtual workshop.

Wishing you an adventurous and successful 2016!

 

 

 

Brand Love Story | Brigid Ward

Brand Love Story | Brigid Ward

Who doesn’t love a BEFORE & AFTER story?

Recently I was sitting with Brigid over a coffee in a Skype session. But something didn’t feel quite right; I was thinking this girl has fabulous energy! She’s vibrant, funny, sporty, and a real go getter.

But it was when I was on her website, something wasn’t ringing true here. Her branding was all out of alignment and it just wasn’t matching up with who she is and what she is offering. And to be frank, her website and brand ‘vibe’ felt like she had stepped straight out of corporate.

(more…)

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