The Myth of Cheap Design

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You’ve heard the old adage “You get what you pay for.” The same goes for graphic design.

With a great designer you get someone who can tell a visual story with a clear design and someone you can communicate with easily. Quality graphic design includes a process that considers your target audience and the message you want to communicate. The problem is that not everyone can afford a top-notch graphic designer. Excellent design work comes at a price that is often out of reach for small businesses, start-ups, and solo-entrepreneurs – but there are ways to get quality graphic design at an affordable rate.

It’s easier than ever to find affordable freelancers using online tools such as UpWork and Fiverr or by hiring talent from countries such as India or the Philippines. Unfortunately, we often hear that people who hire freelancers from these services are not satisfied with the work or are unable to communicate with the designer and often spend more than they intended to try to fix the project.

But don’t worry, all hope is not lost for those of you on a tight budget! We have some ideas to help you get the most from any freelance designer.

3 Tips To Get Quality Design On A Budget

  1. Ask for 2 or 3 completely different options to be presented for the first draft. This will give you and the designer a clearer idea of the direction you want to take the design and help shorten the number of revisions it takes to complete the project.
  2. Hire a Creative Director or Senior Designer to help you come up with feedback – though they cost more per hour, you’ll only need an hour or two of their time to review the artwork and provide direction that you can take directly to your freelancer.
  3. And here’s our shameless self-promotion – take advantage of Crit My Design.This is the most affordable way to get the opinion of a Creative Director on the artwork provided by your freelancer (or even if you’ve taken a crack at DIY design using Canva or whatever design tool you’ve discovered).

 

Online Networking Event – Join Christina with Business Portals

Reach Your Ideal Clients With Social Media

Did you know your profile alone can have a huge impact on achieving this goal?

Book a spot at Business Portal’s next live virtual event on July 24 at 12:30pm Newfoundland / 8:00am Pacific from the comfort of your own desk, home, favourite coffee shop, or park bench – you can join us from anywhere!

I’ll show you what you need to do to update your social media profiles, and ensure your brand:

  • Rises in the search ranks for the key phrases your audience is searching.
  • Attracts an audience that is likely to purchase rather than interrupting with a cold-sell.
  • Increases brand awareness and credibility without the high cost of mass-media advertising.

There’s also a great opportunity to Network with other like-minded businesses!

Registration is free and open to anyone. Limited space available, so sign up today.       

~Christina

Business Portals is a business centre that provides virtual services to help you run your business for a fraction of the cost of hiring dedicated staff. Business portals also offers meeting and office space in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Free Bootcamp & $75 Off Program

Free Social Media Bootcamp

This 3-day social media bootcamp was run exclusively online through the Facebook Event displayed here. Get tips and tricks – from strategic planning to creating sharable posts.

Even though it’s in the past, you can still attend!

  1. Click “going” on the event linked here.
  2. Click on the “Discussion” tab to see all the content. It’s in chronological order with day 1 featured at the bottom of the thread.

$75 off – Empower Yourself With Social Media Program

3 Months of One-On-One support!

Sign up by May 14th using promo code: antenna75bc

Valued at $1,950, get this 3 month program at our introductory price of $499/month. Prices quoted in CAD$.

I know it can be a real challenge to get the results you want from social media, but I can help! You’ll conquer social media for your business in only 3 months with my technical and strategic support. I’ll create a content system for you, optimize your automation, then train you to get it done regularly.

Let us handle the technical set up so you can focus on your expertise

  • You’ll get automation without losing your authentic voice.
  • Post to one platform and watch it distribute to all of your feeds automatically.
  • Nurture your audience in minutes, rather than hours.

Ready for more but your budget is tight?

Try our Antenna Learning Lab Lite for only $199/month.

Valued at $249/month, join now for only $199/month. Prices quoted in CAD$.

Our “Lite” version is for those of you who are looking for both strategic guidance and technical support but are willing to do all the work yourself. Christina will guide you through setting up automation and reaching your target audience efficiently in 3 sessions over May, June, and July.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Easy Way to Increase Your LinkedIn Reach

Did you know that by sharing your company LinkedIn posts to your personal LinkedIn profile you can increase your post reach significantly? Watch the video to find out how.

3 Great Options For a Limited Time!

  1. $499/month, Empower Yourself With Social Media
  2. $199/month, Antenna Learning Lab Lite
  3. FREE, Online Social Media Bootcamp

1) Empower Yourself With Social Media

3 Month Program, Only 10 spots available, sign up by May 7th!

Valued at $1,950, get this 3 month program at our introductory price of $499/month.

I know it can be a real challenge to get the results you want from social media, but I can help! You’ll conquer social media for your business in only 3 months with my technical and strategic support. I’ll create a content system for you, optimize your automation, then train you to get it done regularly.

Let us handle the technical set up so you can focus on your expertise

  • You’ll get automation without losing your authentic voice.
  • Post to one platform and watch it distribute to all of your feeds automatically.
  • Nurture your audience in minutes, rather than hours.

2) Ready for more but your budget is tight?

Try our Antenna Learning Lab Lite, May Intake. Only 10 spots available, sign up by May 7th!

Valued at $249/month, join now for only $199/month.

Our “Lite” version is for those of you who are looking for both strategic guidance and technical support but are willing to do all the work yourself. Christina will guide you through setting up automation and reaching your target audience efficiently in 3 sessions over May, June, and July.

3) Want a FREE preview?

Try our online bootcamp Apr 25 to 27.

This 3-day social media bootcamp exclusively online through the Facebook Event linked below. Over 3 days you’ll get tips and tricks – from strategic planning to creating sharable posts.

This bootcamp will take place entirely in the discussion area of this event so you can take in the content in your own time, and in your own space.

To participate:
1. Click “going” on the invite.
2. Click the three dots “…” under the event title and select “notification settings” and select “all notifications” to ensure you see each

 

 

Your Guide to Millennial Marketing

Guest blogger  from HeyOrca!  gives us a birds-eye-view into being a millennial in marketing…

What comes to mind when you think of the word millennial?

Some people might think entitled or impatient. I know of certain parents who may consider a certain millennial ‘lazy’ (sorry if my 5 classes and part-time job leaves me needing a nap). Some people think that millennials can’t hold down a job because they’re too busy travelling the world and documenting it on Instagram. Others think that we’re happy laying on our parent’s couches until we’re older twenty-somethings (I’m only 21 so I still have some couch time left), while telling ourselves that 20 bucks a month is sufficient savings.

Moving from a society where you’re expected to be out of the house, hitched, and working a 9-5 by the age of 25, many people are opting to stay home to reduce costs, or help them through post-secondary. This contributes to a higher disposable income compared to earlier generations, and more buying power. It’s estimated that by 2017, millennials will spend upwards to $200 billion – which is ironic, because I’d spend a lot less moving out of my parent’s place.

The combination of all of this means that millennial marketing could go several ways. It’s easy enough to assume that because millennials spend so much time looking at a screen – whether that be a phone, tablet, laptop – that as long as your brand is on the major platforms, you’re golden. Unfortunately, not so much the case.

So, coming from a millennial, here’s how to market to me.

Authenticity wins big

If these dodgey dating apps have taught us millennials anything, it’s how to have a keen eye for insincere, fake intentions. We don’t trust traditional, profit-driven advertisements – we know you’re a brand, so we can connect those dots ourselves. Why would I want to spend my money on a brand that’s traditionally salesy, when there are brands out there being honest and open about their product and pricing? Though some people may not think so, millennials still want to make well informed purchase decisions – and brands that give me the resources to do so are a lot more likely to get my business than a brand that uses billboards or pop-up ads. This authenticity also helps build a relationship of trust. If you wanna check out one brand that prides themselves on transparency, visit Everlane, by far one of the coolest brands, and Instagram accounts, I’ve seen.

Strategic content

Like I mentioned before, just because your brand may be on every platform for every device that millennials are using, doesn’t mean we’re necessarily listening. If you want millennials to notice you and your brand, your content strategy should include:

Visuals

Visual content is a power-house approach to engage, promote brand awareness, and get millennials to share your branded content via social platforms. Our attention spans may not always be the longest, and we always seem to be multitasking. Visual mediums like images, videos, or live-streaming events is a great way to get our attention, with minimal effort on our end (unlike reading, yuck). This form of content can also be easily shared and viewed on any major social platform, and can also be either be static or in real-time.

User-Created

The most infamous word millennials have contributed to the English language is the ‘Selfie’. What can we conclude from that? Millennials see no problem focusing time on themselves – and even more so when they upload these pictures to Instagram or Facebook. So if given the chance to create their own content for a certain promotion or event, they dive in head first. Whether it be contributing snaps to a Snapchat Story, sending in videos of tips and tricks for different products, or capturing how they use a certain item – millennials love creating this kind of content on their own. Actually, around 46% of us. We love the creative freedom it gives us, and the opportunity for brands to share the authentic experiences (both good and bad) that their audiences have encountered.

Up to date technology  

Agencies aiming millennials target both on, and with, the latest in technology. It shows that you as a brand are up to trend, are relevant, and can share a common interest with millennials. 56% of us are among the first to try out new technology, and are 2.5x more likely to adopt new technology compared to other generations. Mercedes Benz hoped on the 360 degree video-bandwagon when promoting their latest SUV. Streaming on YouTube (notice, not television), the video features Instagram sensation Loki the Wolf Dog adventuring in the great outdoors, alongside their favourite Mercedes. Apart from the great combination of influencer marketing and storytelling going on, this shows that Mercedes is up to date and that they can create value using the latest technology.  

Beyond the bottom line

Even though some people associate millennials with being entitled, we’re actually much more inclined to do business with brands whose bottom line isn’t their only concern. Brands who consistently exercise corporate social responsibility can even charge higher prices to an extent – 37% of millennials will pay more if a brand supports a cause that they care about. Additionally, brands who are driven by more than just profit get more ‘millennial love’. Brand loyalty and helping others – honestly though, what’s NOT to love?

Millennials – we’re really not all that hard to figure out. We like being creative, expressing ourselves, and being heard. As long as your brand can engage with us, and give us the opportunity to do so, you’ll have us eating out of your hands (and not because we spent all our money on plane tickets instead of groceries).

Why Working Remotely Is Serious Business

The stigma surrounding working from one’s basement needs to be eradicated and instead recognized as a benefit and privilege. Hands down there are more advantages to a flexible and mobile work set-up for “office work” than disadvantages. Of course there are plenty of jobs where a person is required to be at a particular location at a particular time, such as storefront businesses, schools, hospitals… but for those of us who work desk-jobs, it’s time to change the paradigm.

Those of us lucky enough to be middle class in western society where most of our needs are met, according to Maslow are becoming less interested in increasing our incomes and more interested in satisfying our values. People are spending their time and money on improving lifestyle and collecting experiences rather than on stuff. So, instead of motivating your team with monetary rewards or health benefits (which are expected standards these days), motivate them with flexible working arrangements. This is especially important to note as millennials take to the workforce. Millennials are the least engaged population in the workforce and the majority who were polled said that flexibility and work-life balance were significant motivating factors.

Another poorly engaged segment of the workforce is women, and for a lot of the same reasons as the millennials. Businesses are losing out on intellectual captial because women leave the workforce often to become the primary caregivers of their children. If flexible work options were more available, including part-time professional work, there would be less of a brain-drain for businesses.

Flexible, mobile work options for those approaching retirement would also potentially keep people with extensive experience in your business without having to take a hit on the bottom line. Because life expectancy and quality of life has extended significantly, people are less interested in retiring at 60 or 65 so why not keep them engaged and mentoring the younger generations?

Even though it’s more common to have remote teams, there are still a lot of perceived challenges. I’m going to debunk those notions with solutions that can help you grow your business and improve your intellectual capital…

  • Challenge: Out of sight, out of mind. When I created the education website for the organizing committee of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games our budget was only 1% of the entire Games budget, and therefore very low on the priority list for internal services. By being on-site, I was able to build relationships with the various teams that I needed to help get the work done.
  • Solution: Social media and team-based tools such as Slack help to create relationships and stay top-of-mind. Coming together in-person on a quarterly basis will help to bridge any gaps. This has to be taken on as a priority for your business because tools are only good if you use them.
  • Challenge: Access to a great Internet connection.
  • Solution: With cellular data getting faster and cheaper, this is becoming almost meaningless. Paying for a big data bill is worth it for the freedom.
  • Challenge: Sometimes it’s easier to just turn to the person next to you or pop by your employees desk and discuss something rather than writing an email.
  • Solution: By having the team on Slack whenever they’re working, quick conversations can happen. If necessary, the next step could be a video or voice call. With Slack open, you know the person is “at their desk” and therefore in your line-of-sight.
  • Challenge: Lack of social engagement from working at home alone.
  • Solution: Again, Slack is a great way to stay connected with your team, especially if you use a “random” channel or “watercooler” channel. Unlikely friendships may even form. Also, getting out into the community around you by working at coffee shops, parks, beaches, co-working spaces, temporary office spaces can also help.
  • Challenge: Lack of discipline or productivity or being heavily distracted.
  • Solution: See solution above. I’ve also found that I work more productively and even longer when working remotely. In fact, it’s sometimes a challenge to shut work off! When working in an office environment, especially the open concept that’s so popular these days, the distractions and productivity drains were much worse.

Working remotely also comes with a pile of other benefits. Here’s a list of what I’ve experienced from being able to work wherever I want:

  • Creative inspiration – changing location can change your perspective and help you unlock that great new idea.
  • Diversity of thought – talking with different people rather than always being around the same team helps to provide new points of view which is always a benefit.
  • Flexibility – a consistently timed work day doesn’t often work in my business where things are often time-sensitive and deadline-driven. Being able to put the hours in when needed then take a break when things are slow has improved efficiency and productivity.

Share your thoughts on the pros and cons of remote work on our social channels @antennasocial.

~Christina

 

 

6 Best Practices to Community Building & Reputation Management

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Top Tip

  1. PARTICIPATE: Interact with influencers who have large followings consisting of your target audience. Write comments on their posts that add value to the conversation and you’ll attract new followers. And of course, respond to your fans as soon as possible.

Watch the full webinar below or check out the presentation deck on our SlideShare page.

Visit our Webinar Schedule to see our up-coming topics and register for the next one.

As a thank you for checking out our blog, we’re offering you $300 US towards any of our Social Media Management Packages listed here. PROMO CODE: blog01

6 Tips for Writing Content that Converts

We’ve invited our friends at Hey Orca! to collaborate with us on creating blog content. We use their amazing web application to plan and schedule social media content for ourselves and our clients.

Guest blogger  understands what it takes to make great content. Check out her tips below…

Creating well researched and well written content is not an easy task, and later seeing it go nowhere is painful to watch. Whether you are creating content for your social media calendar or for your company blog, it makes sense to take the time to learn how to write content that converts. Learn how to leverage power words, how to appeal to emotions, how to choose words that resonate with the goals of your readers, and more!

1. Always have a plan

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin The ideal content plan will cover all the bases of your content strategy. From creating, editing, publishing, distributing, measuring and reporting. By having a plan in place for each stage of the content lifecycle, you are sure to stay on track and reach your milestones or benchmark goals. Here are some questions to help you get your content plan started! Who is the intended audience? What forms of content will you use? How ofter do you plan on distributing/publishing content? What is your plan? How do you plan on measuring it?Related Article : Join the Dark Side… of Facebook that is!

2. Get to know your audience

Theres a reason why radio car commercials are rampant on the way to work, and why coffee and fast-food chain commercials always appear during morning shows. Once brands identify which demographic to target, they place content where their audience is sure to see it. Knowing your demographic means details like disposable income, shopping preferences, and position within the market. By isolating an audience and aligning your product with their needs and wants, you’ll be able to capture their attention with relevant content.

3. Start storytelling

Storytelling is an opportunity to talk to customers as people and in a way that engages their imagination and sense of wonder. Few things are more tiresome than a lazy promotional message. Whether it be a shared personal experience or just an emotion, storytelling is a form of content not to be underestimated. This is an opportunity to reach your audience on a more personal level, and capture their attention without seeming profit-driven. One of the best known examples of a storytelling television ad is Back to the Start from Chipotle Mexican Grill. The restaurant chain shared their story of striving towards a more sustainable future and shared a common goal with their audience for back-to-basics, simple eating. Not to mention that Chipotle also won a Cannes Lion Grand Prix while doing it.

4. Words can make you or break you

In most scenarios, I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. But when it comes to engaging content, words are pretty crucial. In fact, without the right words there will zero action from your audience. So avoid words that suggest there could be deniability. For example; Round-trip fares starting at… – you’ll probably be paying more for those tickets than what the Airline advertises Using assertive and eye-catching words will be much more compelling to prospective customers than meek, timid ones. Try using analogies or metaphors for slogans, introduce strong, confident words, or even play around with alliteration. Regardless of what you are offering to prospective clients or how you want them to act, using savvy and clear words will help you pitch your offer to audiences in a fresh, fun way!

5. Curate the CTA

One of the most crucial parts of the content you’ll produce is the CTA (Call-to-Action), which ideally will bring a prospective customer to your landing page where they’ll want to learn more about you and your product. You’re tailoring content to different audiences, so that also includes the CTA. Don’t stick with the classic Click here copy. Still use CTAs that are clear and to the point, but curate the words to what type of audience members you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting an inquisitive and curious audience; Discover how it works! or Learn more here! CTA.

6. Promote Promote Promote

Congrats! You’ve created engaging, compelling content – now its time to share it with the world! Make sure to distribute content through more than just one of your social media channels. You can also leverage your social followers or email lists to get the word out. This is also a great opportunity to harness the power of people you don’t know – thought leaders or social media influencers, for example. Learn more about the Power of Influencer marketing here! There’s no reason not to reach out to them and ask if they could share your content with their audience – you could always offer a guest content in exchange. Now, all of a sudden you have a professional relationship with a big-cheese in the social media space! How cool is that?
Content is all about taking your audience on a journey – from attracting, creating a connection, and closing an offer. After engaging your audience with relevant and unique content, how could they possibly resist?

How to Segment Your Audience for Facebook Targeting

Knowing your audience is crucial to your brand’s success. The more effort you put into segmenting your potential customers into niche profiles based on interests and what’s called psychographics (attitudes, aspirations, values) the more you’re able to speak to them in a way that resonates. This is how you convert people to taking action, whether it’s buying a product or service or subscribing for updates.

This infographic created by Ghergich.com for Salesforce explains how to use the information you gather about your potential audience to target them on Facebook.

Remember: create content that speaks to your niche.

Click To Enlarge

How to Use Facebook Audience Insights to Unlock Buyer Personas

Via Salesforce