Where’d ya go?

I was doing really well with blog posts, until I decided to setup a facebook and instagram for bulbbraincreative.  The pride and joy and why I got into the social media/content strategist thing was because of the Bulb Brain Gallery instagram.  To be able to grow an instagram account from 0 to over 4000 followers in over 2 years was a great marketing piece for Bulb Brain Creative that when people would visit the Bulb Brain Gallery instagram they would always ask ‘how did you do that?’  To answer that question was exactly why I started this venture of content production and marketing.

In addition, if I were to offer social media services to people it’s important to let go of the past (Bulb Brain Gallery) and create Bulb Brain Creative on social media.  To tell the current story of what I’m doing on social media instead of just the gallery client was important.  It helps me refine my mission and strategies and does exactly what social media is meant to do: help tell a story.

The Bulb Brain Creative social media pages are an experiment in the Gary Vaynerchuk ‘Document don’t Create‘ mantra. My idea with clients is to produce well crafted and thought out content, but mixed in with that if you do some honest content it helps tell your story.  Stuff with a phone or not as good camera is almost just as important as the stuff with a good camera.

So that’s where I’m at.  I will get back to posting more blog posts, soon. I’ve actually just been doing more filming and editing and networking and meeting people and thus the writing has fallen slightly.  As someone that’s new to running his own business it’s an entirely new juggle to comprehend.  As things get busy I need to figure out what things are important and what things should fall to the wayside.  Lately I’ve found that meeting people face to face and telling my story has been an effective use of my time, as it helps me see what people WANT so I can then create the kind of materials they’re looking for.

And with those struggles and the traveling is where documenting over creating is taking me.  I don’t have enough work to just keep posting finished products and so I don’t want there to be a big lag in between posting.  I do also think I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with a lot of interesting people and go to a lot of new places, and I think documenting those kinds of things are important, and thus, why I’ve been filling my social media with those travels.

On that note, please follow along! I’m in the process of editing a BUNCH of stuff so there will be a good amount of stuff coming soon.  I’ll post the finished products on this blog, on my site and on the social media sites so as long as you’re following me somewhere you’re going to see it.  You’ll see the kind of full court press I can give to your business and the kind of cool, valuable content I can help you create!  You’ll also see how I’m able to film a podcast and use it for video and audio, as well cut it up to smaller bitesize valuable bits of content.

What Designing Over 10,000 UI Screens Taught This Veteran Creative

This article about design may not be as relevant to everyone, but as it’s dealing with a consistent and repeatable process the core nuggets are extremely valuable, whatever the service, process or widget that you offer. It’s posted on design taxi from a post he wrote on medium, and I’m writing down mostly the design taxi piece.  Go check out the other articles if you’d like to read everything he wrote, it’s linked multiple times throughout the piece below.

“Design isn’t something you can pick up from reading a textbook. It takes more than one try to build a masterpiece that you’ll be taken seriously for, and involves several rounds of trial-and-error.

Jon Moore, Co-Founder at UX Power Tools and Senior Design Partner at product agency Innovatemap, has worked on over 10,000 UI screens in the span of his career, and if there’s one takeaway from it, it’s that trends don’t have to be followed so fervently.

Check out five things Moore learned from his design career thus far and read his full article with five more points on Medium.

1. Prioritize your design criteria

Focus on the fundamental aspects of your project before working on to the frills. Moore says he swears by one analogy: “No one cares what color the stitching is on the leather seats of your fancy concept car if it doesn’t even have wheels yet.”

2. Animations aren’t key

Animations are undoubtedly cool, but they won’t make or break your projects. Moore points out that some of the best products in the world are scant of animations—think Google, Salesforce, and Medium.

First and foremost, work on building quality user experiences, “then you can spend all the time you want making a cute little menu button that morphs into a McDonald’s ‘Big Mac’,” Moore explains.

3. “Templatize” your projects

Moore says he successfully created 52 screens for a client, even developing a workable prototype, in just a week-and-a-half. The proposed system was fully customizable too, and could be tweaked according to the brand’s tone.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t made templates out of his earlier work. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel—if a project of yours has succeeded before, it will likely work again.

4. Consistency isn’t just user-friendly, but also convenient

Consistency is a UX rule that allows platforms to be more understandable, and thus adoptable, for users. What many creatives might not know is that it’s time-saving.

If you create a button symbol and use it from start to end in a project, all your buttons will not only look consistent, but you’ll also pick up speed because you don’t have to make new ones from scratch.

5. User value isn’t just important, it’s just about everything * (*ed note: this might be the most relevant business advice there is in conveying your service to a potential client.)

Looks aren’t important when you bring value to your users. Case in point: Craigslist. You likely won’t applaud it for its aesthetics—and somehow, it has a value of US$3 billion.

All in all, user experience is a priority; user interfaces are afterthoughts. You can read Moore’s full post on Medium for five more tips.

5 Annoying things brands do on social media

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I was looking to write an article but came across one with graphics and text so great I’ll just be reposting it here.  The full article is at the bottom, but I’ll break it down into multiple posts as there’s so much good information each little piece could stand to be dissected.

The featured image literally tells 1000 words about how to be an expert social media person.  It lays out very distinctly 5 different things that people are annoyed when brands do or don’t do.  Most novice social media companies tend to overly post promotions or remind you to buy stuff.  The whole reason they’re following you is they bought stuff in the past.  Now they’re looking for you to provide some extra value, or to continue telling your story in an interesting an intriguing way in YOUR voice. Don’t try to be something that you’re not, be genuine.

Step one when we take over your social media accounts are to understand your voice so we can replicate it.

It’s very difficult to never digest social media on your own, then start posting content from your page. It’s very difficult to master without taking in how the different programs ‘breathe’ and vital to understanding the different platforms so you can also speak in the respective voice that each platform is trying to communicate.  People are on different platforms for different reasons and you must understand them before you try to speak on them.

So, as the list says, here are the 5 annoying things that brands do on social media.

  1. Posting too many promotions
  2. Using slang or jargon
  3. Not having any personality on their accounts
  4. Trying to be funny when they’re not
  5. Not replying to my message

This article from Sprout Social is really good and is basically a bachelors in how to be an effective communicator on social media. Because of it’s depth I’ll cut it into multiple batches to discuss, but you can read the full piece here.

Intro to the big 3 (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

Facebook.
Surely you’ve heard of it.  According to Statista.
“As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active Facebook users had surpassed 1 billion, making it the first social network ever to do so. Active users are those which have logged in to Facebook during the last 30 days.”

It started off for college kids but it’s now extremely relevant for all businesses to have one.  With so many active users per month chances are your customers are on there daily, if not multiple times a day.  One of the first places they may go to check out your business is your facebook page THEN your website. It’s important for the information you post to be engaging and show benefits to your client or potential client.  Maybe they won’t see it on the day you post it (as organic reach has dropped dramatically) but think of all the new people that will come to your site and see all your updates.  That’s why it’s important to have a consistent voice with engaging and value added content.

Instagram.
Instagram has been under the facebook umbrella since 2012 when it was purchased for a staggering $1 billion.  Many people thought it was an overvalued purchase considering how new the site was to the market, but considering that as of September of 2017 there were 800 million active users, up from 90 million in Jan of 2013, facebook was right to jump on it so early.

One of the key traits about instagram were that they were the users that got ‘too young’ for facebook and so they jumped to a new platform where their parents can’t find them.  From statista “In the United States where more than half of Instagram’s user base is between 18 and 29 years old. Globally speaking, 41 percent of users are 24 years of age or younger. Instagram is the preferred social network of teens in the United States, beating out Twitter and Facebook.”

The audience continues to age on Instagram and so even though many people have facebook pages they also have an instagram account, too.  Do you?  More importantly, if the customer base you’re trying to reach is in the younger demographic you should make sure you’re there.  It’s a visual system so your pictures or videos need to be really engaging, but the text is just as important.  Even more so, this platform allows discovery in locations which can help to finding customers in your area.

Twitter.
This is a strange one and I made the editorial decision to use Twitter instead of Snapchat. Snapchat could be considered top 3 and there will be other posts dedicated to it.

Twitter is such a firehose of information it’s somewhat difficult to get a grasp on it.  According to Statista “As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the micro-blogging service averaged at 330 million monthly active users. At the beginning of 2017, Twitter had reached 327 MAU.” Most of it’s users are tech savvy so depending on your product it’s important to be there.  Twitter has a very easy sharing option called ‘retweet’ and so if you’re not producing content, you can easily curate a list of people relevant to your business and customers and share their information.

All 3 of these should be looked at similar to your website.  Your customers spend the majority of their time on either one of these sites and so it’s important for you to provide information on the 3 that’s relevant to the platform to help your clients get more comfortable with you.

If you’ve tried them but just can’t get a handle on them, contact us and we’ll help you find your voice.

Do you have experience but have some questions?  Sound off in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mike

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

3 Local Marketing Ideas (& 1 for free)

This will be a topic I’ll bring up a bunch, as I come across more ways to do so.  This is also dependent on your business and client base.  If you’re specializing in a high end product but you’re situated in a low rent area where typical high end clients may not hang out, these things may not apply directly, but the general theory can be used.  This is also highly dependent on your TYPE of client or knowing your customer.  If you have a general type of client that always buys your product or service we can work backwards to find out where other similar clients are and market to them.  Or, if you’re looking to branch out (via the blue ocean strategy) we can look how you can tailor a service to a different generation of buyer.

  1. Local paper.  Yes, i know, they’re almost all dying, but, they’re still there in most towns.  The most obvious example is to take out an ad and just keep doing it.  The other option is to contact the paper to see if you can write an article every week/bi-weekly/monthly about your business and the benefits that current clients enjoy with it.  It doesn’t have to just be a ‘buy my product’, but you’re doing it for branding.  If they continue to open the paper and see your article people will get used to it, and if you have a great personality (you do 🙂 then people will respond, be interested in your article and want to visit your business.  If not just to meet you, but then most likely buy something from the ‘local celebrity’.
  2. Business Development with other like minded businesses.  If you’re on the chamber of commerce or just through being involved in the area you know other business owners.  If you don’t you’re missing an opportunity to meet similar people that are looking for the same thing: more clients. See what kind of trade you can do with them to give them free advertising, then see how they’ll help.  If you have an 11×17 poster that advertises your services that you can post in their window and vice versa.  If they have an email list or some other mailer maybe you could split one.  If you get a group of businesses the 5 or 10 of you could even do a bi monthly mailer with articles.
  3. Farmers Market.  Not all places have it but it’s worth checking into.  Maybe you don’t offer a product that can easily be sold there, but can you take something small that might entice people to sign up for your product/service?  You can just put in some face there and maybe you’ll meet other business owners there and it can help #2.
  4. Social Media.  (this ones free 🙂 This is the obvious answer and there will be a lot more articles on how to use social media to advertise and look for clients, but the easy one now will be to open Instagram or Facebook or Twitter and do a search by location.  If you’re in a small enough area and someone goes to a lot of the local businesses either follow them or like their posts.  Make sure you’re following all the businesses in your area, the alderman, mayor, etc and engage with their posts.  Leaving insightful comments on the pages where a lot of your community people will be attending is a great way to get your name out there.  Don’t pitch, but add to the conversation so people know to turn to you with questions.  Get to know the community through social media.

Looking for help with your marketing?  Reach out so we can discuss how we can help.