Email Marketing is still important!

I was reflecting on what types of design and marketing work I did in 2017 and was not  surprised to see that the percentage of my time creating emails for clients grew again this year. It’s grown from 6% of my work in 2015, to 13% in 2016, to 25% in 2017. With algorithms limiting which social media posts are shown to your followers, email is more important than ever. It is direct access to your audience. It is under your control.

Here are email marketing tips to help you improve your metrics, conversions, and sales from Heather McLaughlin:

  • Refine Your Mailing List
  • Have a Defined “Call To Action” In Every Message
  • Don’t Forget to Personalize!
  • Send From a Legitimate Email Address
  • Try Sending On Different Days and Times
  • Undeliverables Are Unavoidable
  • Choose A Compelling Subject Line
  • Consistency Matters

Read Heather’s full post here. The tip I think about a lot is “Choose a compelling subject line.” You have to entice your subscribers to open the email, otherwise your message is lost.

Need help developing a newsletter for your business? Together we’ll:

  • Set up an account with a mail service provider
  • Upload your existing email address list
  • Create sign up forms/links for use on your website, social media accounts, etc.
  • Design a look that best represents you and your business
  • Create a content plan that will simplify the creation of each issue
  • Code and design the first issue and hit SEND
  • Create future issues together OR set up a template for your independent use
  • Ongoing marketing planning and content creation is available.
  • Other available services include logo design, web design and development, e-commerce, social media marketing, and more.

Please email me at i@eileenmckenna.com for more information and pricing specifics.
I look forward to connecting with you!

From the archives:
Your Email List is Valuable

EMAIL MARKETING STILL IMPORTANTin 2018! 7 steps to create a newsletter 8 tips to improve the results #email #marketing

Six steps to take once you create a Facebook “Fan” or Business Page

Six Steps to take once you create a Facebook Fan or Business Page #facebookmarketing #facebookbasics

  1. Upload a banner and profile image. Use your logo, a picture of yourself, or your product for your profile picture. For the banner image, pick an image that best conveys what products or services you provide. Keep the look of the image consistent with your website if you have one.
  2. Add content. Create a few posts with images and information that best describe your business.
  3. Pin a post of important info to the top of your page – Your schedule, services, etc. Learn how here.
  4. Invite your Facebook friends to “Like” your page once you’ve completed steps 1 and 2. Learn how here.
  5. Post consistently, at least a couple of times a week. You can do it all in one sitting by scheduling posts. Learn how here.
  6. Invite new people to like your page! Click the number of people who liked your post (at the bottom of the post). When the list opens you’ll see next to each name – liked, invited or invite. Click INVITE next to every name to invite that person.

Hi I’m Eileen, a designer and marketer. I help individuals and businesses create logos, and websites, as well as email and social media campaigns to market their products and services. Need help designing a look for your business? Email me at i@eileenmckenna.com.

 

Guilt Free Social Media Marketing

10 Steps to Guilt Free Social Media Marketing

Feeling guilty for not doing enough on social media to market your business? Create a plan, execute the plan, evaluate what you did, and adjust as needed. And stop feeling guilty!

Common scenario – You have a Facebook fan page (or Instagram account or whatever) but don’t post consistently, and don’t even know what to post. (If you don’t have a fan page click here for instructions on creating one.) 

10 Steps to Guilt Free Social Media Marketing

10 steps to get your social media marketing on track (and stop feeling guilty):

  1. Brand your profile to match your website both visually (banner image and logo) and the profile descriptions.
  2. Link everything. Include links from your social media to your website and from your website to your social media. When applicable make your social media accounts “business” accounts. See: How to make an Instagram account a business account.
  3. Develop a posting schedule. You need to post regularly and consistently. This is especially important to be seen on Facebook – because of the algorithm every post isn’t visible to everyone. Learn more here.
  4. Think about what your target audience is interested in. Brainstorm posting ideas. Keep a notebook handy as ideas occur to you during your work day. Only promote yourself 20% of the time. The other 80% should be content interesting to your audience. Here are 100 posting ideas.
  5. Engage! Respond to comments from your audience. Be social!
  6. Observe and learn from what others post – inside and outside of your industry. Learn the etiquette of the platform you are using.
  7. Be creative. Visuals improve the popularity of a post. Take photos, try new things – make a short video!
  8. Review. Analyze the statistics of your posting to see which posts are most popular. You can even determine the most popular days/times when your audience is online. Click here to learn more about Facebook stats.
  9. Adjust the plan going forward. You may want to change the frequency or time of posting OR the types of content you post depending on what the stats reveal. And depending on what is sustainable for you.
  10. Add another social media account. When you are feel comfortable with the above consider adding a new social media tool. Repeat steps 1 – 9 with this new tool included in the process. It will be easier because you are already creating content for posting. Adjust the content to fit the new tool. Read about repurposing content here.

Interesting Link: Learn more about many of the popular social media platforms in this Business News Daily article Social Media for Business: A Marketer’s Guide.

TIP: Consider hiring someone to help with your social media marketing.
My services include:

  • Developing posting content and schedules
  • Designing posts (including editing photos, creating artwork, etc.)

Email me for more info!

TIP: Continue to brainstorm content ideas and add them to your list.

TIP: Create a Facebook post of the most relevant information and pin it to the top of your page. For example an art studio might do this with their schedule. (Click here to learn how to pin a post to the top of your fan page.)

TIP: Save time with your social media marketing by creating several posts at once and scheduling them out. For more info on this read “Plan, Batch, Schedule.”

Don’t feel guilty for not being on every social media platform. It’s more effective to do one well, than be on many and not do anything.

 

Drive more traffic to your Blog with better images

Drive more traffic to your Blog with better images

In 5 months my page views went from a 1,000 a month to over 5,500. I attribute this growth to pinning “Pinterest friendly” images. Here are tips to improve the design of your images.

  1. Create branded images – Using colors, fonts, and layout, design a consistent look that represents your blog or website. An eye catching image will encourage pinners to repin and click through to the post. Use a consistent look and pinners will start to recognize your pins!
    My advice – create a template in Photoshop (or other photo editing software) that you can reuse every time.
  2. Use quality photos. Take better photos by adding lots of lighting. Edit your photos to make them look their best. Play with the highlights and shadows, color balance or cast, and saturation. Or use stock photos.
  3. Add text on top of the image to clearly convey the subject of the post. Make sure the text is legible. Text should be high contrast to the background image to stand out. Dark text if the background is light and vice versa.
  4. Create tall vertical images. I design my images to be 735 pixels wide x 1100 pixels high.
  5. Enter Alt Text. When I add an image to my blog post in WordPress I enter a description in the Alt Text space – using relevant keywords. This text shows up as the pin description when the image is pinned.

Need help with the design of your blog post images? I can help, just email me with the subject “May Pin Promo” and get your first branded image plus a psd template file for only $75. Includes custom color, font, layout, and stock image.

Repinning is recommended to get your pins out there. I pin my images every day. Apps like Tailwind help automate this.

Think about the call to action in the post you are leading visitors to. What do you want them to do? Include related posts at the bottom of your post. Consider creating “Popular Posts” or “Start Here” pages to help new visitors to your site know where to go next.

Learn more about my design and marketing services here. Sign up for my informative newsletter here.

20 Tips for Freelancers starting out

20 Tips for Freelancers starting out

20 Tips for Freelancers starting out. Great for web designers, graphic designers, photographers, writers, It’s great to be a freelancer. You are your own boss, you work from home. But with all that freedom, comes the challenge of finding your own projects. Here are 20 things I’ve learned in my 20+ years of experience as a web/print designer.

Have a goal and target audience in mind. My goal is to work with a small number of clients and service them in as many ways as possible – website design, email and social media marketing, print, etc. Other designers may focus on one service – i.e. business card design, and may try to reach many clients. Some designers focus on one type of client, like healthcare, or authors. Who will you target? What is your overall goal?

Check in periodically with past clients to see if they need anything. They are the most likely to hire you again.

Show people what you do. Social media is a great place for this. People don’t always understand what you do. By posting your projects, you’re letting them know. And a blog is great way for people to get to know, not just your projects, but you.

Practice – and post your projects. Work on your dream type projects. You never know if posting a [book cover, logo, website, etc.] will lead to someone seeing it and saying, “I need that.”

Learn – There is so much free information out there – youtube, udacity (html coding), the library – ebooks and audiobooks, blog posts, webinars, podcasts. Soak it all up!

Ask – Don’t wait for people to ask to work with you. Ask them. Understand that hearing “no” is part of the process. Don’t let a “no” get you down. A “no” brings you closer to a “yes.”

Follow up! People get busy and forget. Make it easy for them, by following up and putting your name and contact info in front of them. 

Practice your “elevator pitch” – how you can describe what you do to someone you meet for 2 minutes.

Network – Take friends/acquaintances for coffee and ask for advice on how to grow your freelance business, types of companies you can target, etc. Asking for advice is easier than asking someone you know for business, but you may end up with a new project. 

Networking Groups – Join one – either local or online. There are mentoring and mastermind groups too. All of these groups expand your network.

Try not to do stuff for free! If you do something for a reduced rate, have the client pay the difference by bartering, or by promoting you on their social media. Make sure you quantify it in your estimate (x # of posts). Working cheap will come back to haunt you when someone else quotes that discounted price.

Expand your services. Be willing to do other, related things, for clients – manage social media, load products to their e-commerce site, etc.

Keep a list of potential clients and continually add to it. Send them an email, cold call (gulp), mail a postcard, or send a FB message. Follow up a few weeks later.

Don’t forget the “other” stuff. When you are freelancing all the other stuff is your job too – supplies, vendors, invoicing, following up with people who owe you money, marketing, etc. You won’t be just designing. All the overhead costs are yours too.

Have a website with your portfolio and services. Include links in your email to your website and social media. Update your website to include new work.

Talk to everyone, and learn what they do. Ask if they could use your services, or suggest they start “emailing clients” (or any service that you can “help” them with – for a fee of course).

Estimate – Always give an estimate before you start a job (hard copy or email not just verbal). Ask for approval on the estimate before you start the work. Sometimes my estimates are ranges because I don’t know exactly what it will cost. I also include my hourly rate for changes “beyond the scope of the job” or ongoing work. When estimating a project remember – it’s not just about “the time it takes but the value of what you are doing.” This bit of advice is from a book I recommend – “Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer: The Evolution of a $1m Web Designer.”

Mark up printing costs or anything from a vendor. I think standard is (or was) 30%, but I it also depends on the size of the job. If you don’t want to cover the vendor costs you can charge your “production” time and the client can pay the vendor directly. 

Work for others – even if it’s just part time. You can learn different skills about organizing a business, dealing with clients, etc. from different bosses, even within different industries.

Seek out clients who can afford to pay you, that have the budget for the projects you can do for them. Although it’s kind of obvious, it took me a while to learn this lesson. You know the saying you can’t get blood from a stone? Plenty of people could use a website, or logo, or whatever, but if they don’t have the resources to pay you what you are worth, they aren’t your target audience and aren’t worth pursuing.

Good luck! I’d love to hear from you! Have additional advice? Find this post helpful? Let me know.
Thanks!
Eileen

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

20 Tips for Freelancers starting out. For graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, writers, etc.

Looking to be more efficient in the new year?

mosttimeI especially liked these tips from Joelle Jay, Ph.D.:

  • Do It. Stop pushing around a task and do it now.
  • Delete It. Some things do not require your response.
  • Delegate It. As often as possible, pass a task on to someone else
  • Decide on It. Make a decision. Move on.
  • Date It. Choose when you’ll give items your time and attention.

Read the complete post “Make the Most of Your Time. Keep Your Workday Sanity” by Joelle K. Jay, Ph.D. here