Grow Your Gram | Day 3: Cultivate {Part 1}

Well the plan was to have all 5 days of this class happen Monday-Friday of the same week.  One thing as a creative business owner I've had to learn.  Essentials and non-essentials.  Essential: you get all 5 sessions crammed full of actionable content.  Non-essential: you get it all in the same 5 day period.  Essential: my clients get their projects done on time and with top quality.  Non-essential:  I look like an online instructional rock-star.  Ya'll are ok with being real, right?

Thank you for all the well-wishes and prayers for my family.  One of the the things I value most is my business allows me to be there for them in their time of need. Both of my folks are dealing with simultaneous dramatically life-altering medical diagnoses.  At the same time.  It is a lot.  But we are taking one minute at a time.

OK, personal update over.  Now on to the good stuff.  This is maybe my favorite part of this 5-day series.  We have created an authentic visually branded identity.  We have curated an intentional and visually cohesive image feed.  (High fives for all of you daring ones who deleted images between reading Day 2 and here.)  Now we talking about cultivating your content and community.

Remember how I said you didn't need 5,000 followers to see success from using Instagram?  I mean I hope we both have at least that many followers one day.  BUT if you have 500 followers who are engaged and connecting in with your content and growing into a community, this is more valuable 1000 who don't get involved at all.  I am not saying numbers are not important.  I am just saying they are not the only way to measure true success of your online efforts.

DESCRIBE THE COMMUNITY YOU WANT TO BUILD

Let me give you an example.  I want to build a community of flourishing creatives who want to have story-led businesses. I want to attract and encourage (1) creative entrepreneurs who want inspiration regarding branding and creativity, (2) wedding planners and brides who might like my invitations, wedding pros who might wind up referring clients to my invitations and (3) folks who might like hand-lettering and prints or be interested in licensing my illustration work.

Knowing this is key to all that follows. Why? Because it gives me clear guidelines of what content I am going to cultivate.  My content focuses on my illustration work, hand-lettered pieces, wedding invitations and targeted inspirational content.  I am not going to post snapshots of my dinner or my favorite new shoes.  Why? I am not a lifestyle brand, a recipe blog, a nutrition guru or a shoe shop.  Make sense?

CULTIVATING CONTENT

You've cleaned, ahem curated, your feed until you have a cohesive starting place.  NOW what do you do?  You post only content with the right style and the right topic matter that is relevant and helpful to the community you want to build.

I recommend to my branding clients that they pick 2-3 targeted content areas aligned with their business goals.  People follow people who consistently produce quality content that interests them.  Moment of truth:  I have "unfollowed" almost every personal account I once followed with a very few exceptions.  I no longer use Instagram for my personal photos.  I share behind the scenes shots all the time and share my heart authentically.  But the only folks who get to see my dinner are the ones eating it with me.

My three content areas are:

  1. Hand-Lettering & Watercolor Illustration work
  2. Wedding Invitations/Design work
  3. Inspiration, Insight & Encouragement for Creative Entrepreneurs

If it doesn't fit into one of these categories, 99% of the time it will not get shared.  {With an exception of the occasional puppy pic of my 7.5 pound studio assistant, Charlie.}

How do these categories translate into content choices?

  1. Work in progress photos, studio snapshots, work space photos, finished product photos/mock-ups, close up detail shots, photos of tools being used, photos that are instructional in some way, photos of my studio pup (of course)
  2. Work-in-progress shots, product shots, finished designs, mock-ups, styled shots, photographs from styled shoots I've collaborated in, photos/screenshots/re-posts of where the invites have been featured.
  3. Quotes, photos that visually support what is written in the comments, tips and insight, shoutouts to other creatives I have worked with or admire, photos of what I am working on, brand snapshots of client work, announcements of sales/product launches (keep this to a low roar), etc..

PRO TIP 1:  If you very much still want to share snippets from your personal life, consider sharing them in the new Instagram Stories feature.  The content there automatically disappears after a day so it will not change the aesthetic of your feed.  You can also use this to talk more about your process or products. give a tour of your space or show off your stunning personality.  

PRO TIP 2: You are not obligated to leave photos up on your Instagram.  Maybe it contains content with a deadline.  Maybe you thought it was perfectly styled but then you look back 3 days from the post date and it doesn't fit like you thought.  YOU have POWER to DELETE any post any time it is no longer helpful, useful or cohesive.

Business like doesn't have to be boring and professional can still be personal.  It is all about building relationships.  Which leads into the second part of this post, Cultivating Community.  But this post is already long enough as is.  SO, how about I talk about that in a separate Day 3 post?

And seeing as I've not been able to keep to my schedule and we are at the weekend already, I'm going to leave you with a little homework I normally only give my clients.

Doing this will set you up for major success, not just on Instagram, but throughout your social media and online community building.  It will also help you drill down on your primary content areas.  Once you download and complete this exercise come back here and use your newly defined tribe to outline 3 major content areas and then brainstorm type of content you could cultivate in each of the 3 areas.  Just like I shared above.

It is time to intentionally Define Your Tribe.  You don't have to fill this out like it was a pop quiz or a job application.  I encourage to take time to put yourself into the mindset of each persona your identify, answer the way they would, journal about the response, even sketch out/paint out your responses.  I encourage all my clients to start a visual business journal, where we can build great strategy in a creative format they might actually want to revisit and build upon.  And I'd sure love to see what you come up with! 

If you care to share, tag me on Instagram @micheleperrydesign with snapshot of your tribe! 

 

 

Grow Your Gram | Day 2: Curate

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Today we are going to dive into the world of content creation, which is 9.8 times out 10 simply the art of great content curation.  An idea doesn't have to be original to be world-changing.  The idea of a 100% completely original non-influenced creative idea is a myth right up there with pink unicorns. (What?!?! I know. I was bummed too when I found out pink unicorns were a myth.)

You are a mashup of what you let into your life. And anyone can be creative if they surround themselves with the right influences.
— Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

I don't know about you, but the idea of having to come up with consistent viral-worthy fabulously original content is enough to make me stare at my screen until I decide to go make another coffee and watch traffic from my kitchen window.

But what if great content creation is more about authentic content curation, more about the choices we make that bravely, authentically shares our story with our tribe in such a way that serves them and connects heart-to-heart?  Now that changes the dynamics just a bit.

If you want to create a cohesive social media message, it is important to know who you are and what you offer in a way no one else does quite the same and where that intersects with point of need with your tribe.

I don't know about you but clutter is my nemesis.  And digital clutter is no different.  It is really hard to even know where to start "curating" when your canvas is chaotic.

Earlier this year, I realized my Instagram feed was cluttered and didn’t represent accurately who I am now or where I am going as a business. So I took a radical step and deleted all the content to start with a fresh canvas because I was going from a personal rather haphazard feed to one that I wanted to have a specific branded look.

NOW that is NOT the right move for many of you.  But a less drastic move might be. 

PRO TIP: I used an app called Cleaner for Instagram that is brilliant.  You simply go into the app, select the media you want to delete... you can even download the content before you delete it to make sure you have a copy. (Please do, do that if you don't have the images backed up already.)  You can pick 1 or 2 images or the whole entire feed like I did.  The app then time deletes your photos at a rate so as to not to get your account flagged on Instagram. 

Once you have your feed "decluttered", you can better curate the right look and content going forward.  More on that tomorrow!

DAY 2: PUT IT INTO ACTION

  • Draw 3 circles like in the image above.  In management speak, this is called a Venn diagram for those of you who like geeking on details like that as much as I do ;-)  In one circle, write a bit about who you are on your IG account.  Pull from Day 1.  In a second circle, write a bit of what you offer in a way that only you can.  There are a ton of wedding photographers, but perhaps you specialize in windblown beach weddings and use serious mood settings and signature matte filters.  Third circle, what does the tribe you have or are trying to grow need.  SWEET SPOT: What is in the amazing overlap?
  • When curating and deleting, say farewell to any photos that don't represent this well.  What remains should be a visual depiction of that overlap.
  • Check out Cleaner for Instagram.  The PRO version is the best $2.99 you will spend on your Instagram account.  (And I am not an affiliate. Just a grateful user, i.e. unofficial, non-compensated, non-attorney spokesgirl.)
  • Hop on the comments of this post and share your Instagram accounts so I make sure I see all your hard work!

Apologies on the late publishing of this {and maybe the next} post.  Life is a little hectic right now with some family medical crises, but here's to great hot tea and my digital happy place after the world snuggles in for the night.  It's Nov 1 and I broke out my favorite Christmas penguin mug.  Because the world just needs more Christmasy penguins.

Grow Your Gram | Day 1: Create

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Hi beloved, I am so glad you are here!  So here you are ready to grow your gram, gather a tribe and share your awesome with the world.  This class could be 5 weeks instead of 5 days, there is so much ground to cover.   When I say master class, I mean a class that will help you master its content.  Actionable advice and make it happen moments. Let's get this party started!

If you are joining in, I am going to venture a bold guess you are interested in harnessing the power of Instagram to build your brand.  Day 1 is ALL about identifying your tribe and creating the right profile content and signature image style.

WHO ARE YOU INSTAGRAMMING FOR?

First.  Are you Instagramming for yourself and a few friends?  If you are, no worries.  You still can benefit from what I am sharing.  If your account is personal, go wild {within good taste of course}!  But, if you plan to gram for your business or professionally, it is time to drill down and delete content that is not in line with your branding, design and core message.  If you are gramming for your brand or business, you are no longer simply posting content you want to post.  You are now posting content that will best serve your growing tribe.

PRO TIP: If you have a Facebook page for your business, you will want to connect them.  It will open up a world of analytics to help you understand what's working and what isn't. For more information to get you pointed in the right direction, check out this tutorial here.

WHAT KIND OF INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT ARE YOU RUNNING?

Is it just you?  Or does your business have your name in it?  Then the profile photo should have your beautiful face in it.

Are you a brand that employs more than 2-3 and that doesn't feature your name?  In most cases these kind of accounts, do better well with an official logo.

Are you running an account that is for the express purpose of building community?  Again a logo usually works well.  But rules are just that.  Guidelines.  Not legal mandates.

PRO TIP: Deciding what kind of account you are running will affect more than your choice for the type of profile photo graphic.  Here are the primary types of accounts: personal, professional, influencer, small business (more than 2-3 staff), solopreneur/2-3 staff, community, catalogue/featured posts.  Each has a slightly different nuance and strategy for positioning.    

POLISHING YOUR PROFILE

PRO TIP:

First, you want a professionally done head shot or designed logo (or one that could pass for it).  Then, you want a user name aligned with your business name and Facebook page.  Next, you want to write a super concise bio stating:

  1. What you do:  I champion + coach...
  2. Who you do it for: ...creative entrepreneurs...
  3. What is the value you are adding: ...helping them build authentic brands that flourish one story at a time...
  4. Additional relevant bits you want to share or a call to action: Watercolor • Weddings • Inspiration

Lastly, you want your up to date website URL. The URL should be linked to your overall primary web presence or a relevant promotion.

CREATING A SIGNATURE IMAGE STYLE

Check out the screen grabs below from 3 different lifestyle accounts.   {Click the images to be taken to their feed in a new window.}  Notice the images within their respective feeds have a similar feel, a certain quality about them.  They are recognizable. The images look like they belong to each other.  I mean I can look at Anthropologie and tell their images a mile down the road coming.  I bet you could do likewise for at least one of the key brands you love.  That's what I'm talking about when I say signature image style.

@wonderforest

@wonderforest

@dreamywhiteslifestyle

@dreamywhiteslifestyle

@anthropologie

@anthropologie

Here are a few tips on identifying and creating your signature "look": 

Styled photography isn't just about fabulous flat lays.  No siree there are multiple components in creating a cohesive visual dynamic on your feed.

  • If you don't know what style you want to pursue, find images on Pinterest or Instagram you like and that feel authentic to how you want to present your content.  Take screen shots and put them into a photo gallery where you can see them side by side.  What elements are similar?  What do you love?  What feels like it resonates? Why?  What don't you like?  Why?  Find that and you are a whole lot closer to knowing your signature style.
  • Are you airy and light, boho, classic, minimalist, white/light, darker/brooding, high contrast, moody, dramatic, soft, whimsical?  For example, if I were to describe my style, I'd say I'm white/light, clean, soft, whimsical with just a touch of boho.  
  • Once you identify your look, play around with Instagram's filters and your favorite smart phone editing apps (more on that later this week) and choose your go to combinations to create this look consistently. Resist the urge to slip into diversifying.  Folks like to be able to identify your aesthetic and know what to expect, while being surprised by your genius all at the same time.
  • If your account is managed by a team or a social media manager/assistant, come up with instragram brand protocols.  Not just for the visual aesthetic and how to create it, but the language and tone used in the caption/comments, as well as a list of hashtags you would like to use consistently.  Actually this is a great idea even if your are a business dream team of one.  It will help you stay focused and resist distraction.
  • Type your go to hashtags in batches of 15-20 in an application like Notes and then you can copy and paste the appropriate set with the right image.  Instagram limits to 30 hashtags per post and monitors repetition as well in a measure to cut down on spam.  Keeping your batches down to 20 or less ensures you can put some strategic hashtags in the context of your post message itself.  Instagram functions like a visually based micro-blog and gives you space to concisely share your story.

DAY 1: PUT IT INTO ACTION

  • Evaluate and spruce up your profile.  What does your tribe need to know?
  • If you know your signature look, write down your strategy for creating it... even if it is as simple as "take photos in natural light" and use such-and-such filter on Instagram. 
  • If you don't know your signature look, pick 3 Instagram accounts you LOVE.  Go through the process I describe above of analyzing why you love these accounts visually and how you can use that understanding to refine the way your create and communicate content to your tribe.  I am not saying "copy" them.  I am saying use them as a mirror to study your own inspiration process, learning what you truly love and how to authentically create it.
  • Follow me on Instagram @MichelePerryDesign.  I want to know you are here and begin to see the magic happen on your Instagram accounts.

I'm humbled and so excited you are here.  Please feel free to connect and ask questions and let me know how I can best serve you.  Go you!  Time to grow your gram!

Why I Deleted My Instagram Feed {+ A FREE 5 Day Grow Your Gram Master Class Coming Oct 31!}

I know.  Who does that? Just delete every single photo in her Instagram feed?

This gal did.  On purpose. Voluntarily. Yep.

Sometimes in order to find your core message you have to wipe away even good content in order to offer great content.

Clutter isn’t just physical (though I have way too much of that); it is mental, emotional, spiritual and in this day-in-age, very often digital. {Any other creatives out there with way too many graphic elements and files stored for a rainy day?  Ahem.}

Case in point:  Please meet my newly sculpted Instagram feed. (@micheleperrydesign)

Before it was cluttered instead of cohesive, and quite honestly, it was driving me nuts. It so easy to be trapped by our online accounts.  My social media does not own me.  I own it.  Period.  Take that cluttered feeds!

A few months ago, one day, I had enough.  There’s no way to do it, but to just do it. I downloaded all my Instagram history {I didn’t want to loose my pictures!} and then set an app to delete every last photo on my feed.  {Not my account, I didn’t want to loose my followers, just my irrelevant content.}

Curious about how I deleted content and what apps I use? I’m offering a 100% FREE master class called Grow Your Gram. It is truly free— you don’t even have to give me your email to participate. The party stars here October 31, 2016!
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I nixed the selfies, pared down on random acts of oversharing and laser focused my content to meet the inspirational needs of my client base.

Do you know what happened?

I gained 120+ new followers in a matter of weeks.  That might not sound like a lot.  But when you have 570+ and then jump to 700+ in response to a strategic leap of faith... those are significant numbers.

The last few months have taught me a lot about the ins and outs practically of engaging with and leveraging the power of this social platform. 

Oct 31, 2016 I begin a 5 day series of articles about strategic keys to Grow Your Gram, where I am SO excited to really kick off the Story Matters blog and begin to get to know you courageous creatives! 

Don’t be afraid to delete, unfollow, unsubscribe and take charge curating your digital world on-screen so you have time for what really matters off-screen.

EXPERT TIP: A quick way to freshen up your Instagram account is to make sure your profile photo and content is current and you have the right link for your website.  Many power users change the link on a daily (if not hourly) basis to highlight whatever content they are featuring. In the post description (since Instagram still does not let you hyperlink content in posts themselves), a simple "see link in profile" is inserted. If you share you Instagram feed in Facebook, you may want to write out the link in your post as well because Facebook will hyperlink it once it posts on Facebook.

Does your Instagram need an upgrade? Does your feed need some TLC? Follow this blog (see the Sign Me Up! link in side bar) and check back here each day this next week for the master class as it roles out. 

You certainly don't have to delete every image like I did, just the ones that no longer work for where you are or where you are going... can't wait to hang out with you all next week!

How To Have A Business Storm Plan

Photo: Source

Photo: Source

{Reposted from The Inside Story, my insider newsletter. Usually, I do not repost contents I send out in my newsletters, but this just happens to be very relevant and I wanted to share... Please sign up to receive The Inside Story at the end of this post so you don't miss out!}

Friday found my city smack dab in the middle of the worst storm to hit us in over a century.  Our coasts were forever changed by hurricane Matthew.  Storms change the landscape.  The same is true for business and creative endeavors.

The question isn't if storms will come, it is when and how severely they will come, as well as how we will respond when they do.  We need to be prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, strategically to stand together with our communities and shine through the storms we face.

Might I encourage you now to consider what your brand needs to do to be prepared... not out of fear, but out of wisdom.  I am speaking about hurricanes of the economy, of business matters, of creative blocks.  I know for my family, I invested what for us is a lot in preparedness ahead of hurricane Matthew.  And it was peace of mind.  We thankfully only needed part of what I put together, but I am so glad I now have the tools needed to shelter in place should other situations arise.

What kind of storms threaten your business?  A lack of customer engagement?  A dip in sales?  Seasonal shifts?  Floods of orders? Gales of competition?  Difficulties in communication, procurement, inspiration?  How can you get ready now ahead of the storm?

How about a simple downloadable worksheet to help you think through various challenges before they yield potentially catastrophic consequences. Identify the storm.  Process through the options for responding.  I use a simple acrostic to help you create your STORM plan.

  • Strategy:  This is your overall big picture response.
  • Tactics: These are your action steps and goals.
  • Opportunities: Every challenge, storm & problem comes with built-in opportunities. Step back for a moment so you can recognize them.  Then write down how you will make the most of them.
  • Resources: What resources do you need to gather, identify and/or create ahead of time?
  • Metrics: How will you measure the results and use that feedback to in-turn tweak your strategies?

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE BUSINESS PREPAREDNESS KIT WORKSHEET

Remember, storms may permanently change our landscape, but our responses to them can define where and how we are positioned as the new landscape around us emerges.

What You Don't See

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Friends, I just wanted drop in with a little encouragement. 

You see a photo like the one above and think-- WOW, she JUST moved in and she is already rocking her work space.  She must really have it together.

Most people only show you the together parts of their journeys.  But I'm not most people ;-)

Here is what is inches behind me when I took that first picture {and still as I write this post}.  It looks like an art supply store exploded in my studio.

Here is what is inches behind me when I took that first picture {and still as I write this post}.  It looks like an art supply store exploded in my studio. 

Things are never and I mean never perfect.  There are always glitches and less than glamorous struggles.  In life.  In business.  In creativity.  Don't judge your beginning by someone else's middle or end.  Don't judge your mess based on someone else's "togetherness".

Chance are she has a few mountains of stuff that don't make it into the photo.

BE encouraged.  If I do one things here, I want to see you be infused with courage.  Mt. Everest wasn't scaled in a sprint.  It was scaled by courageous, decided, forward motions of step-after-step inch-by-hard-won-inch.  It is about the long road.

Sure, I know it looks like that perfectly-coiffed (three cheers for coiffing!) model-gorgeous eloquent expert just effortlessly launched her new multi-bah-gillionaire class and social media empire. 

Effortless takes hours of unseen effort.  Faithfulness in the hidden small things. 

Could it look like I just burst on the branding scene? Tah-dah! Here am I!  Sure it could.  I assure you I didn't.  It's more like I stumbled on to it.

It was countless personal websites over the last decade that went absolutely nowhere as I tinkered and learned and solved problems and invested a certifiable fortune in books and more books and days and weeks reading anything I could get my hands on online.  I studied websites.  I subscribed to excessive email lists.  I lived 16-18 hrs a day behind my screen.  I gave practice services away for free... cartloads of them. 

It took 10+ years to be where I am now.  Confident, yes.  More certain than ever, yes.  Experienced, you bet.  But never, ever 100% arriving.  The absolute truth is there will always be an unsightly pile somewhere, there will always be more to learn and you never actually arrive.  You only keep arriving.

There will always be more to do, more to learn. You never arrive. You only keep arriving.
— Michele Perry
 

The insta-success phenomenon online can be defeating.  Don't let it be.  Your dream is too valuable.  You are too valuable.  YOUR STORY MATTERS.  And I'm committed to cheering you on.


Need a few more cheerleaders?  Join our Flourish Community on Facebook.  Always free.  Always committed to seeing you, your brand and your business flourishing one story at a time.

Brand Stories

Today is a day that has been a lifetime in the making.  It takes time to discover the deepest parts of who you are, the place where your gifting and the world's needs meet on the same page.

I've been a creative dreamer for as long as I can remember.  Whether it was selling Girl Scout cookies and making custom shell sculptures in grade school, or creating articles and photography in college, these fingers have been in entrepreneurial endeavors long before I even knew that word existed.

My favorite part of any project is the blank canvas, the empty page, the raw power of potential.  So I thought I'd start off our journey together by sharing a bit of my journey and how Michele Perry Design Co. came into being.

The creative journey of becoming who you really are as a business, as a creative entrepreneur is rarely, if ever, a straight line.  The running joke in my family is how many business cards I've had over the last 20 years.  I'm guessing the number is about 30 or more.  I wasn't fickle, I just had so many ideas and couldn't seem to corral them all to fit in one business... until now.

I lived in a war-torn part of Africa for 7 years founding and leading an international development base and children's rescue home.  I discovered in the middle of the bush with no running water or electricity the power of story.  How it shaped a culture and became their foundation for the future.  I also discovered I simply loved sitting with people and helping them define and design the dreams on their hearts.

And so the name of this blog, Story Matters™.

Behind any strong brand or business lies a strong brand story.

It is my joy to come along side creative entrepreneurs, conversation changers and culture shapers to help them harness the power of story to grow their businesses and build brands that matter™.

Branding is as much science as it is art.  A really great way to learn both the art and the science of brand building is to study the story and elements behind a finished branding product.

In this series, called Brand Stories, I will periodically pull back the curtain and show my process of developing brands that matter™. Let's kick this party off by starting with my own brand story.

BACKGROUND: I knew Michele Perry Design Co. (MPDC) had to achieve a balance between connecting with my target audience yet still authentically reflecting my unique style and design ethos.  I also knew I didn’t want to go the normal “edgy” marketing/branding agency route.  I primarily work with creative entrepreneurs and nonprofits.  I want my branding to speak their language as well as my own.

MPDC needed to be professional and personal at the same time.  It needed to look stylish without seeming slick.  It needed to evoke artistry, creativity, authenticity, compassion, approachability, ambiance and charm while still remaining savvy, clean and on trend in its design.

I wanted to communicate organic warmth and infuse everything with the right amount of friendly playfulness.  I believe branding and business development should be about the journey as much as the end result. And while the journey is not always easy, it should be joyful. 

I also wanted MPDC to convey a sense of true connection, grounding to natural world and an invitation to self-discovery and personal development.  Somehow we needed to weave together softness, sensitivity, sustainability and great strength.

TARGET AUDIENCE:  I work primarily with creative entrepreneurs (bloggers, artists, writers, coaches, stylists, designers, photographers) and solo-preneurs; as well as a range of nonprofit organizations and ministries.  A sizable percentage of my client base is women and I enjoy championing them as leaders in small business and creativity.  But I work with a great variety of organizations and leaders so I needed to balance how I represented who I am and what I do to reflect these facts.

COLOR: I knew I didn’t want the usual bright primary colors many branding firms use.  I wanted my color choice to reflect warmth, joy, authenticity, creativity, atmosphere and openness. There needed to be natural neutrals, hints of richness and a color palette that was bold and subtle at the same time.

So I went with a sunset inspired palette of various shades of corals with pink-undertones, deep grays, midnight blue, sand, occasional metallic elements and white. I really debated about the coral/pink portion because didn’t want to falsely communicate that I was a purely feminine brand. So I paired the coral with a midnight blue for balance.

Coral tones have been associated traditionally with femininity, but as I researched deeper I found that more recently coral and coral-pink hues have become more mainstream choices that emphasize empathy, faithfulness, approachability and compassion. It is a brave choice in some ways. 

Navy/midnight blue carries connotations of importance, confidence, power, and authority.  It is also associated with intelligence, stability and unity. 

DESIGN ELEMENTS:  MPDC’s look maximizes design trends focusing on watercolor effects, hand-drawn fonts with a hint of nature. The photos I use are largely styled with soft filters creating an experience that calms even as it calls viewers deeper into a discovery process.  I want to pair natural elements with watercolor in a clean minimal setting

The emblem of MPDC is the dandelion.  It is deeply symbolic.  Dandelion means tooth of the lion.  It is a symbol of exponential growth and tenacity, while still being delicate and gentle.  Not to mention almost irresistible.  How many times have you picked one up and blown those dainty white seeds to the wind? Also, the dandelion is a rich source of antioxidants and nutrition.

To me, the dandelion symbolizes the power of our stories when they are stewarded well.  Stories have the ability to take root in the most unexpected places.  They are virtually unstoppable.  They nourish our journey.  The draw us in and invite us to become the very messengers that blow them onward.  Great branding and business strategy that harnesses the power of story does the same thing.  It becomes a vehicle for exponential growth and a purpose grater than itself.

MESSAGING:  I want my copy-writing tone to mirror the blended visual tone of professionalism and personality.  I present relevant terminology in ways that are intentionally approachable, even for people not previously familiar with them.  My goal in everything I share and do is to serve my customers and help them discover, develop and deliver a brand built with a purpose greater than its own profit.  I have chosen clear-cut brand phraseology with verbal strength to balance the sites softer visual touches. For example:

  • Building Brands That Matter™
  • Story-Led Solutions™
  • Your Story Matters.
  • A Purpose Greater Than Profit.

And that my friend is a glimpse at some of the method behind the message. 

Why not take a moment to look at these areas in your creative brand or business.  What are you communicating with your brand identity elements?  Are they working for you or against you?  Have you intentionally chosen them to communicate your story? 

Would you like to chat, ask questions and see how I can help you strengthen your brand so that it becomes your greatest asset?  I'd love to curl up with a coffee and connect with you over skype or the phone to offer a supportive sounding-board and strategic suggestions.  How about free hour of one-to-one coaching with no sales pitch and no strings attached?