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Take the LAY-ME Out of Flat-Lays; 6 tips for quality photos

Sorry for my dad joke….. kinda.

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If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you probably have heard of a flat-lay or seen it on social media / blog pages. And…if you are completely clueless about what I am talking about, here is an example of a flat-lay:

These photos are composed of like items, space and a common color scheme - creating a visually appealing image for all your social media and website pages. Why are we talking about flat-lays you may ask? I am no photographer or graphic artist but I have always been interested in finding fun ways to create my own content. I also put up a poll on my Instagram and Facebook stories to see which topic people would be more interested in and this was the winner. (I am a people pleaser) Honestly, I have been trying to master this technique for quite some time and I have learned that it takes a lot of practice and inspiration / “watching and learning” from others.

So, now that you know (or have been re-familiarized) what a flat-lay is, I want to dish out some awesome tips to get those photos looking fleeky! But, first things first, you will need these five things:

1) Clean, simple background

2) Good lighting

3) Like items with similar color schemes (use in 3’s)

4) Proper spacing (use rule of thirds and symmetry)

5) A small step ladder to get the right angle

Once you have those 5 things, we can get to the meat and potatoes of this blog, the tips!


1) It’s all about proportion

Use a mixture of big and small items to even out the photo and play with the spacing of those items.


2) Take advantage of natural light

Try to position your items near a window or outside where the sun can light up your photo organically.


3) Use props that work together

You wouldn’t use a bottle of wine as a prop if you were trying to market your fitness clothing line - find items that compliment one another and match your branding.


4) Be a storyteller

It’s one thing to take a photo but it’s another to make sure there can be a story tied to the image - this will help the audience relate to you.


5) Position yourself

I told you, you would need a step stool and this is why! When you do a flat-lay, you need to be taking sort of an aerial shot (from above) so this will help you position yourself to achieve that.


6) Edit to perfection

After you have tried different angles, positioning and props - feel free to edit your photo. Play with contrast, brightness and filters to get that crisp, clear and aesthetically pleasing image.

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Now, get out there! Try things, make mistakes, create some masterpieces (or not) and have fun! Like I said, practice makes perfect and when you use these tips, you’ll be on your way to fabulous photos for your pages!

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Happy content creation, friends!

-The Blonde Boss xo

4 Mistakes You Are Making On Social Media for Your Business

No one is perfect, even big, corporate companies make mistakes on social media.  With the online world moving at such a fast pace, and the competition in the business arena heating up, you must stay up to date on new social media features and what works for your industry!

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I am always scrolling on social media and seeing what other businesses are doing to market their product/service.  Most times I am impressed and want to immolate what they are doing because it looks effective but other times...it's cringe worthy. 

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So, before it happens (unless it already has) for your business, try to avoid these 4 mistakes!

1) Bad visuals*

I see this a lot and it really isn't a good look. Make sure your photos are of good quality and not grainy/blurry/unclear!  Try websites like unsplash.com and Pinterest to find quality, FREE stock photos. You can also take advantage of user generated content

2) Not posting enough

When companies aren't posting as consistently, their audience will take notice.  Make sure you are posting AT LEAST once daily to stay relevant.  Also, utilize FB and Instagram stories as well to keep your page on the top of your customer's minds.  These should be posted at a  minimum, 3 times daily to be effective.

3) Not responding to comments

Nothing is worse than when you ask a question or comment on a brand's page and they never respond.  Make sure you are always on top of comments and replying back in a timely manner, even if you have to delegate that task to a specific person to focus on.

4) Not paying attention to new updates on social media channels

Like I said before, the online world is always changing and at a quick pace.  Make sure you are always reading up on new features.  They aren't always going to work for your brand but at least if you know about them you can try to work them into your strategy. 

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Go forth, my business friends! Prosper in all your social media glory (minus these mistakes) and remember me when you hit the big time!

-The Blonde Boss xo

How To Start Your Business Blog

If you are a new business you need to pull out all the stops when trying to market to your audience!  And YES, that does include blogging!  To some, blogging seems like a online diary for stay at home moms or fashion gurus but it can really help your customers understand your brand on a deeper level. 

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Once you have a good grasp on what you want your business to stand for and look like, then you can develop your blog site with those factors in mind!

Now that I semi convinced you to start a business blog, you need to consider a couple things:

1) What blog platform will you use

2) What will be your theme

3) What will be your voice

4) How often will you post

5) How will you link it back to your pages to get more traction

After you determine those things, you might need a little help getting started with content, I got you babe with these 10 topics! 

1) Introduce yourself / Intro blog post

2) Answer questions customers may have

3) Give tips and advice

4) React to industry news and major events in your field

5) Mix in some personal posts

6) Motivate your audience

7) Explain your services / product in depth

8) Staff or CEO bio/highlight

9) Company event recap

10)  Post a video

Once you write your first post, you have to let your audience know!  Make sure you create a graphic using a graphic design site, like Canva (see my last post to learn more)  and post it on all your social media channels. Also, make sure you add key words and outside links to help your post gain more traction online!  Lastly, make sure you use different header sizes and photos to make your posts stand out!

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Now, I want to hear from you! Comment your business blog website and if you don't have one yet, comment your favorite biz blog that you follow!

Thanks for reading!

-The Blonde Boss Media

FIRST VLOG: Why I think Internships are SO Valuable

Please no judging on my video quality, my messy after-work hair or my weirdly lit apartment - I CREATED MY FIRST VLOG!   I am trying to break the ice with video content and I know I need to do more of it so here is the first to more to come! 

This February marks 1 month of my internship with TESstylist and I have been wanting to do a blog on internships for a while because this experience has effected me in so many positive ways. 

Watch the VLOG here:

 

Let me know if you have any suggestions on topics!  Thanks for watching!

 

-The Blonde Boss xo

The Three Most Common Questions I Get Asked As a Social Media Manager

When I decided to start Blonde Boss Media and begin my journey as a social media manager, my family and friends had a lot of questions for me.  "So, what do you do exactly?" , "How do you make money off that?" The list goes on and on. 

I knew going into this that it was always going to be something I would have to explain further for people to understand because social media marketing is such a broad field in the year 2018!  You have your Instagram stars, your social media analysts, your paid social media professionals,  social media funnel specialists, etc. etc.  I have had to narrow down what I am good at, what I like to do and what I need to implement into my business plan so clients can truly comprehend what I do as a social media manager. 

Over the course that BBM has been around, and working with clients of all different industries, there remains THREE major questions that I have always been asked and I want to make sure I answer them in this post for anyone who needs clarity!

 

Question: "What do you offer as a SMM?"

My Answer:  Blonde Boss Media is a unique agency because for one, it is just me working with several clients on all of their different platforms, I call it a "micro agency".  I work with small businesses who cannot afford a big budget agency to implement their social media efforts.  I offer affordable social media packages according to the clients' needs.  On top of offering those packages, we offer distinct add-on services for business branding and marketing including email blasts/company newsletter creation,  media training, blog writing, press release writing and personal wardrobe styling for business people.  And if you love free SM tools, we offer a FREE social media content planner as well!

Question: "How do you figure out your monthly price?"

My answer:  I am very flexible with my pricing that is why I do not put prices on my website.  I decide my monthly cost on a case-by-case basis depending on what the client requires.  I factor in everything including: amount of pages needed to be managed,  amount of posts every week, if I need to create filler content or not,  if they want in depth engagement, if I will be using any software to schedule their content, the amount of phone data used for different social media apps and lastly, travel time for meetings and if I need to come and take photos for clients' pages.  I am always willing to work with the client's budget because my goal is help small businesses thrive in our local community!

Question: "How do you know what to post, where and how often?"

My answer:  When I sign on a new client, they tend to be very skeptical about social media and aren't sure where to start - that is where I come in. There are so many channels to chose from but I will help you decide which ones make the most sense for your business (no, you DON'T need them all). I look at the client's industry and the big players/competitors to determine how often we should post plus I see how much content we have so it doesn't seem forced. I also see what content is most popular in that specific industry and try to mimic it with the company message in mind.  

So, there you have it folks! I answered the THREE big questions everyone asks me and I think I did a bang up job!  My goal is to help businesses gain the traction they need to be successful and I believe social media marketing is the key to achieving that!  If you have any other burning questions for me, please private message me or leave a comment below!

Until next time...

-The Blonde Boss xo