Online Designer for Stunning Social Graphics, Short Videos, and Web Pages too!
Adobe has so many great online designer apps. Adobe Spark is THE must have for any one sharing content online. Not only is it great for social media design, it can also be used for most online visuals like ads, promotions, posts, hero images, videos and more. The app is brilliant and it’s FREE!
The app comes with tonnes of free stock photography, cool fonts and graphics to use. There are so many templates to use for almost any occasion and can be customized for your unique purposes. You can use the app on both desktop and mobile. Get it from the Play Store for Android. I like working on my graphics on my phone mostly because I can easily post to Instagram from mobile. But I use desktop often as well because I can work on the graphics on a bigger scale there. Check out some of my other social media planning apps on my blog here.
The Adobe Spark app is great for holiday graphics with templates for your holiday card maker and social media posts. I also recommend the app for promoting your brand, business, services and products. You can design one visual then easily readjust the canvas to any dimensions saving many versions at different dimensions. This makes it easy to develop a brand campaign of stunning and sophisticated visual graphics to represent your brand across all your social media platforms and more.
The app is also great for Wedding templates and more.
There’s a wonderful new shop in Winnipeg called Preserve. Located at the corner of Portage and Maryland next to Hildegard’s Bakery, this vibrant little local goods shop is preserving your local economy with things to make you feel good and happy! Visit them for Manitoba makers of delicious treats, gifts and local artisan goods. For more info, check out http://preservefoods.ca
This past spring Now Country 104.7 FM launched their fresh new website! It was a lot of fun working with the team at Now Country FM. They have a super fun, funny and up-beat crew of radio broadcasters, station managers and staff. These are obviously people who love where they work and what they do. Together we put together a bright, modern website as a platform for the the Now Country FM blog, event announcements and contests!
Now Country FM is Winnipeg’s Choice for Country Music!
The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity offers a world class experience nestled within the idyllic setting of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. They support artists in a number of ways such as artist residencies, conferences, festivals and more. As an event, story studio caught my attention as an opportunity for professional development for my own work within media production and entertainment based industries.
“[Story Studio] addresses new approaches to storytelling, innovating with technology, and developing sustainable, creative production and business models for media content.”
The weekend offered a number of discussions among aspects of film making and media development of which the programming was primarily geared towards directors and producers. Though the weekend attendees had backgrounds that ranged quite a bit. The program invites post-secondary students, entry-level producers, writers, actors, and directors to register. They also express that “mid-level and senior media professionals looking to gain experience working with new techniques and new technologies are also encouraged to attend.”
Some of the courses I attended here included speakers such as Canadian film producers and directors, Avi Federgreen, Linda Ambury, Alex Lazarowich and Indira Guha, who among others provided excellent industry insights and commentary. Also included were speaking engagements from sales agents and distributors working with Bell Media, Netflix and other leading industry resources.
We love working with musicians! While the music industry can be a difficult place to earn a living, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Many factors play into the success of a career in music. The industry can differ widely across scenes, genres, and and geographic location. Here are my best marketing tips for musicians in 2019
Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
Choose an Online Hub
Blog / Social Media
Patreon / Paid Subscription
People want to work with people they know, like and trust. Your personal reputation will always be the single most crucial factor towards your long-term success as a professional of any kind. This stands true of professional musicians too. Being reliable, hard working and good at what you do are all your best assets. So be confident in those traits when putting yourself out there. This will ensure you understand your own value as a musician and will know the difference between people who also value those qualities and those who do not.
It might go without saying but the larger your network, the more possible opportunities will become available to you. I began taking ‘socializing’ as imperative to my marketing plan a few years back and it has proven to be instrumental to every dollar I make. Maintain long-term relationships, and develop new opportunities when meeting new people by attending events you are invited to and other places where people are. I don’t think it really matters what these events are. Joining a hockey club or going out to a new D&D campaign can do the trick. I like to focus my time on the events that I am likely to have the most fun at and hopefully either meet a few new people or run into a few old friends. When people see you they usually ask what you do for a living or what you have been up to. Take opportunities to let people know you’re a working musician, then you can move on to keep having fun and enjoying the evening.
Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
E-Newsletters have been referred to as the golden goose of digital marketing. I believe it now that I have seen it. Having an email list to send e-newsletters to needs to be your marketing focus if it isn’t already. Conversions are high for e-newsletters compared to other platforms. If you’re looking for a cost effective marketing strategy, this is it. Promote the band, album or new music video with an e-newsletter. This really does need to be the focus for every musician out there.
People need to knowingly & voluntarily sign up to legally be included on a mailing list aka they have to ‘opt-in’. You can collect sign ups a number of ways, either online by
adding a newsletter sign up form to your website
or directly having a sign up sheet at the front door of your gigs
These people who have added their emails to your list are more likely to support you because they have supported you before by attending one of your shows or by going to your website. So this list of loyal followers who are probably already interested in what you do and are just waiting to hear from you. So go ahead, collect as many emails as possible and get a little fan club happening that you keep informed via e-newsletter shout outs. Mailchimp is my preferred e-newsletter method https://mailchimp.com/
If you really want to shock people, go old school and send them a snail mail newsletter! Then write me and tell me how it went.
Relax. You don’t have to ‘sell out’ to brand yourself as a musician (if that’s what you were thinking?). I’ve reviewed my share of musicians press kits and even the most professional of these seem to grapple with the basics of visual presentation (at least in the digital department!). So branding may or may not be your strong point, but if you’re a touring musician you’ve probably had to think about a poster idea or two. Save time by not spending time overthinking every individual marketing piece as it comes. Instead, having a few key visual cues that consistently convey your style across various marketing platforms can save time and drastically increase your success.
Create a logo by writing your name in a font that feels and looks good for you
Pick a secondary font to be used for content on your marketing materials
Choose a few colours to use consistently across your marketing
Create a media library of photos that can be used for social media, etc (I’ll write more about DIY photography later)
Choose an Online Hub
Whether it be a website, a Facebook profile or page, or even LinkedIn, choose at least one online platform where you can get all your info up online. Having at least one online platform where you can direct people whether through posters or word of mouth can provide them with access to news & shows.
For better or worse, social media can play a big part towards your music projects success. Spend time nurturing a couple of these platforms and they will payback. People spend an incredible amount of time surfing online so it is a good place to reach people. It doesn’t replace the very awesome face to face encounters and in-person greetings by any means. Blogging and social media are not the be all and end all of marketing. I am a firm believer in direct marketing and in person introductions as the #1 path to success of marketing. But once you’ve made that connection, social media is a great way to keep folks in the loop.
Patreon / Paid Subscription
Album sales are a fraction what they used to be. Live gigs are often the one reliable source of income for musicians, forcing them into constant touring. A new way for fans to support their favourite musicians is here with paid subscription options like Patreon. Using your e-newsletter list and social media to promote the subscription, you can offer subscribers incentives like new songs released monthly, tour updates and fan promotions like merch giveaways. 10 fans subscribing $5 monthly adds up to $1100 per year. Hmm, what delicious new music gear would you spend that on? Or how about gas for your next tour?
On March 11th 2018 I received a certificate for completion of the Google Ads Fundamentals course through the Google Ads Academy. My creative services studio is based in Winnipeg Canada and I provide digital advertising services that include advertising with Google. Because Google shows local results when someone searches for a business or place near their location, it’s a great way for local business to reach new customers.
Help people find you locally by advertising with Google.
The Google Ads Fundamental training informed me how to:
Help customers find you
Make your ads seen
Align your budget with your goals
Evaluate campaign performance
Create effective text ads
Choose the best campaign types
Control which searches trigger your ads
Interested in learning more about our digital advertising services? Click Here
Something special happened on the Winter Solstice this year, it was the launch of a new website for NCI FM. NCI FM is Manitoba’s Country Music Radio Station and is an Indigenous broadcaster. We decided on a crisp design and prioritized making the Weekly-Bingo fundraiser prominent. The website was great fun to put together as life around the NCI office is full of fun and friendly people and great country music.
Flora & farmer is a food producer based out of Winnipeg MB who makes “delightfully daring preserves your grandma never made”. We love this client because we sometimes receive added perks of scrumptious pickles and jams that go down the hatch faster than most webpages will load.
Chic & Nile Rodgers to Release New Album ‘It’s About Time’ September 28th 2018 on Virgin’s EMI
The long anticipated album from Chic & Nile Rodgers features collaborations with Lady Gaga, NAO, Elton John & more. Founder of Chic and thinking of himself as a guitarist first, Nile Rodgers has produced hit albums and songs by David Bowie, Diana Ross, Prince, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk & Paul Simon (to name just a few). His creativity, musical clarity and passion has made a major imprint world wide.
It was an incredible night meeting Nile Rodgers while he was in Toronto promoting the latest Chic album ‘It’s About Time’ at the Universal Music listening party. The vibe was hype as we listened to singles off the new album “It’s About Time” & Rodgers shared a couple stories about the making of the album and a legendary career.
Grateful the stars lined up for this special moment Photo credit Barry Roden
Excited to see our photography included in the latest issue of Ciao Magazine, Food, Fashion, Home Winnipeg. Our client Kim Bialkoski of flora & farmer was featured with an article and used our photo of her in the article. We’re so proud of Kim for making things so delicious that this great mag took note! Check out “The Chocolate Lovers” April / May 2018 issue found at locations around the city or online at their website http://www.ciaowinnipeg.com/ and be sure to check the wonderful flora & farmer out (taste better yet) also found at locations around the city, check out floraandfarmer.com for more info!
Search Engine Optimization – aka – SEO is the process by which you can improve your ranking score for certain search terms in a search engine like google or yahoo.
Let’s say you own a florist shop called Deloris the Florist in Regina Saskatchewan Canada.When someone searches their preferred search engine with the key words “florist in Regina” will they find you in the first spot, or on the seventh page?
No one usually looks beyond the first few results and very rarely do they make it past the third page of results. For this florist shop to achieve their goal of being on the first page of google when someone searches with those key words, they will need to follow best recommendations for SEO.
First things first is to understand a bit about how your website is ranked by Search Engines. This will help you understand how to optimize your site. Search engines like Google have bots that are searching the web non stop. Bots scrape the text of new websites that have been added to the web and submitted to search engines and will periodically revisit your site. Bots do not have eyes so they do not see pictures, but they do read text. They search the text of a website for terms that are used most often, but not too often otherwise the bots will think you’re spamming them. Bots pay attention to how long a user stays on your page. This is called a bounce rate.
A high bounce rate means people are leaving your page or website too fast. To keep a low bounce rate, you want to be sure to optimize your site with terms that are truly descriptive of the content they will find on your page. Bots will rank your site with favor when they see that your site has a low bounce rate with steadily increasing traffic. Other ways to think about how to keep users engaged with your site and staying on your pages longer is by having plenty of interesting text for both users and bots to index, as well as other engaging content for your traffic, such as images, video and blogging.
Our Beginners Guide to SEO – Search Engine Optimization
1.Optimize your website by making sure it is running well. If your website is slow to load, people leave fast This contributes to a high bounce rate which will damage your search engine ranking. There can be a lot of reasons for a slow website. Luckily it is pretty easy to find out what these reasons are. Here are links to online sites that give you free website metrics, telling you how fast your page is, how it compares to other sites and recommendations for ways to improve your websites optimization.
GTmetrix | Website Speed and Performance Optimization
GTmetrix is a free tool that analyzes your page’s speed performance. Using PageSpeed and YSlow, GTmetrix generates scores for your pages and offers actionable recommendations on how to fix them.
2. Research keywords for your industry to use in your website copy. The best way to do this is probably using Google Ad Words and have get some training using SEO and developer keyword tools. But for something a bit more accessible we recommend, MOZ PRO
With MOZ you can easily look up keywords and get information back about the search engine relevance of that keyword. We also recommend reading the MOZ Beginners Guide to SEO and Keyword Research https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
3. Use an SEO plugin
Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins. Their Search Engine Optimization plugin is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there. They also have a website that is full of great articles and content about website optimization best practices.
Yoast is our #1 Recommendation for a SEO Plugin
SEO for everyone • Yoast
Yoast helps you with your website optimization, whether it be through our widely used SEO software or our online SEO courses: we’re here to help.
4. Monitor your website traffic. You can track your website traffic progress by signing up with Google Analytics. There’s lots of free information that they provide you such as how much traffic your site gets, how people are finding you, and how users behave on your site and you can even get information about the organic search words that people are finding you with. There are ways to identify how to monitor your websites ranking for certain key words. Most of these online resources want you to make a paid subscription which can be very worthwhile. Of these you might like to check out https://www.semrush.com
Google Analytics Solutions – Marketing Analytics & Measurement
Google Analytics Solutions offers free and enterprise analytics tools to measure website, app, digital and offline data to gain customer insights.
This vlog and video for marketing stuff may be taking off more than ever now with various mediums like Facebook live, Instagram Live, Snap Chat and more, video is quickly gaining even more ground. There are lots of great online resources with info and stats on how online video is working for business world wide
So to keep up with the demands of delivering quality video, a good setup would consist of a phone with a pretty good camera and also recommended is an external mic to record better audio quality than what most phones will be able to record with the internal mic. Add good content and you’re ready to rock! So here are two quality lavalier mic recommendations with support video tutorials that I came across in my research this past week. Both mics are inexpensive options to get you started and working with a more than decent setup to run your show.
Thanks for checking out our post about the Best Budget Lavalier Mics. We hope you found it helpful.
Over here in Winnipeg the seasons have turned and we are back at it with another 6 months of winter. It’s a cold one out there but we’re going to keep moving and have lots of fun with media and marketing stuff this winter, eating lots of fries and gravy with ginger ales for breakfast.
In her work towards peace and understanding we have the contribution of Isabel Briggs Myers, who with her mother developed a survey and compiled the results into what is now the MBTI and is a test taken by 2 million people a year in over 16 languages.
This insightful test based off the insights of Carl Jung, is an interesting work of some of the worlds most innovative thinkers.
Here is a free, shortened version based off the original. Did you find your results to be accurate and was it helpful? If so how?
I’m always impressed with the accuracy of this test, that even after years have gone by, the results echo the same again and again.
I’m an ENTJ “The Commander” for a while now, my type represents just 2% of the population.
“Overrepresented among MBA students and small business owners
One of two types most likely to be satisfied with their work”
ENTJ is Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging and they say we get a lot of satisfaction from achievement and we’re a naturally self starting bunch who shine as “strategists”. Other commanders include Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Jobs, Gordon Ramsay, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harrison Ford.
ENTJ Personality (The Commander) | 16Personalities
There are many aspects of a successful marketing and sales plan. Assuming you have a quality product that people will want once they know about it, let’s talk about generating leads.
Wikipedia.com : Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline.
The truth about being a small business owner is that it is not much different than anyone out there searching for new opportunities, business or not. The main thing is that to generate leads you really need to put yourself out there. There are several obvious avenues to do this. Social selling is in my mind still your above and beyond most important aspect for creating leads. As the old saying goes, people like to do business with people they know, like and trust. So with this in mind, when building your business, your best foot forward will be to get out to a variety of events as opportunities to meet people and to see people you already know with relationship building and strengthening in mind.
When I first began my web and media business a couple years ago, working remotely I was sure not to sit at my desk at home every day where no one would see me. While good for your overall well being to get out every day in a social setting, I also viewed working at coffee shops as initially very good for my business as I would run into people I knew who would see me there and say “what are you doing these days?” I would tell them and they would be like “wow, that’s funny, I should get your card because I’ve been needing that. Hey let me introduce you to my friend here who also needs that…” This was something I came to expect from leaving my “comfort” zone and I began prioritizing attendance of social events as part of our sales and marketing plan.
These in person leads have proven time and time again to have a higher conversion rate than those where there was no personal connection. I still prefer talking on the phone to texting because of the ease of familiarity that comes from actually speaking with your leads and making that human connection.
Having a nice website, good looking social media accounts and good customer service protocols all do their part to generate leads but I still mainly view these as tools to help with the conversion as they substantiate our business & services, are a place for further information on the many services I provide and are an example of my business’ professionalism. They are helpful tools that act as reminders for people who may have already been thinking of hiring us but needed a few ad reminders to seal the deal.