with Cam Petty, Kaley Goodall, and Brooke Hicks
Alright friends. If your busy season hasn’t started creeping up on you, it’s almost that time. It was true when we first recorded this episode and now with the time we’re choosing to run it back, things are about to get busy! Just because business gets busy isn’t a good reason to start slacking in key areas. We know sometimes there just isn’t enough of ourselves or our team to get finish everything that needs to be completed exactly be when it needs to be completed, so how do we do the best we can? We plan ahead.
When you have multiple people in a business, office, on a marketing team, etc. all responsible for pushing marketing materials on various platforms you have to give everyone the time they need to make deadlines with quality work. Here at Render, our marketing team has all content planned out on a monthly basis. Meaning, right now in the month of March, we have everything we will need to be planned out already for the month of April.
While we know planning ahead is very beneficial, planning far in advance can also not be the best route with your content. We do it by month because it allows us to be more intentional with our planning and gives everyone a good amount of time, and because they are small enough stints for us to stay in tune with what’s happening in the world or on social media.
If bulk planning your content for social media works for you, by all means, don’t let us stop you! Again, we find it easier to stay more authentic with our content being pushed throughout the year by looking at it a month in advance.
If your company is not already hosting monthly marketing meetings, here is your sign to start. You need to be meeting with your team, or sitting down by yourself, at least if you’re a solopreneur once a month to focus on your marketing efforts.
That way if more years come like 2020, you already have set aside time to sit down and find the answer to the question, “what are we going to do next”. If you were in business then, you’ll understand when we say one of our most crucial words of 2020 was to pivot *cue Ross Geller*. We needed time to figure out how we were going to take our next steps as a business and still gain income during a time when we really couldn’t predict what was going to happen next.
Meeting monthly to discuss marketing also supports our office method of planning marketing out a month in advance. So when we met this March, not only were we discussing everything we needed to be mindful of this month, but we also looked ahead and asked what was coming in April that already needs to be on our radar.
There are three main questions our team likes to ask in our monthly meetings. What did we do last month? What worked? What didn’t? We have to ask ourselves these three questions everything month to stay in-tune with our efforts and make the best use of our time. Not only does this help us save time and create content we believe will perform well, but really it helps us remain intentional and authentic with all of our marketing.
In addition to our monthly meetings, we are pre-plan all of our imagery. So instead of saying in our meeting, “we need to post about florals in March to coincide with the start or spring” and then wait until that week to find an image, we set aside time after our meeting to cull and find images. We have at least one full day, sometimes two, to figure out what imagery we need, see if we have it, or make a plan for how we will get it through a client order or styled shoot.
Do you notice where you are the most creative? Is it in your office, closet, or a coffee shop? If space doesn’t matter as much, do you need music or complete silence? Paying attention to your surrounding or preferred working environments is also so beneficial when it comes time to bulk plan for your marketing. If I’m not in the mood to write a blog, odds are it won’t end up being my best work. If I have to write it anyway, I can at least place myself in space or with the proper background noise to still settle in and focus.
Another helpful note is if you are in the mood to create, write, plan content… do it in bulk! You know that waking up early, heading to your favorite coffee shop, and getting your favorite latte is going to do it for you, then plan to complete your bigger tasks during that time. Knock out your loftier tasks in that time so if you ever have to force creativity, it’s not with such daunting projects.
Every year, someway somehow, our team forgets about Christmas. So what happens if we don’t think about Christmas content to push until our November meeting? Well, we’re too late to try and execute and styled shoots or events or to source products to throw something together for the holidays. To assist us in this dilemma, we now start talking about Christmas in July. Not because we need 6 months to plan but because 6 months out is plenty of time to start thinking about what we will need to do in order to have the content we need for when Christmas does come to town.
We try to complete monthly or quarterly styled shoots here at Render. You don’t have to go all out with every single one. Sometimes we just set our backdrop up in our office and shoot new inventory that we have collected over the past month or two. Sometimes we book and venue and transport a ton of our rentals and have florals, it just depends on what you’re needing content-wise.
Whether it’s a simple shoot or a blown-out one, be sure to take your time to plan out exactly what you want to have at the end. Plan a shot list. Create a document with checkboxes for yourself or for a photographer. Check off the shots you want or need as you go to ensure you have them. If we want to promote a certain product, we’re going to take as many pictures of that item as we can, with all the angles or props so when we need it styles a certain way to show a client or to post on our socials, we have it.
I want to challenge you for a moment. Think about the inspiration images you chose when scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest and ask yourself why you like them. What is it about the image that you like? Is it the lighting? Layers? Clearness? When you identify that, then you can look at setting up your shoot in the same way.
Or maybe it’s simpler than that. Say you’ve created a Pinterest board for your inspiration, and after scrolling through the different pins you’ve added you see 5 different pictures of someone lounging next to some indoor greenery. If that’s the case, maybe you need to have a couple of shots of one of our team members lounging next to some plants. Relaxed clothing and natural lighting, might just be the shot you’re looking for! For us, it was podcast microphones and books, haha. See our image below that we decided upon from our inspiration.
We also want to encourage you to consider adding layers of your business to styled shoots. If you do rentals and florals like us, why not add both to the shoot instead of one or the other? If you see several photos of you with that plant, how would an arrangement look next to it as well? Be sure to market as many services as you’d like ina shoot. They don;t need to all have their own shoot.
A couple of tips we would like to provide to assist you in hopefully saving time and money when working with a photographer for your styled shoots:
Why are these tips helpful? Because they help ensure you get exactly what you are looking for from your styled shoot. Why do you need vertical and horizontal shots? So you can use the photos on whichever platform you’d like (socials, blog, website, etc.). Take videos of shoots for BTS that you can use for reels or to post on your story.
The reason we vet our photographers and ask for a sneak peek galleries is so that we can see our product is being displayed exactly how we want it to for our potential client. If a photographer’s edits make an orange chair of ours look more coral, we might need them to change that before they edit every photo of that chair with that preset. Not all photographers are willing to change their editing style and you want to save yourself and the photographer time and energy with photo edits.
We’ve said it once and we will say it again, the purpose of your company’s marketing is for your audience to know who you are! While your social channels are very helpful in providing this content, you want to make sure these channels are providing your audience with the information they need in order to know who you are as a company, what you do, and what services you can provide.
Additionally, what do you do when your social platforms die? Honestly, what would you do if Instagram went down tomorrow? If it was permanently down, what would you do? How would you promote sales and connect with your clients? If you’re finding yourself not having an answer to these questions, hopefully, you will listen to us.
You have to have a website. Friends, you need a place where all of your services, sales, content, etc. can live and reach your customers. If you’re not sure what all to put on it aside from your product, think about questions your audience often asks you, common questions you receive. Can you add that to your website? If it’s not being answered already in your social channels, what can you do differently moving forward to ensure it is?
I also encourage you to think about your user experience in using your socials vs. your website. If you own a rental company and are operating only via Instagram, how do your potential clients view all of your inventory? Is it by scrolling through your profile and seeing the selected imagery you have posted or is it all housed in a single area where they can see each product and sort through them easily?
You’re not in business to gain more Instagram followers.Cam Petty
If you are busy and business is booming, trying to drum up more business through your online content might not need to be your main focus. Think about it. So many business owners are constantly thinking about driving sales. But as we’ve been discussing so far, what if you’re in your busy season? What if you really don’t have time in your schedule to add 5 more events to next month? It’s okay if that is not always the target goal for your marketing purposes.
Instead, what you should be trying to constantly do for your company is drive brand awareness. Think about how you can show your audience more of who you are and build their trust as a follower. Do what you can for your audience to know more about what you’re about as opposed to the services you can provide.
We asked all three of our hosts for this episode, what is one thing you would share as a tip for marketing during your busy season? Their responses are listed below:
Here is a sneak peek of what this episode consists of:
[4:44] Plan Ahead For Your Team
[9:22] Where are you creative?
[12:50] Consider Monthly Photoshoots
[29:08] Using Socials For Inspiration
[30:41] “80% Implementation | 20% Creating Content”
[41:39] What can you do with one piece of content?
[50:08] One Tip For Marketing During A Busy Season
Next week we will drop an episode about corporate events!
TJ White | Content Manager
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I thrive on using education to make true connections with all kinds of people. I want to point you towards better leading your teams, and guide you through all areas and stages of your business. I put a heavy emphasis on being present where your feet are, creating a community that is diverse and intentional, and growing in servant leadership through both my personal and professional life.
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