We've talked about how to use social media and other online tools to better your business and not to shy away from them. They are there waiting for you, so use them! Instagram has become one of the biggest platforms to build your business today. Do you know all the tools and options this budding business tool has to offer?
"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
Happy November friends! How excited are you that Thanksgiving is almost here? The turkey is on its way, but it's not quite time to relax just yet. The holidays are an incredibly busy time for any company, ours included. Don't get overwhelmed with this, instead ride the wave of the good it can do for your company. I discovered this quote while working on our first blog of the month, and I thought it was the perfect food for thought before we settle into our big Thanksgiving plates. We are so focused on creating a brand, that it's so easy to forget about the powerful tools that are at our fingertips waiting to be taken advantage of. They are there to make your company and brand stronger than you could ever imagine. What is even crazier to think about, a lot of these tools are free! That's right - FREE! There is something to be said about the adage that you do need to spend money to make money. But when there are moments to save money and still help your company grow - take them! This is why our next two blogs will be focused on tips on how to use Instagram to build your business into a powerful platform one day at a time! This is a holiday gift from us to you, and we are happy to share what we know!
Are you getting as excited as we are about Instagram? It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with apps that you use as part of your advertising goals, but if you spend the time getting to know them, it'll be worth it. Enjoy these tips for now, but don't worry, there are more coming. Until next time friends, stay safe, caffeinated and excited about your company!
Part 2 - Your Daily Goal
Hello again everyone!
I hope you all are having a great week and a fantastic pre-thanksgiving November.
First, let’s take a quick second to recap the first part of this five-part series.
If you haven’t read the first part, please do so now. Don’t worry I’ll wait.
Just click below!
Now when we last left our marketing/business plan for 2020, we had set our ( most likely going to be changed) yearly goal. We identified our busiest and slowest seasons, used math (sorry for putting you through that), and broke our yearly goal up into monthly goals based on the ebbs and flows of our year. We then left it off by breaking our goal even further down from a monthly goal to a weekly goal. Everything fresh in your mind? Great! Let’s move on to the next part.
Don’t forget at anytime, if you start feeling overwhelmed, I can always meet with you in person or over the phone and answer any questions you have!
You can contact me via:
Your daily goal should encompass everything that you (key word # 1) AND your marketing (key word #2) should be trying to reach together (key word # 3) to make sure that statistically you are doing everything you need to so you can reach your weekly, monthly, and yearly goal. So how do we know what our daily goal should be? Well, first we need to understand what our close rate and impression conversion rate is. For this year, both of these percentages will most likely be guesses, as you won’t have the hard data that you need to accurately plan. In the last part of this series I will outline the important information that you need to record. Not just personally but to hold your marketing firm accountable for their part as well. For today we are going to touch on the first part, the close rate.
For those of you not in sales, your close rate is the amount of meetings you have to go to before you close a new client. You may hear people boast about excessively high close rates but don’t worry, this isn’t about raising your close rate, it is about understanding it. If your close rate is lower, then you think it should be, however, let me give you a little pick me up.
A lion, one of the world’s most amazing predators and touted as the world’s best hunter, has a close rate of 25% so if you have better than that good for you! Hopefully you know where I am going with this. Your daily goal must factor into all of the meetings you are going to have before you actually close a sale. So, as an example, let’s say your weekly goal is one new client a week. If you are using the close rate of a lion of 25%, you have to attend four meetings a week to reach your goal.
Now we are done right? Not quite - because now you have to decipher and understand impression conversion rate. But that is for next week.
Pretty simple right? Fantastic! As long as you're still with me, tune in next week as we take you and your marketing’s daily goal to the next stage as we discuss your ICR or your Impression Conversion Rate. As always this has been Stephen Slappey, owner of Creative Consulting. The #1 Marketing Firm for Graphic Design, Social Media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization. Have a great day!
Stephen Slappey, CO & Sales Manager
Setting The Wrong Goal
As this year comes to a close, we set our sights on 2020. So how do you prepare for this new year? I hear people all the time say “Next year, is going to be my year! I am going to kill it in business!!!” I always ask them the same questions. “What is your plan?” Which they respond with “I’m going to work harder.”
Let’s go ahead and add the car screeching noise here; If you don’t have an actionable plan, the chances of you succeeding are slim to none. “Stephen,” I hear you asking, “How do I even start planning?” Over the next month and a half, I will be explaining the process in just enough detail to make you confused and need to call me for the answers.
This marketing plan is for people that have never made one before. If you have already made a marketing plan, utilize the data you’ve gathered from it and see if this strategy works better for you than your current one.
First of all, you need to know what you are striving for. What is your goal for next year? Make it a stretch goal. Something that you think you can achieve but it would be tough for you. Just a note, you will most likely be changing this goal many times throughout the process- hence the name of part one. Now we move on to the math. If you hate math, you may want to just admit defeat now and give me a call so that I can help.
Phone a friend or email a friend!
Still with me? Ok! Let’s do math!
Once you have your goal set, think about what six-months out of the year you are the busiest. Next, what three months are you the slowest and what three months are kind of up in the air.
During the six-month time frame when you are the busiest, divide 2/3rds of your yearly goal as evenly as possible within the six months. Take the final 1/3rd and put 40% of it in your slowest month. That’s right, presence of fractions - I told you.
Lastly take the left over 60% of the final 1/3rd (I’m doing this on purpose to see how bad you want it) and put them into the middle three months. You now have your monthly goals for each month of 2020.
Don’t worry only one more step to go. Now that you have your monthly goals, just divide them as evenly as possible into four and so that you now have your weekly goals for each week of next year.
Pretty simple right? Fantastic! As long as you’re still with me, tune in next week where we will take all of the information you set up today and we break it down into a daily actionable plan.
As always this has been Stephen Slappey, owner of Creative Consulting. The #1 Marketing firm for Graphic Design,Social Media, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization. Have a great day!
It's here! It's here! Halloween and Fall fun is officially here in Summerville, and we want to help you enjoy the fun! Check out these fun local events and have a fun and safe spooky week!
We mentioned in our last blog how much we LOVE fall and any excuse to drink as much fall-flavored coffee as possible. So I'm sure you can guess how excited we are to finally get out our costumes, carve our pumpkins, and eat a few spooky pieces of candy! There have already been so many fun fall activities to do around Summerville, that it's been hard to keep up with all of them. But before the month ends, we wanted to share some of the best activities coming up in Summerville to enjoy before we hit November!
The Trick or Treat Dance!
This spooky fun evening will be in Hutchinson Square this Thursday, October 31st from 4 PM to 8 PM, actually on Halloween this family-friendly trick or treat event has fun for all! Select merchants will be providing candy to costumed trick or treaters. Even more exciting, Millie Lewis Charleston has organized a GITUP Flash Mob party throughout the evening! To be apart of the Flash Mob, make sure to attend the dance rehearsal at Millie Lewis in Summerville on 10/24 at 7 PM. You will have five chances to dance throughout the evening. This year, this fun event is hosted by Hanebrink Jewelers!
For more information about the event and to learn more about Millie Lewis, please check out the links below!
80's Halloween Bash
This fun adult-only (18 and older!) 80's bash is one of a kind party! Channel your inner White Snake and Madonna this Thursday, October 31st from 6 PM to 11 PM at the Music In Motion Family Fun Center! Make sure to come in your best 80's costume, prizes will be awarded for the best dressed, the most neon, biggest hair, shoulder pads, and fanny packs! Wings and your choice of skates are included in the price of admission. This is going to totally be a rad bash!
For more information, visit their Facebook Page!
Trick or Treat in the Park!
A classic fun event on Thursday, October 31st and offers safe and spooky fun for the whole family! From 4 PM to 6 Pm at Hampton Park, cars decorated by the city departments, local businesses, and other organizations will be handing out candy to costumed trick or treaters. It is a very safe alternative for going trick or treating for many families, and will be even more fun than walking door to door! The event is free, and there will also be hayrides, jump castles, games, crafts, and much more! Come dressed in your best Halloween Costume to have some super fun! This year Trick or Treat in the Park will be hosted by the city of Charleston Recreation Department, and you will find the fun near the lagoon!
For more information, visit their Facebook Page!
No matter what you decide to do for Halloween, stay safe and have fun! Please feel free to share your fun pictures and stories with us, we always love to hear them!!
Are you using all of the social media tools that are waiting at your fingertips? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and the like might be frustrating. But once you dedicate time to any of them, you'll find a plethora of amazing advertising tools that you can use for free. You just have to keep looking and find what works for you.
Hello friends! We've made it to fall, and we can't surround ourselves more with pumpkin spice and everything spooky. This week's blog will be focusing on the benefits of using Facebook groups for your small business. I can feel the perpetual eye roll, I understand that Facebook can be a beast to use and an even bigger beast to advertise on. But it's a fact of life that you need it, and if you give it enough time this tool can help you and your company grow in new and exciting ways. But you can't just create something and not nourish it. Creating a Facebook group and just letting it sit there is not the end all be all that will allow your company to grow and flourish without putting a little effort into it. You have to put work into it like you would any other part of your business. I'm sure that you know, that any business no matter the size, needs to have a strong presence on social media. This can all be rooted, cultivated, in a well-loved and well designed Facebook group.
A Facebook group gives you a human connection and removes that big box store feeling and disconnect from your customers. It is a reminder that there is a living breathing human working behind the computer screen. As a business owner, you need to constantly have a presence that's engaging, real, and driven towards your target audience. Thankfully, even though there are some elements of business when running a Facebook group, it can take away the pressure Facebook can put on a business and help create an engaging platform without pushing too hard.
We hope you walk away from this blog with a better opinion of Facebook and how to use the tools it offers. Don't be afraid to use them, your following and target audience is there waiting for you. Don't lose out on a wonderful way of communicating, connecting, and promoting who you are as a person and a business!
We know it might seem a little early to already be prepping for the holidays, but it's always best to get a head start on planning. From prepping your decorations to your ad campaign, take the time to make this year the best year yet!
Hello everyone! We hope you had a wonderful September, and that you are so excited for October and the fall season to take over. For everyone in the small business world, stepping closer into fall also means starting to prepare for all of your holiday sales, offers, decorations, ads, images, and products. It's A LOT to plan for. Believe me we can relate. We have already started to plan for our fourth quarter, which also happens to be the busiest part of the year. If there is one thing we can recommend right away, it's to start early. That is a huge headache saved, believe me! No matter the size of your small business, you deserve a strong plan and marketing agenda for the holidays. Smart planning for the holidays isn't just for the big box stores or giant corporations. If you employ 1 or 1000, it's time to get started.
We are so excited to share these few tips of the trade with you. Each of these tips can be used for any holiday, but with everything from Halloween to the New Year approaching, we will be focusing on those holidays and each in between. These tips span everything from social media to your digital footprint on Google. You won't want to miss out on these!
Like we mentioned - there is A LOT to think about when it comes to successfully running a business during the holiday season. But we hope these tips help ease some of your stress and kick off the best quarter of the year for you and your small business! We will see you next time!
Those annoying popups of the early 2000s are back and better than any of us ever imagined. The next time you're using a website for your job or you're doing some online shopping, take advantage of those online chat boxes. You might be surprised that more often than not, you'll be talking to an actual person!
Happy September friends! We are happy to see it inching closer to what might be cool fall weather here in the Lowcountry. But we're also excited for the future fall decorations and any excuse to drink more coffee. With all these new exciting flavors, who doesn't love a cup of hot goodness with a splash of pumpkin? As we are ushered into a new month, it means a new blog! For this blog, we will be talking about the benefit of online chat boxes and how they could help businesses and its users.
Now, we do remember those annoying chat boxes from our early days of the internet. They were able to maybe answer two questions before directing you to a FAQ site that led to more confusion and frustration than when you started interacting with the chatbox to begin with. But today, the chat box is back and better than ever before. And this time, there are actual people behind the keyboard to help with your questions and concerns faster and more efficiently than ever before.
In this age of social media, people expect answers and information right away. If it's not received in this timely manner, you could likely lose a customer. On average it takes almost ten hours for businesses to respond to social media comments and 12 hours to emails. For today's standards, that's just too long. Live chat boxes let you have in the moment conversations with your customers while they're visiting your website. The rate of 10-12 hours is cut down to an astounding 1-2 minute response! How amazing is that? But live chat boxes go above than just response time, there are so many incredible assets these little boxes can do for you.
You have the choice of hiring a company to operate these chat boxes for you, or you can do it within your company. It just depends on how much you'd like to invest in this service.
The great news is that even if you don't have an actual person behind the chatbox, there are now intelligent bots that can be installed into the systems when you're away. You can program them to help with basic questions in such a way that will keep your customers interested and informed, and lure them back to talk with a human once you're back to answer their questions. These bots aren't the annoying and unhelpful bots that were originally created, thankfully. They are now offering quick, insightful, and engaging info while your customers wait.
There is a ton of chatbox software out there, you just need to decide what version is right for your company. Some are free and almost all of them offer a quick and easy setup and they are easy to customize. Some examples to look into are Intercom, Drift, Influx, Autopilot, Olark, LivePerson, and SnapEngage.
It's been interesting watching this technology make its comeback, and we are very intrigued to see where it will go. With smarter AI growing and the opportunity to connect faster with one another than ever before, this could transform the way businesses are run and how efficiently money is made. Follow this trend with us and let us know how you feel. If you've experienced a chatbox recently with these attributes, share your experience below!
Have a great week, friends! We will see you next time!
Content creation is a huge part of our business, and a huge part of staying at the forefront of the Social Media Business world is paying attention to new and exciting trends to use in our work!
There is a lot of creativity that we use in our work every day. A lot of the images, logos, and designs that we use for our clients are created in house and we are very proud of that. But we also love learning and following new trends when it comes to graphic design - and we wanted to share some of the biggest Graphic Design trends that you will be seeing this year if you haven't noticed them already! Because who doesn't love a little inspiration?
We know that you need to stay on top of the latest graphic design trends no matter what medium you use or don't use. There is nothing wrong with a little extra knowledge! Keep your work fresh and competitive. Don't hang onto the idea that "this is how it's always been done." That is SO dangerous! You want your designs and work to stand out and be able to offer the same if not more to your clients than any competition out there.
2. Powerful Serifs
The rise of the serif font is at its height in 2019! I'm sure you've noticed the trend of illustrations getting lighter and the fonts getting bolder and much stronger. This year has gifted us with new, bold, ad beautiful serif fonts and they will just continue to grow and become more gorgeous. Custom type is becoming the rage for any company that wants to stand out and be noticed by their dream clients and put them ahead of the competition. The gift of these beautiful new serifs are perfect for the job, and if you're designing for a company that wants to brand or rebrand itself these new fonts will also come in handy! Check out some of these beautiful examples:
3. Lighter Illustrations
Out with the bold, dramatic, and very thick lines of illustration and in with the light and delicate! With the trend of the use of foil (hello rose gold!) embossing and other delicate materials, this feminine and innocent style is the perfect accessory. You will see this trend in packing designs and a lot of gifting and other artisan trade that involves intricate designs. These designs will often be paired with textured paper backgrounds.
2019 has been deemed a year of contradictions when it comes to new trends. But when hasn't design been filled with contradictions? This list is very small when it comes to all of the new trends out there - but I can guarantee that these trends are exciting and will lead to a lot of exciting and beautiful growth. Keep your eyes open as you scroll through your phones and as you are looking for inspiration. It's waiting for you to find it!
Still not using Social Media to your advantage to help your company grow? Here are a few tips on how you can take your businesses Social Media platforms to the next level right away!
Happy August, everyone! How did we already get to the back to school season already? This month we want to kick off our blog by talking about Social Media and the benefits it has for your Small Business. Of course, social media and its creation and importance to business and our clients' business is one of our main forms of bread and butter. But, we also love to share how wonderful and important it can be for you and the growth of your company. Even though our culture has been taken over by our smartphones and smart devices, it is still a new and exciting form of media advertisement. We get so excited talking about it and sharing how important it can be for your business, and we want you to get just as excited as we are about its amazing potential!
In this fast-paced world, running a business of any size requires you have to have a social media presence to stay relevant and in competition with your competitors. You also need it to stay in the presence of your clients and dream clients. But for small businesses, in particular, it has become a necessity to have a social media fingerprint to be known by your dream clients and to share what your services are. No matter what product or service you offer - there is a place for you and your company in the online social advertising world. Remember, the word "social" is involved - it can be fun, interactive, and engaging if you let it. You will have an audience and you will have the opportunity to grow your following and clientele. You can grow your business and grow the reach of how many people know about you and your company. You might have to invest a little time and money to grow a successful online brand, but it will be worth every single penny you spend. The applications and fields that this incredible platform of advertisement lives on are free. All you'll be paying for or working on yourself is the creation of crisp, clean, and creative content that represents you, your company, and your product.
This is one of the many things that Creative Consulting offers our clients - the creation of content and sharing it with your clients in a fast and reliable way. We know that if this world of advertisement is new to you, it can become very overwhelming. But don't stress! This blog is going to focus on some easy tips to use for your small businesses social media and some easy ways on how to execute these tips!
Social Media platforms are there to give you an audience that is ready and willing to connect with you and what you're selling. Remember, it does NOT have to be a scary or expensive experience. With these tips, you can create a powerful advertising machine for your company to reach new markets, dream clients, build sales, and bring attention to you and your company. The number of tips and information you can learn that is out there is endless. But here are a few ideas to get you started or refresh what you've been doing already!
It's easy to let social media get put on the back burner and leave very little time and money for it when you own your own business and you wear so many hats. Remember, social media doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. It just needs to be something that you schedule into your workflow and work week just like any other work meeting or event would be. Aim to always work smarter, not harder.
2. Use Your Content More Than Once
You will get new clients and new eyes to your social media platforms every day. They will have been caught by a post or advertisement that you used and will want to learn more about who and what you are. Content such as blogs you've written, articles that have been written about you, successful ads, and successful pictures and videos that you've posted are very important. They have the potential of becoming reusable posts that will draw in a new audience by introducing them to what you do and will remind your current audience why they love your brand so much. By recycling content you can also receive a better return on the investment you spent having these pieces of content created. You can also create a new response by seeing how well they do on different platforms and new channels. If there is a hidden gem buried way back in an old post that is still important and relevant to what you're doing, there is nothing wrong with using it again! It was good content then, and it is still good content now.
3. Batch Ahead of Time
What is batching? It is creating content and scheduling your posts ahead of time for when business and your schedule gets crazy and busy. Go ahead and do yourself the tremendous favor of getting in the habit of batching your content. This time-saving tip helps you never let your social media posts get left behind and keeps your posting consistent. It also helps your presence to your clients and future clients stay strong and active. A stale and inactive social media account is ignored, avoided, and dropped off of Google searches faster than you can say "social media" - so don't let that happen to you! Pick a day every week to plan out what your posts will be for the upcoming week. Are you running a sale? Celebrating anything? Have an exciting announcement to make? Plan out each day's posts based on your companies needs and schedule. Write the content, pick out the perfect image or website you want to use for each post, and schedule them ahead of time. You can do this manually on Facebook or use several programs created just for this purpose. By the time your batch session is done, a whole weeks worth of social media content is ready to go and you don't have to worry about it until your next planning day, if an exciting 'in the moment' post arises, or when you need to spend time commenting back or reaching out to your clients. And, if your week gets crazy, you can take comfort in the fact that this task has already been check off your to-do list!
See? Social Media can be exciting and easy to do once you put your mind to it. Keep on learning and exploring this important media marketing tool. Make it unique, worthwhile, and as exciting as your brand. Don't look at this advertising tool as a burden but greet it as an exciting opportunity to add to your workflow. It has the potential to take your company above and beyond your current goals and aspirations and help you dream big. So pick up a pen and your smart device and get to work! You have an exciting adventure ahead of you!
Summertime is the best time to enjoy your favorite local restaurants, shops, and historical landmarks. Anyone who has ever spent time in Summerville knows that this quaint little town has so many wonderful things to love and enjoy all year round!
Hello Summerville! How has your July been? Can you believe that August is almost here? I'm sure this has been a hot and humid summer for you as much as it has been for us. But hopefully, you have been enjoying the wonderful gems and treasures our little city offers! Not only does Summerville boast some of the best businesses and local restaurants around, but it also has a wonderful history with tons of local historical buildings and landmarks to visit. The local art scene is also so vibrant and alive with wonderful theater, music, and visual art painted all around town. We are so proud to be apart of the Summerville community and have been from the moment we opened our doors. We couldn't be more lucky to have been welcomed and included into this wonderful city. In return, we would like to feature some of our favorite businesses and treasures you can find in Summerville.
If you follow our Instagram and Facebook pages I'm sure you've seen the wonderful little spotlights we've been featuring these last couple of weeks. Keep following - we aren't done yet!! And if you're not already following us on social media, what are you waiting for?!
If there is one thing Summerville does better than anyone - it's sweet tea. We are proud to be the birthplace of sweet tea, and if you drive around it’s hard to miss the love we hold for it! Did you know that Summerville is home to a Guinness World Records? On June 10th, 2016, Summerville unveiled the largest cup of sweet tea the world had ever seen! This year local artist Kevin Morrissey painted a beautiful mural to match on the back of Summerville Chamber of Commerce If you haven't yet, go check it out! If you have checked it out - what did you think? Doesn’t it just make your tea a little sweeter than before?
For more information check out this wonderful video about our love for Sweet Tea! https://www.visitsummerville.com/birthplace-of-sweet-tea
The art around Summerville is a huge part of its incredible charm. It grows and ebbs - and every year more of it graces our little town. Have you seen the newest additions to our city's canvas? On July 11th, our friends down at Coastal Coffee Roasters revealed their latest mural! Painted by Kevin Morrissey, Caleb Quire, and several other great artists. We are also huge fans of the lightbulb and bee painted by April Aldritch! Joining the summer of beautiful murals is artist Robert Venne created the mural behind the Summerville Theatre paying homage to the 1980's classic Little Shop of Horrors. We love seeing this creative art revival becoming a big part of our beautiful town! Which design is your favorite so far?
Around here at Creative Consulting we not only love the art and artistic scene that Coastal Coffee Roaster's support - we also run on their coffee. Make sure you stop in and get a cup for yourself, visit their incredible website, and follow them on social media!
One of our favorite local historical places to visit is right around the corner from our offices on 3rd Street. That is the incredible Henry Timrod Library. The library was founded by young women in 1897 and still serves the public to this day! It is also the legacy of the Summerville Chautauqua Reading Circle. It is one of two membership libraries in South Carolina and is home to over 12,000 books. Its mission is to provide the community with a variety of print, audio, and video materials while preserving the historical building that houses its amazing collection. The library offers special programs, activities, and social gatherings for the community. It honors local authors and has a book every fall has a Book Fair! Who doesn't love a book fair like the ones we all loved and dreamed of during elementary school? Don't forget, the Library LOVES visitors, so stop on in and say hello and enjoy all the wonders it as to offer.
You can find out more information and follow the Henry Timrod Library on Facebook and Instagram and visit their website at www.thetimrodlibrary.org
What is your favorite part about Summerville and all it has to offer? The incredible community, the wonderful sights, taste treats, amazing community service, friendly attitude, and the beautiful surprises you find around every corner truly make Summerville what it is today! We tip our hats to you, Summerville. Thank you for all that you are!