Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Summerville! I feel like we know you so well, but in the hustle and bustle of our everyday business life - you might not know us as well as we'd like. Introducing your team and acknowledging their creative and unique skills is such an important part of your day to day business. These are the people who are helping your company grow and succeed every day. As the blog writer for Creative Consulting, I see this in our company and all the companies we work with daily. We love celebrating the small businesses of Summerville and watching others celebrating their employees and what makes them unique and special.
If you've had the chance to walk into the Creative Consulting office on any given day, it isn't strange to find a bunch of smiling faces, a pug named LuLu, and empty coffee cups from Coastal Coffee Roasters or a box from Swank Bakery sitting around. It's a small creative universe that each of the employees helps to fill with laughter, problem-solving, unique ideas, and hard work. I spend a lot of time in our blogs talking about business tips and strategies that can help your company and its marketing strategy grow. But, I thought it the appropriate time to throw in a new kind of blog into the mix. Over the next few weeks and months, I want to introduce you to each of my coworkers in a fun and unique way.
I want to thank each of my coworkers for being such team players, as always, for participating and helping me create this series of blogs. I am so thankful to my fellow team members and the Summerville family. It's thanks to these incredible individuals, who teach me something new every day about the marketing world and life in general, that Creative gets to do what it does every day. I created a series of questions that turned into a fun and informal interview. I wanted it to sound like the whos who of the creative world of Summerville. Thankfully, there were no annoying paparazzi or embarrassing pictures that any of them will be subjected to. We are a family company, after all.
To kick off this new blog series, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Meaghan Thompson, Co-Owner of Creative Consulting. But that's not the only hat Meg wears. She is also Office Operations Manager, and the Art and Media Director. She is one of the hardest working women I've ever met, and one of the kindest. I by no means am a graphic artist, and to work with someone so talented at her job and her craft is inspiring. Also, spoiler alert, she is Lu's mama!
How long have you been working at CC:
6 years! I created it with Stephen before we both graduated college. It was a way for us to test the waters in our field and make a profit as well. To be honest, when we first started I told Stephen we wouldn't get very far, that at most we'd have a couple of projects and then graduate to find other positions. He convinced me to give it a try and it picked up speed fast, we've been running it ever since.
How did you hear about the positions:
We made them over time. When we first got started, nothing was really set in stone and a lot of things have changed over the years. We used to have our social media managers create graphics for themselves, and the SEO specialists wrote their own blogs but we've been able to fan out those responsibilities as we've grown.
What do you do for CC:
I am the office manager and designated Mom-Friend. I communicate directly with the clients and the team, help plan out the ads for each month, review all of the blogs and social media posts for edits and updates, schedule meetings with clients or walk-ins, keep updated on current marketing and digital media standards, attend potential client meetings, and regularly attend local networking events.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
I love that our environment is built around comfortability, respect, and creativity. We created a place that's easy and fun to work at, and we're very transparent with each other in the goals and work within our business. At the end of the day, it feels less like a 'job' and more like a team project that we're all a part of in different ways.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
Since creating CC, the biggest thing I've learned is to protect my time and how to respectfully delegate. I often have the issue of taking on more than I can handle for the sake of people-pleasing but as we've grown, I've learned to relax my grip and trust others to take care of certain aspects of the business. Still learning how to be a better leader for my team each and every day.
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
I love taking breaks around lunchtime and going for walks around the square, it's the perfect place to get some fresh air and maybe even eat lunch outside.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
My favorite memory for CC so far would probably be our Christmas party once we moved into the office in 2018. We had the entire office decorated with Christmassy things, there was great food, and we even had a local guitarist come and play some music for us. It was such a successful and busy Open House, all of our business friends and family came to support us and it was a really great time. It was a really defining moment too because we now had our 'own' place to grow into.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
You don't even have to ask me this one! My second home is Coastal Coffee Roasters!
What is your education background:
Graphic Design Bachelors Degree, minored in Computer Science- and a graduate of Charleston Southern University
What are your hobbies:
Ceramics, Painting, and Video Games
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
Five Loaves, NICO, and Red Pepper
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Go to the Summerville Farmers Market, Walk around Azalea Park and play Pokemon Go, Sit at Coastal Coffee Roasters and read or paint
If you'd like to learn more about Meg's artwork, and to read her brand new blog "Pinky Promises" visit her website here: http://iampickledtink.com/
I have loved working for Meg in the little over a year I have been with Creative. I am not a native to Summerville or even South Carolina for that matter, but I know a true and wonderful Summerville woman when I meet one, and Meg is the definition. Thank you for helping me grow, and to help me continue to learn about what we get to do every day! Meg loves this town and she loves the company that she and Stephen built together. That love and dedication is one of the many joys in working for them.
Curious about lead generation and exposure for your business? Not sure what the difference is between the two or what they can do for your online marketing? We are here to answer all those questions and more!
Hello, Summerville! We hope this blog finds you happy and well. This has been a very exciting few weeks for us, and if you've been following our social media pages (which if you're not - catch up!) you'll understand why! We've started a new local business feature, we've started a brand new video series answering all your business questions, and more! Stephen was also a recent guest on Invest Local!, a fantastic local podcast. Visit their website to hear Stephen give the insider scoop on what it's like to run a top-tier, full-service agency that handles client's brands from a hands-on and personal approach! We have so many exciting things coming our way, and we are so thankful for the amazing community of Summerville for helping us make it all possible!
One of our most recent posts on social media was dedicated to Lead Generation vs. Exposure. Did you know that there are two main types of digital marketing? That's right! Lead Generation and Exposure are those two main types. Lead generation seeks out new leads or sales and exposure grows your audience and brings awareness to your business. We wanted to dig a little deeper into these ideas and talk a little more about how both can help your company grow and why they're so important. If you want to know which focus is best for your business needs, reach out to us! We can help you understand the strategies used in each type of marketing, and help you create your custom system.
One of the most important things for businesses to gain through their marketing is to convert followers into clients. You don't want to waste time or money into an advertisement plan that doesn't get attention or any conversion. That goes against the whole purpose of why you have an advertising plan in the first place. With the way that the market is right now, and with so much up in the air, you want to make the most of your advertisement right now. Your goal, as always, is to attract the highest quality followers and leads that are going to turn into consistent and supportive customers.
According to Forbes, most new small businesses fail because they didn't have enough exposure in the beginning, to get the clientele needed to get them off the ground. Early exposure can help you get ahead of the game, ahead of your competitors, and help keep your head above water. The main focus is to grow your audience at a steady and productive rate. You need to understand and know your product and what demographic will be most likely drawn to your goods and services to make this a successful campaign. Once you understand that, you can begin to expose them to what goods and services your company offers, and why you're the experts in the world of your industry. It's an important process that needs to be seen in the early stages of your company and throughout its entire lifetime.
What is very important to remember is that both types of marketing are not only important to your business, but also to one another. Someone might be introduced to your company due to your exposure, and thanks to the efforts of successful lead generation, could become official clients. It can be difficult to pick and put either practice of marketing into successful action. We are here to help you make those decisions and to make that marketing dream become a successful reality. Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out, we'd love to hear from you! If you would like more in-depth training and someone to help you walk through your issues, we can help you with that. We offer individual social media training to walk you through on how to use each platform. If you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!
We enjoyed talking about IGTV so much that we had to split up our most recent blog into two parts! Enjoy finishing up learning more about this incredible resource, and how to use it to your advantage!
As we mentioned in our last blog, IGTV has a lot of different advantages that can make using Instagram a lot easier than ever before. One of them is the use of live links when you share and post them to your feed. For companies and individuals who have over 10k followers, they get a nifty tool in their Instagram stories that allows them to attach a link to their post. This creates a call to action to invite their followers to swipe up and visit whatever link has been connected to that post and it will automatically take them there. Without this number of followers, this tool isn't offered. The great thing about IGTV is that you can post live website links within their description just like the 10k users can in their stories. This is a great tool for newer, smaller, and growing companies and is a much easier call to action for your followers. Have you noticed that even when you put a link in the body of your Instagram post, you can't just click on it? You have to copy and paste it into a browser or copy it letter by letter to visit the suggested website. Now, how many of your audience members will spend the time to do that? This gives you an easy way to promote the website you want your followers to visit and a more guaranteed chance that they will follow through with it! These IGTV videos are also permanent. Unlike going live and posting in your stories that disappear after 24 hours, you will have these videos for as long as you want to have them. It's a place to repurpose and a place that you can use to refer back to for your new followers who join you along the way.
One of the greatest tools we love using social media for is the opportunity to introduce you, your brand, your products, and your services to the world in a very honest and open way. It's endearing and an automatic draw, because it's an outlet people connect to. They aren't seeing a stiff and planned commercial, they're seeing you, your products, and what your company stands for. Live videos are great for this, but if you're giving a tutorial about how to use your products or introducing an important topic that will be relevant to your company for a long time, you might not reach the audience you want to right away.
With every other option outside of IGTV leaving you with videos that only last for a limited amount of time, you might be faced with remaking the same video over and over again. This won't be an issue if you use IGTV to your advantage. You can now have a much longer video that is easily accessible to your Instagram presence, and available to use as often as you'd like. It's convenient and a time saver. It's also a wonderful tool to take your users behind the scenes without having to edit or worry about a video that is too long or too short. You have so much room for creative freedom. You can put your products and services at the forefront of each video and show them off, and what makes you so unique and special.
The biggest thing we want you to take away from this blog series and using IGTV is the ability to connect to your demographic of customers and followers in one of the freest and proficient ways possible. It's much more aesthetically pleasing to its viewers and gives you so much time that your creative freedom and individually as a company never needs to be limited. With this tool your options are, quite literally, endless! As Instagram even says "We are all watching less TV and more digital video" now than ever before. Be apart of that, and compete with the important digital videos that are out there. Your content is needed, and it is very valid. IGTV is a very exciting platform for all of us. Through quarantine and the world, as it is now, we have seen a huge flux of more and more people use this incredible tool, and we are excited to watch it grow. Do you like this aspect of Instagram? Share your opinion with you - we'd love to hear from you! Be well, Summerville!
Social Media has more tools than many of us realize. We've talked about a lot of them here in our blog, and enjoy using them for our own company. IGTV - Instagram TV - is one of the last platform resources that we have yet to talk about!
We have talked in-depth and at length about using social media platforms and their analytical tools to your business' advantage. There are so many different and unique ways of using social media to your advantage, as long as you know what all they offer and you're brave enough to take the leap to implement them. There is one aspect that we haven't jumped into yet, and that is Instagram TV - or IGTV. We aren't sure about you, but when IGTV became popular and prevalent in our Instagram feeds, we kept thinking it was HGTV. Which was perfect because we love those creative shows! Who doesn't want to spend hours watching a show about tiny homes?! But, no. This is a new tool all on its on that one of our favorite social media platforms is now offering to its users.
IGTV videos are different from your stories and highlights on Instagram and they are different from going live on Facebook. You can use it as a stand-alone application or through Instagram itself. It allows you to make much longer videos than what your feed or highlights allow in one video. You can make videos that are up to 15 minutes long! You are also able to have verticle and horizontal videos when you use IGTV, which is exciting for viewers and users alike. Unlike your Instagram highlights, these videos will appear in your feed, just like they would if you posted a picture or video. If you want, they can appear in your story highlights as well. With this new advantage of having longer videos and another tool to use on Instagram, there must be an advantage available to your company by using this new tool, right? That is what we are going to be discussing in this next two-part blog. According to Instagram, they estimate that by 2021 mobile video will make up 78% of all total mobile traffic. Younger audiences are now being drawn towards these more amateur viral videos than more professional and polished ones. Just with that information alone, you can only imagine what power IGTV could hold your business and its growth.
One of the many reasons why we love IGTV is that it allows the user to reuse and repurpose already created content on a whole new platform. Just seeing your already created content in a whole new light can make such a huge difference! You can now show your videos in much bigger and vertical fame, giving your followers a much bigger and in-depth view of what was created. It also gives you another platform to post your YouTube videos. Before the introduction of IGTV, you could only give a small teaser preview of your videos on Instagram. Having 15 minutes to play with is huge! Gone are the days of the call to action of asking your followers to visit your YouTube channel! As important as we consider calls to action, we recognize that social media users want to stay on one platform at a time. Hopping from platform to platform can lead to a loss of interest or not following through. Having the video right there guarantees a much higher rate of views. Also, if your Instagram audience is much bigger than that of your YouTube channel, a brand new audience will now be introduced to excellent already made content. You also don't have to worry about your Facebook live posts getting lost or only being seen by a limited amount of your followers. This can be a new home for them as well, along with any videos or interviews you made for your blog or advertisement purposes. Plus, it helps your videos stay organized while maintaining a professional look within your Instagram feed.
Have you started to use IGTV in your own business workflow or platform? Have you been having fun with so much freedom at your fingertips? Let us know! We want to know what you think of this extended and exciting arm of Instagram. Make sure to follow up with the second half of this blog the next time we post, we can't wait to share more wonderful information about IGTV with you!