As you guys might know, a few weeks ago I was interviewed by Elaine Rau, the mastermind and CEO behind Lady Boss Blogger – a platform dedicated to interviews and resources for and by powerful Women Entrepreneurs. And today I have the pleasure to kick off a new series of articles on the blog, and that is: Branding Back 2 Back.
If you are unsure about branding, what it is, how it affects your business and why on Earth do you even need it, please read my article explaining it here.
What is Branding Back 2 Back?
I got the idea for Branding Back 2 Back while talking with Elaine about collaborating together and it just dawned upon me that usually a “review” or “presentation” article offers the point of view of just one of the parties, but what if I could offer both sides of the coin and involve the brand I am talking about?
So, I am going to analyze and dissect Lady Boss Blogger’s branding and then I am going to pass the (virtual) torch to Elaine to explain the mission and her story when it comes to building the Lady Boss Blogger brand.
So let’s get started!
I wanted the colors to be attractive to a female crowd since that was my target market.
I also wanted it to be something that I would like to look at every day, that was bright enough to pop but also easy on the eyes, and I know it may be kind of cliché, but I really like pink so that is what I decided to go with.
I actually just upgraded the theme and layout of the blog to make it easier to navigate. I wanted the menu to be accessible at all times so people could easily navigate between the pages or switch over to view another topic on the blog. I also wanted to make sure my social media channels and ability to subscribe were displayed at all times on the side bar so that people could stay connected to us in more ways than one!”
First of all, I love the clean and easy to navigate blog. The information is well categorized and the search function works great. The language used is friendly and approachable, yet professional and informative – which is well aligned with the purpose of Lady Boss Blogger and its target audience. The color scheme of white and pink depicts an air of freshness and boldness, which I like.
Overall, the brand image is coherent and well tied together. Not just from a visual standpoint, but the message, the use of quotes and the value it provides for its readers.
I would push the visual branding a little bit further and have a unique and distinguishable logo. Since the audience is professional women, I would design a clean and elegant logo in either a thin and airy type or a hand signature style. I personally love signature style logos because they look very classy and upscale, but still incorporate a personal feel to them.
As for the blog, from both a user experience and branding standpoint, I would design a different homepage distinct from the “About” page.
In this homepage I would have a slider at the top with either the top 3 or 5 interviews, or a combination of news, upcoming events, interviews and giveaways. Then, I would open with Elaine’s picture and a few sentences about Lady Boss Blogger and how it came to life. Right under that I would implement a revolving carousel with testimonials. I would organize the “Our Team” and the “Accomplishments” sections of the homepage differently, in a more clean way, and I would end with a form for the “Join Our Team” section instead of a bullet point list.
I wanted to create a feed that looked very simple, elegant, and produced high quality content.
I remember reading an article that said the most liked images on Instagram were ones that were monotone. I assumed this was because there is so much visual stimulation everywhere on social media, so it is easier to concentrate when the colors are muted. So I decided to make it easy on myself and just have everything be in black and white. I also wanted people to actually want to look at what I produced and engage with my content and realized that every single account that I followed and cared to read were the inspirational quotes, so that is what I did!”
I agree with Elaine when it comes to having a feed with a consistent image style. I don’t necessarily think that ONLY images with a monochrome tone get a lot of reactions, but the key is having a distinct style. That style is what people will recognize you by, and when it comes to Instagram – which is a visual platform – it’s all about keeping it distinct, dynamic and engaging. Nobody wants to look at something boring, so Elaine’s idea of having a quote next to the picture of the person who wrote the quote simply nails it!
I would bring a little bit more of a diversity to the feed by adding other type of photos too. Yes, I know I just talked about consistency and style, but I also know that people are very curious. So what I would do, is post a “behind the scenes” type of photo either showing the Lady Boss Blogger team having a funny moment in the office, or Elaine nailing a business meeting over coffee or anything that will show a little slice of humanity and inside view of the business. This is the place to get creative!
The key to work this into the feed is be mindful of the style, so I would post all these photos in black and white to match the theme, and also think in multiples of three. Instagram displays a grid of 3 photos at a time (both on mobile app and the desktop), so if you want your feed to not look random, consider posting the “behind the scenes” photo every third, sixth or ninth photo. In this way everything will line up perfectly and have a purpose in the feed.
I honestly didn’t really have a plan for Twitter – I just figured something similar to Instagram would work.
So I used the same motivational quote idea but made sure that my graphics were the correct size according to how people scroll on Twitter. This was to ensure that people wouldn’t have to do anything to be able to see my content. People are lazy so you want to be sure that you make it easy for them to check you out, otherwise you will loose them. I also read that tweets with pictures get twice the amount of likes and triple the amount of retweets, so I wanted to definitely do that!”
This Twitter strategy is very on point especially because of Twitter’s limited characters. Whenever you post something that has a picture (also known as Twitter Card) you are helping your visitors get a better idea about the content you are sharing, whether it is a link to an article or just a great quote.
Don’t be afraid to tweet links to older posts more than just once. The Twitter timeline gets filled in a matter of seconds, so it’s super easy for your content to get buried in a pile of tweets. Not everybody comes back regularly to check your profile page, so Twitter is the best platform to get away with tweeting the same thing multiple times and not get penalized. Just put a few other tweets in between and you are fine.
More and more I have realized that people really want to connect and form relationships on Facebook.
It is a great networking tool and have found that the most social people tend to be on there! This has led me to change how I post and instead of creating content that isn’t interactive, I have started to ask questions and create advice channels so that people can interact with one another. Now, there is a difference with how I post to my Facebook PAGE vs my Facebook GROUP. On my page, it is more about updates from the blog and other motivational materials for entrepreneurs, but in my group, it is all about advice, conversation, getting to know one another and networking!”
Networking is the key to Facebook! Sure it is very easy to get sucked up in endless conversations and waste a lot of time, but being part of groups is a great way to get exposure and advice. From my personal experience with Facebook it is not exactly the best platform to get sales (at least in my field, other fields being very different) but it is great for sharing information-based content and personal or business updates.
Perhaps add a “Request to Join Facebook Group” link or widget to Lady Boss Blogger’s sidebar?
It wasn’t until I became a full-time blogger that I started realizing why people call it the #1 method to drive traffic to your website.
I have just started tapping into the world of Pinterest (like last week)! I know as a blogger I should have already had this down, but it wasn’t until I became a full-time blogger that I started realizing why people call it the #1 method to drive traffic to your website. This is because unlike other social media channels where you post things, and they disappear in 24 hours or less, with Pinterest, things get repined like crazy and allow your blog post to be seen over and over again driving more traffic to your site than you thought possible. I made sure to include my website on every single graphic I created so that people would always know where the picture originated from and hopefully go check it out!”
I’ve been on Pinterest from its very incipient phases, when you needed an invite to even get on there and it has been one of the dearest and closest platforms to my heart. Not for its unbelievable potential to drive traffic and engagement to your website, but for its fun element. You probably heard of the term gamification, and Pinterest is an easy way to invite some fun into your brand.
As a creative director is essential to create mood boards and inspiration boards for my projects, and Pinterest makes it all just feel like play. It is also a great tool to do research on trends and find useful information that you can save for later, almost like visual bookmarking.
Elaine’s strategy to pin quotes from her website and include a link to the website inside the image to remind people on Pinterest where the photo came from is the way to go. Also the fact that she uses the same visual style that she uses on the blog and every single social media channel makes her an absolute WINNER at this whole branding in the digital space game. Go Lady Boss Blogger!!
If it ain’t broken, why fix it? 🙂
I utilize this platform because my blog is all about business and entrepreneurs.
I utilize this platform because my blog is all about business and entrepreneurs and what better place to network than on LinkedIn? I post the same material I post on my Facebook Page here and have found that it is quite effective. Even though I get a lot of views to my articles, I don’t get a lot of interaction on LinkedIn and am trying to figure out how to do that!”
I utilize LinkedIn to network with fellow entrepreneurs but mainly to reach and connect with people in key positions from companies that I would like to offer my services to or partner up with. A lot of people underestimate LinkedIn’s wealth of information and that’s why I don’t think they unlock the network’s full potential.
Lady Boss Blogger’s LinkedIn strategy is great and that is exactly how I utilize it as well.
Tip no. 1: How to get more engagement and traffic on LinkedIn? Try to post in groups. Just like with Facebook groups, a lot of people on LinkedIn appreciate useful information and are looking for advice. Your articles might be exactly what they are looking for, so go and find some LinkedIn groups dedicated to entrepreneurs and – especially – female entrepreneurs.
And now I should probably go and follow my own advice since my LinkedIn game has not been strong in the past year or so haha…
Tip no. 2: Secure your URL and username! When I tried to access your LinkedIn page via typing it in the browser, the /ladybossblogger page is unavailable. That is a huge branding sin! The first step in any branding endeavor is securing all your domain names and URLs on every single social media platform. Yes, even the ones you never use! Because if you don’t, someone else will… [insert cringing thoughts here]
I have found that posting on Google+ has helped with ranking in Google.
According to several studies I read online, this is a platform mostly used by men for some reason. It also doesn’t get a lot of attention from social media guru’s but I have found that it has helped with ranking in Google, since it is a Google product, having your stuff on there can be helpful – so I post on there every single day even though I have a tiny following.”
Google+ has undergone a lot of changes throughout the years and it seems like a very obscure, almost shady, social network, yet, like Elaine said, it is important to post over there because it helps with Google rankings and SEO in general.
Lady Boss Blogger does it well by keeping the same style and format with the other networks, and being consistent is what gets her a better ranking than other blogs who neglect Google+.
The final conclusion is that Lady Boss Blogger has her branding on point and is only going to get better! I give her the grade...
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