Time for a reality check. Truth is, we are conditioned to continually push ourselves past base camp, even after a full year of climbing uphill. But as one year comes to close and we prepare to ring in 2018, it’s important to first toast to our monumental successes. Whether you’re a wedding planner who just wrapped a busy season of destination events, a photographer who has expanded your shooting team or a venue that has undergone a major renovation - take a moment to appreciate the unending commitment you have to your business.
A great way to establish a strong start to your New Year is to first assess your goals at face value, and acknowledge how they may have shifted or evolved over the last several months. Are there opportunities for growth in one area more than another? How are your objectives serving your business best?
It's also a great time to start playing around with few new tools that can be utilized for more effective workflows, and then integrating them into your blueprint for business growth.
To give you a head start, we’ve designed a guide with a few of our favorites (and take a peek at some of last year’s best marketing resources for wedding & lifestyle pros, too)
To keep your sanity and your team aligned: Asana
This online and mobile tool helps you track multiple projects and business tasks all at once -You can see the status on any given project at a glance without needing to schedule a call or shooting them an email. This is a great tool especially for those creative business owners who have remote team members or contractors. The clean dashboard allows you to see all of your tasks in one window along with their categories (ex: blog, client, etc...), due dates, and who they’re assigned to if you’re working with multiple people. Asana also integrates with Google Drive which makes it easy to keep all of your resources in one place. The mobile app means you can access things while traveling, too!
To flex your graphic skills: Canva
You don’t have to hire a professional designer for smaller graphic needs when you use Canva. You can upload your brand’s colors and fonts to ensure all graphics you create stay cohesive with your overall aesthetic. Overlay wording on top of a photo for a creative Instagram post. Mock up a new Facebook cover photo. Design a client presentation, promotion flyer or invitation to your next business event. It’s so versatile and a bit easier to use than Adobe InDesign (which can’t be beat if you’re working with more complex web design projects). Plus, learn tons of design principles and strategies with Canva’s Design School - a blog with a plethora of resources to help you create great visual content.
To make your website work for you: Yoast
Give your website a fighting chance to stand up against the competition with a plugin that can help you optimize your content to better attract new business through Google. Yoast is a great tool to install on your website that will give you tips for strengthening meta descriptions and improving overall search capacity. Check out our guide to understanding SEO here!
To protect your rep: Google Alerts
An oldie but goodie - Google Alerts is a great tool to keep a pulse on your brand (and others) through an easy and effective daily notification. Google Alerts enables businesses to review mentions of their brand name, track competitors or simple keywords about their industry - like ‘destination wedding planner’ or ‘interior design trends.’ It’s particularly helpful when your work is featured in various wedding blogs and magazines, or articles online - keep track of your presence in a measurable way without spending time scouring the Internet.
To execute a defined Instagram strategy: Planoly
Save yourself some time and schedule Instagram content for the week, month, or next year with this desktop site and mobile app. Planoly is aesthetically-driven so it has features that allow you to visually plan and curate your account layout in a way that aligns with your brand. You can also track and reply to comments as well as track your account analytics. These features allow you to view your followers’ activity with your account and determine which posts do best in specific time frames to help you adjust for the future. For more tips of crafting a social strategy that works uniquely for your business, check out some helpful social media marketing tips here.
Cheers to a prosperous 2018!
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