Posts Tagged ‘business’

September 19, 2013 8:00 am

The Importance of Wedding Photography

Bride and groom lay in grass for artistic wedding photograph

There are many ways to spend a wedding’s budget, and many wedding planners spend lots of time debating exactly how one should be spent. Our argument? Don’t forget the importance of wedding photography. Yes, high quality photography can be expensive – but there’s really no point in spending the bulk of the budget on decor or apparel if you’re not going to get high quality pictures of the decor or apparel in action. That’s why, aside from decor, wedding photography should be one of your focuses when breaking down a wedding’s budget, and that of any event really.

A professional, experienced wedding photographer will get all the right shots, capture you and your partner at your best, and knows what they’re doing. We never advise anyone to take wedding photography into their own hands – it’s just not something that should be a DIY. If budget is an issue, there are many other ways to save. Consider toning down the reception and having a buffet-style dinner instead of plated. Consider offering a certain number of drinks included, and then switching to a cash bar. Perhaps you could save on venue or do some of the decor yourself. If you’re able to save a few hundred on your dress or the guys’ tuxes, you could re-allocate that money to photography.

Having stand-out photos will make for beautiful wedding albums, framed photos, and will give you something to look at for years to come. Sure, anyone can hold a camera – but not everyone knows how to adjust the camera’s settings to get the perfect amount of light, stay in focus, grab a shot at the perfect moment, or edit your photos without overdoing it. Not only that, but you don’t want to feel awkward or have a hundred photos in the same pose. A professional will get you talking, make you feel comfortable, get you to loosen up, and will be able to coach you on different poses, snap you during candid moments, and capture photos in high quality HD – the best option for editing and printing.

Bride taking photo at wedding

While you might want to grab some of your own shots during the day, and that’s okay, what fun would it be to spend your wedding day with a camera in hand? You can’t exactly photograph yourself saying your vows, dancing your first dance, or cutting the cake. And, what’s stopping Uncle Andy from accidentally putting his finger over the lens, blinding you with a bright camera flash, or taking an out-of-focus photograph? You only have one first dance. You only cut the cake for the first time once. You only have one chance to grab the perfect post-ceremony kiss photograph. An experienced photographer does this regularly. Uncle Andy could be so excited and emotional that he completely forgets about the camera!

If you’re not sure who to hire to be your photographer, there are plenty of options – and help – out there. Try sites such as Project Wedding, The Knot, and Wedding Wire for vendor listings in your area. Scour the classified ads and visit wedding shows – photographers are in no short supply. Whoever you choose to work with, we wish you the very best on your big day. Remember to soak it all in, spend time enjoying the fact that it’s your day, and leave the rest of the details to the professionals.

For more helpful tips on event and wedding planning, or to learn how to become a wedding planner yourself – visit QC Event School today.

 


September 17, 2013 8:30 am

Job Description of a Makeup Artist

Makeup artistry is an exciting, challenging, and incredibly rewarding career choice. While many set forth to become makeup artists, we regularly receive questions asking what it is exactly a makeup artist does, and what sort of working conditions she or he will have. In this post, we’re happy to share with you one version of the job description of a makeup artist. We hope this information helps you in making a wise career move, and invite you to contact us at QC Makeup Academy with any questions you might have. Our friendly team of student support specialists will be more than happy to provide you with more information.professional makeup artist applies makeup to red headed woman

Education Requirements

The education requirements for a makeup artist vary based on region. In certain countries and states, you must have  cosmetology license to work as a makeup artist. Since cosmetology programs typically touch on makeup very briefly, most aspiring makeup artists find it helpful to also pursue makeup-focused training, such as the online makeup courses offered by QC Makeup Academy. Other regions require no certification or license to operate as a makeup artist. It’s best to do your research in the area in which you’re hoping to work to ensure you’re well prepared and have all necessary documentation to get started – even as a freelance artist.

Working Knowledge

As a makeup artist, you’ll be the go-to person for product recommendation, advice, and makeup tips. It’s expected that you’ll be familiar with the most popular types of both pro and drugstore makeup, have a good understanding of application techniques, and know how to use different types of makeup – think: liquid foundation, powder foundation, cream foundation, etc. You’ll also need to understand basic color theory and have the ability to match skin tones to complementary colors. The same makeup will not produce the same results on all face shapes, skin types, complexions, or skin maturities. Knowing how to create a personalized makeup application for each of your clients is essential, and will come from hands-on practice as well as theoretical training.

Average Salary

The average salary of a makeup artist is a figure that’s incredibly difficult to pinpoint, largely because there are so many variables. If you’re working freelance, you are paid per hour or per project and can work more to make more, or work less and make less. If you’re salaried, there’s a little more stability – generally between the $27,000 and $35,000 range. Working in film or for television makeup could mean making between $60,000 and $90,000 – whereas working at fashion shows, for celebrities, or for a cosmetic brand’s HQ could mean $100,000 or well above.

Sample Career Path

Below is a sample career path of someone looking to establish themselves as a self-employed makeup artist:

Year 1-2
Working as an assistant makeup artist for a more experienced makeup artist, may take on side-jobs as your skills improve and when you feel you’re ready
Years 3-5
Working as a freelance makeup artist, building reputation, building client list
Years 6-8
Working as a senior freelance makeup artist, perhaps employing your own assistant at this point
Years 9+
Employing more than one assistant or intermediate makeup artist, perhaps working for a cosmetics brand or in a consulting capacity, continuing to take on preferred projects (with more experience comes more choice)

Striking woman poses for camera with red lipstickWorking Conditions

The working conditions of a makeup artist are always changing, and are completely different from one job to the next. You could be setting up in a hotel room to get a celebrity looking their best for a red carpet appearance. You could be asked to fly to a remote location for an on-location photoshoot and have to do makeup under the hot, hot sun. You could invite clients to your at-home studio or be visiting brides at their parents’ house the morning of their weddings. What you can bet on, however, is that there will be plenty of travel! You’ll need to be able to manage your time well, work under pressure, and be able to deliver your best on a tight schedule.

Duties

A makeup artist’s duties largely involve applying makeup. This could mean makeup for someone headed to their prom, a special event, or a wedding. It could be a special event makeup, makeup for television, or makeup for photography. It could be makeup for fashion show models, performers, or character makeup for the theater. At some point in your career, you may become a “Key Makeup Artist” or “Makeup Designer” and act in more of a designing, consulting capacity rather than a hands-on application capacity. There are many different options available to you – which is fantastic, as it gives you more control over the future of your career.

Interested in a career as a makeup artist? Don’t delay. Get in touch with QC Makeup Academy today and learn about its innovative online makeup courses – available to students around the world.


September 7, 2013 8:00 am

3 Things That Can Go Wrong at a Wedding

new weddingEvent and wedding planners spend a lot of time planning to ensure that everything goes right on the day-of. However, they’re not always prepared for what can go wrong. When you plan and plan for something to go smoothly and perfectly, you often spend all your time focusing on things going right and forget about the possibility of something going wrong. In this post, we talk about the 3 things that can go wrong at a wedding – and how to recover.

1. The Timeline Goes Out the Window
A timeline is crucial to nearly any event, especially a wedding. With so many people involved and so many vendors, start times, end times, and typically at least one location change – keeping on schedule is important. So what happens when the timeline goes out the window? Maybe the bride arrives at the ceremony location 30 minutes late because she was held up in traffic. Maybe the groom’s tux just wasn’t fitting and a last minute replacement needed to be found. No matter what the cause, it’s all too easy for the timeline to be thrown off. A delay as short as 30 minutes can throw off the entire day, particularly when cocktail hour starts at X hour and the dinner reception starts at Y hour. When something does go wrong, however, you’ve got to be prepared.

The moment you realize something is going to take longer than anticipated, you need to alert anyone who may be affected. This means contacting the caterer, the day-of coordinator, the entertainment, and anyone else. Unfortunately, this might mean your client has to spend some extra money keeping the staff there longer (if they’ve agreed to a certain hourly limit or hourly fee). Giving others notice that a delay is in progress, however, will allow for the emcee to announce the short delay and the time to be filled with something else – like a game, contest, dance, or otherwise.

2. A Vendor is MIA
There’s plenty you can do to ensure everyone arrives on time and prepared, but it’s always possible that someone may go off the grid and become unreachable. You’ll need to get in touch a week before, a night before, and the day-of with nearly every vendor – from the caterer and cake shop to the entertainment and decorator. However, sometimes they simply don’t answer their phones. That’s why it’s always best to have someone on-call. When you’re researching and locking down vendors, make sure to have a short list of potential back-ups. Send a friendly email letting them know you’re looking for a back-up, to get an idea for availability. If they’re not available, keep on moving. Often, companies will charge a surcharge for having to show up with very little notice. Be prepared for this, just in case. Your client will be impressed by your organizational skills and management abilities. As always, be sure to get everything down in writing and with both parties’ signatures prior to paying any sort of fee.

3. The Bride or Groom Gets Cold Feet
This problem is in nearly every wedding movie, and is almost always the subject of at least one joke or comment leading up to the big day. It’s a tough situation for anyone involved, and incredibly stressful for the wedding planner. Be sure to have someone nearby that is emotionally supportive, encouraging, and not overly biased to either side of the party – meaning you shouldn’t send the groom’s best friend to convince the bride or the bride’s older sister to convince the groom. Someone who can encourage without assigning blame or making the person feel guilty is who you want to involve in this sort of situation. That is, if you can’t handle it yourself. Sometimes, all the person needs is the planner to give them a gently nudge and to let them know “this is normal” and you “see it all the time”.

Sometimes, it’s a little more complicated and there’s history and back-story to the nervous feelings, and someone aside from you will be better handling it. Whichever the case, be sure to let the person know that how they are feeling isn’t necessarily about who they are about to marry, but the fact they’re about to get married. It’s a nerve-wracking process and often the first time they’ve had to be in front of a hundred or so people with all the focus on them, and they shouldn’t confuse their nerves or the pressure of the day with how they feel about their significant other.

Are there any other things you think could go wrong at a wedding? Leave them in a comment so we can do our best to provide you with some easy, quick solutions. To learn more about wedding planning, be sure to visit QC Event School and check out its Wedding Planning course today.

 


September 5, 2013 8:00 am

Perks of Being a Makeup Artist

The makeup artistry industry is one that experience constant growth, evolution and change. If you do a quick Google search for a makeup artist within your area, there are without a doubt at least a handful of results – and millions worldwide. Makeup artist does makeup on red headed clientWith so many people pursuing a career in makeup, you’ve got to wonder – why? In this post, we overview the perks of being a makeup artist including benefits such as travel, pay, and glamor. Read on to find out what all the hype is about, and if a career in makeup artistry is really all its cracked up to be.

Before we go on, we’d like to point out that makeup artistry is hard work. While it may seem easy enough, not just anyone can pick up a brush and expertly craft a well-shaded, eye shape-appropriate evening look. Not just anyone can line and fill a classic red lip in under a minute with no errors, smudging or color transfer. Not just anyone can bring out a bride’s natural beauty and magnify it so she looks absolutely stunning in every single wedding photo – from 8am to midnight without a single touch up. While, yes, makeup artistry comes with a lot of perks – you should also have a strong appreciation for the talented men and women who do the job on a daily basis. It takes time, commitment, and constant skill improvement.

Perk One: You get to Play
While the career of a makeup artist is definitely one filled with hard work, it’s also one filled with play and experimentation. What happens when we mix this color with that color? What happens if I move my contour line up just a pinch? Does this setting powder work best with that foundation or this foundation? Part of perfecting your craft includes experimenting with the products you have, products you don’t have, and all the different skin types and tones your clients may have. The classic winged eyeliner and red lip didn’t happen by accident, after all. It took a lot of time, testing, and they eventually gained huge popularity and took their places as classic makeup looks. Who knows – you could discover the next one.

Perk Two: Meeting New People
No matter if you work with brides, theater actors, celebrities, or politicians – you’re bound to meet some amazing people. Sure, you’ll have those typical grumpy clients with whom you’d rather not work again, but you could also make long-lasting friendships and build up a list of loyal, repeat clients. Many of the strongest friendships makeup artists have were formed while in the industry – whether it was at a trade show, conference, or job. Never underestimate the power of meeting new people!

Perk Three: Travel
Many makeup artists are asked to travel for work at least once in their career, and often their travel costs are reimbursed. This means you might get to travel to places and cities you’ve always wanted to go, without spending a dime to get there. Many makeup artists travel for photo shoots, different advertising campaigns, beauty shows, fashion shows, and many other reasons. You’ll get to experience plenty on your time off, and maybe even pick up a few souvenirs along the way. Plus, it will look fantastic on your resume that you’ve traveled for a job – it means you’re that much more in demand!

Perk Four: Make Your own Schedule
As a makeup artist, you’ll be able to make your own schedule and decide when you want and can take on jobs. If you’re a busy mother or have an existing full time job, you’ll be able to work around it. Most makeup gigs are booked for weekends, which would allow you to work another job during the week – at least when you’re getting started. Makeup artistry is a fairly easy career to make a smooth transition over to from another career, so you wouldn’t be left high and dry and without enough income while you begin.

Perk Five: Makeup Discounts
Who doesn’t love to save money? As a makeup artist, you can apply to countless makeup pro discount programs – including 40% off at MAC. So, you’ll be able to build both your professional kit and your personal makeup collection with high quality products at a serious discount. Score!

Perk Six: Recognition
As a makeup artist, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on editorial makeup projects. This means you’ll be able to get your name into magazine credits! If a bride submits her photographs to a wedding photo website like Style Me Pretty or The Knot, you can also request that your name be credited there. This will do wonders for your exposure, reach, and portfolio. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel a little famous every once in a while? Well-known makeup artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, work with companies like Sephora, and even get their own TV shows or television segments. The possibilities are endless, so get your name out there!

Perk Seven: Glamor
Obviously the glamor of being a makeup artist and working in the backstage hustle and bustle is attractive. You might get to work backstage at New York Fashion Week for a major designer, or maybe you’re working on a well-known television show with some of the world’s hottest up and coming actors. Perhaps you’re working for a major advertising company or well-known luxury brand. No matter what you’re doing, you’re sure to feel the excitement and energy all around the room. This type of glamor isn’t easily accessible in many other careers, but goes hand-in-hand with those within the fashion and beauty industries.

Perk Eight: Make People Feel Beautiful
For many, this is the best part of working as a makeup artist and the #1 perk. You’ll get to leave your clients with a smile on their face and will get to make people feel beautiful. You’ll be able to take what you know and apply it to any skin tone, maturity, face shape, or skin type and make your client both look and feel incredibly beautiful. Making others feel good will, in turn, make you feel even better. It’s a beautiful cycle – literally and figuratively.

Perk Nine: You’ll Take it the Bank!
Makeup artistry is an industry that actually pays quite well. You can make a large amount per hour, which will add up to a substantial annual income – especially if you widen your skill set and offer editorial, evening, and other year-round makeup services. Bridal makeup is one of the most well-paying services you’ll offer, but it can sometimes be limited to specific times of year and certain seasons. Many makeup artists have made plenty of money, and some have even become very well known and celebrities in their own rights! If you get to work on the makeup team for a fashion show, television show, or for celebrity clients you’ll be able to charge more, and will also have the opportunity to join an agency that will regularly book you work.

Perk Ten: Career Versatility
As you now know, there is much more to makeup artistry than simply doing one kind of makeup application. The career of a makeup artist is one of great versatility. If you get tired of doing bridal makeup, change it up and pitch your editorial makeup services. There’s always the chance to evolve, change, and switch gears. It’s a thrilling ride that you’re sure to love.

To learn more about makeup artistry and the many career options, visit QC Makeup Academy.


September 2, 2013 8:30 am

10 Unexpected Spaces Needing Decor

spaces needing decorators

When you think of interior decorating, you probably pictures beautiful homes with beautiful rooms. But, have you ever stopped to consider what else an interior decorator might decorate? While homes are likely going to be the most common project booked by a decorator, there are many other options – some of which can be incredibly lucrative. Below, we share our list of 10 Unexpected Spaces Needing Decor. We hope you find it helpful in stirring up your imagination, creativity, and revving your passion for design.

1. Fitness Studio
A fitness studio is a place of motivation, self-empowerment, and sometimes even serenity. Picture your gym, or the gym in a hotel you’ve once visited. They’re usually more than a bunch of equipment in a room with white walls, no carpet, and dim lighting. Fitness studios regularly contract the help of interior decorators to create a space in which people want to work out, socialize, and stay for a while. After all, that’s how gyms make their money, right? Fitness studios need to take into consideration color psychology to keep their patrons motivated, floors that are both attractive and easy on patrons’ feet, lighting that keeps hazards such as cords or moving equipment visible while keeping those working out energized, and design elements that represent strength, endurance, and energy.

2. Conference Room
A conference room is where professionals go to discuss, collaborate, plan, and strategize. Sometimes, a company will book out a local conference room for a larger-scale meeting. Sometimes, a conference room will be used by traveling business professionals to do a presentation or regroup with their peers. Whatever its purpose, a conference room calls out for decor and design. Conference rooms need to have a specific layout, color scheme, and lighting in order to make people feel comfortable, encourage discussion, and keep everyone in the room awake and attentive. Who better to help achieve these goals than an interior decorator?

3. Hotel Room
A hotel room should do a few different things. It should be a place of romance, tranquility, restfulness, and should also exemplify the style and personality of the hotel itself. Hotels charge much more for well-decorated, well-designed rooms… and what hotel doesn’t want to be able to charge more for its rooms? An interior decorator is often very involved in the room design within hotels. Whether it’s color psychology, furniture selection, fabric and textile selection, or art procurement – there’s a need for a decorator.

4. Restaurant
As I am sure you’re well aware, restaurants are much more than places to eat. It’s not uncommon for a hip and trendy restaurant to charge a lot of money for plates with tiny portions, or for drinks to be $10 or more. Have you ever wondered why certain restaurants charge so much more than others, when the food quality is often very similar? Sometimes, it’s because there’s a certain chef who is well known or has spectacular achievements. Other times, it’s because the food is renowned or has won awards. Most of the time, it’s because of the restaurant’s decor and ambiance. Restaurants will decorate according to the mood they wish to set and the sort of clientele they’re hoping to attract. The restaurant industry is all about presentation, so consider reaching out to local restaurants in need of a design refresher if you’re looking to take on a well-paying project.

5. Spa
If you’ve ever been to a spa or seen one on TV, you likely know they are supposed to be extremely calming, relaxing, warm, and inviting. This doesn’t happen through service alone however! Decor is absolutely integral to the success of a spa and the happiness and satisfaction of its clientele. No one wants to get a massage in a dark, dingy looking room. They’d prefer something serene with off-white walls, natural lighting, flickering candles, warm tiled floors, and elements pulled from nature like plants or water music. These types of elements are all chosen by a decorator.

6. Office
Both large and small corporate offices rely heavily on decor to keep their employees motivated, encourage the most productivity possible, and to look professional. Think of a consulting firm that often has clients coming in for meetings. They probably don’t want the first impression given to the client to be old, worn down carpet or yellowed walls. The lighting probably shouldn’t be fluorescent yellow, and the furniture shouldn’t look like it’s been around since the 50s (and I don’t mean in a trendy way!). The environment in which employees work says a huge amount about a business, and this is where you come in. From wall color and flooring to lighting, furniture selection and layout – many offices don’t know what they’re missing without an interior decorator’s trained eye.

7. Hotel Lobby
Just as hotels want to have good-looking hotel rooms, their pride and joy is usually their front lobby. This is where the most business happens, the most time is spent waiting, and customers first interact with the hotel and its staff. A dirty looking lobby may give clients the idea the hotel room will be even dirtier, since the lobby should be the best-looking part of a hotel. While there are always exceptions, the lobby is generally how the hotel puts its best foot forward. An interior decorator is usually consulted to find attractive furniture, determine placement, consult on art and wall color, and to help the hotel really sell itself.

8. Bar, Lounge or Club
Much like a restaurant, a bar or lounge wants to give off a certain vibe and set a certain mood. Typically, it’s the mood of mystery, romance, and energy. This is often done through dark colors, luxurious woods, and ambient lighting. Who better to help choose these design elements than a trained interior decorator? Help a club fill its space and keep people there all night long through the use of your decor skills. Help a lounge encourage lots of free-flowing conversation, mixing and mingling, and plenty of drink and app purchases. Bars, lounges and clubs are some of the most lucrative entertainment business types – so reach out and take advantage.

9. Banquet Hall
Banquet halls, whether they be at country clubs or stand-alone buildings, are a source of much income for those in the event and wedding planning industry. A banquet hall is going to book more frequently and for more money when it looks the most attractive, so why not leverage this type of opportunity by offering your design skills? Whether you ask for a percentage of bookings or a flat fee, it’s likely the banquet hall will want to work with you if it means it will be able to increase its profit and minimize the number of days spent empty throughout the year.

10. Art Gallery
An art gallery should really act as a stage for a display or presentation, but that doesn’t mean it should plain. Art galleries are known to be well-lit, modern, fresh and clean. This calls for a decorator! From helping to choose the right kind of lighting to best showcase each work of art, to accessorizing the space with vases, rugs, or other decor aspects – there’s plenty of opportunity to make a little extra income without having to do a complete overhaul.

 

To learn more about interior decorating, visit QC Design School’s website and read through the Interior Decorating course pages. All courses come complete with full business training, including templates and worksheets.


When you think of the word “competition”, what do you think? Perhaps you think of words including “difficult”, “challenge”, or “better”. How do you feel when you hear the word? Maybe you feel slightly anxious, unnerved, or perhaps you feel energized and ready to win. Competition in the world of business exists for more reasons than simply to allow you fewer leads and to split your potential income with others. In fact, there are many reasons why competition is a good thing in Event planner holding balloonsbusiness. Seriously! Read on to see our top reasons and how you, too, can change your view on competition and become better because of it.

1. Competition = Ability to Charge More

I know what you’re thinking, “How is that even possible?” With so many companies slashing prices to so-called “compete”, you’d think that more competition would mean you’d have to offer more discounts or charge less. In fact, however, more competition often means your industry is growing and become more in-demand, therefore allowing you to inch up your prices along with your competitors. Sure, you’ll probably want to offer a great deal every once in a while, but overall more competition will help you justify your rates and allow you to be “better” than someone. It’s a lot more difficult to justify your services and rates to a client when you’re the only one offering them.

2. Competition = Networking Opportunities

Your competitors can’t take every project that comes their way, and they’ll most likely look at their network and suggest an alternative to a prospective client when they simply can’t take them on. This could mean you! Get out to networking events and reach out to your competition. A healthy industry and possible connections is a good thing in anyone’s eyes. As they say, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer – or at least your direct competitors.

3. Competition = Collaboration

Some events are simply too large for a single business to take on. Opportunities may arise that will allow you to collaborate with others in your field, and possibly even merge your businesses down the road – giving you a large slice of the market and the ability to take on more and larger projects. Never look at your business competition as a negative, because it really isn’t. In fact, having competition can be a huge positive – just look at all the major corporations that have merged or been acquired by other companies. Your big pay day could come sooner than you expect.

4. Competition = Motivation

When you’re in a highly competitive market place, you’ll need to remain focused and driven. Competition can be very motivating! You’ll want to stay ahead of your competitors and offer the latest and greatest, so check out what your competition is doing often and, once again, get out to networking events. You’ll be surprised what you can learn about a company’s current projects over a refreshment!

Now, we’d like to hear from you. What’s your main concern with having competition? Let us know so we can provide some suggestions for how to overcome them in a comment below!


August 11, 2013 8:00 am

How to use Facebook for Business Pt II

how to use facebook for business

If you haven’t already read our How to use Facebook for Business Pt I, click here to learn how to start using for Facebook now. If you have seen it, then continue to read this post – the second installment in our 3-part series on using Facebook for business. In this post, you’ll learn what information to include on your company’s page, the proper image dimensions for cover photos, profile pictures and custom tab images, as well as how to begin engaging your fans. Enjoy!

What to Include on Your Company’s Page

• Location and service area(s)
• Services offered
• Rates
• Active contact information (email, phone number, other social media links)
• Experience
• Company history, mission statement
• Ensure to spell check everything
• Avoid rambling and remain clear, concise, and straight to the point
• Remember the page is about your business, not you!

Image Dimensions

Cover Photo

851 pixels X 315 pixels
•Bright and bold images are best
•Makeup image ideal, something that speaks to your business

Profile Picture
Min 180 pixels X 180 pixels
•Business logo ideal
•If you use a portrait of yourself, remain professional and include business logo in cover photo instead

Custom Tab Images

If you’d like to create custom buttons for your page’s tabs, you can. Create an image that’s 111 x 74 pixels and upload to your page by clicking the tab of your choice and then clicking Settings or Edit Settings. Click Change Tab Image. Then, upload your new, custom tab image. These can be changed as many times as you’d like, so feel free to experiment with fonts, images, and the overall look.

Important Tips to Remember

•Your fans can see your page’s changes as soon as they’re implemented
•Try out new photos later in the evening or at times your fans are less likely to see (could cause confusion or lead to unlikes)
•Your photos need to be appropriate and relevant
•Properly sized images will display clearest
•Bold, brightly colored images do best
•Facebook is always changing, so remember to check your page’s appearance regularly
•Change your cover photo occasionally, but not too frequently
•Maintain consistency in appearance across all social media accounts

Getting Started Posting

•Consistency is key
•Find your groove, take into account your fans’ responses
•Images are the most well-received type of post, followed by videos, links, and then text-only
•When including an image, video or link always include a quick sentence telling your fans why they should watch it
•Share only relevant content (don’t share a winter tire deal on your makeup fan page)
•Monitor your insights
•Be present when your fans are (evenings, weekends)
•Schedule posts to better manage your time

Stay tuned for the third and final installment in our series! Once again, be sure to leave any questions you have in a comment below so we can answer them in our next post!

 

 

 


facebook for business

In this post, we’ll be starting off a three part series on how to use Facebook for business. Facebook is an incredibly strong social tool and can, when used properly, help to get your business out there and build a customer base. Many people wonder how to use Facebook for business, but it’s easier than you think.

Why is Facebook Important?

•Allows you to connect with people you may otherwise never meet
•Quickest, easiest way to stay on top of trends and other local businesses
•Customers expect you to be there (would you want your business unlisted in the phone book?)
•Builds credibility and trust, particularly for new businesses
•Word of mouth is good, but can be geographically limiting
•Job seeker benefits
•Develops computer and Internet skills, attractive to employers
•Gives your business a voice

How Social Media as a Whole Can Help Your Business

•Attract future clients, maintain relationship with existing clients
•Network with other businesses and cosmetic companies
•Improves your search ranking in Google, Yahoo, etc.
•Gives you the space to show off your work and ideas
•Humanizes your business
•Helps you understand your current and potential clients
•Boosts brand awareness
•Almost all social media use is FREE, so you’ll save money
•Allows interested persons to easily and quickly contact you 24/7
•Affordable and targeted paid advertising options also available

The Basics of Facebook

•Arguably the “first” major social network
•Approximately 955 million active users (2012)
•Allows personal and fan pages, both are free
•Recent redesign introduced Facebook Timeline
•People of all backgrounds and ages are on Facebook (it’s no longer just for college students)
•Difference between personal page and fan/business page
•Difference between friends and likes
•Share images, videos, text, and/or links
•Offers detailed “insights”, or data, on your page’s activity

Facebook Terminology Crash Course

•Cover photo
The large photo at the top of any page (personal or fan)
•Profile picture
The smaller, square picture that appears overtop of your cover photo
•Like
Noun: The number of people who have liked your page
Verb: The action of clicking “like” on a post or page
•Share
The action of clicking “share” on a page or post and displaying it on your own page or profile
•Comment
Noun: Messages posted to your wall, or on a post, from your fans
Verb: The action of leaving a message on someone’s wall or post
•Highlighted Post
A post you’ve clicked the star symbol on (top right corner) that will display horizontally instead of vertically on your page
•Pin to Top
A setting that allows a post to be “pinned” to the top of your page, will be seen first by visitors

How to Use Facebook for Business: Getting Started

•Must have personal account before you can create a “page”
•Have a business plan in mind before you create your page
•To create, search “pages” in Facebook’s search bar
•Select Facebook Pages from the search results
•When next page loads, click create your own to get started!

 

Stay tuned for How to Use Facebook for Business Pt II later this month. We’ll talk about image creation, information to include, what to post and how to do it.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below so we can answer them in the next post, too!

 

 

 

 

 


how to use youtube to build your business

YouTube is an incredibly powerful social media hub, currently boasting more than one billion unique visitors each month, over four billion hours of video watched each month, over seventy-two hours of video uploaded each minute – with 30% of this activity coming from within the USA and 70% outside of it. It’s the place to be for anyone and everyone, as you can find nearly anything your heart desires and share just the same. While video was previously more heavily reserved for large companies able to produce expensive commercials, YouTube has helped to break down the barrier and gives everyday people – and even small businesses – an incredibly powerful way to reach an audience. Below, I’ll be talking about how to use YouTube to build your business.

1. Be There, and Be There Regularly

This step is so simply, you’d wonder why more people aren’t doing it. Taking an account only takes a minute, and even less if you already have a Gmail account or use another Google service. Being present on the website and able to check out what your competition is doing, leave comments, and interact with others is an absolute must, and a very easy step one.

2. Subscribe to Relevant Channels

It’s easy to subscribe to channels on YouTube, and after you’ve subscribed you’ll get updated whenever a channel you follow uploads a new video. Try to subscribe to relevant information sources to whatever industry you’re in. For example, if you’re a Florida-based wedding planner, subscribe to copyright free music channels, local bands, floral arrangement how-to videos, wedding DIYs, and anything else you think may help you in your job. Not only will you have unlimited access to these information sources, but you’ll also be building a connection with the channel owner. Hello, networking!

3. Create Your Own Channel

While this may seem intimidating at first, it’s really easy. Think about it, kids are making YouTube channels and uploading pranks, songs, and vlogs – so you can definitely do it, too. Create a channel, upload a good looking profile picture and cover photo, and fill in your bio with any information someone would want to know. Where is your business? What do you do? How can you be contacted? Put all that information into your bio/about me section.

4. Start Uploading

Don’t think that just because you don’t have any subscribers that no one will see your videos, or that there isn’t a point to uploading. People subscribe because you do post videos, not the other way around. Start off with something like an introduction video and talk about who you are, what your business does, etc. Or, you could upload a picture slide show showing off some recent work you’ve done. It’s honestly as simple as that! As you get more comfortable and more advanced, maybe you could show off some video footage of a recent job, event, or a tutorial.

5. Use Tags and Description To Your Advantage

When you upload a video, you get to type in a description, choose a category, and tag it with keywords. Use these opportunities to really tell people what your video is about! Even if someone isn’t subscribed to your channel (yet!) they may stumble across your “how to do winged eyeliner” video when looking for a tutorial. If you don’t enter a video title that makes sense, don’t tag it, and leave the description blank – how they will know they should watch it?

6. Share!

If you have a website, put a YouTube logo on it. Share your YouTube channel URL and new videos through all your social networks, as well as in any email marketing your company does. It could be as simple as sending out a Tweet that says “New Video: Rustic Wedding in Vancouver [insert URL here]”, and only takes a second to do. If you tell people you’re on YouTube, they’ll know. If you don’t, they won’t. It’s as easy as that.

7. Interact with Other Channels

Leave comments, give videos you like a thumbs up, and even reach out to relevant channels in your area via a message. If you support them, they’ll often support you. While asking for “subscribe for a subscribe” isn’t the best idea, it is true that a lot of channel owners will subscribe to you after seeing you’ve subscribed to them.

8. Stick With It

If you don’t think it’s paying off right away, don’t give up. The more you upload and the more you network, the more people will see your channel and want to watch what you upload next. It can be a little discouraging at first, but it’s worth it to help build a buzz around your brand and be able to show prospective clients what you’re capable of doing.

9. Have Fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously! If you’re going to star in a video, try to smile and be your natural self. People love connecting with other people, so try to remember that when filming. If you find it awkward talking to a camera, tape a picture of someone who makes you smile right beside it to make you feel more comfortable and keep you smiling. If you mess up, don’t worry, you can always use a free program like Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie to edit the video prior to uploading.

10. Keep it Professional

If you’ve made a YouTube channel for your interior decorating business, don’t upload a ten minute rant about your recent break up. Of course that’s just an example, but I imagine you get the point. Keep it professional and try to upload relevant, interesting videos. While you want to have fun making videos, you want the person watching to also feel happy and enjoy them. Try not to be negative, ramble, rant, or draw attention away from the product or service you’re trying to sell. Anything you upload should relate to your business in some way or another, and if it doesn’t – don’t upload it.

 

Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, leave your link in a comment. I’d love to check it out!

 

 


If you search the #followback hashtag in Twitter, you’ll undoubtedly see countless accounts promising to follow back anyone who follows them. While, yes, this is an effective strategy to boost your follower numbers, it’s not a smart strategy overall. For one, do you have any idea what your news feed would look like if you were to follow 1,000s of accounts? Try extremely cluttered, overwhelming, and constantly updating – and not in a good way.

When it comes to Twitter, quality is key and should always be your focus – whether it’s sending out a tweet, choosing what to retweet, and selecting who to follow (or follow back). Social media gurus always recommend following only accounts that are of true interest to you, and filling your news feed with quality information. Just because someone on the other side of the world has decided to follow you, doesn’t mean you need to necessarily follow them back.

Furthermore, if they’re in a totally different industry and only live tweet through their favorite TV shows (and they’re not yours…) what’s the point? They’ve likely followed you for one reason or another, and probably because they enjoy your tweets, but that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy theirs.

If you’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings, don’t be. If someone is only following you to get a follow back, they clearly aren’t looking to make a connection for the right reason. Social media isn’t just about numbers at the end of the day, it’s about giving and getting something more – quality content, networking opportunities, and a good laugh every once in a while. You should be entertained and intrigued by the people and businesses you choose to follow on Twitter, and not feel obligated to follow them in the slightest.

Something else to consider would be how your “Following” list appears to a person aside from yourself. One of the quickest and easiest ways to get to know someone via Twitter isn’t by reading their tweets. Rather, it’s by scrolling through their Favorited tweets and who they’re following. If you’re following everyone who follows you, it might look like you’re a nice person – but it could also look like you don’t know what you’re doing, or only care about boosting your own followers number. Plus, if you’re following any accounts that would cause someone to raise an eyebrow, it may reflect poorly on you.

So, what do you think? Let me know in a comment below!