Start Your Creative Career: Build a Sharp, Smart Online Presence | Sonja Rasula | Skillshare

Start Your Creative Career: Build a Sharp, Smart Online Presence

Sonja Rasula, Entrepreneur

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7 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:37
    • 2. Thinking of Yourself as a Business

      5:10
    • 3. Understanding Analytics

      7:07
    • 4. Creating Your Brand Bible

      8:48
    • 5. Building Your Website

      14:44
    • 6. Using Your Social Media

      9:57
    • 7. Final Thoughts

      0:48
751 students are watching this class

About This Class

As creatives, we follow our muse and make what we love, but it can be tricky to switch gears when it comes time to start (or grow) your business and cultivate career success. Don’t worry — none of that is rocket science, and Sonja Rasula is here to teach you the formula!

Sonja began in the corporate world as a wunderkind, rocketing up the ladder with ambition and savvy — until she burned out, realizing all at once that she absolutely hated what she was doing, and no amount of success in it would change that. So she quit, started her own business, and never looked back.

Sonja believes that you can have exactly the career that you want, and she’s here to help you get it. Join her in this crash course in exactly what you need to start your creative career — right now! From metrics to social media best practices to website style, Sonja’s seen it all in her long standing career as a consultant and successful small business owner, and she knows exactly what most people get wrong. With her fun, funny, and super-approachable teaching style, she’s here to make sure you get it right.

Alongside Sonja, you’ll learn how to:

  • Read and interpret basic metrics for your website and social media
  • Create a brand Bible for yourself or your brand
  • Develop an eye-catching, “sticky” website that keeps people engaged
  • Use social media to your best advantage

Whether you’re an individual thinking about starting to sell prints, a professional stepping out into freelancing and contract work, or anywhere in between, Sonja’s foundational knowledge will set you up for success and allow you to build the self-employed career you’ve always wanted — so let’s get to it!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I had what I thought was my dream job, and I got fired, and through a lot of soul-searching, I eventually realized that I did not want to work for anyone else ever again, and I've never looked back. I never know how to answer this question. Should I start, like, "My name is," or just, "My name is Sonja Rasula. I am an entrepreneur and the founder of Unique Market." The thing that I like the most about what I do is having the freedom to do whatever I want, and also, to be able to engage and cultivate such a great creative community. In today's class, we're going to be going over analytics and goal-setting. We're going to create a brand bible. I'm going to help you tighten up your website and make it fabulous. Then we're going to be creating templates for social media and going through how to improve your social media feeds. Nothing in this class is rocket science. It's basic stuff but really important tools that you need in your toolkit. I think the reason why I'm so passionate about helping small independent designers, business owners, and entrepreneurs is because we tend to not get those skills. We're artists, we're creatives. The thing is, all of the giant corporations and all of the C-suite leaders get a lot of training, and so I feel they're just set up to succeed and I want to make sure that you are set up to succeed. I'm really excited for today's class. Let's get started. 2. Thinking of Yourself as a Business: Lesson 2, thinking of yourself as a business. It's super important to think of yourself as a business, not just an artist or creative, or a maker of products. I think that too many creatives tend to not realize that what they're doing is in fact creating a service or creating something that they eventually want to sell. So that officially puts you into the bucket of business owner, which is a mental shift. When you're a creator, you create because it brings you joy. Not that what you're doing is not bringing you joy, but you need it to pay the bills. So you need to make that mind switch immediately so that you are both an amazing artist and maker and you are also a business owner. I think one of the most common hurdles that people have when they're trying to make the switch of being a maker or an artist to a business owner is thinking of all the technical stuff like registering a business, creating the website, all the boring stuff to be perfectly honest. But that is actually the small stuff. The harder thing is just to start thinking of yourself and be proud of the fact that you are now an entrepreneur, a small business owner, you are someone who is in fact making money and able to make a living off of your creativity. A lot of the artists and small business owners that I know started off thinking of themselves, not as a small business owner. They might have been selling prints on a website as a side hustle, but the second you start making money, that officially makes you a business owner and an entrepreneur. Thinking of it that way and being proud of it, I think is a really important switch because if you are still in the mindset of, "Oh, I'm just selling art on the side. I'm just doing this to see how it will go." I can tell you how it's going to go, it's going to go not great or okay. I want you to be amazing, I want you to sell as much as you can. So that psychological mind switch is really important. As soon as you make that switch from creative to business owner, a lot of great things start to happen. One of the things is that you hold yourself more accountable. Instead of just creating things and, "I'm a Pisces, so I'm a dreamer. I'm always dreaming and coming up with these grand schemes", you go from coming up with the grand scheme to actually executing because you hold yourself accountable, which is a really important step. I absolutely think that when you start to make money, you start to let other people know in your life, friends and family, that this is what you are doing, you are taking your art, you're taking your creativity and your skills, and you are actually making money from it. I think that you gain a lot of confidence. You start to see yourself in a different light. It's exciting because you're also part of a new community. You are no longer part of just the creative community, but now you're part of a community that is small business owners and entrepreneurs, which is really exciting. There are some people who will probably think of this same type of logic as selling out. I really want to address that. When artists become popular or they become big or famous or successful, for some reason society tends to look down on those artists like, "Oh, they've sold out, so they're no longer cool." I want you and everyone listening to get rid of that train of thought. That is just judgment, and no one needs judgment at this table. I want you to instead think of it as being successful and being successful at something you love to do and something that makes you happy and that's really important. You're not clocking in at a job 9-5, you are doing what you were made to do. This is your purpose and why not make money from it? Why not be able to make a living from it? To be perfectly honest, I think this is something that a lot of people struggle with. In fact, most people probably struggle with the idea of moving on like creating something, creating a business out of what you're doing. I think the mindset that you're going to need for this class is to already know that you need help, which is great because you're watching this right now, but what you really need to do is, you need to be open to changing and to change. You need to be ready to evolve and excited about the fact that once you complete this class and the exercises, you are going to have a brand new website, a brand new logic and set templates for taking your business and your art to the next level. So get excited about that and get ready. Next up, we're going to go over social media and website analytics and goal setting. 3. Understanding Analytics: We're going to start with analytics because they are super important in order for you to track where you have been, where you want to be, and where you are going. Without analytics, you have no way to tell how you're doing. For Instagram and Facebook, we use there in-app analytics. The three most important things that you want to look for when you're looking at website is traffic. How many people are coming to your homepage? I would say the next thing is how many people are going to your store or your shop page, and then how long are they on your website? The reason why it's so important to track how long people stay on your website is because that gives you an understanding of whether or not your website is sticky, which is really important. If people are only staying on your website for a few seconds or less than a minute, you know that your content is not engaging. It's not captivating people's interests. That's a really good indicator that you need to redesign or try new things on your homepage, for instance. When it comes to website analytics, they are yes, super boring, but there also so crucial for your business. I think as a creative, you need to see looking at data and looking at analytics as a super nerds skill. It's a skill that you need to work on and hone. The more you are able to use the data, the better you're going to be at presenting yourself at creating a great engaging website or posting posts that will be popular and get you more followers or engagement. I think the reason why it's so important to look at both traffic and time spent on the website is because they interact with one another. You can have a lot of people coming to your website, but if you're not seeing a lot of sales and a lot of conversion, then it's easy to assume that it's because perhaps your design and your content is not as engaging. For me, time spent on website is really important. I want to know that the people who are on your website are not just clicking and staying there for 30 seconds. I want to know that they are visiting your About page, that they're spending time clicking around, scrolling and really getting to know who you are. That is why great web design, great navigation, that's why those things are so important. It sounds crazy that you can learn all of that simply from looking at data, but you can. Webpages are important, but so is time spent on those webpages. The other things that we're going to be talking about today are how to improve your web design, how to improve your social media feed. Without the analytics component, you're just running with no place to go. You need all three things to work together to really present yourself the best and reach the goals that you want to reach. When it comes to using data and analytics to help you make informed decisions to move forward, you can, for instance, look at how many people visited your website last month. Did you do anything special to drive traffic to their homepage or did you do absolutely nothing? If you're going to plan to do promotions, to Contact Press, to work with other friends and community members to drive traffic to your website, then you may want to increase the traffic for next month or the future months by 20, 25 percent, let's say. It's important to look at what you did to get the traffic that you have been getting, and where you think that you can go, whether you do absolutely nothing or whether you drive traffic specifically to your website. When it comes to social media, the metrics that you want to look at are both follows and likes. But I think it's really important to look at engagement. I think everyone needs to remember that social media has the word social in it, and so community and engaging with that community is actually one of the secret pieces that is so crucial for having a great Instagram feed or a great Facebook account. You need to look at engagement, but also of course, follows and likes. Everyone wants more followers. That's the number one question I get. How can I increase my followers? But I'm going to tell you right now that the most important thing that you need to think about is engagement. It's not actually followers. It doesn't matter whether you have 500 followers or 500,000, it's how loyal and how engaged those followers are with you. When it comes to this exercise, I think that you want to think about creating reasonable and attainable goals. The worst thing you can do is set yourself up to fail. If you have 200 followers on Instagram, I think it's crazy to think that you're going to triple the number of followers by the end of the year. One of the reason why analytics is so great is because you can see what you've been doing and what you've been tracking with, and create a realistic goal and expectation so that you can grow and actually reach those goals. The most important thing about analytics is to actually track them. I highly suggest creating one central place for all this information. So you might be getting your analytics from Squarespace or Google. You've got your Facebook analytics over here, your Instagram analytics over here. We like to create an Excel sheet, and that excel sheet has all of the analytics put into one place so that it is really easy to see month over month, year over year, how you're doing on all of your platforms, not just in one platform. What we're going to do now is have you look at your analytics and set goals. I think a great goal is both ambitious but realistic. I want you to achieve these goals, so I want you to aim high, but not super high. A great way to set goals is to remain realistic and figure out what that means for you. It's different for everyone. With unique markets, we may want to reach 10,000 new followers in the next year. For us, we would chop that up. What is realistic? Let's do 750 new followers every month for the next 12 months, for instance. Now it's your turn, take a look at your analytics and set some goals. 4. Creating Your Brand Bible: Now we're going to create your brand bible. This is really important for you and anyone else working on your brand because you need to understand, for instance, what fonts represent your brand? What are the main colors that you use? Are there restrictions when it comes to your logo or not? Minus ginormous, yours does not need to be this large, but I'm going to be pulling out the best pieces and the elements that you should have in your brand bible. One of the first things that everyone needs to think about is, what colors are you going to use for your brand? As you can see here, we have four colors that are what we consider to be our pillar colors. There's a red, there's a pink, there's green, and there is a light beige. You will see those colors over and over again on our website and throughout our social media. When thinking about what colors to choose for your brand, it's really important to think about who you are and what you want to convey. We went with a really, really bright red and a light pink as our two main colors, because we thought that those were both modern. They grab your attention whether in print or online, and then we decided to go with two natural colors, which are the green and the beige. We've got the very poppy colors and then we've got two colors that are much more subdued. When thinking about your colors, you're not just thinking about the color that is going to represent you and your brand forever, but you're also thinking about the different ways that you may use them. Do you want to be shouting? Do you want to use colors that are a little bit more natural and subdued, colors that you might find in nature, for instance, or do you want to really scream and grab attention with your brand? In that case, you may want to go with neons. We have a mock-up of our Instagram feed, and this is what you can do as well to figure out if the colors that you chose work or not. This is a simple mock-up of us using our main colors, red, pink, green, and beige, and really seeing whether we like what we see when they're all together or not. This is a simple exercise that you can do. Just mock something up and see whether you like it or keep trying. Moving on to typography. Typography is really crucial for anyone starting a brand or a business. This is because just like your logo, just like your colors, typography is going to be the thing that separates you from everyone else. Human beings love consistency. As they see the fonts that you choose over and over again, that just helps them feel welcome. It helps them feel they know exactly who you are and where they are if they're on your website. We have three fonts or typefaces that we use and everything is laid out very clearly. There are other brands, and especially for a lot of artists and illustrators, where you may want to use a main typeface that is a little bit more fun. It might have some more personality. For unique markets, we are essentially in the business of introducing audiences to other creatives in small businesses. We want them to shine, which is why we chose fonts that were very simple and plain, not boring, but very minimal. As you can see here on the next slide, this can literally illustrate how a designer can use those fonts. You can see that there is a difference in all of these fonts. Ironically, everyone who is on Skillshare is creative, so they will understand this. But if the average person looked at this slide, they'd be like, I don't get it. They're all just like all caps. As you can see, this is a poster design. It very quickly and easily communicates to whoever is doing your design work that this is how and where you can use the different typefaces that you've chosen. For everyone out there who is just an individual per se, creating a brand bible is just as crucial for you whether you plan to have employees in the future or not. I think there's a couple reasons for that. Number 1, time is money, and that still relates to you. Your time is so precious and valuable. Again, if you don't have a brand bible, and suddenly an opportunity comes, suddenly you get an e-mail and you've got a couple new opportunities, you need to figure out how to very quickly, potentially, lets say, design some new collateral, or design some postcards because someone wants to help you insert them into their subscription box, for instance. You need to figure out how to do all of this work very quickly and very efficiently. Having a brand bible is going to save you time. But the other reason why having a brand bible is so important is because it really helps you step up to that level of professional. It takes you from being someone who is doing something as a hobby, and someone who is doing something as a business, and someone who is successful at that. Creating this brand bible is going to help answer questions when you need those questions fast and furious. But it's also going to help you really internalize what you want to be doing, where you want to go, and it's helping you present your brand to the rest of the world in a way that truly represents you and who you are as a professional. Within the brand bible, there's also the task of figuring out what your personality is and what you want to convey about you, your work, and your brand. This next slide is the unique market's personality, and this may seem fun, but there's actually a lot of thought and intention behind this, which is really important. The whole reason to create a brand bible is to put intention behind what you're doing. We have these parameters of who we think that we are, what our personality is. This is important because personality comes through not only in design, but in writing. How are you going to write about yourself on the website? How are you going to talk about what you do if you are interviewed? How are you going to engage with your customers on social media? Personality is just as important as logo, type, colors. Unique markets prefers to be more on the high-end side of things as opposed to crafty, for instance. When it comes to masculine, feminine, we're veering more towards the feminine side. We like to think of ourselves as both playful but also elegant, so it's in the middle there. You can see this is an easy exercise to do and it just helps you create your personality as a brand. I think that creating a brand bible is not just smart, but I think that it also really helps you mentally transition from being a hobbyist and being a creative who's throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, and taking yourself to that next level of being a professional, being someone who can truly make a living from what you're doing. The brand bible is another really important step in that growth process. I want you to keep in mind that the brand bible doesn't need to be this really long document. You don't need to pour hours into this. What I want you to do is just focus on those three things. Create your personality. Who are you? What are you trying to do? I want you to choose a few colors, and if you only choose one font, that's fine. But I want you to finish creating this brand bible because it's the thing that is going to help you get to the next steps. Up next, we're going to be looking at your website and your homepage and how you can redesign them to give them a fresh new makeover. 5. Building Your Website: Now, we're going to dive into your website. We're going to go over ways to make your homepage more compelling. We're going to look at some of the other pages on your website, and we're going to create templates so that refreshing your homepage is faster and easier. Right off the bat, you need to start thinking about your homepage as a front cover of a magazine. When we're in the grocery store, I know you know what I'm talking about. You look over, and you can see all of the magazines, and they're all designed exactly the same. There's a beauty image, a great photo that captures your attention. Then there's always a few major headlines, whether it's 10 ways to be a better flirt, or it's an interview with a celebrity. Those pieces of content pop-out. So I want you to think about your homepage exactly the same way you would look at a magazine cover. I want you to have a beauty image, and by that I mean a big, beautiful photo, something that is compelling, that will capture the attention of people visiting your website. Then I want you to think about creating bite sized pieces of information. If it's that you create art prints, and it's purchase art prints, or whether it's a headline that describes you, and what you do or the work that you do. You need to think exactly like a magazine editor would in thinking about your homepage. I'm going to show you how this all comes to life on my website. Let's take a look now. As I said before, you need to come up with a beauty image for your homepage. As you can see on our website, we have a beauty image that actually slides through with a few different pieces of content, but the first message is "Shop with intention". We want make sure that right off the bat, people know that they are on a website, we are all about shopping local. Then we scroll through some of the other important things that we want to direct them to, such as signing up for our newsletter or listening to our podcasts. A new statistic came out recently that said you have 1.5 seconds to make an impression. You only have 1.5 seconds for someone to look at your homepage and decide whether to click away or stay. That is shocking. When people start to scroll, you want to offer them different pieces of content that they may find interesting. The second thing that we've shown on our homepage is that the company is female founded, created for all, and we have a link off to our mission statement and our about us page. Introducing people to you and more about you is a really great way to capture their attention. Also, let people know that it's an individual, it's a human being behind this website, it's not a big company or a corporation. Great photography is key on any homepage. Great photography means photography that is not pixelated, photography that is captivating, and can help tell your story. In general, photography that is very light and bright in tone is usually the most popular. As you can see, we've got example photos of what we do in our community. Then we are bringing people the best of our blog, and it's important to use headlines. Again, like the front cover of a magazine, people really only have a second to digest what it is that you are trying to communicate. Whether you want a direct people to your store, whether you want a direct people to your blog, you have to make it easy for people to navigate your website and your homepage. Using very simple headlines and very simple language is a way to do that. Then this is a really, really important tip. This is probably my most important tip for a homepage after the beauty image: human beings love when they see logos. The reason for this is because when someone sees a logo that they recognize, they instantly know that someone that they know and trust, knows and trusts you. Especially if you sell something, it's really important to put logos of either press attention that you've gotten or logos of partnerships or collaborations that you've done. You want to put that right on your homepage. You don't want people to have to dig through your website to find out that, "Oh, wow. This person was written about by The New York Times, " or, "Oh, this person was featured on Refinery29." Thinking about human behavior, and how you can capitalize on human behavior is really important when designing your homepage. As you can see, we've got the logos of different major media that we've received press from. Is this going to impress everyone? Maybe, maybe not, but that's a key differentiate between you, and someone who has a homepage that doesn't have those logos, that doesn't have press attention or really interesting collaborations mentioned. Now, I'm going to show you how to create a template for your homepage, so you can set it and forget it. The smartest thing to do when creating a template, in my opinion, is to create many templates. Once you have the size of your main image on your homepage, that might be 1,000 pixels by 500, or it might be 2,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels. Whatever your beauty images, you're going to create a template. For me and my purposes, I will have four art boards. I'm not just working on one piece of artwork. I'm creating a template so that I can pre-plan my content for the homepage. When thinking about creating the beauty image for your website, the thing to keep in mind is that what is most popular? What is most popular is photography. If you're an illustrator or a painter or a designer, and you want to feature your artwork as the first thing people see when they come to your homepage. I think that is a great instinct. However, I am going to suggest that a photo of your artwork, a framed piece, a print on the wall, that is most likely going to connect more with people. The only reason I say this is because, again, we haven't created the game that we're playing in, we are just players. Nine times out of 10, photography is what captures people's attentions on homepages. If you're an illustrator, if you are a water colorist, I want you to show off that artwork but try to think of how you can do it using photography. I've got four different beauty images that I want to create for the homepage. I'm taking an image that we already had pre-designed that is promoting the podcast. So if we're keeping in the vein of knowing that something has to pop immediately and knowing that something has to connect with the person on your website in 1.5 seconds, it has to be something that it is very easy to digest. Photography tends to be the best. If you're going to go with graphic design, which also can absolutely do the job, you have to make sure that it pops and that there is not a lot of writing. Again, think about that magazine cover. You want something that with one quick headline, communicates what it is that you want the user to do. I'm going to pretend, oh my God, and also, can I just say, I am not a designer. I mean, I am, but I'm not. Now, I'm embarrassed, and I'm tightening up these lines because I'm very conscious of all the designers that are going to be watching me. If you are going to use graphic design or a burst of solid color, I think that is a great idea, but you need to make sure that the typography pops. So if I want people to sign up for our newsletter, for instance, you need to say that very quickly. I'm just making a graphic for the homepage to try to get people to join and subscribe our newsletter. Again, I'm not going to make this fancy. I'm not going to go into the different types that we would normally use. I'm just showing you how quick and easy it is to preset your homepage graphics. Then I'm going to show you a couple of examples of using photography, for instance. Now, I am going to have to place some stuff. Let's grab this photo. As you can see, I'm grabbing a photo that I think will look good and capture attention. I'm putting it onto the art board, and I'm taking the steps to fine tune each one of these images so that it is ready to go. The goal here is to create images for your homepage so that when you're in a jam, you're not suddenly having to design something. The goal is to save you time and make it less intimidating to update your website. I just added a photo to one of the art boards, and it definitely needs something else to capture someone's attention. So I might try to direct people to the store. We don't actually have a store, FYI, but let's just pretend. So let's pretend that I took this photo, and this is one of the prints. This is an example of a great beauty image for a homepage because it's captivating, it's something that's beautiful. I can easily digest the information in less than a second. This is as simple as it needs to be. It's really about the act of creating multiple art boards, creating multiple pieces of art that you can then upload easily to the homepage. So you're really not like feeling frustrated, intimidated, or that you don't have enough time to update and refresh your homepage. I'm now creating my final beauty image for the homepage. I've loaded in the photo, and let's say, it's going to be a blog post. I want to direct people to a blog post. As you can see, this does not take a lot of time, and within about half an hour, I'm going to have four images that I can either rotate on my homepage or potentially put a new one up every month. So for four months, I am good to go. I've got my four beauty images. The next step is to save them so that they can be uploaded onto the website. I am just going to simply save each one on its own. You're going to want to save them as either JPEGs or PNGs. I recommend saving your images in the exact same way every single time, so coming up with a naming convention. So for instance, for all of our homepage graphics, we always say Homepage- and then have a descriptor for the image. For this one, I'm saving it as Homepage-5WaystoUnplug. That makes it easy for not just me to understand what that images but anyone else working on the website. Now, I want to dig a little bit deeper into your About page. A lot of creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners tend to remove themselves from the story when it comes to the About us page. I feel like it's because they want to appear larger than they are or through the years, they've been taught that you need to fake it till you make it or appear larger than life. I am here to tell you that you are a very, very important part of your story and your brand. So I want to encourage you to think about your About page really as a way for people to understand who you are, why it is you create what you do, and why they should support you. If you can connect emotionally with someone, it's so much more likely that they are going to purchase from you, support you, and spread the word about you and what you do. So my best tip for creating a really captivating About page is to think of the five Ws. You want to think about who, what, when, where, and why. I think when figuring out how to present your story, you are the most important thing. So really dig into your history. Why did you become an artist? What was it that compelled you to create the products that you now sell? I think having a little bit of history is really important and then bring it back into the present day with your mission, or why it is that you do what you do. My last piece of advice when thinking about redesigning or refreshing your website is to look at competition. I know this sounds weird, but there are a lot of great companies and a lot of corporations who pay web developers and web teams a lot of money, and so I want you to think about the brand of the artists that you yourself love, visit their websites and analyze what they do with their homepage, analyze how they tell their story on their About page and take some of those lessons as inspiration. Now, it's your turn. I want you to analyze your homepage and figure out where you can improve, cut, and make it look better. Next up, we're going to look at social media. 6. Using Your Social Media: Now, we're going to take a deeper look at your social media feeds which I know can be intimidating. We are going to translate your brand bible to your social media feeds. We're going to analyze how you're doing so far and how to improve, and then we're going to create templates again so that you can save time, and not be so intimidated or really worried and bothered with always having to continually update social media. The first lesson when talking about social media is that you are just a player in a game that was created by other people. You need to know that social media is not intimidating, it's not meant to be so stressful, but it has somehow become that. I'm here to tell you, creating a great social media feed is not rocket science, what you need to do is look at your posts and realize that social media is truly about being popular. It's like we're right back in high school all over again. The game is to be popular and the game is also to be community minded and make sure to engage with your followers. It's really easy to analyze your social media when you know those things. You need your feed to look great, have the same style and tone, and have the same messaging, and you need to make sure to engage with your community. Those are the two most important things. I want you to make your business and your creative endeavor social media feed be polished, and beautiful, and engaging. Your personal feed can be recipes that you cook and puppy videos all day long. This is where having a brand bible comes in so handy. You're going to be able to look at the fonts that you chose, you're going to be able to look at the colors that you chose, and then you're going to very easily translate that to your social media feeds. After you start creating all of your beautiful posts, you want to take the time to analyze how they're doing. You want to look at which style of post is your most popular. Is it a specific style of photography? Is it whenever you post photos of your own artwork? Is it when you tell your story? You want to look at the analytics within the Instagram app or Facebook or whatever social media tool that you're using, and you want to look at what is the most popular. Once you know what the most popular content is, keep creating it. Editorial calendars are going to be your best friend, trust me when I say that. The reason why creating an editorial calendar especially for your social media feeds, the reason why it's so important is because, again, it's going to save you time, it's going to save you a lot of headache, and it's going to make the path forward much more clear. An editorial calendar can be as simple as an Excel chart that has the number of posts that you're going to do per week, and you know what the images that you're going to post, and then you write the actual caption. When you do this well, and you do it ahead of time, posting becomes so much easier than looking down at your phone in panic, and trying to post something because you feel like you have to post something. Editorial calendars really take the headache away from social media. Another thing you want to do when thinking about your social media feed is really analyzing your time. What is going to be realistic for you to actually execute? If you think that you can post once a day, great. If you can post multiple times a day, fantastic. If you can only post three times a week, then that's what you should commit to. You need to figure out what is realistic and you need to stick with it. The one thing that community does not like is when you are not consistent. The algorithms love consistency and they love engagement. If you only post a few times a week, that's fine but you need to make sure that you are engaging with people that comment on those posts. You need to make sure to be checking feedback in your direct messages. If customers or fans are talking to you on social media, you need to make sure to reserve time to engage with your community as well as post. For those of you who may not have a lot of time to dedicate to social media, this next tip is going to blow your minds. You can repost other people's great content, you need to be very community minded and make sure to up, front, and center, make sure to tag them, make sure to give all the credit to them. But social media, again, is a form of socializing. The amazing thing about posting and re-posting other people's work, is that you are publicly saying that you really admire this person, that you love their work, and that you want to share it with your community. What you are doing at the same time is also letting that person know that you exist. You're letting that artist or that photographer know that you like and appreciate their work. In a very strange way, you're saving time when you don't have a lot of it by re-posting someone else's work, but what you're also doing at the same time is letting them know like, hey, hi, I'm here, this is what I do, and they'll know about you because you've tagged them and you've made sure to mention them. It's also a great community builder. Now I'm going to show you how to make social media templates. The most important thing to keep in mind with templates is that they are here to save you time. What you want to do with a social media template is first create the art boards, and then create multiple art boards. As you can see, I have 10 Instagram posts ready to go. What I've done is I've templated 10 square sizes and I have taken the time to design every single one. These designs were created to promote and advertise our pop-up markets. We wanted to use the same colors, we wanted to be a little experimental, we were going for a little bit of a different vibe which is why you see a few new colors on top of the colors that we have in our brand bible. The one thing that I wanted to show you that is a really great use of your time, and that every social media template should have is an inspirational quote template. Everyone knows that on Instagram, on Pinterest, inspirational quotes are very popular. You can either take a quote from someone famous or well-known, or you can use advice or inspiration from yourself. I am going to just type something out here. I am using an Ice Cube quote. As you can see, what I'm doing right now is I am experimenting with how I want inspirational quotes to look on my feed. The reason why you want to create a specific format is so that then your followers see consistency, which I've talked about over and over again today. You want to use the same style, the same font, the same colors, so that your followers are used to seeing something that they already know and love. Then from here on out, whether you want to use song lyrics or a longer quote, a passage from one of your favorite books, you know that this is the style and format that you are going to use over and over again. For me, I am left justifying this quote, I'm putting it at the very, very bottom left-hand corner. I actually hate this color red, so I'm going to change it because I think red is a little too aggressive. If this is going to be something that people see on our feeds over and over again, I want to make sure that it's something a little calmer. Something that's not screaming at them but that's a nice little hello. I've arranged how I want the font to appear, I've arranged the colors, the size, the color of the font itself and this is now within my social media template. As you can see, there are 10 designs ready to go, you would post all 10 of these. But what you can do is then once a month, go into this template and create 10 new posts, advertise 10 new things, show 10 new pieces of artwork but it's all here, it's all templated. You don't really have to think, you just have to redesign, update, and then post. Now it's your turn, I want you to take a few stabs at creating a social media template. Maybe do three templates so that you have three different types of posts that you can design over and over again. 7. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. Thank you for taking this class. I'm super excited for you to apply all of the lessons that you learned to what it is that you do, your websites and your social media. Remember to share all of your projects in the project gallery. Before you go, I just wanted to say thank you so much. I believe that every single person out there has a unique voice and a unique perspective. Right now I think the world needs all of our voices and all of our creativity. So I want you to apply everything that you've learn today, and I want you to be loud and proud, and I want to watch you succeed and grow. Thanks so much for watching, I'll see you in the project gallery. That is done. Thank you.