Have you ever experienced a bad case of social media envy? Maybe you’ve seen those gorgeous Facebook pages whose posts seem to somehow magically pop up in your newsfeed a few times throughout the day (almost like clockwork!). They always seem to share intriguing blog posts, and such beautiful, professionally branded graphics too. Plus hundreds of likes… tons of comments… even hearts & shares galore!?
Maybe you have been wondering how people like Leonie Dawson, Kris Carr, and _________ (insert your Facebook idol here!) possibly find the time to come up with all this great stuff all the time, even while still running the rest of their booming online empires. Even if they do have a team to help them out behind the scenes, you can still tell that each and every post is authentic and handpicked by them especially for their audience to enjoy. So, how do they do it?
The real reason why these brands have been able to stay consistent with such a steady stream of on-point social content is because they’ve taken the time to streamline their process.
Once you can get crystal clear on your branding, decide on exactly the right things to say to your audience, and discover how to use all of this knowledge to put a solid schedule in place for your blog & social media, you would be surprised how much easier and yes, even FUN, it will become for you to prep & design all of your posts for the entire month ahead, all in just one sitting. A little bit of prep work really can make a huge difference!
Let me break it all down for ya…
Step One: Understanding Your Brand’s Vibe
If you want to design ahh-mazing blog and social media graphics, you first need to start off by knowing what your blog or business is all about. I guess this is fairly obvious, but it sure doesn’t make it any less important. Figuring out the who, what, why, and how behind your brand is what it’s all about, especially if you’re just starting out. If you don’t know the answer to these questions (i.e. who you help, what you offer, why it’s needed, and how it will be delivered?), how are you supposed to be able to explain them to anyone else?
From a visual perspective, it can also be incredibly helpful to create a brand board featuring something as simple as just your logo, some inspirational imagery that displays your brand’s vibe, a color palette, and a couple of solid signature fonts that you can easily reference as you design your posts each month. It will seriously make your job SO much easier if all of the basic design ideas & elements have already been chosen. Not only that, but cohesion is beautiful and attractive to your audience – it shows that you’re consistent & trustworthy!
Step Two: Pinpoint Your Most Powerful Post Ideas
Once you’ve gotten crystal clear about your brand’s vibe, you can start to think more about the type of people who would be particularly interested in what your blog or business has to offer, and then come up with ways to cater your blog & social media posts specifically to them.
If your audience feels like they can trust you to understand what they’re going through, it’s a surefire way to build & nurture stronger and more rewarding long-term relationships with past, present, and future clients or customers. That is why all of the blog posts, inspirational quotes, helpful tips, or articles you share should be primarily based around helping your audience solve their biggest problems and highlighting how the way you solve them is unique to your brand along the way.
To better streamline this process, you can set up a weekly theme schedule – i.e. Monday – Quote, Tuesday – Tip, Wednesday – Blog post, Thursday – Q+A, Friday – Article. The first month might require a little bit more prep work to figure out what will work best for you and to see what types of posts your audience responds to best, but once you start to get ahead, you can begin saving all of your content ideas into a document on your computer as you come upon them. Then, when it comes time to plan your postings for the next month, all you’ll need to do is fill in the blanks, and voila!
You may also want to grab this new Weekly Social Media Planner from the shop:
Step Three: Design Ahh-mazing Graphics
Okay, so now that your branding is nailed down, you understand your audience on a deeper level, and you’ve planned and written some posts you think they’ll truly appreciate, it’s finally time to bring it all together with some ahh-mazing graphics. Please trust me when I say you do NOT need to be a professional designer to do this! It will obviously be less time consuming for you if you CAN hire someone, but please don’t let it hold you back from growing your brand if you can’t.
No one said you had to be an artist – think of yourself as an assembler instead. If you have your brand board on hand and your post ideas already laid out in front of you, it really is all just a matter of assembling the designs in a beginner level graphic program like Canva or an intermediate level graphic program like Photoshop (whichever you prefer!). First, bring in all of the elements you know you want to use (i.e. your logo icon, your message written in your signature fonts, and the colors from your color palette), and then add some flair. Once you get into it, it can be really fun!
If the blank page is still really freaking you out, and you have no idea what to do, you can also invest in some gorgeous, free or low-cost backgrounds, stock photos, or clip art as long as they fit in with your brand’s vibe. You can find some nice design assets from Creative Market, or do a search on Etsy, and then save them all into a ‘Design Resources‘ folder that you can pull from when you’re in need of some extra inspiration to guide you.
The more time you spend sussing out your visual language in the beginning, the easier it will get over time. Who knows, it might even become something you really start to look forward to!