Samantha Markey Photography: Blog https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Samantha Markey Photography (Samantha Markey Photography) Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:17:00 GMT Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:17:00 GMT https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u146682907-o335840392-50.jpg Samantha Markey Photography: Blog https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog 90 120 February Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle! https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/february-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle February 2021 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses February 2021 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses

Social Media Caboodle, February 2021 edition
60+ ideas for your social media posts

 

We are well into 2021 now and I don't know about you but it is business as usual, just not the usual!   If you know what I mean.   

 

I have been working very hard for the last few months on a social media tool kit and a membership program designed to help the "Do It Yourselfers", like you and me use social media for our businesses.  Let me tell you what I am so excited about the feedback I have been getting.  It is not going to replace this monthly blog post though so if you have become a little reliant on my daily suggestions don't worry they are here to stay. The first thing I did was create the Social Media Marketing Tool Kit.  This tool kit is everything you need to create an effective strategy for your brand, create a solid plan around it and then actually execute it so you may want to go check it out. The second thing I created was a monthly coaching membership program designed so I can create a community of like-minded women entrepreneurs and help them with their social media.  If that sounds like something you would love, keep reading I will share some more at the end of this post.

 

It is because of all this creating I am running behind on the February Caboodle post so I hope you will forgive me.  As always in this blog post, you will find:

  • Daily post ideas & suggestions
  • Social media marketing tips to help you increase your engagement
  • Ideas to help you improve your posting consistency
  • Best of all, a way to reduce the stress caused by your DIY social media marketing strategy.   

February 2021 social media posting With a Purpose Caboodle imageFebruary 2021 social media posting with a Purpose Caboodle. Over 45 most suggestions and social media tips for small business owners who want to effectively use social media to market their business.
 

Social Media is a power player in the marketing world without a doubt!  If you have not figured out how to use it for your business now would be a good time to get on that. I always advise my clients to start by understanding who they are talking to.  


When you know who you are talking to you can create content that will attract them, speak to them with words that they use and build a brand that feels like it was designed just for them.

 

Why is that important? The better you understand your dream client the easier it will be to build real connections so you can build a community of true fans. PLUS:

  • You will stop wasting your time trying to speak to everyone!
  • Your Dream Client will feel understood which will make them more likely to buy from you.
  • You will be on the right platforms posting the right content.  

 

 


 

 

Social Media Tip of the Month!

If you didn't see this one coming I am so sorry.  The tip of the month is to take the time to define your dream client.  Not sure what that means?  I am sure you have heard it before, I call it your dream client but other marketers call it your target client or client avatar. 

Dream client definition photoDream client definition
 

To give it a simple definition it is a fictional
description of a single person,

who represents your client base.  

 

 

The Dream Client Profile workbook I created offers a worksheet and three ways of getting started on your dream client profile.   You can evaluate your current client base, look at who your competitors are working with, or thinking about a celebrity that would be a great spokesperson for your brand.  This will be an ongoing and ever-changing process but the more you know the better you can attract and sell to your dream client.

 

Once You have down the basics demographics- give him or her a name.  My dream client's name is Olivia.  Then go deeper, what do they do for fun, where do they hang out?  Know as much as you can.

 

Comment below if you have any questions.  Now it is time to get to the real reason you are here.  A content calendar for February and daily posting suggestions.  Be sure to download the PDF of the calendar and the list for easy reference.
 

 

February's Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle. 

 

February 2021 social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by More Than Serendipity Social Media photoJanuary 2021 Social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by "More Than Serendipity Social Media " DBA Samantha Markey PhotographySee below to download the PDF version of this.

Click Here to download this calendar!

If you want more information on what the Posting with a Purpose Caboodle is or how to use this information, click here. 

 

    

Posting Suggestions

     

Day of the month

Day of the week

Post Suggestion

1st

Monday

National Get Up Day

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

2nd

Tuesday

Ground Hogs Day

Daily Theme: Tuesday Tips

3rd

Wednesday

Promo Post Talk about what you sell.

Daily Theme: What we do.

4th

Thursday

Industry News

Share an article related to your industry.

Don't forget to share what you think about it and

tag where you found it.

Daily Theme: A look behind the scenes

5th

Friday

National Wear Red Day

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

6th

Saturday

Fill in the Blank Post.                 

Ideas:

The first (YOUR PRODUCT) I ever

bought was _____________

or

All I want for Valentines day is __________

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

7th

Sunday

Caption this photo.

Share a funny personal picture

or even a GIF and ask your audience to caption it.

Daily Theme: Sunday Sunshine

8th

Monday

Promo Post Talk about what you sell.

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

9th

Tuesday

National Pizza Day

Daily Theme: Tuesday Tips

10th

Wednesday

Infographic

Take what many would consider boring

about what you do and liven it up by creating an infographic.

Think numbers, and other not so fun boring data.

Daily Theme: What we do.

11th

Thursday

National Make a Friend Day

Daily Theme: A look behind the scenes

12th

Friday

Share a Random Thought

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

13th

Saturday

Galentine’s Day

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

14th

Sunday

Valentines Day

Daily Theme: Sunday Sunshine

15th

Monday

President's Day

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

16th

Tuesday

Promo Post Talk about what you sell.

Daily Theme: Tuesday Tips

17th

Wednesday

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

Daily Theme: What we do.

18th

Thursday

Testimonial

Daily Theme: A look behind the scenes

19th

Friday

Re Share a post that did well recently.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

20th

Saturday

National Love Your Pet Day

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

21st

Sunday

Tell a Story

How did you get started in your business?

Or something more personal.

Daily Theme: Sunday Sunshine

22nd

Monday

National Margarita Day

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

23rd

Tuesday

Promo Post Talk about what you sell.

Daily Theme: Tuesday Tips

24th

Wednesday

Video Post

Daily Theme: What we do.

25th

Thursday

Photo Vote

Share 2-4 images and ask your audience to select their fav, by liking it. Images could be a new product color or where you want to go on vacation. Have fun with it.

Daily Theme: A look behind the scenes

26th

Friday

Frequently Asked Questions

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

27th

Saturday

Share your Biz Tagline

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

28th

Sunday

Promo Post Talk about what you sell.

Daily Theme: Sunday Sunshine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This download includes the calendar shown above and a blank February 2021 calendar so you can design your own plan.

 

You can also download the list by clicking here.

So a little more about why I am so excited about this monthly coaching membership program.  For far less than what it would cost to hire a social media manager, heck even less than hiring me for monthly one on one coaching you get all of the amazing things included plus you join a community of like-minded women who want to help each other be successful.

 

  • Monthly Live Co-Working Calls 
  • Monthly Content Tips and Ideas sent to your email box
  • On-boarding Strategy Call. 
  • Private Facebook Community 
  • 52 Editable Inspirational Quotes (Canva Template). 
  • This means instant access to new tools when added to the kit.
  • An annual calendar included in your membership.
  • Guest Expert Sessions (quarterly) 

 

Bonus!

The first dozen members to join get - Monthly One on One Coaching with me for the first year.

It also includes access to the Social Media Tool Kit which is nine fantastic products:

 

Sign Up now &

SAVE 50% on either plan!

TOTAL VALUE: More than $7,000 a year

Sign up in the next 48 hours for only

$147.50 a month

Using Discount Code: 

DIPITY

Join the Plandipity Inner Circle Learn more about this membership program.

 

 

Never miss out, jump on my email list today.

 

If you are interested in a custom calendar or want help with other social media services, please check out my social media services page for more information.  You deserve to be seen, and I can help.  

 

 

 

 



 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) monthly posting ideas social media marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/february-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle Tue, 26 Jan 2021 23:15:48 GMT
Selecting Brand Images for your Social Media https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/selecting-brand-images-for-your-social-media How to select brand visuals for social mediaHow to select brand visuals for social mediaclick picture for a tool that will help you DIY your photography.

Want to improve engagement on your social media? Improve the images you are using. Of course, as a photographer, I believe that hiring a brand photographer to help you not only get top notch- high-quality images but plan images that will tell your story is essential. And yet, I also know that we all want authenticity, so images do not have to be professional to be suitable for your brand.

 

So what kind of images do you need? I recommend starting with your goal. What message are you trying to get across? Knowing that will help you plan visuals to support that goal. Some general tips on choosing the right images:

  • Make sure sized right for the platform you are posting it on.
  • Lighting matters; even if your images have a darker feel, they should be well lit.
  • Creativity will help stop someone’s scroll, great composition, interesting subject, etc.

 

Then mix it up with some different subjects.

Candid Photos.

 People in action or behind the scenes type images do very well on social platforms like Instagram.

 

Detail Shots


Think- up close and personal. Macro photography is normally a huge hit, that is a close up of something that shows details. I may be hungry right now, but all that is coming to mind is sprinkles on a frosted vanilla donut. YUM.

 

Product – Promotional Images 

Sure, you should only be posting direct promotional posts about 20% of the time; you still need to be doing it.

 

Text with Image

Think Quotes, infographics, and charts. This is a great way to visually share information, and be these tend to be shared more than a text-alone post would be.

 

Tips to make your images more engaging

 

Include a piece of you; by this, I mean if you are crafting or writing, instead of just taking a photo of the items on the table in front of you, including your hand in the shot. This works if on the beach; include those toes in the landscape shot. This reminds people that there is a person behind the work you do. It is also why lifestyle brand images have become so popular for brands to use on social media.

 

Focus more on connecting with your dream client. Yes, a beautiful feed is wonderful, especially on Instagram, but it will not help your business if your dream client doesn’t connect to it. You can also take advantage of the carousel posts option if you want your feed to look a certain way. Make the first photo a professional brand visual, and the other images can show more of the more authentic you. Encourage your viewers to swipe right to see XYZ.

 

Choose brand images for your social media
Like I mentioned before, authenticity draws more attention than stock images. Professional photos are a great way to go, but you can also take images with your phone and edit them, so they are of you, your team, and your products.


More ways to be authentic:

  • Share a real behind the scenes look of what it is like to be the CEO of your company, freelancer, mom blogger, or whatever other roles you have in your business
  • If you are sharing products, use real people as models and don’t touch up their imperfections.
  • Start sharing things like memes, gifs, and retweets that are relatable to your dream client.

 

In conclusion, to select fantastic brand imagery for your brands’ social media, you must first know what you are trying to say and to who. Then you can build a list of the photos and graphics you need to share that message.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/selecting-brand-images-for-your-social-media Mon, 18 Jan 2021 20:14:39 GMT
5 ways to improve your client retention using social media https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/5-ways-to-improve-your-client-retention-using-social-media Use social media to create loyal clients and raving fans imageUse social media to create loyal clients and raving fans I love social media for keeping up with my friends and family, we have moved around so much we have friends all over the country and almost none of our family is close by.

Social Media has made it feel like we see each other much more than we do.

 

You know what, it can work like that for your business too. 

 

Building relationships with your current and past clients is the number one way to retain them as loyal customers and raving fans! Social media can make it easy and fun.  


Listen!

When you know what your audience wants it is easier to create content that will keep them coming back for more. Imagine if you knew more about what your clients love. 

 

You can learn if they enjoy tacos, reading,  learn more about their family, find out if they have pets, buy groceries online, and more!  Listening will help you build your dream client profile and if you keep a good CRM, update it as you learn new things about your clients. 

 

When you take the time to keep up with them on social media you will find it help you fill in some gaps like anniversaries so you can make better connections.  Not to mention create content that will grab their attention.

 

Engage.    

We all get on Social media to be social, I know crazy concept!  Take advantage of this and be sure you respond to comments and responses.  Every comment is a chance to interact with your followers and hopefully your dream client. 

Want to make a real impression though, make an effort to go comment on their posts too.  Doing that will help you get to know them as a person and not just a potential client.  Even better it will also help keep you top of mind when they need what you do or they have a friend that does. 

Be authentic and show you care, your clients will appreciate more than you may ever know. 

 

Provide Value.

Sure we want to promote our business on our business page, that's why we created it after all.  That won't get people to keep coming back for more though. Always keep your dream client in mind. 

 

Here are some ways you can provide value: how to use social media to create loyalty, improve client retention and build a community imagehow to use social media to create loyalty, improve client retention and build a community

  • Create and share education/information content.

  • Share other business that is relevant 

  • Inspirational Quotes

  • Humor is often appreciated so share funny stories, memes, or fun videos.

  • Pictures.  Of you, your business, products, customers you name it.

  • “How-to” post

  • Newsworthy reposts

Create a VIP group.

I think Facebook for this but several social media platforms, liked Linkedin,  let you create groups that select people can join.  Create an exclusive group or Private group where you can share special deals, company announcements before they are live, special education whatever will bring value to your audience. 

Ask the members to turn notifications on so they don’t miss anything.  What better way to make your clients feel special and make sure they see what you have going on? 

Using groups can build community, trust, and organically increase your presence on that platform.  

 

Be Visible.

Is your business profile easy to find?  If not that is something you should fix today. Also do not be ashamed to share your business page with your friends, on your personal page, make sure it is on your website, the bottom of your emails & linked to other marketing sites.  People can not connect with you if they can not find you.  Here are a couple of tips to make sure you are easy to find:

  • Keep account names/Vanity URLs simple and straightforward.  If possible the same on all platforms too.

  • Consider using relevant keywords in your page name.

  • The use of specific and relevant hashtags will help you grow your audience 

  • Share pictures & videos of local attractions, businesses etc.  They are relatable and shareable. AND tag-able

 

Retaining customers and Building customer loyalty costs less than consistently finding new clients, so it makes sense that you put effort into building those relationships. 

 

Social media is an excellent tool for doing this.  

 


 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2021/1/5-ways-to-improve-your-client-retention-using-social-media Fri, 15 Jan 2021 22:25:50 GMT
January Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle! https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/january-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle January 2021 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses January 2021 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses

Social Media Caboodle, January 2021 edition
60+ ideas for your social media posts

 

Welcome to JANUARY!  Unless you are one of the few that found this post early. If you are new to my monthly posting caboodle, WELCOME to a new year and a new outlook on your marketing strategy!   

 

In this blog post, you will find

  • Daily post ideas & suggestions
  • Social media marketing tips to help you increase your engagement
  • Ideas to help you improve your posting consistency
  • Best of all, a way to reduce the stress caused by your DIY social media marketing strategy.    January 2021 Posting With a Purpose Caboodle imageJanuary 2021 Posting With a Purpose Caboodle.

 

How am I going to do that, you may be wondering?  It seems like a big promise, but I honestly believe that with a plan, all things are possible.  That is if you execute that plan.  The trouble is, and I know all too well that having a plan and executing your plan are two very different things, and often that is because of a lack of time.  I am going to give you some of that time back with a plan you can follow starting right now.

 

 

 

 

 


Where there is a plan there is a way- inspirational graphic black, pink, and aqua, writing on a white backgroundWhere there is a plan there is away.

 

If Content is king, then Consistency is his queen!  

You need to post valuable content, and you must do it consistently.  Let’s define valuable because I do not mean that it has to cost a lot; shoot, it doesn’t even have to take a lot of time, but it should be something your audience will spend time on.  I would define valuable content as something that educates, inspires, or entertains your audience.  Something they will stop scrolling and engage with.  Meaning they will comment on it, like it or better still, share it. To do this, you really need to know who your dream client is.  Let’s say you are posting memes about how difficult it is to work in the restaurant industry on your business page.  This could work, or it could seriously hurt you.  

If your page is about restaurant consulting and your dream clients are entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry, that could be highly effective.  Humor is a great way to get people to engage.

However, if you own a restaurant and you want to attract clients to come to enjoy your atmosphere and amazing food, chances are posting about difficult clients or kitchen blunders is not going to draw the preferred attention you would like.

Social Media Tip of the Month!

If you have not already done so, take the time to determine who you want to engage with your content and then create the type of content they would want!

 

 

Januarys’s Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle. 

 

January 2021 Social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by "More Than Serendipity Social Media " DBA Samantha Markey Photography photoJanuary 2021 Social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by "More Than Serendipity Social Media " DBA Samantha Markey PhotographySee below to download the PDF version of this.

Click Here to download this calendar!

If you want more information on what the Posting with a Purpose Caboodle is or how to use this information, click here.  Now to the nitty-gritty! Here is the day by day suggestions that I promised for January.

 

Day of the month

Day of the

week

Post Suggestion

  1st

 

Friday

 

Happy NewYears!

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

2nd

 

Saturday

National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

3rd

 

Sunday

Go Live- Share your business Resolutions for  2021

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

4th

 

Monday

National Trivia Day

I see a fun contest in your future!  Ask a question or several about your business or about your clients.  Offer a fun give-a-way as a prize-may be a product that is no longer available or one you are about to launch.

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

5th

Tuesday

Share industry news.  What is happening in your world that your audience may find intriguing? 

PRO TIP:  Set google alerts, so you get relevant information in your email box every day (or week)

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

6th

Wednesday

National Technology Day – Celebrate the tech gadgets that make our life easier or more fun.  This might be a good way to talk about something people don’t know about you- like your love for vinyl records and how they are making a comeback or start a debate- Mac or PC?

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

7th

Thursday

National Bobblehead Day – Ask a question!

What would your bobblehead look like if you had one?

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday-

Back Behind the scenes

8th

Friday

National Winter Skin Relief Day- great if you have a product line that helps with this particular problem, or you could do a fun meme. There are several for this one.  Who doesn’t like a good laugh?

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

9th

Saturday

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

A simple thank you can go along way, but why not do something and then post about it—a selfie with a local officer or family member who is an officer.  Offer a discount this week to all law enforcement.  Deliver goodies to your local police department. I would love to hear your ideas on this one; comment below.  

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

10th

 

Sunday

Ask me anything post. 

Go live or start a post feed.  See what kind of questions you get.  These should fuel your content.  Best of all, the comments will boost your engagement.

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

11th

Monday

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

In light of this day, post a before and after- NO SHAME!

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

Use this Canva Template to create your own.

12th

Tuesday

Short Video

This could be of you, your space, your tip for the day, or a simple marketing slide show.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

13th

Wednesday

Client Spotlight. 

Not another testimonial, but just brag a little on someone you have worked with or sold to and what makes him or her so awesome.  Do not forget to tag them.

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

14th

Thursday

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

Pictures people.  Maybe have your audience vote on the best outfit for your fur-baby’s birthday or invite everyone to share a picture of their pet all dressed up. 

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

15th

Friday

ReShare.  Share a piece of content that did well for you in the past.  Don’t worry no one will notice.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

16th

Saturday

PSA Post

“ I don’t know who needs to hear this but go spend that gift card before it ends up at the bottom of your junk drawer.”

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

17th

Sunday

Video Post

Show how to use a new product – one of yours or one that complements what you do.

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

18th

Monday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

19th

Tuesday

 

National Popcorn Day.

Share a recipe.

Take a poll

Sweet or Salty

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

20th

Wednesday

Image post – Caption this!

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

21th

Thursday

Get to Know Your Customers Day

Third Thursday of Each Quarter

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

22nd

Friday

Company News!

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

 

23rd

Saturday

Share an influencer's post.

Someone who inspired you or your industry.  Or maybe a local & relevant business that your audience will appreciate.

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

 

24th

Sunday

Fun Gif

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

25th

Monday

National Irish Coffee Day

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

26th

Tuesday

Branded Infographic

Create a visual with boring facts is a fun way to share info that your audience might want to know but probably would not read an article about.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

 

27th

Wednesday

 

National Chocolate Cake Day

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

28th

Thursday

National Have Fun At Work Day

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

 

29th

Friday

Ask for advice.

 

We all like sharing our opinion.

Serious business question or have fun with it.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

 

30th

Saturday

Do a Video Interview. 

 

Choose a client or vendor and chat with them about what they do and why.

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

31st

Sunday

National Backward Day

YAD DRAWKCAB LANOITAN

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

 

This download includes the calendar shown above and a blank December 2020 calendar so you can design your own plan. 

 

If you are interested in a custom calendar or want help with other social media services, please check out my social media services page for more information.  You deserve to be seen, and I can help.  

 

 

 

 



 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) monthly posting ideas social media marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/january-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle Wed, 23 Dec 2020 21:25:48 GMT
What is the Monthly Posting with Purpose Caboodle https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/what-is-the-monthly-posting-caboodle What is the posting with a purpose social media caboodle graphic image What is the posting with a purpose social media caboodle graphic? What is the Monthly Posting with a Purpose Caboodle?

Hi there!  I am so glad you are here.  Maybe you ran across this post by mistake or maybe you found the latest posting caboodle but you wanted more info, either way here you are!  I just want to take a brief moment to explain this monthly blog post that I create for you to help answer frequent questions that I get.  If you still have more leave a comment below and I will get back to you soon! 

Every month I do a blog post called the Social Media Posting Caboodle.  My goal is to help you have a basic and simple plan to follow or to jumpstart your marketing plan each month.  It doesn't change much but what it does is offer you:

  • At least one post idea for every day of the month
  • Tips to get better engagement
  • Content ideas that go deeper than post a behind the scenes video
  • A printable calendar for the month 

One of the reoccurring things each month is the daily themes.

These daily social media themes are pretty generic but my hope is that you find them a good place to start.  You may want to do a little research and come up with some that better fit your audience but no matter what industry you work in and can and should be able to start with these and see how your audience responds then adapted to fit them best. 

 

You may also want to use the themes but change up the days you use them.  Sure why not? Maybe you want to do a sales post, otherwise why even have a business page right?  However, you find that sales post on Sundays doesn’t work for your audience. Try a different day and see how they do.  Also if you don’t want to post every day, don’t, but I highly recommend a consistent schedule.  If not every day maybe always post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

 

You will also notice that I enjoy those silly national holidays, I know some are a little off the wall but they can be a great conversation starter.   If you want to know more about how I use them in my marketing plan check out this blog post.
 

So what are the Daily Themes? Here is how I suggest using them.


Monday: Motivational Quote. Quotes do so well on social media so they are a great way to boost your post engagements and attract new followers.  Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?  Do a simple google search and you will find so many to choose from. #quoteoftheday #motivation #letsdothis

 

Tuesday: Tantalizing Tuesday Tips
– Share a tip your dream clients will appreciate. Tips about your business, industry-related tips, or even tips about topics that are more personal focused (if your dream client will respond to that). You can do these as videos, infographics, or just a nice long how to post. Have fun with it. #tiptuesday #tips #tantilizingtips These posts are how you can make yourself useful to your audience which makes them want to follow you. Share a how-to. Consider what FAQ can you answer. Think about when someone comes to you what problems are you solving, how can they DIY it. Don't worry they probably won't do it and now you look like an authority.

 

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday.  This is not a sales pitch but more of a show and tell, share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.  Try creating a slide show video on Canva.  #whatwedowednesday #checkthisout

 

aqua, red and black graphic for the behind the scenes post ideas Thursday: Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes I mean.  Don’t overthink this one, if you have got nothing going on worth sharing, share something anyway.  Coffee break, I see a selfie opportunity.  Writing a report, desk shot.  Wishing you had a better idea for lunch then tuna again?  Create a post and ask for ideas for tomorrow. #BTS #behindthescences #showme

 

Friday: Fri-YAY!  Come on Brag a little. A humblebrag is not a bad thing, I don’t care what grandma told you. Share some love this could be in the form of client testimonials, selfies with clients or even sharing a big accomplishment you are particularly proud of. Share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost a client’s post about you. #fri-Yay #sharethelove #thanks

red, yellow and black graphic for "Saturdays are for selfies"
Saturday: Post a selfie and share a little bit about yourself. You could also choose to share a picture of your family, dog, or favorite taco just to make the post more personal. Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust! #saturdayselfie

 

 

Sunday: Show Me - Sell me - Sunday.  Share your current offer, promotion, or deal. #mysmallbusiness #saletime. You can do this more often but I recommend being aware that sales posts should not be more than 20% of your content. If you are posting once a day- one maybe two posts a week should be sales.

 

Did I answer all your questions?  If not let me know, I am here to help.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) ideas marketing media plan post social https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/what-is-the-monthly-posting-caboodle Wed, 23 Dec 2020 21:13:07 GMT
2020 Christmas Fun Family Portrait Sessions ideas https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/2020-christmas-fun-family-micro-portrait-sessions Fun Christmas - holiday family portrait ideas cover red white green and brown  photoFun Christmas - holiday family portrait ideas cover photo The holidays are an amazing reason to get your family portraits done.  Some of my clients do it because it has been way too long, others have their family portrait done every year for their Christmas cards.  Even if you have never done one before maybe this year is the time to start.  

This year has been crazy!  No doubt about it and because of COVID, so many of our traditional activities are not really happening this year. It is kind of sad but it is also an opportunity to do something that will stand out in your family's memories.  Ok, I know that portraits don't land on everyone's gift list but they are priceless gifts, even if it is a gift you give yourself.    That being said having family portraits done can be a lot of fun.  Here are some fun ideas for your family portraits this year.

 

1.  Ugly Sweaters- a fast classic.  Try it this year in your family pictures.  The crazier the better.

 

2.  COVID Props- Did you find the supply hoarding as ridiculous as I did?  Make a personal record of that part of 2020 with TP, can goods, and more.

 

3. Matching PJs.  Ok, not a new idea but still a fun one.  Bring mugs for coca, stuffed animals even your favorite comforter, and really have some fun with this theme.

 

4.  "In The Box" photo collages are so neat.  The example below is not mine but isn't it adorable.  I would not mind doing one of these this year. 

not my image

5.  Dress like the characters from your favorite Christmas movie.  I can already see my husband dressed up as the Grinch or Scrooge. 

 

6.  Christmas storytime.  Pictures of the kids or the whole family reading a Christmas story like Polar Express will absolutely bring on some fun memories in the years to come.

 

7. Christmas Mischief!  "tie" the parents up in Christmas lights, puppies popping out of boxes, kids with signs begging for forgiveness?  The possibility are endless and will certainly spread some holiday cheer.

 

Have you done any really fun holiday portraits?  I would love to hear your ideas in the comments.

 

If you are looking for some holiday portrait options in the Denver Metro area I am still offering Family Portraits.  Full sessions are available for on-location portraits or choose an in-studio micro session.  Spots are booking up so don't wait too much longer.  Sessions completed by 12/13 will be ready before Christmas.

 

2020 Holiday Micro sessions for friends, family, children or just your pets.2020 Holiday Micro sessions for friends, family, children or just your pets.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) christmas family holiday portraits https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/2020-christmas-fun-family-micro-portrait-sessions Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:58:23 GMT
Be a Local Hero - Shop Small https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/be-a-local-hero---shop-small Shop Small 2020 blog post why it is so important cover photoShop Small 2020 blog post why it is so important cover photo

 

Shop Small Saturday is this weekend and this year as we move towards the holiday season, shopping local is more important than ever before.   I believe that shopping small is important all of the time because it helps to support and shape our communities however it is important to mention that there is a really good reason why there is a push to shop small right now.  It is not because big businesses have always promoted Black Friday as the start of the holiday shopping season.  In reality, small businesses have relied on the holiday season to support their businesses, according to American Express the average small business gets 29% off their annual sales during the Christmas shopping season.  It is obvious then that we as consumers play a key role in helping small businesses in our communities thrive. Recent data suggests that if every US family spent just $10 a month at a local business, then over $9.3 billion dollars would directly funnel back into the economy.  When you put it like that seems like we become apart of something bigger than ourselves when we shop small.

Over the last several months much of the narrative we have been hearing has been to either choose health and safety or economic well-being. I am no economics expert by any means but I would argue that these two things do not have to be mutually exclusive. Since COVID has caused many restrictions, businesses everywhere have learned safe ways to make it possible for you to shop and take advantage of local services. Many have demonstrated creativity on how to continue to serve their clients while still taking all steps to ensure the highest level of care for their client's health and safety.   Things like curbside pickup, no contact delivery, and more.   Shop small thank you videoShop Small thank you mini video

We must do our part to keep our economic motors running.  It is up to us to get out there and take advantage of these creative solutions and of course, take measures to protect ourselves as well.  Just in case we did not all learn from past scenarios, like our recovery from the 2008 recession, small businesses can provide the fuel our local economies need to bounce back from this.  By shopping, locally more of the money you spend goes right back into your very own community. Supporting other businesses in your community, the families that run them, your cities public services, and helps support local jobs.  I love Amazon as much as the next person but I can’t say that their impact on my hometown would be that significant. 

Who doesn’t love being able to give two gifts for the price of one?  Well by shopping locally for your holiday gifts you are giving twice, first to the person receiving the gift and second to your hometown. 

 

 

Infographic 6 ways you can support a small business that won't cost you any money photoInfographic 6 ways you can support a small business that won't cost you any money. Supporting small businesses starts with spending money, without a doubt however there are a number of other ways that you can help your local small businesses. 

Including following and reacting to their posts on social media, using their branded hashtag on your own posts, leaving positive reviews, and simply spreading the word to family and friends. 

 

So even if you, like so many others, are not in a financial situation to be eating out or shopping for any gifts right now, you too can make a difference in a small business's success.

 

BE A

LOCAL HERO,

SHOP

SMALL!  

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/be-a-local-hero---shop-small Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:45:00 GMT
December Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle! https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/60-plus-ideas-on-what-to-post-social-media-caboodle-december-2020-edition December 2020 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses December 2020 Social Media Posting With Purpose - tips and tricks for small businesses

Social Media Caboodle, December 2020 edition
60+ ideas for your social media posts

 

If you are new to my monthly posting caboodle I hope you find it to be very useful.  In this blog post, you will find daily post ideas, suggestions, and even some social media marketing tips to help you increase your engagement, improve your consistency and reduce the stress caused by your DIY social media marketing strategy.   I want to jump right into the content this month but if you want to understand more of how this works or why I suggest what I do just keep reading because below the social media tips section I am going to give some strategy information behind this structure. 


Where there is a plan there is a way- inspirational graphic black, pink, and aqua, writing on a white backgroundWhere there is a plan there is away.

 

WOW, this year has been crazy so it is hard to believe that it is almost over.  I think it is safe to say many of us small business owners are overwhelmed and stressed out.  So much of what we do have been changed, put on hold, or completely canceled.  For many of my peers, it has been a rough ride so it is not surprising to see that many do-it-yourself marketers have been stuck.  So much has been put on hold that it can be difficult to know what to do.  Social media is not one of those things that should take a back burner though. Consistency really is key to building an audience that will feel like they know you.   

No need to worry though, with a plan there is a way, I always say.  This month’s posting caboodle is full of fun ideas.  With two post suggestions for every day of the month, a few Canva template links, and a downloadable calendar you already have a pretty easy plan to follow but please tweak it to meet your goals.

 

December’s Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle. 

December 2020 Social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by "More Than Serendipity Social Media " DBA Samantha Markey Photography photoDecember 2020 Social media posting suggestions and ideas calendar by "More Than Serendipity Social Media " DBA Samantha Markey PhotographySee below to download the PDF version of this.

Click Here to download this calendar!

Now to the nitty-gritty! Here is the day by day suggestions that I promised for December.

Day of the month

Day of the

week

Post Suggestion

1st

Tuesday

Giving Tuesday.

#GivingTuesday You can start or end a blanket drive on this day (food, coat toys whatever supports something you care about) Do a Facebook charity ask. Not in a position to give? You could highlight a cause you believe is worthy too with a post share. There is no shortage of charities to support pick one, or many and promote their cause.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

2nd

Wednesday

Gift Guide

It is December and gift shopping is in full swing. With Shop Small Saturday just this past Saturday now is a great time to encourage others to support small businesses, like yours. I have seen a lot of posts lately encouraging people to share what they selling the comments for others to see. It makes me think that a gift guide to share with your friends might be awesome. Highlight others in your network. Bonus if you tag them in your post, they may share it which will help you and everyone you include. Post Ideas: My first thought is an ebook (pdf), something people could download and use when doing their holiday shopping. Another idea is to take one of those posts you have done letting people tag their business and us those comments to create a slideshow, screenshot, or just reshare the whole post.

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

3rd

Thursday

Christmas Shopping Countdown: 21 days left.

What are you wishing for this year?

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday-

Back Behind the scenes

4th

Friday

National Sock Day.

I have a confession to make. I picked this one because it reminds me of Dobby. If you do not know who that is I am sad for you. HAHA In reality this national holiday is about celebrating lasting sock pairs. One of the smallest ones yet!

Post ideas: Have fun with it and share your matching (or unmatching socks) Have your team wear fun socks and do a team sock photo. Create a poll: What sock is your favorite? Start a sock drive to donate to a local homeless center.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

5th

Saturday

Must Haves List!

Imagine that you are shopping for someone you love and what they enjoy most is not really your thing. I bet you are going to google it to see what kind of gifts that person might enjoy.

For example, my daughter loves anime and drawing, so I google that to see what I can find. Maybe you are an artist and now instead of buying another book about how to draw, blah blah blah that I know will end up covered in dust and forgotten by February, I find your shop and in it, the perfect gift for her.

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

6th

Sunday

Ask for advice.

Yes, we want to look like we have it all together but we don't. How better to connect with your audience than sharing a struggle and asking for an opinion.

Post Idea: This could be as simple as what paint color to choose for your office remodel.

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

7th

Monday

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

Use this Canva Template to create your own.

8th

Tuesday

National Bartender day.

Post Idea: Try mixing a new drink at home. There are tons of recipes online to try. Fail or succeed this has an opportunity to get people talking.

With so many bars and restaurants struggling right now today might be a good day to do a should out to your favorite watering hole. 

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

9th

Wednesday

Video Post.

Could be anything; a look at your workspace, what you are looking forward to most as the year comes to an end, a how-to video, just get one out there.

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

10th

Thursday

Hanukkah begins tonight.
Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

11th

Friday

Meme.

Come on these are fun. You could find or make one related to what you do or even just reshare one that made you chuckle.  

Some of my favorites are simple, like those: I don't know who needs to hear this but.... take those Thanksgiving leftovers out of the fridge.

Another good one- You do not need anything from Target right now.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

12th

Saturday

12 Days until Christmas eve.

Post Ideas: Take inspiration from the 12 days of Christmas and start a 12-day series. 12 Days of ... For example, breweries could share 12 days of our 2020 brews. Nail salons 12 nail designs for the holidays. Financial advisors 12 days of tips to plan for financial success in 2021.

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

13th

Sunday

Fill In the Blank Post.

Use this Canva Template to create your own.

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

14th

Monday

Share a personal win.

Put pants on even though all you had today was a zoom meeting?

That counts.

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

15th

Tuesday

Ask for reviews.

Reviews aren't selfish; they empower your customers to help other consumers make smart and confident decisions.  You only get what you ask for. Reviews are powerful so ask for them.   Be sure to include a link to where you want them to leave the review, if they have to work for it they will not do it.

 Post Ideas: A fun GIF with a request for reviews is effective.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

16th

Wednesday

Way Back Wednesday- share something from Year's ago.

I use the Timehop app for this but Facebook has them in memories and there are other apps as well.

Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

17th

Thursday

'Caption This!'

Share a team photos, a personal fail, or a picture of your pet. These types of posts are a lot of fun.

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

18th

Friday

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day    #UglyChristmasSweaterDay   #ChristmasSweaterDay
Post Ideas: Do a contest with a referral partner and have your audience vote on the best ugly sweater. We love to vote on silly stuff.

Use this Canva Template to create your own.

Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

19th

Saturday

Holiday Video Card.

Jibjab & Bluemountain are the two I use.

Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

20th

Sunday

Team introduction. Share a post about one of your team members. This could also be a referral partner or networking buddy.
Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

21st

Monday

First Day of Winter

Post Idea: Question: Winter or summer? (you may want to include pictures or you or your product in that season or a stock image) "mine is in the comments"

OR Share your favorite winter memory, post a list of local winter activities. 

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

22nd

Tuesday

National Cookie Exchange day.

Post Ideas: Do a cookie recipe exchange post. OR  Share your favorite and least favorite cookie and ask people to guess which is which.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

23rd

Wednesday

Share a piece of Industry News.
Daily Theme: What we do Wednesday

24th

Thursday

Christmas Eve.

Post ideas: Share your favorite holiday tradition. Christmas Movie poll. Share the Santa tracker for families. ( Official Norad link: https://www.noradsanta.org/)

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

25th

Friday

Merry Christmas
Daily Theme: Fri-YAY!

26th

Saturday

National Thank you note Day.
Daily Theme: Saturday Selfie

27th

Sunday

New Year's Resolutions.

Christmas is behind us and now is the time to make those resolutions. Post Ideas: Share how you can help with one of the most popular resolutions (maybe start a 2021 resolution accountability group on that subject), list the top 10 resolutions, Ask for resolution ideas.

Daily Theme: Show me-Sell me- Sunday

28th

Monday

Last Monday of the year!

Daily Theme: Motivational Monday

29th

Tuesday

National Hero Day!

Today we celebrate and honor the people we look up to and who inspire us to be the best person we can possibly be. Take it seriously or go superhero either way this could be a fun engagement opportunity.

Post ideas: Share a picture of who inspires you to do what you do and why.

Ask others who is their hero.

Create a meme, " What type of superhero I thought I would be.... (insert wonder women) What type of hero I am..... (you doing what you do)

Share a story of why you do what you do in the post or in the comments.

Daily Theme: Tip Tuesday!

30th

Wednesday

Day 365 of the year (2020 was a leap year) Share the best of the year.

Post Ideas: Share the best client testimonials, your top 5 moments of the year, or do a slideshow of the year.

Daily Theme: What We Do Wednesday

31st

Thursday

New Year's Eve!

Post Ideas Good-Bye 2020. Hello, 2021 Share a fun resolution joke.

Daily Theme: Throwback Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

 

This download includes the calendar shown above and a blank December 2020 calendar so you can design your own plan. 

 

If you are interested in a custom calendar or want help with other social media services please check out my social media services page for more information.  You deserve to be seen and I can help.  

 

 

December's Social Media Tip

 

December 2020 social media tip of the month photoDecember 2020 social media tip of the month Be a part of the conversation. I do not necessarily mean start a conversation, although that is always an option.  What I mean is be sure to place yourself in places where you can contribute to a conversation.  Join Facebook groups, comment on stories, and answer questions when appropriate.  No matter how much we want to believe it people do not get on social media to interact with companies.  They get on social to be social so if you want people to interact with you and your brand then it stands to reason that you must find ways to be a part of their conversations.  Simply liking someone's post will not do it.  So I recommend that you make an effort every day to interact with people you believe to be your dream clients on the social media platforms you believe they are.  Comment on posts, ask questions, share suggestions on something they are interested in,  whatever you do get involved.  Don't be the shy girl at the party hoping someone will notice you (or won't)  You are the voice of your business, if you won't do it, who will?  I will tell you who, your competitors will.

 


 

My goal is to help you use this month's caboodle content to build or enhance your marketing plan.

What I offer each month is a day by day posting guide that should give you a starting point for your own social media plan.  This is pretty generic so as to help you no matter what industry you work in and can and should be adapted to fit you.  Each day has a theme but please feel free to move it around in any way you would like.  Maybe sales post on Sundays doesn’t work for your audience. Try a different day and see how they do.  Also if you don’t want to post every day, don’t, but I highly recommend a consistent schedule.  If not every day maybe always post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  You will also notice that I enjoy those silly national holidays, I know some are a little off the wall but they can be a great conversation starter.   If you want to know more about how I use them in my marketing plan check out this blog post.
 

Earlier I mentioned the daily themes and I want to make sure that I don't assume they are obvious in the way they are written in the daily plan.


Monday: Motivational Quote. Quotes do so well on social media so they are a great way to boost your post engagements and attract new followers.  Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?  Do a simple google search and you will find so many to choose from. #quoteoftheday #motivation #letsdothis

 

Tuesday: Tantalizing Tuesday Tips
– Share a tip your dream clients will appreciate. Tips about your business, industry-related tips, or even tips about topics that are more personal focused (if your dream client will respond to that). You can do these as videos, infographics, or just a nice long how to post. Have fun with it. #tiptuesday #tips #tantilizingtips These posts are how you can make yourself useful to your audience which makes them want to follow you. Share a how-to. Consider what FAQ can you answer. Think about when someone comes to you what problems are you solving, how can they DIY it. Don't worry they probably won't do it and now you look like an authority.

 

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday.  This is not a sales pitch but more of a show and tell, share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.  Try creating a slide show video on Canva.  #whatwedowednesday #checkthisout

 

aqua, red and black graphic for the behind the scenes post ideas Thursday: Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes I mean.  Don’t overthink this one, if you have got nothing going on worth sharing, share something anyway.  Coffee break, I see a selfie opportunity.  Writing a report, desk shot.  Wishing you had a better idea for lunch then tuna again?  Create a post and ask for ideas for tomorrow. #BTS #behindthescences #showme

 

Friday: Fri-YAY!  Come on Brag a little. A humblebrag is not a bad thing, I don’t care what grandma told you. Share some love this could be in the form of client testimonials, selfies with clients or even sharing a big accomplishment you are particularly proud of. Share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost a client’s post about you. #fri-Yay #sharethelove #thanks

red, yellow and black graphic for "Saturdays are for selfies"
Saturday: Post a selfie and share a little bit about you. You could also choose to share a picture of your family, dog or favorite taco just make the post personal. Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust! #saturdayselfie

 

Sunday: Show Me - Sell me - Sunday.  Share your current offer, promotion, or deal. #mysmallbusiness #saletime. You can do this more often but I recommend being aware that sales posts should not be more than 20% of your content. If you are posting once a day- one maybe two posts a week should be sales.

 

 

 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) Monthly Posting Ideas Social Media Marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/60-plus-ideas-on-what-to-post-social-media-caboodle-december-2020-edition Thu, 19 Nov 2020 23:20:33 GMT
7 Ways to Use Brand Photography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/7-ways-to-use-brand-photography

7 Ways to use your Brand Photography

 

Brand photography is a relatively new term or buzzword running around in the marketing world.  Basically, it is professional images of and for your company that represent your brand, show personality, and create brand awareness.

 

I believe in business owners investing in custom photography for their brand, not only for their website but also for social media, blogs, courses, and much more.  Brand photos can give your brand personality, show off what makes you unique, and boost the level of professionalism.

 

“What do I need brand photos for? I use stock images, and it seems to work just fine.”  When I am talking with business owners, I get this question often, and it is a valid question, so I thought I would share not only what you can and should use brand photos for and some fun tips too.

Website

 

Like most online platforms, your website is likely to have a lot of graphics and images. Having personal and unique images will set you apart from your competitors. This alone is a good reason to invest in brand photography because you will have a whole collection of images that you can customize for your website. You will need them for your homepage, landing pages, about page, service pages, you get it, all the pages need images.

PRO TIP: If you are redoing your website, it is smart to consider your photography in the planning process.  Your designer or photographer should be able to help you determine the feel you want potential clients to have when visiting your site so you can create a brand photoshoot around each of these website pages and elements.

 

 

Social Media

 

Facebook is still number one and having a profile that represents your brand and provides value to your audience is crucial. For your header images, for example, you could use stock images, but that will not help you stand out at all. Having a brand image or images be one of the first things people see when visiting your page will create consistency, which will create trust in your brand. It will also elevate your level of professionalism in the viewer's mind.

 

Instagram is a fantastic platform for businesses to be active on as it is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms out there right now. I don't think it is a secret here that using original photos that speak to your brand's personality will help your audience connect with you.  And just in case this isn't obvious,  Instagram is darn close to being a 100% visual platform, so brand imagery really matters! You want people to recognize you from the images you post right away. 

 

LinkedIn is another great platform.  It is a way to connect with business mined people, which is extremely helpful if what you do is more B2B. If you have not been on there in a while, you may be happy to know that LinkedIn has really adjusted their platform to be even more social. Now more than ever, they are working to create a platform that business-minded people want to spend their time on. It is no longer just an online resume that you visit once or twice a year. You may not realize it, but you can update your header image, share blog posts, and other media.  believe it or not, LinkedIn even offers stories now like Facebook and Instagram. Sharing industry insights, your brand's story, and even selling on this platform is more than acceptable you can be sure to stand out from the rest by using your brand photos for your profile, blog posts, and even in your stories.

 

Great images are more likely to get shared. When an image of yours gets shared, repinned, or re-grammed on social media, it's an opportunity for you to make a lasting impression and get noticed by other people's circles. If your images never get shared, it's is limiting your engagement, and that, my friend, is holding your business back. Sharing images that are compelling and unique to your brand will help you grow your brand awareness.

 

Blog Graphics

 

In this digital age, a blog is a very powerful way to attract new clients.  So it is no surprise that one of the most common ways my clients use their images is for their blog. Let’s be real for a second; chances are that whatever you are writing about, someone else has written about it before too. That’s ok, they don’t have the same audience or your perspective, but the last thing you want is to use the same stock images they do to go with it. Many bloggers share their posts on Pinterest because it is a good way to get your blog found but your ideal client. I don’t know if you have spent much time on there, but there are many different businesses that are using the same images, and it doesn’t really look great when you have two very similar posts with the same images used in them. If you are using your own brand images on your blog and someone pins your blog, you will not have to worry about anyone else using the same image and looking like a copycat. Your posts will always look unique and professional. Guess what that will set you apart from the crowd.

 

 

 

Creating Connection

 

Images have a way of making people feel things, and that is a powerful thing. Emotions create connections, and connection leads to brand loyalty! Brand photography can create images that will create connections. As an example, Starbucks has a very loyal client base, and as one of them, I can tell you that I am very aware that I can make coffee at home at a fraction of the price. I justify my high-priced coffee as I am worth it, and it is worth it. Why? They have built a brand based on passion, high quality, and freshness. They had a very specific brand expression guide that reviews colors, logos, and imagery because they understand the power of their brand imagery. They want you to see their images and recognize them as Starbucks and see the handcrafted products and quality. When you decide to go with brand photography, you're choosing to create the feelings you want to create as you create the images.

 

Advertising

When you have great brand photos, they speak for themselves, and they can do the selling for you especially if you sell a product. When you place high-quality images of your products, you will need very little words to attract your ideal client.  Local publications, magazines, and even Google My Business recommend high-quality, unique images for your content. 

 

Brand Collateral Items

 

If you use any type of print products for your marketing, brand photography is essential for creating a professional look. Business cards are a great example of this. Your business card should make an impression, and one way to do that is to use a stunning photo on one side of your card. When this photo matches the style and vibe of your website and social media, your brand looks seamless, cohesive, and with consistency builds trust. You may also use your brand imagery on ebooks, price sheets, educational materials, and more. Your brand photographer will help you decide what type of images will work best too. If you offer a service, like business coaching, your photographer may want to capture the process from consultation through a session and maybe even speaking events to capture all you have to offer to your clients.

 

 

Communications

You may use multiple ways of communicating with your prospective clients.  Your brand images are great for your emails and not only as a headshot in the signature.  Adding images to emails and newsletters will increase your read rate because you are more likely to grab the reader's attention.  Do you snail mail?  That old fashion way or thanking someone is making a come back because it seems more personal now.  Make your postcards, thank you stationery, and more really pop with some unique and authentic brand images.

 

 

Bonus all this effort leads to getting clients.  This is what you are after, right? I mean, I hope so, the goal of any business person is to make money and we do that by attracting clients. Brand photography lets you show what you do, who you do it for, how and even WHY you do it to help you attract clients who want to buy from you.

 

I know that photography is a key element of your visual branding. That’s why I offer brand packages from the one-time brand experience sessions to quarterly content creation packages that complement my social media services.  Want to learn more click a link below to get started.

 

Brand Content Creation Packages

Brand Photography Experience

Headshots

Social Media Services

 

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand marketing phorography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/7-ways-to-use-brand-photography Fri, 13 Nov 2020 15:30:00 GMT
5 Ways to use National Social Days to boost your marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/5-ways-to-use-national-social-days-to-boost-your-marketing

 

5 Ways to use National Social Days to inspire your marketing.

 

I love unofficial silly national holidays.  They are fun and yes a little ridiculous but they are also intriguing and trendy.  I share several a month that I believe can be used in one way or another to boost your small business marketing. 

Before you think I am crazy, I do agree that many are foolish and over the top and frankly can appear useless.  I am pretty sure some husband petitioned for “National Buy Nothing Day” which just so happens to coincide with Black Friday.  Yet, when stores started opening for Black Friday at 6 pm on Thanksgiving I kind of got behind that one before I even knew it existed! 

 

Some of these social holidays support valid causes others just a fun idea and I would not be surprised if half of them were made up by a creative marketer trying to gain some social awareness for their product or service.  Which brings me back to the point I am trying to make.  Using social holidays can be an effective and easy way to create content or build awareness.  In this post, I want to give you some reasons why I use them and how you can put them to use too!

 

5 Ways to Use National Social Holidays as a part of your marketing strategy.

 

  1.  Conversation Starter
  2. Client Gifts
  3. Contests
  4. Promotional Ideas
  5. Boost Searchability

 

Conversation Starter

50% of all marketers say that posts that entertain are more effective in helping them reach their goals the discounts and sales content.  A fun national holiday could be just what you need to start a conversation with your audience.  Be it National Candy Corn Day or National Dress Up Your Pet Day you can get people talking and most importantly commenting on your post, which boosts your engagement and helps you with the social platform algorithms.    

Fall brings out plush sweaters but also many pumpkin spice haters.  This time of the year, candy corn seems to get a whole lot of hate to as it seems to be a controversial candy.  Silly I know but tell me, do you love it or hate it?  Share your opinion and ask people theirs. Who doesn’t love to share pictures of their pets?  You can create a post encouraging your audience to share pictures of their pets all dressed up, Ask for suggestions on what to dress your pet up in or create a poll that is a simple as do you dress your dog up, YES or NO.

Even if these topics are not related to what you do, they can be a light-hearted way to share your opinions or talk about things you like and the social holiday is a fun reason to bring it up.

 

Client Gifts

Running out of ideas for what to give out to potential clients?  I like to give out gifts that are related to what I do, are very useful, and have my logo on them or somehow make them think of me.  That is what promotional items are good for but if you visit your clients often running out of ideas that fit into those buckets can be hard and while cookies or candy are fine they get old.  Using a national day as a reason for an off base fun gift could be a great way to stand out.

What about a s’mores making kit, the box could have your logo but the treat is really inside.  I love s’ mores, I promise that would go camping with me.  National Holidays you could use that one on?

In July: National Graham Cracker Day or National Grilling Day

In August:  National S’mores Day or National Campfire Day

In October: National Dessert Day

In November: National Camp Day

 

There are also lots of other treats and simple gift ideas that have their own “national day”.  If you can find a way to tie the gift back to what you do, even better.   For example, I help businesses be seen for all the awesomeness they provide the world.  To their dream client, they are like unicorn, magical, skilled, and beautiful.  On National Unicorn day in April, I could do some fun unicorn themed give away with a card that said something like “the world deserves to know you are magical but not mythical”!  Don’t steal that one, I think I am going to do it!

 

Contest

In June there is a “National take back the lunch break day”    I could see a small business giving away a gift card for a local lunch place or a restaurant giving out lunch for two on this day.

If I was a restaurant marketer I would run a selfie/check-in contest.  Come into the restaurant any time before now and X date, check-in on Facebook with a selfie and use this special hashtag to be entered to win a lunch for two.  

 

Promotional Ideas

Use a national holiday as a fun excuse for a promotion.  Marketers use “real holidays” for sales and promotions all the time.  Labor day weekend is a big reason to go shop, or so they want us to think.  It is all about having a way to grab your dream clients' attention and give them a reason to buy.

December 5th is Bathtub Party Day.  If I sold bath bombs this would be a great day to create a promotion around a national social holiday.  For example: “Bathtub party day is coming up and it no Bathtub party would be complete with our one of our fizzing bath bombs.   Order today with code partybomb and save 10%!”  Then maybe you can include a party invitation, a balloon and some confetti in the package.  On the invitation, you could encourage them to submit an image of their bathtub party to be used on your social media.”  Okay, that may be risky, but then again I don’t sell bath bombs so I will just leave that there.

 

Boost Search-ability

Using hashtags associated with these national days will help people interested in similar topics or causes find you.  Do you sell bikes or run a cyclist club? #nationalbiketoworkday may help people who love to ride find you and hopefully follow you on social media.  Just make sure the hashtags are relevant to the post.  If you are posting a picture of your newest hair care product and using this hashtag just because you heard today was #nationalbiketoworkday people will be confused. Unless you add in the caption that you ride every chance you get and that may not be kind to your hair which is why you are so glad you found this product

 

There is a national social holiday for every day of the year and many days have several different holidays to choose from.  This could make them lose their perceived value, too much of something is rarely a good thing but when used strategically I believe these national social holidays can be a large asset.   

 

I hope this post helped get your marketing mind pumped up.  Next month when you are looking for ideas maybe you will head over to the list of National Holidays, they may hold a more significant purpose to you now. 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand content marketing https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/11/5-ways-to-use-national-social-days-to-boost-your-marketing Fri, 06 Nov 2020 07:30:00 GMT
November Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle! https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/10/november-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle red pink aqua and black graphic for social media posting ideas and suggestions postNovember Social Media Posting With a Purpose Caboodle!

 

November is the start of a pretty stressful time for many of us. The holidays tend to turn simple things into much bigger ones.  It is also the start of my favorite time of year.  I realize that those two statements contradict each other but love it or hate it the holiday season is here, I personally choose the joy!

Normally it means a slow down at my "day job", hotel sales, and a huge push for family pictures.  Of course, 2020 is anything but normal so who knows what is going to happen!  Without a doubt, I know that the increase push for time with my family, gift shopping, and baking (love it) are going to make posting consistently on my social platforms even harder to do.  Now more than most months my posts need to have a strategy and a purpose or why even bother. 

Do you feel the same way? 

To me, that just increases the need for a plan.  If this is your first month joining me for the “posting with a purpose caboodle”  formally known as the monthly posting challenge, you are in for a treat!  If you are wondering why the name change it is simple.  It occurred to me that the whole idea was to take the “challenge” out of your social media posting efforts.  What I really do each month is offering a caboodle (defined as a large number of things) in this case post ideas, suggestions, and social media tips to help you increase your engagement, improve your consistency and reduce the stress caused by your DIY social media marketing strategy.  

 

Each month I share a day by day posting guide that should give you a starting point for your own social media.  This is pretty generic so as to help you no matter what industry you work in and can and should be adapted to fit you.  Each day has a theme but please feel free to move it around any way you would like.  Maybe sales post on Sundays doesn’t work for your audience.  That is cool,  try a different day and see how they do.  Also if you don’t want to post every day, don’t, but I highly recommend a consistent schedule.  If not every day maybe always post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

 

What are the daily themes you ask?  Good question see the list below.  I have made a few tweaks since last month but not many.  Hey if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

 

Monday: Motivational Quote- Quotes do so well on social media so they are a great way to boost your post engagements and attract new followers.  Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?  Do a simple google search and you will find so many to choose from. #quoteoftheday #motivation #letsdothis

 

Tuesday: Tantalizing Tuesday Tips
– Share a tip your dream clients will appreciate.  Tips about your business, industry-related tips, or even tips about topics that are more personal focused (if your dream client will respond to that).  You can do these as videos, infographics, or just a nice long how to post.  Have fun with it.  #tiptuesday #tips  

 

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday.  This is not a sales pitch but more of a show and tell, share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.  Try creating a slide show video on Canva.  #whatwedowednesday #checkthisout

 

aqua, red and black graphic for the behind the scenes post ideas Thursday: Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes I mean.  Don’t overthink this one, if you have got nothing going on worth sharing, share something anyway.  Coffee break, I see a selfie opportunity.  Writing a report, desk shot.  Wishing you had a better idea for lunch then tuna again?  Create a post and ask for ideas for tomorrow. #BTS #behindthescences #showme

 

Friday: Fri-YAY!  Come on Brag a little.  A humblebrag is not a bad thing, I don’t care what grandma told you. Share some love this could be in the form of client testimonials, selfies with clients or even sharing a big accomplishment you are particularly proud of.  Share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost a client’s post about you.  #fri-Yay #sharethelove #thanks

red, yellow and black graphic for "Saturdays are for selfies"
Saturday: Saturday Selfie - post a selfie and share a little bit about you.  You could also choose to share a picture of your family, dog or favorite taco just make the post personal.  Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust!  #saturdayselfie 

 

Sunday: Show Me - Sell me - Sunday- post your current offer, promotion, or deal. #mysmallbusiness #saletime.  Ok I change the name a little, if you have been following along I decided that sell me something Sunday wasn’t working for me.  Same concept though.  Post a sales post, people cannot buy from you if they do not know what you are selling.

 

 

So here is November's caboodle with a post suggestion for every day of the month and more.

Day of the month

Day of the week

Post Suggestion

1

Sunday

Show me-Sell me- Sunday

Daylight Saving Time Ends – First Sunday in November

2

Monday

Motivational Monday

Small Business Saturday Promotional post – start getting people excited to support small business on November 28th

3

Tuesday

Election Day

Tantalizing Tuesday Tips

4

Wednesday

What we do Wednesday

National Stress Awareness Day

5

Thursday

Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

National Doughnut Day

6

Friday

Fri-YAY!

7

Saturday

Saturday Selfie

8

Sunday

Show me-Sell me- Sunday

National Parents as Teachers Day

9

Monday

Motivational Monday

10

Tuesday

Tantalizing Tuesday Tips

Small Business Saturday Promotional post – start getting people excited to support small business on November 28th

11

Wednesday

Veterans Day

What we do Wednesday

12

Thursday

Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

13

Friday

Fri-YAY!

World Kindness Day

14

Saturday

Saturday Selfie

National Family PJ Day

15

Sunday

Show me-Sell me- Sunday

16

Monday

Motivational Monday

First Harry Potter Movie Released 2001

17

Tuesday

Tantalizing Tuesday Tips

18

Wednesday

What we do Wednesday

National Princess Day

19

Thursday

Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

This Day In History: Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863.

20

Friday

Fri-YAY!

21

Saturday

Saturday Selfie

National Gingerbread Cookie Day

22

Sunday

Show me-Sell me- Sunday

23

Monday

Motivational Monday

Small Business Saturday Promotional post It is almost time.

24

Tuesday

Tantalizing Tuesday Tips

25

Wednesday

What we do Wednesday

National Play with Dad Day

26

Thursday

Thanksgiving

Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes

27

Friday

Fri-YAY!

Black Friday

28

Saturday

Saturday Selfie

Small Business Saturday

29

Sunday

Show me-Sell me- Sunday

30

Monday

Motivational Monday

Cyber Monday

 

You can also print out my fun Coboodle calendar by clicking the button below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month I included a blank calendar so you can fill in your own ideas too.  Print it and keep in near your desk so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.

 

Social Media Tip of the Month!

It is the National Month of gratitude.  Every year for the last few years I have seen people posting a daily gratefulness post in November.  Why not drive engagement, build up some content, and connect with your followers using this idea.  Start gathering some “user-generated content” by asking your clients, employees, and hey even your friends what they are grateful for or what they love most about the holiday season. 

Collect pictures, selfies, and videos.  You can ask them via email or do it in person. You could even make a contest out of it with a little creativity.  Then with their permission, you can share this content on your social media sites.  Not only will this give you some unique content it will also show the human side of what you do.

 

Maybe you could do something silly but simple like one of those copy & paste then reshare posts.  “I am most grateful for coffee!  My letter was C, play along this should be fun!  In the comments, name one thing you are grateful for that starts with the letter After you comment on this post I will give you a letter so you can see what your friends are grateful for too”

 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) content marketing media plan social tips https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/10/november-social-media-posting-with-a-purpose-caboodle Thu, 22 Oct 2020 21:58:50 GMT
Three Tips for Better Engagement https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/10/three-tips-for-better-engagement White, Pink Blue and red Three tips to create better social media engagement

Three Tips for better engagement on your social media.
 

Hi there!  It is almost the end of a busy week and today I had the opportunity to present to an awesome networking group that I am a part of.  I was about to talk a little about who I am and why I enjoy what I do but more importantly, I shared three simple but powerful social media engagement tips.  

 

Let me tell you something, I hate presenting, my mouth got so dry my young was stinking to the roof of my mouth and I had to stop talking to take a sip of wanted before I couldn't open my mouth again.  No joke!  If I am being completely real the idea of hitting the leave meeting button "by mistake"  crossed my mind more then once before I got started.

 

I had to remind myself to put on my big girl panties and just do it.   I kept thinking to myself, 

 

"I mean come on Sam, if you can not present to a group of people you know, how can you ever speak to a large group of people you don't know.  Besides that this is just a Zoom call, so you don't even have to stand up. Suck it up buttercup!"

 

You may think that I was being too hard on myself.  I know you are right but at least I didn't run out of that zoom room to hind in a corner somewhere.  Anyway, the point is I am proud of myself.  I felt it went pretty well.

 

As a small business owner in the world of marketing,  I know we all tend to spend a lot of time and money on our marketing.  It is so ridiculously unfair how often those efforts seem to go unrewarded.  So here is to spreading some good vibes and hopefully motivating you to improve your social media marketing game.

 

ladybug shutter logo of Samantha Markey photography.Tip One

Tip One: Create Real Connections

This can be the hardest part but if you don’t do it then you are just wasting your time.  

 

You may have heard me or maybe someone else say this before but if you are using social media for your business you need to think of it sort of like a cocktail party.  You wouldn't walk into a cocktail party and start passing out coupons, sales flyers, and showing off new product videos, would you?   If you think about it, social media is where many people go now to socialize,  to stay connected, and maybe even be a little entertained, like a party.  They do not get on social media thinking, “hmmm let me see how much money I can spend today?”, that is what Amazon is for.  

So be real, show up consistently, and act like you would at a work-related social event.  Comment on posts, ask questions, engage with your potential clients, and biz partners daily & intentionally.  

Not only will it help the know-like & trust factor but the platform's algorithm likes it a lot and it will think the people you are engaging with want to see what you are posting too.  Guess what the best part is, they will see your post more often.

 

Black and Red Ladybug logo with words Tip TwoTip Two Tip Two: Use unique and personal images. 

 

This means photos, graphics, and videos. Why? Well, you might have guessed this is my favorite part.  Imagery is powerful.  Photos can tell a story,  they can evoke emotions, and most importantly create brand awareness.  

 

Stock photos while they have their place and can be very useful they can also be dangerous for your brand recognition.   When you use a similar look, feel and color tone in your images it shows your audience you are dependable, consistent, and trustworthy. 

 

So stock photos may be tempting to use but no matter how professional they look,  they will not show what makes you unique,  they will not tell your brand story, and they will do nothing to help anyone recognize you.  


Not sure you believe me?  Let me ask you this.  Can you think of a brand that you follow that you could recognize in your feed solely by the image that you see alone before you even read the caption or noticed who posted it?  Off the top of my head, I am thinking Starbucks but I am sure there are many more.  Try it next time you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and see if you can recognize anyone.  If so, they are doing something right. 

This, my friends, is where brand photography comes into play.   When you have a collection of images all with a similar tone and feel based on your brand you can create marketing pieces, websites, and social media profiles that have a consistent look.  You can tell your audience why you are unique and that is why they will follow you, how they will recognize you and why they will want to buy from you.

That being said, don’t freak out if you can not afford to have a brand photographer on retainer, you could take many of these with your smartphone if you wanted to.  Don't worry I will have some new blog posts coming soon with tips on taking product and lifestyle images on your own. Ladybug logo with red and black writing- tip twoTip Three
 


Tip Three!  Have a plan.

Once you are engaging and getting people to stop scrolling you need to keep them interested.  The key to getting your content in front of the right people is having a plan that creates consistency. 

 

 

  • Plan out your month in advance.- I find I am most effective if I know what I need to post each day.  Having a plan ensures you will not forget to post about your upcoming specials, it also takes the guesswork out of what to post each day.

  • Know WHO your dream client is.- It will be very hard to get anyone to pay attention to you if you don’t know who you are talking to because trust me if you don’t know then no one else does either.

  • Understand your goals.  What do you want social media to accomplish for you?  Know it so you can track your progress and so your CTA’S REFLECT what you want to receive.  Connections, sales, community, website traffic, collaborations? It will also help you determine the type of content you want to share.

  • Review your successes and failures each month. - Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer to report (insights) to show you how your posts have performed.  Take a few minutes to consider what content did well AND what time you posted it.   This can help you understand what content your audience wants to see from you and when the best times to post are.

  • Batch your content. - Creating specific content in one sitting is a time saver and a brain saver too.  I do this for posts like quotes, tips, and client testimonials.  I call these posts "FILLER POSTS".  Why?  Because they don't take a huge amount of time to create, and they provide value to my dream clients in the form of inspiration, motivation, or social proof that following me is a good idea.

  • Schedule posts. - I like to do mine once a week, with the exception of  FILLER Posts which I might do for a few months in advance.  I may do some spontaneously too if I am at an event or a whim hits me.  

 

More than Serendipity Visual Marketing logo imageMore than Serendipity Visual Marketing logo
Those are the three tips that I shared today, if you want more, check out this blog post I did over the summer:  Social Media Management that captures your audience

 

 

 

 

I would love to hear from you, please feel free to leave a comment.


Would you like a business profile critique? Click Here

 

Profile Critiques- be sure your profile

 

Did you know I do a monthly social media posting caboodle each month?  That's a blog post packed full of tips tricks and awesome suggestions for your social media.  You can count on 30 or more post ideas each month.  Not to mention a printable calendar so if you don't have the time to plan out your month it will be a huge help! Look at the list of most recent blog posts and you can click right over to the most recent posting caboodle. 

If you want tools to create a customized and personalized content calendar, I suggest you head on over to MORE THAN SERENDIPITY where I keep all the amazing social media marketing tools you need to really leverage social media for your business.  There are DIY guides, a simple but outstanding calendar, training and so much more.  I want your success to be planned and not just a happy accident.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) marketing socialmedia tips https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/10/three-tips-for-better-engagement Fri, 09 Oct 2020 19:20:46 GMT
October 2020 Social Media Challenge https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/october-2020-social-media-challenge yellow, orange and white candy corn with the blue, pink and yellow More Than Serendipity logoMore than Serendipity October Social Media Posting ChallengeOctober Social Media Posting Challenge cover photo

October Social Media Posting Challenge

If you are here looking for help on what to post you are in the right place!
 

October is almost here!  Falling leaves and candy corn are some of my favorite things but as I was prepping for the challenge this month, I was not as excited as I thought I would be.  I was a little worried that the challenge may feel a little repetitive.  It took me a moment to remember that the whole point! 

Here is how this challenge can help you:

  • Be consistent
  • Create a plan
  • Batch your content
  • Always have an idea on what to post about
     

This challenge is set up in a user-friendly pattern and made so that just about anyone can utilize it.  I use the same principles to set this challenge up as I do when I am planning my own social media content.  With just some basic steps you can do the same thing. 

 

To start, I have a generic theme by day of the week. The reason I choose a generic theme by day of the week is to have a jumping-off point in case I don't already have a specific idea in mind for that date. Doing this helps me share my brand touchstones and ensure I am posting content that my dream client will find valuable.  

 

 

Here are my daily themes for the October challenge.

Monday: Motivational Quote- Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?  Do a simple google search and you will find so many to choose from. #quoteoftheday #motivation #letsdothis #S&SChallenge

Tuesday: Tip Tuesday – Share a tip your dream clients will appreciate.  Tips about your business, industry-related tips or even tips about topics that are more personal focused (if your dream client will respond to that).  You can do these as videos, infographics or just a nice long how to post.  Have fun with it.  I included a different tip goal for each tip Tuesday to help inspire you.  #tiptuesday #tips  #S&SChallenge

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday.  This is not a sales pitch but more of a show and tell, share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.  Try creating a slide show video on Canva.  You may find that these types of posts sell your product or service even better then your actual sales posts do.  #whatwedowednesday #checkthisout #S&SChallenge

Thursday: Throw Back Thursday- Back Behind the scenes I mean.  Don’t overthink this one, if you have got nothing going on worth sharing, share something anyway.  Coffee break, I see a selfie opportunity.  Writing a report, desk shot.  Wishing you had a better idea for lunch then tuna again?  Create a post and ask for ideas for tomorrow. For Tuesday I included a different idea for each Thursday of the month.  #BTS #behindthescences #showme #S&SChallenge

Friday: Fri-YAY!  Share some love this could be in the form of client testimonials,  Sharing a big accomplishment you are particularly proud of or bragging a client for their success.  This is a great opportunity to share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost a client’s post about you.  #fri-Yay #sharethelove #thanks #S&SChallenge

Saturday: Saturday Selfie - post a selfie and share a little bit about you, what you do and why.  You could also choose to share a picture of your family, dog or favorite taco just make the most personal.  Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust!  #saturdayselfie #S&SChallenge

Sunday: Show me the money sales post.  Are you are on social media for your business to make money?  Of course, you are!    It is important to share your current offers, promotions, or specials.  As a general rule of thumb, your post should be 20% sales and 80% value.  So if you are posting one post a day then only one- maybe two posts a week should be obvious sales posts.  Don’t worry, your other post should be adding value to your dream client which builds brand recognition and loyalty.   #mysmallbusiness #saletime #S&SChallenge

 

This challenge is meant to help you create a posting pattern so you are consistent and so you can see what your audience likes to see from you.  Keep in mind these themes are what I use as a kick-off point for my month.  What you post completely depends on whom you are speaking to and what they want to hear from you.  It may also depend on how often you post.  If you do not post every day then choose a consistent schedule and your daily themes for those days.  No matter how often you post or what you want to post about you will want to create a plan that includes value add content, brand information, and sales-focused content.
 

Now that you know the daily themes you had a post idea for every single day and that takes off a lot of pressure. 

 

The first thing I do when starting my plan is to plug these into the calendar.  Then I add any major holidays, October you have Halloween.

 

Next, I recommend you think about your specific business.  What do you have coming up?  Yes, promotions but also events, new products or services, and collaborations.  Write down what you need and want to post about and select the appropriate days for those posts.  When I am planning my month these posts will sometime replace my daily theme post or I may post twice that day.  This month is a great example of that because this time of the year I have a bunch of families, holidays, and senior photography sessions.  I run more promotions then I do most of the year for the holiday.  I don’t want my sales post to be more than 20% of my total content for the week so I may do two posts on a few days. 

 

Keep in mind that people do not see all of your posts so sharing the promos often is Ok.  If you do not post about what you have coming up they may not know about it at all. 

 

Last but not least I love to add fun, weird, and offbeat "holidays”.  If there is a “National Day” coming up that works with my brand you can bet I am going to use it.  I recommend choosing ones that give you a chance to express your personality or relates directly to your business.  If it doesn't play to one of those two things, I would avoid it.  There are so many, and you can find them all over the internet.  I have found that the team at "National Day Calendar" does a fantastic job at sharing these, and you can sign up for regular reminders if you love them.  Try to have fun with it, post a question, or create a give-a-way.  Maybe celebrate it and share what you did.  I included some below that I think many people reading this could use but trust me one google search and you will find a ton more.

Download the October challenge and use it to build your social media plan, don’t forget to play along.  Each day has at least one post idea.  Be sure to hashtag your posts so I can see you and engage.  

 

I hope you participate in the Simple & Savvy Social Media Challenge (#S&SChallenge)  not only will you have an idea for what to post every day, you may even find it to be easier than ever to stay consistent.  Having a plan is the key to being successful.  So use the challenge exactly how it is or take this basic idea and create your own plan.
 

October calender with yellow blue and pink iconsOctober 2020 Social Media Posting Challenge

 

October Challenge

Date

Day

Post Idea

10/1/20

Thursday

Behind the Scenes introduction.  Show off a favorite tool, task or introduce a team member

 

International Coffee Day

Tonight is the first full moon of autumn and this is just the first full moon of the month.

10/2/20

Friday

Breast Cancer Awareness post

Fri-YAY! Share something new you tried recently

National Body Language Day -   recognizes the significance of nonverbal communication in your life.

 

10/3/20

Saturday

Saturday Selfie – Selfie of you being you.  This is a great way to show off a little of your personality and how it relates back to your business and your dream client.

 

10/4/20

Sunday

Show me the money - Sales Post- Share your current or upcoming promo.

10/5/20

Monday

National Do Something Nice Day

Motivational Quote

World Teacher’s Day, celebrated for the first time in 1994 it is observed globally but not an official public holiday.

10/6/20

Tuesday

Tip Time- Share a piece of industry news, this could be a repost, article share or your own blog.

10/7/20

Wednesday

National coffee with a cop day.

What you do- Use a video this time, you can do it.

 

10/8/20

Thursday

Behind the Scenes – Oops! Share a mistake or clumsy moment.

10/9/20

Friday

Fri-YAY!- Share a client's success.  This could be something you helped with or that they did with your product 

10/10/20

Saturday

Saturday Selfie- Share a selfie of you and a client

National Handbag Day Show us your style by taking photos of your favorite handbags. Don’t forget to post them on social media using #nationalhandbagday.

10/11/20

Sunday

Show me the money - Sales Post  Create a video post about a product or service.

 

10///12/20

Monday

Motivational Quote

10/13/20

Tuesday

Tip Time – How to post.  This could be a video, blog post or even a funny meme

10/14/20

Wednesday

National Dessert Day

What you do- images of a product or service you offer. 

10/15/20

Thursday

Behind the Scenes – Show off your workspace. Clean or disaster you choose.

Get to Know Your Customers Day reminds businesses to reach out to patrons and get to know them better. The day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). 

10/16/20

Friday

Boss’s Day- Celebrate your boss, or that you are your own boss.

Fri-YAY! - New accomplishment:  Show one thing you accomplished recently.

10/17/20

Saturday

Saturday Selfie – You and a loved one.  This shows a little more about your why so talk about this person and how they affect what you do.

10/18/20

Sunday

Show Me the Money-Sales Post- Show value of your product or service in relation to a current event.  For example, Fall is a great time to consider your budget for next year……

Today is also the start of National Business Women’s Week: 18-24*

10/19/20

Monday

Motivational Quote

10/20/20

Tuesday

Tip Time- what not to do.  Be playful or serious with this one.  I was thinking “what not to wear” but it could also be funny photos of something in your industry.

10/21/20

Wednesday

What you do – outside of your business, for fun.

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day – share a recipe, indulge in a piece yourself or ask people “love it or hate it?”

10/22/20

Thursday

Behind the Scenes – Final Product.  You what you do is service this may be a selfie with a client, a testimonial on how you made a difference or closing notes on a recent project.

10/23/20

Friday

Fri-YAY! - Share a client testimonial or review.

10/24/20

Saturday

Saturday Selfie of you and a group

National Make A Difference Day brings community service to a whole new level each year. Organizations join forces on the fourth Saturday in October to make a difference, big or small.

 

10/25/20

Sunday

Show me the money, sales post.  Highlight what makes your product or service unique

10/26/20

Monday

National Day of the Deployed on October 26 is our day to say “Thank You” to all military serving outside the US and to their families who keep things running at home in their absence.

Motivational Quote

 

10/27/20

Tuesday

Tip Time – Top 5.  People love lists.  Share a top 5 list related to what you do.  Could be anything.

National Black Cat Day

10/28/20

Wednesday

What you do – Least favorite part. No matter what you do and how much you love it there is something that you put off doing.  Sharing that can make you more relatable.

10/29/20

Thursday

Behind the Scenes – Share your inspiration. 

Example: if you create earrings and the design was inspired by the fall foliage maybe share a picture of the earrings with some fall leaves.

10/30/20

Friday

Fri-YAY! - Express Gratitude!  This could be for a client, loved one, or even your morning cup of coffee.  A grateful heart is a happy one.

10/31/20

Saturday

Selfie Saturday calls for a Halloween-Selfie

Spooky full moon tonight!

National Magic day!

           

A few other ideas just for fun!

Consider celebrating any team or client birthdays this month.

Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

Now you have a plan I highly recommend you sit down and create as much content in one sitting as possible.  This will save you time and stress later.  If some of your post will need to be more organic, say a selfie with your client, just create a reminder so you do not forget to post it.

 

If you are looking for a more personal touch to your social media I would love to chat with you, take a look at what services I offer.  Click here to learn more.

 

BUT FIRST.....

Social Media Tip of the Month!

If you have been posting regularly and still seem to have low engagement my first suggestion try changing up the time of day that you are posting.   Personally, I like to do my social media while drinking my morning coffee but I have learned that not many of my followers see stuff I post at 4:30 in the morning.  Funny, right?  Not really, it sucks but knowing when your audience is on is critical to getting your post seen.

 

 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) content marketing Media plan Social https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/october-2020-social-media-challenge Wed, 30 Sep 2020 14:01:30 GMT
Professional doesn't have to mean boring! How to get headshots that represent you best. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/professional-doesnt-have-to-mean-boring-how-to-get-headshots-that-represent-you-best  

Hi There!  Ok time to be frank with me.  What do you think when someone says “ Headshot”? 


Besides, “oh man, please no.”?  Probably something along the lines of boring, stuffy, or maybe even fake.  There are a lot of negative feelings around headshot portraits and yet the world has been moving towards a digital networking focus for years.  It isn’t just Facebook and online dating sites now, your online presence can affect your career aspirations, business success, and more.  

 

Sounds like a lot of pressure when I word it like that but it is true.  The good news is that a headshot doesn't have to be boring.  It can, and really should reflect who you are and how you want others to see you.  Last week I was chatting with a client who I had worked with on a community photo project.  When we were doing that project she had mentioned that she needed a new headshot, she also told me how much she hated to have her picture taken, more than once.  So I was hoping but not expecting a call from her to schedule her headshots.  

reed and black text and Samantha markey photography lady bug logoProfessional doesn't mean boring.Be you.


One of the first things she said was that her current headshot was so corporate, not her.  It is a nice picture but I had to agree with her, the image just didn't reflect the caring, fun-loving personality that she really has.  We talked about a plan for her portraits and what might work better for her.

This got me thinking that maybe others feel that way about their current headshots or worse it is what is holding you back from getting them done at all.  A quality headshot is priceless and very important to your business profiles so don’t ignore it, do it your way.

 

Here are some tips on making your headshot less corporate and more YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Man in pink shirt with a bright and colorful street art backdropSteven H. with EnvisionYou

 

The location of the shoot can help set the tone of your images.  Think about the feel of the physical location you choose to shoot in.  There is a location in Denver that has beautiful street art and I love the colors, modern- hipster feel of it.  I have done a few sessions there and just love it because it speaks to me. Not that I am a hipster by any means but the bright fun colors and the art make me smile.  Although there is something to be said about the natural feeling of a simple field or mountain backdrop.  Don’t get me wrong, in studio-style backdrops have their place too.  What you need to consider when choosing a location is the purpose of the photos and how you want people to feel when they look at them.

 

Location can also help create a connection to the viewer.  A well-known location could spark recognition and tell the viewer more about who you are and where you work.  

 

Environment

Women in park with laptopAmy with the Amy Flora Home Team

Consider not only the location of the shoot but also what you want people to know about you.  If, for example, you are a baker shooting in your kitchen will add a powerful storytelling element.  Talk to your photographer about the story you want to tell with your photos. 

 

Shooting in the studio, that is ok, bring props.  Ok, if you have scheduled with me before you may know I don’t encourage props in general however when they serve a purpose they can be amazing.  Let's say you are a baker but right now you work out of the kitchen at home and it isn’t what you might call photo-ready.  Shoot in the studio but bring some props that you can use to show what you do.  I would also say to consider branding when you pick those props.  If your brand colors are chocolate brown and pink bring bowls and utensils that are those colors.  Another idea is to bring your logo to life.  Meaning if your logo is a strawberry tart incorporate that into your shoot.


 

Emotions

Headshots are not passport photos, you can get those at your local pharmacy for some crazy low price.  They call them professionals photos because they use a “professional camera” but it isn’t the camera that takes the picture. I could buy a real professional race car but that doesn’t make me a professional driver.  Whoa, sorry that is a whole other soapbox and I am stepping down.  Speaking of emotions though, adding a touch of personality into your images can portray to the viewer a little more of who you are and if they would enjoy working with you.  If you were to share a genuine smile or laugh it would indicate a little bit about your sense of humor, be it over the top or just quite amusing.

 

Give it time

 

In my experience, the best pictures come about 30 minutes into the session, on average.  Don’t go for the “Click-Click-Done” approach.  Sure it sounds appealing time-wise and probably easier on your wallet if we are being realistic.  However it takes time to feel comfortable with your photographer, it takes conversation.  Sure you can get a decent headshot in a short session but if you want something that really reflects who you are with a natural smile and a little personality you should expect to spend 45 to 90 minutes with your photographer. 

 

As a matter of fact, the more you hate having your picture taken the more time you should give yourself to feel calm and into it.  Remember this is not an item on your checklist so much as it is the first impression you are giving to new potential clients.


 

Appearance Matter

Just not the way you might think.  Something I see all the time is people dressing for their photos in a way that is so out of character.  Instead of wearing a suit for your images because that is how you envision headshots, wear what you would when meeting a new client.  How you dress says a lot about you and your brand.  You will also want to consider your hair and makeup before your session.  If you want more information on how to get ready for a session click here for my best tips on getting ready.


 

Be you!

I say this all the time but I think it may come off like a slogan and not me preaching.  It is important.  We want to work with people that we know like and trust.  If your headshots make you look like a high-end jerk it may detract from your genuine caring personality.  It may work if you are a high-stakes corporate lawyer, but if you help families in your community in a family law practice you may want to appear more approachable.

 

So don’t be afraid to be yourself.  So whether you are a refined and polished sort or a happy bubbly over-the-top kind gal own it!  Let it shine.

 

That is really what it boils down to though if you want to have a great profile picture that represents you and your brand then it should reflect your personality.  I doubt you are anything but boring!

 

Go for an authentic and professional look for your next headshot and you will feel a lot more confident in your online presence.

So leave a comment and let me know how you feel about headshots, in general.

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(Samantha Markey Photography) authentic brand business corporate headshots photos portraits https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/professional-doesnt-have-to-mean-boring-how-to-get-headshots-that-represent-you-best Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:50:03 GMT
How to prepare for your photoshoot. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/how-to-prepare-for-your-photoshoot There are a lot of tips and tricks out there to help you get ready for a photo shoot.  My first piece of advice is to chat with your photographer about what they suggest.  Aside from that though, here are some of the tips that I give my clients so they are prepared for the shoot.  These are the basics and may vary depending on their type of shoot you have booked. 

Here are some tips that will help you plan for your session.

 

Let's start with what to wear because no matter what type of session I am booking it is the most popular question:

CLOTHING:

The most important thing to me as your photographer is that you feel amazing and comfortable.  After that it is a good idea to consider these concepts: 

  • Whatever you choose to wear be sure it is freshly pressed, the camera is not very forgiving to wrinkles.
  • Classic timeless styles are great if you don't want your photos to look dated too quickly.
  • Avoid busy patterns.
  • Using colors can help give your photos personality.
  • Consider the backdrop, if you are using a location or studio backdrop that has colors you will want to be sure you do not clash.
  • Ensure your outfit fits your shape.  Baggy cloths do not hide like you think and too tight is rarely a good look. 
  • If it is a business portrait - dress for your industry and if you are in between jobs or just getting out into the world remember this amazing advice from one of my favorite movies (Picture Perfect) “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have”.
  • Don't forget about your shoes!

For Family & Groups Sessions

  • Coordinate- don't match.  Gone are the days of white t-shirts and blue jeans. 
  • Solid colors are great and a splash of patter doesn't hurt but avoid too many different patterns, they will distract the viewer.

  

ACCESSORIES:  

This is a personal taste thing but I find that simplicity tends to be the best option.

  • Hats.  A simple hat can change the whole vibe of a photo, instantly giving you a different look.
  • Statement jewelry is not a bad idea but keep it to one piece.  If you choose a bold necklace keep you earings, rings etc, simple.
  • Pocket square.  You know, that amazing pop of color in a mens suit jacket?  This may be the way to jazz up a "boring" corporate shot.
  • Scarfs are a personal fave too but be sure it doesn't completely cover your neck, it will not look right in the pictures.

 

 

Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best for your session. 

Put your best face forward:

  • Drink plenty of water in the week prior to your session, as this will keep your skin plump, smooth, and clear.
  • Try to eat healthy foods, as fried and salty foods cause bloating and water retention. 
  • Avoid sun exposure, which can make you look tired and leave your skin irritated.
  • Get plenty of sleep to avoid dark circles under your eyes!
  • Men: it’s important that you’ve mastered your facial hair look before your session.  Whether you’re clean-shaven or prefer to keep your facial hair, it’s necessary that it is well maintained. 
  • Women: go light on the makeup, natural looks tend to be best for headshots.   
  • Avoid going for a haircut right before your session.  Book your haircut at least a couple of days before maybe even more.

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) a for headshots photo photoshoot preparation shoot tips to wear what https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/how-to-prepare-for-your-photoshoot Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:43:05 GMT
September Social Media Challenge https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/september-social-media-challenge

September is here! Fall is coming pumpkin spice lattes are back and some of us (me) has already broken out the fun fall boots.   I have been seriously struggling in practicing what I preach about consistently.  Even I type this I realize it is September and I have not shared the September social challenge or the first week of national (HOLI-) Days.  Ass you can see I understand, being consistent on social media can be a real challenge, but it doesn't have to be if you have a plan and stick to it. 

 

This month participate in the Simple & Savvy Social Media Challenge (#S&SChallenge) and not only will you have an idea for what to post every day you may even find it to be easier than ever!

To start off I have a generic theme by day of the week. The reason I choose a generic theme by day of the week is to have a jumping-off point in case I don't already have a specific idea in mind for that date. Doing this helps me share my brand touchstones and ensure I am posting content that my dream client will find valuable.  It may take you some time to determine what you want yours should be, here are my suggestions for September:

 

Monday: Motivational Quote- Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?  Do a simple google search and you will find so many to choose from.

 

Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips.  Your advice on subjects that pertain to what you do. Have fun with it.  You could make is pertain to the current season for example September is back to school, leaves changing & cooler weather. Or if a Nation month theme appeals to you there are nine options, currently, to choose from for example National Preparedness Month.  Now I think many of us could use that to our advantage somehow.  It is also National California Wine Month, just saying.

 

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday- share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.  Try creating a slide show video on Canva.

 

Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post.  Don’t overthink this one, if you have got nothing going on worth sharing, share something anyway.  Coffee break, I see a selfie opportunity.  Writing a report, desk shot.  Wishing you had a better idea for lunch then tuna again?  Create a post and ask for ideas for tomorrow.

 

Friday: Fri-YAY! Client testimonials.  Share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost it. It is a good idea to ask permission if they sent it to you privately.

 

Saturday: Saturday Selfie - post a selfie and share a little bit about you.  Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust!  #saturdayselfie

 

Sunday: Sell me something Sunday- post your current offer, promotion, or deal.

 

Change up the days if you want or pick daily themes that work better for you but by creating these daily topics you will always have a starting point on what to post for the day. calendar graphi with bright colors focused on post ideas for your social media, September 2020

 

I love fun, weird, and offbeat "holidays," too, so you will me use those often as well.   I recommend choosing ones that give you a chance to express your personality or relate directly to your business.  If it doesn't play to one of those two things, I would avoid it.  There are so many, and you can find them all over the internet.  I have found that the team at National Day Calendar does a fantastic job at sharing these, and you can sign up for regular reminders if you love them.  You can also join my Facebook group where I share once I think will work well for business and many other social media tips.  Just look for  "Social is not a four-letter word" under groups.

 

Download the September challenge and play along.  Here are the challenge details by day and a sprinkle of other post ideas to keep you on your toes. Be sure to hashtag your posts so I can see you and engage.  #s&schallenge 

 

Did you know I offer social media services that could be just what you need to get your brand noticed?  If trying to be consistent on social media is stressing you out, click here and learn more about what I can do to elevate your online presence and help you be seen.

 

 

September Challenge

 

9/1/20  Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips. 

9/2 /20 Wednesday: What we do Wednesday

            Update your profile picture

National Day: National V-J Day
 

9/3/20 Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post. 

National Day: U.S. Bowling League Day

9/4/20 Friday: Fri-YAY! Client Testimonial Video

            Share something that made you laugh today

National Day: Wildlife Day & National Lazy Mom Day (first Friday in September) 
 

9/5/20 Saturday: Selfie Saturday

            Cookout Selfie!

National Day: National Cheese Pizza Day- Um yes please! or World Beard day.
 

9/6/20 Sunday: Sell me something Sunday

            Labor Day weekend flash sale

National Day: National Read a Book Day
 

9/7/20 Monday: Motivational Quote

Labor Day

Quote, suggestion:

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

National Day: National Beer Lovers Day
 

9/8/20 Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips-in video form.

Fun Poll

National Day: National Another look unlimited day.  Ok I had to look this one up but basically it is like spring cleaning but in the fall.  Clean out those closets, purge your unwanted but usable stuff.  "Just because people throw it out and don’t have any use for it, doesn’t mean it’s garbage."~ Andy Warhol
 

9/9/20 Share your WHY.  What makes what you do so important?

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday

National Day: National Care Bears share your care day 
 

9/10/20 Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post. 

National Day: National swap ideas day and National TV Dinner day
 

9/11/20  Patriot’s Day

9/11 Remembrance Post

Friday: Fri-YAY! Client testimonials. 

National Day: National Make your bed day
 

9/12/20 Saturday: Selfie-Saturday

National Day: National Day of Encouragement
 

9/13/20 Sunday: Sell me something Sunday

National Grandparent’s Day- share a video

National Day: National Peanut day
 

9/14/20 Monday: Motivational Quote

                Quote Suggestion:

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

National Day: National Live Creative Day
 

9/15/20 Re-Share opportunity – Share something from a co-worker, vendor, marketing partner, industry leader, etc.  Be sure to give proper credit and tag them.

Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips. 

National Day: National Online Learning day & National IT professionals Day
 

9/16/20 Wednesday: What we do Wednesday

National Day: National Working Parents Day
 

9/17/20 Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post. 

            Create A FAQ graphic

National Day: National Professional House Cleaners Day 
 

9/18/20 Friday: Fri-YAY! Client testimonials. 

National Day: National Hug Your Boss Day 
 

9/19/20  Re-Share opportunity – Share something from a co-worker, vendor, marketing partner, industry leader etc.  Be sure to give proper credit and tag them.

Saturday: Saturday Selfie

National Day: National Talk Like a Pirate day (I predict a video Challenge) Or if you don't feel like having fun it is also National CleanUp day
 

9/20/20 Sunday: Sell me something Sunday using a video

National Day: National Wife appreciation day
 

9/21/20 Monday: Motivational Quote

            Quote suggestion

“When you start to do the things that you truly love, it wouldn’t matter whether it’s Monday or Friday; you would be so excited to wake up each morning to work on your passions.” - Edmond Mbiaka

 

National Day: National Chai Day
 

9/22/20 Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips. 

                Autumn Begins today!  Think falling leaves, warm sweaters and pumpkin spice (unless you are a  

hater)

National Day: National Girl's Night Or National Car Free Day
 

9/23/20 Wednesday: What we do Wednesday

National Day: National Innergize Day
 

9/24/20 Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post. 

National Day: National Punctuation day.  Ok- not one I would celebrate, obviously but hey still a good one.
 

9/25/20 Friday: Fri-YAY! Client testimonials. 

            Share an old post of yours- Flashback Friday.

National Day: National Brave day & National Comic book day.  
 

9/26/20 Saturday: Saturday

National Day: National pancake day.  National save your photos day.  National Ghost Hunting Day.
 

9/27/20  Re-Share opportunity – Share something from a co-worker, vendor, marketing partner, industry leader, etc.  Be sure to give proper credit and tag them.

Sunday: Sell me something Sunday

 

National Day: National Scarf Day. - Ok there are a few you may like better but it is September and I am craving some cooler weather.  If you are craving chocolate it is also National Chocolate milk day.
 

9/28/20 Monday: Motivational Quote

                Quote, suggestion:

“Hey, I know it’s Monday. But it’s also a new day and a new week. And in that lies a new opportunity for something special to happen.” - Michael Ely

National Day: National Family Day
 

9/29/20 Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips.

National Day: National Coffee day!  What? Best day ever!
 

9/30/20 Wednesday: What we do Wednesday

National Day: National Love People Day.
 

 

I would love to hear what posts have been the most successful for you?  Leave a comment below.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand content ideas marketing media post Social https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/9/september-social-media-challenge Wed, 02 Sep 2020 19:53:42 GMT
August 2020 Social Media Post Challenge https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/7/august-2020-social-media-post-challenge Red and white graphic for an August 31 day post challenge. August Social media challenge

 

It is almost August, and you still haven't got a plan for your social media yet? 

I understand, being consistent on social media can be a real challenge, but it doesn't have to be.  This month participate in the Simple & Savvy Social Media Challenge (#S&SChallenge) and have an idea for what to post every day! 

August is the start of school for many, the last full month of summer, and once of the few months with no traditional holidays, so finding content to post can be even harder this month what with all the stuff you have going on and the limited inspiration.  The good news is that there are a lot of fun National holidays to play with and some business promotion and engagement ideas that will be great to work on this month.  

You will also notice that I have a generic theme by day of the week. The reason I choose a generic theme by day of the week is to have a jumping-off point in case I don't already have a specific idea in mind for that date. Doing this helps me share my brand touchstones and ensure I am posting content that my dream client will find valuable.  It may take you some time to determine what you want yours should be, here are my suggestions for August:

Monday: Motivational Quote- Think about your dream client, what do you think would help motivate them on a Monday?

Tuesday: Tip Tuesday - Industry related tips.  Your advice on subjects that pertain to what you do. Have fun with it.  

Wednesday: What we do Wednesday- share a product or service.  This could be a detailed post on why your product or service is beneficial, how to use it, who needs it, or even a demo.

Thursday: This is how we roll Thursday- Behind the scenes post

Friday: Fri-YAY! Client testimonials.  Share the love you receive with the rest of your followers; nothing works better than social proof to show others all the awesomeness you have to offer. You can do this easily with a pretty graphic, a simple screenshot, or even just repost it. It is a good idea to ask permission if they sent it to you privately.

Saturday: Saturday Selfie - post a selfie and share a little bit about you.  Personalizing what you do helps create connections and build trust!  #saturdayselfie

Sunday: Sell me something Sunday- post your current offer, promotion, or deal.

I love fun, weird, and offbeat "holidays," too, so you will see many listed.  I recommend choosing ones that give you a chance to express your personality or relate directly to your business; if it doesn't play to one of those two things, I will avoid it.  There are so many, and you can find them all over the internet.  I have found that the team at National Day Calendar does a fantastic job at sharing these, and you can sign up for regular reminders if you love them.

Download the August challenge and play along.  Here are the challenge details by day,  the first idea is from the challenge PDF download, but I have also included some additional suggestions in case you don't love the primary suggestion.  Be sure to hashtag your posts so I can see you and engage.  #s&schallenge 

 

 

 


 

August Challenge
 

8/1/20

Saturday Selfie

Other ideas:


 

8/2/20 

National Friendship day - I love this one, celebrate a friend, or make a new one. This one is literally a Hallmark holiday; Hallmark founded it in 1919!  

Other ideas:

  • Sell me something Sunday! Don't forget a great picture.
  • There are only 51 days left until fall.
  • National Coloring Book Day

 

 

8/3/20 

National Bargain Hunting Week starts today through 3rd to the 9th - a great day to share an amazing deal. 

Other ideas:

  • National Watermelon Day, this is a summer staple, so why not celebrate it?  Post a pic of watermelon and share your favorite way to enjoy it or Ask a Question: Do you eat watermelon with or without salt? Or Seedless or traditional watermelon?
  • Monday Motivational Quote
     
8/4/20
 
Tip Tuesday - share a piece of industry-related advice that your followers will find valuable. #tiptuesday 
 
Other ideas:
  • August is American Artists Appreciation Month
  • School starts back soon, and it is National back to school month so you can post a funny meme about going back to school, ask a question about how people are feeling about school starting, share a favorite subject, the possibilities are endless.
 
 
8/5/20
 
What we do Wednesday- share a product or service. 
 
Other ideas:
  • August is What Will Be Your Legacy Month
  • National Work Like a Dog Day
  • Root beer float day, this one brings back childhood memories for sure.
 
 
8/6/20
 
Post a video- your choice.  
 
Other ideas:
  • This is how we roll Thursday- behind the scenes picture or video.
  • Ask a question related to your industry: What are you doing to stand out?
     
8/7/20
 
Fri-YAY! Client Testimonials
 
Other Ideas:
  • Last day of "Simplify Your Life Week" Share an organization tip, show how you decluttered your life, or post a quote that signifies simplicity to you.
  • Celebrity Birthday: Charlize Theron
     
8/8/20
 
Saturday Selfie  #saturdayselfie #s&schallenge
 
Other ideas:
  • International Cat day- I smell of a cat video coming your way. 
  • Start a referral contest- give away a fun prize, product, or service in exchange for social media follows or tagging friends.  Bonus points for sharing.
 
8/9/20
 
Sunday, so #sellmesomethingsunday Post a promotion or sales item.
 
Other ideas:
  • National Book Lovers Day - What are you reading?
  • Update your profile picture and watch the love pour in.
     
 
8/10/20
 
Monday Motivational Quote
 
Other ideas:
  • National Lazy Day
  • Back to school promo
     
8/11/20
 
Tip Tuesday - share a piece of industry-related advice that your followers will find valuable. #tiptuesday 
 
Other ideas:
  • Share a photo of an employee or business partner.
  • Celebrity Birthday- Chris Hemsworth- Hello Thor!
  • National Raspberry Bombe Day celebrates this delicious frozen dessert.
     
 
8/12/20
 
American Adventures Month - It is the celebration of vacationing in the Americas. Since many are taking last-minute vacations, this may be a fun topic for a poll, picture, or tip post.
 
Other ideas:
  • What we do Wednesday- share a product or service.
  • National Vinyl Record Day
     
8/13/20
 
This is how we roll Thursday- behind the scenes picture or video.
Other ideas:
  • International Lefthanders Day

  • Share your favorite quote.

8/14/20
 
Fri-YAY! Client Testimonials
 
Other ideas:
  • National Finance Awareness day
  • Creamsicle Day
     
8/15/20
 
Saturday Selfie  #saturdayselfie- It's National Relaxation day- relaxing selfie sounds perfect to me. #s&schallenge
 
Other ideas:
  • Showcase your newest or favorite business tool.
  • Three steps to do XYZ

 
8/16/20
 
Sunday Sunset- August sunsets are the best. #sunset

 
Other ideas:
  • Sunday, so #sellmesomethingsunday Post a promotion or sales item.      
  • National tell a joke day.
     
 
8/17/20
 
National Chef's Appreciation Week: 16-22 Celebrate the chef in your life, share a family recipe, or find a funny chef meme.

Others ideas:
  • National Nonprofit day: Share some info about your favorite non-profit.
  • Monday Motivational Quote
 
8/18/20
 
Tip Tuesday - share a piece of industry-related advice that your followers will find valuable. #tiptuesday 
 

Other ideas:

  • Serendipity Day - Serendipity is the occurrence and development of any events by chance in a happy or useful way.  Serendipity is one of my favorite words.  I loved the movie too, just saying.  I almost used it in the name of my business, but it turns out I am not alone in my love for it.
  • Share a picture of you and your significant other it is - National Couples Day.
     

8/19/20

World Photo Day: share your favorite image- be sure to make the caption refer it back to your business.
 
Other ideas:
  • What we do Wednesday- share a product or service.
  • National potato day, do you love it as much as I do?  Share your favorite potato recipe. 
     
 
8/20/20
 
Re-share from another source an industry-related post.  Tag the source and add your own comments.
 
Other ideas:
  • This is how we roll Thursday- behind the scenes picture or video.
  • National Lemonade day!  Offer lemonade at the office, and be sure to snap a picture.
     
8/21/20
 
Fri-YAY! Client Testimonials
 
Other ideas:
  • National senior citizens day
  • TGIF Post
     
8/22/20
 
Share your WHY. People will relate to your business on a personal level if you are transparent about why you do what you do.
 
Other ideas:
  • Saturday Selfie  #saturdayselfie 
  • Be An Angel Day
     
 
8/23/20
 
Sunday, so #sellmesomethingsunday Post a promotion or sales item.
 
Other ideas:
  • Fill-in-the blank post.  examples: [YOUR BRAND] has changed the way I __________.   My favorite Sunday activity is ____________.  If I could go any where right now I would be headed to ______________.
  • Share a current project.

8/24/20
 
Monday Motivational Quote
 
Other ideas:
  • Monday meme that reflects how you are feeling today.
  • Tell a piece of your brand story.

 
 
8/25/20
 
Tip Tuesday - share a piece of industry-related advice that your followers will find valuable. #tiptuesday 
 
Other ideas:
  • Be Kind To Humankind Week starts: This is an annual celebration of kindness that is recognized globally from August 25th-31st every year since 1988. 
  • National Kiss and Make Up Day
     
 
8/26/20
 
What we do Wednesday- share a product or service.
 
Other ideas:
  • Share a trending topic that you love and why.
  • National dog day
 
 
8/27/20
 
This is how we roll Thursday- behind the scenes picture or video.
 
Other ideas:
  • Share your most recent blog or one of a well-respect industry expert.
  • National Just Because Day
 
8/28/20
 
Fri-YAY! Client Testimonials
 
Other ideas:
  • Holiday promo post, it may seem early, but Hobby Lobby had Christmas decorations out last month, so really, you are a little late already. Don't believe me check out this count down Christmas Countdown.
  • Ask your fans a question about your next business decision.
 

 
8/29/20
 
Saturday Selfie  #saturdayselfie #s&schallenge
 
Other ideas:
  • Funny post related to what you do
  • List your favorite products or services gift ideas.  Yours or highlight others who you support.  You never know they may return the favor.
 
8/30/20
 
Sunday, so #sellmesomethingsunday Post a promotion or sales item.
 
Other ideas:
  • National Toasted Marshmallow Day
  • Show your workspace
 
8/31/20
 
International Bacon Day- Share a favorite bacon meme.
 
Other ideas:
  • Monday Motivational Quote
  • Labor day is one week away- How are you celebrating?  Summer is ending, take a poll- need it to last longer or bring on fall?

 

Get out there and be seen!  I hope that this makes it easier for you.  Don't forget to hashtag your post with #s&schallenge so I can see your post.   

 

Join my community and never miss out on a monthly challenge, CLICK HERE to get on my email list now.

 

If what you want is a more authentic and personalized calendar for your social media I am happy to help, check out my social media engagement services for more information.  

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) be marketing media plan seen social https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/7/august-2020-social-media-post-challenge Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:19:13 GMT
Social Media management that captures your audience https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/6/social-media-management-that-captures-your-audience Discibes how social media engagement management can help your audience connect with you.Social Media Managment that helps you be seen.

Your audience is online, there is absolutely no doubt about that so you need to show up there.  Your messaging needs to be on brand and consistent and you must have high-quality images that represent your brand.  These are facts of life for all small business owners, entrepreneurs, and influencers.  The hard part is how much time, effort, and knowledge it takes to do it right and do it consistently.  I know you try your best to handle it all but it is a lot so you should know that you are not alone if you find it frustrating, pointless, or overwhelming. 

Where many small business go wrong is that they have no strategy.  They post it and hope it sticks, then when it doesn't get a good response they get frustrated but don't change their ways.  

Sound familiar? 

Even if you are consistent but you don't have a plan you will likely see a lack of engagement.  In order to engage with your audience, you need to be providing content that they are interested in, sounds simple enough.  You also want to be unique, but be sure that you are keeping your brand in mind when creating content, posting, and even responding to your followers.  If your audience can not tell you apart from a similar company or are confused about what you do they will move on faster then you can imagine.  This is why the first step with me is to take a step back from the social media topic for a moment to make sure you know some important things first.  Things like who your ideal client (target market) is, what your brand is all about, how you want to use each platform, and other brand identity elements that will help you use social media like you have not before.

So what do you need to do to engage your audience on social media?

1.  You need a plan.

To be successful, you need a plan, this is true for all things in business.  Make a plan and then work that plan.  Your plan should include who you are trying to reach and why.  Where you will reach them.  How often you will post and at what times.  I recommend creating a monthly plan that includes your business promotions and content goals for the whole month.  then you can review it, see what worked, and adjust for the next month as needed.

 

2.  Be realistic.

If you can only commit to posting once a week then do that.  Consistency really is key, your ability to be seen may be limited if the social platform you are on doesn't see you as active and reliable.  How often and when depends on your audience more than anything so experiment with it.  

 

3.  Use great images and videos.

They capture attention and most of us are far more likely to respond to a visual post than a post that is all text.  You can create fun graphics on sites like Canva & Word Swag for free.  Don't forget to brand them.

 

4.  Interact with other pages/accounts.

Comment on other pages content, share it when appropriate, and tag other pages in your post.  Engaging with other businesses in your community and in your niche will build relationships and put you in front of people that don't necessarily follow you, yet.  Be sure you are not "stealing" content or doing something that may make them feel taken advantage of, the point here is to build community and network.

 

5.  Start conversations

This may sound obvious, but it is one of the best ways to get more people to see your post.  The more comments you receive the more people the algorithm will show the post too because it will believe more people will enjoy it.  So post conversation starters, ask questions, and be sure to respond to comments on your post.  Whenever you can leave your comments open-ended to encourage more responses. 

 

6.  Polish your profile

Be sure your account page is visually pleasing and that all the available and relevant information is completed.  When someone new finds you on social media, they should know what you do, where you do it, and what your brand is about.  If the platform you are using has a bio or about section take full advantage of it.  Include information about your company but don't forget what you can do for them.  It is a good idea to use keywords and hashtags to improve search results too.  Each platform has slightly different best practices so I recommend checking that out before you update your profile.

 

7.  Consider your audience

When creating content be sure you are thinking about who you want to engage with it. If you are just selling something it is unlikely you will see a lot of engagement.  Does your content educate, entertain, or inspire your audience?  It may take you some time to determine what your audience will respond to so don't be afraid to experiment a little.

 

I hope that helps you boost your engagement but if you feel stuck, I would love to help you.  For a few years now my clients have asked me to provide social media help, in one form or another.  I have spent the last couple of years learning it so I could do just that so I am extremely excited to announce that I am now offering social media engagement management and social profile optimization.  Click here to learn more about the social media engagement management services that I offer.  I look forward to chatting with you soon.  Be sure to join my email list & follow my social media for more marketing and small business tips.

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(Samantha Markey Photography) business Denver how to boost social media improve enagement on social media marketing media Samantha Markey Photography social https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/6/social-media-management-that-captures-your-audience Fri, 05 Jun 2020 21:59:16 GMT
7 Tips for preparing for your family photoshoot. Less stress & more fun. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/5/7-tips-for-preparing-for-your-family-photoshoot-less-stress-more-fun seven tips for preparing for your family photoshoot

This is what photography is all about!  Capturing memories that you will never forget.  Whether your family makes a ritual of getting your photos have done annually or this is the first time in far too long, your family photos will be cherished by you and your loved ones.  I would suggest planning your session at least a couple of weeks before your planned photoshoot date. Leave a few decisions to the last day as possible.   

If you have not picked your photographer yet, do that soon.  I am sure there are outstanding photographers near you, find one you love and get on their schedule.  No matter how amazing our phones are nothing replaces the skill, knowledge, or style that a professional photographer brings to your portraits.  Sure I adore my family selfies, some are even framed in my office but a photographer can capture moments you can't, pose you to look your best, and provide creativity and skills you may not have.  Consider it an investment in your family because it is.  

What else makes your portraits great?  Your family!  None are like yours and that is why each detail is different for each of us. Keep in mind that every family and every session is different so be sure to speak with your photographer when making a plan for your session I have no doubt they would love to help.  

 

These tips will help you prepare for your family session and help reduce any stress that you may associate with family photos.


What to wear

This one is the most asked question and should be planned for sure.  You can never go wrong by selecting one or two coordinating colors to use when choosing outfits.  Here are some more things to consider:

  • Season.  Especially if you will be doing your photos in an outdoor location you need to be sure you consider your comfort level. Shooting in a studio?  Then you may have some flexibility. 

  • Theme. If you are planning to do a theme for your pictures then be sure to communicate that with your family and your photographer. Common themes like holidays, TV shows, & moment recreation may take a little more planning.

  • Consider your home decor.  Strange one I know but if your goal is to hang these photos on your wall (and it should be LOL) you may want the colors to blend well with your home.

  • What do you want the images to say about your family?  Fun and spunky, choose a bright accent color and bold accessories.  Elegant, soft fabrics and soft neutral colors work well.

  • Limit distracting patterns.  Strong prints can overpower the photo and distract the viewer from your family.  This also includes a slogan or logoed shirts.

  • Discuss accessories.  In some families the men tend to wear hats like an extension and seeing them without their hats may be weird.  For you wearing a hat may be a big no-no.  My husband often wants to wear his hate but I strongly encourage him to style his hair (which most of the time he does).  

  • Just don’t forget the accessories!  It is a great way to add personality and can also be used to create a connection without being too “matchy”  For example, let's say dad is wearing a black shirt with a salmon-colored cuff or tie, you may want to find a similar color pink dress for your daughter or scarf for mom.

  • If you still are not sure, consider picking classic looks that will be timeless.  Styles come and go but your family photos last forever.  

 

Location

There are some wonderful places around you to take photos and where you go can very well determine the feel of your images.  What type of images do you want to have?  Where you shoot often determines the backdrop for your pictures. You will want to consider the time of the day for lighting in that location too. A great photographer can shoot in a variety of locations and will likely have suggestions.  Here are some thoughts to take into consideration when deciding where you want to shoot.

  • In-studio - I think of these as classic family photos.  Like going to a department store to have your family photo taken.  That is not always true though so be sure you chat with your photographer about backgrounds, props, and editing options that they offer.

  • In your home- these are often journalistic and lifestyle time images that look mostly candid and capture your family in and around your home. 

  • In a park - a very popular choice for outside portraits because they often offer a few different backgrounds and tend to be easy for both the family and photographer to meet.  I look for locations with beautiful skylines, tall grass, brick walls, or other visually interesting elements like bridges.

  • Gardens and Museums - these may require permission but man do they offer some beautiful backdrop options!  If you have one in mind your photographer may know the rules already, it doesn't hurt to ask.

  • Libraries.  In both states that I have been a professional photographer the local libraries allowed me to come in with a family and shoot.  They did have a few small rules and asked that we let someone working know what we were doing, other than that they were very cool.  Libraries are a fun way to shoot young kids who like to go to storytime, seniors studying for the next big exam or just a unique backdrop that means something to your family.

  • Personal Locations.  Think about areas that are personal to you like the first place you met, favorite activities, or favorite ice cream spot.  These locations may just be fun & personal location to do your family shoot at.

 

Grooming

This is one that I say- YOU DO YOU! I want you all to look your best and that means you need to be comfortable.  That being said I have a few tips that you may want to consider.

  • Be sure to rest the night before.  This will help how you look and feel.

  • Haircuts. These should be done at least a week out unless you are confident in your hairdresser or barber.

  • Facial Hair. Ladies if you wax, shave, or pluck do it in advance, day of may not work out well for your skin. Men probably have this down but if you have a mustache or beard make sure it is trimmed and combed for the shoot.

  • Nails. no matter how you like to keep your nails be sure the day of the shoot they look great.  Clean, clipped and if you want fresh paint, just avoid the chipped worn look.

  • Makeup.  My recommendation is to keep your make-up natural in look and avoid trends that may date your photos.  If you don't normally wear make-up don't feel pressure start now.

 

Props

Some photographers love props and some don’t, personally I go through phases with them.  I think that props can add personality, capture trends in your family, or help you mark items with significance.  Props like blankets, chairs, and signs might even be practical.  On the other hand, less is more if you want to be sure not to distract from the point of the photos. Discuss props with your photographer beforehand, they might even have some you can use or suggestions on where to get what you want. Some prop ideas that I love:

  • Flowers

  • Your kiddos favorite toy/s

  • Blankets.

  • Signs, mostly for announcing things like new baby, engagement, or graduation but can be fun for many occasions.

  • Furniture.  I am a sucker for a high back chair or beautiful bench, especially when it is someplace it normally wouldn’t be.

 

Kids

Remember that your kids are just kids.  Hopefully, you chose a photographer who works well with kids.  Even if you did it is helpful to remind yourself of this too.  A toddler is unlikely to participate in a full photoshoot without needing a break every now and again.  That is a reason I recommend a full session when you have little ones, it gives you time to let them relax, have fun, and still get the images you want.  No one knows your kids as you do so when planning your shoot here are some tips to help.

  • Time of the day.  If your kids are younger, plan around nap time and eating habits.

  • Bring mess-free snacks and a drink that won’t stain clothes.

  • Get silly, what makes them laugh?  Share that with the photographer so she has an idea or two that will be sure to surprise and delight your little one.  

  • I am not above bribes.  You may be and that is ok too but if you offer a reward for good behavior it sometimes helps.  This info may be helpful to your photographer.  I have found if there is an ice cream trip planned for after the session, talking about it with them can help keep kiddos focused.

  • Playtime.  Your photographer will likely direct you into some situations to get good images and may even pose you specifically but if kiddos are getting bored and can’t seem to sit still it is ok to take a moment to play.   It is a fantastic way to keep kids involved, don’t be afraid to toss a little one into the air or twirl them around a little.  This may just get some adorable giggles and true smiles. 


 

Pets

In our home, our pet is a part of the family and we include them in our family pictures.  If you want some family photos with your pooch, kitty cat, or turtle (no judgment) I think it is a fantastic idea but recommend that you check with your photographer first.  Even if they are cool with it there may be restrictions at the shoot location or other concerns to discuss in advance.  Adding a pet can be a challenge but not as bad as you might think, here are some tips to help it go smoothly.

  • Exercise your pet before the session. You don’t want them to be exhausted however they will be more cooperative if they have burned off some excess energy first so they can focus.

  • Bring treats and toys.

  • Know their trigger words to make them perk up, for my pup, it is “Where’s daddy?”  but try not to overuse it.  The same can be said with squeaking their toys.

  • Consider your clothing color choices to be sure they coordinate with your pet's coloring.  Neutral colors tend to work well. 

  • What about pet accessories?  A collar, scarf, ribbon, or sweater that matches the family outfits will help your pet look the part.

  • Be mindful of your shoe choices, having a pet with you may bring attention to your feet because that is likely where they will be.

  • The magical lint roller is essential, especially if your bet tends to shed a lot, may not be necessary if you are bringing a turtle.

  • Don’t forget to groom them too, if needed. 

  • Bring an assistant.  If you have a friend that can mind the pet for shots that won't include them or if they don’t want to corporate it will make your life a lot easier.  They may also be a huge help to the photographer when trying to keep their attention on the camera.


 

Most Importantly

Smiles and family memories are the goals so as important as these photos are to you should do all you can to relax. Some of the best pictures I have ever captured of families have been the ones where someone was goofing off or refusing to cooperate.  I promise a photo session with the expectation that family members will act out of character rarely go smoothly.  So how do you get great photos when you have young kids, uncooperative teens, or camera shy adults?

  • Have fun!  Bring a fun family activity, like bikes, board games, books, and favorite toys.  This will help keep younger family members occupied and happy.  If your kiddos are not too young I suggest letting them help you plan this.  Getting them to buy into the planning of the session will make them want to be a part of it.

  • Attitude is everything and it starts with cheerful parents.  Often there is one parent that doesn’t really want to be there and one that feels like they are pulling teeth to get the images they want of the family. If you don’t want to be there think about your partner and how happy the pictures will make them.  Even if you are miserable, don’t show it, try to have fun.  If you want these images so bad but you are terrified that your family will not cooperate unless you force them, you run the chance of fighting with them, snapping orders, and getting very upset. Neither situation makes for family photos that you will love.  So have each other back, play to participate, and go with the flow.

  • Avoid the “cheese”  I don’t know where “CHEESE” came from but it doesn’t really help get real smiles.  I don’t know about you but I can normally tell when my kids were “cheesing” in a photo.  Despite knowing it I fall into that trap sometimes too so I did a little research and have found that words that end with “uh” do a much better job in producing a natural-looking smile.  Words like tapioca, mocha, and yoga, only one of those actually makes me smile for real but that's not the point.  The point is natural smiles, so if you find yourself saying “cheese” save it for crackers and try one of those words instead.  You might even try laughing out loud.  When one person laughs it can be contagious, even if it was fake. 


 

Do you have photos that you can get lost in? I absolutely love family portraits because I know that in the years to come they bring back real memories and cause spontaneous smiles. When I see a photo of my mom, who my heart aches for it brings me joy and my heart just melts whenever I see a picture of my babies when they were small.  Your family photos will be so much more than images they will be something you and your family will cherish for many years to come.

 

Have more questions?  That’s ok, comment below or contact me, I am very happy to help.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) family photo session family photoshoot family portraits how to plan for family photos kid friendly planning tips stress-free https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/5/7-tips-for-preparing-for-your-family-photoshoot-less-stress-more-fun Wed, 27 May 2020 16:38:37 GMT
Behind my lens is a story, it could be yours. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/behind-my-lens-is-a-story-it-could-be-yours Behind the lens, there is just me! Ok, so not an exciting story but I have a real passion for telling your story.  So I thought I should share just a small piece of mine.

You have heard the saying "A picture says a thousand words" right?  Well if you believe that then you understand why I love photography.  I can take one image and it will tell a beautiful story, to you and many others for many years to come. Call me cheesy, I do not mind, I believe there is pure joy to be found when looking back on old photographs and reminiscing about happy times, remembering past loved one or reliving a moment in time is priceless. This simple truth is the reason that I love photography so much.

It is also for that reason that I understand that all types of portraits are and should be personal. It is certainly personal to me. Becoming a photographer had never actually crossed my mind when I was planning my future but my love for photography had always been there. I just didn’t realize how deep that passion was until much later. In grade school, one of my most prized possession was my talking polaroid camera, yes it talked! What?! I know too cool. Ok, maybe I am a geek, I am good with it.

In high school, I had applied for the photography program but it was hard to get into, spots in the class were very limited and often went to people who worked on the school paper. Not getting into the class was no big deal at the time but looking back I sure wish I had pursued that a little harder.

It wasn’t until my husband purchased my first DSLR for me that I really started to feel a connection to photography. It was like a light bulb went on in one of the old cartoons and I was like “WOW” why didn’t I think about this before? Once I started to learn and grow as a photographer I found unexpected encouragement and support from friends, family & coworkers. I shared this passion with just a few people but before I knew it I was shooting weddings and capturing moments for people that I didn’t even know. I found it to be fun, creative and an amazing way to give to others.  

What a spectacular feeling to find your passion and have the support to pursue it. If only I could be brave enough to go after it.

When I first had the idea that I might like to pursue this as a full-time career I was working with a hotel company as a general manager, for which I wasn’t overly excited about it anymore. Even though it allowed me more time with my family then my previous VP of Operations position had it drained me. The part I did like about it was mentoring up and coming industry leaders and helping my team members to grow in whatever direction they wanted to go. The job was demanding and took a lot of my time. I was also trying to teach myself a new skill while balancing this demanding job and my family. I often felt selfish and considered giving it up. Despite the fact that it was not an easy journey it was fun and I loved it.

I also felt strongly that it is important for our kids to see me work hard to achieve my goals. I want them to know that the road may not always be straight or smooth and you may not be sure where it leads but it is ok to follow your dreams. This is something I had learned from my mom. She had passed away a few years before I started this journey but I recall how many dreams she had that she did not live to see through. I believe she would have, if only she had more time and so she became a driving force for me, to succeed. As a matter of fact, my ladybug logo is a nod to her and the love and support she always gave me.

When I first put myself out there as a professional photographer I was shooting a lot of genres: weddings, events, newborns, pre-school, school portraits, headshots, family, seniors even some food and architecture. I thought it was wonderful to be so diverse and it was. It was also a mass overload and often made it hard to focus my time, energy and self-education. I have, in recent years, tried to narrow my focus to one or two genres, which is harder than it sounds. Try answering questions like - “what moves you?” “where do you want this to take you?”. Some questions were easier to answer than others but one thing rang clear is that I want a quality of life that allows for family time and travel. I want to create a career that I don’t need a vacation from and yet affords me and my family that privilege.

After moving to Colorado I took a lot of time to decide if I wanted to continue with my photography and if so, in which direction. I knew that I could not keep going in all directions and expect to be successful or sane for that matter. This led me to the decision to focus my skills (and marketing) on weddings & events. Thinking that was my passion and if I was being honest with myself knowing that there is real money to be made in event photography.

It wasn’t long into 2019 however that I discovered that I enjoyed business photography and I found that I was not really pushing for events anymore. Now here I am offering amazing branding imagery and unique headshots that help my clients build their business, increase their visibility and boost their first impressions. And guess what, I am loving every moment of it. It may not appear to fall into the same personal passion as family for which I started this fantastic journey but I am prepared to disagree with anyone with says it isn’t personal. Business photography not only allows me to capture a part of your story but also helps you be successful and these are two things that I love to be a part of.

Capturing the moments that capture you is what I do.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand Samantha Markey Photography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/behind-my-lens-is-a-story-it-could-be-yours Fri, 24 Apr 2020 14:00:00 GMT
How to create your Marketing Plan in 10 Simple Steps https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/how-to-create-your-marketing-plan-in-10-simple-steps

Did you know I come from a background in the hospitality business?  One of the biggest projects we did every year was a marketing plan.  It had to be done before we did our budget for the following year.  I never felt it was a waste of time however it wasn’t until I transitioned from operations to sales that fully understood the power of a marketing plan.  Sure it helps you make a more insightful budget for the year but there is so much more to it than that. When done well a marketing plan can help you understand your target client, how you will reach them and who else is working to capture the same business.  It will also allow you to understand the impact of your efforts so you can make educated decisions on future initiatives.  Although marketing plans can vary depending on the industry, type of products or services, and the goals you want to achieve, there are certain essential elements that most plans include.  So here it is a marketing plan broken down into sections.  

#1 Summary and Introduction

This is just what it sounds like.  It should be a synopsis of what you have done, what you plan to do, and how you are going to get there.   Don’t overthink this.  It can be as simple as 2020 we plan to grow our revenue by 25% year over year and

# 2 Business Objectives

Your amazing marketing plan will help support your overall business strategy and goals. In order to reach this sort of alignment, whoever is doing your marketing, even if that is you must be clear on what these business objectives are and which aspects of them your marketing efforts can affect.

#3 Target Client

Many find this to be the hardest part but you cannot possibly market to EVERYONE.  Which makes knowing who your target client is to essential to your marketing plan.  You need to know who they are, what they like, where they work, how old they are.  Have no idea?  Take a look at your top 20 clients right now and look for similarities.  You can have more than one but armed with this information you can decide the best places to commit your time and money to. In many situations, it will also help you determine who your true competitors are.

 

# 4 Market Analysis

I recommend starting with a good SWOT analysis to get started this will let you know where you stand in your market compared to your competitors. In this section, you will take a close look at the factors that influence your marketing both internally and externally and make detailed notes on how you will address weakness and leverage your strengths

#5 Define Your Brand Messaging

This is a combination of your Brands Mission, Core Values and your Brand Essences.  This all combines with your name, tagline, and logo to create consistent messaging both written and visually.  The right messaging can help establish your brand's position in the market, make you stand out as different from your competitors, create value to your target client and build loyalty.  You should set some general messaging guidelines in your plan, this way you have a starting off point to create more specific messages for each campaign.

#6 Budget

You must know what you can spend on your marketing campaigns and how much money your company is willing to put into different types of marketing efforts. It is also a good idea to include an expected return on investment (ROI) to determine if they worked well or not.  You want to also consider costs like events, networking & photography.

 

Now we get into the meat of the plan and I recommend breaking it up into quarters and revisiting it each month/quarter and reevaluating were needed.

#7 Marketing Goals

The focus here is on how your marketing tasks will tie into the overall goals of the company.  For example, if an overall objective of a company is to increase if an overall objective of a company is to increase brand awareness through social media then the related marketing goal might be to get a certain amount of photoshoots scheduled around company events.

 

# 8 Strategies

Strategies are simply the steps you will take to reach your business goals.  So for example, if you're trying to get a certain amount of people to sign up for the online course, your strategy may be to introduce new clients to the course with personalized invites that highlight the course benefits that might benefit them

# 9 Tactics

These are the specific actions you will take to execute the strategies that you set. So, if you introduce new clients to the course with personalized invites, then one tactic you could use is sending out emails that address each new customer by name and let them know about some specific benefits that they can get, along with a link to easily sign up for the next course.

#10 Tracking and Evaluation

This section of your plan should include how you plan and track each type of marketing activity you are using. Simply put If you are not tracking and measuring your efforts then you are not marketing effectively.  Without a tracking system, you will never know if your efforts have paid off well or not, especially if you use more than one method, which I am sure you will.  What if you spend a couple of hundred dollars a year on some automation software and thousands of dollars a year on a local ad. If you don’t keep a record you may never realize that the ad is only bringing, you a small portion of your business where social media brings you at least half. 

 

I hope this helps you start your plan.  Still feeling a little overwhelmed but understand the importance?  CLICK HERE to download my Marketing Plan Template, join my community for more small business tips and keep up with me.

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand business content marketing marketing plan plan simple small https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/how-to-create-your-marketing-plan-in-10-simple-steps Wed, 15 Apr 2020 21:30:00 GMT
Not Alone Just Separated https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/not-alone-just-separated  

I know things are hard out there for most everyone, especially small business owners trying to stay above water and maybe even trying to keep their employees working.  I have been so inspired to see some amazing ideas and mind-blowing creativity that you are all doing to stay strong, inspire and hopefully get through this intact.  We are in this together so I thought I would do my part to share some stories that I have collected.  If you have an idea or story that you would like to be included please contact me, I would love to hear it.

 

 

I hope that these ideas from fellow small business owners motivate you, inspire you, and gives you hope.  Keep checking back because I plan to keep adding to this post.

 

Flora & Folly offer the Pretties Prank Ever!                                                                          
 

 

With things getting more and more serious I wanted to come up with something to brighten people’s day and literally, brighten their front doors!  I started by promoting it as an April Fools Day joke; calling it “the prettiest prank you’ll ever receive!”  Introducing.... the Flower Bomb!  I came up with different levels of the number of petals by naming them after different participants of a wedding 🤣 I went to the person’s house, left a note on the door saying “you’ve been flower bombed!  thank your friend ____ for this explosion of cheer and enjoy entering and exiting your front door like the queen you are”  And the best part of it all is that it’s socially distant compliant AND environmentally friendly.  Cleanup is optional as all the petals will biodegrade naturally!   And well, to my surprise and delight this little thing has caught on!  I’m now not just pulling “pranks” I’m also helping people celebrate birthdays and newborn babies!  I just got this amazing picture from someone I did a flower bomb for today!!

Find Flora & Folly on Facebook 

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Hi, I’m Darleen Cole Owner & Massage Therapist here at Essence Of Movement. Like everyone else I am working to find our “new normal”.  When the stay at home order was put into place for our area, We launched an online Yoga studio, in 4 days, offering 20 plus classes a week. We also put together a private Facebook group for our members and regular clients to keep in touch with us as a business, and with the community, they are used to seeing every day when they come in. I really see our clients having some fun posting and commenting with each other within the group. It really brings a smile to my face and I know for sure we are all in this together.

Our classes are being held via Zoom and they are live classes. Imperfections and all. They are not pre-recorded and the students can interact with each other as well as the instructor. This has had such a positive effect on our community. I receive emails and texts each day thanking us for staying open and helping to keep everyone sane with some much-needed yoga and friends. Some people have also found the online classes are a place they can try something new that they may have otherwise been intimated to do walking into a studio. We may even keep some online options available when the stay at home order is lifted.

I believe now more than ever people need to keep moving their bodies as well as a place to ground down mentally and either disconnect or recharge. Binge-watching Netflix will definitely take its toll on us physically and we plan to be there for them now and the future. 

We do plan to have some virtual happy hours soon and plan to launch a Yoga Bingo challenge in the upcoming weeks. 

 We can’t wait to get back into the studio, however, we are fully embracing this time for what it is and what we can do together.

We have a 2-week unlimited classes offer right now for $49.00.

 Click this link to learn all about how to join us online.

https://mailchi.mp/933ca9f76da5/eom-digital-yoga-get-down

 

 

 

Pitter Patter                                                                               Kanizzle. Tell your story

 

Pitter Patter Children's Boutique is a storefront on Main Street in downtown Louisville.   Yet right now you can find this lovely boutique online at www.pitterpattershop.com  She is shipping items purchased online and also taking phone calls for “porch pickups”. Learn more on their Facebook page!

A curated collection of baby and children's clothing, gifts, accessories, and gear. We specialize in clothing for newborns through size 8. Pitter Patter offers a gift registry and is the perfect destination for baby shower gifts.

pitterpattershop.com

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We started to make some inspirational and in some cases, humorous T-shirts and hoodies during the Shelter in Place.  It has helped us stay focused and positive while there are illnesses, chaos, and anxiety all around.  I read a blog by Ramina Wilkerson about being carriers of hope instead of fear and we are on board.  Our business may have come to a halt, but we will still be here when the virus has passed.

I hope everyone stays healthy and strong~

Sandy

Kanizzle: Tell Your Story  Check out their Facebook page for some great inspiration

 


 

 

 

 

               
 

 

My life has changed DRAMATICALLY since starting with Younique back in 2018. I discovered I could supplement our family income by doing something I LOVED and by sharing my love of Younique with others.

What I have discovered is that Younique is about MUCH MORE than just make-up and skin care. I have found my confidence, a passion I never knew existed and a Y-Family I can ALWAYS count on. I LOVE sharing the products, opportunity and my passion with other women around the world. What best is that I can work ANYWHERE - so during this trying time I can still work and reach out to those virtually.

I want to UPLIFT, EMPOWER and VALIDATE every woman and help them find their confidence in their own UNIQUENESS!

To order or view my products check out my LinkTree where you can find links to everything including my web page - Thanks again!

Learn more: https://linktr.ee/ashleighjohnson176


 

 

 

 

Share your story too.  email me to get more details smarkey@Samanthamarkeyphotography.com
 

 

 

Thanks so much for reading and supporting small business throughout this crazy time, and always.

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(Samantha Markey Photography) marketing plan small business we are in this together https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/not-alone-just-separated Sun, 12 Apr 2020 18:07:57 GMT
Gretchen with Lapham Law Firm: Through my Viewfinder https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/gretchen-with-lapham-law-firm-through-my-viewfinder Meet Gretchen

Gretchen is originally from Toledo, Ohio and as an east coast gal myself I cannot hold that against her.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband, Joe, through the Brighton Business Builders, a  group we have both been a part of for a couple of years now.  It is been wonderful getting to know her and recently the team at Lapham Law Firm.  The Team at Lapham Law Firm loves DenverMeet Joe and his team at Lapham Law We did a corporate team shoot not too long ago near their office in the RiNo district and I must say it was one of my favorites to date.   Not just because I love all the artwork down there but because Gretchen, Joe and the team are so welcoming and a lot of fun to be around.  Ok, maybe the burger and fries we enjoyed together after the shoot swayed my opinion a little but I don’t think so.

Professionally Gretchen works with Lapham Law Firm as the Relationship Manager.  As a personal injury law firm, she has been bridging relationships with medical professionals and other partners to establish connections for their clients since 2016.  I am told that she is known to randomly pop into offices with delicious treats, to make sure everyone knows that Lapham Law Firm cares about them and their patients. Now since I am not a medical partner, I have not witnessed this but I have seen her buying cookies at Crumbl in Brighton, CO and she insisted they were for some of her awesome partners so I am sure it is true.  She is after all one of the most honest people I know.  I can say that she regularly attends marketing events where she continues to educate people on the benefits of working with a dedicated, hardworking & caring team that strives to focus on the person in personal injury.

Joe and his team genuinely care about you so if you or a loved one find themselves in a position to need his services I am confident that you will get the best quality service from his firm.  In this video, Joe talks a little about what they do and you can see they really do put the person back into their Personal Injury Firm.  

She is an amazing mom so it is no surprise that she likes to volunteer at her boys’ school when time allows and considers her 6th Grade Outdoor Ed Chaperoning Experience as one of her favorite gigs. Something you may not know about Gretchen is she is an Advisory Board Member with MADD and a Board of Trustee with Anythink Libraries.   She is has showed her dedication and passion to both on many occasions to me and some of the groups we are in together.  I was so excited for her when she successfully fought her HOA to bring the first “Little Free Library” to her neighborhood in an effort to get more people reading books on a regular basis (most importantly her children!) It is adorable and worth a drive-by to see what she has in there at any given time.   

 

Gretchen fell in love with the mountains when she worked in Yellowstone National Park,  back during college.  Gretchen and Joe made the move to Colorado in 2003 and are thrilled to live in this beautiful state and raise their family. 

 

I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say how grateful I am that she is here, she has become a great friend and a true supporter.  As a matter of fact, her Kari and Darleen all helped me with a fun project that I hope to finish soon and share with you, so watch for that.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know more about Lapham Law Firm follow them on

Facebook or check out their Website.  

Contact them for more information on how they can help you.

Phone: (303) 815-1587
Address: 3377 Blake St Ste 110, Denver, CO 80205
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS: You can also check out the Little Free Library on Facebook

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) accident lawyer car accident denver denver colorado lawyer headshots personal brand photography personal injury law reunion colorado lawyer https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/gretchen-with-lapham-law-firm-through-my-viewfinder Fri, 10 Apr 2020 14:00:00 GMT
Do these things now and bounce back faster when this is over. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/do-these-things-now-and-bounce-back-faster-when-this-is-over  

Bounce back after this epademic faster by working on things things in your "down time"Don't let CORVID-19 get you down. Here are some ideas to help you overcome and rise up again.

Things you can do NOW that will help your business bounce back faster and maybe be better than ever before.

#weareinthistogether  Maybe you don't love hashtags but this is a good one, not just for small business owners but man can I relate to it.  I know it is hard right now, it is hard for everyone which means you are not alone, hence" we are in this together" hashtag, right?.  It also may feel like a good time to slow your roll, breathe in the solitude and wait this out. 

But is it? 

I am not doing that but to be fair slowing down doesn't often make me feel better. I prefer to take action, move forward to keep pushing.  So no surprise that I am using the extreme slow down to work on several things that I know will help me overcome this.  2020 may not be all I had hoped it would be so far but I sure won't let it beat me.  There are things you can do that will help you too, I am sure of it.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Create or revisit that MARKETING plan.
Based on my work in the small business community I think it is safe to say many of us small businesses do not take the time to really create a marketing plan but it could be the differences between success and failure.  Of course, if you don't really know the goals or the plan it could be reasoned that you didn't fail.  This is your plan for your business goals, how you will budget and how you can evaluate if you have reached the goals you set for your company.  If you don’t have one, you should and if you do, it may be time to look at it and be sure you don’t need to adjust it based on all that is happening in the world right now.  If you need a starting point CLICK HERE.

Design and schedule SOCIAL MEDIA posts for the next 30/60/90 days 
I feel like we talk about this so much because we know the power of social media marketing & I know that you know that consistency is key but we are all guilty (myself included) of inconsistency. Check out this blog post for more ideas on what to post.  Use my social media calendar or create your own but start thinking about what you want to say to your target market.  How do you want them to see you?  A good way to start is with a social media calendar, I made one and you can download it if you would like.  CLICK HERE  to subscribe to my email list and get your complimentary PDF copy.   There are a bunch of ways to create visuals but I have been using Canva the most.  It is user friendly and has a lot of great ideas. I suggest using your own images whenever possible. It adds to your story, looks more authentic and is far more relatable than a stock image.

Stop PROCRASTINATING and work on that project you keep meaning to complete.
I have this file folder holder in my office with all these pretty folders that house project ideas that I have or need to start.  I took the time to organize them and put some thoughts together but life happens and I just don't make time.  Now is a great time to make time. Now would be a good time to work on some personal projects too, like cleaning the garage, you know it needs it.  Just me?  Ok, but I am sure there are things that need to get done around the house.  It is spring after all so get some spring cleaning done, it may make you feel better.


Do some online TRAINING 
I am all about learning something new.  Consider industry-specific topics, marketing, and even personal subjects.  As a photographer I find a lot of value in the app CreativeLive, it has a lot of photography specific classes but there is also creative writing (think marketing), business topics and more that you may find helpful.   There are plenty of online learning tools out there.  Check with your local library website because sometimes they offer free access to Alison, Lisa Academy or Khan.  A friend also mentioned he is taking a completely free course through Yale University on Happiness, now that maybe one to look into.

OPTIMIZE your business profiles. 
I would start with sites like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites you are active on.  Now more than ever before your target clients online.  I mean what else do they have to do right now? Your social media profile is one of the most valuable marketing tools your business has. Maintaining these profiles is essential to reaching your prospective clients in our increasingly connected world. First, review your online profiles to make sure all information is correct.  Then go a step further and make them shine.  There are lots of ways to stand out consider adding video, updating profile pictures or taking advantage of features on the site you have never used before- for example, add some products or services to your Facebook page.  Ensure you are using engaging, authentic images that really show off who you are and what your brand stands for.  Now maybe a good time to ask previous clients for reviews too.

Build your email DATABASE
This is a big one.  How do you communicate with your clients about your business?  Email is still one of the most effective ways to ensure your people see the information.  Sure you have to get creative but newsletters are a great way to share news about your business, your email database can also be used for online add targeting, event invitations and more.  However, none of that stuff works if you don't have an email database to share it with.  So build that spreadsheet. 

Need more email addresses of people who actually interested in what you do?

A good way to get people to give you their email address is to give them something for it, I a mean we all like free things right so consider providing a downloadable e-book, a checklist, a simple HOW-TO PDF or another item you can create for download that your target client would want and will give you their email for.  Then you have to figure out how to get it to them, I use Mailchimp.


GIVE BACK to your community
Not only will it make you feel better it will help others so really I should have started with this one.  There are a lot of ways you can get out there and help in your community that doesn't cost money but hey that is always appreciated too.  I know here in Colorado they are asking for people to help in many different ways on the state and local government sites.  I am sure food & blood banks can use help too.  Even if you are no comfortable leaving the house right now there are ways you can help others in your community.  I found this great article on Operation Warms Website that has some fantastic ideas. CLICK HERE

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) & brand Business content CORVID-19 Denver downtime Marketing. Overcome Samantha Markey Photography Small https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/4/do-these-things-now-and-bounce-back-faster-when-this-is-over Mon, 06 Apr 2020 20:46:21 GMT
Here is something you have never heard of, or is it just me? https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/3/here-is-something-you-have-never-heard-of-or-is-it-just-me

Warning!  Reasonable. But highly flammable when triggered.

 


 

This is the warning Kari said to give about herself but it is hard to believe, or it would have been until I got to witness her “triggered” first hand when an incident occurred that made her stand up for a group she cares about.  Kari and I met through this group and she has become a client and friend.  She and her husband run a company called Colorado Geothermal Drilling.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to meet the Chief Idea Officer Colorado Geothermal Drilling you should.  She is a  Geothermal Gossiper, Serial Chips and Queso Addict, Airbnb Superhost and World’s Okayest Mom. Her words, not mine I am sure she is far better than ok in many things, I have met her kiddos.

She is pretty proud of that self-proclaimed crown though, as a matter of fact when I asked how she would explain what she does on a whole this is what she told me:

“I try to inflict a little humor into everything I do. I run a green renewable energy company with my husband, Dan. We have been installing geothermal loop fields for nearly 15 years. Before that, I worked in sports medicine as an athletic trainer at the University of Denver, Drake University, and Iowa State University. The 2 couldn’t be more different, however, I jumped at the chance to work alongside my husband and build our family-owned business together. We’ve learned so much along the way but we love installing energy-efficient, affordable geothermal systems for clients.

 I also own a cabin in the mountains and rent it out on VRBO and Airbnb. I love hearing people enjoy all the fantastic things Colorado has to offer while staying in our cozy cabin.

 My #1 job though is wrangling my 7,8, and 10-year-old kids to football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, camping, skiing, off-roading, and whatever else we can fit into this crazy life of ours. Work and life harmony are a constant goal of mine and help me maintain my World’s Okayest Mom crown. Don’t try to steal it! 

See told you.

She also told me that if she could recommend one thing to a friend it would be an induction stovetop.  

“Weird, right? Everyone raves about gas cooktops but I promise you an induction cooktop is just as awesome. Heats up fast, doesn’t create extra heat, in fact, you can place paper towels directly on the cooktop while cooking and they won’t burn. No open flame. Yet cleans up easy because the cooktop doesn’t get very hot. And they are efficient!”

Some Fun Facts for you

She hates gum

Favorite: Book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Movie: Sweet Home Alabama

Food:  Mexican! I said one but she continued. LOL: “And crab cakes. And Vietnamese food. And my amazing queso!”

She owns TWO Companies:  Colorado Geothermal Drilling and HGB Home Co.- The Selbu Ski Chalet

Somethings I know to be true is that she is fun-loving and helpful.  Just knowing her makes me want to know more about GeoThermal.  If you are reading this thinking,  “I don’t even know what that is”, don’t worry I had no clue when I met her.  Ok I hardly do now but you may be smarter than me. Check out their website to learn more about who they are and what they do.  http://www.cogeothermal.com/about-us/

Want to connect with Kari? You know you do, she is awesome! Kari with Colorado Geothermal Drilling

LinkedIn

Facebook 

CO Geo-Thermal Facebook Page


The Selbu Ski Chalet Facebook page   

Don’t take my word for it.  Connect with Kari on social media and you will see that she is all business except when she isn’t (which is often).       

It is my pleasure to get to know so many entrepreneurs and small business owners in my area, sharing their stories is just one way I hope to help them be successful.

 

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) business Chalet clients. Co. Colorado Drilling geothermal HGB Home Meet my owner Selbu Ski small superhost The https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/3/here-is-something-you-have-never-heard-of-or-is-it-just-me Mon, 23 Mar 2020 15:11:09 GMT
Six Visiual Content Ideas to boost your Social Media Engagement https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/3/six-visiual-content-ideas-to-boost-your-engagement Top Six types of visual content that create engagement When planning your marketing startegy make sur you include lots of visuals.

 

It is no secret that if your social media post doesn’t have a visual component it will get lost in your feed.  So it stands without question that if you want your business to get noticed, you need to create visual content.  

It is said that our brains process visuals 60,000x faster than text alone. Moreover, 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual.  Authentic eye-catching imagery is what makes people stop scrolling and pay attention. 

Visual connect increases message association, brand awareness, and engagement, not to mention enhance the overall design of your website.  Thus having a huge impact on your company.

There are many different types of visuals that help to tell your brand story and not all content is created equal.  So to help you get started with creating and using a visual content plan, I did a little research for you.  Here are the top 6 most effective types of visual content.

 

Engaging Videos 

If you want to really stand out video is the way!  Video posts attract three times the engagement than posts without video do. Similarly, the conversion rate for websites that use video is 4.8 percent, as opposed to 2.9 percent for those that don’t.

To achieve maximum ROI, marketers should publish videos on a regular schedule.  Yes, creating one video is certainly better than creating none you will see the best return if you create and release videos on a consistent basis.  YOu can do live videos on social media, create "How to's" for YouTube or just film a simple behind the scenes and share it.

 

Eye-Catching Photographs

Photos put a face to your business and create a personal connection with your audience.  93% of people say images are the #1 deciding factor when buying a product. Help your customers decide to buy with eye-catching photographs. Great ideas of what to photograph: You, “behind the scenes” of your company & team and of course your products and services in action.  Consider having a professional portrait session to create a visual content library that is personal and authentic.  Keep in mind that stock photos can be helpful and may even cost less but they don't tell your story and worst can be used by any and everybody. 

 

Inspiring Quotes

Quotes are highly shared over most social media platforms and they are very easy to create.  Be sure to pick quotes that reflect your business and appeal to your target audience. Bonus, add them to a photo that represents your company or service.

 

Informative Infographics

People love infographics. Infographics are shared and liked 3x more than other types of visual content. A good infographic compresses a lot of information into 1 medium. They are often loaded with pictures, texts, graphs, etc.  A great way to use one is as a way to simplify an entire article and give a clear idea about what the topic is about.  These can take a little bit of time to create but can be used again and again.

 

Branded Images

If you really want to capture your target audience and create a local fan group then, branded images and essential.  The most effective branded images should capture your business’s essence through color, composition, location, and personalization. When done correctly, this type of visual content can help increase your audience’s attention 67%.  

** Do you need more inspiration on how to use brand images?  Click here.

 

Data Visualization

You can easily lose a fans' attention with facts, figures, and statistics but this information is valuable to share.   Placing these numbers in a visual and all of a sudden it is interesting.  Data visualizations are a great way to showcase data in an easy to understand and interesting way. The more colorful & vibrant they are the better.

 

Your business deserves to have the best content marketing strategy. Photographs, quote cards, images, videos, infographics, and data visualizations are all great and effective ways to get your business noticed. Using professional & properly branded images will increase the success of your strategy.

 

If you have any questions about visual content or interested in creating your brand's very own image library people reach out to me!  I am a personal branding & corporate headshot photographer in Denver Colorado that would love to help your business grow its authentic connection to its clients.  Connect online today or call 303.619.4181

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) brand branding content engagement imagery increase marketing online personal visual https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2020/3/six-visiual-content-ideas-to-boost-your-engagement Wed, 18 Mar 2020 21:00:00 GMT
SMART Goals - how to reach your dreams with a real plan. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/smart-goals---how-to-reach-your-dreams-with-a-real-plan  

What is your big audacious goal for the new decade?  It is that time of the year when we create resolutions right? 

This year will be the year to top all years.  Which is why I am not doing resolutions I am focused on S.M.A.R.T. Goals.  I am on a mission to achieve some really big goals in 2020.  Bless my poor husband for putting up with my crazy because I know I can not do it without him, his support and a plan. 

It feels insane to say it out loud and even silly that I would put it in writing to share with you all but here is the thing I have learned, I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to but not if I am ashamed of it or in fear of what others will think.  So here goes, in 2020 my big hairy insane goal is to make enough money to not only take my very deserving family to Disney World for the holidays but also to buy a house and save enough money to quit my day job in early 2021.

I know it is a little hilarious but once you stop laughing at me, read on because it gets better.  I have put a lot of thought into it.  Yes, I know it is a stretch but we can do it.  I have drawn out a realistic budget for my side hustle, soon to be the main business, that will make all this possible.  It will not be easy but I will get there.  How, you ask?  With some motivation, dedication and a few good old fashion S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

I am sure you have heard of them. Here what it means:  Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Timely.  Basically it means that you make your goal a plan, otherwise, it is just a dream. 

A couple of years ago this was a part of my companies training and I found the process to be a little over the top but the point is that you are WRITING down a goal that has a very clear objective with realistic and important tasks that can be referenced for progress.  So for me to say I want to make enough money to quit my day job in 2021 is not a SMART goal but if I say.  I will make $60,000 so that my profit margin is enough to put $15000 in savings by March 2021 while still saving for Disney and a down payment on a house.  This is even better.  I have it broken down even further because let's face it my goal has three parts and is a lot to bite off in one SMART goal.  

So here is how you get started with yours. 

First decide on your goal, lose 20 pounds,  buy a house, grow an herb garden, whatever it is.  If it is a big one you may want to consider breaking it down into a couple of smaller goals.

Now write it down.  Click here if you want to use my SMART Goals mind map & worksheet.  Make sure that each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.  

Specific: This is an elementary level. Who, What, When be detailed.

Measurable: How will you track your progress? 

Achievable:  What steps will get you there?

Relevant:  Is this goal in line with your big goals?  Is this really what you want?  This is your WHY.

Timely:  When will you accomplish by?

 

 

 

So as an example I will use my first big audacious goal for 2020:

I want to buy a house by the end of the year. - Goal

 

I will buy a two-story, 3 plus bedroom home by September 2020 so we are in a home before I am self-employed. 

See how it says exactly what I want to do?

Now be sure to share it with others, post it in your office or set reminders on your phone.  A goal is just a dream without a plan and a plan is worthless without action.

Big or small you can use SMART goals to achieve any task.  

Start today.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) 2020 Goals make your dreams come true measurable plan resolutions Samantha Markey Photography SMART specific true https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/smart-goals---how-to-reach-your-dreams-with-a-real-plan Tue, 31 Dec 2019 16:51:41 GMT
How to look great in photos at the company party with these tips. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/look-great-in-the-company-party-pictures-with-these-tips

It is the season for holiday parties and you know what that means, pictures and lots of them.  If you are one of those people who love their photo taken and always seem to look good then this probably isn’t worth reading. But if you are like me, you might need a little support in the “what do I do with my hands?” department. 


Tis’ the season for company party photos

 

I never used to be camera shy, as a matter of fact years  ago (far to many to say out loud) I won Miss Photogenic in on of the pageants I was in.  No big deal, except it was all I ever one so I am pretty proud of it.  Funny now that I type that I think back to having that picture taken by mom moms friend who borrowed a “good” camera from a mother friend and we were in my moms living room, using the porch door and a curtain as a backdrop.  We did not have money for me to be in the pageant let alone pay for a quality headshot to enter with but it was required and I really wanted to do it.  Sorry way off topic there type point is, I used to love being on the opposite side of the camera but I sure have gotten comfortable behind it.  We all have our reasons, be them in our own head.  I don’t mind telling you that often times when ladies share their huge flaws with me I had not even noticed it until they pointed it out and many times not even after that.  I get the insecurities though because I have them too.  This year I am especially nervous about being in the pictures because I have gained more weight than I care to admit and my husbands company is hosting a roof top Christmas party. I know fancy right? 

 

I found this pretty sweet cocktail jumpsuit on Cyber Monday that I think I look good in and already have my jewelry picked out but I may not feel comfortable in anything I decide to wear.  I will share this little secret with you though.   I will practice at home in front of the mirror to find “my  good side” .  I often do  this with my smile for selfies.  

 

I can also follow some simple steps to look my best in the photos that I thought I would share with you too.  

 

 

  1. First start with your feet. Do not face the camera straight on, this is not a mug shot and if it is, none of these tips really matter. Instead, stand at an angle (for arguments sake I would say about a 45° angle and put your weight on your back foot.
  2. Posture is very important so be sure you pull your shoulders back and don’t slouch
  3. Put one shoulder toward the camera and then move your chin towards that shoulder. 
  4. Chin down. Not sure why we always lift our chins up so people are looking up our noses but we do. It doesn’t reduce the appearance of a double chin, if that is what you are thinking.   If anything it just draws the eye to it.  Instead do, what I like to call the turtle pop. Lift and push your chin forward then drop it back down. It will feel awkward but this is a good one. If you are really feeling it lean slightly towards the camera. 
  5. Position your arms and legs right will add shape not bulk. Try bending them to give them life. Bend your arms and hold them slightly away from your body. Bending your front knee will help you maintain the weight on your back leg.  
  6. Let but not least, where to put your hands.  On your hips is a great place because it gets your arms away from your body. I say do what feels most comfortable, for you, in you pockets, on your friends shoulder, in the air or holding a cocktail (or coffee).  I would avoid having them down at your side, as it adds bulk.

 

Also consider the pre party prep, hair makeup and what you wear will all help you feel more confident and that will show in the photos. The most important thing though is to be in the photos, do not hide o avoid them because you don’t like your smile these are fun and precious memories.  Which reminded me my last and maybe most valuable tip.....

 

SMILE.

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) company confident feel great holiday in Look party photos pictures https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/look-great-in-the-company-party-pictures-with-these-tips Wed, 04 Dec 2019 23:06:28 GMT
What impression is your profile picture making? https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/1/what-impression-is-your-profile-picture-making
 

When do you make a first impression?

In this world on online sales, online dating and online well….everything it is safe to say that the first impression a person has of you isn’t often made face to face.  

First impressions tend to have a huge impact on the future of a relationship both personally and professionally.  When you meet someone for the first time they are asking themselves two basic questions about you, “do you have good intentions?” and “are you competent?” If this is face to face you have time to prepare right? You dress right, make yourself look good and maybe even plan what to say.   We all do it. If you look at your LinkedIn profile picture or Facebook (insert any other online site you can think of; Instagram, Match.com) ect, how does it look? Does it display a “you” that you are proud of? Is it current?

The fix is easy really.  You need a professional headshot.  I know you don't want to hear this, being in front of the camera is not your thing and you hate the way photos of you come out. That is EXACTLY why you need a professional photographer to do it for you.  That phone in your hand takes pretty good photos, I know it does, I love mine too but a selfie isn't going to hack it. I have no doubt that one of your friends owns a big camera to take pictures of her vacation and would be willing to take photos of you and she might even have a good eye.  The thing is a pro will understand lighting and composition and can direct you into a pose that works for you so you look and feel your best.

For example

One of my first LinkedIn Profile pictures (Selfie)  vs. Now 

 

                    

Maybe you are thinking that a headshot really isn't that important to you because you do not own or run a business.  Sure business owners and executives need headshots and so do models & actors however headshots are not just about business. Let’s face it we could all use a great headshot for something, social media, dating, a blog, email signature, resumes, passports, and many more.  

Now that you think about it where are your first impressions really being made?

 

Learn more about how a headshot session with me could work wonders for you.  Click here to see more about how it all works and learn more about pricing.


 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) Business profile Denver Headshots LinkedIn Profile Samantha Markey Photography Social Profile https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2019/1/what-impression-is-your-profile-picture-making Tue, 01 Jan 2019 23:22:41 GMT
Holiday Portraits are a few of my favorite things. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2018/11/holiday-portraits-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things I love Christmas time.  Just the sight of twinkling lights and the idea of all the homemade goodies makes my heart smile.  It starts in September and I am like a little kid counting down the days until black Friday, not because I care about the shopping but because that is the day I am "allowed" to put up our tree. With out fail on the Friday after Thanksgiving I put up our tree, even if that is all I accomplish.  Last year we went to visit family for Thanksgiving but before we left I had everything pulled out so when we got home late Friday afternoon I could put up the tree and just bask in the joy of the lights bouncing off the walls. 

Receiving a Christmas card is one of the best things I get in the mail these days, well that and my amazon packages.  I normally decorate the front of our fridge with them and if yours has a photo, man it will likely stay there all year.  To me, it means so much when people take the time to send them.  Especially if you have your family portrait on there because I know how hectic it can be to get that portrait done.  Sure iphones take good pictures but not really card worthy portraits you want to sit on someone's fridge for a year (or more). 

Which is why I am freaking out a little because it is November and I have not event started the process of creating Christmas cards.  With our move to Brighton and getting settled-in time has gotten away from me.  Have you found yourself in that predicament too?  Well it isn't too late yet and I am really excited to have been able to set up space to offer holiday portraits this year.  

I have three wonderful holiday backdrops to choose from and a few simple, solid color backgrounds too.  I will be offering these studio style portraits at the Fairfield by Marriott in Brighton CO but availability is limited to November 28th to December 9th. If you prefer an on location session contact me today to discuss it in more detail.  Sessions completed by December 2nd have the best possible chance of having images for your Christmas cards on time so don't wait another moment to contact me.  You can email me at Samantha@samanthamarkeyphotography.com or click book now below to get to choose your package and reserve your time.

BOOK NOW!

$75.00 Little Snowman Package: (children Only) Includes One digital image of photographers choice. 

$125.00 Cookies and Cocoa Package:   30 Minute Session 5 high resolution digital downloads with print release.   Bonus $25.00 print credit.

 
$250.00 Ribbon & Bows Package:  45 minute session with your choice of 2 backgrounds.  Includes 10 high resolution digital downloads and a bonus $50.00 print credit.
 
$375.00 Jingle Bell Package:  60 minute session includes your choice of three backgrounds & 20 high resolution digital downloads.   Bonus $75.00 print credit.
 
 
 
 
Holiday Backdrops Available:
 
 
Beautiful bokeh Beautiful bokeh Beautiful bokeh
Don't you just love those backdrops, so much fun.
 
 
I would love to hear what your favorite things about the season are.
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(Samantha Markey Photography) family photography near me family pictures holiday pictures special event photography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2018/11/holiday-portraits-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things Fri, 16 Nov 2018 19:03:01 GMT
Nick N Head Shots and the power of improvisation. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2017/5/nick-n-head-shots A friend of mind called earlier this week and asked for headshots.  "Of Course!"  So we planned on Friday evening.  Last night I left work ready for a fun quick session.  Problem was I gave my husband my car with he garage door opener, which is where my extra equipment is.  Long story short I could not get to my backgrounds.  Oops.  Even bigger problem was my frined doesn't liv close by and he just happened to be in town so it wasn't an option to reschedule.  So we walked around the neighborhood and found a spot that seemed to work.  I like natural light so much better any way but I was worried that the time of day would make if diffecult.  We got outside just as we were losing the light, which you might be thinking, this is golden hour but I mean the sun is basically down hiding behind the trees and buildings and any moment it will be dark.  Not bad light but fleating. 

It may have been rushed but I was happy with the results.

 

 

 

 

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(Samantha Markey Photography) Denver Headshots Portraits Samantha Markey Photography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2017/5/nick-n-head-shots Sat, 13 May 2017 15:29:27 GMT
7 Reasons why you should do family portraits every year. https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2017/4/7-reasons-why-you-should-do-family-portraits-every-year

You should hire your photographer to do family portraits every year.  

  1. Kids grow up so fast. When you look back on your family photos you will be amazed at how fast they change.
  2. Everyone is in the photo, yes that means you too!  This is so important, all to often photos are just of the kids or the kids and one parent, don't be left out. 
  3. Your family deserves it. Don't your kids deserve to have these memories to pass on to their kids.  I mean honestly you deserve to have them, if your memory is anything like mine you will want them 20 years from now. 
  4. Let the Pro handle the details. Your photographer knows how to find the best light, great poses and how to make you little one smile, after all they do this all the time. 
  5. Bye bye blemishes- don't worry they can make those imperfections fade away. Professional edits will improve your smile and skin tone so you can look your very best.  
  6. Memories make the best gifts. Photos are great for your parents, yourself and long distance friends and family. Don't forget those Christmas cards, Mother's Day & Father's Day. So many options. 
  7. It's is FUN!!! Pick a great location or theme, be creative and just enjoy this moment. 
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(Samantha Markey Photography) 7 Reasons Why Family Portraits Samantha Markey Photography https://samanthamarkeyphotography.com/blog/2017/4/7-reasons-why-you-should-do-family-portraits-every-year Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:55:13 GMT