I feel privileged to be living in the North-East of England just now, as there is currently a lot of training available to small business owners like myself. I wrote recently about my video course (here) and I have previously profiled both Michelle Rose (here) and Nicola Jayne Little (here) who are trainers specifically targeting small businesses and both of whom have greatly influenced my thinking about how to organise and market Amanda Jane Textiles.
Last week I was at Hardwick Hall for the ‘Big Social Media Show’ organised by Digital Durham, with Business Durham, with funding from the European Union.
Some participants were sole traders (like me) and others worked for the marketing departments of larger enterprises.
The first session was led by Pascal Fintoni (who taught the video masterclass mentioned above). He reported on the plans Facebook has for the future and emphasised to us the current focus within Facebook on groups and communities.. He also pointed to a future in which virtual reality will become increasingly important, including (potentially) avatars which will look almost exactly like us – a rather alarming thought, perhaps?
It’s true that you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’ when you start a new business and learning to use social media effectively has been a complex and interesting journey for me. This was a very full day including sessions on possible future development of social media, using Facebook advertising, creating and selling to a Facebook group, maximising LinkedIn for business and using Twitter.
I can’t tell you all about it (you had to be there!), but one interesting session led by Nicola was about using ‘Canva’ to promote a consistent brand image.* Nicola demonstrated how she created posts for Facebook using a Canva template, but aligning exactly with her brand image (including typeface and colours) every time.
Nicola has a knack of explaining clearly and making things look easy. (She’s an encouraging trainer: you can see her below in her ‘Facebook groups’ session – her own Facebook group #dodigital has 1,500 members.)
I am very active on Pinterest and I have been wanting to create my own pins in addition to pinning items that I have seen on the internet. I sat down at my desk as soon as I got back from the training day to create a pin with Canva.
Canva provides a standard template for me to make a pin, like the one below. I have now made four of my own. One of the many hints, tips and pieces of advice picked up at ‘The Big Social Media Show.
You can see my Pinterest boards here
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This is my ‘Cycling for clowns and acrobats’ fabric design. You can find it here.