I usually am not one to jump at being in front of a camera, so I was extremely nervous at the thought of being front and centre during a personal branding photoshoot. However, I know how important it is to be visible as the face behind a brand, and I was excited to have professional photos for my new website, LinkedIn and social media platforms.
Before the photo shoot, I took some time to pin inspo photos to a Pinterest board to get ideas for hair and makeup, outfits, props and posing. It was a great way to calm some of my nerves and know what to expect before the photoshoot.
Finding a location for the shoot was extremely easy! The Glasshouse Studios has several beautiful rooms that can fit any brand vision. Since I was looking for something bright and airy with more of a contemporary feel, I went with the Amalia studio.
When I arrived at the studio, I was immediately welcomed by the amazing photographer Josie Cipriano. We sat down and chatted for a few minutes while I waited to get the day started with hair and makeup. We took a small tour of the studio space so I had a chance to see where I would be getting my photos taken and to let me know what I should expect during the shoot.
Before getting any photos taken, I was lucky enough to get my hair and makeup done by Valeria Nova. Like I said, I’m not necessarily one that would be in front of the camera, so getting my hair and makeup done wasn’t something I was used to. Val took some time before starting to look at my Pinterest board and see what I had envisioned for my brand.
Once I changed into my first outfit and was ready to go, we started shooting the first set of photos. I knew that I wanted some looks to be more professional for me to use as I start my career in Public Relations and some to be more casual for my website branding.
I started feeling way more comfortable having my picture taken as the shoot went on. I loved having Josie’s advice on what outfits would look best and what poses would look most casual in photos.
Josie exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait to get the images back! With over 100 photos taken, I easily had content that I could use across all of my social media platforms and website for months. We took some photos with space for text to be included, professional headshots I could use for work and casual shots for Instagram!
– Rebecca Pilkey is a Junior PR Specialist with Pink Palm MarCom
Clubhouse is the newest social media app that everyone is talking about – but how can it be used to build your network?
The new app is an invite-only, voice-based platform that allows users to join live conversations with almost no topic off-limits. Clubhouse offers a space for users to network with industry experts and other members with similar interests.
When it comes to social media apps, most people immediately think of Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. These apps focus on users posting their thoughts or photos, while other users can then like and comment on these posts.
Clubhouse takes a different approach when it comes to how users communicate with each other. The app is designed to be similar to a podcast where users can share their thoughts using their own voices. Other users can then jump into the conversations in real-time, sharing their views and opinions.
Right now, the app is still in “beta testing mode,” which means users will have to secure an invite before they can attend any of the live chats. However, if you want to secure a username, you can still download the app, pick a username and get on the waitlist.
Getting Started on Clubhouse
You’ll want to start by setting up your profile after securing your invite.
Unlike other social media platforms, Clubhouse doesn’t limit the number of characters you use when writing your bio, so you can be as creative as you would like. Your bio will catch the attention of other users and will determine if they will want to connect with you.
Don’t forget to link your Twitter and Instagram to your account as well!
Before you jump into an active “room,” be sure to customize what you will see in your “hallway” by selecting topics from the “interests” page.
Clubhouse will use the interests you select to suggest rooms and people to follow based on your choices.
On the “interests” page, you will find several topics broken down into categories. These categories include wellness, identity, entertainment, and so many more. The topics you select will customize your “hallway” and find chats that fit your interests.
You don’t need to be picky with your selections since there is no limit to the number of topics you choose!
After personalizing your profile, you can head over to your “hallway” and check out the live “rooms” that fit into your interests.
If you are looking to find conversations happening at a later time, you can look at the calendar icon to add a chat to your schedule.
A room is essentially a seminar with speakers and a muted audience. As you enter a room, you will automatically be muted. However, you have the opportunity to ask a question by selecting the “raise hand” icon. Moderators will then be notified and can decide to unmute you.
All users in the platform have the opportunity to start their own conversations by creating a room.
Making a Meaningful Connection
After setting up your profile, selecting your interests and browsing through live rooms, it’s time to start building your network.
Making yourself visible is key to building your network on any platform, and Clubhouse is no different. While jumping into a room and being a member of the audience is a great way to learn from speakers, getting yourself involved in conversations allows people to get to know you.
Rooms are a great way to meet new friends and connect with new people around the world! Clubhouse has created an environment that allows for respectful debates, asking questions and open conversations between all users.
When you listen to a speaker, and they share something that sparks your interest, send them a direct message to let them know! This can be a great conversation starter and will help them remember you.
The best way to make yourself visible is by hosting a room. When you host a room, you are front and centre, sharing your own opinions on topics. Once you start sharing your opinion, listeners will connect with you on Clubhouse and your other linked platforms to send you direct messages.
If you are still unsure about starting your own room, start raising your hand during a live chat and insert yourself into the discussion. Whether you agree with another speaker or want to ask them a question, your comment may be a starting point for your new connections.
Is Clubhouse Right for You?
Like many other social media platforms, learning how to utilize its functions took time and getting used to in the beginning.
Clubhouse is still ironing out the edges with its most recent topic of discussion to find a way to keep its users safe from harassment and bullying. While the creators have built a platform that allows users to have open conversations, the lack of moderation control can be a cause for concern for some businesses.
While the app is still in its beginning stages and continues to evolve, Clubhouse serves as a great platform to build connections with those in your industry or who have similar interests to you. Ultimately, depending on your industry and individual goals, your experience on Clubhouse may vary from other users.
When used correctly, Clubhouse can help creators and brands to build a substantial audience. Overall, the ability to have direct conversations with a group of people from all walks of life directly impacts your network.
If you’re looking for a platform to have meaningful, real-time discussions, Clubhouse might be the right fit for you!
Don’t forget to secure your username while you wait on that coveted invite that will eventually come your way!
– Rebecca Pilkey is a Junior PR Specialist with Pink Palm MarCom
Pink Palm MarCom partnered with Sandals Resorts, the Barbados Tourism Authority and Live Virtual Vacation Experiences to bring a unique networking opportunity to local entrepreneurs.
On November 26, Durham Women’s Network zoomed to sunny Barbados for a special virtual lunch-hour networking session with Durham Region women for the last networking event of the year! It was a much-needed escape to end off 2020 and bring some warmth to the 70 participants on the livestream.
Interested in developing some powerful partnerships? Contact us!
Have you taken the time to evaluate the impact of your marketing and communications efforts? Do you know how many hours you are spending per week on these tasks? Do you have an inventory of your owned media channels and products? You should—your business’s reputation depends on it!
A communications audit can help you determine if you’re using the correct channels and key messages to reach your audience. It allows you to pivot your strategy to make sure your business has allocated the right resourcing to your marketing and communications efforts in this quickly changing environment.
An audit can take anywhere from a week to a month to complete, but once this inventory has been completed, you’ll be able to create a communications road map that will lead you to success.
COVID-19 has changed the landscape of business communications.
If you haven’t had an external communications agency or professional look at your marketing and communications strategy and activities—now is the right time. 2020 has been full of surprises and stresses for businesses. We currently exist in a new reality, as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses have had to shift their outreach and operations strategies just to stay afloat. Many businesses have had the ability to adapt quickly. But not all. Small businesses have faced significant hurdles.
It’s not always possible to adapt your operations quickly to the changing policies and regulations that have been implemented by local governments. Regulations may vary from province to province, and even region by region, so learning from others is not always feasible.
Whether you’re in the restaurant or funeral industry, you have likely been waiting for the next policy change and wondering how you will manage it. The good news is that in all this change the one thing you can take control of is how your business communications are operating.
Technology is changing faster than ever.
Are you using the right communications channels to reach your customers? It’s not necessary to be active on all social media channels to be successful, but it is crucial to know how to reach your audience. You don’t need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok; you need to focus on where your customers are and build a strong network there.
If your business strategy has shifted during the pandemic, and you haven’t adapted your marketing and communications approach, you’re not reaching the right audience with the right messaging. If that’s the case, it’s time to realign your strategy and communications tactics so that you can be a step ahead of the game.
In this case, a communications audit can help you determine if your efforts are paying off for your business. It will ultimately help you to shape a marketing and communications strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive, leaving more time for you to focus on what you do best—run the business.
Is your message still relevant in today’s COVID-19 environment?
Are you still communicating the same message from your pre-COVID-19 days? Does it mean anything to your customers? Have your client needs changed?
It’s time to look at reorganizing your key messages and approach to marketing your products or services so that you can reconnect with your clients and their needs. Your world has changed and so has theirs. How does your marketing and communications strategy align with this new approach? Are you connecting with your audience during this difficult time?
Identifying the gaps in your approach to advertising, social media and online communications can help you prioritize what steps you need to take to reach your clients. Perhaps you used to send out your weekly e-newsletter on a Tuesday morning to reach your clients on their commute. Is that still the best way to reach them? An audit will help you understand where there’s room for improvement, and what to keep operating as is.
A communications audit is an investment of time and money—but it’s worth it!
You can successfully pivot your business communications during this unprecedented time by investing time and money in a communications audit.
Examining your business marketing and communications practices will provide a clear look at your outreach channels, the timing and strategies that you’re employing and why. It will allow you to see what’s missing, and what you’re focusing too much on, or not enough.
Communications is about making connections. Establishing partnerships. Leveraging knowledge and stories to create bonds with clients. Quickly changing courses when the landscape changes. The one thing we have learned from 2020 is that we need to be ready for change. Are you?