9 Principles of Design…

I developed 9 Principles of Design that work for me. They all work hard for you, especially with Visual Marketing.  My Mimi was a florist and my mother dabbled in art and interior design. With that background  and some good training while working in retail, these elements were always present and I hope will serve you well.

  1. Light is always going to be the first principle. It’s that shimmering glimmer of you, the energy that makes you and your designs sparkle.
  2. Color  Which colors you choose tells me a whole lot about You.  Vibrant or calm. Passionate or serene. You see what I mean, that bright house with vibrant flowers says something…it’s hard to believe dreary folks live there!
  3. Texture. Don’t get me started on Texture…it’s been said by fine artists and designers to be one of their favorite ways to add warmth, patina and age.
  4. Mood. Mood has to be there- whether it’s a moody Angel or a whimsical sketch. Mood sets that stage without one written word.
  5. Perspective. Whether it’s peering through a window or painting a landscape- good perspective is a must have! That view is charming to me…
  6. Balance. Ahh, balance. Ok, those cookies aren’t perfectly balanced, yet they’re a good example of balance, color, light, texture and mood. I’ll admit to being so happy I ate quite a few.
  7. Shape. I could say- Shape and Form– because they are always pleasing to the eye. Beautifully shaped Eggs, rounded nest- all in the boundary of a square- yes, it pleases my eye.
  8. Time. A sense of Time needs to be part of design. Something is either bright and new or has the patina of age- history if you will. A blend in your designs is what I seek in a well designed marketing plan. It’s a blend of timelessness- daylight or nightfall- yes, give almost anything Time and it looks good.
  9. Negative Space. Though certainly not last in importance- negative space is an oft neglected art. Did you know in Retail Stores- you can always predict the Value and Price by whether things are jammed and jumbled in (low priced) and then there are high end goods which take up more real estate on a display wall or case (yes, high end- higher price). Space is the easiest upgrade- a big clean out makes a room spacious. Adding Negative Space into your displays, your social media grids, your art, writing and more…uplevels all you do!

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. Happy Easter! and… If you need help with writing content for April, or could use a few tips- our Free April Planning Guide is there for you! Just email me at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

Curb Appeal…

Curb Appeal. Spring seems the perfect time to think about it. Realtors agree that Curb Appeal is the great Attitude Adjuster.  3 Seconds is all it takes to form an opinion or create an impression. It’s interesting that the same 3 Second Rule applies to Social Media, Blogs or Websites. Visual Impressions are everything. Those Pink Blossoms and the Black Door would draw me in. I worked for a beautiful Garden Shop, Most of workdays I was responsible for getting the shop open- with the most important job being- a well swept, clean entrance with a focus on the door. Clean Windows, our most beautiful plants, trimmed and watered and the sign put outside.

Did you know that a clear Landing Page, like an Open Gate invites visitors to look around your site? There needs to be a balance between the Shelter and Open Spaces. The places where visitors gather and the secure shelter where the living or business is done.  A clean welcome entrance, made attractive with green living things adds to the experience whether it’s upscale or an humble place.

Inspiration is also an essential element to- well, almost anything. Approachable, warm, inviting. Uncluttered. Now that’s a word for you- Uncluttered, is your site loaded with pop up sign up boxes that detract from what your message is? Are there ads about a ‘fatty liver’ right in between your glorious recipe, scrumptious floral designs, gorgeous artwork? Is anyone but me bothered by these things?

I’m not looking for perfect, just extra good.. Give me one fabulous, well maintained feature, like that Window Box. Give me a measure of simplicity. Even if the site has more formal structures- well kept, clean swept means even more.

Ahh yes, Curb Appeal. For homes, businesses, websites and social media: There’s no doubt, Curb Appeal = Attitude Adjustment. Visitors will be more interested, inspired even excited to enter your site wherever you are!

Welcome Spring! It’s a great time to get out and look around… I’m thankful and glad you stopped by and stayed awhile.

Love y’all, Brenda

A big P.S.

The April Planning Guide is ready- it’s free and April sure looks like fun! All you have to do is send me an email at- brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

A Fresh Start with Coaching Sessions and more…

What’s behind the Green Door? It’s what we’ve been up to, a Fresh Start for Spring! Since January, I’ve been doing Free Planning Guides for Product or Service based Businesses. Dozens have requested those and April’s Guide is almost ready…

I’m putting the finishing touches on my Favorite Images and Props- stay tuned, you won’t want to miss that! Most exciting of all is- My New 1-2-1 coaching sessions which starts with a short questionnaire, that includes your favorite colors for a bit of Color Mapping of your personality.

Then, a free scheduled call- for those who qualify. I’d love to hear your story and isn’t that what we all want? To be seen and heard… You’ll take me inside the world, your work, your struggles, your dreams. After that it’s up to you- we’ll set up a coaching session- to help you get clarity for your next steps toward your ultimate Big Idea. Added in for those who do Instagram and who isn’t doing that? if you’re in business, you really need to be. Find me @brendawyatt_

We’ll talk about upleveling your IG grid because really it’s a virtual Shop Window for the world of online shoppers to see… and of course there’s more tailored to your own business needs.

You decide if one session is enough or if you need more than one. No obligation, no pressure. What I hope to help you see is that – ‘You don’t have to have everything to get to where you want to go’ just a tweak here and there might be all it takes to get your thoughts organized, decide o first steps and before you know it- You’ll have your own Fresh Start to Spring!

Send an email to me at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com for the free planning guides, the free ‘Let’s see if we’re a good fit’ questionnaire or schedule a call. ( A few criteria need to be met because time is limited.) OR  If you’re on Instagram @brendawyatt_ just send a DM there. We adding much more ‘Straight from the Heart Business Smarts’ there, with information on IG about 3 times per week.

A huge thank you to those who’ve already signed up, to those who participated in the research for what works and what doesn’t- shared your hopes and dreams, to help wherever I can. ‘Tell me Your Story’, is an amazing thing! We’re already scheduled for most of March, thank you!

And a massive Thank You to those who’ve encouraged me to begin this new venture- my own Fresh Start to Spring!

Love y’all, Brenda

Tools of the Trade….

Tools of the Trade.. I enjoy gardening. In an effort to clear out a little tool shed, actually it’s a garden shed that tends to be a catchall. Anyway, I always tend to think of the forks, pots, spades, seed packets and potting soil as the Tools of the Trade. When actually without the Skills to go with those Tools…a good garden may never get made. The definition of the phrase- Tools of the Trade is a combination of instruments and skills you need to succeed.

Never discount the value of a good plan. Before you ever plant a seed, much less plot a garden…you have to have a good cleanup and clear out. Then.. figure out what went right and what definitely didn’t. Prune the dead wood. Cut out diseased plants. Don’t dare put that into your compost pile! Let’s just say, Experience is the Best Teacher. Are you getting the picture?  A plan, organizing, good soil, select seeds. With all of that? ‘Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.’ Will Rogers was right.

There are skills I have and others I don’t. There’s no shame in asking for help. In a garden, a home or a business…don’t just sit there, ask for help. Be willing to learn something new. No one has all the answers. If you’ve been told ‘Knowledge is Power.’ That’s only true if you put what you know if you put Action with it. You could be sitting on an Acre of Diamonds, have the Right Tools and still get run over if you just sit there.

In the last week, I have spoken to 3 entrepreneurs through our ‘Let’s See if We’re a Good Fit’ Sessions. All 3 have unbelievable talents and better yet- they want to succeed. They’ll add to their Tools of the Trade. I salute them for it!

I definitely owe a huge thanks to those who’ve added to my knowledge and made it easier to act, who have the experience to back up their own success and inspired me not to just sit there. They continue to be a resource for me to work smarter to achieve better results. They’ve coached me (yes, even coaches need coaches!) And, they’ve added to my Tools of the Trade.

I am sharing some of my tools of the trade in marketing products or services with you, through our free One on One Session- I’ll send you a questionnaire, do a bit of color mapping of your personality, you’ll tell me your story and where you are on your path and where you hope to go. Then if you choose to add on a Coaching Session- we can talk about that! I’m just an email away.  brenda@camelliascottage.com As we start a new season- great success on whatever you’re cultivating. If you need help, ask for it. Invest in yourself. Tell your story wherever you are on your path, I’d love to hear it. Get organized, gather up those Tools, get help with the heavylifting, before you know it- Things will be up and Growing! All the best.

Love y’all, Brenda

Growth. Everyone wants it…

Growth. Everyone wants it, mentally, in knowledge, spiritually, financially, growing a garden and also in personal growth. Yes, growth is greatly desired though to get real growth- you must have a basic curiosity about life and what others are doing to achieve these wonderful things.  In terms of business growth, especially now that business demands a virtual presence. So, whether it’s growing a blog or social media accounts, you must understand this:. Real growth isn’t all about your site. It’s about building a community. Finding out what folks need, where they’re willing to spend their time or money- that definitely means knowing what you are able to offer others. So! What I see is lots of folks trying almost desperately to build an email list, growing social media accounts to massive numbers- so that they can be considered ‘influencers’.  Still. You must know this- Growing just for the sake of numbers should never be the main goal.

On the other hand, just putting your beautiful writing, recipes, advice, gardening tips or photography out there and expecting folks to find you is as unrealistic as opening up a shop on the far side of nowhere and expecting the crowds to just walk in! It’s unrealistic. You must grow..

Last year, using the same principles I’ve used to grow this blog, I tried using them on other forms of social media and the effort produced an increase of almost 1000 followers on just one platform. Before I began, I sat down and made a list of how much time and how much I was willing to do on a regular basis. Not only did I see growth, I found some amazing folks in the process.  So, here’s what I try to do, I call this my Rule of Four for Growth:

  1. Leave a ‘like’ and comment on at least 4 accounts I already follow. I no longer think that just leaving a ‘like’ is quite enough to qualify as ‘engagement’ which is what social media platforms keep data on, and it must be said- those platforms ‘like’ engagement!
  2. Follow no more than 4 hashtags at a time. (Change these up every few months) Hashtags are wonderful places to find folks with common interests or even those who may need your services. I try to leave comments on ‘recent’ posts in the hashtags- not the Top Posts because those are generally very large accounts who probably won’t engage with you or follow you back. And.. I tell the folks I comment on their posts which hashtag I found them on- because we all want to know if the hashtag is working, right?
  3. On Instagram there is a place for Stories- these are a fascinating look into the accounts I already follow. This is a chance to engage by direct message- much like on the ‘comment section’ on a blog post. I leave an emoji or a comment in 4 Stories. *If someone messages you – for heaven’s sake! Respond in kind! This is true engagement, again- that’s what social media platforms like!
  4. Find 4 small accounts you like and aren’t currently following- hashtags are a great place for this! And remember everyone starts somewhere . Like and leave a nice comment- gently introduce yourself and let them know where you found them. *Please don’t confine yourself to one age, type or category.

Diversity is far more fun- you will learn about other cultures, other possibilities and believe me it’s fun to get messages from around your country or around the world. I personally think that a problem with social media is that we spend too much time in our ‘tribe’ and not enough time having curiosity about other folks- and I mean that in the nicest way possible! I’ve learned about seafood on Vancouver Island, skincare from Singapore, fashion design in Australia and aren’t those British gardeners amazing? Yes..

Do the first 3 daily – more than if you have time. Do all 4 if time permits- after I post I try to spend about 15 minutes doing my Four Rules for Growth. Go ahead and make yourself sociable- and watch your account grow! And if you’re concerned… here’s my safety rule- Set controls- you know who the kooks are- my settings are on PG only.

Now, I have a little announcement to make- I currently am accepting a few  folks for my new Mentoring Program! The first ‘Let’s See if We’re a Good Fit’ session is Free! More details to follow- we’re excited that even though our launch date was March 1, we already have all the slots full this week. So, if you’re interested- leave me a message and I’ll tell you how it works. In the meantime…

Love y’all, Brenda

And a big PS- The March Planning Guide for retail  or content posts is ready and it’s Free again this month. Send an email to: brenda@camelliascottage.com  We’ll be happy to send it to you!