The Power of Visual Marketing…

Visual Marketing. I’ve been working on a project about the impact Images and Colors have on readers and more important on Marketing your goods or services. I don’t usually go straight to statistics, yet this time- the Stats are powerful. Did you know folks only recall 18-20% of what they Read? Followed by a whopping 600% recall of what they See! That’s the impact of Visual Marketing. If you have something to sell? Over 300% will make a purchase when Visual Images are combined with compelling Information when compared to Text only.

Okay, sit down a minute, take a sip of coffee., and listen up! We think we know these things yet, considering today’s world of Advertising and Online Sales. I personally believe those statistics are why Instagram is such a powerful platform for product or service based businesses. On that platform over 75% are more likely to read Content that’s combined with Images that evoke emotions. You know, I get it- We’re so busy following our dreams, we forget the boring things that make those dreams come true. Why? Because it takes time coming up with fresh content and compelling images.

Images that symbolize the Doorway to the Opportunity to present and sell your products or services. Or show someone their Potential. Tell someone what and why you’ve created your art, your online shop, your coaching services.

Whew that’s a lot of Math. And not just math, astonishing Information! So, I’ll make this short, so you can get maximum information with minimal effort. I’m almost finished with a 6 page list of My Favorite Styling Materials, Props and Images- I’ll let you know when it’s ready. Still.

Listen to this: There are certain images that Stop the Scroll, make you want to read what the content says. My top 4, (though certainly not all!) are contained in this post. If you’re a photographer, shoot these anytime you find them. If you’re not? Find compelling images like these. Free Stock Image sites abound. Start building a stable of Images you can build Content around. Images that evoke nostalgia, curiosity, calm and compelling. You have to decide what emotion you want to create. The images don’t even have to be related to your brand or product directly. Advertising Agencies have used this principle for years. You can do what the big brands do, with color, images and great content.

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. If you haven’t guessed by now- A bicycle creates nostalgia and movement. A cup or a whole stack of cups is a proven image to project warmth and comfort. Eggs always represent Potential, even comfort for food bloggers. A Door or two! Even a bit scuffed, is always perceived as Opportunity. That’s why they’ll always make my top 4 images. And, just an FYI- you can blend stock Images with your own images, like I’ve done here. 3 are Stock Images and one is mine- I’ll let you guess which one!

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

Unusual…

Unusual, that’s what snow is in my part of the world. Tornadoes aren’t. We take pictures of the aftermath of tornadoes, we take pictures of snow when we get it. Most of the ones I have were from 2017. And, I’ll admit- I just love to look at images of snow. Why? Because snow is unusual.

Unusual is something I was called as a child. I had a great aunt who would exclaim to my mother, ‘Isn’t she unusual?’ Referring to me. Every. Single. Time. She saw me. I didn’t like it then.

I came around to thinking ‘unusual’ isn’t such a bad thing after all. The South is full of unusual eccentric folks – we celebrate them even if they sit on the porch in a bathrobe howling to the moon. We might even join them. Why? Because they’re unusual – Memorable is what they are. Being unusual doesn’t have to mean you’re crazy- it could also mean being as unique as a snowflake.

Perhaps you have a gift or talent rarely seen, certainly unique. My mother told me my aunt was being complimentary. It didn’t feel like it then. Still. If you feel that you are out of the ordinary- do not fret about it. Embrace being unique, unusual – let your special gift shine. Be your own unique, original unusual self.

‘Do not fear being fabulous. Give the full measure of reverent abandon, humility and lavish joy- within your power to offer.’    Brenda Wyatt

That quote says it all. Shine your light.

Love y’all, Brenda

Businesses, Coaches and Creators: You still have time to plan February! Send me an email and I will send you our Free February Planning Guide! And, it will help you plan your content too!

Dare to be Simple…

‘Something to keep our Words afloat’… there’s nothing like a story and more to do just that! See that blue in the opening image? That color is very close to The Brand Color- so easily recognizable that it’s become known as- Tiffany Blue! The jeweler so famous that just a tiny Tiffany Blue box tied with white satin ribbon- portends an engagement ring! I worked for the fragrance division of @tiffanyandco – I often had to wear a suit of that same color with a Tiffany scarf and the rules were strict. Only white ribbon was to be used to adorn their packages with the exception of red ribbon during the holidays! Well, I once had a customer who bought the fragrance, I duly wrapped it per protocol- then he asked me if I would mind wrapping that package with a plain brown wrapper and twine because he wanted it to be a surprise!

Here’s the point, unless you have strong brand colors- famous in fact- natural wraps are your friend. I love natural wraps, they save time and money (you can use them all year round!) Yet, here’s the main reason- Natural wraps create nostalgia and we all know creating good memories of a simpler time is one of the best things you can do!

Think twine, muslin, brown paper bags and tags (stamped with a logo?) that’s a good starting point. I also love crisp cello wrap for almost anything. And honestly old fashioned wax paper uplevels even the simplest fare. That chocolate pecan pie? I wrapped it in parchment tied with natural twine. Somehow the pie seemed more homemade and more delightful!

Newsprint, paper doilies, shredded and tissue paper, butcher’s wrap and rolls of plain brown make a wonderful base or fillers. Spend your money on very nice ribbon- the contrast is often the perfect thing! As is a  well designed logo or label. A garden shop I worked for, very often wrapped plants or used folded down paper bags lined with a plastic bag to wrap everything from Forget Me Not’s to Orchids!

Create nostalgia. In fact, creativity and nostalgia aren’t new tools. Yet now, when having an online presence is a necessity- these tools have become even more important! Remember that creativity has been called the newest and best business hack with nostalgia running a close second!

Natural wraps not only save you money, are sustainable and best of all? They’re something to keep your words, your brand and your products afloat in these uncertain times. Be courageous- Dare to be Simple, instead of overdone.

Love y’all, Brenda

*Some of these suggestions are in my free February planning guide (send me an email at- brenda@camelliascottage.com to get yours! And! So exciting! I’m working on a ‘Supplies List’ coming soon!