Don’t Wait until it’s Perfect..

Don’t Wait until it’s Perfect, just get Started. This is a quote I wrote as a reminder to myself. Am I a perfectionist? I don’t think so, yet when I’m writing I want to express myself in a way that serves the reader and not myself. That’s always been true, no matter the subject.

Do I have bouts of procrastination? Yep that happens. Am I anxious about things? Yep, that too.

Okay- here’s what happened recently. I had set a goal, a deadline also. I needed to add some new segments to my online course- Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing. https://camellia-s-cottage- blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

It was in the Launch Phase and had had wonderful reviews and good results- I wanted it to be better, more informative. I had done the work. Still. I wasn’t going to meet the deadline or the goal. It wasn’t perfect. My timing was awful it seemed to me.

After stewing about it. I regrouped and thought- ‘Well, I could add all of these Pro Tips and put them into a Free Masterclass‘- which I have done. I still missed my deadline on that project too.

Let’s just say, I’m still tech challenged! Does that matter? Maybe. Who knows? What really matters is..

  • That it Serves Folks and helps them with what they post and how.
  • That it’s helpful to the ones who need to uplevel the looks of what they post.
  • That it helps folks learn a few things about Writing Content.
  • That learn an easier way to share their Values in ways that aren’t offensive.
  • That they learn a few Easier Ways to Market (sell) their products and services.
  • And more…

So, even though it wouldn’t be perfect or meet the deadline- it Would be a Way to Serve. And, I decided early on- that I would offer it Free. Yes, that’s right. Free.

2023 isn’t going to be a Year when we want to do fancy stuff- it’s Back to Basics Time. Money may be tight for those who Offer Products and Services. It’s going to be a Year when we all feel like Beginner’s again or Even Dreamers. I love those folks. I hope to Serve them. I hope to Motivate them too. In fact, those are my ‘Words of the Year’ for my community. Motivate and Serve.

So- I decided Voltaire is Right- ‘Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.’ I hope you will too.

If we wait until it’s all Perfect? There may be people who need what we have. Need what we have to Write or Say. Think of those folks. Decide right now, that it’s less important that we are Heard and far more important that we make them know they are Heard.

That in our Listening- We make them Feel that we can be part of their Solution rather than sitting on our hands, our words, our solutions and waiting for Perfection. We decided to Motivate and Serve.

Love y’all, Brenda.

PS the Pro Tips Masterclass is Live! And yes, it’s Free! It will take about an hour to watch or you can stop and resume as you have time!

If you’d like to see what it’s all about, here’s the link for Be Unforgettable Pro Tip Masterclass:https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/sales-page and no, it’s probably not perfect, but that’s ok too! All the best in the New Year!

Could We Talk about Product Shots?

No matter what you sell, you need Images to use in your Marketing. Just as we ‘eat with our eyes’ first, we also are drawn in and ‘buy with our eyes’ as well. To be unforgettable, the Props you use taking your own photography or the Images you find, it’s generally best to use Natural light and surroundings, a bit of Nostalgia, which you’ll learn to arrange in a New and Different way.

Your Images actually begin to tell the Story before you even write a word. For instance, I think Eggs are so photogenic. For the Coach, an image of Eggs starts the story with- Hope, Possibilities or Potential. For the gardener, a twining Vine might signal Growth, Reaching for Light or Support.

So! Let’s talk about Product Shots!

Product shots are different for websites, e-commerce, Etsy shops and more! Are Product Shots boring? They don’t have to be, just remember: The whole purpose of product shots is to show off your products! The photos draw folks in and the body of the description can be short. A few things never change:

  • Product Shots should always align with your Brand. Check out brands you love and are similar to yours for reference.
  • Product Shots should have simple backgrounds- white, gray and black are typical, depending on the colors of your products.
  • Always use Simple Props that convey the use, season or to add color, even nostalgia.
  • The lighting you use for Product shots is generally brighter. *there is lots of information out there about how to do this.
  • Try to use a simple but interesting arrangement for your Product Shots.
  • What you add matters. Is the photograph Relevant? Does it Show off the to its Best Advantage?
  • inspiration.

Pro Tips: Product Shots are and should be different. That doesn’t have to be boring or just the product on a piece of foam core board. The background needs to be simple enough not to overwhelm the product. It’s Okay to do different Angles. Don’t just use flatlay photography for product shots. And remember this: It’s Not Okay for your product to look wrinkled or messy, or just flat without a bit of sprucing up. If the product needs a bit of sprucing up? Think about adding Color- a few flowers or natural materials usually work. Just make sure whatever you do gives clues, is on brand and is relevant to the product. Keep your website and shopping sites easy to navigate, lots of white space, easy to read description and Pricing. Product shots really do sell your products! It’s a big part of Visual Marketing! And don’t forget: Product Shots might not always ‘work’ on your social media sites, so take multiple types of photos, some for social media and some more for product shots! All the best!

*PS If you are already going through my course- an expanded version of Product Shots has been added to the course!

Love y’all, Brenda

‘Creator – ‘Be Unforgettable’ online marketing course https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

Everyday won’t be Your Favorite Day…

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Hello!

I hope your week is going well! Can you feel the shift in seasons yet? When the temperature dips a few degrees, I think- Oh, it’s almost here!’ Fall is one of my favorite seasons. So is Spring. Yet, not every day of those seasons turns out to my ‘Favorite Day’. I read an article in Inc. com by Joe Procopio entitled ‘This is What Startup Burnout Looks Like’

Am I Burnt Out, no, I’m not, yet I have experienced these things. What Joe talked about was profound and true. He said:

It had stopped being fun a while ago… Not Everyday is Going to Be Your Favorite.’ Joe Procopio

If you have a business or are dreaming of one. This will always be true. Mr. Procopio continued his story. One thing he said made so much sense.

‘After every success, big or small, in business or otherwise, there’s an immediate period of letdown equal in proportion to the magnitude of the work it took to get there.’ Joe Procopio (emphasis is mine)

It took a year to create my online course– even though folks ‘who knew’ said it would only take 90 days! Nope. I had to learn more technology than I ever thought it would take. I’m a Plodder when it comes to something I believe in! And believe in my course? I certainly do! I also know my ‘Why’. I love small businesses, artists and creatives. With 30+ years in Retail, doing everything from running my own shop, selling at wholesale, working with trunk shows and with large corporate stores in fashion, fragrance and even Home and Garden Shops- I Knew I had Knowledge to share.

Then, came launch time… the success of an actual finished course was followed by the dread of getting it off the ground. I had a plan. And the plans couldn’t begin until I started posting about the Course! I am thrilled some folks agreed to become Founding Members and the first ones through were testers. Incredibly helpful people, I’ll be forever grateful to them! For the time they’ve taken and tips they’ve given me to make it even better going forward. Still, that part was harder than I had expected. Why? Because, I had focused so long and hard to get it written, videoed, uploaded and the framework it takes to develop an online course- when it was done? It felt sort of like a letdown.

And, this- We count the cost of doing business in terms of the outlay of cash it takes to do business. That’s a Known. What is almost never counted in the cost is the mindset, the emotions, the errors, the commitment, the underlying feeling of doubt- even the ‘heart and soul’ it takes to keep things going. Truth? That’s part of the real Cost of doing business.

What about you?

  • Have you created a painting, a piece of jewelry, a course or created something else you’ve invested your heart in? Then, thought –
  • I’m not liking what I have to do now? To put myself out there.
  • Or Doubts arise. I’m too old, who will listen to me? I’m too young, I don’t have enough experience. U don’t have enough followers. Then…
  • Letdown occurs. This is what I’ve been struggling with? Is this all it is?

Now that my course has Students going through, it’s a thrill. Still, my course is just now in Launch. As I was about to launch, I knew the drill- the first order of business was to get my mindset in the right place!

Then, I was asked to participate in a pilot program- basically about Mindset. This was extremely important for me. One suggestion was to make a Vision Board, something I hadn’t done in years. Was the board about my goals for my course- actually there was only one portion on the board about that. Most of the rest? was about creating jobs. Yes, you read that right! Add in a few were personal dreams. And one was to make sure-

I surrounded my inner circle with Balcony People (another time, another newsletter). I also went back through some updated segments of an Online Course I began in 2019. And! I stepped up how many podcasts, newsletters, masterclasses I took. In case you’re wondering, I truly believe in Online Learning, Podcasts and more!

Why? because I get to share some of that with you! This week, I realized some things I could do to define myself better as a whole and not just part of what I do. I hope you’ll do that too.

Finally, Joe Procopio says: ‘..I was free of the remorse of tying my self-worth (to his business). ‘…I was now doing it for the reasons I started doing it in the first place… and to launch that rocket as high as it would go.’

What great advice! We aren’t Human Doings- We are Human Beings after all. If you’re struggling now, go back to your ‘why’ and make a list of your ‘reasons’.

It might not be your favorite day everyday- yet I can attest to the fact that the Favorite Days are there and if you know and see the Letdown Days creeping up on you? You’ll be better at picking yourself up, dusting off your list of the ‘whys’ and ‘the reasons’. After all, those are your best tour guides.

Love y’all Brenda

I hope you’ll take time to check out online learning while you’re doing your unique kind of business, and of course, I hope you’ll take a look at my Online Course –

Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketinghttps://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course I’d love to have you there!

August and September…

Hello! I hope you’re having a Great Week! It’s still hot where I live… though as Back to School has started here, I’m thinking of cooler days, Fall travel plans, seeing big plump pumpkins and enjoying all of you! Thank you for your kind responses to my blog- it means the world to me. Why? You always make my day, wherever you are! If you’re new here? Wonderful to have you!

This will be an important post, why? Because it’s Time Sensitive! I wrote about this in my last newsletter yet! It really needed to be at the top of a newsletter not at the bottom! (that’s where I generally put the best marketing stuff)

Number One! August and September are the Best Months of the Year to Launch new products! Let me say that again- August and September are the best months in the Retail Calendar Year for Launching New Products! I can hear some of you now saying- but what if I don’t have a new product? Well, create one or repurpose something you’ve had before! It’s a great time to do it! Time sensitive means- You literally have just Six Weeks! *This is true worldwide, not just in the US.

white and black polka dot gift box on white textile

Number Two– actually helps you with Number One. Commit right now to creating one piece of Content every day! Did I hear a groan? Here’s what you did not hear- I didn’t say. Create an IG post every day. I didn’t say you have to do a Reel or Video every day! I said, ‘Create one piece of content everyday’. If you need to batch 7 pieces of content to use throughout the week- Please do that! An IG post per day? No, I didn’t say that either! My “One Piece of Content Strategy’ is this:

  • Post to IG- probably my usual 3 times per week. I may increase this to 4 during August and September.
  • Create a unique Story for my IG- a Reel, short appropriate to my brand or my personal life, that I choose to share. Probably more than one!
  • Create a PDF or something new to offer folks who might be interested in my online course. It’s always good to be creating new content! Maybe I won’t use it right now, but it’s something I can use later when I’m pressed for Time!
  • Add a video to my small YouTube account- this is, after all the 2nd largest platform in the world! Or add something new to my Pinterest account- which has been sadly neglected.
  • Create Compelling Content for this Newsletter! *please note: the Algorithm doesn’t change your email list! And really? it rarely affects your blogging efforts either!

Since my Online Course is now in the Launch Phase, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to tell you a little about it- Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing will help you learn how:

  • To share your values with color before you write a single word! (Saves so much time!)
  • Not sure how to do a layout for your social media sites so that it really looks like a Brand? or as I say- like a beautiful Virtual Shop Window!
  • Not sure what images to choose and use? I teach you that with my Favorite Props, Materials and Images! This includes some tips about the difference between Product Shots and Social Media posts.
  • Don’t like Writing Content? I get it. I’ll teach you time tested proven methods, easy and fun too!
  • Really dread Marketing your products or aren’t sure how? In Marketing 101, you’ll learn methods that won’t feel icky or salesy!
  • In just over a month, your site will look wonderful, I predict you’ll be thrilled!

I always say: ‘The Sooner Your Site looks beautiful and your Copy is Compelling, the sooner your products will begin to sell!’

Here’s the link to my course: https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

All the best if you have new products or services! I hope August and September are truly successful! Would love to hear from you!

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator- Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

Learn. Dream. Grow…

Hello!

I’m back at my favorite place- this Blog! If you’re new here? So glad to have you! Recently in my marketing newsletter- I shared a few tips on discovering your Hidden Talents. I realized I might not have shared one of mine. It’s continuing to help me now!

Teaching has been a side benefit of spending 30+ years in Retail. I love teaching. Public Relations is a big part of Retail and Marketing. I loved being sent out to teach what I know.

I worked with a Community College Program which prepared women to re-enter the workplace after being homemakers for many years. The reason? Most had faced Divorce, Disability or Death of a spouse. They needed to be inspired, to find their best skills, and convert the organizational and social skills they had used as homemakers into Income. I was the inspirational speaker for a good many years. I loved it!

Another grant-based program I worked with helped disadvantaged women develop confidence and be dressed appropriately for job interviews. Develop Capsule Wardrobes, as we would say now. Taught how to find these on a strict budget, using thrift stores or consignment shops. Once they were hired, we helped them learn how to work with the public and gain confidence in the workplace.

Other teaching opportunities came my way to encourage, train, motivate and inspire women. These were groups who were already in Professions, Careers or Leadership positions. Highly educated successful women- who as successful people Do– continue to learn, continue to improve- often just by going back to basics, then taking their careers to a new level. These ladies inspired me to pass along what I had been trained to do, to Teach what I had learned through my own work. To this day, teaching is still one of the most satisfying aspects of my life.

Real Progress comes when we Learn. Dream. Grow. For me? I have taken several online courses in the last few years, each one has helped me update my skills, often going back to basics and being part of a community that continues to Learn. Dream. Grow. 

Truth? Those teaching opportunities combined with my retail experience still helps me Learn. Dream and Grow. Believe me, learning how to write an online course, do training videos and actually figure out how to load it onto a new platform? A steep learning curve for me! And, it didn’t happen overnight, it took over a year to write and get it out there and don’t even get me started on All of Those Years in Retail! So? What’s in this post for you? Don’t pass up opportunities. If you’re asked to do something outside of your comfort zone? Realize it may come in handy sooner or later. Don’t ever stop learning or growing. And Don’t Forget to Dream! Dreams are the fuel of Ambition.. ah but that’s for another time! See you soon!

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator – Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

If you’re interested in finding out more about my online course- click the link! Thank you- we’re having a great time and believe me these folks going thru it now are Unforgettable!

https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b