YAPLive: How To Grow Your Social Influence and Personal Brand presented by 99designs by Vista

YAPLive: How To Grow Your Social Influence and Personal Brand presented by 99designs by Vista

Branding is crucial to distinguishing yourself from the competition and setting you apart as the best choice. But where do you start? If you’re looking to create a unique, memorable brand, or want your social influence to skyrocket, you’re in the right place. In this episode, Hala Taha with the help of 99designs by Vista covers all things branding including the three Bs of branding, how to conduct a competitive analysis, what makes a great logo, the best practices to grow your following on Instagram and Linkedin, hook hacks to stop the scroll, and so much more. You don’t want to miss this episode.

Topics Include:

– How to grow our social influence and personal brand

– 3 Bs of branding

– What is brand personality

– What is brand identity?

– What is competitive analysis and how do you conduct one?

– Importance of color palette in branding

– Find the right typography for your brand 

– How imagery in branding affects your strategy

– What makes a great logo

– Visual identity guidelines

– How the weight of colors affects your brand identity

– Establishing your brand voice on social

– Why selling isn’t working for you on social media 

– Four Cs of content strategy

– Hook hacks to stop the scroll

– Instagram best practices to build your audience

– LinkedIn best practices to build your audience

– The benefits of outsourcing

– Two main ways to use 99designs

– Successful publishing strategies

– Why community engagement is the best strategy to develop

– Q & A

– What software do you suggest to clients?

– Where to get started with branding?

– Mixing bright and dark colors

– And other topics…

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Constant Contact – To start your free digital marketing trial today, visit constantcontact.com

Resources Mentioned:

Watch the full webinar on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTANBBmKPEw 

Get $30 off your first design contest with 99designs: 99designs.com/YAP 

99designs logo color discovery tool: https://99designs.com/logo-design/psychology-of-color 

Connect with Young and Profiting:

YAP’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youngandprofiting/    

Hala’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/htaha/    

Hala’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yapwithhala/    

Hala’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/yapwithhala 

Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/@halataha  

Website: https://www.youngandprofiting.com/ 

Text Hala: https://youngandprofiting.co/TextHala or text “YAP” to 28046

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://megaphone.fm/adchoices

[00:00:00] Hala: All right, guys. Welcome back. Okay. So we're going to talk about branding basics. We're going to talk about building your brand identity, establishing your voice on social. We're going to go through content strategies, publishing strategies, and then we're going to end with Q and a. Uh, so let's get started with the three BS of branding.

[00:00:19] Hala: It's super important that we know the difference between the three BS. So first of all, your brand is the perception of your company out there in the world. This is the image or perception of how other people view your business. This is the external view of your business. Your branding is the actual act of shaping a unique distinctive brand.

[00:00:39] Hala: And so this is. All the things that you do to create your brand and then your brand identity is the tangible elements and assets your company creates. So this is like your logo, your website, your business card, it's the tangible assets and elements of your brand that broadcasts the right images and messages.

[00:00:57] Hala: Audience. So those are the three B's and [00:01:00] next we're going to uncover the difference between brand personality and brand identity. This is something that a lot of people get confused, but they're two different things. So brand personality is really all about the emotion that your brand conveys. It's the characteristics and emotions that customers associate with your brand.

[00:01:18] Hala: So are you a really serious brand? Are you a silly brand? Are you a professional brand, a childish brand? That is your brand personality. It's something that you want to think about before you even determine what colors you have or what logo your brand has. Your personality is what comes first. This is what shapes the public perception of your brand and what makes a brand personality success.

[00:01:41] Hala: First of all there, there's a couple of key things. Authenticity. You should always strive to reflect your business goals and company culture through your brand personality and an authentic way. You also want to make sure that it's memorable, especially for new brands. You want to be standing out and be remembered, also value.

[00:01:59] Hala: So you need. [00:02:00] Substance for your business. What is the value that you provide to customers that they can't get anywhere else? Make sure that that is a parent in your brand personality. Also trustability. You want to make sure that your brand is who you say you are and then authority. You want to make sure that your brand is positioned as an expert in your field.

[00:02:20] Hala: This is key people, only trust authorities. And so you want to make sure that your personality is confident and owns that you guys are the experts in your field, and that way you'll attract more business. And so your brand personality needs to be represented in all your branding endeavors. This is where your brand identity comes into play.

[00:02:38] Hala: The brand identity is actually your second step and all of this. So your brand identity is a collection of tangible expressions for your company. So that includes things like your logo, colors type, or graphy or font shapes and imagery and your voice. We're actually going to get super granular on each one of these aspects.

[00:02:55] Hala: So right now, Really high level giving you guys foundation, and now we're going to go [00:03:00] into some granularity. But before we do that, one thing that you can do in this initial stage, where you're starting to determine what your brand personality is, what are the elements of your brand identity? You also want to make sure you take time to do a competitor analysis.

[00:03:14] Hala: So you're not only going to look at people who you compete with. You're going to look at people who, whose audience you're also trying to attract. So also look at. Profiles. So for example, Gary V is not my direct competitor, but when I was building my brand, I looked at Gary V because I thought he has an audience that looks like the audience I'm trying to attract.

[00:03:33] Hala: And I looked to him for inspiration. I also looked at Lewis, Howes and other podcasters in my space and looked at what they're doing. And then I asked myself, you know, what do I like about their style versus what I dislike about their style? And it took the best pieces from everything to put together, my own unique personal brand.

[00:03:51] Hala: And then it also threw in some of my own unique perspective. So one of the things you can do is outline your top three competitors and do an analysis on their brand. What [00:04:00] are the colors are using? What are the fonts they're using? What are the content types? What channels are they on? What are they speaking about?

[00:04:06] Hala: These are all the kinds of things that you want to start to do an analysis on, and then you want to figure out what differentiates you from. People, you know, what's the same and what's different, and that will help you start to identify what your brand identity will be. So let's go into building brand identity.

[00:04:25] Hala: So first things first is color palette. Color is super, super important when it comes to your brand. I think it's one of the most important decisions that you have to make is selecting the right color for your brand. It can make or break you color is everywhere, and whether you know it or not, each color you encounter actually gives you an emotional.

[00:04:43] Hala: Experience, there's actually a psychology of color. And so understanding the psychology of color can be a very valuable asset to your brand. So choosing the right color means that your audience will instantly know who you are, what you do and what you're about. And this all happens subconsciously and [00:05:00] intuitively.

[00:05:01] Hala: And so it's a very powerful tool. So yellow represents optimism, enlightenment, clarity, warrants, joy friendship. Blue is all about trust. Dependability strengths, dominance red is about excitement, bold passion, aggression, love a lot of people actually stay away from red logos because it can give negative feelings.

[00:05:22] Hala: And so even though it represents love, you need to be the right kind of brand to use red in the right way. So be careful with red. Green is all about nature, peacefulness, hopefulness growth, health. Purity simplicity, innocence, integrity, calmness, and black is all about being professional, strong, sophisticated, edgy, and mysterious.

[00:05:42] Hala: And so young and profiting is brand logo is actually black and green. And so for us, green represents growth and profiting, and black is all about being a young professional, strong, sophisticated, and edgy. I thought those two colors were perfect for us. And so when I was actually creating my logo, I looked at the [00:06:00] psychology of color to determine what logo colors I wanted to create.

[00:06:04] Hala: So hopefully this is super helpful.  99 designs actually has an amazing tool to help you determine the color. The perfect color for your business.

[00:06:12] Hala: It's called the logo color discovery tool. My team is going to drop that link in the comments. You can basically take a quiz. You can tell them all about your brand and personality, fill out a questionnaire. They take that information and then they'll let you know the exact primary logo color that's perfect for your brand.

[00:06:28] Hala: So it's an amazing tool. I wish I had it four years ago and I was mocking up young and profiting podcast brand. And we'll stick that link in the comments. So you guys can go ahead and try out the logo, color discovery tool for yourself. 

[00:06:40] Hala: So let's get into type one. Another aspect of your brand identity that is super important to get clear.

[00:06:47] Hala: So even before your consumer reads the message in your marketing, your font is already communicating something to them. Typography covers both the fonts you choose and the way you lay out those fonts in your designs, it's very important in your branding [00:07:00] process. And so typically. Headline fonts there's sub-headline fonts, and then there's body fonts and all of these different fonts.

[00:07:07] Hala: You may want to choose different fonts and type biographies for each of them. There's a couple main traditional works or bodies of fonts. Sara fonts is very popular. They're the oldest most classic type faces. A Sarah is a small decorative line at the end of a character stroke. So an example of a Sarah font is times new Roman.

[00:07:27] Hala: It's a very popular font that a lot of people use on websites. And it's usually what people use in body text. So this is great for like your heavy paragraph text. These fonts are classy. They're, high-end, they're highly legible, even when scaled down and our eyes are super accustomed to their shape and.

[00:07:46] Hala: Easier to read. So when you're thinking of a lot of texts, think Saraf fonts, those are the fonts that you want to use for a majority of your text. The next type is slab fonts. So these are characterized by their blocky syrups. [00:08:00] If you've ever typed on an old school typewriter, you've seen these types of fonts.

[00:08:03] Hala: So they bring an old school style, almost nerdy charm to any project or brand. They do have to be used carefully, and they're better for logos or typography marks or headers rather than big body text, but they're still easy to read on the eyes. And so they're a great choice for sub-headlines and smaller texts as well.

[00:08:23] Hala: Script fonts. On the other hand, you should only use them sparingly because they're actually very hard to read. And these fonts you should use with very little. And very big, because they're very hard to read, although they're amazing in terms of representing the emotion that you want to represent so they can look like they're handwriting, they can look super professional and polished.

[00:08:45] Hala: They can look childish. There's so many ways that you can use script in a very creative way to resonate with your audience. But again, they're not suitable for long paragraphs. They're not suitable to be scaled down very small. And another thing to know is that [00:09:00] they can bring some femininity to everything.

[00:09:02] Hala: So if you're a very strong masculine brand, you might not want to do a script font. Next we have decorative fonts. These are the ones that are like very unique there. They're also called display fonts. These are not a good choice. Secondary fonts or for body text fonts. Again, they're not great for big paragraphs for texts that needs to be highly legible for texts that needs to be scaled down.

[00:09:23] Hala: You can think of them like fireworks. They can be a lot of fun, but they're best left to the trained professionals. So you can use a decorative font in a big poster that you're trying to put out in a social media post, where there's like maybe two or three words that you're trying to put on the image, but in terms of using it very often, these are not the fonts that you're going to use every single day in your brand strategy.

[00:09:46] Hala: So that is a bit about type all graphy. If you have any questions about that, just drop it in the comments and we're going to move onto form shape and imagery. All right. So when it comes to forum shape and imagery, there's really two main things that you need to think [00:10:00] about there's round shapes, and then there's sharper more straighted shapes.

[00:10:04] Hala: That's like the main decision that you need to determine, like, are you going to use mostly rounded corners or are you going to go with straight edge corners that will guide a lot of it for you? So round shapes really create a feeling of community and unity. And so it drives like warm and fuzzy feelings when it has around shapes.

[00:10:21] Hala: So if you're like more of a friendly brand, if you're more geared toward a younger community, if you're about diversity, you want to use like round shapes. Whereas sharper, straight edges are more about efficiency and stability. So if you're a financial brand, you might want to go with like a more straight edge look because it's more serious, it's more professional.

[00:10:41] Hala: And so think about. Round versus sharp edges. And that's going to really help guide you in terms of your shapes and imagery. And then you also want to think about like, what are the consistent shapes that you're going to use? Are you going to use triangles? Are you going to use squiggle lines? Whatever it is, this is where you want to determine that.

[00:10:59] Hala: And now [00:11:00] we are going to go onto what makes a good logo. Logos are so, so important. This is like the cornerstone of your brand. And so the best logos are. They are the ones that you can recognize as soon as you see them. So think about like the Nike swoosh, right? No matter where you see that, whether Nike has written on it or not, you know, that represents Nike and it's super simple.

[00:11:24] Hala: It can be scaled really big. It can be scaled really small. You still know what it is, and it's memorable because it's unique. There's not any other logo marks that really looks like that. And so you don't get confused with another brand. And so simple logos are super key. Don't make your logo over detailed because people can't remember a lot of detail.

[00:11:43] Hala: You want things that are easy to remember also scalable. So I sort of alluded to it just now, but logos typically, especially on social media, they're scaled down really small. They're in like the corner of your asset. So it needs to be very, very limited in terms of the amount of elements in your logo.

[00:11:58] Hala: You want it to be simple [00:12:00] enough that it can be scaled down or up and still look. You also want it to be memorable. You want it to capture your view as attention. You want it to leave a positive impression and then you also want it to be relevant. So it needs to be relevant to what you do, essentially.

[00:12:15] Hala: When somebody sees your logo, mark, you want them to understand what is it? You said. Like, what's the product that you sell. What's the service that you offer. You want that all to be super apparent just by looking at your word, mark and your logo, that is going to be key so that people know what you're representing and they don't need to think too hard.

[00:12:34] Hala: And lastly, they also need to be versatile. So they need to look on any, they need to look good on any web device or any sort of print materials. So make sure you get a quality high Rez design and you make it with a professional. It's not going to be cut out. If you go and use clip art and create your logo, you want to make sure that you have a high res logo that is created by a graphic design professional.

[00:12:55] Hala: And speaking of that, 99 designs can help you with that. They're actually famous for their logo design [00:13:00] contest. So basically you can go on 99 designs.com/yeah, and you can start a design contest where you give requirements for your low. So, for example, you can describe your brand, a personality. You can actually give them hex codes for your specific colors.

[00:13:14] Hala: You can give them inspiration of other logos that you like and designers from all around the world are going to enter the contest and create a custom logo for you. You can then rate those logos. You can ask for revisions, and then eventually you can work with a designer that you love and lock down on a logo that you love and continue to work with that designer if you wish.

[00:13:34] Hala: So this is a great way to get started with your brand. Start off with a logo, create a design contest on 99 designs. Go to 99. designs.com/yap. And you can get $30 off your first design contest. So again, you can create this. You can pick a logo that you love. You can get submissions from hundreds of designers around the world.

[00:13:53] Hala: And once you find a logo that you love, you can continue to work with that designer on other brand assets. It is a great way to start your [00:14:00] marketing team and outsource your marketing to 99 designs. 

[00:14:04] Hala: All right, so let's talk about brand style guide next. So once you've nailed down the basics of your brand identity, it's really time to take a step further and create brand guidelines.

[00:14:15] Hala: Brand guidelines is really how you scale. These are the rules of your brand on how they should be visually represented. This is super helpful. If you're trying to scale your business, if you have a team or if you're outsourcing to a vendor, How you were able to scale your brand with multiple people working on your brand.

[00:14:32] Hala: So you can actually step outside of your business and focus on the things that matter to you like sales and other people can actually run your marketing for you while being consistent with your brand identity. So this is an example of my brand guidelines for young and profiting. So as you can see, we have a logo guidelines here.

[00:14:51] Hala: We also have. Placement and rules around logo use. So for example, our pink logo can only go on a blue background and our blue logo can [00:15:00] only go on a pink background. And we usually default to the black and green or white and green logo. That is like the first choice. And so there's lots of rules around how you can use your logo and how you can't use your logo and how small you can scale down the logo and how big you can scale it up.

[00:15:15] Hala: And how much padding does the logo need in the corner of assets and things like that. So you really want to establish all the rules because things can get sloppy really fast if you don't have rules. Okay. Also in your brand guidelines, you may have like social media templates. There. Here's an example of like a social media template.

[00:15:32] Hala: We often create graphic templates, video templates, carousel templates, all different types of templates and we're creating brand guidelines. So the team has some sort of inspiration of and guidelines in terms of what good looks like in terms of. And then we can iterate from there also the type all graphy.

[00:15:48] Hala: So what is a tag biography and font that we're using for body text? What are we using for headlines for sub-headlines typography is super important. And again, that's something that if you get [00:16:00] right. Are consistent. It can take your brand to a whole new level because when you're using all different types of fonts, it can get really messy.

[00:16:07] Hala: And I would recommend that you stick to like two or three fonts. Max, don't go crazy with too many fonts and then you have colors. So we talked about the psychology of colors, but what we didn't talk about yet is the weight of colors. Not all colors are weighted equally in a brand. Sometimes you have highlight colors that use sparingly.

[00:16:25] Hala: So for us like hot pink, for example, and yellow are things that we use quite sparingly, but then we have neutral colors and colors that we use all the time that we want to use most often. And that is like our Navy blue and our white. And so you definitely want to think about the weight of all the colors in your brand guidelines.

[00:16:44] Hala: And also you want to get super clear on the exact hex code. One of the worst things and common mistakes that I see people do is they'll use like three different shades of blue, and that can get really messy, especially on an Instagram feed where everything is kind of static in the feed at all times. Um, and [00:17:00] then shapes shapes are super important, uh, whether they're icons or, or unique shapes that you've developed yourself that can really take your brands to the next level and give it its own super unique personality.

[00:17:11] Hala: So make sure you outline your shapes for young and profiting. We tend to go with more rounded shapes because we are a younger, more vibrant brand. Also wants to come with a sense of community and rounded shapes really represent that. 

[00:17:24] Hala: So let's move on to establishing your brand voice on social. Okay. So first of all, establishing your brand voice on social, your brand's voice is key.

[00:17:37] Hala: It really allows your brand to stand out and be unique. It promotes consistency and authenticity, and it helps to build a relationship with your audience. So one of the first things that you want to do before, determining what you're going to talk about and what you're going to sound like is defining your target audience, because really you want to resonate with them.

[00:17:56] Hala: That's all that matters is that your target audience resonates with what you're [00:18:00] talking about and how you talk about it. Right? So, first of all, you want to define your target audience, who is your ideal. Are they male? Are they female? What is their age? You know, what is their profession? What do they like?

[00:18:13] Hala: What do they dislike? Really get deep and understand who your ideal customer is. Create an avatar for that person and use it to drive your voice documentation. And so your target. Also we'll define what channels that you play on. So for example, if you're targeting young professionals, you want, you might want to go on LinkedIn and start your content strategy.

[00:18:33] Hala: If you're targeting, you know, gen zeros and it's more of a visual brand, like maybe you're a real estate agent, you'll probably be more successful on Instagram. And if you feel like you're. Community will enjoy videos and that a lot of your work can be portrayed in video content. You might want to think about Tech-Talk.

[00:18:51] Hala: The other consideration that you want to take is does the platform have organic growth or not? So LinkedIn and tick-tock have lots of organic [00:19:00] growth, right? But Instagram and YouTube don't. And so you need to really think smart about that. You don't want it to be an uphill battle. So as often as you can choose a platform where your target audience is hanging out and a platform that's still has organic growth, like LinkedIn or Tik TOK.

[00:19:17] Hala: Okay. So match your presence to where your audience is. Don't just go and spread yourself then and go on every platform. That is one of the biggest mistakes that people make with their branding. They go on every single platform and they don't learn that one specific platform. They don't resonate with anyone because they're trying to do too much, start small and start with one platform that your target audience hangs out.

[00:19:39] Hala: That is one of my best pieces of advice for everybody out there who looking to launch their brand. 

[00:19:43] Hala: And then lastly, you want to create a message map. So this is like the equivalent of brand visual identity guidelines, but this is for writing captions. And this is all about the caption and content that you put out to the world and the text that you put on your assets.

[00:19:59] Hala: And so this is a [00:20:00] tool that helps your team create one consistent story online. So it'll include elements like who, your audiences, what are the topics you talk about? What's the tone you're trying to portray and then calls to action. So for example, at young and profiting, we really target equally male and female.

[00:20:16] Hala: Actually, we skew more male. We target millennials. Our tone is friendly, professional, insightful, curious, And our CTS are called to actions. Are things like following the podcast, for example, or following me on LinkedIn, or maybe we're driving leads for our social media or podcasts agency. So the calls to action are the priorities that you're trying to drive for your business.

[00:20:39] Hala: And a message map really helps ensure that you're speaking about topics that resonate with your target audience while also expressing your brand personality and key priorities that you want to drive in your community. So again, CTEs are things that linked to your company webpage, or maybe a link to a white paper or gated asset that drives leads for your business.

[00:20:59] Hala: And so [00:21:00] this way you make sure that your team is hitting on all those. Things that they need to hit. But remember, social media is not about just selling to your audience. It's about providing value. So being inspirational, educational, motivational, and then selling afterwards. Right? So I would say good ratio would be like 80% value where you're just serving your audience and 20% selling.

[00:21:24] Hala: Right. You don't want to be selling all the time. People will just tune out. So again, be motivational, inspirational educational, 80% of the time. And then 20% of the time you can link out to something that is more salesy. Okay.

[00:21:37] Hala: So let's move on to content strategy. All right. So this is taken directly from my yap teams training.

[00:21:45] Hala: When I trained my social media managers on how to write social media copy. We stand by something called the four CS that yeah. Media. And so whenever we're drafting a post, we make sure that they hit all of the seas. So first of all, is it clear? [00:22:00] So this means that you have no ambiguous text, right? No big words that people need to go look it up in a dictionary.

[00:22:07] Hala: There's no acronyms that people don't understand. And it's clear, like the purpose is clear. The meaning is clear, right. And not just to, you know, your team internally also to a general audience that may not know anything about your industry or anything about your field. So no ambiguity. That is key because.

[00:22:27] Hala: Right. Next is concise. So actually it's a way easier to come up with a longer post than a shorter post. It's much easier to write long content than it is shorter form content, because with concise content, you need to tell the complete story in the fewest words as possible. So something that I love to do is to write a post, how I want to write it, and then I take a hack to it and I start hacking it away.

[00:22:50] Hala: And I try to turn it into the fewest words as possible. How can you get your story across and the littlest amount of words as possible? That is key. Take [00:23:00] out all the. Right. The shorter, the better, especially on social media, people do not want to read chunky paragraphs. Things are scaled down. People are moving fast.

[00:23:10] Hala: Nobody has time to read a lot, make the story concise as possible, as concise as possible. And then it compelling. Everything should always be thought of as what's in it for the audience. What is in it for your readers? What are you teaching them? How are you being of service? How are you inspiring them?

[00:23:28] Hala: How are you motivating them? What are you teaching them? That's new. Don't be so basic where people are going to read it. And they're going to think I've heard this before a million times. This is nothing new. Be original, be unique, bring a new perspective, calm their fears, improve their lives, solve their problems.

[00:23:45] Hala: Focus on. Not features. Right? So being compelling is super key, especially if you're trying to grow credibility, respect, social influence, online, making sure that you're of service first, before you try to sell anything is super, [00:24:00] super important and then being credible. So this is very, very key, especially in today's world where there's lots of fake news everywhere, make sure that you publish the truth, make sure that you cite any sources, make sure that you're being relatable, make sure that, you know, you're being of good integrity and everything that you do on social media, because on social media, it's there forever.

[00:24:22] Hala: And you want to make sure that you're always putting your best foot forward and you're representing your brand to the highest integrity levels. Okay. 

[00:24:30] Hala: So yeah, I think that is the basics of the four CS super, super useful. I recommend that you guys write this down, tack it up on your desk whenever you're creating content and make sure that you're clear, concise, compelling, and credible and.

[00:24:45] Hala: Some last tips, make sure you focus on the essence of your message, do your best to present your information in a way that's interesting to read. So for example, you may want to use creative ways like emojis, right? The rule of thumb is [00:25:00] to use anywhere from five to 10 emojis. People love them. They really make things more exciting.

[00:25:05] Hala: You can use them as bullets. You can use them to be funny, to be cute. It's just a great way to kind of lighten up the feel and make your posts more enjoyable to read. You can also try using caps, right? To kind of display, you know, strong emotion. You can use analogies or quotes, just anything to really make your content stand out and make it more enjoyable to read, make it more entertaining.

[00:25:29] Hala: Right. But one thing I'll say is that copywriting and writing is one of the hardest things to learn. Definitely takes practice at younger profiting podcast. And yet media I've realized that the hardest thing to train people on is copywriting. And the only way that somebody gets good at it is with practice.

[00:25:46] Hala: So take your time, understand that it's not going to happen overnight, but if you look at all of my posts that I put on LinkedIn and Instagram, you'll get some inspiration. If you follow these guides, you'll get closer and closer. And the key is to [00:26:00] practice and then see what resonates with your audience and then do more of that and get better at it and lean into it.

[00:26:05] Hala: Keep doing what's working and test different ideas so that you can see what sticks and then lean into that. So speaking of being creative, let's get into hookups. Okay. Hook hacks. These are really fun. Hooks really draw your audience. And so your hook is really like the first couple of lines in your post.

[00:26:25] Hala: So hooks can be like the title of a blog. It could also be like, I just mentioned the first couple of lines of your caption on LinkedIn in particular, the first two lines is your hook. After that people have to click more to read the rest of your posts on Instagram. It's really the first sign. So you also need to realize how long your hook is on the various platforms.

[00:26:46] Hala: So there's lots of ways to make your hook really stand out. First of all, use numbers. This works really, really well. So like learn the five mistakes of starting a side hustle, right. That really captures people's attention. They want to know what are the [00:27:00] five things. Let me click more and learn more. Right?

[00:27:02] Hala: You can also arouse curiosity. So you can be like, what if I told you you never had to work in a day? I want to know how to do that. So you might click to learn more. So like sparking curiosity is a great hook. You can also incite fear. Now use this sparingly because you don't want to look like you're trying to scare everyone all the time, but you could say something like warning.

[00:27:23] Hala: You know, if you are a professional, you need to read this, you know, so incite fear in your audience that can also hook your reader. You can also say something like, you know, learn the secret of XYZ. So this is also sparking curiosity. You can use some purlative. So find out the best way to launch your new business.

[00:27:43] Hala: Or this is the shortest way that you can do XYZ or the highest or the lowest. Right. So using is a really, really great tip that a lot of people don't really remember often. So I love that one. And then also employed. For some reason, subconsciously [00:28:00] people love new things. So use phrases like learn new methods for XYZ or learn the new rules of so-and-so this engages your audience to want to learn more.

[00:28:10] Hala: So definitely go ahead and use these hook CACs and see how much more engagement your posts will get because people will actually start to read your content. And speaking of reading content, my last tip in terms of content strategy is reading your content out loud. This is something that I make all of my employees do.

[00:28:32] Hala: And social media managers do at yap media. Read your content out loud. This is an old book, goody. It is gold. After you complete your caption. Go ahead and read it out loud before you post it. This will help you make it more concise, more clear when you read it out loud, you realize like, oh, this is like a fluff word.

[00:28:51] Hala: I can kind of trim this out. Or, oh, this might not make total sense. Oh, this was bad grammar and I just caught it. Right. So it kind of helps take you out of that [00:29:00] mode and gives you fresh eyes when you read it out loud. And so this is definitely not a new technique for me, but if you haven't heard of it yet, it really works like a charm.

[00:29:09] Hala: So go ahead and read your content out loud before you post it. And I think you'll get better at creating more concise, clear, and those forces that we are talking about will really help if you read it out loud and then edit from there. Okay. So I hope you guys are enjoying this so far. If you guys have any questions about content strategy, go ahead and drop it in the chat.

[00:29:30] Hala: And again, this presentation is brought to you by 99 designs. If you guys want $30 off your first design contest, just go to 99. designs.com/yap. They're amazing when it comes to creating your visual identity. And I'll go into more about 99 designs a little bit later. All right. So let's talk about content strategy and let's begin with Instagram best practices, because like I said before, not all platforms can be treated the same.

[00:29:56] Hala: You can't fit a square peg in a round hole. You can't just do the same [00:30:00] thing on every social platform. That's not how it works. And that's why in the beginning, I recommended that you guys focus on one platform first, rather than many platforms at once, because you really want to figure out one and attract and engage your target audience and then grow from there on other platforms.

[00:30:16] Hala: Once you figured out one platform, that is a really key piece of advice here. So when it comes to Instagram, Actually the best performing posts are carousels and real, right? So carousels, this was actually a new piece of information for me. HubSpot did a new study where they analyzed over 10 million posts and they found out that carousels actually received the highest engagement rate out of all content types on Instagram.

[00:30:43] Hala: So they get better engagement than just graphics. They get better engagement than IgG videos and reels. They're the highest engaged asset on Instagram. So again, carousels perform amazing on Instagram, which I feel like a lot of people don't know. So carousel. Slider [00:31:00] posts. It's multiple images in one. And really the key to this is to tell one message and an engaging story over several slides.

[00:31:08] Hala: And so I encourage you to spend time on these carousel templates, make them beautiful and make sure they align with their visual identity. Make sure you're using Sara fonts that are legible texts. Use big text. Make sure that there's just a few words, carousels that have very few words on each side, do the best use high res images, use photography of people on them and use colors that are appealing and on brand.

[00:31:33] Hala: And like I said, according to HubSpot carousels are the highest performing content on Instagram right now. And now you can also include videos. And your carousel posts, which make them even more engaging. So if you haven't tried carousels on Instagram yet I would highly recommend it. And in terms of your carousel, the first slide needs to be very engaging.

[00:31:55] Hala: This is like the thumbnail of your carousel. It's gotta be an attention grabbing [00:32:00] slide that has a title that really hooks the reader. So again, use some of the hook hacks. So five ways to launch a side hustle and then go into a carousel that covers all five steps, you know, so use a hook on that first side, using those hook hacks, we just discovered and then move into your content and then finish it off with a clear call to action that offers next steps.

[00:32:21] Hala: And a key to all of this with this carousels is make sure that the meat of the information is in the actual carousel. And then you keep the cats. Of the post super short, right? So short captions do best on Instagram. So all the meat and potatoes of your message will be in the carousel. And then the caption will be super short on LinkedIn.

[00:32:39] Hala: It's like the opposite. You want to go like long caption that has all the information. And then just like a graphic that is very simple. That's not a carousel, right? So every platform is different and just remember. And then let's get into real. So reels is super hot on Instagram, everybody swears by reels in terms of getting [00:33:00] exposure and going viral and getting exposure past the accounts that currently follow you.

[00:33:05] Hala: This is where you can get the most reach and growth on Instagram right now, organically. So reels is key. People say doing three to four, even daily reels is where you've got to be right now. And so I would highly recommend if you're trying to grow on Instagram, that you focus on reels and posting reels almost every day.

[00:33:24] Hala: And so reels are really easy to create because they're made to be homemade, right? So there's no pressure of getting like a professional video editor. You could do this on your own. You can just use your iPhone, get a stand and make a homemade video. The more homemade video looking the better in terms of performance.

[00:33:42] Hala: So the more polished and professional. The worst performing. So when it comes to Tik TOK and reels, you actually don't want to use too many brand elements. You want to keep them really natural. And so that is a key with reels and you can also do things like leverage trends and trending audio, and that is a [00:34:00] surefire way to get instant reach.

[00:34:01] Hala: So I would encourage you to keep up with the trends. You guys can look at a site like talk board T OK. Board. And that shows you trending audio on Tik TOK. And then a couple of weeks later, those trends will usually make their way onto Instagram. So that gives you a couple of weeks to create the content and then put it up as soon as a trend hits that platform.

[00:34:20] Hala: So again, use trends, trending audio. Don't be scared about shooting your video, just get it done, right? Put on your favorite filter. Don't worry about what you look like and just make it happen. The more natural, the better and be consistent. It's all about consistency. When it comes to reels, you also need a thumbnail.

[00:34:37] Hala: So with Instagram, It's different than LinkedIn and Twitter, where like, there's just a scrolling feed and people don't really see everything in one place on Instagram. You actually have a feed and a grid and people see that all the time. And so your thumbnails are extra important on Instagram. You want to make sure that all of your videos have a thumbnail.

[00:34:57] Hala: If there's people in it that has a screenshot where [00:35:00] people are looking emotionally engaged, their eyes are open. Their mouth is open, they're smiling, or they look confused or happy or shot. There's something that has emotion with a human on it. Right? So humans actually performed the best in terms of thumbnails.

[00:35:13] Hala: You always want to make sure you have a big face on your thumbnail. That's key. And then also a hook on your thumbnail with big, clear legible font, right? Big, clear, bold, legible font, something that's going to entice them. Spark curiosity, all those hook hacks that we talked about will work great on your thumbnails for Instagram.

[00:35:33] Hala: Okay. Hopefully that was super useful and you learn something new and let's move on to 

[00:35:38] Hala: LinkedIn. Graphic hacks. All right. So asset sizing, this is a key, a lot of people are still not privy to this. If you notice all the influencers on LinkedIn are not posting squares, they're not posting horizontal YouTube sized videos.

[00:35:56] Hala: They're posting something that I call poster size videos. [00:36:00] These are four to five ratio images. Okay. And so they look like a poster. If you look on my feed, almost all of my graphics on LinkedIn are the size. They simply perform the best right size matters on social media. You want to always maximize the amount of real estate that your post takes up in the feed.

[00:36:21] Hala: So the bigger, the better, the bolder, the better, the brighter, the better that's what you have to think. When it comes to social media, you want to stop the scroll and stand out in the feed. And so we always go by poster size on LinkedIn and in my opinion, and based on our data at yap meeting, Graphics are working the best on LinkedIn.

[00:36:39] Hala: A short, catchy, meaningful caption with a graphic is always going to be the thing that performs the best. And here's the other key. Your graphic needs to make sense on its own. So whenever you're creating a graphic, you want to think, would I engage on this? Even if I didn't read the caption, because the fact is that most [00:37:00] people aren't actually going to read your caption.

[00:37:01] Hala: They might read the hook and they might look at the image and then they're going to decide whether they comment and engage or not. And so you need to make sure that your image makes sense on its own and is compelling. Okay. That's a huge tip for you. Another thing you want to keep in mind is simplicity, right?

[00:37:18] Hala: So don't overcrowd your graphic. You don't want to throw all your brand elements into one asset, right? Keep it simple, actually on social media, the less super branded, the better, maybe just like a small logo in the corner, right? Using your consistent fonts, using your colors, using the photography that you've established for your brand.

[00:37:37] Hala: Don't go crazy, putting too many branded elements because it will look too promotional. You want things to look natural and organic in the feed. You want to make sure that you're being of service and not just being salesy in your posts and the more branded your posts look, the more salesy. So it's this fine balance of portraying your brand, showcasing your brand, looking professional, looking consistent without looking overly [00:38:00] salesy and overly professional.

[00:38:01] Hala: Right? Again, back to my rule of thumb before 80% of value, 20% promotion in your feed on social media. Another thing is that our attention span is super little as humans. We have an eight second attention span, so you don't want to over-complicate your assets. And you want to make sure that your information is super an Uber clear to understand an eight seconds or less.

[00:38:24] Hala: Another thing I want to just call out again is bright colors. I think one of the reasons why I became very successful on LinkedIn is because I wasn't afraid to use neon pink, neon blue, neon, green, neon, yellow colors in my feed. I was willing to stand out. I used cartoons to stand out. I just did things differently and I wasn't afraid to stand out.

[00:38:44] Hala: And that is key when it comes to growing your social influence online, another hack for you guys. And one of the most trending things on LinkedIn right now is tweet cards. Right? And I believe that yeah, media actually started this trend on [00:39:00] LinkedIn. We were one of the first people to do this. And specifically we put up tweet cards and poster size with no.

[00:39:08] Hala: Okay, this is such a great hack. And I'd love for you guys to try it out. So putting up something on LinkedIn with no caption actually drives a lot of engagement because it triggers people's imaginations and they end up sharing it with their own captions. And if you want to go viral, the number one way to do it on LinkedIn is to get people to share content with their own caption.

[00:39:30] Hala: So for us, we've been having massive success, putting up really meaningful trendy tweet cards, a quote that you feel like will resonate with your target audience, and then people will start sharing it with their own caption and it's likely to go viral. So I'd love for you guys to test that out and then let me know how it went for you.

[00:39:48] Hala: It's been working really well for us and then a dead trend for LinkedIn. I'd love to share is that polls are no longer that hot, right? We've been seeing this, especially on new clients. Don't have a huge following yet. [00:40:00] Polls really have died down. Often these platforms, they push their new features and then if people start doing them too much or they feel like it's skewing the engagement of the platform in a way that they don't want, they start to deprioritize that content in the feed.

[00:40:13] Hala: And so that's what is happening to polls. In my opinion, right now, the engagement on post. Definitely not the way that it used to be. And so polls are a dead trend. You want to start moving away from polls and trying things like poster, size graphics. Like we just talked about, if anybody has any questions, go ahead and type them in the chat.

[00:40:32] Hala: I hope you guys are enjoying this session. And before we move on to algorithm hacks and things like that, and publishing strategies, I do want to talk about the benefits of outsourcing. So when it comes to building your brand, you can't do it on your own. At younger profiting podcast, I had my first volunteer Timothy 10 episode two, who literally helped me with my graphics and marketing materials.

[00:40:56] Hala: I also used platforms like 99 designs to create my [00:41:00] logo and my marketing assets. I didn't do it on my own, even though I actually have really great graphic design skills. Cause I had to pay attention about content. Building my team finding the right team members. Like I had so many other things to worry about.

[00:41:12] Hala: And so outsourcing is a great way to build your brand. And according to Deloitte, 70% of businesses, big and small report outsourcing in order to reduce or control business costs, it's also enables you to hire experts that bring your ideas to life. It will make sure that your brand looks super polished and professional rather than you just made it on your own using clip art or something.

[00:41:33] Hala: And so you got to find people who can help you with all the functions of your brand's creative. So I highly recommend a service like 99 designs by B sta because it can save you hours. All right. So you can go to 99 designs.com Sasha. $30 off your first design contest. Okay. So there's two main ways to use 99 designs.

[00:41:55] Hala: The first is to invite their entire creative community to [00:42:00] participate in a contest. So this is great for like logo. You know, you want to create a new logo, you can give them your brand personality. You can give them their clear colors, what you want your logo to say, inspirational shapes, competitor, logos that you like.

[00:42:14] Hala: And you can basically put together as much or as little requirements as you like, and you can run a contest and then does it. If not hundreds of designers will enter your contest and submit a logo that you can then choose from, you can rate these logos and then you can give them feedback and have them iterate and iterate until you get a logo that you like, and you only pay for the logo that you ultimately choose.

[00:42:37] Hala: So this is a great way to get a lot of inspiration and a lot of ideas for your logo in a very, very time efficient and effective way. So that's 99 designs.com/yap. $30 off your first design contest. I highly recommend doing this. This is something similar to what I did to create the yap logo. And then you can run a one-to-one project.

[00:42:58] Hala: So something that I [00:43:00] recommend to new entrepreneurs, startups, people who don't have a marketing team, create your logo with 99 designs, and then use that same artist to create things like your website mock-up or your banners, your social media banners, and skins, your business cards, your social media templates.

[00:43:15] Hala: You can then just use the same designer and then you have a very consistent feel. You can even use that designer to create your brand guidelines and create templates for you. And then you can scale that out to your team if you have your own marketing team. So there's so many different ways that you can work with 99 designs.

[00:43:30] Hala: Again, go to 99 designs.com/yap, and you can get $30 off your first design contest. And if you're a new entrepreneur, a startup, I highly recommend you go this route. Okay. All right.

[00:43:42] Hala: So let's get into publishing strategies. Okay. I love this topic. I am. You know, a wealth of information when it comes to algorithm hacks, this is what I do for a living.

[00:43:52] Hala: This is my passion. And so I'm super excited to share some of this all with you. All right. So LinkedIn, okay. [00:44:00] A key thing here with LinkedIn, and this is a big mistake that a lot of people make is linking your audience off platform. So most social media sites do not want their users to go off their site.

[00:44:14] Hala: And so if you're linking to something outside of a LinkedIn URL, they're going to deprioritize your post because they do not want their users to leave their platform. So we've done a lot of tests and we've. Putting a link in the caption versus a comments and a link in the caption always performs worse in terms of engagement rate, in terms of numbers of likes and comments and visibility and vitality.

[00:44:39] Hala: So if you're trying to go viral and grow your followers, you do not want to put your external link in the caption. You actually want to put it in the comments, and then you want to like that comment or reply to that comment, get your team to like on that comment so that it stays as a top comment in your post.

[00:44:56] Hala: Okay. But if your priority is to drive conversions and [00:45:00] sales and you don't necessarily care about growing your following and you just want your target audience to more likely click and get higher click conversion, you can put your link in the caption. So it just depends on your goals. If you're trying to go viral, don't put your link in the caption.

[00:45:14] Hala: You're almost. Going to go viral. And that's almost certain right. If you don't care about going viral and you just want people to follow you already to see your content and potentially click your link, go ahead and put that link in the caption. Another trick is if your post goes viral, you can then stick the link in the caption later on, and it won't hurt it as much.

[00:45:36] Hala: Right? So the first 30 minutes is what really matters when it comes to going viral or the first hour or two hours after, you know, eight or nine hours of going viral. If you wanted them to put a link in your caption, It's the right time to do it. Okay. Another kind of hack when it comes to LinkedIn, in terms of algorithm, things to keep in mind is tagging people.

[00:45:56] Hala: So a lot of people think that they should tag like all these [00:46:00] influencers in their posts or tag their coworkers, that they're going to get better engagement because they think that people are gonna get notified they'll comment on their posts. But the thing is that people actually get really annoyed from this tagging, especially influencers who get tagged a lot.

[00:46:13] Hala: And so they're not going to engage. And if they don't engage that signals to LinkedIn, that you might be spamming others. And so they're going to actually deprioritize your content. So I'm really strict about this. I barely even tagged the guests that come onto young and profiting podcasts. Like if I post a video, I won't even tag the guest most often, if they're not active on LinkedIn, because if they don't engage, I know that my posts will actually do worse.

[00:46:37] Hala: And so only tag people that will engage on your posts. That is a super great trick to know. Okay. When it comes to Instagram, you want to write short captions. It's not like LinkedIn, where you can get away with longer captions. You want to keep it super short. In fact, less than 20 characters have the highest engagement rate.

[00:46:55] Hala: So if you feel like your copy is too long, try creating a slider that has [00:47:00] copy in the content instead. Right? So put all your. Big valuable content, your lengthy content in your carousel, and then create a short, short caption. That's going to perform best on Instagram. According to HubSpot, they actually analyzed 110 million posts.

[00:47:17] Hala: Right. And in addition to that, HubSpot says that hashtags are the more the merrier, right? The more, the better, this is often debated. So, I mean, do your own research, use this at your discretion, but HubSpot analyzed over a hundred million posts and they said in terms of hashtags, the more, the better, just remember to keep your hashtags relevant to your audience and make sure that your hashtags aren't super overused.

[00:47:43] Hala: So you want to do like sub categories when it comes to your hashtag not the main category. So instead of entrepreneurship as your hashtag, maybe you can do millennial entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial. I don't know, maybe this is not a good example, but like you want to use like [00:48:00] a sub category. So let's say like marketing is a main category.

[00:48:04] Hala: Maybe instead of that, you can do like video marketing as your sub category that will get you better results rather than a very, very broad categories that has millions and millions of people using that hashtag you want to make sure that you're discoverable. That's the key with hashtags. And then we're going to talk about community engagement.

[00:48:22] Hala: This is something that is often slept on. This is a key part of your strategy. You can't expect to create great content. Like, let's say you have great captions. You've got a great visual identity. It's consistent. It's beautiful. You can't just expect that you're going to post something and people will come.

[00:48:38] Hala: There's actually an engagement strategy when it comes to your community. Right? So you don't want to just put up content and forget about engagement. It should always be like 50% content creation, 50% engagement with your community. So first of all, respond to your comments. I see a lot of people taking the approach of like I'm too cool to respond to the comments on my post.

[00:48:56] Hala: Now, especially when you're just starting out. You want to make sure that you're [00:49:00] responding to at least half the comments in your post. But I will say that you don't want to actually respond to all of them. Maybe eventually you can respond to all of them, but in the first like six hours of your post, you want to make sure that the most recent comments are actually not responded to because this psychologically triggers to other people, that the conversation is still going.

[00:49:22] Hala: If you respond to every comment right away, people actually get turned off and they don't feel like commenting because they feel like you're like looking at what they're writing right now. And they'll feel like uncomfortable to comment. So you always want to make sure that your most recent comments are actually not responded to, and you'll respond to them later on and then respond to your original older comments and make sure that at least 50% of your comments are responded to.

[00:49:44] Hala: So that's my personal rule of thumb. I don't ever respond to every single one because I want to make sure. It seems like the conversation is still going. 

[00:49:52] Hala: Also aside from responding to your own comments and your own posts, you want to embark further out than your own feed. My [00:50:00] team often makes fun of me because I look a lot at my own feed and they call it Hala TV. Cause I'm obsessed with Hala TV because there's so much going on on my own personal feeds. And as you're growing your brand, it can get really exciting where you tend to not look at other people's pages because there's so much going on on your own personal page, but you need to break that bad habit.

[00:50:19] Hala: You've got to engage with others on their profile. Okay, this is how you create reciprocity, right? People reciprocate. If you do that. So you want to go on other people's pages, your lookalike profiles, even your competitors, people that you collaborate with, people in your industry, and you want to go and see what they're posting about.

[00:50:38] Hala: Maybe it will give you inspiration. You can leave a thoughtful comment, and that will help you start to build real connections where people will start to see your stuff on other people's pages and proactively follow you because they saw you on another person's post. And because you're being a part of the community and not to mention that it will go a long way in terms of other people supporting your posts, when you [00:51:00] support other people's posts.

[00:51:02] Hala: Another thing that you guys can do is start an engagement pod. So contrary to popular belief engagement pods are actually not against anybody's terms of service, especially on LinkedIn. LinkedIn wants you to share your content with other people. So if you've got people in a similar field, if you've got friends on LinkedIn, if you've got coworkers on LinkedIn, if your team is on LinkedIn, you can create a chat, whether that's a LinkedIn DM, whether that's a WhatsApp group, a slack channel, whatever it is, and you can post your links and encourage people to like, and comment within the first 30 minutes of putting up your posts and you'll get a lot of engagement that way.

[00:51:36] Hala: And your post is more likely to be more visible on other people's feeds. So starting an engagement pod is another way to increase community engagement. Okay. And then lastly, I'll say this is leveraging the DMS, right? Leverage your DMS dams are such a powerful tool, especially when. Clicks and conversions.

[00:51:55] Hala: All the business happens in the DMS, right? You're not going to sell on your post. You're going to [00:52:00] sell in the DMS. If you're trying to sell, start conversations with your connections in the DMS. And this reminds me of something that I always talk about called permission. Marketing right. If somebody likes and comments on your post, they're raising their hand and they're saying, Hey, I'm interested in your content.

[00:52:17] Hala: I'm interested to learn more. I'm interested to take that next step. They're giving you permission to reach out in the DMS and I've never had a negative experience with them. Somebody likes or comments on my posts, I'll DM them and I'll say, Hey, thank you so much for liking my recent micro content with Maria burrito.

[00:52:34] Hala: If you want to listen to the full episode, here's the link. And I give them the link to my podcast and the clicks and conversions, and the DMS are much higher than they would be in the caption or comment of the post. So you always want to think about how you can re target the people who engage on your content to drive conversions in the dams.

[00:52:51] Hala: And the benefit of this is twofold. So not only will your links get more clicks, but this also signals to LinkedIn, that you're friends with these people. [00:53:00] And so your posts will show up more often at the top of their feed because you had a DM conversation with them. So this is a great strategy to use, especially if you're trying to sell anything on.

[00:53:12] Hala: All right. So this was a whole ton of information. Again, I want to think 99 designs for them contributing to this webinar. They gave us amazing content in terms of the psychology of colors, and we learned some new things ourselves. And if you guys want to help get your business to grow and thrive, head over to 99, designs.com/yap and click get started to receive $30 off your first design contest.

[00:53:35] Hala: And now we're going to get into the Q and a I've been really focused on giving this webinar. And I think you guys hopefully got a lot out of it. All right. What software do you suggest to clients? If any, as far as social media management softwares, this is such a great question. And this is from T Y Horner.

[00:53:53] Hala: Okay. So. In terms of software. If you're talking about publishing software, [00:54:00] actually, it's a very little known fact that when you use scheduling softwares, your content actually will perform worse. So a lot of the social media platforms out there will actually deep prioritize your content by 30% based on our experiments, it will perform 30% worse if you use a scheduling software.

[00:54:21] Hala: Okay. So hand posting is the way to go and I would recommend getting an assistant or a VA to hand, post or hand posting yourself. Okay. Hand posting is going to get you the best results. So stay away from scheduling tools. The one caveat is. Native scheduling tool called content studio and Facebook, where you can schedule Instagram posts.

[00:54:43] Hala: You will not get the prioritized for using any native scheduling tools. It is the external tools like HootSweet and things like that, that get deprioritized. Okay. And in terms of any other sort of shul management softwares that we use, we use some analytics [00:55:00] software. That are super useful. CA I can't remember the one off the top of my head for a LinkedIn.

[00:55:05] Hala: LinkedIn has analytics now, so we don't use it as often. It's called shield, sorry. It's called shield for LinkedIn. That gives you amazing analytics. I love using that for LinkedIn. And then in terms of creating like graphics and things like that, Canva is my go-to. If you're going to do self-service graphics and then 99 designs, if you're going to outsource those would be my recommendations.

[00:55:27] Hala: Okay. And let's take another question or two, we only have time for a few more, and if you guys have any questions, drop them in the chat. All right. What should I do if I don't know where to get started with Brandon? I would highly recommend that you rewind and go listening to this podcast. But I think if you don't know where to start, I think getting inspiration is key and creating a mood board.

[00:55:50] Hala: Okay. Mood boards are super helpful. And basically what you do is you just go and look at your competitors. You look at other people in your field, you look at just things that you [00:56:00] like, and you start to just take screen. And pull up like a Google slide presentation, and start just copying and pasting colors that you like fonts that you like competitor logos that you like.

[00:56:10] Hala: And as you do that, you'll start to figure out what you like and what you dislike. And it will start to get more and more clear on what you want your brand to be. Also, um, like we talked about in the beginning of the session, brand personality is a great place to start. So what is the emotion that you're trying to bring to your target audience?

[00:56:29] Hala: Right? And then again, brand identity in terms of like, what are you actually delivering and what is the message that you're trying to deliver with your brand? So all those things really matter, and those are the key considerations that you can take when starting to build your brand. 

[00:56:43] Hala: So here we have, it looks like our last question of the day, and this is from Sean O'Leary and he says, I know that bright colors stand out and really pop, but do you recommend, or would 99 designs recommend darker colors? This is really interesting. I [00:57:00] think you need a mix of both, right?

[00:57:01] Hala: You definitely, in any branding, you need a highlight color, like look behind me right now where I am, what sticks out for you, right? It's my logo. It's the profiting and neon green. And so you can use highlight colors to really make whatever you want to really pop out, pop out. If you want to highlight a word, or if you want to highlight your logo mark.

[00:57:23] Hala: So you can use dark colors, but just make sure you have an accent color that really really pops. And if Kate, Kate, if you could move back to the psychology of color slide, I think this would be really helpful for Sean. So every color actually represents something different. Right. And you can base your colors on that.

[00:57:42] Hala: Right. So if you're looking for something that's warm, friendly, kind of childish, go with yellow, right. If you're looking for something that is trust and dependable and serious, go with blue. If you're looking for something that represents the love or even aggression go with red. But like I mentioned before, [00:58:00] red is a really tricky color when it comes to logos and branding.

[00:58:03] Hala: So, so use that sparingly and be careful about it, green, which is. Being peaceful nature, growth profiting. This is why I used green and young and profiting, right. White, which is purity and simplicity and integrity and calmness black, which is professional and strong. And so you want to think about the psychology of color, but then to your point, you want to think about the brightness and the dullness of the colors too.

[00:58:28] Hala: And so our main colors are white and Navy blue Navy blue is actually the main color that we use. And it's like, those are our background colors, right? Because it's really legible to put white text on a blue background or black text on a white background, and it's really clean. Right. And it's polished and.

[00:58:48] Hala: We use bright colors, but really our main two colors are white and Navy blue, which are not that bright, but they're really useful for backgrounds and for consistency and for the look and Polish [00:59:00] professional field that we're trying to portray as our brand. Right. And then we've got bright colors that we use sparingly, and that's like hot pink and green and bright, yellow, and bright blue.

[00:59:10] Hala: And we use those more sparingly. And so that's kind of how you can think about it. It's like a balance of both, but I highly recommend that you have at least one really bright color of pop so that you can use it as your way to highlight key things in your marketing materials. So I hope that that was really helpful for you.

[00:59:29] Hala: Well, this concludes the end of our webinar. And thank you all so much. And again, head to 99, designs.com/app and click get started to receive $30 off your first design contest. I highly recommend that if you guys want to get your logo created, if you're a new entrepreneur, if you're a solo entrepreneur, if you don't have a marketing team outsource your marketing creative to 99 designs, I had a great experience.

[00:59:51] Hala: I actually just launched a merge contest with them, and I designed our first ever sweatshirt that we're going to be giving away to all of our yap listeners [01:00:00] soon. And I'm really excited to release this sweatshirt and our first official merge and the designers at 99 designs did such a great job. It was so hard to find the one that we wanted to stick with because there were so many great designs and I highly recommend it as a way to get a lot of inspiration and a lot of people working on your project without having to pay everybody individually to create ideas for your logo or for your.

[01:00:22] Hala: Different assets that you want to create. So again, 99 designs.com/yap. I hope you guys enjoyed this session. And with that, this is Hala and friends signing off. Thank you everyone.

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