To launch my Creatives of the Future e-book, (to purchase, clickhere) I interviewed some creatives who were already monetizing their platforms because of their work on social media. One of those people is website Designer and Blogger, Sue-Tanya Mchorgh.
What is your dream job?My current job is my dream job. The ability to create and earn from something I am passionate about is a dream come true for me . A lot of people are unhappy in their jobs. Not me. I love my job.
2. What Netflix series are you binging on?Blacklist
3. Favourite Influencer/YouTuber of all time?@Jadedarmawngsa
4. How has social media helped your career?My social media has helped me with advertising and getting targeted leads for my businesses.
5. What advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves?Stay focused, have a game plan, a small circle of friends, get a mentor and follow your gut.
6.What is the last thing you liked on social media?Cat videos. I am obsessed with them.
7. Who is your hero? My mom. She did an amazing job raising me.
8. How did you get into blogging? I started blogging because I wanted an outlet to share my travel and entrepreneurial experiences.
9. Where do you see your career going in the next few years?I hope to perfect my current offerings, expand my businesses, hire employees and venture into coaching small business owners.
10.What inspires you to create?My customers and my competitors. I love seeing my customers happy. They encourage me to create and improve on my skills. So does the competition.
By the age of 17, Sue-Tanya Mchorgh knew she wanted to become an entrepreneur. She decided to study Business Administration but due to financial restraints, had to get a job and work overtime to pay tuition.
Juggling a 9-5 while going to school was hard work. Then she got laid off and didn’t have money to finish her studies. Thankfully, she was introduced to the world of working online as a virtual assistant and web designer. A virtual assistant, by definition, is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office.
Today, she remotely helps clients with everything from social media, story and article writing, video editing, branding, and web design all from her home office.
Since she started in 2017, her client list has grown to include government institutions, realtors and even personal brands. She also owns an online fashion boutique called Suety’s Boutique where she sells her favorite fast-fashion finds.
Sue-Tanya considers herself a girl boss, which is basically a confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of settling in life and hopes to inspire her generation through her motivational Instagram account @motivatedbysue.
Today, she’s also been able to live life on her terms by monetizing her social media platforms and carving out a niche as a content creator and blogger. On her website, www.suetanyamchorgh, she shares her opinion about everything from business to fashion. She’s worked with brands like Those Creative People, Kingston Creative, Jamaica Observer’s Take Style Out and the Ministry of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport highlighting the 2020 Reggae Month activities.
She wants to help entrepreneurs and small businesses create their e-commerce sites, branding kits and social media content. She also teaches others how to become a virtual assistant.
Girl Boss Sue-Tanya is a web designer, brand specialist, and lifestyle blogger. She’s worked with brands like CPJ, Kingston Industrial Garage, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Those Creative People and others. You can learn about Sue-Tanya atwww.suetanyamchorgh.com
Some brands are losing out on valuable real estate by not creating something as simple as highlights but there are a few other things you should be doing on IG before the year is out.
Vertical Videos: How-to
We never thought vertical videos would become a thing but they are here and here to stay! For now. Vertical videos aren’t just for IGTV however, they are now creeping onto other platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Probably the hardest thing to get right when shooting vertical video for IGTV is aspect ratio, which is the ratio of width to height of your video.
The reason it can be hard to get right is because unless your video is shot on a smartphone (which will usually record in 9:16 if shot vertically), you may need to edit or crop your video in post-production to get the right aspect ratio for IGTV.
So I would recommend shooting vertically, if you’re using a phone or shoot widescreen with the camera so you can always adjust post-production.
Why vertical videos? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.
Advertising agencies will need to bear this in mind when creating their ads to include vertical formats for IGTV.
IGTV is predicted to become the new Youtube in 3-5 years.
IG Stories Still Relevant
IG stories is a way to extend the conversation. So for example, you post a picture of yourself in an outfit, the stories can be used to tell the back story of the photograph. Where you got the outfit and maybe behind-the-scenes, etc. This will continue to be vital to engagement strategies.
Shoppable Posts an Added Plus
I see so many small businesses missing out on a simple app they can add to their posts that directly links them to the webpage. It’s called Later’s (Linkin.bio). It’s like $US4.99 a month, but the value, is a direct clickable link where shoppers can purchase the item. Instagram also has a shoppable feature that’s pretty simple to use. Not available in Jamaica just yet however, we’ll have to wait our turn.
IG Highlights for FAQs a Necessity
Personally, I get a lot of DMs from people asking questions about what I do out of curiosity. I haven’t reached the level that I would want to have a FAQs section but if you’re a company or a big brand, I would definitely recommend you having an FAQ highlight so people can learn more about you without having to send a DM every time. Saves a lot of time!
Stories Ads will be a Must
The time of organic reach is over. Brands will have to invest in an ad budget in order to reach their target audience, but not just that, the content will have to be richer and more clickable. Also in terms of the variation in ads, I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but the animated, IG story ads seem to have more traction.
AR Filters Bring That Cool Factor
So you’ve seen the diamond headband filter by Rihanna and the lip color filter by Kylie Jenner and other popular ones on IG lately right? Influencers will now be able to create their own filters using Facebook AR Studio.
IG Worthy Branded Wall Backdrop: A Staple for Jamaican Parties
Every event we go to in Jamaica, now has a branded, customized wall. This is no coincidence. This is usually brightly colored wall that is easily identifiable in photos when people post to IG.
The exclusivity of giving an influencer a special branded invitation to your event or token gift before a party creates a buzz that makes the viewer want to know more.
Frenchmen did it for their parties this year and Moda Market has been handing out special Moda Boxes with goodies inside.
Brands like Benefit of Bohoo in the US, have been able to take carefully selected influencers on a vacation. The idea is to create this cool girl lifestyle, where their followers can go with them on an adventure, wear their products and take IG worthy pictures.
We’ve seen these experiences happening right here with influencers Garfene and Terri-Karelle going on road trips to Skylark Negril and Irie Diva going on a #staycation.
Instagram Worthy Curated Rooms or Walls
Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors.
Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your place of business and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.
They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!
This can be as simple as adding a chic, neon sign or wall decal.
What are some other cool IG Trends you see going into 2019?
No man is an island and therefore, having conversations with someone that speaks my language is very important from time to time. Picasso had Matisse, Basquiat had Warhol, you get the drift. It’s important for me to have people in the industry, that I can discuss things like social media, advertising, brand development and graphic design. There are very few people that understand all those things and that do them well, Phillip Clayton to me is one of the few people that uses his online platform in the way that I do—to connect with thought leaders from all over the world and learn and interact with them. He is a branding development specialist with over 15 years of experience working in the advertising industry. He is also a member of the International Commission of Judges for the 2019 PAC, Global Leadership Awards, a commission that celebrates great packaging design in the world. Yes, that’s makes us design nerds! We are very much a like in a lot of ways, and so it’s great to talk shop with him from time to time.
We talked bout a lot of things in the span of four hours at a local coffee shop and he introduced me to this book called The Brand Gap, which is now my new favorite guide to branding. It confirms things I’ve known intrinsically for years, such as the no logo test and the idea that a brand is not just a logo (which I talk about in my previous article, Branding is More than a Logo. ) Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty.
We talked about a few things such as:
People skim on paying an agency to do research and develop their entire brand’s identity (not just their logo) and rather pay a graphic designer peanuts to create a logo that will become obsolete in a few years or doesn’t appeal to their target audience.
A lot of people don’t understand the meaning of the word branding:
Branding is a process of creating a unique image or name or logo or symbol or combination of any of these for a specific product in consumer’s mind which differentiates it from competitor’s products.
Phillip does not like the word “branding” and prefers brand development, whereas for me, the two can work interchangeably. However, where we both agree is that developing a brand identity is more than just a logo, it’s everything from how the company answers their phone, their internal comms, website–the full gamut of communication.
Many companies in Jamaica don’t understand the mixed messages they’re sending when their branding is so confusing. This can be as simple as a font choice. Color has a psychological effect as well, which I will touch on in another post.
The brands we love like Coca-Cola for example, have been able to differentiate over the years by making only slight changes to their logo. The reason for this is that they understand their brand is more than just their logo, its everything from that signature bottle to the brand experience.
Some brands know when to innovate by listening to their consumer, for example, Federal Express changed their logo to FedEx because that is what customers were calling the company anyway. So they listened and evolved.
Some brands think that jumping on every trendy viral topic is the way to go but if it isn’t true to the brand, then they should avoid it all together. For example, McDonalds decided to recreate the famous Banksy shredding painting with a graphic on their social media. The attempt seems lazy and forced and doesn’t speak well to Banksy’s painting or McDonald’s.
AND finally, I’ve been talking about personal branding for years, and how using your presence online and offline can bring opportunities for you but David Olgivy puts it simply and we call can relate to this: you build a brand by doing the work, then the rest will follow.
So tell me what brands do you love and why? And do you love the brand because of the product or service it offers, or are the two not mutually exclusive? And should I continue this coffee talk series and talk to other people about branding and advertising? Who’s down?
Chanel is one of the most iconic brands in the history of the world. The logo hasn’t changed or been updated since its inception. It was created in 1925 by the owner of Chanel empire, Gabrielle Coco Chanel herself and is basically her initials. Her brand is a champion for the feminist cause hence their association with strong women like Marilyn Munroe and Nicki Minaj.
But it’s so much more than that. The inventor of the little black dress (LBD) and Chanel No. 5, her products will still be in high demand years from now.
All the brand elements scream luxury. From the entrance to the stores, to the branding, to the ad campaigns –they all symbolize one thing, sophistication.
But great brands are more than just the logo and the branding. They’re built on story telling. Coco Chanel, grew up alone in an orphanage and fought her way out of poverty to success. The communication built on her journey to success, is why her quotes are posted by modern women everywhere, and the iconic Chanel suit is a staple in every successful woman’s wardrobe.
So ask yourself do your customers know your brand’s story? When customers fall in love with a brand its because it connects with them on an emotional level, it makes the brand stand out.
What do customers think of your brand? A lot of people think that creating a brand for your business just involves designing a logo. And although a logo is an important statement its not the only thing to consider.
Do you need help creating your brand identity? It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Before you begin the design stage of your logo, here are a few things to consider:
Define your brand
What do people like about your product or service? How does your product or service stand out in the marketplace? The first step is to define your brand. Think of it as having a personality. People are attracted to your personality by the colors that you use, your choice of words, the images that you select for your graphic design materials, the designs that you use for your signs and of course, your logo.
The brand identity depends on your target audience
Your brand identity also depends on who you are trying to reach. If your customers are the youth market, you may want to use fun colors and catchy phrases. If your customers are a niche market, you may want to use a more technical language that is applicable to the industry.
These tips are valuable in helping you create an brand identity that suits your messages and appeals to your target audience. Professional help can make all the difference.
There is a misconception that Linkedin is not effective in Jamaica. Although recruiters and hiring managers may not frequent Linkedin as much as they do in the US, it is still a relevant way to network with other professionals and make valuable connections.
I got my current job because of Linkedin! When searching for candidates, my name kept coming up in search and so they reached out. So Jamaican employers are headhunting, especially in niche industries like Advertising.
First of all Linkedin is focused on showcasing professional accomplishments, a lot of which we don’t go about displaying in our daily lives. So put that award you won or that MBA you worked hard for. This is the place to brag a little about your accomplishments. It is the perfect place to connect with people in your industry who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job.
So here are a few tips you can use to make your profile more appealing to potential employers:
Use a professional profile photo: Take the time to invest in a professional photographer. You can hire one of many spectacular freelance photographers there are out there or you can visit Photodayz in Soverign Centre. Depending on the industry you work in you can dress accordingly. For example, if you work in accounting, you should wear a suit. However, if you work in the creative industry, you can get away with a crisp, white shirt. Women, spend a little extra and get your makeup done. A nice professional photograph just makes you put your best foot forward.
Create an impactful headline: The headline under your name is the first thing people read when they search for your name. Make it count. This you can use to say one, amazing thing about you as a professional. Use adjectives that describe who you are. For example, mine says, “I build brands!” which in a nutshell what I do in my professional life. It’s catchy and it gets the attention of the people that I’m targeting– potential employers and clients.
Tell a story with your bio/summary: This is the opportunity to tell a story about your professional journey and list three accomplishments you’ve made in your career thus far. Keep it concise but quanitfiable. Like for example say, “I increased productivity by 25%.”
Network, network, network: Reach out to people you’ve met offline and in some instances, reach out to people you may be interested in meeting but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Be tactful in your approach. Note that while not everyone would be open to connecting with people they don’t know, others see the value in connecting online.
Share valuable content: Just like any other network, sharing valuable content like blog posts, articles in your industry and quotes is crucial to raising your profile and rank on Linkedin. Share once a day to really add value. People in your network will see you as knowledgeable and come to you for advice when they need it.
When we look at all the stuff brands are doing online to get attention above all the noise, we need to look at innovative ways to stand out in a crowd. However at the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI (Return On Investment).
As we look at the ROI of social media to dictate how a campaign is successful or not, we must also look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) :
Is the campaign successful in terms of getting the traction it should?
Are we getting a “buzz”?
Are people sharing organically?
Are people talking about it online as well as offline?
Brand Loyalty & Sales Spike
Surely, the impact of a campaign is no longer in just how much likes it receives. We also need to look beyond, not just if it is resonating with the target but if there is an increase in brand loyalty and ultimately, sales.
1. Natasha Leeds is a young, stylish fashionista who blogs about her fashion and natural hair journey. With over 16k followers on Instagram, she has the potential to reach a wide audience. Best for 16-25 yo. Great for fashion designers, retail and department stores, lifestyle and cultural events, natural hair and beauty products. *Updated: Natasha moved to Miami but visits Jamaica every year.
2.Natalia OH: is a mother of two who blogs about Fashion, DIYs and Lifestyle. Best for 25-40 yo target, Twitter Followers: 5k, Instagram Followers: 8k. Lots of #OOTDs! Winner of the 2012 Jamaica Blog Awards for the Best Beauty and Fashion Blog and is a Gleaner Lifestyle contributor.
Best for fashion designers, retail and department stores, makeup and beauty retailers, restaurants, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.
*Updated: Nataliah is now Marketing Manager for Maxie stores.
3. Lauren O Lauren has been around for long time (see previous post on our interview with Lauren O Lauren). She moved to the US couple of years ago but still has a strong following in Jamaica. Best for 18-30 yo hipster, Gen Y group.Talks a lot about weave! Twitter followers: 6k, Instagram: 7k. Over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube. Best for tech companies, fashion designers, lifestyle and beauty products and services, fashion and retail outlets. See her most viewed blog which has over 21,000 views.
*Updated: Lauren lives in California with her husband and dog, Henry.
4. On Orange Street: Lifestyle blog for the life and style of young Caribbean women. Co-founded by Afayah Pendergrast and Monique Kennedy. The content is vivacious! They blog about budgeting and career building. Won the 2014 Caribbean Blog & Social Award for Best Lifestyle Blog. Small following on social networks but there is potential for growth.
Best for banks and insurance companies, the automotive industry, fashion designers, boutique shops and furniture stores, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.
*Updated: This group no longer has a blog together but both are doing well as individuals.
5. Irie Diva: is lifestyle Jamaican blogger who writes about a variety of topics including recipes, hair and beauty products and cultural events. Oh and her munchkin! Twitter Followers: 3k Instagram followers: 1k
Best for cultural and lifestyle events, ital/vegetarian products, natural hair and beauty products, travel and leisure, kids
6. Chunchi is a YouTuber who averages over 500 views per video. She vlogs mostly about her makeup skills and reviews beauty products both Jamaican and US based. Twitter Followers: 4k, Instagram Followers: 1k. She would be a great advocate for makeup and natural beauty products.
7. Jessica in the Kitchen won 2014’s Caribbean Blog and Social Media Award for Best Food Blog. Creates innovative, vegetarian recipes fit to be in any food magazine. With beautiful imagery, this blog would be great to feature natural food and drink products. Twitter: 1.4k, Instagram: 1k
If you know any bloggers who you think should be featured, let me know! I’m always looking for new bloggers to follow!
@Tessanne has captured Jamaican’s hearts over the past few weeks with her musical renditions on The Voice. Many Jamaicans at home and abroad have rallied together to support her through social media.
Several companies have also jumped on the Tessanne train, sharing Jamaica’s sentiments of love and support.
However, when a brand or company’s social media manager gets so caught up in the competition and forgets who they are representing – where do you draw the line? Are companies or brands entitled to express a clear distaste for a particular contestant or song?
I understand the need for engagement, but posting negative comments about other contestants is very unprofessional. Companies shouldn’t show dissatisfaction so intently that they risk alienating their core audience. Remember, you are managing not only reputation, you are representing Brand Jamaica.