You have an idea that has been tumbling around your head for quite some time. You tell a few friends and then finally one (or more) says… “Why don’t you just do it!”
So, now that idea needs to be formalized, made in to a business plan and much more. Below you will find a short form document of the ESSENTIALS of how to start with taking your idea to fruition. Remember that all good ideas that are made in to products or business have to include MARKETING. It is astonishing to our 411 voices team how many people forget that part!
Marketing does not have to be expensive, but it is necessary.
Social media specialists all agree that images can speak volumes. Here are a few tips to make posts pops with just the right photo or stock image.
Take a lot of photos. You never know when you will need to have a photo of a cute dog, a landscape at the beach or in the woods or a group of smiling friends dining over a luscious dinner. Special note: Don’t post photos of kids that aren’t yours without permission.
Use a variety of different stock photo sites. Many people seek to use only free stock photos or ones that are from “known sites”. Sometimes you have to dig for special sites that post unusual graphics or photos. Some of our favorites are (in random order):
PIXABAY: Lots of great FREE photos with options to pay from partner sites. Buy them a “cup of coffee” if you use a lot of photos. The image below was made for one of our clients using a photo from Pixabay.
GRAPHIC LEFTOVERS: This site has undergone a huge upheaval in the past few months. Once known for easy on the wallet photos, it now has posted a steep increase in pricing. I reached out to the owners who assured this writer that the prices will “level out” soon. However, it may be too late to keep dedicated users. Hope it all works out for them, because some of their images (see below) are valuable with creating themed websites and more.
FREEIMAGES.comThis site has a number offree photos and images. The licensing agreements should be reviewed carefully, as with all of the aforementioned websites.
StockSnap.ioalso gives free photos for commercial use. This site offers some non-traditional photography – even a bit edgy. gr
Gratisography offers “gratis” high resolution images that range from “normal” life to really “out of the box”. Truly a treasure trove for when you are seeking something that will never be described as boring.
What to do with the images you made?
3. Once you curate great photos and graphics you will want to give them some design magic . Sprout Social created a comprehensive list of free tools for creating images. Here are some of our “must haves” from this list:
Collage Maker(Pro and Lite) versions are excellent apps.
BeFunky is good for basic design and easy for start-up
RELAYWant to make clever posts – this is one of our favorites. Check out their “mock-up” feature.
Photo Effects Liteapp (and purchased packages) – Animate your images in 600 different ways.
CANVA – Some free, pretty inexpensive and very much liked within the industry
Like to make images on your phone? We have favorite apps that make content creation via a smartphone a breeze (and fun)!
Try these for iOS
Glitch-Art – ups the interest level, for sure
Pic-Collage – a “must have”
Lumyer Photo Editor (you will laugh at some of the graphics here and it gives “life” to your video. )
Flipagram – a favorite among travel bloggers, it would seem
Color Pop Effects – for when you want to create a stunning image that simply, “pops”
Fontmania – Fonts and more to give some pizazz to your posts
There is an abundance of content creation tools – far more than mentioned here. Which are your favorites? Why? We all can learn from each other.
Six plus years ago Beth Engelman, Dara Blaker, Margaret McSweeney and myself had a vision – to “restart” a women’s networking group that would focus on continuing our love of creating podcast / radio content and to start a speaker bureau. We later enlisted a few of the people we had engaged with from a previous network and “411 Voices” was born. Six years later this group has morphed in to several different evolutions. Some were wise decisions, while others were not.
Now is the time for change – where the organization becomes a company. I am delighted to accept the challenge a new company can behold.
The first change was that launching a “speakers bureau” was a monumental task. There were many experts vying for what few speaking engagements existed, especially for educators, which many of us were. Annie Fox was able to branch out successfully and eventually went on to venture on her own and join forces with Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young. They are wonderful educators and we wished them well.
Others in our group parlayed their expertise in to exclusive contracts with brands. That was fabulous to see. Jodi Okun, for one, launched #CollegeChat as a radio and TWITTER platform. Both were wildly successful and before you know it she became an ambassador for DISCOVER. (Off the point- I love DISCOVER and have since 1984!)
Over time it became more and more apparent that the skills were were most known for were our ability to create content, percolate it in social media circles and broadcast it to hundreds if not millions of people. At first, we did so for “fun” – joining the folks at CBS for award shows such as INSIDER and ET. Then we also supported the efforts of VANITY FAIR. Our “fun” hobby became more of a vocation when brands, such as Dairy Inc. wanted to use us as focus groups, content creators and ambassadors.
As time marched on, our focus became clearer. Dara Blaker often said over the years, “We need to figure out WHO we are!” Well, in 2016 that became crystallized as we closed the door on the original “411 Voices” and became 411 Voices Media Group.
With every change came opportunity. I for one, can’t wait to see what is coming our way now that we are “new and improved”.
Thanks to all who have journeyed with 411 Voices, thus far.