Email Communications

Everyone still uses email. It’s not going away. Email is the most effective way to communicate with a group of people. Get started by taking these two simple and important steps.

As explained in the video above, taking these two steps will be the foundation you need to move the needle in your organization. Watch this and take action! Potential members are waiting for you to reach out to them.

Instagram Quick Start images

Instagram Quick Start using Canva Templates

Creating an engaging Instagram posts takes time, but here are some time-saving tips on how to implement Instagram into your organization or business. Competition is tough – more than 71 percent of U.S. businesses are using the platform to grow their brands.

But, I can tell you from my experience following and engaging with other Scottish organizations and businesses on Instagram, your competition isn’t super high, but you need to get into the game. Why? Because it’s where your potential new members, your potential attendees, and potential clients are.

So how can you consistently deliver incredible Instagram posts without hiring a social media expert or graphic designer?

A set of carefully chosen Instagram templates can save you hours of time and help you to develop your own look and feel that aligns with your own organization.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not…especially when you start getting some followers and they want to be a part of your group or business!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to use a free platform called Canva as an Instagram template, including where to get them and how to put them to use.

The number one Rule and Why Should You Use Instagram Templates?

You must be consistent! This is the number one rule!

However, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a consistent style in your social media posts. Especially if there’s more than one person managing your Instagram account – which happens many times in nonprofits and even some businesses.

Instagram templates using Canva can solve this problem.

All you have to do is stick to a few well-chosen templates and you can create a powerful and cohesive brand aesthetic. As a result, you can ensure that your Instagram posts and Stories consistently resonate with your target audience.

Keep it simple, because this helps YOU and it appeals to more people! Even just sticking to the same font can go a long way to developing your brand look. However, by using Canva templates it allows you to go deeper. They make it easy to always use the same color palette, layouts, filters, graphic elements, and more.

The result is an Instagram account that catches people’s attention and sticks around in their memory. Next time you have an event, just a simple post on Instagram to your follows will go far to promote.

How to get and apply templates?

Canva – get it here -is an essential tool for anyone looking to create incredible content for social media. Even though we are talking about Instagram today, you can also use this for facebook, or creating any of your promotional materials. I highly recommend getting to know this platform and using it.

The best part? Canva is simple and free. Grab the mobile app and use anytime! Or enjoy the desktop version here. Even if you aren’t tech savvy, with this app, anyone can create gorgeous Instagram posts in minutes.

The app comes with loads of free Instagram templates, as well as templates designed specifically for other social media channels. I use this in my business because it saves time, it helps with consistent branding and it’s like having my own graphic designer without the cost!

After choosing a free Instagram template, you can customize every aspect of your design using Canva’s huge range of fonts, graphics, backgrounds, frames, and images. What’s more, Canva allows you to save your designs.

This makes it easy to develop a set of on-brand Instagram templates that are available on your mobile device whenever you need them. It’s free, but if you need a little more as your business grows, you can start using some of their paid features which are very reasonably priced. I love this flexibility. I used the free version for about 6 months until I decided I needed more. The expense has paid for itself with all the time and money it’s saved me!

So here is your quick video tutorial which walks you through exactly how to set up a free account and how to create quick and cohesive looks in the sizes that you need for your Instagram platform!

Event Planning

The 5 Big Mistakes Scottish Organizations are making with their events.

I want to start by stating that I know many Scottish organizations doing a lot of things right! In fact, I’ve been to so many well-organized events that I have a small collection of things that each event does so well that it’s worth sharing with other organizations. So this is meant to help those who aren’t seeing attendance at their winter ceilidhs, Caledonia Balls and Burns nights…and maybe even monthly meetings. In this article, you’ll get 5 actionable tips that you can use for your next event.

1. Your Website does not reflect an up to date design and functions like an website from 1999:
One thing that surely keeps people away is when organizations and businesses don’t have a responsive website with current information, and a person to contact. Have a solid and reliable website and even better a landing page for that event alone. A place where everyone can get all of the information about the location, date, time and how to get tickets. When you are 3 months away from your event, their should be a VERY clear call to action on the home page of your site to get more information about the upcoming event.

***Please do not use your facebook page as your website.*** Not everyone uses Facebook and Facebook is not set up for people to easily navigate to find the event. Also, Facebook is always changing and keeping up with it is hard enough for social media specialists but for the common user and the volunteer coordinator of your event the likelihood of facebook being used to leverage your event is highly unlikely. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t be on facebook. You actually do need social media in some way, but it should not be your main promotional outlet.

Your website and email list should be your number one focus. There are so many easy to use and free website builders out there such as WEEBLY (which we just love!). Take a critical look at your design to make sure it’s responsive to devices and take a moment to understand SEO (search engine optimization). Don’t let the tech scare you, they are super easy to implement with just a few quick tutorials. In our HE Membership program, we have tutorials on how to set up free pages in some of our favorite website builders, understanding responsive design and SEO.

2. You aren’t selling online tickets
On your webpage you MUST have a way for attendees to buy tickets directly via the internet and a phone number where they can call for more information about tickets. Sending an email or a check in the mail will result in the loss of a lot of potential sales. You don’t want to make the purchase process difficult or something that may be put off for a later date. Keep it simple and easy for everyone to buy tickets. Eventbrite is a VERY easy option for ticket sales and it’s what we use in Highland Echoes. You can then send all the ticket buyers emails to follow up with them if there are any event changes or to notify them of another event!

3. You are forgetting to target your current audience
Let your people know about the event without spending your marketing money – your email list is a good place to start, and your social media is second. Building up your email list should be your number one focus. The statistics currently show us that an engaged email is still THE best way to market and sell your products and services.

There are many ways to list build that you can explore and that we help with inside of the HE professional membership. It’s important that you continue to provide value to your list (and to your social media followers) in between events and product sales. If you are already sharing about your event and never share anything else that interests your followers, then they will never be engaged and will not be as likely to buy when your event is coming up. For example, I get an email from a business every month about what they are selling. It’s great because they are sending emails, but they have never sent me an email with how to use something they are selling. If they did, I’d be way more likely to buy. Just a simple change that would increase sales.

4. You are trying to compete with your competitors rather than working together for greater success
Reach out to other organizations who have similar lifestyle interests – and partner with them. There is strength in numbers and when you reach out to other influencers it just increases exposure to your event. For example, for our show Highland Echoes we invite local dance groups to come and be a part of the show in a way that makes sense because it increases exposure for their own dance school and it shows the community how they can get involved If they want to learn how to Scottish Dance. It increases the value of our mission which is to promote Scottish culture and it brings out more people to the event and creates more conversation in the community. The biggest thing I’m seeing out there in the Scottish community is that organizations are busily competing with each other instead of standing strong together. The data is unequivocal when a business in your genre is successful it increases your chance of success in your own business! Support each other!

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