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Yesterday — 23 September 2022Camellia's Cottage

What is Visual Marketing? The Art of Visual Story and more..

22 September 2022 at 13:42
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Hello!

If you’re new here, so thankful to have you with us! As you may have noticed the seasons are definitely changing! And what that means is that we are entering Fall and Winter Holiday Season! New Colors, New Designs. New Images. New Content to Write. New Marketing efforts! Did I hear a groan? Yes, I know. And I also know this- Visual Marketing is the best way to do it all!

The question recently was asked- What is Visual Marketing? Well, the short answer is that Visual Marketing is the Art of Visual Storytelling. Your Brand Colors. Your Products and Images. Your Designs. The way you Market what you offer. Your Written Content all add up to a Visual Story that has an energy that only you can offer! It takes all 5 of those components! Is this new? Not really, it’s just that if you focus on just one aspect, you may not be getting the word out there in a way that makes folks want to make a decision or purchase your products. Remember the statistics- 600% recall what they See! 20% recall of what they Read! 300% will make a Purchasing Decision with Visual plus Compelling Content! (there’s the sweet spot!) And that blend is known as Visual Marketing! Visual Storytelling is the best way to sell your Products and Services! Let me give you an example:

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Let me tell you a story: .Marc and Robert lived in Paris and had been friends from childhood. Both had a brilliant creative parent. . Marc’s father was a famous glassmaker who crafted jewelry, vases, chandeliers and even glass hood ornaments- for very expensive cars.. .Robert’s mother was a famous fashion designer- beautiful soft and feminine clothing. .Marc’s father was Rene Lalique, yes of the famous Lalique Glass. .Robert’s mother was a famous fashion designer- beautiful soft and feminine clothing. .Marc’s father was Rene Lalique, yes of the famous Lalique Glass. Robert’s mother was Nina Ricci. .Nina Ricci and her son Robert decided that a signature fragrance would be added to the fashion design business. Robert would be in charge. The scent would go on to be one of the top 5 fragrances in the 20th century. World War 2 had ended. Folks were getting married in record numbers. This fragrance would be worn by countless brides and beautiful ladies. The blend of roses, iris, gardenias and carnations won their hearts. Grooms were ready for peace and hope. .Robert hired his friends Rene and Marc to design the fragrance bottle- they designed the top with 2 doves and a rising sun as a sign of peace. The box which housed the parfum was a soft yellow trimmed with pure white. . The name of the fragrance is L’ Air du Temps (love fills the air) and was worn as a sign of Hope. It was released in 1948. .This fragrance was still highly prized and worn by those same war brides and their daughters… so what sold the fragrance? . The colors? The bottle design? The way it was displayed? The Name? the creative Blend? the Story? . I sold it. It was all of the above. That’s what visual marketing is! .It’s that amazing blend of color, design, beautiful images and thoughtful displays and oh my yes- the Unforgettable Story!

That’s the Power of Visual Marketing- it’s the art of Visual Storytelling with Color Values, Good Design, Wonderful Images, Compelling Written Content and Basic Marketing Principles.

As you plan your posts- remember to tell those Stories! Use Color to speak their language. Use great images, be aware of the lighting you use. Make sure you aren’t using too many templates and collages, they often confuse the eye with too many images to focus on. If you use a lot of colorful images, be sure to add space- my favorite way to do this is to add White Space as a Quote with simple Fonts! Also, it’s worth noting now that the best holiday prices are before Black Friday- so plan those discounts now!.

I hope your upcoming Seasonal and Holiday Marketing efforts are now in the planning stage and you’ve got some great ideas to showcase your products and services! And while you’re at it- go ahead and plan those Holiday Gift Guides! I can’t wait to see the images you share, the colors you choose and those amazing stories I’m sure to read! All the Best.

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator of ‘Be Unforgettable’ Online Marketing Course

camelliascottage

Before yesterdayCamellia's Cottage

Everyday won’t be Your Favorite Day…

31 August 2022 at 13:15
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Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What about you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love y’all Brenda

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

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

camelliascottage

Balcony or Basement?

24 August 2022 at 13:36
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The Balcony or the Basement? Balcony people or Basement folks? I’ve been with both.

Balcony people lift us up, cheer us on- inspire us and talk us through difficult times- this has always been true.

Basement folks drag us down.

Did you know, an experiment was done years ago- stand a big strong person up on a chair with a small person who is less strong on the floor below- the strong person has difficulty pulling the lightweight person up; the strong person finds the weaker has an easier task to pull him down! Try it, you’ll see it’s true. 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

Our lives are peopled with pioneers, pilgrims, pessimists, coaches, procrastinators, prisoners and cheerleaders. Each brings perspectives into our lives. They either lift us up or drag us down.

When we feel trapped by our circumstances, our vision is clouded and we ramble around in the ‘might have been’s’ , ‘should’ve done’s‘, holding on to ‘normal’.

two men standing on black railings in blue concrete building
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In the basement, we can’t let go of things because somewhere in our lives we have faced lack, ‘not enough’, ‘might need it later’, ‘you never know’.

I’ve been there before and it’s not a good place to be. I’ve also been with folks who are overly optimistic, without a full grasp of realit,y though they are better at lifting our spirits.

During these critical times- a strong mental outlook has never been more important.

  • Given the facts, most folks are able to make adjustments and adapt quickly.
  • Given the right frame of mind, we are better equipped to make good decisions.

I fully believe that everyone has latent talents, wonderful ideas, amazing skills, uplifting words that deserve to be shared with the world. So, which is it? Balcony or Basement? Actually, it might be better expressed as Keepers of the Springs…

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator of Online Course- ‘Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing’

camelliascottage

white and brown concrete building

two men standing on black railings in blue concrete building

August and September…

18 August 2022 at 11:29

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

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

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

white and black polka dot gift box on white textile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator- Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

camelliascottage

white and black polka dot gift box on white textile

‘…it’s about the Stories you tell.’

11 August 2022 at 11:18

Here’s a portion of that IG post, which started with one of my favorite Quotes from marketing expert Seth Godin.

‘Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, it’s the stories you tell’

Godin’s quote is pure truth. Fragrances made up a big part of my retail experience. When a new fragrance was launched, or I was hired on contract to sell fragrances- I learned the stories behind the perfumes. What went into a particular blend. Especially European scents use of natural essences. Honestly? It’s a lot like learning the notes that make up fine wines…


​I worked for Oscar de La Renta’s fragrances and the International Division of Chanel fragrances. The story behind Oscar’s was one I particularly loved (it helped that I met him too!) he was from the Dominican Republic- becoming a premier fashion designer, he was asked to design a perfume that reflected his fashion. What did he do? He went home and walked through his mother’s garden picking a bouquet of his favorites.

With notes of gardenia, orange and peach blossom, basil, coriander, rosemary-add in tuberose, iris, jasmine, roses and bottom notes of cloves and coconut. It was a fragrance that’s stood the test of time. Light and feminine- it expressed his brand of feminine clothing. I gave customers samples, sprayed my own business cards with Oscar’s fragrance and dropped them in with their purchases… (What does that mean for you? Think about it- I’ll tell you later on..)

Actually, there was a bit more to my IG post with stories as we launched and sold new products. First, I learned all I could about the new products, whether it was products, clothing or fragrance. Learning the finer points of a new product is essential, If a celebrity used it, that was a fun fact – just like the fact that Oscar created his fragrance from his mother’s garden in the Dominican Republic. If a celebrity used the fragrance or product that was often a selling point too! Let me rephrase that! When the Stories were told about celebrities or fun, quirky facts- That! actually sold the products!

How does that relate to what you do? Well… Do you teach meditation? Could you find out if a popular figure or celebrity also meditates? If you are an artist who prefers watercolors- is there a famous artist who preferred watercolors too? Maybe you prefer to paint in a garden- now I Know there must be a famous artist who also painted in a garden! If you created a product or service- what is the story? Why did you create it? Share the Pain Point or Turning Point of why you decided to bring forth your creativity into the marketplace of Ideas

More Ideas are included in my Newsletter! If you’d like to find out more? I hope you’ll sign up for my Marketing Newsletter! Just send an email to brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator of ‘Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing online course. It’s in Launch Phase now! Click below to find out more about it. Now is the time to uplevel your visual marketing for the big Holiday Season ahead! Whether you’re a pro, just getting started or even just dreaming of marketing! I’d love to have you!

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

camelliascottage

Learn. Dream. Grow…

26 July 2022 at 11:34

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator – Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

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

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

camelliascottage

Hidden Talents…

29 June 2022 at 19:37

Hello, here’s a sample of my Marketing Newsletter!

I’m so glad you’re here! July is just a few days away… I wanted to share a few things with you about July. Before I do that, let me tell you that as always, I’ve read a lot of marketing articles this week and I listened to two particularly good podcasts- one was about doing something positive that helps prevent or even ‘cure’ the feeling of being Burned Out. It’s basically about taking a break. Two takeaways? Working yourself to exhaustion? (some think this is a way to seek approval) Or constant striving for perfection? (some say- this helps us feel more acceptable). All I know for sure is that Burn Out is Real. July might be the time to work a little less. Think about what’s working and what’s not. What’s missing from your life and how to add those things you need.

The other podcast was insight into how successful folks who are either hardworking or have a genius for certain things that helps them be a cut above other folks. The ones who have a combination of both- tend to be the most successful. The Truth lies somewhere in between- a successful life is far more beneficial. Yet! Here’s something the behavioral psychologist who was being interviewed added a caveat she felt we need to know. She noted that even successful folks have also been through two years of a pandemic and now are well into the 3rd year with multiple problems on many fronts. She said a disturbing trend has come up with the subjects in her long-term study. They’re losing Hope. She said that just platitudes aren’t necessarily helpful. She suggested that if Loss of Hope is creeping into everyday life- do some things that are out of the box, push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone. I think July is a great time to focus, at least some of your time – On Yourself.

Which brings me to this: Find Your Hidden Talents. Here are 3 Ways.

  1. Follow Your Free Time. What is it that you love to do in your Free Time?
  2. What Things Do you find Easy that other folks Struggle With?
  3. Follow the Money. Yes, you read that right! Look at where you spend your money- aside from the monthly bills. What do you spend it on? Or, what would you spend it on?

Get your pencils sharpened and try to answer those 3 things. You may just find a few Hidden Talents. They could be amazing assets to your Business or open up your mind to the possibility of Change.

Okay, Okay- I know you’d like some Marketing Tips! I have those too! First the bad news- July is the slowest month for Retail. Especially this year, folks are taking trips, enjoying vacations and frankly they just aren’t that into buying stuff. I know you don’t want to hear that! So!

Remember, sometimes Less is More. Here are 4 Things to Do for your Business in July.

  1. Just for the month of July- focus on a media form that you’ve neglected or wanted to do. I don’t mean abandon your favorite. For instance, I’ve been neglecting my blog and wanting to do a bit more on Pinterest. You may want to start a YouTube Channel. If you don’t want to add another social media site- Do a Vision Board. I did one recently and it’s surprising how much I enjoyed it and one or two things have already manifested themselves! You may be surprised how just one little shift or change may help your business. I know several who are taking courses from Art to Personal Development and are enjoying the change of pace. I’ll applaud educating ourselves any time! At the end of July? Keep the Practice or Not- it’s up to you!
  2. Start Talking Now about what you’re planning for Back to School or just September. Maybe open Wait Lists. You could also do a Soft Launch of a new Product- folks love to know these things. You’ll have to trust me on this. Talk about a trip you’re taking, a workshop or a challenge you’re participating in and add how you think these things will help your business. If you’ll be posting less, give folks a heads up, let them in on things.
  3. Ok- here’s the Marketing that works in July- Dollars Off. Remember, you’ll get farther with dollars off than Percentage Off. This is true all year round. In addition, July is also a good time to run a Giveaway. (I’ll be doing some of that myself! If you don’t want to do that? Do a Free Gift with Purchase. I will also be doing this as well! These are proven ‘helpers’ for Marketing in July.

I’m taking my own advice right now! I have a Giveaway for You! I hope it will lower your stress levels. It’s 31 Days of Content! All done for you! It has some Pro Tips for how to personalize it for the type of business you’re in. And here’s the link to it:https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/pl/2147601292

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Love y’all, Brenda Wyatt

Creator of Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing Online Course

If you’d like to subscribe- send me an email at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

camelliascottage

This is not Urgent…

26 May 2022 at 11:34

Hello!  I hope you’re enjoying a new season! In my newsletter this week- the subject line was actually – ‘This is not- Urgent, a Reminder or the Final Hours’ I hope you know by now that I love to keep up with marketing trends. I recently read a reputable business site and the title was something like- ‘How to Get your Emails Opened.’ Those techniques in my newsletter subject line- Urgent, a Reminder and Final Hours– were just a few of their suggestions! No! I’m sorry, that’s not my style. Maybe if it’s from a retailer who I trust- though still doubtful. I don’t believe those tactics work- they’re stressful, seem icky and spammy to me. 

In fact, another highly reputable site and whom I trust further stated that words in the Subject Lines like Free, Reminder or Percentage Off are overused and have negative open rates. Whoa! Who wants that? Okay, so what will work? Here’s a few in my personal inbox that I plan to open-

  • ‘Countdown to Summer’ This is a new collection from a retailer I love. 
  • ‘Classes Start Today’ – I signed up for those. 
  • ‘Today Only’ I’m still deciding, though it’s not as much of a put off as others
  • ‘ 10 Ideas to Refresh.‘  It’s Spring here. Who doesn’t want a Refresh?
  • ‘The One Thing You Should Know’ Folks love Lists or that One Thing. 
  • ‘Let’s Talk About…’  Ok, women tend to like these subject lines. Men usually don’t. 
  • ‘Cleopatra’s Favorite Perfume.’ Now, really who doesn’t want to know that? Ok. Maybe just me. It’s thought to contain myrrh, cinnamon, fruit oil- probably from dates and pine or cedar resin. Apparently, the recipes for the fragrance have been found in ancient writings. I’m not making this up! This is from a reputable History site. So, yes! I trusted the information.

So! How do we actually get folks to open, read or even just scan our written content? It’s like anything else- Develop a relationship with the reader, stir in that Know, Like, Trust factor and you’re on your way. Some of our titles or subject lines should be Specific and Straightforward- like ‘Classes Begin Today’. And there are those which use a play on words- which I tend to like. Still others create interest, are quirky and fun- obviously Cleopatra’s Perfume checked all of those boxes for me! 

I want folks to feel happy, intrigued and curious- not stressed out with another Urgent Demand- unless it’s really Urgent– let’s avoid that! 

We want whatever we write to be a pleasure to read. Something they will enjoy. It’s always about Information and Inspiration. Speaking of that! If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter- it’s free but not in the subject line! Just send me a message and I’ll tell you how to get on the list!

I’ve been posting about Color lately on Instagram. Here’s a download from my course about Color Mapping-

Click Here:  “C:\Users\sunni\OneDrive\Color Mapping for You.pdf” It’s a fun way to find out your Color Values- I have more training available in my course!

opening-slide-for-courseSpeaking of which- We are having so much fun with ‘Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing.’ If you think this is something you’d be interested in- I’d love to have you! Here’s the link to find out more! https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

Love y’all, Brenda 

Photo of me - porch - course

camelliascottage

opening-slide-for-course

7 Easy Marketing Tips…

27 April 2022 at 21:24

Working on my newsletter a few weeks ago, I realized I wanted to share part of it with you! It’s the short version of 7 Easy Marketing Tips. No one knows your business better than you do. Yet, most don’t really like the marketing part of business. Okay, this isn’t one of the 7 Tips yet may be the most important thing- Change your Mind from ‘seller’ to Becoming a Trusted Resource. How? Here’s 7 Easy Ways:

  1. Put together Gift Guides, not just seasonally or for holidays. These really work all year round. You can get started with Mother’s Day which is in a few weeks in the U.S.
  2. Offer Ideas- all. the. time. Let’s say you sell perishable flowers, offer ideas for extending blooms or a pretty vintage container. I sold fashion on straight commission for years, yet I walked my customer over to the shoe or accessory department and made a few ideas before turning her over to an associate there. This really works!
  3. Offer Gift Certificates. Product or Service based businesses should offer these year round. If someone has come to your site and looked around? Well, you could always make sure they know you offer Gift Certificates.
  4. When I worked for international fragrance companies, we offered a Gift with Purchase at holidays, yet we always added samples– all. year. round. Now what does that mean for other things? Well, if you’re a baker: Offer a simple recipe for compound butter or easy frosting. I know artists who have notecards with a print of their art. Often, these are inserted in with the purchase or used for…
  5. Stay in Touch with your existing customers! A simple note or email- ‘just checking in’ or ‘so good to have seen you’, a sincere ‘thinking of you’ goes a long way to building that personalized shopping experience. Which brings me to this:
  6. Provide Value. What does that mean? It really means- ‘Add Convenience.’ A length of ribbon, a small gift tag, simple gift wrap or a tiny surprise that adds joy to the shopping experience.
  7. The All Important 5 B’s – Be Memorable. Be Consistent. Be Informative. Be Kind. Be Grateful. Let’s face it everyone wants information and inspiration yet, ‘Thank You’ goes a long way, no matter what you do, create or sell!

Hope this help if you are marketing…anything! Love y’all, Brenda

*My gift to you is a free newsletter! If you think this is something you could use, email me at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com I’ll be glad to add you to my list! And! What do I market? Well, after 30+ years as a Retail Specialist, I’m offering an online course all about Visual Marketing, if you think this is something use, I’d love to have you join. I’m so grateful you’re here and it’s impressive when anyone writes a blog, builds a small business or offers great services! You will have lifetime access to it, even as it’s updated. It’s 5 mini courses in one course and you can find it through this link; https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b The Name of it is: Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

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Blooming in Harsh Light…

13 April 2022 at 23:13

Times are harsh. They have been for quite a while. Over 2 years now, we’ve all witnessed Disease, Death, and Destruction and have had our share of exhaustion, even depression. The truth is life has been and still has been harsh. Unsure of the future, we are trying to find out way and yes, some have stared so long for so long and hard- that there’s overwhelm and some have told me that they are just burned out or ‘not feeling it’ right now.’ Backing away from social media, taking a break. I understand. Still.

We do need to know how to continue posting- even if not as often and with a certain sensitivity. We need to know how to continue creating or doing business while understanding folks are bombarded with information almost constantly. The question is then, how do we bloom in harsh light? How to celebrate holidays or perhaps get away from it all for a few days.

First we must believe that we are gifted. And not only gifted, but gifted for such a time as this. Right now, it’s easy to think what we write or make, create or sell isn’t vital- in fact we may think- ‘What I’m doing is trivial compared to all of the horribleness right now.’ Am I right? When what we are really thinking is – ‘What I do doesn’t matter.’ Oh yes, it Matters! Why? Well, let’s say we are thirsty- yet in your own special talented way- you go the extra mile and make a simple glass of water special- you add sprigs of fresh mint and limes. You’ve found a way to beautifully quench thirst.

It might be easy to say what we do or create or sell won’t bring World Peace or whatever it is that you’re thinking. Yet. Who are we to Decide what Folks Want or Need? Yes, be sensitive in your posting yet remember this- Folks need Beauty. Folks need Gifts for Celebrations. Folks may want to uplevel their Skills or Businesses. Folks who are burned out may need inspiration or even coaches and services- trying find ways to bloom in Harsh Times. You could be that person. You could inspire someone today. Do you recall how many of us found our gardens immensely helpful in the first lockdowns?

We never know what will happen, what I do know is that what you create, sell or offer could make all the difference in the world to someone. You may think you’re just one beam of light when really you can light up the night just be being the best sparkling effervescent unforgettable You.

That Quote? It’s true. I wrote it during the pandemic- I had to refer to it in harsh light. I read it often as I began writing and creating my course. On days when I wondered if it would ever see the light of day! Well, now it’s Live. It’s done with love going out into the harsh light of this world with hope that it might help someone… We never know, still we must go on.

Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s the link to my Online Course. Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing. In this fast paced marketing world we live in- we are All Beginner’s at something- the Marketing Portion is of special interest. Though, I do take you through the Steps of Visual Marketing. If it’s something you think you could use it for your business or dream of one, the link also tells you how to join. Thank you.

https://app.kajabi.com/admin/sites/2147488395/landing_pages#

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Unforgettable…

9 April 2022 at 17:36

Hello There! Here I am in living color talking to you from my phone! If you’re new here, thank you for stopping by! I’ve added a little bit about myself, my blog and what I’ve been up to in the last few months! If you’ve been here awhile, thank you. I really do appreciate you. You’ve made blogging unforgettable for me!

The video explains a little bit about my journey in blogging and my brand new online course called- Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing. It’s gleaned from 30 plus years in Retail. I was so fortunate to work with amazing visual stylists- what they taught me or showed me, was a tremendous help in developing my 9 Principles of Design which are included in this course.

There are 5 Main Things I think even folks who’ve been around a while should know about Marketing online.

1. Express your Values through Color. This is one way the big brands develop their logos and more!

2. Use the 9 Principles of Design for Styling. This is how You will be Unique.

3. Create, Choose and Use Compelling Images. This is how you Draw Folks into your sites.

4. Become a Storyteller. Make your Audience Feel Something. As Seth Godin said- ‘It’s not about the Stuff you Sell, it’s about the Stories you Tell.’

5. Create a Personalized Shopping Experience. This is the essence of Marketing 101.

All of this, including personalized Color Mapping, a 50+ downloadable workbook, the 9 Principles of Design, 20 pages of Props, Images and Styling Materials, 15 Writing Lessons to Create Content with Confidence, Marketing 101, Lifetime Access and more are included in my online course- Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing.

https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course

Because I’d rather serve the many, rather than the few- it’s very reasonably priced for 5 Mini Courses in 1 Program. I hope you’ll take a look at it. If it’s something that would help you grow your business, pursue your dream of owning a product or service-based business or add to what you already know, just click the link above, I’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have!

I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled program soon! Thanks for watching!

Love y’all, Brenda

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Roses…

15 March 2022 at 12:10

Roses. No matter what age or stage, where you live or work- I think of you as my Roses. Do I have favorites? Well yes, I do, I’ll tell you later about those… here’s the thing I like best about blogging I get to meet folks from all around the world. It’s like travelling- maybe better. That’s also what I love about writing my newsletter too. It’s a grand collage of all types who have one thing in common, they’re amazing, talented and creative- some may just be starting out or dreaming like little rosebuds- waiting to bloom. Or, they just begun their creative journeys full of hopes and plans.. Some just need the Marketing Tips or Encouragement or even what the big industry folks are saying. Others know what they’re doing, they just need a fresh perspective. The latest newsletter is about ‘Posting in Difficult Times’.

Then, there’s others who want to download a PDF- like the current newsletter which included – ‘Create Spring Gift Guides Now.’ Why? Because in difficult times- we have a chance to pause and do something behind the scenes while being respectful and careful during these trying time.

I’ve been doing these newsletters for well over a year now- it gives me a chance to work with a smaller group. I’m thankful for All who’ve signed up- it feels like giving out a a few roses when I send it and when I hear from any of the subscribers- well it’s the best bouquet of Love to hear their thoughts. You’d be welcome too, if you decide to sign up too. Just reply to this post with your email address. My promise to you is that I’ll never cram your inbox and it will be worth your precious time. Your email will not be shared with any 3rd party. And, while it would break my heart to see you go- you can unsubscribe at any time.

Now, about my favorites? Well, the New Dawn Roses on our picket fence are heirloom roses given to me by one of our daughters- it’s an early and prolific pale pink rose. Then again, our whole fence is a bit exuberant – they’re Showoff’s really.

I love the ones I saw in Santa New Mexico several years ago- tall, stately and bright. That image of a climbing rose over a shop door is a dream.

My Mimi said- ‘Rosebuds are sweet, yet there may be nothing more beautiful than a full blown rose.’ She was a florist so we paid attention. Then there’s this- ahem… since Rosebuds tend to speak to children or young folks, a Full Blown Rose, well we older folks fall into that category, right? At every age and stage, Roses are beautiful! That’s good to know!

That crazy collage with Roses? I took that on Royal Street in New Orleans. It was meant to be a throwaway photo, though it’s mesmerizing and I just couldn’t let it go, especially with those roses. And today, it’s reminding me of you, unique talented you.

Love y’all, Brenda

To sign up for newsletter, you can also email me at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

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Mushrooms- the Extraordinary Ordinary…

2 December 2021 at 20:30

Why this talk of Mushrooms? Well, I love to take something ‘ordinary’ and make it extraordinary. It’s a fun way to write, design and add that extra special something. Here- mushrooms use my 9 Principles of Design. Texture and Mood, two of my favorite design principles. Mushrooms, lichen and moss see to add something mysterious and magical to a woodland walk. They add something special to a warm bowl of soup or a rustic tart.

And oh yes, there’s a natural artistic expression of the ‘ordinary’ mushroom. The underside folds or gills look at once ancient and modern, even when recreated in fabric stitchery definitely add that whimsical mood. The stuff that adds an extra dimension, especially this time of year.

Whether the mushrooms are a singular find on a damp forest floor or a basketful, we are enchanted by mushrooms. And when you consider that for a mushroom to grow, it requires almost perfect conditions. If you see mushrooms growing, that’s a sign of good rich soil. It’s incredible to me that mushrooms grow in dim light without any fanfare and yet are so unique.

Texture? Yes. Mood? Oh yes, we also love moody light and we must not forget to add Whimsy which is the subtle ‘mood lifter’ which is always welcome especially as the holidays draw near and ordinary day grow dimmer. I don’t know about you, yet I want a bit of the extraordinary ordinary. Mushrooms, anyone?

Love y’all, Brenda

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Write using Scent…

19 October 2021 at 10:46

The Scent of Fall. Think about it, what do Autumn Scents evoke? In the South, we plant Pansies, we collect hydrangeas on the wane…drying. The Zinnias are making one last effort. Full Blown Roses may take center stage on the fall floral scents. Yet. And this is Important- Fall Scent is really the decay of leaves and moss or fungi breaking down, this creates the musky sugary scent of a leaf pile. Yes, Mums have a distinct spicy scent and as fruit ripens- well you know the scent of ripe fruit, right?

Scents are closely associated with Memories. For instance, I worked for the Fragrance Division of Oscar de la Renta- the Classic Oscar fragrance was born from his stroll through his mother’s garden in the Dominican Republic. He picked a bouquet and the scent was born. With floral scents of Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Rose and Gardenia- Oscar brilliantly added herbs- Basil, Lavender and Rosemary. There is also a hint of Coconut and Cloves. So! Why all of this talk of Scent? Well..

When we show off our photos or even videos, we appeal to sight, maybe sound- using only 2 of our 5 senses. There are 3 more senses we need to appeal to our audiences. Scent is one of them- if you show Fall Food- write about the scent as the Food is prepared. Let us know the aroma is irresistible. If you show Fall Gardens, please know that it’s not the scent of a Pumpkin or an Apple- you want to evoke in your audience. It’s the Warm Spices of a Pie, hot from an oven. Create a Memory using Scent. That’s the biggest lesson of Writing in this post. Yes, we enjoy the photos, yet it’s the combination of images and words which form the greatest attraction. Writing which uses the Unseen Senses of Photography and is one of the best ways to draw us in. What keeps us there? is Writing about it!

A cosy blanket? Help me ‘Feel’ the Texture. Tell me what I taste and smell when I read your post- Warm Bread? Oh my, yes! Caramel? Did you know Caramel is one of the Burnt Sugar Scents of Autumn- the distinct burning of the sugary scent of Fall Leaves. It’s a scientific fact- when leaves fall and turn brown, part of the process is releasing sugars to feed the plants and trees through the winter.

Try on the Scents of Fall as you write, create more than Beauty- Create a Memory. Just like Oscar created a Memory of Home in his mother’s flower garden.

Love y’all, Brenda

PS. Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written a post! I’m about halfway through creating an online course- A Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing. Stay tuned.

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Stairs as an Allegory…

26 August 2021 at 11:08

Possibilities, that’s what Stairs mean to me. Stairs are associated with a journey, progress, growth. And, depending on which way you’re going? Down? Stairs could represent the Fear of Failure or Fear of Falling. Ok, that’s what I’ve experienced, after a knee surgery more than a decade ago- I had fallen on a small run of steps and after surgery I found out that it’s easier to go upstairs than to come down. What a revelation to me.

Stairs are a strong symbol of transistion, change, transformation and growing wiser- leading our minds to a new, different and hopefully higher level. Stairs have been used, even in ancient cultures, as a symbol of going from one level of being to the next level- one step at a time. Ok. Rocky might have taken it more than one step at a time- yet who can forget the image of Stallone standing triumphant? And yess, I’ve gone up those stairs myself! The Thrill of Victory. Really. Out of Breath.

I love beautiful stairways, ornate or humble. And yes, there’s the romance of a spiral staircase, an architectural marvel- symbolic of oh so many things…to me, it’s pure genius. A Black and White Staircase? Coco Chanel would’ve loved it. My personal favorites are a beautiful shade of blue at Independence Hall, the Village Steps with Terra Cotta Pots and the Tropical Green and White- so cool and fresh. Still. All of them have been speaking to me lately.

I’ve been impatient with a project I’ve been working on- I thought I’d be finished..there are more steps than I planned and more to go. Some are new challenges, I’ve been facing or even avoiding. ‘When you start something new, even if you don’t have all the answers, trust your instincts and believe that you’ll rise to the occasion.’ One of my favorite quotes even if I made it up myself! So!

It’s back to basics week. One Step at a Time. A New Perspective- each of the steps or even obstacles are really Possibilities in disguise. *I’m just hoping it’s less than ‘a journey of 1000 miles.’

Love y’all, Brenda

*Okay, an allegory is a narrative in which something like stairs, a place or object is used to express a bigger, more important message to illustrate or explain ideas. Allegories are really an easy way to express a meaningful, even complex idea. In this writing lesson, you’ve seen an allegory express more than just an architectural element- it’s about going higher or further than you thought you could or would.

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A Touch of the Unexpected…

10 August 2021 at 17:14

Gray and White… my prediction for transitioning from Summer to Fall. Practical, solid colors that have stood the test of time- yet still find a way to feel fresh and new. In these continuing uncertain times, I think we’re all looking for the promise of stability, calm and dependability. Gray and White do just that.

I was thinking about this while I was scrubbing clothes in that galvanized washtub. Okay, that’s a lie. I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. My favorite Grays are Oyster Shells, Galvanized anything, Old Linen, Silver with the Patina of age, even Old Wooden Spoons washed to a pleasing gray- these things have stood the test of time.

Gray and White Inspiration

Yes, I love those colors, and while they’ve been around a long time- somehow Gray and White is fresh, cool, calm and collected- perfect for summer into fall. Whether cool and crisp or warm and cuddly as balls of yarn- my forecast is that Gray will give us what we need as the seasons change. As Pantone says of it’s Color of the Year- ‘Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.’ White give us clarity and light while the ever practical Gray is timeless, strong, hardworking and wise. I don’t know about you, yet I think that’s just what I need.

So, what’s the touch of the unexpected? Well, it’s that Video and Music- that’s certainly unexpected from me! And, it’s a touch of Humor. You know where I tell you I was thinking about Gray while I was scrubbing clothes in that washtub? Right. And then, there’s building a story around an ordinary color like Gray… And yet, it’s truly the Fashion Industry’s standard of which colors will be ‘new’ in 2021. Ultimate Gray. You can build a story around even the simplest of things… add a touch of the unexpected and your story just might be unforgettable! Love y’all, Brenda

Find the Colors for Fall and Winter 2021 at http://www.pantone.com

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A Writing Lesson using Doors…

19 July 2021 at 23:39

A fun way to Write is to assign Human Characteristics to Inanimate Objects such as Doors.. It’s no secret that I love architectural elements. I take photographs of fences, railings, windows, shutters, windowboxes and more…especially Doors. Though this Writing Lesson may focus on doors, the technique applies to any inanimate object of your choice.

Take this first block of doors… that White Tool Shed, she’s a hard worker, down to earth with an unexpected flair for the dramatic with that blue door. The Hidden Door on a side street strikes me as a shy, private one- though hoping to be found, she secretly longs to stand out. That impressive Pediment in Constitution Hall, speaks of confident authority- yet one who probably wears sensible shoes. In contrast, there’s the humble thrifty landowner who probably caught paint on sale and didn’t give a whit about that showy color! Don’t you know that’s true!

In this block, there’s the introverted nature lover who obviously enjoys quiet and solitude. Bermed in, yet that blue Door is ready to welcome a friend or two. Now, the pretty Door with a Vine is a cheerful soul, a generous gardener who offers rustic dinner parties after holding a cooking class. Don’t you love her already? Oh my, that amazing Ornate Exterior has amassed a fortune, is also home to a fashionista. She’s a not-so-subtle standout with impeccable taste. The humble rustic door is concerned with protecting house and home- how do I know this? Well, it belonged to pioneer Kit Carson!

I had to include at least one window, a warm, open, happy personality, who allows us to see just the right amount of her humble home. as she breezes easily through her life.

Of course, the opening image is a Sanctuary Door- welcome, wise and strong. It’s as if She knows, at some point in our lives, we’re all going to need a discreet Listener. You know? I love them all- beautiful, unique as a fingerprint- serving their own purpose- big or small. Still. If I had to choose, it would be that white tool shed with the blue door. Why? I’ve decided that she’s actually a ‘Work in Progress’. Yes, I definitely relate to that! Which one would you choose? And, if you’d like to give it a try, assign human characteristics to an inanimate object like a Door.

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. If you’d like to be on our mailing list for the free planning guides- drop me an email at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

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Creative Possibilities…

10 July 2021 at 17:29

Paintbrushes symbolize creative possibilities, and represent the possibility of Change. It’s said if you dream of paintbrushes- it’s possible that you see yourself doing something unique or the desire to accomplish something worthwhile. If you’re not sure what or how to write, start with a plain or simple image of something sort of common or mundane. Look up the symbolism and you’ve got the start of a great story.

It’s been said that artists prefer wooden brushes made of pine- an evergreen. To paint something that achieves lasting form, meaning and value. And, then there’s Color. Color is the Workhorse of Design. Before we ever read a word, our brains have formed an opinion. Your color choices, your color story has- well, it’s told a story. If your color story is complex, the viewer decides- ‘I don’t have the mental energy for this.’ Am I right? In today’s world of massive amounts of information coming at us- from many directions.

From a young age, we develop emotions around color. Color forms the texture of our lives. It’s been said, ‘ Use language on a 4th to 7th grade level.’ Why? It’s not because we aren’t smart. Because.. a message should be easy to understand. The same is true with color – your color message should be easy to understand. Never be afraid of possibilities, change or to accomplish something worthwhile- achieve something of value. Use Color to start the conversation, evoke good feelings and opinions.

Yet, above all, Keep it Simple. Simplicity is often the most difficult design or art form to achieve- yet Simplicity tends to accomplish something long lasting and worthwhile. Memorable. These are Notes to Self and to You- I hope you dream in Paintbrushes and that Color is the Fabric of your Life.

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. please notice- in writing, use symbolism such as paintbrushes. Then, color begins the conversation, let the image set the scene and then begin telling a simple and easily understood message. That’s a winning combination every time.

P.S.S. The July Planning Guide is ready- and it’s chock full of information to take you right into the Fall! In fact, there’s a major Color Story in this guide- an interpretation of the Fall/Winter Colors of 2021! These guides are free. Send me an email at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

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Weight…

28 June 2021 at 07:33

Weight.. could we talk about weight? No, no, no- not that kind of weight. And, could we talk about Balance? Okay, weight and balance aren’t just for those amazing Health and Wellness folks. Still. Weight brings Balance to your Visual Designs, especially in 2 dimensional designs such as we find in advertising, on our blogs, in other social media- in other words Photography Graphic Design is 2 dimensional and flat.

On a recent trip to New Orleans, I was having a Ball posing next to a rather weighty Urn.. it occurred to me that weight in graphic design brings Balance and Interest which you cannot achieve any other way. Then… as if to reinforce my thought process, I saw a vintage scale in the French Market. Scale is another one of those words in Design that relate to Balance. Though this scale was for weighing things! So… I jotted down 7 Ways to use Weight in Visual Design.

  1. Use contrasting color. (Apples anyone?)
  2. Move the ‘important object’ away from the other elements in your photos.
  3. Be careful with Font Shapes, Size and Form- especially for Quotes. *Folks are 3 times more likely to pause and read a well done quote- so it’s important to create them well.
  4. Use a singular object. Negative Space does add ‘weight’.
  5. Add a human being- yes, even if she’s faded standing next to a big iron urn!
  6. Use distinct or complex imagery. (Fill up the frame.)
  7. Increase the size of your image. (The first image is a good example)

Here’s the thing, Weight adds emphasis, importance and interest to your visual designs. Weight balance an otherwise same scale photography. Photo after Photo on an Instagram feed for example which are all the same- may look balanced yet not as interesting. Or you may use several photographs on a blog post, yet if you shift the ‘weight’ as listed above in your photographs, they tend to be more eye catching. The same goes for Store Displays. Adding things of different weights or sizes to your displays make them more interesting.

Weight also signals that there might be something interesting or important in the message you’re sending to your reader. *A warning here… Weight can be overdone and perceived as ‘shouting’. Even type fonts can be a little too bold or scary!

Have a wonderful week, folks. You’ve just gotten a message to ‘Add Weight.’ Couldn’t resist that one!

Love y’all, Brenda

The July Planning Guide is almost ready! July is a pivotal month in the Retail Calendar. This one will be different than the others to reflect the upcoming Fall/Winter Season. If you’d like to receive it- send me an email at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com

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