How to keep your content consistent when you curate as much or more than you create

CarolineKoehler

Unless you're a photographer, graphic designer or are just really good at whipping up all your own content (which gets harder as your business grows, I'm sure you know!), chances are you may consider or already do regularly partner with creative vendors for content.

Whether these are collaborative styled shoots or paid content shoots, it's very often necessary to bring in someone else to create your content - and well. This doesn't just go for visuals either - content is also all the lovely copy you're reading right now! It is so essential in establishing and growing your brand to keep a cohesive look and experience on your social platforms. 

Here are a few tips I have for you to keep your branding in check and keep your aesthetic consistent - even if you curate more than you create.

First things first, let's tackle the topic of content curation vs. content creation. When you're curating content, you're gathering resources from other sources. Creating content is when you make graphics and visuals, or take photos and write copy yourself. 

FOR VISUALS + PHOTOS
1. Be selective with who you work with. For some folks, this a no brainer. But for the 'yes men (and women)' out there, especially those running low on content or just starting out their social platforms, it can be hard to say no. Bottom line is, the way we look at Instagram, Pinterest and even websites has changed - your clients are no longer interested in seeing growth while taking a chronological look at your brand (scroll, scroll, scroll.) If you're starting out with anything other than strong with visuals and words, it's going to be a LOT of work to rebrand, bury content and compensate for this - trust me. You may be thinking, Alex! How do I say no? Try giving this a go...

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me in regards to your upcoming project. Although it seems like this would be a fantastic opportunity, it is not right for my brand, and for that reason I will have to pass. Good luck and best wishes on a successful shoot!

2. When it comes to collabs, specifically styled shoots, it's absolutely imperative to be sure to clearly and specifically articulate shots you need. I've had accessory clients loan items for shoots and not get back one usable image of the piece head-on. This is often the case for other vendors who don't hold as much inherent prominence in the images like a wedding dress, floral arrangement or furniture decor might. As Wu-Tang Clan would say, protect ya neck! Don't waste money or time on a shoot that won't deliver you the images you need for cohesive branding. I talk about how to ensure a successful styled shoot on this post here if you want to learn more!  

3. Break up your product or work photos with on-brand inspiration, quotes and reposts. Not only will you have the most control of what you curate or create to include into your feed or on your website, you'll be able to expand your network by giving other vendors a little love. You'll also find it easier to keep up with the daily need for posting, while injecting a little personality into your social platforms, without using your entire supply of content. Tip: If you find a really lovely image but can't track the source, it's best to clearly state that it's unknown. If you know the vendor or source, tag them! You don't want to run into any issues with copyright laws for adding a little variety into your content mix. A few ideas for wedding vendors: engagement rings, floral arrangements, cakes/dessert, signature cocktails, wedding invitations, calligraphy, bridal makeup, and wedding signage. 

FOR WRITTEN CONTENT
1. Consider hiring a copywriter - like me! No really. Not only will you be able to rely on professional, clean and on-brand (also grammatically correct) copy to use in social media captions, on your website or even in your product descriptions, but you can also expect consistent verbiage and attentiveness to detail. As with anything, when it comes to hiring a writer, you get what you pay for. 

2. Outline buzz words (key words), hashtags, language and important details about your business that you can consistently use to keep your branding on point. You may even consider a brand bible (a guide to font choices, colors, key words, key phrases, hashtags, aesthetic, etc.) The last thing you want to do when you're (or when the person you're hiring is) setting up your content to be published, is hit a brick wall in writing your captions. Setting expectations for yourself, and those you hire, ensures everyone knows what they're doing - and what you're getting. Just as you want to know what to do, be sure to define what you don't want, too. 

I hope this advice helps inspire you to refocus how you create and curate content for your website and social media to ensure you keep a cohesive aesthetic. If you'd like to set up a consultation to discuss your branding, and any focus areas of improvement, I'd love to chat!

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