13 marketing tips for real estate agents

Real estate can be a lucrative industry, but if you’re marketing your services in a fiercely competitive market, you’re going to have to do some serious work to stand out. 

While there’s no one magic ingredient that will guarantee success, there are a number of tactics you can employ to help gain more exposure and to create long term success. Investing in quality marketing, means creating quality content that gets your name out there and keeps it top of mind. Quality content is about playing the long game and building a solid foundation for your brand. 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

To make sure you’re maximizing your market’s potential, here are 12 tips to help give your sales momentum a boost:
 

1. Be active on social

From renting tips and mortgage advice to home decor trends and how-to-sell guides, real estate agents have endless potential content to work with. Widen up the scope of your content from just current listings and make sure what you’re posting is beneficial to home owners during every step of the buying journey (including those who have already completed the buying process!). 

Build your presence by filling your feeds with genuinely useful information – and, as always, remember to interact with other users to gain exposure.

 

2. Don’t play hard to get

Don’t make people have to work to find your contact details. Whether it’s on your website, social bio or sales collateral, your contact details should be everywhere! Make sure your info is clear and easy to find to up your chances of an inbound inquiry. 



3. Branch out from stock photography

People can sniff stock images from a mile off. Give your brand an authentic feel by using real images of real houses and real homebuyers. Your smart phone has a great camera for snapping photos out in the field, but when it comes to photos of listings we suggest hiring a specialized real estate photographer. 

 

4. Hire a wordsmith

Your pictures are just one part of the pitch. Your words are the other. Do your listings justice and pique people’s interest by retaining a copywriter who can help bring your properties to life. 
 


5. Don’t over exaggerate

While you want to make your listings appear appealing, don’t get carried away and over sell your properties. If you build a reputation for wasting people’s time, you’ll only tarnish your reputation -- which is not easy to undo!

 

6. Consider the UX of your listings

Not sure what to display? Take a look at how Zillow and Redfin display their info to get an idea of what might matter to prospective buyers! 

User experience (UX) testing helps you understand how real people navigate their way around your website so that you can identify areas in need of improvement. 

You’ll want to consider what potential homebuyers are looking for when they come to your site. Information like square footage, location, price, and features should be readily available and easy to read. Photos should be easy to flip through and maps should be easy to explore. 

 

7. Watch out for stale listings 

You fall in love with a house. You make an inquiry. You’re told it’s already off the market. At best, it’s just inconvenient and irritating. Make sure you put a process in place to ensure properties that are no longer available are swiftly removed from your site.

 

8. Keep people in the loop

Buying a house can be a long process – and some people might start the process only to realize they’re not quite prepared to buy. Don’t lose that relationship! Be sure to collect prospective buyers email addresses and point them to your social media, so that you can engage with them until it’s time to buy.
 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

9. Don’t forget about millennials

It feels like every day there’s another headline about millennials and how few of them are buying homes, but it’s important not to discount them as potential buyers. Homeownership is starting to increase among this generation, and it’s important to start engaging this demographic because of their future purchasing power. Social media is a great way to do this because it shows you can speak their language! 

 

10. Get offline with a broker event 

While maintaining your social media is important, don’t be afraid to pull things offline and connect in person. A broker event could be anything from a traditional open house to a first time home buyers class. 



11. Become an authority

Creating quality content like webinars, videos, white papers, and blogs will help you increase your search engine optimization while also building your brand awareness. We suggest writing and accepting guest blogs to help you cross promote with other realtors and reach new people.

Valuable content -- like neighborhood profiles -- can help drive massive amounts of traffic to your site, making your name recognizable to potential homebuyers now and in the future. 

 

12. Get real feedback to share

Customer testimonials give insight into what it’s like to work with you. They’re a great way to give potential buyers some insight as they try to decide if they want to sign an engagement letter with you. 

When collecting testimonials, it’s often best to engage with home buyers as they near closing – your experience is fresh on their mind and there’s a chance you might lose contact with them after closing. 

 

13. Print isn’t dead

When you’re doing the rounds at open houses it’s easy to get confused about what house offered what. Don’t let prospective buyers leave a tour empty handed! Create handouts that recap all the important specs of the house, photos, and location information. 

We also suggest putting together a special packet for first time home buyers that covers every step from getting approved for a mortgage to what to expect at closing. Empowering first time buyers with their own information will eliminate confusion and cut down on the time you spend answering easy questions.  


Hue & Tone: Your Real Estate Marketing Partner

If you’re a real estate agent and you’re looking to ramp up your online presence, you’ve landed on the right site. From complete brand overhauls to social media management, we’re your one-stop-shop for all things web and design. 

Color Stories: Fall Looks for 2018

What can we say? We love fall! We know it’s still hotter than heck, but we can’t help but get excited about the impending pumpkin spice, fall leaves, and chunky sweaters. 

In fact, we also got really excited about fall last year on the blog ... and the year before … and the year before that. Basically, creating fall inspired mood boards is becoming a regular thing for us. However, this year we’re pushing ourselves to go beyond red, orange, and yellow to come up with a more out of the box set of fall palettes.  

We’ll admit, a few traditional fall colors worked their way into our mood boards – but overall we stuck to less traditional hues to keep things fresh. 

Take a look at what we came up with here – and, let us know which is your favorite in the comments!

Luscious Lake

The lake in this photo looks peaceful, but these deep colors evoke a feeling of something a little darker. Deep, rich jewel tones gives off a luscious feel. 


Moodboards_Urban-02.jpg

Crisp and Clean

Fall is all about baking and enjoying the outdoors. That’s why this tasty close up was a perfect fit for us. Cool greens and a muted ice blue speak to winter being right around the corner. 


Culinary Creativity

Family recipes abound in autumn, making it the best time to draw inspiration from your culinary supplies. Warm honey, flour, and a few kitchen tools informed this color scheme. 


Bold Bounty

This plenitude of heirloom tomatoes was perfect for a more primary color scheme. These brighter hues are a fun alternative to the soft side of fall. 


Moodboards_Urban-05.jpg

Dusty Detritus

Downed leaves make for some beautiful colors. We loved pulling inspiration from this fallen foliage. Muted lavender, subdued peach, and an understated charcoal have a soothing effect. 


Foggy Fowl

Soft lighting sets the mood here with creamy taupe, a soft sage, and a rusty brown.  


Design + Branding for Greensboro, NC and Beyond

Color scheme need an update? Brand feeling stale? Logo looking outdated? We can fix all of that -- and more! Based out of the Triad, our team can help you refresh and revitalize your flagging brand. More than just an outside team, we'll become your partner in all things visual and marketing related. Sound like what you're looking for? Give us a call

Pros and cons: DIY Web Design vs. Hiring a Web Designer

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’ve all seen commercials for web builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress. They lead with a promise of creating a great website at lightning fast speed... even if you have no previous experience. It almost sounds a little too good to be true, right? 

It all depends on your needs. While web site builders make it easier than ever for non-designers to pull together their own website, they don’t work for everyone. If you’re a tech savvy business owner who needs a simple site, they might be a great option. But, if you’re tech-challenged, short on time, or in need of a more custom site you probably need to consider hiring a web designer.

Anyone can point out a website they like or select a template – but designers are the ones who can identify and execute all the elements needed for an on-brand, functional website. From color palettes and font pairings to white space and photography, there are some things a novice just won’t be able to execute on their own. 

Before you decide which route to take, let’s run through some of the pros and cons of DIYing or outsourcing your design: 
 


Outsourcing design: pros

Professional end product

There’s no denying that the end result of hiring a web designer is inevitably going to be stronger than what you’ll be able to create on your own. A strong website design will inevitably help you achieve your website goal, no matter if it’s more email opt-ins, a higher conversion rate, or more brand exposure.  

Functionality aside, did you know that 75% of consumers judge a brand’s credibility based on their site’s design? Web users are savvy, and they can sniff out a homemade website from a mile away – which in the long run could translate to a lot of missed opportunities. 
 

Saves you time and stress

Pulling together a list of your website needs and handing it over to a third party saves you immeasurable amounts of time and stress. You’ll be able to skip the hassle of doing background research, brainstorming concepts, refining ideas, finding your way around unknownsoftware, and making endless tweaks to the site. 

You can simply put your wish-list together, pass it on, and then get on with the rest of your to-do list while your designer handles the creative.
 

It’s a long term investment

Every business’ end goal is to generate revenue. But every good business owner knows that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. While you’ll pay a greater upfront cost to hire a web designer, you’re going to be walking away with a high quality final product that will serve your business for years to come. 

Creating your website yourself has the potential to open you up to issues with data security, mobile responsiveness, search optimization, and more – which long-term could lead to spending more than the cost of hiring a web designer.  

 

Pros and Cons: DIY Web Design Vs. Hiring a Web Design  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Outsourcing design: cons

It’s more expensive

The price you pay will vary from designer-to-designer (we would estimate anywhere from $500-$8,000 based on the complexity of your site) but it’s certainly more expensive than what a DIY tool will cost you. If you’re a brand new business or start-up with a limited marketing budget, the cost of hiring a web designer may feel prohibitive.  

Although we’ve listed this as a con, we urge you to think of the bigger picture, and your return on investment down the line.
 

Less insider info about your business

Every business has their own way of working, their own personal preferences, and their own knowledge of what’s worked in the past. Understandably, an outsider won’t possess nearly as much knowledge about your business as what you have. It make take a few meetings to educate them on the ins and outs of your business so that they’re able to create an effective website for you. 

If you feel like your designer isn’t listening or doesn’t have the time to talk through the backstory of your business, we suggest finding someone else who will. 
 

Finding the right fit

You do your research, talk to a number of potential designers, and still you feel like you can’t find the right fit. Keep on looking! 

Settling for the wrong designer is going to cost you more time and money in the long run, so be sure to do your research and settle on a clear scope of work before agreeing to anything. 

A good designer should ask you a lot of questions before providing a quote, should explain the process to you, be able to answer your questions, and will outline a clear scope before the project kicks off. If you feel like you’re in the dark about what you’ve agreed to or you feel like they just don’t get your business, then we suggest looking elsewhere. 

Ask for referrals, get the designer to provide ample work samples, and check out the quality of their online presence to get a good idea of their working style and final products. 
 



DIY design: pros

Save money

There are lots of online tools that let you create artwork for free, or offer additional features for a low fee. Either way, it’s likely to be cheaper than onboarding a designer. 
 

Total control

Working with a designer means having to make compromises based on their expertise, and we’ve seen first-hand how hard this can be for some business owners. If you think you’ll be unable to work with an outside party on your website, you may want to consider keeping the project in house. 

 


DIY design: cons

Compromised quality

Design is a skill like any other. The same way you can’t waltz onto a construction site and expect to be a builder, you can’t start using software and expect to be a designer.

Imagine you had to build a brick wall right now. Now imagine what the end result would look like. Compare that to what a professional mason would be able to build. The world of design is no different.
 

brooke-lark-609902-unsplash.jpg

More time, more limits

We’ve already mentioned that there are various cheap and/or free design tools around. But with their cost-saving benefits come limitations – both on what free software can do and what you’ll be able to execute with your limited skill set. 

There’s only so much you can do on basic design tools, and by limiting the flexibility of your designs, you’re essentially putting a cap on the potential quality of your finished product.

 

Tunnel vision

After working solo on your marketing for so long, you think you know exactly what works best and what your customers want. In some cases this might be true, but in a lot of cases there’s value for bringing in a fresh perspective – especially someone who is a marketing expert. Bringing in a web designer will help you get a fresh perspective and some new ideas. 

An expert designer will be able to take your marketing materials to a new level that you’ll never be able to execute with in house design, making you more competitive and more likely to stand out from the crowd. 
 

Loss of expertise

Last but not least, is the loss of experienced, tried and tested expertise. Let’s stick with our construction analogy. If someone asked you to build a skyscraper, you wouldn’t know where to start, or what best practices you need to follow, would you? Nor would you be expected to.

Professional designers have spent years mastering their trade. They’re hot on the heels of current and emerging trends. They’ve had past success and failures to learn from. And, they’ll be able to translate your ideas into something that works well for you while still fitting in with current trends. 

What does all that mean for you? A stand-out final website.


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design for the Triad

Now convinced you need to hire someone to help with your new website? Give us a call so we can see if we're a good fit for designing your new site or sprucing up your existing one. From web mockups to executing the final design, we want to be your go to partner for all things web and design. 

Marketing Trend Alert: Data Visualization

Marketing Trend Alert: Data Visualization  |  Hue & Tone Creative

We’re officially in a data-driven era. Decisions are made on it. Purchases are persuaded by it. And trust is gained through it. But what is data visualization? Where do its benefits lie? And how do you make data visualization truly effective? 
 

What is data visualization?

Qualitative data is information about qualities; information that can't actually be measured. Some examples of qualitative data are the softness of your skin, the grace with which you run, and the color of your eyes.
 Quantitative data is information about quantities; that is, information that can be measured and written down with numbers. Some examples of quantitative data are your height, your shoe size, and the length of your fingernails.

In its simplest form, data visualization is the representation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. Displaying information this way allows readers to grasp complex concepts with less effort and makes it easier to summarize a large of data quickly.

Data visualization can be used for both qualitative and quantitative data, but some common business uses include:

  • Breaking down market research results
  • Sharing customer insights and/or feedback
  • Displaying geographical variances
  • Detailing a timeline of events and/or activities
  • Presenting internal trading reports
     

Data visualization: the benefits

Your data is only as good as its interpretation, which is where visualization is key. For you visualized data to be successful it should have: 

Aesthetically pleasing results: lines and lines of numbers with the odd word interspersed never looks good -- nor does it read well. Data visualization removes the need for all the numbers and brings your pages to life with eye-catching graphics.

Digestible takeaways: data can be a minefield to understand and take several read throughs to understand. By presenting it visually, your audience can quickly and easily skim and digest the information you’ve given them.

Easier processing: by presenting your information visually, you’re upping the chances that people will understand and remember it.

 

Types of data visualization

When it comes to picking a type of visualization that’s right for your data, there’s no end to the choices. If you're looking for a jumping off point, we've compiled this list of different data styles for you to research and explore: 

Hierarchical

  • General tree visualization
  • Dendrogram
  • Radial tree
  • Wedge stack graph
  • Hyperbolic tree

Network

  • Matrix
  • Node-link diagram
  • Dependency graph
  • Hive plot
  • Alluvial diagram
  • Subway map

Geographical

  • Choropleth
  • Cartogram
  • Dot distribution map
  • Proportional symbol map
  • Dasymetric map

Time-related

  • Timeline
  • Time series
  • Connected scatter plot
  • Gantt chart
  • Arc diagram
  • Stream graph

Multi-dimensional

  • Pie chart
  • Histogram
  • Tag cloud
  • Bar chart
  • Tree map
  • Bubble chart
  • Waterfall chart
     

Data visualization examples

So, now that we’ve explored the benefits and types, let’s take a look at some great data visualization examples in practice.

 

Bubble cloud

  Image via  E  xplorer.uk

Image via Explorer.uk

Looks more engaging than a load of words and values dumped in a paragraph, right?

 

Tag cloud

  Image via  4  th World Movement

Tag clouds are a great way to bring word-frequency data to life. Like with this example, they can be extra effective if you use your creativity to mould your data into the shape of the topic, too.

 

Subway map

  Image via  Concept Draw

Image via Concept Draw

Subway maps aren’t just for subways...This type’s a great way to attract attention because, odds are, visitors won’t be expecting to find a subway map on your site!

 

Timeline

  Image via  P  oppyField.org

Image via PoppyField.org

This is a superb example of how a timeline (or really any chart) doesn’t have to be plain to be effective. With a few crafty tweaks, you can brand your charts and infographics to fit your brand! 

 

Looking for us to dive deeper on data visualization? Or, maybe you want to hear about another topic completely? Leave us a comment letting us know what you would like us to blog about!


Hue & Tone Creative: your marketing partner

Need your own custom infographics, charts, or presentations? We can help with all that and more! We'll help you define your brand and create tailored marketing materials so you can impress each and every one of your stakeholders. To get started, just shoot us an email explaining your needs: hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

12 things you need to be doing for social media success

12 Things You Need to Be Doing for Social Media Success  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Successful social media will generate quality leads, drive sales, and reinforce branding. But creating quality content takes a lot of planning, creativity, and time. 

Once you’ve identified your goals and audience, it’s time to start brainstorming quality content that will engage your followers. If you've already done that, but feel like your engagement is low, we've got a few tips for you to try. 

These 12 tactics should help you secure those elusive likes, shares, follows, clicks or leads: 
 

1.  Engage with your audience

Despite what the name implies, it’s actually pretty easy to get on social media and not be social. You wouldn’t ignore a current or prospective client’s call or email, so why should your social media communications be any different?

If someone leaves a comment or messages you, be sure to get back to them with an on-brand response in a timely fashion. 

 

2.  Mix up your feeds

Looking for some fresh posting ideas? We've got a whole series of blog posts on that! 

There’s nothing less effective than social media streams that regurgitate the same old stuff day after day. Content like blog posts and job vacancies are great content -- but they’re not all you should be posting day after day. Hop on trending content like current news, mix up your post formatting, and get creative!

 

3.  Take a multi-medium approach

Instead of trying to make all your marketing channels work in isolation, make social media a part of your print campaigns – and vise versa. If you’ve got an email or PR campaign going out, create a buzz around it on social media too. Creating a multichannel campaign can help increase your reach and direct new people over to your social channels.
 

4.  Time your posts

Figuring out when your followers are online will help you increase your reach. While Instagram gives you insight into the days and hours that your audience is online, you'll have to experiment with posting times when it comes to other platforms. Play around with posting on different days to see what works best for you and then analyze which hours get you the highest reach and engagement. 
 

5.  Post bold content

On social media getting noticed often means taking risks. People are inundated with fresh content every time they refresh their feeds – and to get results you’re going to have to think outside the box. 

This means something different for reach business -- but start by playing around with different post formats, riskier graphics, and out of the box content.
 

6.  Plan in advance

Don’t overlook big events -- or the social media exposure that comes with them. We suggest creating a social media calendar that spans several months in advance so that you can be proactive and maximize all topical opportunities. 
 

7.  Push people back to your site

Use bit.ly to shorten your links -- and track your traffic. 

If you’re not pushing people back to your website, you’re not getting the full benefits of posting on social media. Whether you’re sending people to a blog post, product page, or dedicated landing page, be sure to include links when they’re relevant. 
 

  Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!

Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!


8.  Blur the boundaries

Having strict brand guidelines in place is key for consistency, but if there’s one place to blur your boundaries, it’s on social media. We’re not suggesting going completely off brand – but we are suggesting that you play around with the style of your graphics and the buzz words you use. This will give you a great opportunity to see what your audience responds to – and what they really don’t like. 

 

9.  Up your video content

Facebook's algorithm has long favored video content over other mediums -- and we don't foresee that changing any time soon. Millions of videos are being watched each and every day, so make sure you incorporate them into your social media strategy. 

 

10.  Team up with an influencer

If you’re struggling to get the kind of reach you want, think about teaming up with a relevant influencer to give your following a boost. Just be sure you find someone that feels like a natural fit and speaks to your target demographic. 

 

11.  Shout about your success

Whether it’s a charity sale that went well or an award you recently won, shout about all the great things -- big and small -- that are happening with your business. It’s a fabulous and free way to promote your culture and aid your recruitment efforts.

 

12.  Be inventive with your images

Use a mix a graphics and pictures and don't be afraid to shake up the content. While your pictures should have a consistent style and look, feel free to branch out when it comes to subject matter. If you're posting multiple times a day, it's easy to get into a visual rut.  


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN GREENSBORO, NC

Have you hit a plateau for likes and follows? We can fix that! Whether you’re looking to increase your views or simply need a break from handling your account, Hue & Tone Creative has you covered for all things social.

Web Basics: What is web hosting?

Web hosting. We hear those words a lot, but how many of us actually know what it is? Well if you don’t, then look no further. We’ve cut out the jargon and waved goodbye to all that techy mumbo jumbo as we take a quick look at the basics of web hosting. 
 

What is web hosting?  |  Hue & Tone Creative


Web hosting vs domains

When it comes to web hosting and domains there can be a bit of confusion between the two. We like to break it down like this: 
 

Web hosting: This would be your house, because it’s the space where everything is stored.

Without web hosting there wouldn’t be any websites. It’s the physical location that your website (and everything it entails) sits, and it ensures that your site maintains a sturdy connection to the internet -- without that connection, people are unable to access any of the files on your site (which, in layman’s terms, means you have no website!).

Some examples of web hosting companies include InMotion, 1&1, HostGator, GoDaddy, Wix and Weebly.

 

Domain: This is the equivalent of your address, because it’s the location your host can be found.

It’s not a physical entity, it’s just the series of characters that make up your site’s unique location. So, the same way you’d enter an address and ZIP code to get to your end destination, you enter your domain name into the search bar to get to your website.

Some of the most popular domain name providers out there are GoDaddy, Hover, Dynadot, Google Domains and Namecheap.

 

Where should you buy web hosting from?

When it comes to choosing the right web host for you, there are a lot of solid contenders out there. To help you along your way, here are the top five as rated by the experts over at Techradar.


Web host

InMotion

Voted

Best overall shared web hosting

Selling points

Wordpress hosting, business hosting, web design services, and 24/7 US-based support

 

Runner-up overall shared web hosting

Baremetal servers, free SSL certificate, secure hacker protection, and email marketing

 

Best ‘cheap’ option on the market

Unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space, money back guarantee (45 days) and $150 search credit

 

Good all-round service

SEO services, free domain, database backup/restore, and unmetered bandwidth

 

Wordpress’ #1 preferred partner

Unmetered bandwidth, WooCommerce hosting, Free domain, 24/7 US-based support


What does all that terminology mean?

We just threw a bunch of terminology at you -- but since this is a beginner's guide to web hosting, let's go ahead and break it down: 
 

Bare metal servers: The term ‘bare metal’ refers to a hard disk, and so a bare metal server is when a computer system or network’s virtual machine is installed directly on to hardware.

SSL certificate: In its simplest form, an SSL certificate is a public-facing, digital document that tells people a site is secure. It also lets you know that the company that says they own the website you're accessing legitimately owns it. 

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of site content and visitor traffic a server can transfer in a certain amount of time.

Unmetered bandwidth: A hosting plan with unmetered traffic. The price you pay each month does not depend on the amount of traffic (data) sent to and from your server during the month

Unmetered disk space: Disk space is the amount of data you can store on a web server. The amount of disk space you need will vary depending on the size of your site. Similar to unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space means you are given an unlimited amount of disk space. 

SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the online practice of increasing the amount of traffic you get through to your website via organic search results, like Google. Some hosting companies offer services to help you improve your SEO.

 

Questions about what any of these terms mean? Leave them below in the comments -- we'll be happy to help clear up any questions you have! 


Hue & Tone Creative: Web Design Services

Once you've secured your domain and hosting, let us help you bring your site alive with a great design and intuitive user experience. Get in touch today to see how we can support your website’s set-up.

4 reasons why your non-profit should be using Canva

4 reasons why your non-profit should be using Canva  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Canva’s an online design tool, and it’s used by millions of people around the world to help create professional-looking presentations, posters, social media images, menus and more. (You can preview their templates here). 

While we whole heartedly believe that there’s no substitute for professional design, we know it’s not always in the budget for every company or every project. Canva is a good solution if you’re working on a tight budget or pinched for time. 

In fact, we often set our non-profit or small business clients up with Canva templates so that they can enjoy branded templates without having to keep us on retainer. It may sound like bad business sense on our part – but we believe in supporting businesses of all sizes, with all different types of budgets. 

If you’re not familiar with Canva, we’ve put together a few reasons it’s worth exploring:

 

 

1.  It gives you inspiration

If you’re not a designer by trade, you’re probably stumped on where to begin when it comes to designing a graphic. Luckily, Canva is brimming with layouts for you to choose from, eliminating the need for a grand creative vision. 

Not having to start with a blank page can save you invaluable time, spark ideas you might not have originally considered, and help you complete the project with a higher quality end result.

 

2.  Professional looking pieces (for a fraction of the cost)

Because the layouts on Canva are put together by skilled designers, the overall look and feel of your projects will inevitably be more professional -- and in most instances for free!

Canva offers three pricing options, all of which are likely to prove more cost-effective than outsourcing the task to an agency. But remember, by forgoing the input of a designer by trade, you’ll be losing out on all their extra expertise, ideas, and drive (even if you are saving a dollar or two!), so consider the pros and cons carefully.


PACKAGE TYPE

Canva


Canva for Work

Canva Enterprise 

FEATURES

Simple drag and drop editor

Collaborate, design and edit with your team

Teams with 30+ members 

PRICE

Free Forever


$12.95 per month


Contact for a quote


3.  You don’t need to be an expert

There’s a plethora of design tools out there, and some are easier to use than others. Fortunately, Canva falls within the ‘easy to use’ category.

With hundreds of self-explanatory templates to choose from, simple drag and drop functionalities, and the option to access photos within the app, it’s super intuitive, so that even a novice can pick it up in no time.

 

4.  Filled with features

We won’t bother to list them all for you (you can head over to the Canva site for that), but here’s a few of our favorite features: 

  • Pre-defined social media image sizes, so you can be sure your streams look super slick
  • An option to set color palettes tailored to your business’ branding
  • The ability to organize photo and project folders within the app so that you can access them from any device
  • Advanced export options, including the capability to export your artwork as animated GIF

 

A word of warning

Canva is great – and we encourage you to test it out. But, we always push people to create consistency where possible. Whether this means using consistent colors or getting a designer to create custom elements to import is up to you. Just because Canva has endless options doesn’t mean you should use them all! Creating a cohesive look with your overall brand is important no matter what tools you use to get there. 

Now, go get creating!


Hue & Tone Creative: Your non-profit marketing partner

While Canva’s a great design tool for a DIY projects, sometimes there's no substitute for a real design expert. That's where we come in. Whether it’s a letterhead, leaflet, social media banner, or flyer, we’ve got what it takes to take your visuals to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our special non-profit rates!

6 branding mistakes to avoid

Branding is made up of the values that guide you, the visuals that communicate who you are, and the language you use to communicate with your customers. 

If you’re a regular reader, the number one thing you’ve probably learned from our blog is how important branding is. That’s because it’s essential to attracting, converting, and keeping your customers. It builds loyalty, brand recognition, and acts as a touchstone for consumers. 

We believe branding should be flexible and fun. And, while consistency is important, that doesn’t mean all of your assets should be identical. No matter what your industry or offering, there's a few things we think you should avoid. Here’s our top six: 
 

6 branding mistakes to avoid  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 

1.  Sea of sameness

Think outside of the box and make sure your logo, values, and messaging differentiate you from what’s already out there.  

Everyone has competitors -- and chances are they sell similar or identical products/services. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to imitate what they do! Work with a designer to create a strong brand identity for yourself and then stick with it. It may take time, but you want to establish your identity separate from the competition. 

 

2. Behind the times

Don’t let your branding give off a less-than-contemporary vibe. In the customer’s eyes outdated branding translates to inferior products and subpar service. 

Just because you went through the branding process when you first started your business, that doesn’t mean you’re set for life. Your business’ branding should be periodically reviewed and tweaked to reflect the constantly evolving digital landscape.

 

3. Inconsistency

Consistency is key. Your market needs to be able to identify you across every channel and it’s counterproductive to have an entirely different look and feel across different mediums. Whether it’s on social media, direct mail, a billboard ad, or website banner, your brand should be instantly recognizable across everything you produce. If it’s not, you could miss out on brand awareness and the benefits of an omni-channel campaign.

 

4.  It’s not all about you

When you’re establishing your branding, it’s imperative to remember that what you’re aiming for isn’t about you and your personal preferences -- it’s about your potential customers or clients, so try to avoid getting too personal. 

Just because a color isn’t your favorite, doesn’t mean it won’t connect with your potential customers. If you're having trouble separating your emotions from the process, consider putting some data behind your decisions by conducting market research to gain valuable guidance.

 

5.  Lack of clarity

Your branding should quickly and effortlessly communicate what you do -- and it should easily grab your potential customer’s attention. In a world where time is a highly valued commodity, it’s essential you snag people’s attention quickly.

If your branding’s unclear, you run the risk of not being memorable…which may send them running to your competitors. 

 

6. Not following through

Never, ever make false promises. If you are a delivery company and your tagline is “always on time,” make sure you’re always on time! If you fail to deliver on your promises, your branding is irrelevant, and you leave yourself open to complaints and lost customers


Hue & Tone: Branding for the Piedmont Triad

Branding doesn't have to be hard -- in fact, with the right people in your corner it can actually be fun! Let us turn marketing into something you enjoy doing -- not something you dread. We can help you with everything from your initial branding to your day-to-day social media needs. 

Logo Love: 5 of the best big brand redesigns

Most brands, no matter how big or small, evolve their logo at one point or another. It might be a subtle redesign to get on trend, or it might be a total overhaul. No matter how thorough of a rebrand you're looking to do, just make sure the reason you do it is solid -- you don't want to be that company constantly confusing people with a new name or logo. 

A few of the reasons we think you should consider a redesign?

  • It was a DIY project
  • Your business has evolved, but your logo hasn't
  • It uses dated design trends
  • Your company is about to make significant changes 
  • It needs to be simplified 

In our opinion, a good logo update maintains the integrity of the original brand, while evolving the look. Your first logo will rarely be your last -- and as long as the thought process behind your redesign is strong, there’s no reason not to periodically enhance or revamp your logo. 

To get a better idea of why people update their look, let's look to a few big brands: 

1. Nike

Nike’s refresh couldn’t be a better demonstration that less is more. No color. No words. Just an instantly recognizable, worldwide tick.

  Image source:  fastsigns.com

Image source: fastsigns.com

2.  Amazon

A rebrand brought on by business changes, Amazon's logo is a great example of a clever design. While Amazon's first version wasn’t exactly irrelevant to Amazon’s name, its current logo is a true reflection of what it stands for.

With a smile for its happy customers pointing to their A-Z offering, there’s a lot that can be learned from Amazon’s slick rebranding.

 
  Image source:  contested.wordpress.com
 

3.  BBC

Since its inception, the BBC has developed a multifaceted brand. Having many different branches of business means needing a highly versatile and adaptable logo. 

Their simple three box logo coordinates well with other fonts, gels with any color, and has mass appeal. 

 
BBC_logo_(pre97).svg.png
 
 
 
     Image sources:  tvforum.uk  and  wikimedia.org

 

Image sources: tvforum.uk and wikimedia.org

 

 

4. Instagram

Instagram’s old logo was incredibly retro -- we'll leave it up to you if that's good or bad. Some folks certainly liked it, because they received a decent amount of pushback when they revealed their updated logo. 

Many compared its background to something seen in WordArt, but it’s since proven that it’s less paint shop and more pro. It’s simple, funky and modern; everything Instagram is as a platform.

 
  Image source:  obviousgroup.co.uk

Image source: obviousgroup.co.uk

 

 

5.  Spotify

Spotify’s logo was fairly streamlined before, but their rebrand took it to the next level. By sticking to one vibrant color and scrapping the gradient, they've stayed in line with design trends while still maintaining the integrity of their brand. 

 
  Image source:  osmanassem.com

Image source: osmanassem.com

 

Hue & Tone Creative: Your brand partner

Let us focus on telling your story, so that you can focus on what you do best: running your business. We're your own personal marketing department -- and will handle everything from your brand launch to daily social media needs. If you need to lighten your workload, we're here to help -- reach out today. 

Color Stories: City Views

It only takes one visit to a city to figure out if you’re someone who belongs in the city or the country. The commotion either overwhelms or inspires you -- and the beauty of the city is truly in the eye of the beholder. 

In the past, we’ve explored color schemes found in nature, but what about those of us who are inspired by a more urban space? 

To further explore the aesthetic and inspiration found in an urban environment, we’ve snagged Unsplash photos from cities all over the world. Cities are so much more than grey and concrete – and the colors we’ve pulled from these images prove that. 

Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

French and Fancy

The facades in France evoke a feminine and understated feel. The landscaping and waterways provide a rich pop of color that reminds you nature isn’t far away. 


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Tonal in Taiwan 

Rich hues of purple, red, and orange light up a dreary day in Taipei City. Dusty lilac is an unexpected alternative to the grey and black of street top.


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Hazy in Hong Kong

These muted colors complement a monochromatic backdrop filled with metal, glass, and concrete. We think they would be perfect for a stylized flat lay photo shoot.


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The lights of Shanghai 

Soothing and subdued, these blue and purple hues reflect a city full of light. A pop of light pink provides some much needed contrast and depth to this color story. 


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Sunset in the City

Sunsets are beautiful anywhere, but this faint coral and rich turquoise scheme is one of the best mother nature has to offer… maybe the best color inspiration blends city and nature?  


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Stockholm Swatches

These earthy buildings evoke thoughts of rich spice. Paired with a soothing background of pale blue and seafoam, this color scheme is as dynamic as it is beautiful. 


Color Stories: City Views  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Radiant in Radio City 

These illuminated hues create a sharp contrast against dark grey and black. For a fun and youthful scheme, New York City is where it’s at. 


CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS IN GREENSBORO AND WINSTON SALEM

Need a second opinion on your brand colors? We can help with that. We're experts in color, type, branding and design -- and we can help you refresh or retool your branding to make sure it's the best reflection of your business. Reach out if you're ready to get started:  hannah@hueandtonecreative.com or 336-365-8559.