Productivity

Selecting a Color Theme for your Social Media Channels

I'm working with a new client, and it's been very fun. One of the first things I did when I took over their Instagram account is archive ALL their old content. Why? Because there was no rhyme or reason in the posting of images, no editing of photos and no general color theme. Sometimes it works that you can work without these things, but in this case, it didn't. Their engagement was non-existent and the images that were shared did not tell a story about the business. 

Social Media Short: you can seemingly 'delete' photos from your Instagram feed by archiving them. This is good if you want to play around with your theme, test a new posting strategy, or just don't like what you had posted way back when. To do this, on the upper right side of the image select the three dots, and then from the drop-down menu, select archive. 

After spending some time in my clients' shop (it's a home decor/gift shop) arranging, styling and photographing product, I've spent the last week uploading images on a consistent schedule on both Instagram and Facebook and we've seen a noticeable jump in engagement, likes, and followers. Such a great feeling and the client is thrilled!

Selecting a color theme can be difficult and frustrating. When I'm hired to revamp a blog or social media channel, the first thing I do is study what they sell, taking into account the predominant colors they use and any company colors, logo designs, etc. I'm very visual, so I usually know what look I'm going for pretty quickly, and design content uploads to reflect this, scattering in some other content that fits within the scheme. 

There are quite a few websites out there to help you decide a color theme if that's not your thing. Of course, Pantone is the industry standard, and they have handy chip books and color guides you can purchase to help you get started. Many paint brands also have fan guides and you can sometimes get them for free from the retailers (however, I don't think they're doing this all that much anymore). A trip to Home Depot, Lowe's or any other home improvement store that sells paint is also a great place to start. Take a look at the paint chips, and many of them have some complimentary colors that can help you decide on a color theme. It's fun to grab a few ideas and play around with them later. 

One resource I love is Design Seeds, a fantastic website of user-generated images that are paired with the real color codes so you select the actual color when designing in Photoshop, or any other image editing program. One of my favorite color combinations are blues and neutrals, and this palette is perfection.

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This particular palette is called Color Wander - see it all here.  If you are a color addict (like me!) take a look at Design Seeds for major inspiration! 

Oh, Hello 2018

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We had some amazing sunsets in December here in Southern California. Part of it, I’m sure, was due to the never-ending Indian Summer we experienced. 80+ degree weather in December and scores of wildfires while the mid-west & east coast started their annual freeze.

2017 was an interesting year. It was the year I let go of all expectation, all my preconceived notions of what I thought I should be doing and instead just allowed myself to be and do. I did some soul-searching and came to terms with many things.

Due to chronic pain and an amazing amount of anxiety, I turned to yoga and meditation (and if you’ve been reading the news and lifestyle blogs – so did everyone else). It has made a huge and significant impact on my mental & emotional state, and I really think I’m a totally different person now than I was a year ago. Hopefully for the better. Who knew that getting into my head would allow me to actually get out of it.

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And here we are in the second week of the year, and I’ve set my 2018 Intentions. This year, they are much more in line with how I’m spending my time. I’m not chasing more work like I’ve done in the past. I’m pretty happy professionally with what’s currently on my plate. And if something new comes along, I’ll consider it, but only if it truly works for me. That in itself is a wonderful place to be and something I’m so grateful for. So, 2018, here’s what I’m hoping for:

  • Travel & explore with Scott: we did very well with this last year, but it was due to a lot of planning and follow through. We traveled to Austin, San Diego, New Zealand, Washington D.C., Ojai, Las Vegas, Napa Valley and countless trips to Palm Desert. We took day trips to Santa Barbara and spent Saturdays & Sundays exploring our favorite places in Downtown LA, West Hollywood Santa Monica, and Venice. I realized that when you make exploration & travel a priority, it can happen.
  • Take no shit/drama/power struggles: This is part of my recovery from a toxic relationship that has continued to plague me. I can finally say it is all behind me and it has left me stronger and more comfortable to establish & sustain my boundaries.
  • Be present: This has been interesting because my job is social media-centric, but this is another place where boundaries are maintained. When I’m with my people (and honestly, that’s any people), the phone stays in my bag or pocket. Everyone deserves our undivided attention.
  • Meditate every day: I started regularly meditating as part of a morning practice this past summer, and it’s a ritual I’ve come to love. Even if my mind is wandering, I still sit there for the length of time I decide on in quiet & stillness. It’s helped considerably with stress & anxiety.
  • Expand yoga practice: I started taking a restorative yoga class a couple of times a week at my gym to help with chronic back pain and stiffness. The first few times were agonizingly slow, but now I look forward to that class and go as often as I can. I’m curious to try some other classes and teachers.
  • Consider Reiki Training: I had my first Reiki treatment early in the summer and another toward the end. It’s actually what jump started my meditation practice, followed by yoga, and it’s incredible. The feeling of clarity and lightness is such a beautiful thing, and I swear it was more relaxing than a massage. I’d love to learn more about it as a personal practice goal.
  • Do art daily: I started drawing again! This was my love early on, but I’m sad to see that the patience I once had for this hobby is not there! It’s a struggle for me to sit and draw, especially when I keep thinking I should be doing something more productive. I need to quiet that voice because art is productive, right?!
  • Hike more: I live in a beautiful place with beautiful trails almost right outside my door. When I can, I try to get out on them a couple of times a week. At the very least, I drag Scott on weekend hikes 
  • Practice mindful eating: I’m 9 days into another January Whole 30, and it’s a lot harder this time because I had fallen so far off the clean-eating wagon. The good news about that is that I’m reminded just how important whole foods are and how they impact your health. My back pain is almost completely eliminated after cutting out sugar (a big cause of inflammation) and bloating is way down after cutting out gluten.
  • Watch sugar, alcohol & gluten: see above.