Upload images in sqaurespace using Manage Custom Files

There are tutorials on how to upload images in Squarespace by placing text and adding a link to it, then grabbing the url. For images I find using the Manage Custom Files under Custom CSS so much easier.

Go to Design > Custom CSS

Scroll down and you’ll see a button that says, Manage Custom Files, click the button and upload your images. Once you have uploaded, click on the one you want to use and the url will appear in the CSS window. Cut and paste the URL wherever you want to use it.

Don't forget to remove the URL from the CSS window after you have copied it so that it doesn't interfere with any of the other CSS styles.

Where would you use something like this? I have used it for image designs that I want to place within colored text boxes in banners. A tutorial for color text boxes in banners is coming up!

Example: The Hi font is an image placed in the colored text box using the markdown block.

 

banner image sample.png

Redirect a form after submission

After someone signs up for an opt-in it's a great idea to send users back to your site. You can redirect them to your blog, to an FAQ page, a sales page, a pdf, anywhere. This keeps people exploring on your website. Below is instructions and code.

1. Create your form 

You can also use this for the newsletter block.

 

2. Go to the advanced tab

Place the following code under POST-SUBMIT HTML

  // FORM REDIRECT// 
  var redirectURL = "http://putyoururlhere.com";
     
  // Fixes an issue with IE8 and lower
  if ( navigator.userAgent.match(/MSIE\s(?!9.0)/) ) {
    var referLink = document.createElement( "a" );
    referLink.href = redirectURL;
    document.body.appendChild( referLink );
    referLink.click();

  // Standard redirect for all other browsers
  } else {
    window.location.assign( redirectURL );
  }
</script>

Replace the url with the page you want to redirect to.

Branding on all Platforms - Part 2

Nailing the Visual Basics

When you talk to someone in person, you also share non-verbally. Many of the queues and signals your brand sends are non-verbal as well.

This is pretty much branding 101, so I won’t get into a ton of detail here, but the first thing you’ll want to be really clear about are your colors and your fonts. When you’ve chosen what you like, maybe with the help of a designer, write it down. Title and logo font, body text font, and colors in both Hex and RGB. I keep it written down next to my monitor, so I always have it at hand. It’s a HUGE time saver!

Do a quick audit of your current brand – is your font available on most web services? Do you have a workable number of colours? (More than 3 or 4 gets challenging!)

If so, you’re good to go on THAT end of things.

Branding on all Platforms

Creating Your Own Style Guide

Once you have the basics chosen, you need to think about the overall styles you’re going to use on each platform. While you don’t want cookie-cutter presentation, there should be consistency in the STYLE you’re using as well as the fonts and colors. If your style is polished and clean, with a lot of straight lines, it would throw off your audience to hit them with imagery that was gritty, splotchy or blurry, even if the colors and fonts are the same.

Here's a quick example: For our cross-platform brand we have our colors, (a red, a turquoise, a light and a dark) our main font (Montserrat), and we tend to use round elements like circles, dots and waves, that have solid (not dashed or blurry) lines. We will occasionally shake things up with a straight line – but as a rule – if in doubt, we make it a curve.

This sounds simplistic – but it really does help make our brand instantly recognizable across the different platforms we’re using.

Here are some more ideas of things that can stay the SAME across all the different types of images you’ll create for different platforms:

  • Text Overlay Style. Maybe all your images have text highlighted in a box, or with specific words highlighted in one of your colors, or always on a solid color bar at the top or bottom.
  • Text/Image Balance.  Are you a more text-based company? If so, make the real design element your TEXT rather than images.
  • Balance between text, image, and white space. If your brand is bright and busy, you might have a lot going on in each of your images – and that’s great! Make it your rule. If you’re going to a more modernist, minimalist look, keep lots of white space, and minimize either text or images in your brand decisions.
  • Backgrounds and Borders. These can be a lovely way to keep the feeling of your brand consistent, but still have the flexibility to use different imagery and text styles.

I strongly recommend creating templates that you can use – whether you make them yourself using tools like Canva or Stencil, or have a designer on your team who can create them for you. Being able to quickly create a new on-brand image will save you time and headaches as you’re creating your content.

10 Templates You Should Make For Yourself.png

Some Specifics

Here are the different types of image templates you’ll want to have for the different platforms you’re working on.

  • Youtube Thumbnails (1280x720)
  • Twitter Posts (1024x788)
  • FB Ad images (1200x628)
  • FB Posts (940x788)
  • Pins (735x1102)
  • Pinterest Cover Image (217x147)
  • Blog Feature Images (1200x600)
  • Regular Blog Post Image (750x750)
  • LinkedIn Post (1400x800)
  • Instagram Post (1080x1080)

And here are the “One Time” sizes you’ll need for some of the different platforms. If you are REALLY consistent with your headers, you can be a little more fluid with the posts and content – but try not to make the differences TOO jarring.

  • Email Header (600x200)
  • FB Headers (820x462)
  • Twitter Headers (1500x500)
  • YouTube Channel Header (1564x423)
  • LinkedIn Header (1584x396)
  • Podcast Cover Art (2000x2000)

Remember – pick a few elements that you’ll keep consistent across ALL of the platforms, then keep in mind the different kind of conversations that are happening on each one to make sure that the KIND of conversation you are having is appropriate.

Getting Into Rich Media

Text and images are a fantastic place to start. They’re easier and less expensive to produce. But many content creators find they outgrow static content and want to branch out in audio and video.

I can’t recommend it strongly enough: The RICHER the media you’re on, the more your audience is going to connect with you.

But how does your brand translate into audio and video materials?

It comes back to the CONVERSATION. Think about the words and feelings you described earlier in the post – you want to convey the same things with your audio branding and video elements. If you’re a bright and cheery brand, then having a dark drums’n’base podcast intro or video bumper is going to feel… bizarre. Similarly, if your style is witty and sarcastic, then a retro-pop sound is going to throw off the audience who expects a certain kind of communication from you.

I won’t lie – creating audio and video elements that fit your brand isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and doing it badly is considerably worse than not doing it at all – if you’re going to outsource ANY element of your brand development, make it’s this one.

To ease that process, however, you can go back to your voice, and spend some time (put a limit on it – this can take days if you let it) into browsing sources like AudioJungle and MusicBed to find a variety that you like and make you feel the way you want your audience to feel.

This could be light and happy, folks and comfortable, dark and gritty, brooding and serious, witty and irreverent, smooth and zen… it could be as many things as you have adjectives to choose between. 

But it should be the SAME no matter where you’re putting your content.

Spend some time and think of two to three words that match your brand voice, your colors, your image style and your products and services.

These will be your Constant Words – the ones you can ask yourself “Is this content X and X” before sharing it.

You’ll stray from these words sometimes, we’re all humans after all, and a big change from the norm can be both a great chance to be vulnerable with your audience, and a way to direct attention to something really important – but the bulk of what you do, should be accurately describable using your words.

And there you have it – a branding guide that will carry you and your business through all the different platforms you could hope to be on.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MEGAN DOUGHERTY

Megan Dougherty is a content and launch strategist, and co-founder of One Stone Creative. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for how to get your content on different platforms (without having to start from scratch every time you have a concept!) check out the Great Repurpose Project, where you’ll learn (for free) how to take one piece of content and make it WORK on multiple platforms.

Alternating background color

You want to have alternating background colors but you have been working on a template that doesn't support this feature. We got you! Follow these easy steps.

1. Set-up an index page

Set up an index page under your main navigation with pages underneath it.

If the template that you have chosen doesn't support index pages this will not work.

 

2. Add code

Place code below in the CSS section of your website.
DESIGN > CUSTOM CSS

// ALTERNATING BACKGROUND COLOR //
.index-section:nth-child(even)
{background-color:#000000;}

.index-section:nth-child(odd)
{background-color:#c9c9c9;}

Change the hex color code to what you want.

The code will not work if the template already has this feature.

That's it!

Branding on all Platforms - Part 1

Long gone are the days when you could write a blog post press publish and expect to see growth and returns.

Now we’re tweeting, pinning, filming, recording… the list goes on and one.

We’re on multiple channels, finding our audiences and giving them content they can use and enjoy where they are. That means we must make sure no matter what platform we’re on, we’re recognizable.

BlogGraphic-Template.jpg

A good brand will do that for you, but branding goes well beyond having a logo. It’s also the feeling you’re conveying, the colours you use, the fonts, the presentation of images, and importantly, your VOICE.

A consistent brand that reaches across multiple platforms will ensure your audience will know you. The will know what to expect of your content.

In today’s online space, you’ll work with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Your blog, and in other articles you write. Audio like podcasts or audio-blog posts and video like YouTube.

Let’s explore the key points of brand you need to lock down so wherever you are, people know it’s you.

A Brand is a Conversation

We’ll talk specifics in a few moments, but first, you need to know how your brand is working behind the scenes on each platform you use.

Remember this: your brand is an ongoing conversation between you and your audience. When you share, you should strive to add to the conversation or start one. This is the secret of brand engagement. Your conversations with your audience conveys relevant and compelling information, or perhaps it delights and entertains your audience. The platforms you use will dictate how you hold your conversation. People use different platforms because they enjoy the type of conversation they find there.

There’s a whole art/science to this, but GENERALLY:

  • Your Blog is your home base and should reflect your brand decisions consistently.
  • Facebook is about two-way communications and sharing.
  • Twitter is (often, not always) journalistic – sharing news and networking.
  • YouTube is about conversions and virality, personality is key.
  • LinkedIn is professional and for networking. It’s a ‘best foot forward’ environment.
  • Pinterest is organization and imagery. People often use it to bookmark content for later.
  • Instagram is image heavy and great for sharing products and quotations.

You’ll speak and behave in different ways in these different platforms, but you’re still going to be YOU.

This can be challenging because you don’t want to be that jerk at the party discussing his investment fund when everyone else is sharing stories from their school days.

You want to fit how you communicate to the environment you’re in, but still be genuinely and authentically YOU.

Here are a few questions to ask (and share with your social media expert) to create a solid brand voice. You can shake it up based on where you are, but it’s still communicating who you are and what you do.

Ask Yourself

Do I mix personal and professional opinions?
Do I share my faith or political stances?
Do I swear?
Do I make jokes and wisecrack?
Do I maintain a corporate feel?
Do I comment on other’s work?
Do I invite conversation and engagement?
Do I have resources to direct people to?
Do I consistently pitch and try to close?
Do I provide valuable free information?

Each of these could be a separate post but it’s a great starting point. You can even add to it to make it relevant to your business. But when you can answer yes or no to the above questions, you have an instant litmus test for whether to post a piece of content or not.

 

branding on all platforms

 

Here’s the fun bit – the answers can be DIFFERENT on different platforms! Not SUPER different, but a little. For example, I only have one Twitter account, and I use it for business AND my personal sharing. I DO share political opinions – it’s part of who I am as a person, and part of the brand my business partner and I have decided on. I share less about my politics on our blog, however, because that is where we do business.

While I won’t shy AWAY from it, politics is not the focus. Because Twitter is naturally geared towards opinions, but my blog is geared towards content strategy, it makes sense that the political element of our brand lives on Twitter, but not on our blog.

Make a list of the different platforms you are on, and answer yes or no to the above for each of them. That can be your go-to resource for how your voice, and the types of conversations your brand has, works on the different platforms you use.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Megan dougherty

Megan Dougherty is a content and launch strategist, and co-founder of One Stone Creative. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for how to get your content on different platforms (without having to start from scratch every time you have a concept!) check out the Great Repurpose Project, where you’ll learn (for free) how to take one piece of content and make it WORK on multiple platforms.

Staying Motivated as a Millennial

It’s time to get real about this whole motivation aspect. Grab a cup of coffee and take a seat. It’s time to dig into motivation as a millennial.

As a millennial, we are casually fearless and naturally entrepreneurs according to the Huffington Post. As a whole, millennials expect each other to be different and accept that about one another. For those in generations before us, they sometimes have a hard time accepting our out of the box thinking.

That’s okay though.

Staying Motivated as a Millennial

When I first started my business back in 2016, I had quite a few naysayers who would not believe that I could actually make money off of web development. Most did not believe that at the age of 20 I could start a sustainable business that would allow me to be able to make a steady income. I found the most support from fellow millennials who believed anything was possible.

 

Staying motivated as a millennial means you need to surround yourself with people who will support you.

 

During my first year of business, I made a point to surround myself with those who believed in me. I sought after those who would keep me accountable and support me in my journey. I stayed motivated during my first year of business because I did this. I highly recommend you do the same, my friend.

After a couple months into my business, I became frustrated.

I started to become unsure of the direction that I take in my business. I became overwhelmed by all the things I needed to learn, create, and do. Especially as a new entrepreneur, I was incredibly unsure of how I would possibly do all the things. On top of college, new job, and trying to build a house. It seemed impossible, but I knew I needed to drive myself through the beginning stages. I pushed the naysayers aside and focused on baby steps.

Taking baby steps is super important because they allow you to set manageable goals. Instead of stating I want fifty clients, I made myself a baby goal to get five one month, then eight the next, and so on and so forth. By doing this, I was able to celebrate along the way. I allowed myself to be able to celebrate as I hit those goals knowing I was on my way to being able to accomplish my big goal for the year.

I chose not to get overwhelmed with my big goal. I chose to motivate myself with smaller goals. This decision alone makes all the difference when it comes to staying motivated. As millennials, we dream big. That’s okay. We just need to not get overwhelmed with our big goals by breaking them down.

 

Staying motivated as a millennial means you take baby steps with your business. Overcome small goals, celebrate, and chip away at the big goals that will make you successful.

 

As an entrepreneur we need to surround ourselves with biz besties who are there to support us, guide us, and overall motivate us! If I did not have my biz besties, since the beginning of my journey, I have no idea where I would be at! I found mine through connecting in Facebook groups and furthering the connection through Facebook messenger.

Building biz besties allows you to:

  • Build connections that will help you learn, grow, and find support.
  • Give you the opportunity to send them referrals and vice versa! (You both win!)
  • Have people in your corner that will have your back, motivate you, and push you to be your best.

While this is simply just three reasons, they are many reasons why building a list of biz besties is important. Overall, the motivation mine has given me has helped me beyond words with my business and life as a whole.

 

Staying motivated as a millennial means you make biz besties to help support you on your journey as an entrepreneur.

 

As you continue on your journey, be sure to document it along the way. I have found that simply spending time in my journal has allowed me to be able to continue my drive. I am able to remind myself of where I have started and reflect on where I am now.

In one year, I changed my own website twice. I changed systems, tools, procedures, and my messaging. I feel like I have a totally different company now.

It got frustrating at times. Trust me, growing pains is a real thing. I stayed motivated through my journey because I knew I was going one step closer to my goals. One step closer to my dream. That’s everything to me. I’m sure your dream is everything to you too.

Keep chasing your dream, my friend. Take a hold of all the motivation you can get and drive it into your future. 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ASHLEY SCHACKOW

Ashley is a digital marketing and web strategist who empowers female millennial entrepreneurs by creating a web design and foolproof strategy in 30 days. She enjoys eating cheese and playing with her two basset hound puppies when she is not glued to her laptop. You can find her at blankslatemediaconsulting.com

Brand Strategy

As a Brand & Marketing Strategist, I tend to harp on the two little words “Brand Strategy” a lot!  If we are being COMPLETELY honest with each other, some people give me that “look” when I say “brand strategy!” (You know the “oh wow she is talking about brand strategy AGAIN look.”) What is brand strategy and why is it the most important aspect of your entire business?

Brand strategy is (defined) a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.

Creating a brand that is cutting edge over your competition, has a defined market niche, a targeted customer base, and a concise brand message that speaks to your customers is crucial for the success of your brand.  

Brand+Strategy.jpg

So where do I even start? (Did you just ask yourself that question?  See.. we think alike!)

I have broken down how to go about molding your passions into a profitable, evergreen brand with just FIVE, easy Brand Strategy Steps! Yes! It is just that easy.

Who will this benefit?

If you are new to the entrepreneurial world,  or you feel that your existing brand doesn’t have a cutting edge over your competition, or you are doing a re-brand, this is for you!

Step 1:  Market Trends & Analytics

Research… Research… Research! Look at the industry your business will be in and dive into what the market trends are, where they have been, and where they are going. What are the current trends? Who are your competitors? What products/services do they have? What are their price points? Who are their customers? How are they speaking (marketing) to their customers?

The list goes on… but having this basic research to ensure there is a market for your services/products and a customer base is crucial.  No one wants to launch a great idea to find in 6 months the only person that thought it was a great idea was you! (Speaking from experience over here!)

Step 2: Market Niche

After you do market research, you are going to quickly be able to see where your niche in the market will be! Past clients have argued with me, stating they will make less money if they have a niche market. That is NOT true my friend! If you have a concentrated area, you will start to learn your customer's pain points and be able to offer products/services to them that they need. You will spend less on marketing dollars and see higher returns!

Step 3: Brand Vision

The vision for your brand is important! How do you want other people to speak about your business? What makes your brand unique? Those are questions to ask yourself. Think of 5 words you want to represent your entire brand, you will use those words in every single touchpoint of your company.

Think about words like trustworthy, first to market, reliable, technology, hope, natural, organic.

Step 4: Brand Aesthetics

When choosing your aesthetics for your brand such as website design, colors, fonts, logo’s, etc. Think about what would lure your customers in? How can you attract your ideal customer?

Step 5: Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is any type of content you use in your brand including items on your website, marketing campaigns, taglines, advertisements, your elevator speech, and social media content. As you are developing your messaging think about your overall brand vision and how you can speak directly to your customers.

This should help you start to create an evergreen, money making brand in no time! For a more thorough guide to creating a strong brand strategy enroll in our FREE 7 Day Brand Vision Workshop today!

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JESSICA POTTS

Jessica Potts is the founder of Brand X Consultants, a Brand & Marketing Strategy firm founded in 2015. Jessica previously worked in Corporate America with an array of Fortune 100 clients, including Fandango, Papa John’s, Disney & Apple before opening her own agency. She is dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs create profitable, evergreen brands by showing them how to build long term brand and marketing strategies.  To contact Jessica email her at: jessica@brandxconsultants.com.