Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Hey friends, I'm Erin! I'm a Squarespace web designer and brand designer for women business owners. I'm a wife and mom of two littles under five! My background is in print design. Two years I ago, I started my company, Alexander Design Co., and fell totally in love with web design and using Squarespace.
My first taste of owning my own business was with a network marketing direct sales company and I've worked with some amazing women in the industry.
For network marketers, can you speak to the importance of branding yourself vs. the company you represent?
Branding yourself is vital to the success of your business. I'm sure you've heard the phrase “people don't buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it,” which I think is an important aspect of branding yourself. People are buying into your “why” in a way that connects with them and makes them feel validated.
The other key aspect to branding yourself is that it helps you stand out and show off your personality. The one thing that sets you apart from every other rep in your company is YOU. No one else brings what you have to the table. Branding yourself highlights that aspect of your business!
For someone who is just starting out, which tool or tools do you recommend to create graphics?
If you are brand new to creating graphics, Canva and PicMonkey are good places to start. I tend to point people towards Canva because it's free and they have templates you can use to get started. Just swap out the elements for your own style and you are good to go.
How do I find inspiration for my graphics?
If you are sitting down to a blank screen and don't know where to start, I say do a google search or look on Pinterest for inspiration. The key here is to find bits and pieces you like, just don't copy the design you see directly.
Another great place to find inspiration is in magazines! Magazines always keep up with the latest style and trends in layouts.
What do you recommend DIYing vs hiring out?
I think there are two rules of thumb here.
- If something you are planning to sell, like a workbook or e-book, you need to hire out.
- If hiring out means you stress less, get to do the work you actually love instead of learning something that you don't, and in general, will make your job easier, then hire out.
Am I designing for me or for customers or team members I'm trying to attract?
A little of all. It really depends on what you are making. Ask yourself who do I want to see this? Typically, it's going to be for your customers who probably have similar taste to your team.
What graphics are essential for each blog post? Any particular sizes or tips for each?
Each blog post needs at least one image. But, then you also need a graphic for each place you promote the post. I
love to be efficient, so I like to create images that can work in multiple places. For example, I use my YouTube thumbnail images to promote my post on Facebook. I also use a vertical image as my featured image so that I can easily pin to Pinterest. Square images work on both Facebook and Instagram.
My normal templates usually have 3 images. One 1920×1080 for YouTube and Facebook, one 1200×1200 for Facebook and Instagram, up to three vertical (600×900) for Pinterest and my website. When it's a really epic blog post, I'll do a second Facebook graphic and more Pinterest graphics so I can promote it more times.
What are some beginner mistakes to avoid?
Using too many fonts/colors/photos. Simple is always better! That's why we see so many quotes with a white background and black text because simple never goes out of style.
Not picking a style and sticking to it. Creating a consistent style with the fonts and colors you use creates brand recognition and builds trust with your audience.
Are you ready to move from DIYing and uplevel your web and brand design? Click on the image below to learn how Erin can help you do just that!
Let’s get to know Erin a little more with a lightning round of fun questions:
Are you a morning or night person?
Night, but I really want to be a morning person.
What’s your favorite snack?
Fruit, right now we are snacking away on fresh blueberries from a local farm.
What’s your favorite book?
I don't know how to choose! The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is a favorite. I also really loved The Year of Yes from Shonda Rhimes.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No. That sounds terrible, but I can't think of anything.
How many keys do you have on your keyring?
What is one food you wouldn’t want to give up?
Just one? I pick coffee. Actually, chocolate….
If you could teleport, where would you go, why?
Any tropical beach with a drink in my hand
What was the last film you watched?
I just watched Steel Magnolias for the first time the other day and cried, of course.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Coffee. I should probably eat something
What do you think of when I say, “fruit?”
Erin Alexander is a married 30-something who spends her days chasing two little blondes, a golden retriever, and an orange tabby cat. She is also a small business owner, web designer, brand strategist, and blogger. You can find her at AlexanderDesignCo.com.