Branding and Marketing secrets for non-designers on the cheap-

How to make your message clear and get your name out there- even with no marketing experience or design experience (on a shoe-string marketing budget).




You might be an awesome artists, photographer, videographer or business owner. You might know a lot about your product or service. But how do you look professional online and on social media when you aren’t a graphic designer or web designer?





You hire someone? That get’s expensive- beliBranding and Marketing secrets for non-designers on the cheap-eve me (I do this for a living)

What apps do you use? How many times do you post? Is a website worth having? What are some cost effective ways to get my name out there?

These are all very valid questions. So we are going to address them one by one.





1. Make your message clear.

Talk about your beginnings and story a lot. Talk about your mission and vision. Talk about why you started the company. The more people know about you, they learn to trust you. The more they trust you, the more they will invest in you.

How do I do this practically:

Maye once a week or twice a month- have a personal post or blog about your vision and why you started your company. Maybe do it live on facebook, Instagram or youtube. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just put your camera or phone on a tripod with good lighting and be yourself. Maybe you are camera shy- so just writing a 3 paragraph IG post or facebook post would be better. You can also start a podcast with ANCHOR for free, if you are interested in that route.




2. Keep it simple.

Stick with the same two fonts and colors all the time for your posts, your website and your graphics. Keep your patterns for Instagram like this: a quote or review with a simple background, a photo (either stock or your own work), a flat lay photo of some kind (use a stock image if you don’t have the time to do one), a collage of your work, and then finish up your fifth day with another photo of your work or a stock photo.

I manage over 10 social media accounts and believe me, I do the same pattern for all It looks thought out without being too matchy and it gives a variety of different looks on the grid.

How do I do this practically:

Don’t have a software program to make social media graphics. If you are already using the adobe suite, then Adobe spark is my favorite set of apps for video, landing pages and social media graphics. Its very similar to canva, but you have the ability to do short videos and websites.

OVER is also a great app for social media content for stories and video posts (there are tons of great free templates and content there as well as paid stuff)

Unsplash and pixabay are all great FREE online and commercial free photos, graphics and video content that you can use for your own social media posting.




3. You are the best spokesperson for your brand.

When you start getting your name and brand out to the public, then making one-on-one connections is the best way to promote yourself past Instagram/facebook/google ads.

How do I do this practically:

make business cards through VISTAPRINT- (design one of with your colors and logo on over, spark or canva if you want everything to match). Don’t have a logo, of course you can ask someone to make one, but there are tons of free apps that will do it for you. Put your logo on a shirt with custom ink or vista print and wear it everywhere you go. Bring your camera to your son’s baseball games and past out business cards.

Meet up with other business owners and do an event, selling your product. Reach out to other entrepreneurs that you would want to partner with and give them some shoutouts on your social media for shoutouts for you on theirs.




4. Do you really need a website.

Yes and no. When you really get rolling, then yes, ideally creating one would be ideal. But it does get expensive- even building with WIX, squarespace, weebly, wordpress or showit – starting anywhere from 15.00 to 50.00 a month, not including plug in and designing fees (which can go anywhere from 400.00-1,000.00 for a designer)

How I do this practically:

I get 90% from all of my business on facebook, so I only have a facebook and an Instagram page for my business for 4 years before I invested in a website. I post everything to my business pages and share to my personal pages, that way my friends can see me post about my business. I purposefully “friend” people that know my circle of friends from church or from the gym so that I can reach my kind of client. I have over 3,000 friends for marketing purposes.




True marketing is just about making your message simple and clear, branding your self that that when people see a post – they are reminded of you. Remember, people need to see 7 impressions of YOUR product or service in order to call you or contact you.

So be consistent, be a marketing ninja and be personable and friendly. Be at every marketing event you can. Go to every meet up you can. Shake a lot of hands and make cold-calls or cold emails if necessary. Believe me, you will get jobs and they will be the right kind of people that you will want to invest in you.





Christal Marshall is the owner of Virginia Photos and Films, Studio Marshall Arts, Marshall Arts Media Group and Virginia Beach Photobooth Company.

She lives, breathes and does media and marketing pretty much 24-7 for over 14 local business through social media management, website design, photo, video or media coverage or graphic design.

She is a homeschool mom of three, cat lover, sushi eater and poke fan!

She started her business in 2011 with nothing but a $400 camera from Amazon, now she is has been published in over 60 different blogs and websites for her media work and rank top Wedding Photographer in Virginia Beach.

2 views
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle

Virginia Beach photo booth company | party booth | event photography | Norfolk Photo booth  | Chesapeake Photobooth