It’s the first Friday of the month, and that means I’m highlighting a Branding Rockstar! Today, I spoke with Kathryn Marr, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Blue Ivory Creative, about her brand, tips for good video content, and what it’s like to work with her spouse!
By way of introduction, what is your tagline or elevator pitch?
Blue Ivory Creative is a digital marketing company, specializing in providing branding, web development, videography, and marketing services to small to medium-sized businesses. We’re essentially your in-house marketing department, out of house, with the goal of allowing you to do what you’re passionate about, while we handle everything else!
You have a very clear message and voice for your brand. How was that developed? Did it morph and change over time, or have you stayed consistent since you launched your business?
Our services and packages have morphed over time but, honestly, our message and voice has been the same since the beginning. My husband is a serial entrepreneur, and started his first business when he was 12, so we’ve always been really passionate about small businesses and entrepreneurs. We realized a gap in the system – new businesses need a TON of marketing upfront, but often don’t have a ton of money upfront! So we really want to be a resource and tool for them to get over that initial hump. We truly invest in our clients and want them to be successful!
I notice you do a lot of videography for your clients. Many Branding Outside the Box readers are creating video content to build and establish their brand. What advice or guidance can you provide when it comes to creating professional video content?
The most immediate thing that comes to mind is that if you’re filming with your phone (or anything, really) always make sure to film horizontally. Otherwise, your video will show up with black space on either side, and can’t be used to its full potential.
If you’re going to film and edit video yourself rather than hiring someone (though I would always recommend hiring experts in the niches that you’re not focused on in your business!), the details can make or break the quality and professionalism of your videos. Good lighting, a professional background, and great sound is important, so spend some time studying up on those types of elements.
And when it comes time to publishing your video, choose a platform like Vimeo rather than Youtube. If you embed your video on your website when it’s published on Youtube, your potential clients/customers are presented with a ton of other, distracting video options at the end that will lead them away from your site and your brand. But if you use Vimeo, then they’ll remain focused on your content, reducing the chances of them getting distracted and forgetting about your company and call to action.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned over your years in business?
Oh gosh, so many things! It’s amazing how much you have to learn so quickly. Here are a few that immediately come to mind:
Always, always commit to learning. I’ve grown the most both personally and professionally when I’ve made a strong effort to read professional and personal growth books, attend webinars and conferences, and spend time with mentors. This is critical, especially in the marketing and branding industry, where things are constantly changing.
There is such a thing as overworking. I’ve always heard (and believed!) that if you’re a small business owner, that means that you work all the time in order to grow. And, yes, of course hard work is critical! However, if you work all the time, you’ll get burned out. Being burned out can lead to depression, a decrease in work quality, etc. Plus, I know that my “why” for working hard is my family – but if I work too hard, then I won’t ever see them, or get to be there for their important moments!
Approach everything with integrity. There are definitely times in which it seems like the “easy” thing to do would not be the most ethical. However, I’ve never regretted saying “no” to those opportunities. I’d much prefer to do the harder thing and feel good about how I handle business than the opposite!
I’m sure you get this a lot, but what’s it like to work with your spouse?
It’s a lot of fun. He’s my best friend, and working with him livens things up! It’s also an amazing experience to work towards the same goals. Of course, we get a little tired of one another once in a while (who wouldn’t??), but we really balance each other out! Our skills and strong points are perfect compliments. It’s just important to make sure that we get our own space when we’re working, so that we’re not constantly on top of one another.