I first came across Nicholette on Instagram, and I liked that she had created content that was so clear and easy to understand. I also love that she knows exactly who her ideal audience is and knows how to talk to them.
She effortlessly combines her stunning style, fabulous taste and her warm personality with her brand message to create engaging content. I’m a big fan of the brand she’s built around her work.
Nicholette helps her clients create scroll-stopping graphics for social media and teaches you how to use Canva for your business.
Because I followed her for a while, have watched her videos on YouTube, and practically felt like we were already friends, I had to reach out for an interview.
Q: Briefly tell us about your business journey. (What helped you decide to start your own business? What did you do before working for yourself?)
My very first business was working as a freelance Assistant Food Editor. I would source props, test recipes, and assist well known South African Food Stylists at photoshoots.
In 2009, I moved to New York with my hubby, and studied Health Coaching while working as a Personal Assistant. I made a living making healthy food look pretty, whilst also creating a healthy eating course. I started creating my own social media graphics, menu’s, my first meal planning course, and progressed from there to styling my clients eating habits, pantries, homes, and eventually when they started asking their graphics.
Ever since, I’ve wanted to prove to women in biz, that you CAN use Canva to brand your business and create gorgeous graphics.
Q: What was the process you followed when starting to set up your brand?
At first I knew from my Home Styling experience that I had to be consistent with colors, textures, images and fonts, but I liked too many different things. I kept getting confused about whether I was sharing my personality or tapping into what my ideal clients would be attracted to. And I didn’t want them to get bored of what I was creating.
Such a silly approach.
It wasn’t until I finally did the deeper work that I understood Branding and how much more effective and efficient it was to be consistent. I go to know my ideal client on a deeper level and refined my mission, my vision for my Business. I kept refining how I want my ideal clients to feel and the parts had in common. It became easier to create my branding from there.
Q: How do you manage your visual identity and make sure everything you do (from business cards, to packaging, to branding collateral) keeps in line with your brand?
I print out my Brand Kit and Mood board and make sure that every graphic I create reflects this vision. Because I have Canva for Work, all of my Brand Elements are an easy click away. This helps me save time and makes staying consistent much easier.
The one other thing that will guarantee brand consistency is to create Templates in your Business. Template will help you save so much time, your sanity and money.
You do have to put in some work at first (or outsource it), but then once you have a look and style you like, you’ll just hop into Canva and switch out your copy, photos and reposition your text. SO easy.
Templates help me to streamline my graphics, and it makes batch your graphics easier too.
No more starting from scratch.
Q: How do you manage your social media commitments?
I try to be consistent with Facebook and Instagram. 2-3 times a month, I plan out, then batch my graphics and then schedule them. Three different work chunks. I also leave some room for spontaneity. My Gemini self craves this.
I use Planoly for Instagram and schedule things in Facebook on my page or in my group. I also use SmarterQue to repost to Facebook and Twitter.
For Youtube and Pinterest I try to make sure my images always look consistent, schedule my Pins once a month via Tailwind and then give them some extra love if I have time, or I hire it out.
I have implemented a Social media and Duty Day a month to catch up on my admin and social media. It’s not my favorite part of being a creative. I just want to chat to my peeps, and create 😉 but it does makes my life and business run so much smoother.
I also schedule time in my calendar to interact, comment, and see what my friends and clients are up to online instead of just browsing late at night or early in the morning with one eye open. 😉 Well, it’s a process.
Q: How do you motivate yourself to keep going when your inner critic’s voice gets a bit too loud?
Such a great question. This will happen. Not just because of your inner critic, but because you’re a little burned out or out of flow.
I know that when I am in a rut, I need to shake things up. Either by taking a break, having lunch with a friend, going for a manicure, or even a date by myself with a coffee in a bookstore. I try and do something different to tap into my creativity and find ways to be grateful for what is already going well.
As for my inner critic, I often repeat what I’m saying to myself to my biz besties and they have a saying what i most need to hear. They remind me of everything I have accomplished, why I might be harder on myself than usual and sometimes they just give me tough love.
Q: What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned since you started your business?
There is always more to learn. Sometimes we get so pulled into learning that we forget to implement and do the things that will actually help us make money and move our business forward.
Sometimes, you just have to trust that you know enough and that you will learn and get better as you go. Practice really does make a whole lot better.
As women, we can can make such a beautiful positive impact in the world. If you can’t give something your best energy, step away from it for a while. Know you cannot do and be everything to everyone. Trust your intuition and make time to actually be still to pay attention to it. It has never steered me wrong in my business or my life.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.