Earlier this year a friend of mine recommended that I check out Anastasia's Instagram
... because it's what minimalist daydreams (and beautiful interiors) are made of and they knew I would be a fan.
And wow, were they right!
Allow me to introduce myself after this point:
Hi, my name is Katie and I'm addicted to @theidentitecollective Instagram.
But seriously, I had instant heart eyes for Anastasia and the Identité Collective from the moment I landed on her profile. I immediately turned on my post notifications for her (and you should too).
Curious why I love it so much?
I go to Anastasia's profile and feel refreshed.
It's so beautifully thought out but it goes beyond just pretty. It's actually a conversation. I feel like I want to comment on all of her posts! And I do, ha! That's the whole point of social media and marketing in general right? You want to inspire someone to communicate with you.
I also love that her Instagram stories are interactive. Asking questions and engaging with her followers to hear what they think, prefer, want to know more about. Especially the business side of things when it comes to marketing. She talks about engagement, what they are experiencing at her business, asking what clients prefer, etc. Again, creating a conversation!
She's a major inspiration to me and I'm always smiling after I read or see one of her posts. The latter part of that sentence is key for me.
I made a resolution this year to only follow and support accounts on social media that make me feel good, not less than.
It's easy to walk away from an IG scroll in full on comparison mode to everyone else's life (can I get an "AMEN" in the comments if you hear me on this?!). But Anastasia has a way of including everyone and that is something I always aspire to do within my own brand.
Let me tell you ladies and gents. Anastasia has got it going on and I'm SO happy to share my interview with her below.
Have fun reading and when you're done, tell us what your favorite quote of the interview is by commenting here or on our latest post!
Everyone, meet Anastasia!
1) Please introduce yourself!
Hello new friends! My name is Anastasia and I’m the creative director and founder of The Identité Collective - a branding, web design and content creation studio based in Austin.
I have a serious passion (some would argue obsession) with interior design, so we’ve really focused our studio on working with interior designers and lifestyle brands.
Originally from San Francisco, I have lived in Austin for 5 years with my sweet husband, Quinn, and our little rescue dog, Kennedy. Because my work is mobile, I’m on the road A LOT! Typically, I spend 3 months a year working from San Francisco and another 2 months a year traveling and working abroad. The flexibility is certainly the highlight of business ownership - especially one that is based online!
2) There are a lot of branding companies out there, how do you feel you’re different in your approach and what you bring to the table?
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the world’s best graphic designer. There are dozens of designers more technically skilled than me and it’s such a pleasure to watch what they create.
However, what IDCO brings to the table is the ability to execute a project holistically. We’re not just providing a logo - we’re crafting full branding suites, designing and developing websites from scratch, professionally copywriting our client’s content on the site, implementing search engine optimization for them, and running a month of Instagram content for them.
After working as a director of marketing in a more corporate setting, I understand the big picture for a business and have a unique left brain/right brain approach to each project. We don’t have a signature style - we craft websites that are bespoke to the client. Not the other way around.
3) When is someone ready to take on the expense of hiring a company to do their branding + content creation?
I think there are two critical points in the lifespan of a small business when it comes to hiring out branding, web design or content creation.
- Before your business begins
- 2 years after launch (and every three years after that)
In a perfect world, everyone could hire an expert before they ever open their doors for business. They could invest the $5-$10k in rolling out a business that looks polished, cohesive and is strategically designed to convert. If that is an option for you - you’re setting yourself up for success.
If you’ve already launched your business and DIY’d your branding, web design or Instagram account - that is totally okay as well. We have found, two years into business is the sweet spot to invest in a rebrand and new website. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You’d identified who you’re communicating with and who you are selling to. You’ve built the foundation for what you’re willing to compromise on and the things that you won’t.
This is the perfect time to bring in a professional to take your incredible brand that you’ve built from scratch and elevate it. They’ll turn that vision into the digital experience your clients are used to receiving in person. After that, we recommend a brand refresh + website redesign every 2-3 years moving forward. Technology, and design, are constantly changing.
Once you’ve found the right designer, they can pick up where you last left off to implement new technologies, new trends in design and craft something relevant and modern. Waiting longer than that to redesign will leave your brand behind the competition.
4) For someone who is on the edge of hiring someone to do their content creation what are the pros and cons?
- It is one (massive) task you can cross off your list as a business owner. You can spend that time working on your business and bringing in more revenue. Most importantly, it frees up time with your loved ones.
- There are a lot of finicky nuances in social media. Posting times, hashtags, engagement, growth strategy, not to mention aesthetics. As a creative studio, we take all the research we gather from your account to actively tweak, repeat, improve and grow AND we take our knowledge from our other accounts as well. It’s really like getting 4x the value of just a creative studio, because we’re pooling our information, skills and expertise.
- Conversions. There isn’t another marketing tool anymore that compares to the conversion rate of Instagram. Whether you’re an interior designer, wardrobe stylist or professional organizer, your reach and influence are more powerful on Instagram than on Google. And that is powerful.
- Community is an invaluable benefit from working with a carefully selected creative agency or studio. We spend 15 minutes a day, per client, commenting and engaging on our followers accounts. This not only builds trust in your brand, it increase your brand’s reach and builds a community.
- It’s expensive, and there isn’t really a way to get around that. We charge just under $1,500 a month for daily post scheduling, strategy planning, content curation, copywriting and engagement sessions. You should shop around before committing to any specific social media agency and you’ll see a wide range of pricing. We fall somewhere right in the middle.
- Your brand’s voice is in someone else’s hands. This can be particularly scary for business owners, especially as they are starting out and haven’t experienced hiring. We go through a pretty rigorous vetting process with our clients so they know, and we know, that we’re a good fit. In addition to extensive on boarding questionnaires, we chat about the specifics you want your voice to have (are you an “I”, or a “we”, what type of emojis do you use?)
5) Any advice out there for small business owners or anything else you’d like to share?!
Don’t hesitate to get started! I can feel overwhelming starting an Instagram account or launching a website - sometimes it seems like everyone out there is further along than you. But just two years ago, I was in that same position, and now my business is thriving and growing at an exponential rate. Nothing will ever be perfect, so don’t sit around wasting time waiting for perfect to happen.
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