Creative designers and influencers dictate what is hot and what is not – and often we’ve made those decisions long in advance before you even realize it!
Great design and social media changes happen in large spurts every 6 months, if you’ve been watching carefully. What you think is still popular right now actually has most likely been replaced with something else.
Such is the world of design and fashion. In order to stay forward-looking, you either need to talk to the element makers – the font designers, the texture creatives, the lettering artists, etc., or be one yourself.
So today, I’m going to give you a heads of up what is happening in the world of creative design and social media to watch for 2019 so you can stay on top of what’s trendy and ditch what we’re already “done with” in your creative designs.
Theme of the Year for Social Media
Creating “meaningful communities” is most definitely the theme for the year, as Facebook is apparently (allegedly) removing inactive members from groups. But Facebook isn’t the only place where a meaningful community can grow and prosper. Pinterest also has shifted a focus to Communities as well and I’m finding it quite interesting, sharing pins and ideas with others who have like-minded interests.
Mari Smith mentioned the importance of creating and establishing a meaningful community as there is a longing by people to find “their people”, have a place or group where they belong, or are able to freely talk about their interests.
With this in mind, I’m not sure what to think about author fan groups and their true purpose. I think it’s great to have a group of people who are fans of your books, but with the algorithm changes, having the communication be just about your own books without heavily focusing on topics your book discusses in the group seems a bit more over-promotional and more self-serving as opposed to community.
For bloggers, this is going to be the year where you need to focus on the needs and interests of your readers. Solve their challenges. Relate to them. Don’t put yourself so high on a pedestal that you create the perception that you’re untouchable and haven’t gone through the same challenges.
Which brings me to my next point.
Transparency is IN. The journey story is IN. “Fake it until you make it is OUT.”
I’m all for helping yourself feel better and self-encouragement, but I do not like people that adopt the mentality of faking it until you make it. Never have. Transparency will get you further in life by sharing your story. Your struggles. And the journey you took to get where you’re headed.
I’m with Gary Vee on this one. Tell us the story. I’ll certainly tell you mine in 2019, because I spent the last two years working hard and finally in December 2018, something clicked and things started to jive.
Don’t put up a front. Don’t lie. Be honest with your numbers, your struggles, and realize that success – earned success – is not an overnight thing. Transparency is such a cool thing – this is your opportunity to share and enlighten others. And maybe, just maybe, get the right people in front of your content because they identify with you and want to be part of your journey.
Book Covers – Fonts
The thick brush handwritten font is OUT. Stop using it. What is better to use now if you’re planning on launching a new book cover in the next few months are hand drawn ‘non-font’ artwork by hand lettering artists. This makes the book cover completely original in all aspects – where not even the font can be replicated because it was hand drawn.
We’re seeing a comeback of vintage fonts similar to the brewery labels and apothecaries. Also in are the pencil-thin hand drawn lettering fonts. Big, over-exaggerated glyph fonts are back like the 80’s romance days. Go retro!
In addition, neon fonts and chalk lettering couture are definitely in. You’ll be seeing a fleet of my neon-inspired book covers coming out soon for one of my new favorite authors.
But thick, handwritten fonts have seen their day and need to go.
Book Covers – Imagery
The days of slapping a cover model and a bottom overlay are over. It looks cheesy. With covers going forward, you’re going to want to focus on meshing images together, using light or peekaboo overlays, and go either extremely soft in the design or highly sharp for image models. The in-between isn’t as popular now.
Geometric and moodboard design are definitely emerging into book design. Element usage is now super-cool and something you’ll want to incorporate into your design, as opposed to just a sexy couple with a badge and a title, author name, and by-line.
Cohesive branding is very much of significant importance in 2019. Brand identity – particularly if you’re doing more of a personal branding strategy – means that you need to have a sense of consistency in your message, your graphics, and right down to the fonts you use. If you’re constantly deviating from those rules of your brand, your images become disassociated with your underlying brand promise.
If you do not have a branding identity guide, either have one made for you by a graphic designer or create one.
Pinterest IPO in Summer 2019
Pinterest is looking to go public in 2019. This could bring us all a lot of great opportunities. Target was an initial favored advertiser on the Pinterest platform, and we’ll look to see more advertisers on it in the future.
Pinterest has definitely been my game-changer in 2018, which has led to consistent web traffic daily without me lifting a finger. It’s actually my #1 source of web traffic. I’m now at around 10 million monthly viewers, of which around 200k is consistently flowing to my website on a monthly basis. If you want to learn more about Pinterest, check out my books on Amazon.
I’m fully aware I’m a numbers dork.
I think you’ll see a rise in use of Pinterest given some of the positive changes Pinterest has already implemented, and the payoff for serious bloggers has been quite rewarding already. Looking forward to seeing what they do next for us bloggers.
Segmenting Your Audience
Who are the people signing up for your list? Segmenting is now essential because as more dynamic bloggers emerge, you may find that your subscribers have different interests and commonalities. What are they interested in? Catering to your segments is going to be key.
Quality and Creativity over Quantity
You don’t have to blog every day to put out quality content. I’d rather you have once amazing piece of content over content that was lackluster and unoriginal. Long-form blogging is definitely in. Blog articles shorter than 600 words are definitely out.
Using your blog for promotional purposes is ALSO out.
Using your blog for evergreen, long-lasting, and undated content is IN.
Storytelling on your blog is definitely IN.
So as you’re blogging, think about how to tell a story and serve your readers. Try making things more of a two-way street instead of a broadcast of information (although that seems to work well for some other people, too). Again, focus on that meaningful community – get creative and inspire them!