March Meet the Maker - 2021

March Meet the Maker – an Instagram challenge

Knowing what to post on social media is a constant problem for most businesses. Even those accounts who seem to have it all together, constantly posting things that get great engagement, have days when thinking of something to post about is a real struggle. I have good weeks where I seem to have loads to post about. And I have weeks where even the thought of logging onto my social accounts exhausts me.

Any opportunity to get inspiration and ideas about what to post is a good thing, right? That is exactly what Meet The Maker is.

What is Meet The Maker?

I found out about the Meet the Maker challenge a few years ago. At the time I was freelancing as a graphic designer, but I was looking to make my business an actual business – I just hadn’t quite figured out what that business was!

So what is it?

“MarchMeetTheMaker is a 31 day Instagram Challenge, set by Joanne Hawker (and solely Joanne!) that runs throughout March every year. But it’s more than just a challenge, it’s a creative community that comes together to show people what they can do. It’s about building each other up, making new connections, telling your small business story, growing your confidence (and Instagram following) and most importantly, it’s about putting yourself out there.”

If you want to find out more about how it started and it’s creator, Joanne just CLICK HERE. And this is where to find this year’s prompts, planner and ideas for the prompts.

I’ve always enjoyed making things – at one point I looked to make crafting my full-time business. But, after 1 season of freezing cold outdoor Christmas markets, and realising that I really didn’t enjoy making identical copies of anything, I decided it wasn’t for me. However, Meet The Maker seemed like a good opportunity to see what other creators were making and selling, a place to get inspiration and it gave me ideas of what to post for my own business.

If you scroll back far enough on our Insta profile, you’ll find some Meet The Maker posts from 2019. My old Insta account had previous years too, but that account has now been archived.

March Meet the Maker 2020

How does it work?

The challenge runs throughout March each year. Each year there is a different set of prompts. In February Joanne sets 31 prompts with a planner and gives ideas about what you could post about (so change to plan in advance). Using the hashtag #MarchMeetTheMaker you can follow what everyone else is posting about.

I’m a big fan of re-using content when I can, so I don’t just restrict this to our Instagram – I’ll share the posts on our other social accounts too – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What I really like about the prompts, is it’s a great mix of different things – showing off your work, but also prompts about values, processes and who we are. And while these prompts are aimed at artists – they can easily be adapted for any business. Especially creative businesses.

If, like me, you sometimes don’t know what to post about, there are some great ideas here. And you don’t have to use them in March. Use them when you want to.

I was so inspired by the posts, that I also wrote a few for voiceovers to use. If you want to use those prompts, please feel free. The prompts are in my #GettingToVOYou blog.

The posts so far…

Day 1. Brand introduction

Helping voiceover to be seen and heard

Hello! This month I’ll be taking part in #MarchMeetTheMaker and the 1st prompt (for yesterday – I know, I’m already a day behind!) was Brand Introduction.
B Double E is me (Helen Bee) and Rob Bee – we’re a husband & wife team. Together we help voice artists look and sound their very best.

Rob is the ‘heard’ half; he’s an audio producer, engineer, trainer and studio set-up & tech whizz.
I’m the ’seen’ half; I do all things visual – branding, websites, bespoke social templates, brochures – anything with images and text either digital or print.
Our name comes from no one ever being able to spell our surname – who knew 3 letters could be so confusing. Not convinced? Try spelling BEE out loud to someone. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said “It’s Helen Bee – b double e”‘
So thanks to our 3 letter surname that nobody can spell, our company name came into being.

Day 2. Style

Ok. Confession time. I was late to post on day 1, so I skipped day 2. These challenges aren’t supposed to be rigid, and if you’re ever feeling like you ‘have’ to post on social media, stop. Where is the fun and joy in that? You don’t have to post every day. Anyone that says otherwise, just ignore them!

Day 3. Beliefs and values

I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the lovely comments and DMs we had when I posted this. Thank you to everyone that has – it really did make us glow with happiness.

Instagram challenge

If you’ve met me or Rob, or we’ve hung out in the same zoom room, or you get our newsletter, or you’ve read our blogs, or you’ve worked with us we both hope that you know we very much believe these things.
Running an ethical business is really important to us both. We’ve both had people aggressively push us to buy things. We’ve both experienced bad customer service. We’ve both had bullies for a boss. We’ve both been discriminated against because of who we are, where we live and what we look like.
We hope to make the world at least a teeny tiny microscopic bit better than it is.
We won’t push a sale. We won’t use charm pricing. We won’t pretend something has nearly sold out when it hasn’t. We won’t invite you to a free something and turn it into a pushy sales pitch.
We want to make your lives easier, and we can only do that by being open and honest about what we do and how we do it. And you can hold us and accountable for these promises.

Day 4. On your desk

Helen sat at her desk
Rob Bee in his studio

Rob & I work differently. Our studio spaces need to do different things and we both like a different type of work space too.
We both have our own studio and work from home (even pre-COVID)
? I love lots of light. Loads of plants (although I’m almost as good at killing them as I am buying them). I have loads of prints and postcards by artists I admire, or things that make me smile. Every week starts with me cleaning & dusting my studio, cleaning my monitor (I’m a little obsessed with this) & watering plants.
? Rob needs a quiet spot. He’s surrounded by acoustic treatment – it’s not the most beautiful stuff to look at, but does the job well. He’s not bothered by a tidy desk like I am. Typical bloke ?
☕️ We both have to have cups of coffee at regular intervals.

? ? Both our studios overlook our back garden & the park behind our house. We sometimes phone each other if we spot an interesting bird.
Do you have a tidy desk like me or a messy desk like Rob?

Day 5. Newest make

I’m going to share a recent project I did for voiceover Jill Myers. She had a WIX website, but wasn’t happy with way it was functioning or looking. Jill had a web review, and then I worked on her site for 1 day.

This is what it now looks like – new colour palette and all.

If you want to see the full project, you can see it here…

Day 6 and 7 – FREE

Usually there are 31 prompts to cover ever day in March. This year, Joanne has built in weekends as free days. There are no prompts. She recognises that many of us in the UK (and beyond) are feeling exhausted by COVID and that posting every day on social media isn’t an option. Weekend ‘free’ days are a chance to rest, or post whatever you want to post. I was glad to see these breaks in the prompts this year!

Day 8. Work in progress 

Helen Bee and the voiceover social podcast

Today’s #MarchMeetTheMaker prompt is ‘work in progress’. Well, the exciting news isn’t client work, BUT I’m super excited to let you know that I’m being interviewed for The Voiceover Social Podcast!
I’ll be chatting all things SEO with hosts Leah and Nic and it’ll be out later in the year. Whoop!

My interview with The Voiceover Social is due out on 1st May.

Day 9. Learning curve 

This is another day I missed. I had a plan, but there was a lot going on (mainly our kitchen roof being ripped off and re-built) and I completely forgot to post anything. It happens to us all!

Day 10. Small detail 

I have a problem with the letter R.
“Nothing wrong with it”, you might say.
“Are you mad?” you might also say.

It’s a letter that’s at the end of voiceover.
Problem is – in script fonts, the lowercase ‘r’ often doesn’t look like an ‘r’. So, to use the font we want in a logo, but still have it clear to read, I’ll re-draw the ‘r’ so it looks like an ‘r’.

A small detail that can make a huge difference in a logo.

Day 11. Portrait 

Instagram challenge

Do you love or hate having your photo taken?

Rob and I are not fans (can you tell by Rob’s happy face?!) and as a result, we don’t have that many photos of ourselves. BUT we do recognise the need for good photos. We have 2 photoshoots booked – one inside, one outside – one was due to happen in Jan, just after the latest UK lockdown started, and the other is due in April.

I’m looking forward to them because I’ll have some fab new photos for the website and our socials. I’m equally really not looking forward to it – I’m trusting our photographers will make the experience fun!

Whenever we are able to do them, I’ll be booking in for a haircut first!

This photo was taken before the virtual OneVoice Awards 2020. We don’t normally dress like this at home! Oh and we won Best Voiceover Service Provider Of The Year too – have we mentioned that before?! ?

Day 12. In use

Lots of Helen Bee photos

I did mention I wasn’t going stick rigidly to this didn’t I?

Day 12’s prompt is all about showcasing your work. It’s an opportunity to showcase some of your finest, or most fun projects.

But 12 March is also my birthday, so I posted a reel with lots of photos of me on it. This was my subtle (or not-so-subtle) way of letting clients know I might not reply to emails today. And it was lovely getting lots of messages having not seen many humans in the past 12 months.

Yes, I’ve been with Rob a looooong time. Nope, I’ve no idea why I thought all-over brown was a good look.

What are my thought’s now I’ve posted these?

There are a few things that have really stuck me now I’m part way thorough this challenge.

  1. It’s a lot less stressful when you can plan some things in advance to post on socials. I’m never going to be one of those people who schedules 3 months of posts every quarter and that’s me done. I get far more enjoyment out of social media when it’s more spontaneous. But some days it’s really nice not to think too much too. A healthy mix of advanced planning and spontaneity means I enjoy posting more. And enjoying it more is always a good thing.
  2. Don’t let other people or a change in your plans make you feel guilty about not posting, or posting something not planned. I’m a firm believer in being on social media because I enjoy it (as well as the business benefits it has). Allow yourself to flex, post something unplanned, or don’t post at all. Especially at the moment, our mental wellbeing is far more important than any algorithm.
  3. Post your photo. Time and time again, the posts with photos of us in them are the posts that get the most engagement.
  4. Don’t just talk about work. Social media is about being social. It’s about chatting. It’s much easier to comment on a post or have a conversation with someone about an up-and-coming project if you know them a little bit first. And if we all only talked about work, work, work, what a dull place it would be.

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