InstaAwesome Tips – 3 Tips To Rock Your Instagram

You already have an Instagram account for your business set up, but do you know how Best Practices and how to best use Instagram to market yourself or your business (or both)?

Insta Awesome Instagram Tips

These 3 tips are the best ways to market using Instagram and, of course, to grow your business!

Tip 1: Leverage Your Followers – How To Get More Without Paying

It used to be a big deal to pay for followers on “all” the social media sites, aka Facebook and Twitter. The thought was that quantity was better than quality in followers. That thought is gone and has been replaced with quality over quantity, and that’s for all social media sites.

Why have followers that don’t give a rip about your business (or don’t even really exist)? Answer: No idea, so don’t pay for them and don’t chase or follow people that don’t like you or your business’ products.

Here’s the best way to get Instagram followers that are quality ones and get a good quantity of them at the same time. It’s not fast or incredibly simple, but really, is anything that fast or simple in social media? NO, but it’s worth it!

Here’s what to do to get more followers on Instagram:

  1. Be interesting and genuine, and set yourself apart from the others in your niche. Be funny, be sensitive, be sincere. Be yourself!  When I went looking for people to follow, I saw the same thing in the coaching and creativepreneur niches which is motivational quotes and “stuff.”  Give actionable tips, show us the real you and don’t let it ALL be about business.
  2. Post quality, ingenious, well-thought out or spontaneous and pictures of yourself, your business, and your products in fun and colorful (or black and white!), filtered or unfiltered pictures, 3-4 times per day. Be sure to post at the times that your audience is most active on Instagram, so do some research to find out.
  3. Along with these pictures, sometimes post ones that create conversation instead of only double taps or hearts. By engaging your audience in conversation, their followers can see that they were involved in a conversation with you and your business, and can create an environment of more follower interaction and more followers!
  4. Actually go and double tap your followers’ pictures. Post comments under them. Even just a, “Nice!” makes them feel like you’re personally involved in their lives.
  5. Do searches of hashtags that have something to do with your business, then go and find people that used that hashtag. Don’t follow these people *yet*. This is when you double tap pictures and make comments on pictures. They will see that this person or business they don’t know or follow made an effort to like their picture, and they will very likely come and follow you, especially since they like the same types of things as your company based on their hashtag usage.

Tip 2. What types of Instagram pictures get the most interaction for businesses?

Tips To Rock Instagram

Based on the infographic from Mashable, Ellen has the highest follower count on Instagram. She’s not a business (well she kind of is), but she’s a personal brand. If you check out her Instagram profile along with the others on the list, you’ll notice that 9 out of 10 are not posting magazine advertisement-type pics every few hours. They’re posting personal, funny, engaging, thought-provoking, reposts from followers (or even ones that aren’t followers) that are interesting or have to do with their niche.

The pictures aren’t perfect – they’re sometimes blurry, never photoshopped (read: Beyoncé), and very rarely have a CTA (Call To Action) for marketing. Leave that stuff for Twitter. This is fun on Instagram. If you do want to use a CTA on or along with a picture, do it only once a day or every other day or you’ll be losing followers like crazy tomorrow.

Tip 3. What other Instagram related apps should I have to get the most out of my Instagram marketing?

You cannot have the full functionality of Instagram without having accompanying Instagram app tools. Here is the list of the ones I use that are absolutely invaluable in both my personal and business Instagramming.

Repost - “Repost for Instagram makes it easy to #Repost your favorite photos & videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer.”

Repost tool for Instagram

With just a few clicks, starting at the Repost app, decide if you want the picture you’re reposting to have a white or black banner with the original Instagramer’s name and its location, then you’ll automatically move the picture over to Instagram. You can choose whether to edit the words and hashtags or just post as is. So simple. Easily my favoriteInstagram reposting app.

Resize - “InstaSize is a full blown photo editing app for your everyday photos. With the ability to resize, create a collage, you can add beautiful filters, typography and effects. Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.”

I’ll admit I haven’t tried the other picture squaring apps, but I like this one so much that I wanted to look for another. Basically, we don’t always take pictures that are exactly the square that Instagram requires, so Resize adds a border to it to make it the square.

Resize has so many different borders to choose from: Basic Colors, Holidays, Solar System, Polka Dots, and so many more. I love using them to make my pictures stand

out. Resize app also has its own version of different picture filters, and they’re different than the ones on the Instagram app. It has stickers, a collage feature, resize, and text overlay to add words to your pictures if you’d like.

InstaQuote  – “Express yourself. Create beautiful text pictures.”

Screenshot_2014-12-11-15-13-21

I love this one, it is free but I bought the paid version which is like .99 or 1.99 (I don’t remember).  Up above is a pic of what it looks like on my Galaxy Note 3.  It is so easy to use!

If you like to create motivating quotes (and biz tips too) on beautiful pictures or add words to pictures (that aren’t necessarily uploaded on Instagram, but used on your blog or wherever else – like I do!), then you need to download InstaQuote. If you don’t believe me search the hashtag #InstaQuote on Instagram or search for InstaQuote pictures on Google. There are some insanely beautiful pictures out there.

InstaQuote has an inventory of their own beautiful pictures for your use to buy, but you can use your own for free. There is a huge selection of fonts to choose from to add to your pictures and any color you can think of. You can also use two colors at once – your normal color font and the “Punch” color to make it stand out from the regular font.

Those are all the apps I use because they all do multi-duty, plus they were all FREE – my favorite kind.

Between the the tips and apps, you should start seeing growth with your Instagram following. Be sure to do at least 10 minutes Instagramming daily, plus posting 3-4 per day (even on the weekends) to not lose momentum on your account.

In a few weeks, I’ll do InstaAwesome training on Instagram hashtags to help you grow your biz, so stay tuned for that!  You can also follow me on Instagram here.

Don’t Make This Mistake When Hiring Your First Assistant…

Mistakes Not To Make When Hiring Your First Assistant

You have a budget to have someone help you with things and you’re excited to be hiring your first assistant and get tasks off of your plate. So you create a job ad and let people know, you even post it on your Facebook and you start getting replies in.

It’s exciting, overwhelming and a little nerve wrecking at the same time.   But it is important that you make sure that you’re looking at it from how it is going to help you grow your business.  How is adding an assistant going to get you out of working in your business, so you can be the CEO and work on growing your biz.

Now you really need to investigate what type of assistant you want to hire.  Let’s look at these 3 critical mistakes not to make when hiring your first assistant.

Mistakes Not To Make When Hiring Your First Assistant

Not Having Any Systems In Place

So you hire your assistant… there aren’t any videos created to teach her what she needs to do. You don’t have any idea what kind of tasks you could delegate to your new virtual assistant. How frustrating will that be for both of you? Super!

Whether you have hired someone for an hour or 5 each week, you need to have some tasks and directions already created.  Think about tasks that aren’t money generating but that still need to get done.  Go through the task and write down the steps that need to be done. Once you do that, then create a short video of you doing the task so you can give it to them when you are ready to assign the task to your assistant.

Remember, you’re hiring your first assistant to give you more time to build your business, get specific with what you need to get accomplished and your end goal with having your assistant.

Hiring A Friend

It gets easy to want to help out people you are close to.  However, it can damper your friendship if you ask your new “friend” assistant to help you do something. When it doesn’t get done on time, its hard having THAT conversation about it not getting done without having someone get butt hurt.

If you decide to go against this, make sure you set clear boundaries and consequences when you give tasks and they don’t get done on time.  Make sure you put procedures in place that you both will agree on will happen if things don’t get done, because it will and you don’t want to walk a tightrope when you are trying to get your point across that it needs to get done when it is assigned.

Of course there might be sickness and emergencies that happen, but that should not be the majority of the time.  I had an assistant who consistently did not get tasks done because she was overwhelmed with life.  Who isn’t? If you know someone who stresses at the drop of a dime, clearly, they aren’t assistant material.

Hiring An Unqualified Person

Let’s be clear, when hiring your first assistant, she/he won’t know how to do 100% of the tasks that you want to get done. However, if they have been an experienced Assistant, they should be able to do at least 50% of what you want done or have the ability to learn how to do it quickly.

When I got hired by 2 kindle ladies to do a variety of different tasks, I very rarely had to get on phone training calls with them.  They were able to create a video that was 98% less than 5 minutes to teach me a task and 90% of the time I understood what I had to do.  And what was even better is if I had to do that same task over again, we had a video I could reference if I forgot anything.

I am easily trainable. You have to make sure that your assistant is easily trainable or else instead of just handing off tasks, you’ll be hand holding and ain’t nobody got time for that.

When you’re hiring your first assistant, it is a lot to think about. You need to make sure you have some procedures and systems in place already so you aren’t rushing around trying to figure out what to do or how to teach it, etc.

If you already have an assistant, what are some mistakes you made when you were hiring your first assistant?  Or what is something you learned when you hired an assistant?

I’d love to hear your answers! Please share them in the comments section!

For other awesome tips, tricks and business motivation, please stop on over and like my Facebook page.  I love connecting with other amazing biz owners!

Are You Paying Attention To The 3 D’s Of Time Management?

3 D's Of Time Management

Have you had a day that has ever gotten out of control? Did you go through hours of work and yet, you still have so much to do? You’re still exhausted, drained and just ready to drink wine right out of the bottle? Yes, I’ve been there too! More times than not, it is because we are doing too much, trying to be too many people and it just doesn’t work out for us.

What I found I was missing was the 3 D’s that improved my productivity and time management level leaps and bounds.

Let’s look at the 3 D’s and what questions you should be asking yourself.

3 D’s For Time Management

DO:  Question you need to ask yourself: Which tasks are your job and which are not?

Just because something is dropped on your desk or passed along to you does NOT, I repeat, does not mean that you have to do it. Even if your client sends something for you to do which will totally throw off the time planned for this client’s project, don’t sign up and cram more into the day.

As the CEO of your business (whether you’re a coach, designer or VA), you have the ability to accept and/or deny projects that you just don’t have the time for.  You created your business for a reason, so remember that when you are biting off more than you can chew.  It is about prioritizing the money generating activities for your business and less about doing what isn’t bringing in that money.

DELEGATE: Question to ask yourself: Do I have to be the one to do this or do I simply need to arrange to have it done?

Delegating is not passing off unwanted projects or less important projects. Proper use of delegating is to transfer responsibility or a part of a project to another worker who has more experience or is more qualified for the job.   I’m not a fan of my current website, but I know that I’m not a web designer and I would prefer to have a professional that resonates with my vision doing it for me.

For my blog posts, I don’t always write every single word. I have an assistant who helps me find bullet  points so I can just write.  For social media, I hire someone who will help me create and schedule content so I can focus on my other businesses.

It’s not a “here, you do this” type of task. When you delegate a task, explain what it is and why you have chosen this person to receive this project. If you are a supervisor, this is a golden opportunity to build up your employee by treating delegating as a show of support not a dumping option.

DEFER:  Question you need to ask: Do I have to be the one to do this or do I simply need to arrange to have it done?

Not everything on the desk, in the email or on the phone is urgent. There I said it. Facebook isn’t important, that email from Aunt Betty isn’t a rush and checking what specials are out at your favorite clothing sure aren’t priority right now either. Be clear about what must be done today and what is not necessary. Where you get stuck is with tasks that are nice to do or useful to do but are really not necessary to do. Or they just aren’t necessary to do right now.

Keep a sticky note or index card on your desk with the 3 questions. As you go through each task throughout the day, ask yourself those 3 questions and see what you can move around so you have more time to do what you’re passionate about and your money generating tasks.

What do you do to help you manage your time more effectively?  Are you a one

Are Your Blogs Not Getting Read? Here’s Why!

blogs getting read

You pour your heart into this meaningful blog post. You think everyone is going to read it and you share it EVERYWHERE. You go in and check your analytics and people are spending 5 seconds on the blog and just moving on.

How does that feel? It’s like someone taking your chocolate away, right? Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but pretty damn close.

Writing and creating content for your website is probably one of the most  important marketing and business-building strategy available to online business owners. However, in addition to simply creating content, you want to have your articles read.

Articles that are compelling pulls your readers nto your website where they’ll continue to search for more valuable content. I know that’s what I do when I go to a website that has amazing content. It’s like I can’t get enough of what they have to offer. They will begin to not only remember your website as a source of good content but also as a reliable business. True story!

Are Your Blogs Getting Read? Tips To Increase Viewership

Stop Creating Sissy Headlines

Your headline is the first thing that your visitor or reader will notice. It must grab their attention by appealing to their emotions, making a promise, offering a benefit, inciting controversy, arousing curiosity or stating something newsworthy.

Does Your Layout Suck?

How you present your content may very well be the next most important factor in getting your article read, right behind your headline. Articles that are heavy with long paragraphs are often skipped. Not because the reader isn’t interested in the content, they’re just not interested enough to spend the time reading the article for value.

In general, people tend to skim when they read online (I know I do), and an article that is difficult or cumbersome to read won’t be read. Instead, use shorter paragraphs, short sentences and formatting like bold type, bullets or numbers, and subheadings to help your reader make a decision to read your article.

If you’re using long sentences and paragraphs, I can guaran-damn-tee it will be a snore fest.  I’ve been to a few different blogs that don’t break up the reading to make it easy for their followers and it is seriously ridiculous!

You’re not writing APA style, this isn’t some essay you’re being graded on… break it up so that your followers can read it normally.

Create A Hot Intro Paragraph

It should be short and to the point, yet still compelling. Your intro paragraph is used to set the stage for the rest of the article. It’s where you let your potential reader know what you’re going to tell them.

Photos & Graphics Are Next…

For some reason we’re attracted to content with images. Maybe it’s because it breaks up the content or maybe it’s because a few good images can help you tell your story. If you can include relevant images in your content, it will draw the eye of readers.

Side Note: One of my absolute biggest pet peeves is content without images.  If you can’t take the time to add an image, don’t even bother writing. Not only is not having one image with your content bad, its hard to promote too.  I’m a huge advocate of Pinterest and you can’t use that to help bring traffic back to yourself without awesome and funky images.

Credentials Is Kind Of Key

Sometimes a website visitor does two things: they read the headline and then they scan down to see who wrote the article and if they’re qualified to talk on the subject. This is particularly important if you’re publishing articles on websites, blogs and ezines that are not affiliated with your business website. Create a bio paragraph that puts you in a good light and boosts your credibility and authority.

Now again, a lot of people do this. Honestly, I don’t care what school you went to, I don’t care what kind of awesomeness you have created. As a reader I just care about the value that you’re going to be giving me and what is something new I can learn to apply to my business or being a mom or my life. Agreed?

Getting your content written is half the battle, getting it read is the other half. And in addition to these top tips, it is of course essential that you market your content with a variety of marketing and traffic generation strategies.

We will be talking about what my marketing strategy is and how I have landed at least one to two new clients consistently since August of last year. Stay tuned dollface!

Are You Challenging Your Mindset?

I’ve heard time and time again from the most successful people that the key to their success is their mindset. Our fears, limiting beliefs, negativity, and lack of confidence can all prevent us from achieving our greatest dreams.

I know, it sounds all to fairy tale-ish, right? But I am a firm believer that if you really want something, you’ll figure out a way to do it. You might think, that’s bull hockey, Shay or I can’t do it or whatever crappy excuse you’re giving yourself to not succeed. However, challenging your mindset may be the greatest achievement of your life. Why? Well, here’s why you want to challenge your mindset dollface!

Challenging your mindset

Do You Fear Change?

Many of us live and die by a task list, a schedule, goals and a plan. When things happen that aren’t scheduled or planned it throws us for a loop.

Sound familiar?

Change can actually be, and most often is, an opportunity (I’m trying to tell my fiance this – he’s a work in progress). It may be an opportunity for wealth, for growth or it may simply be an opportunity to learn – when you take advantage of change you push your boundaries, you open up a whole new world of possibilities and you make room for something bigger in your life.

Contemplate whether you fear change or just the fear of moving into the unknown and what you can do to embrace it instead.

Do You Allow Yourself To Think Outside The Box?

Innovation stems from thinking outside of the box (Google, Snapchat, WiFi) and if you stop to take a look around you, innovation is EXTREMELY profitable. The most dramatic example might be the airplane. Before the Wright brothers stopped to think about what was possible, people assumed flight wasn’t. What about landing on the moon? Before this even happened, who really thought it was possible? Probably darn near no one.

Talking on the phone with someone halfway around the world or chatting with them on your computer? Video chatting? Webinars? eBooks? Who would have thought this “out of the box” thinking could bring a whole new meaning to life and business (and holy profits batman).

Now these are all technology-based innovations, but there are a million products and services just waiting to be pondered and put into action. Give yourself “what if” time.

Contemplate the possibilities without any limitations. Don’t think about what you need to make something possible, not at first; just think about what is possible – dream about what is possible.

Explore Your Limiting Beliefs

Have you ever thought, “I can’t”? Of course you have, we all have. I know I have. Even with writing this blog, I get this fear of someone potentially insult or critique me. That’s the easiest type of limiting belief to recognize and eliminate.

Now, whenever you think, say or feel that you can’t, stop yourself and think, feel, visualize and say “I can.” Other limiting beliefs are more difficult to recognize. We’re talking about those beliefs you grew up with that permeate your life, though they may not be true.  Something I grew up with and it was instilled in me was that I needed to go to school, get a job and go door to door (my parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses).  Imagine jumping out of that life and being this free loving person who coaches others?

I can’t possibly try to make my parents understand but with each limiting belief I recognize within myself, I take the time to think about why and how it came to be and I do my best to bust it. It doesn’t always happen right then and there, but it does happen.

An easier example might be, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but is it really true? Is it true for you? Of course if you’re rich, you’re probably thinking, “I hope so!”

That’s not the point. The point is to recognize the beliefs you have and to examine them to see if they’re true and if they’re limiting you from being and accomplishing all that you can.

If they are, explore how you can change that belief into an empowering one that supports you and your goals. They say that you can change your reality and it starts with your thoughts and beliefs.

Understand Your Thoughts Are 100% Under Your Control

There’s an amazing sense of empowerment when you realize that you can control your thoughts. It can mean the end of negative self-talk, a closed mindset, and self-doubt. Of course, it takes time to recognize all of the limiting thoughts and learn how to change your mindset, but it is an effort that is well worth the time and energy.  It isn’t going to happen overnight, but it can happen.

You can control how you perceive events, how you react to challenges, and how you relate to others. When you’re able to change your mindset and control your thoughts, a whole world of opportunities opens up for you.

Mindset is a powerful thing. It can lead us astray, drive us from our strongest hopes and desires or help us fulfill our biggest dreams. Taking time to cultivate a positive mindset can change your life.

 

PS – I’m accepting only 3 people into my 4-month Private Coaching Program. Sign up for a Clarity Session to see if you’re ready to take your business to the next steps.