Business to Consumer or Business to Business – which marketing style is right for you? Well, with the rise of entrepreneurship and side hustle businesses, consumers are business owners… at least in the US. According to a CNN money article, 44 million Americans have some form of a side hustle. That’s a hell of a lot of business opportunities. And unless you’re selling enterprise software exclusively, you might want to consider adding B2C to your strategy, even if you’ve been a historically B2B service provider in the past. (more…)
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms today. It is a “kinder” Facebook by many accounts and is one of the best ways to monetize your brand. But if you’re not treating it like a business, you’re not giving it the attention it needs to succeed. Here are some reasons why you should treat your Instagram like a business and create a strategy that converts.
Later.com recently shared this post “8 Reasons You Should Be Scheduling Instagram Posts in 2018.” They’re great reasons, really and truly. From creating a clean aesthetic to dedicating time for interaction, I agree with all of the reasons they outlined. I agree so much that I’m inspired to give you 15 more reasons why scheduling is right for you. And, if you’re ready to start scheduling? Download my FREE Editorial Calendar template AND use this coupon code to get access to Schedugr.am, my number 1 recommendation for a scheduling and planning app for Instagram — it even has hashtag management.
15 Reasons Why You Should Schedule Instagram Content
- Planning Your Content Allows You to Create a Strategy: strategy is what separates casual users from business users. Understanding how to create a clean look and feel to your Instagram is one of the key ways to manage your business messaging.
- Interactions = Engagement = Success: taking time to plan means you have, as Later pointed out, more time to interact in real time. Set aside 15 minutes per day to like, comment and follow new users and watch your follower count soar.
- It Limits Distractions: Logging into Instagram may not seem like a big deal, but it breaks your work flow and that can be a big deal, especially long-term. By scheduling, you have the ability to focus on your work, not the promotion of your brand.
- Allows for Scalability: You can manage multiple accounts if you have a plan and you can make sure that all of your accounts get the attention they deserve on a weekly basis.
- Allows for Outsourcing: Once you have a pattern and plan in place, you can hand it off to someone on your team.
- Inspires New Ideas for Old Content: if you’re not recycling your content, chances are, your audience isn’t seeing half of it. Make sure you take the time to pull content from the archives as you plan out your weeks and months.
- Allows You to Unplug: Digital detoxes are necessary for your sanity (as are mental health dates!) and by planning your Instagram, you have the ability to actually plan to completely and totally unplug on a monthly basis (if not weekly!).
And for the last eight? Check out this article from Later, it really outlines the benefits of scheduling perfectly!
Ready to get the support you need to succeed when it comes to Instagram management? Let’s talk! Our done for you and 1:1 coaching packages both provide for support in Instagram management and planning.
Want to continue the conversation? Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and join my FREE Facebook group, The Get Set, for real-talk on all things digital marketing, brand building and life balance to help you design a life you love.
Want to learn more about coaching with Vix? Check out her website and packages.
Looking for support in your digital marketing, content and strategy efforts? The Team at CreatiVix Media supports companies, brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes and at all stages. Learn more about our done for you social media management and Facebook ads management packages.
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Don’t Let the Titanic Sink Your Business: 3 Ways to Combat Compartmentalization in Building Your Personality
The Titanic Syndrome is something I’ve created to explain what we do when we go “all in” on our personas and forget about the Ice Cream Sundae approach to all areas of building our business, brand and career.
Content Personas are an important part of building out a smart digital strategy — and it is also a smart way to build out your business and career.
Careerpreneurs, especially creative careerpreneurs, often struggle with negotiating their salaries, compensation packages and job responsibilities. In 2016, I wrote an article for Levo League on 5 Fierce Ways to Increase Your Salary. In that blog, we talked about building out a mastermind, talking to people in different stages of their career and more, but what we didn’t discuss is the ability to create different compartments of your personality to separate the happy, fun creative self from the no-nonsense business self.
That’s partially how Vix came to be. You see, I love being the fun, creative person but, as you build a business, you need to also be the billing department.
As a solopreneur, I found it easier to compartmentalize the different parts of who I was in order to fulfill the roles I needed to build out as I built my business.
These days I’ve got a full team to support billing and client tasks but before I did? I built out separate emails for the individuals who I would eventually hire. I had an assistant and a billing coordinator account that I managed.
This concept works… for a while. And then? Then you start to compartmentalize so much that you end up blocking off your story, your purpose and your passion in a way that actually takes away choice in your life, business and career.
Here are 3 ways to combat this to have compassion for yourself and to accomplish all of your goals.
Define Your Boundaries
Understanding your unique boundaries is key to creating a business and life you love. Boundaries in business range from hours of operation to the way in which you communicate with your client. Defining your boundaries allows you to share your personality without compromising YOUR unique and valid goals.
Understand Why You Titanic
Getting to the root of your compartmentalization techniques — as in what past story you’re still telling yourself around why you HAVE to keep the walls up — is another part of unlocking the true keys to your success. This takes a LOT of self-work, tears and all of the journaling (and sometimes, the help of a mental health professional plus an amazing support group of fierce friends) but it is SO worth it.
Determine If SOME Compartments Are Key to Your Success
There are some things that even this digital expert likes to keep private. And that’s ok. You don’t have to share every aspect of your story with every person you connect with. One tactic that really worked for me? Testing the waters — seeing how far I felt comfortable floating in a sea of uncertainty when it came to what I shared online, with clients and in my business and personal relationships.
Life is a journey — and I firmly believe most of that journey is on a river — don’t sink your ship before you hit the sea, that’s when the journey truly gets interesting.
What do the words “seasonal marketing” mean to you? Do they conjure up visions of sugar plums and dancing bears? Maybe your favorite season is apple and pumpkin spice season, scarves and hats galore.
Seasonal Marketing not only refers to the holidays and actual seasons, it also refers to the dates on the calendar and those national days of X that align with your business.
Right now, for example, I’m running a 15% off all packages booked by midnight on Friday as a tax refund special. And I’ll bet your inbox is full of offers from big box retailers with the same marketing messaging.
Why does this work?
It works because we are all programmed, in one way or another, to be guided by a calendar. Monthly, seasonal or quarterly, our calendars define periods of growth, success and opportunity.
And it is vitally important, especially for online entrepreneurs and e-commerce companies, to stay connected to these trends and be ready for new ones that may pop up at any given time.
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. Because you’re already trying to stay connected to so many daily trends, and thinking about one more may just put you over the edge, right?
There are two ways to tackle managing these seasonal trends:
- Editorial Calendar: If you don’t have an editorial calendar for your social media marketing, blogs, videos and brand promotions, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Creating content ahead of time is great, but how do you know exactly what to DO with it once you’ve got it if you’re not planning it out?
- US Holidays: If you’re not based in the US, use a calendar that represents the area where you live OR, better yet, the area where your largest audience resides. Another thing to consider is religious holidays and observations which may not be ideal for every audience. Some audiences may be more receptive to religious trends than others or, if your audience is made up of people who practice a different religion than the one you do, you may want to consider adding some additional religious holidays into the mix.
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Quarter four is upon us!! This is the home stretch of the year — and it’s not just about business goals to finish this year strong, it’s about setting up a foundation for the following year so you can hit the ground running as soon as the holidays are over… and maybe, accomplish a few goals before it even begins.
For the past six years, I’ve started counting down to the new year in October. It may seem like I’m not “in the moment” but I can promise you that by doing my 10 Weeks to whatever the next year is, I’m actually more present, strategic and mindful of my goals.
The best part? I usually knock a few off before we even hit the holidays.
Why am I telling you this? Well, last year, I used this time to get serious about my brand focus for 2017. And it worked. It worked so well that my company earned multiple six figures this year — our second full year in business. It worked so well that I brought on two new team members, managed dozens of projects and still found time to get a little press along the way. It worked so well that I cleared 10K on Instagram and continue to grow an engaged following that ACTUALLY converts. It worked so well that I found the love (of self), sweat (of hard #werk) and tears (of joy) mantra and ACTUALLY felt what that means for me.
It worked so well that beyond all those tangible success items, I found myself in a whole new way.
This next year, 2018, is a big one for me. It’s my third full year in business and the start of my third decade on this earth. I’ve recently gotten more into the Woo (more on that on my lifestyle blog) and I’ve found that it has helped me burn old stories and break the cassette tapes that no longer served me.
And I found that in the 10 weeks leading up to 2017 last fall.
That’s why I am so passionate about making this quarter count. It may seem like a slower time period — with family, holiday and travel chaos — but that means there are more pockets for YOU to find time to just be. To allow your mind to really go there when it comes to the possibilities that you may have denied yourself in the past.
Here are four things I’ve done in the last quarter of the year to create MASSIVE success in the next year — they may not all be for you but they may be something you can “vix” for yourself and that? THAT is the most powerful thing of all.
The List of 100 Dreams
In 2011, I was 23 years old a little lost. I knew I wanted to change the world — I’ve known that my whole life — but the path to doing that seemed foggy. I purchased the book “What Color is Your Parachute?” I read about one-third of it and then decided I had what I needed and could move on. The most important part for me, at that moment in my life? The List of 100 Dreams. I wrote down everything I wanted to do in this life — including (most importantly) things I’d already accomplished. It helped me put my path into perspective. And best of all? Three months after I did that? I got the biggest job of my career and forged a new path in uncharted territory that led me here. Write the list this fall. Take the time to do it — in a place that makes YOU happiest — and think about what goals you can tackle in 2018. You’ll be surprised by what you’ve done already and how far you’ve come… I know it.
Calm in the Chaos
Meditation is something I committed to at the end of 2016 as well and as we circle back around on this ride we call life, I can tell you I haven’t kept up the practice as I thought I would BUT I did keep the intention. I live in NYC, it is a chaotic city — full of energy, motion and go-go-go. And I love every second of it. The entrepreneur guilt can often feel like that too — am I doing enough — and so meditation was one way I decided to calm my mind. I thought it meant that I had to sit, cross-legged on my couch, clearing my mind of all thoughts. That was not what worked for me — Instead, it’s a daily listen to freevibeoftheday.com, checking my horoscope and walking to my morning workout class without any expectation of what thoughts will pop into my head. Finding the calm in the chaos of my routine helped me stay the course. My advice for you? Find three things that calm you. Learn three new tools in this season to help you stay calm in the chaos and block time to do them every, single week of the first quarter of the new year. Knowing that you have a plan to tackle anything that comes your way IS half of the battle and this is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
I’ve had a regular, stable, consistent workout schedule since I’m 17. It has been a constant in my life through ALL of the changes in this defining decade and it is one I am eternally grateful for. I also went gluten- and dairy- free in my 20s. Trying a new food or workout routine is not easy during the holidays but the holidays are a few weeks away — take October to really consider what your “normal” eating habits are and how you can clean them up (or open them up) to give yourself more energy throughout the day. Find small tweaks that work for you. This isn’t something that I can really advise you on BUT I can tell you that paying attention to this — especially in my solopreneur days — helped me through a LOT of ups and downs.
I set goals, a lot. Quarterly goals, daily goals, weekly goals. I am #goalsongoalsongoals all damn day! Goals help me stay grounded and they help ME make the decisions I need to move forward. Each week of the next three months, write down three goals you want to accomplish that week. I find a hybrid of business and personal goals really makes me feel fulfilled so try that to see if it helps for you too. Write them on a post-it and tape them to your laptop or desktop each Sunday. On the following Sunday, block 15-20 minutes to evaluate your accomplishments and another 15-20 to set new goals for the following week. This intention setting allowed me to not only hit my financial goals for this year, but it actually allowed me to surpass them without even thinking about it. Powerful. Stuff.
No matter what practices, tactics and tools you use, setting yourself up for success in Quarter Four IS a crucial part of making the BOSS moves you need to succeed in the year ahead. The simplest thing to do? Get a handle on your expenses, write-offs and tax deductions for April — that is one way to understand your accomplishments this year AND how to maximize your success next year.
Brand trust — in everything from e-commerce brands to brick and mortar stores to editorial brands — is gone. Consumers — that is people who buy, click, visit, read and share — are more skeptical than ever. This is a problem ALL brands, businesses and individuals who share content on the many digital platforms face — and yet, it seems like we’re doing nothing to combat it. There are many, many things that can be done but the most important thing YOU can do? Be transparent with your audience every step of the way.
Editorial brands like The New York Times have spent decades refining their reputation. Television news brands, like CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. have done the same. And now? Now we have a generation of consumers — in all age groups and all phases of life — who are skeptical of everything they see, read, share and hear.
Where does that leave us?
These digital tools — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more — are platforms meant to bring communities together. Like the meeting houses, bonfires and great halls, these platforms have become a place to buy, trade, sell and share.
And as trust in the information presented decreases?
Well, it stands that trust in brands trying to sell in the same arena would also decrease.
And you don’t have to take my word for it — Buzz Sumo recently analyzed over 880 million (yes, with an m) Facebook posts from brands and publishers and engagement is down by 20% — regardless of spending which, for many of these individual entities, increased dramatically over the same period.
As an individual, you may have noticed a downward trend too — and that makes sense because as the algorithm struggles to learn new ways of verifying real vs fake content, individuals and business pages, it puts a clamp on all information.
Organic reach still exists — if you have the right content strategy in place, you should be able to see an increase in reach with a few well-placed tweaks — but it is not the same as it was.
So what are online entrepreneurs to do?
Transparency is your friend
Sharing your success stories, case studies and launch stories is bread and butter of digital brand marketing when it comes to online personalities. The true key here? Is to break it down! Tell your audience how much you spent on Facebook ads, how much you spent with affiliates, where you placed your content and how much time you spent training your audience to be primed for purchase. Share your missteps (because nothing is truly a failure) as lessons learned to move forward.
Be the expert, own your space
Experts are a dime a dozen — but YOU have a unique spin for YOUR zones of genius and excellence. YOU get to decide what content you share and how your audience consumes it. And you get to shine in the darkness of unreliable content (otherwise known as fake news) by providing statistics, data and verified sources. You are a content creator 5% (or less) of the time and a content curator 95% of the time — curate wisely.
Own your missteps — see them as an opportunity
The New York Times prints corrections… every, single news organization in the world prints corrections. Humans are not infallible — we are HUMANS. It’s called Human Error for a reason and the best way to combat the problem of unreliable content on today’s oversaturated content platforms? Think like an editorial team — decide how, when and where you’ll acknowledge your corrections and make it public. Make sure that you’re owning these answers consistently in your messaging. Using a response grid (like the one I offer for free, here) is a great way to stay on top of this day-to-day and across a distributed team.