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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How many times have you read that consistent content will get you clients? It’s 1000% true but what does it really mean? What is consistency for YOUR audience and YOUR brand? How much content does your audience want from you? Learning the answers to these questions is the key to digital domination and in this post, you’ll learn what it takes to create a brand that converts.
Consistency is Queen… Content is King
In today’s 24/7 digital world, content IS king. Consistency is, as I said in this interview in 2017 with Jessi and Marie of North Star Messaging and Strategy, Queen. The best part about considering your content and consistency as a pair? YOU set the stage for consistency. You decide how consistent you want to be. If you’re looking for a place to start, download my freebie post cadence guide (available here) for some key data points related to how often and at what times you need to post in order to get the results you crave.
Digital Domination is a State of Mind… and FOMO is NOT For You
It can seem like everyone you know is rocking everything on their plate — they’re the badass boss (with a good ass; my favorite of the #VixDoesMantras series), the marvelous momma and the #winning wife who seems to get everything done without breaking a nail or shedding a tear. That’s absolute and total BS. It’s an Insta-Filtered version of life and as part of my CREATE mantra for 2018, I’m also focused on more transparency and less tightropes — FOMO (fear of missing out) is a direct result of our digital domination efforts. We want to be the one to dominate the conversation in our niche and in our network but, at times, we’re actually not offering anything insightful.
How do you avoid that? By considering your audience. DIY-ing your digital empire does not have to break the bank. Dominating Digital Media does not have to dominate your life. Small tweaks — like sharing Instagram Stories 1-2 days a week or committing to one Facebook live per month — will make a difference… if you do it consistently. It will take time, but it IS possible.
Patience is Your Purpose
It may seem like people build six figure businesses overnight but the truth of the matter is that the groundwork took a lot of time. I built The Company by securing 6-figures of contracts in six weeks but that didn’t mean I had six figures in my bank account (and I still don’t… that’s a conversation for another blog) — it meant I secured the contracts I needed to have an income that made ME comfortable and confident enough to turn my Side Hustle into a full-time hustle. That number? That milestone? That goal? It is and — totally — should be different for all of us. Patience in achieving all of your goals is key to your purpose. One way to be patient? Pick ONE network to focus on. For me, 2017 was all about Instagram, and focusing on that network made a HUGE difference (a 10K in 6 months difference!). Block out the networks and platforms YOU want to focus on by month and watch your business grow.
It’s a new year but you’re the same person you were yesterday and that is a gift. Too often in January, we get caught up in the newness of it all — which can sometimes make us forget just how lucky we are and how much we’ve learned in the last year. This January, I’m going to share tips, tricks and strategies to help you look back to move forward and use an abundance mindset to create your biggest year, ever.
Abundance is my word for January. My word for the year is CREATE — Courage. Respect. Empath. Advocate. Tenacity. Enough. It’s a mouthful but it is totally one that resonates with me. I tried the word on for a bit, I picked it in October, and it just stuck. As I began to create my content themes and strategies for 2018, I realized every month also has its own word and feeling. For me, in January, it’s abundance.
Now, that might seem counterintuitive as the holiday bills start hitting and you’re getting back into the swing of new business meetings and lead generation but stay with me — if we remember allllll the work we’ve done in the year past, we may just find that we’ve actually laid a strong foundation, one we can use to keep the momentum going instead of seeing it as a restart.
This January, I want to encourage you to ask for what you want to use past lessons to propel yourself forward. Here are three ways to do this in a strategic way to build your business AND your bank account.
Case Study Coffee Tawk
When I host connection calls with colleagues and collaborators, I call them “Coffee Tawk” sessions. I’m a New Yorker through and through and Coffee Tawk is my way to sharing my personality with my brand persona. At the end of last year, I talked about the Titanic Syndrome and how that can help you when you’re first starting out — by allowing you to separate the real you from the digital you — but how it can also stall you by allowing you to wallow in your comfort zone. Case Study Coffee Tawk accomplishes two things — 1) It allows you to shake things up and strut your stuff by promoting your successes from the past year and 2) It allows you to meet new people and share your mission in new places and with new audiences.
Action Item: Join 3 new Facebook groups (like mine, DIY Your Digital Empire) and focus on sharing content in those groups at least 3 days a week. The other groups you’re a part of? Share content in there once a week for 3 weeks. This allows you to expand your network without forcing you to create (too) much new content.
To the Archives!
If you’re anything like me, you spent A LOT of time writing and creating in 2017. Even if you don’t create content as a main function of your business, chances are you’ve got some past content that can be recirculated this year. Map out a plan and stick to it! Having a plan in place will allow you to quickly and easily see any holes you might have AND identify opportunities to promote new programs and offerings.
Action Item: Look back through old documents — digital and physical — review your journal and see if there are any content topics or ideas that you might have missed. Commit to writing up at least one of the ideas this week. You can do it and if you need some support, check out my 90-minute program, The Strategic Intensive, which helps you get it done with 3-30-minute sessions designed to maximize support while you execute.
Disconnect to Reconnect
If you didn’t take a dark week over the holiday, consider taking a mental health date this week to give yourself time to ease back into your normal work schedule — with the holidays, it may seem like you’re in catch-up mode but use these mental health dates to slowly reconnect to your purpose, your why and your mission in order to monetize your business and brand.
Action Item: Set up time each day to be device-free. I know this is a hard one and I am committing to it myself! In 2018, I commit to taking a full, real lunch break at least 2x a week. I know if I commit to all five days, I’ll set myself up to fail so I’m going to start small and encourage you to do the same.
Ever see a video, hear a podcast or see an Instagram feed and feel a little jealous? Comparison can be toxic, but the inspiration for elevation with an aesthetic that really and truly resonates with you? THAT is one of the best ways to move your brand and business forward. In this post, I’ll share some hacks for creating content that is #InstaGoals for less!
Do you ever feel like everyone else has it figured out while you’re still playing dress-up in your mom’s suits?
As someone who – quite literally – played dress-up for hours and hours in her mother’s suits from the 80s and 90s (shoulder pads and all), I can tell you this is part of the practice of becoming an expert in your zone of genius. It is part of the practice of advancing in your career and it is part of the practice of finding your voice in an oversaturated and fatigued marketplace.
It can be downright exhausting — and detrimental if you don’t take some time to get clear on your mantras, your goals and your content buckets to hone in on the area(s) that YOU want to own.
This is challenging, no doubt about it. In a world where everyone’s life, business, marriage, motherhood and workouts are #InstaFiltered, it can seem like you’re the only one going through this phase of life-acne, but I promise you’re not alone.
I promise you.
In my mission to be transparent, I will say that I once felt this way. I often felt not good enough when I worked at some of the biggest names in the business… and then, when I went off on my own, I realized that those titles reinforced that belief in me and once I let go of expectations, I was truly able to soar and work with even bigger names and create massive success for my clients and myself.
How Did I Do It? Practice.
Practice is a word that has resonated with me since my days of daily hot yoga sessions before sunrise — as a little girl, I imagined the woman I wanted to be. I’m a very visual person, my memories and dreams play like film clips in my mind, like a kaleidoscope of a highlight reel I once hope to share. So my image of me as an adult has always played out this way in my mind. And from an early age — 8 at least — I kept looking in the mirror searching for her, willing her into existence.
Two decades later, she is here, she is fierce and she ain’t even halfway done.
But that was a practice. It was the practice of figuring out what truly fit my style, my mission and my personality as I went through the runway of work and life, trying on new titles like last season’s t-shirts and collecting case studies like Ariel’s baubles.
Next year, I’ll enter my third decade and I firmly believe in the power of three (that’s a story for another post; it will come so stay tuned) — for me, this is when my practice has hit one of it’s most aligned moments. And that’s where I pick up the title of this post, the power of a staged space.
My new apartment is great, it works for what I need it to way more than any other space but it’s definitely not “ideal.” It doesn’t have the perfect clean light that I need and the windows don’t look out into the majestic city like the windows I someday know I will have (hoping and wishing and praying) but that shouldn’t matter, right? It’s my home and I love it and it should be good enough for all of my content needs.
Should — that word can be such a B.
The reason I’m writing this post today is because of an episode of Happy Thoughts Show run by two girl bosses and friends, Sara Wiles and Lacey Sites. Last night’s episode featured comparisonitis and how to deal/what it is. I was so intrigued by the responses that so many of the ladies had because I do, as I explained above, DEFINITELY remember being there myself professionally. And while I don’t always struggle with this as a CEO, as women, there are always ways in which we judge ourselves too harshly and this comes up for us.
So many of these things, however, can be quickly fixed with a little zuzsh — as I like to say. Basically, a little quick fix solution to turn the space you have into the space you want to have someday in some way. Working with what you’ve got to create what you desire — THAT is key to this practice. As I shared today “See it. Believe it. Think it. Be it.” because you’ve already got everything you need, you just gotta make it #werk.
In times when you wish your brand looked a little more Kardashian and less Kitchy, there are spaces that you can use to stage your content collection.
Breather is a great app featuring workspaces AND photo/video spaces in several major cities (Canada too!). You can rent the spaces by the hour (and you’ll get a discount if you use my code) or by the day. I did a photoshoot in one of these spaces last fall and it was GREAT. It allowed me to get all the shots I needed without having to worry if my apartment was clean enough.
My favorite photo series, ever (for my brand) was taken in my 450 sq ft apartment, the one I had before where I live now. Yes, really. I got some green screen from a friend who purchased it wholesale at a production house in Brooklyn and then we used two massive lights to turn my apartment into the kind of “#lit” #InstaGoals are made of. I’ve also purchased my own lighting kit since this shoot, for $70 from Jet.com. Even if you think your space is drab, lighting can make a HUGE difference.
Flowers can completely change a shot. Placing flowers over your right or left shoulder just beyond the shot can open up a room and make it feel like you’re in a totally different space. This can be accomplished by shooting from different angles too.
If you’re ready for a big project, Peerspace is one to investigate. They also have spaces in cities all over the world that can be used for events, photo and video shoots, fashion shows, intimate dinners and more. What I love most about Peerspace is that some of the photo/video shoot spaces even come with lights — which totally beats trekking around Manhattan with your gear.
I hope these tips help you create your #InstaGoals photoshoot for your brand and business — and if you’re not resonating with that type of photography and brand representation? Find the five brands that fit YOUR idea of what YOU want to be and create your own #InstaGoals — because you deserve to write your success story on your terms, not on someone else’s.
Every expert will tell you something different about what it means to build a digital business. This quick start guide will help you get the building blocks in place so you can expand as you go along without having to scramble for key assets and systems last minute, allowing you to take full advantage of all the opportunities coming your way.
Understanding what you’re going to talk about is the first part of building a digital brand. What key areas will you “own” as an expert? Will you create a blog or plan to share content on social media? Are you going to train your audience to expect a podcast, video series or to convert to a group program?
Here are a few resources to help you get started:
The Only Branding Cheatsheet You’ll Ever Need
Buzzwords and Your Digital Strategy
3 Content Objectives and 5 Ways to Achieve Them
Content Planning for Entrepreneurs
The 5 W’s and an H of Content Planning
Website or Landing Page — Or Social Media Page
No matter what your hub is, you need a hub to send your new audience to. That hub can be a website, landing page or series of social media profiles.
My advice? Start with a simple website (like these that we’ve created for clients) with a home, about, contact and services page. This allows you to start collecting email addresses quickly (to build your list from Day 1; even if you’re not sending them anything yet, it’s an important digital branding step!) and it will also allow you to employ some of that content planning you’ve been working on — on the About page, think about what you want to own, your why and how you can provide services and products to YOUR ideal client. That will help you start to inform your content strategy AND give you something to share on social media.
If you decide to start with a social media page or profile? Consider where your ideal client hangs out before deciding which one to focus your energies on. And if you’re not building a website at all? Stay off Twitter, you won’t have the content to support a solid strategy and then the brand building efforts there will fall flat.
Social Media Strategy
If you do nothing else when building a digital brand, you MUST reserve your business name (or your name) on all social media platforms. Even if you plan to NEVER use that platform to promote your business, you never know which way the tides will turn so reserve all of your handles on Day 1 to make sure you never, ever have to think about this again!
Then, it’s about deciding where your ideal client hangs out and how many times a day you can reasonably post.
If you’re only on Facebook, you ARE leaving money on the table, but if you’re just starting out, it is better to be focused so take the time to build a rapport with your community.
All of the resources we have on social media planning can be found here.
No matter what you’re doing, you want to get paid. Whether you’re a side-hustler, a naptime ninja or a weekend warrior, you’re starting a side business and digital brand to get paid. If you’re an influencer, you’ll be using your digital influence to get paid in a variety of ways… but you’re still GETTING PAID! Think about the easiest way for YOU to handle payments. Start by creating an excel sheet for expenses and income tracking so that when tax time rolls around, you’re not wasting valuable time scrambling for receipts and payment records.
A resource to get started:
3 Payment Systems to Rock Your Business
You may not know what types of content you’ll be sending via email but owning an email list is one of the most important parts of building a digital brand. Yes, all of these parts are important, that’s why they’re the building blocks! But having the ability to reach your customers 1:1? THAT is priceless. Always remember, the social platforms that we invest so much time, energy and money into are public (some are even publicly traded) and can go away in an instant. And if they do? How would you connect with your audience? This is something that the Vine influencers dealt with a little over a year ago and it was not pretty. Don’t ever allow yourself to be in this position! Get ahead of it from Day 1 with an email system that suits YOUR needs and can scale with your business.
There you have it! Of course, there are MANY more elements to consider as you build, scale and grow your business and digital brand, but this is a great way to get started.