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.
In six months of careful, strategic curation, I brought my Instagram brand from 2K to 10K and got the coveted “swipe up” for more in my stories. It may not SOUND like a big deal but as a digital marketer with many offerings, products and places to drive my ideal customer, it SO is! In these six months, I can also directly attribute clients and conversions back to my Instagram looking the way it does — so that means I turned my Instagram followers into clients. This blog will share more on how YOU can do the same.
Instagram is a powerful tool for conversions — paid and free — if you use it correctly. It may seem like magic, but I promise you there was a lot of love (of self), sweat (of hard #werk) and tears (of joy) on the journey to 10K for me. A LOT of it.
If you only read this far into the post, I can tell you the ONE thing you need to do to grow an authentic following (because yes, mine is also verified by one of the hottest influencer programs, Fohr) is this: training your audience by giving them content they want to see on a consistent basis with your unique, authentic voice.
That’s really all it takes to grow your following.
Of course, there are many strategies to get there and many ways to deploy these recommended strategies for success long-term but that ONE thing IS the key to success… and now, for the rest:
Get Your Look On Point
Instagram is THE most visual platform of the current “cool kids” on the social media block. It’s all about getting an image that speaks to what you’re selling AND to your ideal client. You might think that an image is perfect for your brand but if it doesn’t resonate with your client? Don’t post it. This makes me CRAZY when I’m working with clients — I know, I know, I KNOW you love the photos you’ve taken and curated as you built your brand but I also am an expert at increasing engagement per post — promise me when I say I know what your audience wants.
How can you figure this out without working with me? Well, guess, test and review is one solid strategy (and you can download a freebie on how to do that here). You can also check out your competitors and see what their audience is responding to — chances are, if they’re in your zone of genius, their followers are followers YOU want to bring over to your tribe too.
And, you can also check out the Instagram patterns that play well for large influencers. There are proven strategies that get results — the key is to put YOUR spin on it to make it authentic to you and attract your tribe like bees to a hive.
Strategic Promotions are Necessary
Facebook Ads are something I’m quite passionate about. Investments tell the Universe that you’re ready for BIG things and that’s important on many levels.
In terms of “the woo,” it is important to have a mindset for success. It’s why I share daily mantras on my Instagram profile — to hold MYSELF accountable to keeping a positive and optimistic mindset no matter what else is happening in my world.
In terms of practical strategy, it shows Facebook (which owns Instagram and is the “holder” for Instagram ads and boosted posts) that you’re interested in using this tool as a business-builder and that you’re ready to invest to do so. That’s big in the eyes of the algorithm and important for you to understand as you grow your brand.
By boosting individual posts on your Instagram Profile and also setting up small, strategic investments in dark posts through Facebook Business Manager for Instagram-only ads, you’re creating a loop of promotion that will attract the right people at the right time, every time.
The more you grow, the more likely your posts are to show up in the Top Posts feed for the hashtags you use (and if you’re not using at least 1 hashtag, you’re missing out; two hashtags is best for most brands in terms of getting optimal engagement… but that really varies and I often do use the full 10 until you reach at least 15K followers) which will then put you in front of many, many more of your ideal clients and their friends.
Should. Struggle. Obstacle.
I am on a mission to erase these words from my vocabulary when it comes to my business and my business-building efforts. It’s working, I made 6 figures in the first 6 months of this year which is only my second full year of entrepreneurship, but it is a challenge. Which I now see as an opportunity for behavior change that is really resonating with my audience.
Why should you care about this? Because BEING AUTHENTIC is a huge lesson learned on the journey to 10K (over 10K now… insert GIF happy dance here, y’all!).
Sharing the ups, downs and #lifelessons learned is a huge part of what makes the most powerful influencers powerful. Sure, beautiful photos get a bunch of likes and comments but how many of those likes turn to business? How many of those comments turn to cash?
Being authentic is what brings in the PAID conversions from Instagram and it is what sustains a brand long-term.
You’re not a flash in the pan — you’re in it for the long-haul and your brand will reflect that if you are authentically you every time you show up on Instagram.
Engage the Right People
I refer to Instagram as a vertical network. Twitter and Facebook are horizontal networks — because I see something in my main feed and immediately share it to my profile, making a horizontal leap, whereas with Instagram, I see something, I like it and I move on. I may reshare down the road, but the way someone will engage with it is, most likely, in a vertical view on their own feed.
The way to get around that on Instagram is to actually LIKE, COMMENT AND ENGAGE users on THEIR profiles, their photos and their content.
Reply to a story from a big influencer, share an authentic comment on posts that resonate with you.
Dedicate time to actually engaging with the community you want to build. It’s a “woo” thing — showing up the way you want your tribe to engage with you — but it’s also a strategic thing. The more you comment, like and engage, the more your username shows up in the circles you want to play.
Timing is Everything
Did you know that I’ve built over 25 Instagram accounts from scratch? Most of them have at least 10K followers if not more within the first 4 months of my control.
Why? Because I am as strategic about WHEN I share as I am about WHAT I share.
This is where switching to an Instagram Business Profile comes in handy. There are many, many different viewpoints on this but in my opinion and experience, it is the ONLY way to go.
The “research” says you should post in the morning on Instagram and yet, for most accounts, I see (in all different time zones and verticals) 7pm-11pm ET is the most active time frame.
Check your times, guess, test and review and check ‘em again, I promise it’ll be worth it!
Stick to the Plan
If you’ve read this far, I applaud you. I know this one is long but it’s FULL of good information.
This piece is one of the most important pieces of information I can share.
I cannot tell you how many times I thought about breaking my pattern for something cool or more relevant to that DAY or EVENT.
And I stopped myself because I was committed to my strategy.
And guess what? It worked.
Curate content… share things in real time on InstaStory but for your feed? Treat it with kid gloves and, whatever you do, stick to the plan you’ve chosen for at least 6-8 weeks. By then, you’ll have an idea of if it’s working and how to shift if not (or you could just work with me in one of my 1:1 coaching + execution programs!).
Give the plan time to work and enough data to review. That is what will keep your brand healthy for the long-haul, I promise.
If you’re looking for Instagram support, let’s schedule a discovery call and see how I can help YOU get the BIG results I’m known for.
Connecting with Entrepreneurs is an interesting experience. Everyone has a different way to run their business and each way can be successful on its own, but is it sustainable? Curating the right resources for your project and scale is the best way to create a business that can stand the test of time AND build your bank account at the same time.
A few weeks ago, I had a very interesting meeting. In the meeting, the prospective client made the comment that they wouldn’t pay someone to do video because an intern could just do video for free.
And that, my friends, is effing bullshit.
Interns are brilliant. I was managing This Old House’s Facebook groups and content syndication as an intern. Interns are very, very capable BUT they are NOT the same as hiring someone with 2, 5, 7 or 10 years of experience.
My response in the meeting? You could, but I can tell you right now it won’t be the same quality. I can tell you that because as an intern, I created good content. And now, a decade later? I create great content.
And a decade from now? It will be even better.
We are constantly evolving… we should be getting better and better at what we do, at the services we sell, at the content create (we all create content… seriously, but that’s a post for another day).
If we didn’t, what the hell is the point of all of this?
How Do You Build the Right Team?
By actually acknowledging that the investment is needed to scale. Investment IS needed to build your business. Investment in time or money. If you don’t want to spend the money, you need to take the time to learn the skills.
Know What You Don’t Know
I taught myself to code because I wanted to be a Digital Producer. I upped my abilities in video production too. At the same time, I applied for a Digital Production Masters… and four short months later, I got the job as a Digital Producer without the Masters.
Know what you don’t know and tell the Universe you’re ready to receive opportunities in this zone of genius.
By opening yourself up to LEARNING, you open new doors to your business and future. You don’t have to be GREAT at everything, but you SHOULD know what you don’t know. You need to understand the things you’re outsourcing before you outsource them. You can, of course, ask the expert, but you should also have a general understanding so that you can make decisions for yourself.
Know What an Expert Looks Like
I love when I see people on Instagram who offer to manage Instagram accounts for $100 a month. That’s not a reasonable price for anyone, even an intern. Minimum wage is $15 an hour — you cannot effectively do EVERYTHING for an Instagram account in 6.66666 hours per month. You can’t even do it in 7.
An expert knows how to explain their services, understands the actual time it takes, and is upfront with the realistic expectations you can have for a campaign. They are also honest with you when it comes to scope — if they can do it for less, they will.
Know What You Need to Invest in Most
If you’re trying to create an online business and don’t have a website (or even just a landing page), that’s the first area to invest in. It does not have to be something fancy (in fact, our most expensive website package is $6500) and it does not have to be something you do in 24-hours but it should be something that allows you to build your business AND scale. This is where a strategy session would be the best investment you can make.
If you’re going to go it your own way, find the right resources and find several of them. Form your own conclusions about what you NEED to do, instead of allowing others to “should” you. You “should” do a lot of things but you NEED to do few things to be successful online; know the difference.
Overall, building a business that scales involves finding the right experts to do the job you need OR becoming proficient enough in the services you need to create them for yourself. It takes time, effort and energy but the investment is well worth it.
PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes.