If you are active on social media then I am sure you have heard about the changes Instagram is rolling out. If you have not you can read more about it here. Basically to sum it all up for you, Instagram is no longer going to display posts to you in chronological order. Even if you follow a particular account that account’s posts will not appear chronologically. Only posts which IG determines you may have an interest will be displayed. If you’ve been on Instagram over the last few days I am sure you saw a post or two (or 50!) requesting that you “turn on notifications” so that you can continue to see the account holder’s posts. If you didn’t know what all that was about now ya’ know!
Many small business owners that have used Instagram to market their products and services aren’t happy about this change. A petition to stop these changes is actually circulating. To many it means that a large number of their followers will miss out on offers and services that they offer. Although I have used Instagram as a platform I DON’T GIVE A HOOT about the changes!
Here are 3 reason that I am totally unbothered (and you should be too!)
- I hashtag and engage with strangers: Hashtags on Instagram are powerful. I use hashtags that my ideal client may use. If they search that particular hashtag they may come across my IG page and realize that I am posting about things for which they also have an interest. In addition I can search those same hashtags and find my ideal client. Once I “find” them I interact with them…I comment on their pics, like their pics, etc. The new rollouts won’t make me stop doing that and it should not stop you either! Social media is about engagement. Keep engaging and you will keep people interested in you and what you are offering.
- I don’t want to bother uninterested people: There are people that could have started following you for some reason that they don’t even remember! Maybe they liked your shoes in a particular picture, maybe whatever you have been posting about at one time was their interest, etc. For whatever reason they really just don’t care about what you are posting about anymore. They just haven’t taken that extra step to just unfollow you. They don’t care about your posts and they don’t interact with you on your page. Now they won’t see your posts anymore. GOODbye! Unbothered. You should care why?!?!? lol
- I have an email list: Although Instagram was my first platform for marketing my consulting services it was not my only. It should not have been yours. Instagram should be just one weapon in your arsenal; never should it be the only weapon in your arsenal. My goal for Instagram was to gain such an interest through my posts that the user would feel compelled to check out my website and subscribe to my email list. I’d prefer to interact via email anyway! Once they are on my email list I can send useful content, motivation, offers, etc. Email lists are really where the “magic” happens. Instagram/ Social media should only be the bait!
My advice to you is to let all your Instagram followers know about your email list. Maybe they don’t know that the list exists. (Pssst…if you do not have one create one like YESTERDAY!) Create a post and let them know that your email list exists and that you have a special offering for those that sign up for the list. Sometimes you just need to tell people what to do. If you don’t tell them they very well may never know.It is only a matter of time before these changes roll out. Therefore you need to get your followers on your email list now!
Marketing is a very important part of your business. I would go as far as to say that it is crucial. If you have a great product, but no one knows about it you won’t make much money! You must market. However, you must do it the right way. I have noticed that many people forget about one key component. They focus on the wrong aspect of marketing.
So here are three keys to your marketing plan and what I feel is the most important:
Leads: The first part of marketing is getting new leads. Leads, leads, leads. You want to get as many leads as you can because the more leads you get, the more potential clients you have and the more potential clients you get, the more clients you have. Potential clients turn into clients. Here is an example. If you are in the online sector you will need about 1,000 leads to generate ONE SALE! So, how are you going to attract people to your business? How are you getting the leads?
Experiences: What type of experiences are you going to create for your customers? Give them a great experience. WOW them! Even though you make think your idea or business is original, you are most likely not the only person doing what you are doing. The customer can choose you or 25 others in the same industry. Therefore, it’s essential to create an experience for your clients that will have people walking away from your services raving about you and your business!
Current Customers: How are you going to appreciate your current clients/loyal customers? These are the people who are currently using and enjoying your services. They are the people that are going to be able to provide word of mouth marketing for you, telling their friends how much they enjoyed your services. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT!
Most people focus on number 1 and not number 3… The majority of people lose money in the long run by not focusing on developing and nurturing relationships with current clients. When you spend all your time on number 1, the people in the third category 3 are getting left out. So, how are you going to ‘wow’ them? How are going to go above and beyond to nurture and appreciate your current customers?
The existing customers will be the walking mouthpiece for your business. They will tell a friend that will tell a friend that will tell a friend.People tend to trust a direct referral before they trust a stranger in their email inbox! In addition the existing clients can grow to be the most loyal clients. They can be the clients that support you and hire you for years to come. Many of your future clients may be your existing clients. Therefore you have to treat them right.
Let me know below how you will nurture your existing clients.
We really can learn so much from children. Their innocence and their simple perspective on life is refreshing. As a “mompreneur” my day is filled with business duties and with raising children. I find myself discovering similarities in running a business and in parenting. With that being said, my eight year old has inadvertently taught me a few things I can apply to business. Here are four things I can apply
- Be Direct and Specific: In business (and in parenting) we must be clear about what we want/need our children to do. Additionally if you have more than one child, you must be clear on to whom you are speaking. Otherwise you get “I did not know I had to take out the trash. You did not tell me” or “I thought you were talking to my brother” Sighhhh… the joys of parenting! It is the same thing in business. Get clear on to whom you are are speaking. Determine who your target audience is and make your actions/marketing/branding, etc clear that you are speaking directly to them and that you need them to take action.
- It is ok to do the same thing: If I allowed it my 8 year old would eat pizza and chicken nuggets for lunch and dinner (maybe even breakfast) everyday. He NEVER gets tired of it. He knows what he likes. If a new pizza joint opens my son will be the first in line. Guess what? Your potential clients are the same way. They like what they like. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. Just because your industry is “noisy” it does not mean that there is not a place for you to make your mark. Make it better, make it unique, make it you. Don’t create things that people really don’t want. Give ’em what they want!!! (To my son Evan: if you are reading this it does not mean you will get pizza and chicken nuggets everyday!)
- Just have fun: My son takes very few things as serious as he should. I mean he is eight! lol He could care less about the score of his football game as long as he gets to play. He wakes up every single morning singing and dancing to whatever song is popular at the time (I am soooo not a morning person). He laughs when kids tease him. Yes, his confidence is off the charts. I secretly admire that about him. The point is this kid is all about having fun…all day and all night into the wee hours of the morning lol. Sometimes in business we have to stop being so serious and just have a little fun. I know crunching numbers, meeting payroll, making decisions, etc can all get a little stressful. However take a break and remember why you are doing this. Think about what makes you happy and include it in your marketing plan. For creatives developing a marketing strategy should be fun. Let loose girl!
- Save your money: My son will search the sofa cushions for loose change. He will do what he can to earn money and keeps it in a secret place. Nope, I don’t even know where he hides it! I admire him because he saves it. He will walk in the toy store and if he learns that he has to buy whatever shiny noisy object he wants he will not get it. If mommy pulls out her wallet he will want two! If he has to spend he suddenly only wants a $.99 pack of gum. As business owners we have to be the same way. SAVE YOUR MONEY! You can have a fabulous 5 figure month and make zero deposits in your account the following month. Don’t spend all your money and get in a bad predicament the next month because you were too loose with your spending.
Sometimes we have to think like eight year olds. Their perspectives are fresh and untainted! Think about what else you can learn from a kid. Let me know what you below what you discover and implement.