Check out the things I think every good blog should have in this infographic!
9 Tips for Making Great Instagram Stories
Sure, Reels are all the rage right now – but don’t dismiss the importance of Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories continue to be one of the most popular features on the app. And what started as a way for people to post videos that disappear after 24 hours has become an integral part of many peoples’ social media strategy.
Millions of users are viewing stories every day, so it’s no wonder why so many businesses are using stories as part of their marketing strategy! But if you want to make a great story – then check out these tips!
Make sure you know the editing features available to you.
Instagram Stories has a variety of tools for making your content look professional. You can add text, stickers (Yes – Link stickers are available for everyone!), drawings, and even emojis in order to get your point across effectively.
Use eye-catching colors so that people take notice.
Using contrasting or complementary colors will make sure the color stands out against any background it’s on. For example, if you want to make sure your logo is seen, place it against a contrasting background for visual appeal.
Know the image size.
Instagram Stories are only available in portrait mode – so you’ll need to make sure your images or videos fit this frame. The best way to do that is by using the same dimensions as on Instagram itself (1080px wide and 1920 px tall).
Play with the fonts and text formats.
Instagram Stories allows you to use many of the same text styles as on Instagram itself. You can choose from bold, italic and underline options for both your title and description, ensuring that even users scrolling quickly will be able to read what’s written!
Use stickers sparingly.
Yes, stickers are fun, but too much clutter is distracting. Stickers are a great way to add information when someone is watching your story, but using them for the entire thing can be distracting. Try to use just a few stickers that highlight key points or give extra context where necessary.
Make sure you’re clear about what people should do next.
It’s great to have an Instagram Story, but if no one knows how they can interact with it, what’s the point? Instagram Stories now have a “Link buttons” that allows you to link out to your other social media channels or even a website.
Know what hashtags best suit your brand and use them!
Be sure not to overdo it with too many hashtags though as they can also make things look very cluttered. Instead, try to use hashtags that are relevant to your brand or industry and mention a few “key” ones at the end of each post so they’re easier for users to find.
Be mindful of video length.
If you’re posting a video for an Instagram Story, keep it to 15 seconds or less if you want it to be shown in its entirety. If your video is longer than that, Instagram will split up the footage into multiple clips and show them one at a time – and it can seem a bit choppy – although it’s not the end of the world.
If you have a specific style or theme for your Instagram Stories, stick to it! Keeping things the same will help people associate them with your brand and know what to expect when they see one on their feed.
So…who’s a fan of Instagram Stories? I know that I am! I love to make them and I love to watch them! Next time you make a great Instagram Story – be sure to send me a message so I can see it!
The Value of Good Communication in Your Business: 6 Reasons It’s So Important
Good communication is one of the most important things when it comes to running a successful business. It affects your client, your employees, and you as an individual. And, while you know it’s important – have you ever taken the time to think about why?
Reason One: It Keeps All Parties Informed
Good communication is the key to keeping all parties informed. When you communicate with clients, they’re always aware of what’s happening and can make educated decisions about their needs more easily. When you communicate well with your employees, everyone knows exactly where they need to be in order for things to go smoothly.
Reason Two: It Creates Stronger Relationships with Clients
Good client communication is the key to creating stronger relationships. Think about it this way: when you communicate well with your clients, they feel like their needs are being met and that they’re valued as a customer. People tend to do business where they’re treated well, and when they feel valued.
Reason Three: It Makes Things Easier on Your Employees
In order for your employees to be successful in any job, they need clear direction from you. A good boss communicates with their employees in order to make sure they know what’s happening.
Reason Four: It Eliminates Communication Gaps
One of the best ways to maintain good communication with your clients is to make sure there are no gaps in the chain of information. It’s important that everyone who needs to be involved in a project or process knows exactly what their role is and how it fits into the bigger picture.
Reason Five: It Eliminates Misunderstandings
One way to eliminate misunderstandings is by having a clear and consistent channel for communication. If not, there is a chance that people will be confused or unclear about what they need to do next in order to move forward with the process. Clear channels make it easier to eliminate misunderstandings.
Reason Six: It Keeps Tension from Building
When people feel like they’re not being listened to, tension can build up between them and their boss or coworkers. This tension can lead to stress and workplace conflict.
Good communication helps to keep the vibe positive by eliminating misunderstandings. Tension in a professional setting is never good because it leads to increased stress levels and possible complications down the line.
In the business world, communication is key. This applies to both internal and external conversations with clients or customers. When you start a new project together, it’s important that you have an ongoing conversation about what they want from your work and how their expectations might change over time as the process evolves. Asking questions like these can help keep lines of communication open for everyone involved in the project—and will also give them confidence in your ability to provide high-quality work that meets their needs.
What are some of your best tips on keeping communications open – whether it’s with clients or your teams?
How to Repurpose Your Blog
Have you ever considered how much time and effort is put into creating a blog post? Blogging every week requires a lot of dedication, planning, and creativity. That’s why it’s so important to try to get the most out of your content by repurposing it in different ways!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to get the most out of that content you created!
Translate it into a podcast
Do you enjoy listening to podcasts but don’t have the time or energy to create one yourself? Try translating your blog content into a podcast! It might seem like there are too many steps at first, but it will soon feel second nature.
Turn it into an ebook
If you’ve got a lot of content on your blog, consider turning it into an ebook. You can sell ebooks through most online retailers or create them for free and distribute them as PDFs in order to reach more readers.
Create social media posts from your blog
Does your blog post have a catchy title that would look good on social media? Does it share multiple tips and lots of relevant information? Turn it into social media posts to share with your followers. It’s an easy way to keep in touch and stay relevant even when you don’t have time for more long form content.
Record videos based on blog posts
Are you a visual learner? Turn some of your blog posts into videos! In many cases the written word isn’t enough to teach someone. Adding a video will help your readers retain more information and also make it easier for people to find what they need on your website.
Post summaries of your best blog posts on Reddit, LinkedIn Pulse, Medium or Quora
Do you have a lot of content on your blog that is evergreen? Post summaries of the best posts on Reddit, LinkedIn Pulse, Medium or Quora. This will help to keep your business in people’s minds and also give them easy access to helpful information when they need it.
Turn it into a slide deck presentation for clients and prospects
If you run a business, there are likely prospects and clients that visit your website in order to learn more about what you do. Try turning some of them into slide deck presentations for potential customers. You can easily email them to new clients or share them at events where you’re a presenter.
Create a lead magnet.
If you want to build your email list, create a lead magnet from some of your valuable content that requires people to share their email address with you. Then you can continue to share valuable content with them via email. (And don’t dismiss the value of email!!! It’s still a FANTASTIC way to connect with people!)
I hope these ideas will help you to repurpose your blog and get the most out of it! If you have any other great ideas, please comment below – I’d love to know how you get the most bang for your buck from a blog!
How to Write to Create Conversation, Connection, and Build Communities
Blogs, emails, and social media posts are an integral part of any digital marketing plan, and the right post can do wonders for your business.
But, just like with anything else in life, you need to know how to get it done correctly! One of the things that I constantly remind people is that you need to create conversations, connections and build communities with your audience.
When you do this – your followers will become fans – and soon, they’ll become clients and customers.
But how do you do this?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind!
– Your content should be informative: Create helpful content for your target audience – not just a bunch of fluffy words. This will build trust with readers, which makes them more likely to share your content because they know it’s worth sharing!
– Your content should be conversational in tone: There is nothing worse than reading a blog or email that does not sound like you actually care about your subject matter – so spend time on how you talk about things! The best content is written by those who are passionate about what they do.
– Your content should provide personal anecdotes: It can be difficult to make your content personal, but if you don’t – then readers will never relate. We all love reading about people’s real-life stories and struggles because it helps us understand them on a deeper level than we would otherwise—and makes them seem more like an “everyday person” with the same concerns as everyone else.
– Your content should give credit for sources: This is such an important thing to do! If someone created something that helped in some way or inspires what you have written, ALWAYS give them credit where it is due – especially if they are friends who deserve recognition for their work. You may also want to include links back specifically to those original creators’ content so others can get more information.
– You should stay active and responsive on social media: Engage with your audience on a regular basis. This helps build connections which can lead to new ideas for future articles, as well as building communities around the topic of your content, so readers feel connected through their shared passion for that subject matter.
Your content is a powerful marketing tool that will help your business grow when used properly. Remember your content buckets and start creating – and creating consistently! Your followers will love you for it!
5 Reasons You Need a Content Calendar
Do you have a content calendar? If not, you should! (Yes, I know that I say this all the time – but it’s TRUE!!)
A content calendar serves multiple purposes – and if I haven’t convinced you yet that you need one, let me try again with these five reasons!
Keeps you organized and on track
A calendar will help you organize and plan your content so that it is fresh, consistent, and relevant. You want to be sure that the quality of your work never wavers because, without a good plan in place, things can get out of control quickly!
A content calendar keeps everything organized, so you know what’s coming up next for each channel where you publish content on social media or through other mediums. It also helps keep track of deadlines as well as ideas for future posts, which ensures that nothing gets forgotten about.
Excellent for brainstorming
A content calendar can be a great tool to help you brainstorm future content. You are able to think ahead and plan out what topics, formats, or campaigns might work well in the future without having to worry about doing any actual writing today.
This is especially helpful if you’re trying to come up with ideas for blogs or social media posts that will be spread out over time! If you have this mapped out beforehand, it’s more likely that each installment of the series has fresh and new information which keeps your readers coming back for more!
Helps maintaining consistency
If you’re an entrepreneur, consistency is key. And what better way to maintain that than by having all of your content planned out in advance and spread evenly across the different channels where you publish?
It’s essential for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and influencers alike to have a plan in place so they don’t end up with one blog post on Instagram but then none on Facebook. There will also be less time spent frantically trying to come up with something new at the last minute, which helps ensure more quality work
Helps plan your social media marketing
A content calendar can also be helpful in terms of social media marketing.
If all posts are planned out ahead of time, it’s easier to make sure that a schedule is followed and there aren’t any gaps where nothing gets posted for an entire week – which could cause readership to drop off significantly if they only follow you on one platform! It helps keep the content consistent, so people know what to expect going forward.
Just like keeping track of your content, consistency is key here too!
Keep track of your performance.
The content calendar also makes it easy to keep track of performance.
If you’re trying to grow your following, having a place where all the numbers can be compared, and goals set for improvement will help. You can check your analytics and make notes right on your calendar for easy access.
Have I convinced you yet?
A content calendar is THE WAY to go! Once you create one, you’ll ask yourself why you waited so long!
Taking a Social Media Break
I don’t know about you, but when summer comes I automatically switch to vacation mode – and I know I’m not alone. Lots of you do, too.
But when you have your own business, you can’t shut down entirely. You have to learn to work smarter, not harder.
I’m lucky, for the most part, I can create content for my clients in advance. And that’s exactly what I do.
The vast majority of my summer content for clients is complete. Which means I really only have to handle “on-the-fly” requests – which I can do without a problem.
And, if you’re looking to put yourself into “summer mode” or “vacation mode” – even just for a few days, then you need to be smart about it.
If taking a break from your social media is a concern – and for most businesses it is – then here are my suggestions!
- Schedule your content in advance. Yes, there are numerous apps that will allow you to schedule your content so that it will auto-publish while you’re away. Sure, it means you’ll need to get ahead on content – but it’s totally worth it.
- Handle your community management in bulk. If you have a really active community with lots of engagement – you probably don’t want to let it go while you’re away. Dedicate some time to comment and interact – and then be done.
- Hire outside help. Yes, you may be able to bring in someone temporarily to help you out. Perhaps this person can comment, post your stories and reels, or just make sure that everything is posting as should.
- Tell your followers your plan. Guess what? You’re human – and entitled to a break or vacation. So, why not just share it with your followers that that’s what you’re doing? My guess is they’ll wish you a bon voyage and be waiting for you when you get back!
If you need a social media break this summer – take it! Just come up with a plan! You can use any or all of these tips to get you through it until you return.
Have You Heard About HARO?
If you listen to the experts in your field, they’re probably always telling you that you need to establish yourself as an expert in order to gain credibility.
And they’re not wrong.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to go about this. You can share lots of valuable free content. You can provide value through your social media. You can publish a book. You can have yourself quoted in digital or print publications.
The first three are things you can definitely take care of yourself – but how do you go about getting yourself quoted without hiring a PR firm to help you?
You use HARO.
HARO stands for “Help-a-Reporter-Out” and it “connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.”
Three times per day (Monday – Friday) you’ll receive an email with a list of information that people are looking for – everything from medical and agriculture to marketing and education. The list is wide and varied and you can simply apply to the requests for information by following the selected links.
It’s super simple to sign up for – just go to the webpage (link above) and sign up as a “Source.” Make sure you read the rules carefully (as they will ban those who violate them) and then start watching your email.
You may soon find yourself quoted in publications like Time, The New York Times, and others! Go check HARO out!
Tips and Tricks for Proofreading
Whether you create a little content, a fair amount of content, or huge amounts of content, one of your jobs is most likely to proofread – unless you’re lucky enough to have someone who does it for you.
I know it’s one of my jobs.
And throughout the years, I’ve gotten fairly good at.
It’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes. I do. But most of my content is error-free. And, if I do find a mistake, I go back and correct ASAP (as long as the content is still within my control.)
But proofreading is not easy.
After all, you probably spent a considerable amount of time writing, reading, and re-reading whatever you’ve written. And, after a while…it’s easy to gloss right over any errors – because you begin to read it as you want it to be.
Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help make proofreading easier – and here are a few of the ones I use.
- Use your finger to follow along. If you’re as old as I am, you probably had teachers yell at you if you used your finger to follow along as you read something. But when it comes to proofreading – it’s really helpful! Give it a try.
- Use text-to-speech. A text-to-speech app can read your words aloud to you – and you can hear how they sound – making it easier to catch mistakes.
- Run your text through Grammarly. I love this app! Once again – not full-proof, but man…it does a darn good job!
- Take a break between writing and proofreading. If you have time, move onto another project and proofread later. This gives your brain a well-deserved break.
- Look for your most common errors. We all have them. Those mistakes that we seem to make over and over again. Be on the lookout for them! (I keep a list of my common mistakes next to my computer on a Post-It note.)
- Don’t forget to check headings and subheadings. It’s easy to skip over them as they’re short – but they can still contain errors.
- Read your text in a bigger font. This is a strange trick, but it works. Take your text and increase the font size to 150% or 200% and then read it. You’ll be surprised by what jumps out at you.
- Start at the bottom. Begin reading with your concluding paragraph and work your way up to your opening paragraph. It causes your brain to work differently – and you’ll catch those mistakes.
How about you? What’s your best tip for proofreading and catching those grammar or spelling mistakes?
Should I Choose a Niche?
What’s your niche?
Yes, if you’re an entrepreneur, everybody seems to recommend that you have a niche – an area where you put your primary focus.
And it works…for some people.
If you’re a coach, having a niche is important so you can deliver a message to your clients that fits with your values and beliefs – and allows you to attract clients who share similar values and beliefs, but need help getting to that next level.
But what about someone like me? Someone who writes blogs and helps create social media content? Do I need a niche?
I used to think so. And, originally, I was doing a lot of work with dentists and periodontists – and thought, “Yeah…this could be where I put my focus.”
But it doesn’t work for me.
If I’m completely honest, I don’t want to specialize.
I like doing research and learning new things.
I like challenging myself.
And I get bored easily.
So, I don’t have a niche.
Will I turn down clients if I don’t believe we’re a fit? 100% YES!
But will I limit myself and say no to a client because I may not know all that I need to know about their specific business or industry? Definitely not.
I know my limits – and I work within them – but I don’t limit myself (if that makes sense).
I work with coaches, marketing agencies, real estate agents, business operations consultants and…I LOVE IT! ALL OF IT!
I love the variety of subject matter and the different tasks that come my way.
I love interacting with new people and making new connections.
But what about you? Do you need or want to find a niche?
My suggestion is to spend some time working in your business – and then decide if niching is right for you.
Then ask yourself:
- Is there an area of your work that you just love?
- Is there a need for people who do what you do in this area?
- Have you checked out the competition?
If it seems that all of those things point you in the direction of specializing – then go for it!
If not – keeping on doing what you’re doing!
Because only you can decide if a niche is right for you.
For some it works – and for others, not having a niche is what keeps them engaged and passionate about their work.