Business

Analyzing Your Online Efforts

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If you are a business there is one intimate relationship that you need to be having. That is the relationship with your analytics. You should have an ongoing relationship with your Google, website and all active social media platform analytics. 

I know that you are out there reading articles about what is the ideal time to post to my account. While these posts aren't wrong in the posting times, they suggest just not work entirely toward when YOUR audience is active. The key to figuring out your ideal posting time is research, reading your analytic reports from Google and whichever other platforms you are focusing on. For example, you might be throwing all of your efforts into posting onto Instagram but you have 25% more traffic coming to your website from your Facebook page that you hardly ever update. This statistic should trigger in your brain to refocus your efforts and test for 5-7 days upping your Facebook posting habits to see if they remain the same, increase or decline. 

Every single one of the accounts I manage is different, some have a crossover on the niche, but each of their ideal clients is different and unique to them as a business. Therefore making the "sweet spot" of posting times different for each of them. I know this because I am in an intimate relationship with their analytics. I'm checking daily the report of the previous day, how many profile visits, how many website clicks, what time of day was this all happening. 

Social media isn't black and white it's a whole lot of gray. Things are continually changing, and you've got to regularly read your analytics and actively test to find what is working. If you're not you are wasting your time by putting in any effort at all.  I encourage you to peek your social media analytics, Facebook and Instagram will display for you your top three posts of all time. Take a look at them and study what is the same or different about them.  Study your location sources, I recently did an assessment for a client and the second and third most popular sources were coming from Canada which is a place we weren't even targeting, and the places we were targeting came in sixth and seventh. We had to refocus and study what we were throwing down and why we weren't getting the attention from the locations we were hoping too. 

It's tricky I wish there was an easier way but this online relationship is the most dramatic, active and complicated one your business is going to have, so you need to take the reins and make your efforts work with you not against you.  If not you're just wasting your precious time. 

Must Love Media Kits

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Media Kit. Two words that create a big punch.

What is a media kit you might ask? Well it's a multi-page document that businesses use to promote themselves and sell their services to potential clients. 

Who uses a media kit? Traditionally media kits have been used for magazine publication, but they've evolved into something that is beneficial for everyone to bloggers, photographers, writers, designers and other small businesses in between. Basically this document is a resume for your business, a way of describing who you are when you are unable to meet in person. 

Do you offer services or advertising in your business model? Then you for sure are in need of a media kit. The media kit is a great tool because it essentially gives potential clients all of the information they could possibly need in one easy to navigate document while often cutting  correspondence time in half because it’s already answered most of their questions.

Media kits can be formatted to market nearly any business. Whether you’re a blogger, writer, photographer or designer, a media kit is simply a way to explain what you offer in a streamlined, informative document. The easier you can make it for your clients to understand what you’re offering and how to book you, the more successful your business has the potential to be.

Below are the Six Things that MUST be included in your media kit.

Media Kit Must Haves

I'm not going to lie this is a very time consuming document to create but I promise you that it will be the most important document in your arsenal.  

 

 

Together: A Bosslady Conference

Finalizing everything for my presentation this week at the Together: A Boss Lady Experience that is happening this week in Portland! Because helping you to keep your social media actually social is my new jam. Can't wait to network with a bunch of other ladypreneurs. Until then I'll share my promo video, but you've got to wait for the outtake at the end. 

Boosting Productivity

 

Ultra productive people don't work from a to-do list, but they do live and work from their calendar.  Do you really think that the billionaires like Bill Gates and Marisa Mayer write a long to-do list and prioritize items? Nope, if it's not on their calendar it just doesn't exist because a to-do list doesn't account for time.

I read this crazy Forbes article about time productivity and started to put everything on my calendar in timed increments, like the billionaires.  When I sit down to start the task I ask Siri to set the timer.  15 minutes of Instagram interaction, 20 minutes of Facebook group trolling, 30 minutes of email management, 60 minutes of content creation then a break.  

Bottom line if it doesn't get scheduled and Siri doesn't time it, it shouldn't get done.  It's a learning process for me but so far it's working out pretty well. 

Instagram Live: What You Need To Know

 

My prediction that one day Instagram will single handedly kill Snapchat and Periscope is slowly coming to fruition.  Welcome to the social media game Instagram Live.  While Instagram Live is not Periscope for so many reasons, one being that people have to be following you to know that you are live, where as on Periscope people searching a location see the live videos that are streaming, it's at least a start. 

When you are live on Instagram a bubble with the word live will pop up on your screen name. Some of your friends who follow you will get a notification that you are Live and will be prompted to tune in before your video is finished.  Similar to the new Instagram algorithm, Instagram will choose which of your followers or users to notify based off their interest in Live videos.  The reason being Instagram is looking out for it's users that it doesn't want to annoy then with an alert every time someone they follow goes live. Like Periscope when watching, your viewers can tap to heart/like your video, comment and type questions. 

I'm sure that you're now wondering, "Why should I be live on Instagram?" Well the real reason is that it is putting you directly in front of your audience. Live viewers choose what they want to watch and if they are choosing to watch you then they know that you have something powerful to say. 

Since this is such a newer update, here are a few ideas to get started and become comfortable on Instagram Live.

* Host a Q & A  like the every popular #fridayintroductions posts let your community ask you questions and get to know you and your business.

* Give a behind the scenes. These are always super popular because your community wants to be the first to know what you are up to or what you think is cool. That is why they are following you after all. 

* Show off something awesome that you are doing. At a historic place, at a place that means alot to you, show your community talk about it. 

Let's Go On A Social Media Adventure

Hello 2017. A new year with 12 new chapters, 365 blank pages and endless amounts of business social media adventure opportunity awaits.

If you are a business owner and made a goal to have a bigger or more consistent social media presence this year my one big question for you is, "Have you filled out your monthly content calendar yet?" If you are going at this whole social media promoting thing alone as well as running your business then you definitely need a social media content calendar. 

Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that is left. People stream and dvr shows from network tv and watch original Netflix and Amazon series.  Commercials are now obsolete, you will get lucky with a product placement deal in a show.  For the rest of us all that is left is content marketing on Instagram, Facebook, Periscope and Youtube.  You need to start planning your posts. Sounds easy right? Sounds like you can just sit in a coffeeshop for an hour over a latte and crank out a months worth of content, well you can start there.

Content creation and organization is the biggest and most time consuming part of my job. You would think that it would be easy to come up with blog and newsletter topics, Facebook posts, and eye catching Instagram posts, but the fact is people run out of ideas. We are human and ain't nobody that's  trying to build a business and strong social media presence got time to run out of ideas. 

The most valuable thing you can do for yourself and your bottom line is have an up to date content calendar. It helps plan, organize and schedule every single piece of content you publish online.

It’s the place where all of your social media posts,  blogs,  newsletters,  videos, podcasts and  graphics strategically come together to grow your business. Content marketing takes up so much time and if you're not squeezing your content for all you've got then you are missing out on traffic, post engagement, leads and money. 

Overwhelmed, my apologies, but start small. Plan out a week at a time. Every Sunday morning I sit in a coffee shop and look over the weeks plan for both mine and clients feeds for the week and tweak as necessary when things pop up in real time. 

Need more advice or want a personalized quote on your content management, let's chat. 

We're In This Together

There is nothing that makes me happier than being a part of a loving, thriving, and honest community of women. I am proud to associate myself with those who lift up and encourage each other, for they are what make me a stronger person, and a stronger business owner. I am honored to announce I will be speaking at the 2017 Together Experience conference in Portland, Oregon this February. This three day event will uplift, strengthen, and redefine your business in a community unlike any other.

I will be speaking on social media obviously and why you as a business need to be social and not selly on it. When I was asked to be a speaker, I was completely caught off guard, nervous and excited but my personal and business philosophy has always been when an opportunity presents itself to say yes and figure it out later.  The fact that the conference is at the beautiful Nines Hotel in downtown Portland doesn't hurt either. 

Perks of being a bossy lady attending this conference include: swag, pop up shops, professional headshots, and the best knowledge in the industry. I’d love for you to meet me there, and know we will have an amazing time. Click HERE for more information and to secure your seat! 

Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat For Business

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Instagram stories vs. Snapchat as a whole is like comparing Holyfield to Tyson when they met up in the ring.  Both are powerhouses in their own right but I am about to give you my very personal opinion on each. 

Let's start with Snapchat shall we, I held off on the Snapchat train up until a year ago. So many people kept telling me to get the app that it was just so fun.  I gave into the peer pressure because I needed to see what all the kids were using, and try and figure out how to make it work as a platform for a business.  Snapchat is great, I snap my friends at least 10 times a day, the filters are equal parts fun and hilarious, my personal favorite is the one that smooths everything out, I like to call it the Barbie filter.  The down fall of Snapchat for a business is that people need to first find you by your user name and then add you, which you then need to approve them. So many steps. If Instagram stories did't exist I would 100% say you should be on Snapchat to give a "behind the scenes" of your day to day business. 

However, Instagram stories do exist.  Instagram is so much easier to gain followers as long as your business profile is set to public. There aren't the extra steps of searching, requesting and approving.  People can just search you, follow you and see both your well curated feed and your "behind the scenes" of your life stories.  The one thing Instagram stories is missing are the fun filters, but I wouldn't be completely surprised if those are on their way soon. 

In the end from a business standpoint I think doing Instagram stories is your best bet.  Your following wants to feel like they know you, they want to see the inner workings of your business, they want to see you as a real person, not a thought out and curated feed.  Let's save the Snapchat for being silly with your friends, because you do need to approve who can see your feed and you can individually send snaps to whomever you choose in your address book. 

If you are a business and need ideas of what you should be showing in your Instagram stories, shoot me an email and let's chat. 

Responsibilities

 

 

When someone hear's the term "Social Media VA" I'm convinced the first thing that comes to their mind is that all that person does is sit and scroll Instagram then pin a bunch of items the rest of the day on Pinterest.  

Yes, scrolling Instagram is part of the job responsibilities, but what not very many people know however is that being a social media manager requires a TON of content planning in advance.

Think Instagram is really instant? Think again, quite a few of those feeds you love and follow, chances are they carefully thought out, weeks and even months in advance. 

Here are the top 8 of my responsibilities as a Social Media VA

  • Planning
  • Styling
  • Researching
  • Scheduling
  • Posting
  • Analyzing
  • Responding
  • Engaging

What is a Virtual Assistant

When I first started helping businesses' manage their social media channels and people would ask me what I did, I said I was a social media consultant. That confused people, because they thought I would just do an assessment of their channels when in fact I was assessing and or running their social media channels.  I chose instead to start saying that I was a virtual assistant specializing in social media and PR because I was working more virtually with my clients than I was working in person with them.  People still looked at me like a deer in headlights when they asked what I did.  So I thought I would break it down on what exactly a virtual assistant is. 

A virtual assistant or a VA for short, is someone who helps a business or busy people remotely.  Virtual assistants are highly skilled professionals who leverage their talents and their time to help others run a successful business with any tasks that can be done online.

When I first started I did not call myself a virtual assistant because to me I thought it was a person that performed administrative tasks, organize emails, set travel arrangements, return phone calls, you know that busy work that is important but could be passed over to someone other than the business owner to take care of.  While it is true that a virtual assistant did evolve from the traditional office role of administrative assistant, VA's can now be narrowed down by their specific skill set.  There are VA's out there that specialize in logistics, legal research, data entry, bookkeeping, social media, internet marketing, web development, web programming, SEO, copy writing and so much more.  

Image by  Ashley Courter

Basically you can think of Virtual Assistant services as hiring an independent contractor or "freelancer" to complete tasks to grow and maintain your business that:

* You are not good at

*You are too busy to do yourself

*Diverts your attention from your core activity

*Doing the tasks you really just do not want to do

The next logical question should be, why should you consider hiring a VA?

With the ease of knowing that a qualified VA can get the work done the real question is why wouldn't you hire one?  VA's can help eliminate the work related stresses that keep you wishing there were 26 hours in the day. VA's can be hired to complete a single project or be used more frequently to free up more of your time to focus on your bottom line. Unlike an employee if you are dissatisfied with the quality of work the VA is producing you can choose to end the contract and at that point decide if you will move forward with a different VA or continue to do the work on your own again.