10 Reasons to use Instagram and Facebook stories

I set myself a challenge to show up on Instagram and Facebook stories every day for a month. And it was the best thing I could have done for my new business venture, as well as familiarise myself with my audience.

I picked the shortest month of the year as I was not feeling comfortable in front of the camera and I felt awkward watching myself back. But day after day, it became easier.

It was actually the best thing I could have done for my social media accounts, given I had just started out and didn’t have a large following or a very engaged audience.

You can see the February Challenge I completed on my Instagram page highlights here.

Here are 10 reasons why I found it useful showing up on Instagram and Facebook stories regularly:

  1. Creativity: It forces you to be constantly thinking about ideas and ways you can engage your audience and that is so important as a marketer. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
  2. Interaction: You show up in people’s feed more regularly, due to your interaction. Therefore the more stories I did, and the more often I did them, the more likely I was to be at the start of people’s feeds.
  3. Be Featured: You can tag larger accounts, and you’re generally guaranteed a mention from them, increasing your reach. I always found I got a bunch of new followers afterwards.
  4. Understand your Audience: You gain an understanding of who your audiences are, and what they like.
  5. Productivity: You become quicker at recording without making mistakes and streamline productivity.
  6. Repurpose Content: You can repurpose content quickly and easily. For example I made a blog post out of every single topic I covered over 29 days. I now intend to make them into videos to post on my YouTube account.
  7. Humanise: You humanise your brand to your audience.
  8. Behind the Scenes: You give people a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your products and services, and your areas of expertise.
  9. Gain Customers: You gain more clientele, because people feel more comfortable working or buying from someone they see regularly.
  10. Keep Up: If you’re using stories regularly, you’ll know if any new features or changes happen on social media, keeping you at the top of your game.

So once I put my fears aside, I actually felt like I was making a positive contribution to the world of social media and I am much more inclined to pick up my camera and get on stories now to share any new knowledge.

If you’re looking for tips and ideas on getting more social, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

How to come up with blog post ideas for your business

Did you know that the more content you have on your website, the better your chances are of appearing in Google searches? Especially if that content is relevant to your ideal client or customer.

But how do you populate your blog with relevant and easy-to-write content that can be done quickly and easily?

I’ve put together A Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas (also available in a trendy downloadable PDF) that can be applied to any business. You don’t even need to be a professional writer because you are, in fact, the expert on the topic as it relates directly to your business, product or service that you offer.

To prove it works, I’m going to use these tips myself to write at least one blog post per month for the next year. Why not try it yourself?

  • Find out what your customer needs or wants to know. You wouldn’t try selling paint to a brick layer. So why guess what your customer is interested in? Ask the source themselves. Put a post on Instagram stories or Facebook asking what is the most challenging thing your client faces? Are you in financial planning? Ask your audience what they struggle with most when budgeting. Are you a landscaper? Ask your audience what questions they might have when it comes to creating a better outdoor area.
  • Write a Top 5 Blog post related to your industry i.e. ‘Top 5 Fashion Predictions for 2020’ (if you’re a fashion designer). Here you can add heaps of links to your own pieces to encourage more sales. Are you a builder? ‘Top 5 House Designs this year.
  • Opinion Piece: Is there a newsworthy topic that you can share your opinion on? Don’t be afraid, this is your blog and you are entitled to your own opinion. It may also encourage comments that will generate more engagement on your website and social media.  
  • Share your own experience: Did you have a great customer service experience recently? Tell others about it. Why was it so good? What did you learn from it?
  • Go negative: For example you own an interior design business…’10 things you shouldn’t do when decorating your living room.’
  • Go positive: This one is always fun:6 amazing ways to make your entrance area look bigger.’
  • Ask a Guest: I love the good old delegation trick! Ask someone in a related industry to answer some questions or write about a particular topic. For example if you are a real estate company, maybe you could get someone who works in finance to write about ‘How to make sure you’re financially ready before buying a home.’
  • Write about your personal failings or challenges and how you overcame it: Trust me, people love hearing from other businesses on what does and doesn’t work. Be brave and outline what has been difficult for you in your business.  
  • A Day in the Life of… This can be based on your day or someone else in your business/field. Ask an employee, or get every member of your organisation to contribute.
  • A List of Resources and Tools you use in your business: Share your greatest tips or hacks, favourite technology or programs that help you do your job. Chances are, these are going to help others improve productivity.
  • Answer the public: This is a free website which generates some of the most common questions asked on the internet https://answerthepublic.com/. Simply type in something related to your industry and pick a question to answer in a blog post.
  • Lessons learned this year: It’s a great way to reflect on the year you’ve had while also sharing tips of encouragement with others.

In another blog post, I’ll share ways you can recycle this content over and over again without sounding like a broken record.

Will you be using any of these ideas to freshen up your own blog?

If you need any help with blogging for your business, please get in contact with me.

What a week of maternity leave taught me about business goal setting…

There’s this weird thing that keeps happening to me towards the end of my pregnancies. I get all inspired and fuelled to create new business goals and opportunities.

Amongst the nesting and furious cleaning that I’ve been doing, I’ve also been researching new marketing trends, listening to podcasts, optimising my website and re-evaluating my business goals and visions.

While I could put this down to my desire to do what I love, stay home with my children, and contribute to the household income, I think there’s a bit more to it.

I think this is what happens when you take a step back from the daily juggle and noise and really evaluate what you want in life. As soon as I started maternity leave, my head was clear to dream big.

How many small business owners allow themselves this opportunity? To step out of their day-to-day business to work on the future of their business?

Many will have team building and strategy workshops or luncheons, which take 2 hours or a whole day. But can you really create space for future thinking when you have the day-to-day tasks building up and waiting for you on your return?

So what’s the solution Mel, you ask?

Take a whole week off. Schedule nothing in. Shut up shop. Allow yourself to dream as big as you can. Prioritise and strategise and set the wheels in motion for the future.

Then get back to work feeling inspired and ready to implement your new business goals.