Valentine’s Day Tips to Get More Readers (& Customers!) to Your Blog

valentine's day

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  Love is in the air! Can you feel it? Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s right around the corner so it’s time to get ready. But I’m not talking about buying flowers, chocolate or jewelry for your boo. Nope! I am talking about using Valentine’s Day to get more readers to your blog and even make a few sales. So depending on where you are in your blog and your business, here are a few love-inspired ideas that you can use.

If you already sell products and services on your blog, then read on…

Create a Gift List!  Since everyone is searching for the perfect Valentine gift, give your readers gift ideas featuring your products and services. Most people buy traditional Valentine’s Day gifts like candy but why not show them that your products and services can make their loved one happy too? They won’t know until you tell them, so show them and (hopefully) make the sale.

Package it Up!  You can even create special packages for the holiday that are only available for Valentine’s Day. Be clear about what products and/or services are being offered in the package and the pricing. If you can, offer several packages at different price points to attract a range of customers. If your products and services aren’t love-themed, try using red or pink packaging instead. I realize these ideas may take more than a week to implement, so be sure to give yourself enough time to give your products and services “the look of love”.

Gift Card, Anyone?  Another great option is to allow customers to buy your products and services as a gift to a loved one. This works for a wide range of products and services. And if all else fails, give your customers a coupon that can only be used on Valentine’s Day. The coupon code can be the word “LOVE” or another holiday-related term. If you have an email list, shoot them out a quick email Valentine’s Day morning letting them know about the special coupon code and see what happens. Hopefully, the sales will start rolling in.

Target Different audiences.  When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of romantic love, right? And that’s what the holiday is all about. But other people in our life need love too. Show potential customers that your products and services will make great Valentine’s Day gifts for parents, children, co-workers, friends and even pets. Yes, people love their pets and treat them like family members, so why not?

If you are not at the point where you are selling products and services yet,

No worries. I still have some ways you can use Valentine’s Day to pull in more readers to your blog.

If your blog has nothing to do with love or Valentine’s Day, you can still use the holiday to get more readers. For example, if you blog about vintage Ford Mustangs, you can write a blog post called “10 Reasons to Love the Ford Mustang” or “5 Rom-Com Movies that Feature Ford Mustangs”. Take some time over the next few days to think about what you want to write about and try to come up with some cool ways to incorporate Valentine’s Day into your blog.

As a side note, I bought a bright red Ford Mustang when I finished my master’s degree. I sold it when I had my first child because I couldn’t fit my stroller in the trunk of the car. As you can see, I have never quite gotten over that.

It’s Valentine’s Day, spread love on social media

If you plan ahead, here are some lovely things you can do on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Dr. Marcella Wilson on Valentine's Day

Create love-themed posts on social media the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Now be sure to mix it up. Use quotes, funny memes, pictures and even videos hyping up to Valentine’s Day. You can use your posts to advertise Valentine’s Day specials that you are offering or to just send readers to your blog.

Create a Hashtag that brings awareness to Valentine’s Day but also promotes your blog. You can use your hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. But just remember that hashtags are not owned by anyone and can be used by anyone. So it is possible that someone else can use the hashtag you’re using for Valentine’s Day for a something totally different.

Photo Contest – If you are not selling anything, use your hashtag as a photo contest. The way it works is that readers can post pictures on their Instagram or Twitter account using your Valentine-themed hashtag. But only the best photos or top 10 winners will get retweeted on your Instagram or Twitter account. And you’ll be surprised. If you use this method, I bet you’ll get a lot more participation than you anticipate. People don’t always need the promise of winning something to get involved. Just giving someone the opportunity to be recognized and promoted is more than enough motivation for some people. Try it out and see how it works for you.

In closing, use one of these ideas to get your readers in the “mood for love” by showcasing your products and services or reading your blog. The key is to be creative and think outside the box. I know you can come up with something special, thoughtful and fun that your readers will just love.

In the comments, tell me which idea you are going to use this Valentine’s Day on your blog. Or tell me about an idea that I haven’t talked about.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Goals: The One Thing You Must Do to Accomplish Them

goals: the one thing you must do to accomplish your goals this year

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January is the month that everyone is setting goals and making resolutions.   But excuse me.  I did not say, “Happy New Year!”  By now, I think everyone has gotten back to their normal routine.  Hopefully, you had a wonderful holiday season.  I did.  I have taken down all the Christmas decorations, my girls are back to school and I’m prepping for my Spring courses (I’m a professor, remember?)

I’m writing this because I, like you and so many others am looking at myself and figuring out what I want to do and be this year.  The New Year just naturally causes people to look back at the previous year and look ahead and plan for the new year.  Lots of people make resolutions to lose weight, start a business, quit smoking and all sorts of stuff.  Personally, I don’t make resolutions anymore because by January 17th – and most of the time, even sooner than that – I have given up and am back to eating ice cream daily and just resolve to accept the size of my thighs.  But this got me to thinking…  Why do I and so many others fail to accomplish their resolutions?  Why are goals so hard to achieve?

People come to me all the time wanting to me to help them achieve their dream of starting a blog for their business or grow their social media following.  They are so excited, serious and motivated when we first meet up.  But some people fall by the wayside, even before we get started or just when things are starting to take off.  Why is that?  Why are we like that?

The Reason We Fail to Reach Our Goals

I believe it is because we do not take action.  And if we do take action, we stop and do not repeat those actions that lead to progress over and over again until we reach our goal.  After all, it is so easy and comfortable to just keep doing what we are already going.  To get 100,000 or more Instagram followers and be considered a major influence, just doesn’t happen.  To get to the point where brands are paying you big bucks to post a picture of their product on your Instagram feed takes work.  A lot of work.  That just doesn’t happen overnight.  Even to get 1,000 like on your Facebook page takes determination, consistency and hard work.

goals

The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Achieve Your Goals

To reach those dreams and goals that God has planted in us takes time, work and action.  Specific actions on a daily basis that we do over and over again until we reach that goal.  And we can’t let “obstacles” stop us.  Like P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs (or whatever he is calling himself now) says in a lot of his songs, “Can’t stop, won’t stop”.  We must have that attitude in order to succeed.

Expect Difficulties

Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised when we hit roadblocks. We should expect them but not let them deter us from our path.  We should have the mindset that we are going to go around, though, over or under that obstacle to overcome it.  The key is to not to quit or let that obstacle stop you from achieving your goal.  This year, we got this.  Let’s do this!  #achieveyourdreamsin2017

Let Me Help You Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

I help people create their blogs and grow their social media followings (I specialize in Instagram and Facebook).  If you want to learn more and be inspired then join my tribe.  I would love to have you.  Sign up for my email list – and get a FREE cheat sheet, too!  It’s called “5 Rookie Mistakes Instaglammers make on Instagram”  Just click HERE.

BTW, in the comments below, let me know what you want to achieve this year.

 

 

 

5 types of Instagram Pics That Get You More Followers

 

Instagram

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Instagram is a great place for female business owners to find customers and grow a huge following.  Whatever type of business you are in or product or service you offer, your customer is on Instagram.  If you are a photographer or model trying to get noticed in the industry, Instagram is a great place to get seen.  If you are a baker, nail artist, stylist, virtual assistant, web designer or hair dresser trying to get more business, your customer is definitely on Instagram.

Download FREE Cheat Sheet of “5 Rookie Mistakes that Business Owners Make on Instagram”

Instagram has approximately 500 million users – yes, that’s half a billion people – and the numbers are increasing daily.  Instagram is the fastest growing social media app on the planet.  It may seem like everyone is already on instagram and there is no room left for you.  But that’s not true.  I believe that instagram will follow in the footsteps of its owner Facebook and grow to over 1 billion users.  Trust me, now is the time to get on Instagram and harness its power.

Start Posting These 5 Types of Instagram Pics

If you are just starting out on instagram or have been around for a while, here are some tips that can help build up your followers.  Below are 5 types of photos every entrepreneur needs in their repertoire.

    1. #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) – This is probably the most popular type of Instagram post (and hashtag!) instaglammers use on the ‘Gram. Showing off your outfit of the day from head to toe is a must.  People who are just starting out on instagram always ask me if I get sent free clothes and do they have to wear expensive, designer clothes to have an Instagram account.  I say just use what’s in your closet.  That’s what I do.  If you are just starting out, no one is going to send you free clothes and I don’t suggest going out and spending lots of money on clothes for your instagram photos.  Look no further than your own closet, pull together a few looks and get to picture snapping.
    2. Focus – No, I am not talking about that Ariana Grande song (which I happen to love). I am talking about having your picture focus on one special thing that you are trying to highlight.  So Maybe you can do a close-up on an intricately hand-beaded sweater, glitzy belt or funky booties.  Whatever you choose, This type of photo is great if you take a photo that is not so great.  Hey we’ve all been there.  As an instaglammer, you take lots of photos for the ‘Gram on a regular basis.  Some photos will turn out not so great.  In cases like this, I try to focus on one thing in the picture that I can edit and focus on.
    3. Collage – A collage is a photo that shows a combination or collection of things.  In the case of an instaglammer, a collage could show an outfit with the matching accessories and makeup.  Or a collage could show different types of rain boots.  Whatever the case, a collage is a great.  If you are the star of your Instagram feed, using a collage instead actually being in every photo is a great way to take a break and switch things up on your feed but still stay on brand.
    4. Themed Photos (A Holiday, Booties Week, etc.) – If a holiday is coming up, celebrate it on Instagram.  Take a picture in a funny turkey hat for Thanksgiving or an ugly Christmas.   In October, every day wear or show something that is pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.  This is really not hard to do.  If you are struggling to come up with ideas of themes you can use, just look around you or at the calendar.  Is it summer?  Try flip flops to flip over week or bikinis for every body week.  Is it winter?  What about doing a week on cozy coats, booties or how to layer.  Also create your own themes and post pictures for a few days or a week to play up that theme.  And last but definitely not least….
    5. Quotes – Everyone loves a good quote. Did you know that on Facebook and Instagram, quotes get the most likes, comments, shares, tags and reposts more than any other type of photo?  Just think about it.  Quotes can be funny, inspirational, sarcastic or motivational sayings.  A quote can also be something interesting a person of note has said or written.  Try posting a quote photo about once a week and I bet you’ll be surprised at the huge response and interaction you get from it.   A great source of quotes is the internet.  Just google “quotes” and it will return a vast array of websites and actual quotes that you can use.

What to Do Next…

Of course this is just a starting point for you.  There are so many other types of fun and interesting posts you can use on Instagram.  The key is to continue posting on a regular basis.  And if you want to learn some important things you don’t want to do on Instagram, click on the button below to learn the 5 Rookie Mistakes I made that you don’t want to make.  Now get out there and be amazing!

Download FREE Cheat Sheet of “5 Rookie Mistakes that Instaglammers Make”

But before you go, let me ask you something, have you used all 5 of these types of photos on your Instagram account?  Was there one type of photo that you have not tried but want to use?  What is your Instagram handle?  Let me know in the comments and I will follow you.  And if you haven’t already, please follow me on Instagram.  Have a great day!

The Best Social Media Platform to Build Your Business is…

Best social media platform to use

If you read my blog post last week, I discussed why social media is important to anyone who has a business or is trying to build a brand.  So check that out if you haven’t had a chance to do that.  I promised I would talk about the best social media platform to use, because I get asked that question all of the time, too.  If you are ready for the answer, keep reading…

So, the answer to that question is really easy.  Actually, I’ve got two answers to this question.  Focus on the social media platform you like best and focus on all of them.  Huh?  I know that’s what you are thinking right now.  My answers may seem like they contradict each other but they really don’t.  They go hand in hand.  Now, please don’t leave my site, just give me a minute and let me explain….

Focus on the Social Media Platform You like Best

There are so many social media platforms out there – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Periscope, Blab, Google+, Pinterest….  The list goes on and on.  Social media overwhelm is a real thing and you don’t want to spend all of your time posting on all these different social media accounts because it’s the popular thing to do.  I always say that people in business or trying to brand themselves should use the “Fab Four” – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  But it can get tedious and mind-numbing trying to keep up and current on social media.  So, since posting on the regular can become a grind, I say work with the platform you love.  Life is too short, right?  If you love it, it won’t seem so much like work.  So, don’t spend hours on Snapchat just because everyone else is doing it.  Go with what you know and love.

Focus on ALL of the Social Media Platforms

I highly recommend using a social media management tool to broadcast your posts across all your social media accounts.  Are you confused right now or wondering what I am talking about?  Hootsuite and SocialOomph are just a few examples of social media management tools that help manage all your social media content.  There are many great reasons to use a social media management tool like Hootsuite.

  • For starters, you can schedule all your content in advance so you don’t have to be bothered daily about posting on social media.
  • Secondly, you can create drafts of future posts and work collaboratively with other people on your team without posting them.  I am famous for doing this.
  • But the most amazing thing a tool like SocialOomph can do is post to all your social media accounts at once with just the click of the send button.

That’s right!  Say for example you create a post for Instagram that includes a picture and a post.  Using Hootsuite (or whatever social media management tool you choose), you can send that same post to all of your social media accounts.

But let’s get back to answering the original question.  Yes, you can focus on the one social media platform you love the best.  But use a social media management tool to disperse that content out to all of your social media accounts.  So you see, I was not contradicting myself when I said to only use one social media account and then use them all.  By using a social media management tool, you can have the best of both worlds by focusing on what you love and leaving the rest to the tools.

Personally, right now, I am all over Instagram.  I just love Instagram and I post to it daily.  However, I make sure to use a social media management tool to post that same content on my Facebook, Twitter and other various social media accounts.

So, let me ask you this.  What social media platform do you LOVE?  Do you use a social media management tool?  Why or why not?

Social Media: Do I Really Need it to Build My Business or Brand?

Dr. Marcella Wilson - Do I need social media?Dr. Marcella Wilson - Do I need social media?

I have been asked this question so many times.  Social media is everywhere and its power is undeniable.  We’ve all heard the stories of people who became “internet famous” from a viral video, tweet or meme.  Did you know that Justin Bieber got discovered on YouTube?  Let’s be honest, YouTube stars are just as popular as mainstream celebrities in music, television and film.  If you have a million YouTube subscribers or 500,000 Instagram followers, you can write you own ticket and quit your day job. But not everyone is sold on social media.

And while so many people like social media, they don’t really want to be bogged down with the day in and day out grind of posting and updating it for their business.  So that begs the question, do I really need to consistently update my social media accounts to build my business or brand?  Do I have to post every day or on a regular basis?

Most people have social media accounts.  In other words, most people have a few of the following accounts: Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.  Most people use their social media accounts for personal reasons and they update them when they want to.  And that’s fine.  Personally, I recommend everyone getting the social media accounts of their name on the major social media accounts, even if you don’t use it.  However, if you are trying to make money or build your brand, I highly suggest securing your business name in “the fab four” social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and twitter.  If you don’t want to get four because that’s too overwhelming, just get a Facebook page.  Why Facebook?  Because Facebook is the number 2 site in the world – Google is #1.  So it’s the top social media platform.  Therefore, if you are going to go with only one social media account, go with Facebook.

In closing, the answer to the question is yes.  Yes, you do need social media to build your business.  Why?  It is a great way to get information out about your business to the public for free.  If you have a lot of followers, great things will begin to happen.  Companies and brands will begin to approach you for sponsorship opportunities and you can sell you products and services to your following.  You can build a career or business solely off of social media.  So it really is a gift.  It may not seem worthwhile to invest the time and effort in social media if you are just starting out or only have a few hundred or thousand followers (or even less).  But if you can grow your numbers, build an audience, your business will explode.

Another question I get asked a lot is what is the best social media platform to use?  Should I focus on all of them, one or a few?  Check me out next week when I will tackle that topic.  But in the meantime, what is your business and what social media accounts do you use?

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