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.

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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!

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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!

Hillary Clinton’s Email Server

Hillary Clinton's email serverThe presidential elections are right around the corner, and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Nominee.  But Hillary goes into the upcoming elections with a cloud of scandal over her.  Late last year, it was alleged that Hillary had an illegal email server in her New York home where she sent and received classified emails.  Now, I’m not gonna go all into this story because everyday there is a new story in the news about this.  So if you want to read up on it, google is your friend.  But I will tell you that when this story first broke, I got all kinds of questions by my non-techies pals about what a server is.  Most people only know about servers in restaurants.  They have no clue what an email server is.  Well, yall know I’m a professor.  Let Dr. Wilson break it down for ya. An email server is a computer that sends or delivers email messages over the Internet.  That’s all.  In Hillary’s case, her email server was a computer in her New York home.  A client is basically a computer, smartphone or any device that you read your email on.

Click HERE to Download “5 Types of Photos that will Grow Your Instagram Account” Cheat Sheet

I am a professor and to understand email clients and servers, I could bore you with a lot of technical jargon.  But I’m not gonna do that today.  But if you show up in my computer networking class, it’s on! To better understand the email client and server relationship, I want you to think about the process of mailing a letter.  The person who sends the letter is the email server because they are sending the letter.  The post office can be thought of as the Internet because the email server sends email over the Internet.  And we know that you can’t mail a letter without it going through the Post Office to be processed first.  The stamp on the letter is the protocol used for email communications.  Now, I don’t want to get too techie here and lose you.  Just know that when sending and receiving emails, the email program must use a communication protocol to allow the sending and receiving of emails.  Now let’s go back to the post office scenario.  If you don’t have a stamp on your letter, the post office won’t send it.  So, there is no communication between the person sending the letter and the person receiving it if there is no stamp – or protocol.  And finally, client is the person who receives the letter.  Did that make sense?  Do you have a better understanding of what an email server is and does?  I hope so.

Okay, so since I am teaching today, here’s your homework.  How many email servers do YOU use in a day?  Let me know in the comments below.

How to Have Your Readers Create Your Blog Content

Past research has shown that 25% of people will buy from you the first time they visit your blog.  What about the other 75%?  They are in the decision-making process.  They are looking at your blog to see if you solve their problem, pain or fill their need.  The goal of your blog is to convince the remaining 75% to buy from you.  You do that through your content.  More specificially, user-generated content.  It is the content that other people create that convinces your readers to buy your products and services.  This is the content that you do not write but is highly popular among readers and search engines. It is the content that your readers create when they have bought or are considering buying products and services. This type of content includes (but is not limited to):

  • Discussion forums
  • Comments
  • Product Reviews
  • New uses for Products
  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies

Want to learn more ways your readers can create content for your blog?
Check out my “Blogging 4 Bucks” eBook”

The above list is not a complete list. There are many others ways that consumers produce content for your blog. The wonderful thing about user-generated content is that it bolsters your products and services online for your benefit. It’s a bonus that this type of content is that it requires little to work on your part. And if we go back to the mantra of working smarter, not harder, this is definitely a great way to do that.

Another benefit of user generated content is it builds credibility and trust in your readers or potential customers. Earlier, I discussed how simply having a blog will boost your authority and credibility with readers. So, in addition to the faith your readers have in you, what if they can also read comments, user reviews, and discussions from online groups that tout your products and services? What this creates is the reader’s iron clad confidence in you and it’s only a matter of time before they become your customer.

We are living in the information age. The Internet brings a wealth of information at our fingertips. Many tap into that huge knowledge base on the Internet before making a purchase. I don’t know about you, but I don’t make a purchase before I check it out online to see if I can find a coupon, get the cheapest price and find out if it is a good product. A study conducted in 2012 that found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That study was repeated in 2013, and the percentage jumped to 79%! Another study found that up to 90% of purchases were influenced by online reviews. Therefore, include content on your site that consumers are looking for and can create on their own.

How often do you buy from the blogs that you frequent the most?  Post your answer in the comment section below.

 

How to Avoid Cyber Monday Scams

cyber_mondayIt’s Cyber Monday and everyone is heading online for great prices on Christmas items.  So, if you didn’t camp out at the stores and get what you wanted on Black Friday, don’t worry!  Just head to your computer where you still can scoop up hot items at unbelievable prices.  Every major retailer is having a Cyber Monday sale but be wary, the scammers are out there trying to get your money, too.  So, here are a few tips on how not to get scammed today:

  1. Do NOT click on a link sent to you via email to BUY an item.  This is called “phishing”.  That link will take you to a phony site where you’ll enter your credit card information.  You will definitely get billed but you won’t get anything in the mail.   If something is being advertised via an email, it should refer you to the official site where you can buy online.  If you want to get jeans from Old Navy, then go directly to oldnavy.com and buy from there.  NEVER click on links that are sent to you via email.  They are almost always viruses, worms and other bad things that will steal your money or blow up your computer.
  2. For those wary about entering in your credit card information online, make sure there’s an image of a lock in the URL bar (where you enter the www address of the website you want to view).  The lock means that website is secure.  Also, make sure there’s an “s” after the “http” in the address, signifying a secure site that is encrypted.  Also, many retailers allow customers to pay online via PayPal or have a pay when you “pick up in store” option.  Use these options if you are hesitant about online credit card purchases.
  3. Most importantly, plan what you are going to buy on Cyber Monday in advance.  Most retailers will advertise what their Cyber Monday sales will be in advance.  This allows you time to check multiple retailers and see where you can get the best bang for your buck.  Also, recognize that Cyber Monday starts at midnight.  Don’t wait until 9:00a.m. to get that $79 laptop because they might be sold out by then.  So, do your homework ahead of time, plan and make an informed purchase.

Now that you’ve got the information to keep you safe online, what are you waiting for?  Happy Cyber Monday shopping!  Let me know what you picked up.  I’m always on the look out of a bargain!

2 Reasons Why Black Friday Will Become Obsolete

This is my favorite time of year!  It’s the Holiday Season!  I love it!  I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and friends.  And yes I am one of those people who are super serious about decorating my home for Christmas.   I love that we all have to pull out our boots, sweaters, pea coats and fuzzy hats to stay warm outside.  But you know what I love most of all?  Christmas shopping!  And the crown jewel of all the shopping days is Black Friday.  Yes, that day after Thanksgiving when you can get unbelievable deals.  So am I one of those folks who will sleep outside to get a Black Friday deal?  Well, no.  But I have  stood in line for hours on Black Friday.  Yes, I am a little ashamed to admit that a few years ago, I was at the mall at 2:00 am shopping when I really should have been sleeping off my Turkey dinner. This year, I’m not going to head out to the malls for any Black Friday sales.  I’m not gonna dash out on Thanksgiving or Friday.  I vowed I was going to stay home and hang out with my family.  But you know what?  Black Friday as we know it may becoming a thing of the past.  Here are 2 reasons why:

  1. Mission Creep – Every retailer is trying to outdo each other by offering their sales earlier and earlier.  Retailers are vying for consumer dollars and they are doing everything they can to offer the best deal as early as possible.  Remember how Black Friday got started.   Retailers were closed on Thanksgiving and the next day – Black Friday – was the official kick-off to the Christmas shopping holiday season.  So, on Black Friday, stores began opening at 5 am or at midnight and we’d see people on the news camping out in front of Best Buy or Walmart to be the first in line to get those amazing sales.  Then a few years ago, Target and Walmart decided to open on Thanksgiving and begin their “Black Friday” sales early.  Their employees were mad that they had to work on Thanksgiving but people turned out in droves to get those Black Friday deals a day early.  Subsequently, many other retailers, store chains and malls began to follow suit by opening on Thanksgiving to offer special sales and Black Friday prices for their customers.  Now this year, retailers are upping the ante by offering pre-Black Friday sales or Black Friday prices before Thanksgiving.  I have seen many advertisements stating that Black Friday prices will be offered weeks before Thanksgiving.  It’s only a matter of time before Black Friday will be stripped of its title as best shopping day of the year.
  2. Cyber Monday – As shopping on Black Friday and Thanksgiving are becoming more and more popular, many are choosing to opt out of the chaos.  Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  On Cyber Monday, consumers can get great deals online through their favorite retailers.  Who wants to wait in line for hours when you can make the same purchase with the click of a mouse!  In general, more and more consumers are flocking online to make their everyday purchases like groceries, toys, tickets and gifts.  Now, savvy consumers are skipping the mall on Black Friday and waiting until Cyber Monday to get the best sale prices for the holiday season.

So, what are you going to do on Black Friday?  Are you going to hit the mall on Thanksgiving or Black Friday?  Or will you wait until Cyber Monday to get the sales?  Maybe you’re skipping the shopping rush all together?  Write a comment and let me know…

iPhone 6 Apple Pay = Death of the Credit Card?

This past weekend, Apple set a new sales record and sold over 10 million units of the new iPhone 6. The industry is abuzz with its new features and an option to get your iPhone in a bigger size (the iPhone 6 Plus). However, one new feature is generating the most talk and critics, retailers and the industry are anxious to see if this new trend will take off. I’m talking about the iPhone Apple Pay feature. A feature that, if enabled, will allow iPhone 6 owners to pay for purchases without their credit card. Studies have shown that a person’s cell phone is always close to their being. So instead of carrying a cell phone AND a credit card. Now you can just carry your cell phone. Cool, huh? But how does it work? Is it really safe? Can someone hack your credit card information? Where can I use it? Well, let’s take a look…

WHAT IS IT?

Mobile payments is the ability to pay for products and services via a cell phone. Mobile payments are nothing new. Google Wallet, Square Wallet and Visa’s V.me are different types of mobile payment options that have all been on the scene for a few years with moderate success. However, the Apple Pay feature, that will be available starting October 2014, is a new take on mobile payments.

Chances are, you are already familiar with iTunes and have bought a song, app or TV show there. But, in order to do that, you need to have a credit card tied to your Apple account.  Because of iTunes, Apple has approximately 800 million accounts with a credit card connected to it.   Now with the Apple Pay feature, Apple is giving this huge customer base the opportunity to make mobile purchases at participating retailers with an iPhone 6. Now all those 800 million account owners don’t have iPhones or the new iPhone 6. But I’m sure that Apple is banking on the Apple Pay feature revolutionizing the mobile payment industry. And yes, a whole gang of retailers, such as McDonalds, Disney, Nike, Macy’s, Subway, Sephora and others are jumping on the bandwagon to accommodate customers who want to pay for their products via the iPhone 6.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

If you want to pay for something, just tap or wave your iPhone 6 near the store terminal with your finger on the Touch ID.  That’s it!  It’s kinda like Exxon Speedpass where you just wave it in front of the gas pump to make your payment each time you fill up your gas tank.  It’s sorta the same idea.  There is no app needed and you don’t need to wake the display in order for this to work. However, you must enable this feature and it is not available on older iPhone models.

The Lock
In order to understand how this works, I want you to think about opening a door that is locked. You need a key and lock for the door to open. Each iPhone 6 is assigned a Unique Device Account (UDA) number. An ID number that is specific and unique to each iPhone 6. This number does not change. No two iPhone 6’s will share the same UDA. Think of this as your lock.

The Key
Then, each purchase you make generates a Transaction Specific Dynamic Security code. This is a 16-digit code that is unique to each purchase you make. And each Transaction Specific Dynamic Security code expires after each transaction. So, if you make 2 separate purchases at Nike, your iPhone 6 will generate 2 distinct Transaction Specific Dynamic Security codes to complete the transaction. Think of this as your key.

The Door
Also, the Apple Pay feature has an extra layer of security because no purchase is complete without your fingerprint using the Touch ID feature. Think of this as the door. You cannot “open the door” or complete the purchase if your fingerprint does not match. Therefore, in order to complete a purchase, your UDA, fingerprint and Transaction Specific Dynamic Security code must all match.

But the real question everyone wants to know is how safe is the Apple Pay feature.

IS IT SAFE?

Can a cashier steal my credit card number?

From a human contact standpoint, the purchase is secure because you never give your name, credit card number and security code to the cashier. There is no physical transfer of information because you don’t use your actual credit card to make a purchase. It’s truly brilliant. It really is. Your credit card number is not used to make the purchase. Someone can’t steal your UDA or Transaction Specific Dynamic Security code and use them to buy shoes at zappos.com because it isn’t a credit card number.

Can someone steal my credit card number from my iPhone 6?

Right now, I know you are thinking, well apple has to store my credit card number somewhere?!? True dat. Your information is stored on a Secure Element Chip. However, this chip is only used to generate a Transaction Specific Dynamic Security code. Also, your financial data on this chip can’t be accessed by the operating system so it can’t be hacked or stolen.   Every mobile phone has a chip in it but the iPhone 6 has another chip dedicated to the security of your payment transactions.

Can someone hack into the iCloud and steal my credit card number?

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple does not store your credit card information on its servers. Hence, there is no danger or your information being stolen or hacked from the iCloud or in a massive security breach like what happened to Target and Home Depot.

What if someone steals my iPhone 6?

You may be worried that someone can make purchases if they steal your cell phone. Not so. That’s where your fingerprint comes in. Sure someone can try to make a purchase with your phone if they steal it. Unfortunately, their fingerprint won’t match yours and the transaction won’t go through. Do you feel better about using the Apple Pay feature now?

WILL YOU USE IT?

You get the feeling that Apple is on its way to reshaping the financially industry and how people pay, like it reshaped the music industry. If this takes off – and it early indications appear that it is – this could be the death of the physical credit card.

Let me ask you the question, would you or do you use this feature if you have an iPhone 6?  Why or why not? Given the recent data breaches of Target and Home Depot, do you think that your personal financial information is secure?

 

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