If you love Insta and haven’t seen the latest update (they are always making updates), then have a watch of my short video below. Screenshots are also below, showing you what I’m talking about!
As you probably know, hashtags are hugely important to reach your ideal clients and audience. Every day people will go and search for the type of content they are looking for via searching for that hashtag. So by using the hashtags that you think your audience are looking for, you increase your chances of being found.
You have always been able to click through from a # that you or someone else uses to see other IG users using that hashtag, or you’ve been able to go to the search and explore section and look up a particular hashtag that way. Either way, you’ll be able to find the particular content that you are interested in.
The explore section is usually a little random to say the least, with some content that is suited to you, some that is not something you’d go looking for, but you find yourself being engrossed in and other posts are just not suited to you at all.
However, the latest update allows you to tailor the type of content that you are looking to follow and your feed becomes much more specific to you. You can even train the tool to fine-tune the content that you like.
To show how much you like the content- give it a like or a comment and IG will show you even more of that type of post. They will select a collection from that # and show you in your main feed.
If you don’t like a post, click on the 3 dots on the top right-hand corner and you can choose to let IG know that you don’t like it. It’ll learn to not show you that type of post again. Clever- aye!
The more you help Insta learn about what you do and don’t like, the more it’ll learn what to show you more of.
Let me know how you get on with this and the screenshots are below!
Watch my video of the new # feature
Here is the new feature. When you first click on a hashtag, you’ll see this message pop up.
Click got it and you’ll see a blue ‘follow’ button for your selected hashtag. Click follow to follow that hashtag.
You’ll start seeing more posts in your feed with the # that you have chosen to follow. This can still be varied even without that #, so you can fine-tune the tool to learn what you’d like to see more or less of. If you decide you’d like to see less of a certain type of post, click on the menu button of a post- the 3 dots in the right-hand corner.
Then simply click on ‘See fewer posts like this’.
If you like what you see- send the post some love, either double clicking to send it a red heart or even better, leaving a comment. Insta will then know you like what you are seeing!
Do you ever check if you are in the top 9 for a certain hashtag? All you need to do is click on a particular hashtag that you use and you’ll be taken through to the page above. The top 9 are the top posts using that hashtag, then the ones below are the most recent uses.
The top 2 posts on this screenshot above are both mine, so I know that two posts are in the top 9 posts for that hashtag of over 34,000 posts. Take a look at yours, you’ll often see your posts in the top 9 that you didn’t even know existed!
The top posts are now hugely important to this new rollout. When people go over to follow a hashtag, what is the first thing they’ll see? Yes, the top 9 and you want to be in that section. You’ll increase your exposure and increase your following!
Have you noticed the latest Instagram updates? Keeping true to form for 2017, they have continued with the regular updates of late.
I haven’t done an IG updates post for a while. Read the last one here >>>
Here are the latest IG updates:
I love this feature. To access it go to your IG stories and add/take a pic as normal, then go to stickers. If you aren’t sure, this is the square smiley face in the top right hand corner when you have taken or added a photo.
Once you’ve clicked on stickers, you’ll see the option of POLL. Click here and you can add a space for a question and a choice of 2 answers, such as yes and no. Then click done. As your followers answer your question, you’ll receive the answers to your poll. So when you look, you’ll see the current score and who has answered.
2. New IG Stickers
We all know IG stories always have a good selection of stickers- such as location, temperature, day, time etc, but have you seen the new Halloween and Autumn selection? We’ve got pumpkins, eyeballs, devil horns and hands to name a few. The autumn selection include a cup of tea, leaves, acorns, a bobble hat and logs.
3. IG Stories Filters
Love the new Halloween style face filters. We have a blood dripping zombie, beat-up zombie, pitch black with light up face, alien style and foggy. As always my description of these face filters no doubt are completely wrong, but you get my drift!
4. Shared Lives on Instagram Stories
This is a biggy. You now have the ability to add someone to your live video- great for chatting and interviewing others. It gives you a split screen for you and a freind to love stream! I don’t have this feature just yet, but it’s being rolled out.
The ability to access IG Stories on your desktop too is also being rolled out!
Looking for help with Instagram? Take a look here >>>
5. Creative Tools for Stories
Insta have launched a new alignment tool so you can line up your elements. When you add stickers, text etc you’ll see some blue lines pop up. They are there to help you centre text and other elements and let you know if any of the elements will be covered when people are watching your stories.
6. Improved Comment Controls
IG launched this a few months ago, but have improved the tools when people comment on your posts. For instance if they comment using bad language you have the ability to block them. You can choose which comments to allow.
7. Shopify Integration
This is by far the biggest update and is huge for those using Shopify. It allows Shopify users to basically use Ig as another selling platform. It currently uses Facebook shopping items and pulls them over to IG (easily set up with a few clicks). Then you can tag any items in IG with a product contained in your catalogue. This allows people to click on the picture and purchase immediately. You’ll be able to tell if a picture is ‘shoppable’ by a small white shopping bag icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. Tap to see ‘tap to view products’ then they’ll see the information. Click again to be able to purchase. All from Instagram! That is amazing and a really big deal.
8. Threaded Comments
This feature has been out for a little while now, but I thought I’d include it as it’s pretty cool!
Previously, IG would show all comments in a linear format. Now however, if you reply to somebody, it’ll show directly under their comment, (like FB) allowing an easier and more streamlined conversation to encourage engagement from your followers!
Local to South Wales? Come to our Business Workshop For Beginners! >>>
I’ve recently made some Pinterest Board Covers for a couple of clients of mine and am now in the process of finally getting around to making them for my own Pinterest account too, so thought I’d put a simple ‘how-to’ together for anyone else wondering how to do this for their Pinterest account.
Without Pinterest board covers
Without covers for your Pinterest boards, they can look cluttered and all over the place with no real consistency. I personally have always kept a colour theme in mine so that they were fairly cohesive, but not quite what I wanted. Since creating covers for two of my clients this past month, I thought it was time I did mine too. Here is a screenshot of before adding board covers.
Why do we need Pinterest board covers?
Branding! You have your website looking awesome, all your branding in place but what about Pinterest? To create an aesthetic and cohesive brand you need to cover all bases and ensure all your social media channels look inline with your brand and vibe. Making these covers is a quick and easy way to make sure your Pinterest account looks fantastic, professional and streamlined.
Pinterest recommend using a square image 800×800 pixels.
I’m using Canva to create my board covers.
Here’s how I did it.
In my Canva account, I selected the square 800x800pixel size template. I looked at the templates available and went with a stripe design.
I choose 3 of my brand colours over the 3 stripes. Then in the centre box, I added the board name in a brand font. I added my website at the bottom so that when someone clicks on the pin, they’ll see my website.
When you select the pin as a board cover, Pinterest will select the centre, so make sure any text is centralised.
Save your image and go to your Pinterest account.
Here’s mine if you fancy following me!
Once logged in go to the board that we are adding a cover to and copy the URL of this board. Then in the top right-hand corner select the + button and upload image.
Here upload your image and paste the URL for the board that you just copied.
This ensures that when someone clicks on your pin it’ll take them to your Pinterest board.
Select the right board for the cover and then click on the pencil/edit icon.
Click on the Change cover button. This will be the most recently added pin and I have noticed that it doesn’t always show when you select it. So even if the pin isn’t showing, it is the latest one there.Add a fab description whilst you are there too! Then click save.
Voila! When you go back to your boards you’ll now see the board cover in all its glory!
Note– you usually have to refresh your account once or twice to see the cover in place.
Here is a screenshot of how my account looks with covers in place. What a huge difference and you’d be surprised at how few people actually take the time to add covers, so by doing this simple task that you can get within a few hours, your Pinterest will look amazing and streets ahead of many other people’s accounts. Reflecting you and your business style and attracting more followers and subsequently more repins and web traffic-yay!
Have you updated your board covers? I’d love to see how yours look!
In need of more clarity and direction for your business? Feeling overwhelmed and stressed and like you can’t juggle it all? Take a look at my mentoring package here >>>
We all have our favourite tools that we use daily in our business, so I thought I’d list my current most used tools for you.
I love Canva.. To the extent that I don’t know how I managed before it. This is constantly open on my desktop and I use it, without fail every day.
I use it for myself and for my client work. I create simple but gorgeous graphics for use on my website, on my social media, any presentations I need to put together and any freebies that I need to create. The selection of free or low-cost images is fantastic.
Top Tip- set up the branding options for yourself and any other brands that you manage to make it much easier. All the colours, fonts and logos will then be stored for you.
I put off using management systems for quite a while. For no real reason. Then it was the Trello Vs Asana debate. Now, I use both with various clients and I still don’t have a huge preference over the other. However, I’m currently using Asana more to keep in contact with clients. It’s a great tool when you are working as part of a team on a project, so you can all see what has been done or is yet to be done. I find it helps in mapping out your goals and plans, so you can see them at a glance and break them down into more manageable chunks.
Again, for a long while, I put off using Leadpages as I thought it was unnecessary. However, now I have it, I use it all the time. I’m certainly going to get my money’s worth, so I’m always thinking of new ways to set up landing pages and making them look pretty. I also have access to a few client’s leadpages accounts and enjoy creating amazing landing pages for them. Leadpages is easy to use and offers a great selection of templates to get you started.
I adore wordswag. This is actually an app on my phone, but it’s so handy. If you love Instagram, then this is a fantastic app for you to use. If you are a fan of the odd inspirational quote or text on an image, then this really is perfect for creating a graphic in a matter of minutes. If you are ever at a situation where you don’t have your social media posts scheduled and want to create something quick- this is the one. Great backgrounds, colours and fonts, with an amazing selection of quotes to get you started if you aren’t up to thinking of one yourself.
Dropbox has been around a long time but still one of my favourites. I’ve upgraded to the business version so I have extra storage and ask clients to share all large file with me here. This saves me using space on my desktop. I also use it to store all my stock photos, fonts etc.
I have over the years used Hootsuite, Post Planner and Buffer, but for now Buffer is winning for me. I use this to schedule my own social media and client’s social media, so I don’t have to wing it on the go! I also use Later for client’s IG accounts.
I use Paypal for client payments and for receiving payments for all digital guides etc that I sell.
I’ve been using Paypal for years with previous businesses, so it’s a tool that I trust.
I find it easy to add payment buttons or links to websites and landing pages and when I want to withdraw the money, it’s usually in my bank immediately.
MailChimp, for me is a great easy to use email marketing tool. I’m a fan of sales funnels, and this integrates with leadpages making it easy to feed any sign ups into my lists so I can send out automated email sequences, save me having to remember to email any new sign-ups manually.
Wave is a free accounting software. I’m pretty sure, I don’t use nearly enough of it’s tools, but I couldn’t be without it. I use this to send branded, professional looking invoices to clients, set up automated reminders, send receipts once paid and keep on top of all my incomings and outgoings. If used correctly, this will also make your accounting much easier!
I built my WordPress site from scratch, so what I know is self – taught. WordPress is a little marmite- people tend to love or hate it. Personally, I find it really easy to use, I love how many plugins are available and how good you can make a site look.
I haven’t long actually come across Hello Sign, as it was recommended to me not long ago. But it’s a clever tool- perfect for clients digitally signing your contracts- which I’ll be using from now on!
What’s your favourite business tool that you use daily?
I’m sure lots of you are familiar with Canva already but for those who aren’t I’ve recorded a quick tutorial of the basics to get you started.
I must admit, I use Canva most days for myself and clients, so I am a huge fan. I often wondered what I did before Canva existed. You can create simple graphics, quickly and easily using various colours, logos, images and fonts. They offer 1000’s of free images and templates helping you get started.
If you are looking for amazing quality images to use take a look at Creative Market, they also offer 6 freebies each week on a Monday. These can be images, templates, fonts etc.
I also have a short video showing you how to create a simple logo with transparent background in Canva
If you have any questions, let me know! I hope you find it helpful.
This week’s blog post is written by the wonderful Melissa Fragomeni.
Are we crazy for chasing our dreams? I mean, what were we thinking when we started our own business? Who in their right mind would subject themselves to discomfort, bizarre mental games, and a plethora of unknowns more than once per day?
You are constantly asking yourself, at least multiple times daily, without fail: Is entrepreneurship at all for me? Am I even qualified? All the scary investments and draining bank account horror stories, not to mention the no-end-in-sight view when it comes to decisions that you need to make and haunting criticisms coming from unexpected sources, can make you really think twice about the leap you really want to take.
Imagine entrepreneurship as a real-life amusement park. It will be filled with thrilling rides and terrifying ones that leave you feeling nauseous. It can be unpredictable most of the time, no matter how much mental preparation you have done. Or it can be tame and easy for a short amount of time before you are back on your toes, alert and ready for action.
I have to be honest with you. There will be rides we sometimes don’t want to take. And that is fine. We will often be pushed out of our comfort zones. But there will be moments when the rides are just not for us. Not because we are afraid, but because we know it is not the right fit for us where we are right now.
There will be temptations, those sweet cotton candies and aromatic buttery foods. In the early stages, chasing the shiny objects and doing all the things will burn you out and create heaps of accumulated doubts, fears, and frustration. But, pretty soon, you learn to discern when to say no, and when to get a taste of something. But you never go overboard because you know it will do you more harm than good. You have learned to be smart and know your limits.
Just like amusement park themes, entrepreneurship has its seasons of flow, of ups and downs, of growth, of focus. Depending on what you desire for each season, your business will reflect that. Sometimes you need growth so there is a season of making more connections than usual and penciled-in podcast opportunities. Other seasons you need to let go and focus on your zone of genius, so in order to do that you seek support through VAs and team members. The year-round rides that never close represent moral and loving support you always need, such as family, friends, business besties, and perhaps, coaches. Hold on tight to those.
At the end of the day, it has been a fun ride. But is it worth it all? If you have read this all the way through and felt more excited than nauseous, I’d say are in it for the long haul. Successful business owners have shared the same challenges and come out on top. Sure, it requires a whole lot of faith and some confidence. Even one tiny drop of each is enough, especially because you will eventually learn and grow every step of the way, and you will build up all the good qualities you need to succeed, too. There is no doubt in my mind about that, no matter how silly or unqualified or unprepared you feel. Because truth is, we are all three when we start.
So, yes, to answer the most asked question, entrepreneurship is pretty much worth the roller coaster adventure. Our dreams are worth it. So strap yourself in and let the journey unfold.
The list goes on, but let’s face it, most of us are rushed off our feet, trying to fit as much into our busy schedules as we can. We run businesses, manage our houses, look after children, constantly juggling a million and one things.
10 glorious hours a week
Have you ever stopped and thought what 10 hours a week would mean to you. 2 hours a day extra in your life. What would you do? What could you do? 40 glorious hours a month Mon-Fri for your business.
Would this free you up to contact more clients and receive more work?
Would this give you back the time that you so desperately crave?
Would you spend it with your family?
Would you use it to do that training course you’ve been putting off?
There are so many ways that you could grow YOU and your business if you allowed yourself 10 extra hours a week.
But, how would that work I hear you ask? I still have so many things I need to do, if I took 10 hours for the things I really want to do, then how would I fit it all in?
This is the reason I’ve introduced my VIP Package. It’s a package just for you, the lady who knows what they want and how they’d use those 10 extra hours a week. The lady that knows her worth and value and knows that in order to grow they need another pair of hands. This could be to do the tasks you don’t enjoy or the tasks that you aren’t great at, or it could be the tasks that simply take too long. I give you extra time and help take some of the stress away from you too.
How can I help?
Would you love somebody to schedule all your social media for you? Or someone to help with your FB group? Someone to send regular emails to your clients or customers? Someone to reply to comments and messages on your social media channels, someone to upload those blog posts, someone to speak to your clients on your behalf. Whatever it is, that you’d like to not have to do, get in touch and let’s see if I can help.
The VIP package is for the lady who wants that little bit more- the 1:1 service, the instant messenger access and the knowledge that I’ll never work with more than 3 VIP clients at any time.
Hey, I’m Jenn from Unit 25 Creative + Consulting. If you’re a fellow business owner, you know how quickly time can get away from you. Sometimes you just need another pair of hands! It can be scary to think about outsourcing, but I want to help you overcome your obstacles and see how outsourcing can benefit you and help you grow your business.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, denoted by *
You may be asking: “How can outsourcing help me? I’m on top of all of my business tasks, and I never feel like I don’t have enough time to do everything.” Oh, wait, that’s not you? It’s okay: it’s not me either. If you’re thinking about outsourcing, you’re probably looking for one (or more) of these three things: Time, Flexibility, and Support.
On of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is that it can free up your time. By giving someone else the tasks that take you more time than they’re worth or that you just drag your feet over, you instantly have more time. You can invest that time back into income-producing business activities, your family, skydiving, or whatever else your heart desires!
Having someone else involved in your business also gives you the flexibility to know that your business is in good hands if you take time off, as well as a support net. If you’ve struggled with trying to take time off from your business or going it alone, this aspect of outsourcing can be worth its weight in gold!
Preparing to Outsource
Okay, so you know that you want to outsource. But where in the world do you start?!
The first thing you should do is ensure that your systems and processes are in place. After all, if you don’t know HOW you do what you do, will you be able to explain it coherently to a new hire? Short answer: No.
To document your processes, start by keeping a running list of everything you do throughout a given day, or at least the aspects that you want to outsource. Start fleshing out that list by detailing what steps go into each process.
For example, if you’re documenting your Tailwind process, it might go something like this:
Wrap up with Domain stats and add one domain Pin to Tribes
That’s a relatively simplified process, but you get the idea. You can always expand on your steps further in the future, but get the general gist of it down now. This will give you something to provide your new hire with when you begin the training process and will make it SO much easier on both of you!
The other thing you will want to do is create brand guidelines, especially if you’re hiring someone for social media or anything else that will need to be branded. Your brand guidelines should include your colour palette, fonts, brand voice/style, etc. This will help your new hire maintain your cohesive brand face and cut down on miscommunications about these items.
Where to Start Your Outsourcing Search
Once you have your systems/processes and brand guidelines in place, you’re ready to go! These documents should give you a solid foundation to train your new hire on. So where do you start?
First, ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues. Even if they’re in a different field than you, they may have worked with a fantastic freelancer in the past who they would love to tell you about. Word of mouth is the best marketing, and it gives you a positive review before you even speak with the person!
If no one you know has any recommendations, you can start searching online (or ask us over at Unit 25 Creative + Consulting!). Katie is also a great option for social media and virtual assistance, though I’m sure you already know that!
Regardless of where you find potential candidates, make sure that you are clear about what you’re looking for. For example, if you need someone in a certain time zone, tell them up front! There are few things more frustrating than going through the entire process with someone, deciding that they’re the perfect fit… and then realising that there’s a small detail that makes them ineligible.
Side note: Don’t go with the cheapest option just because they’re the cheapest!! I cannot stress this enough. At Unit 25, I hear from entrepreneurs who have done this and regretted it. It can not only waste your time, but it can negatively impact your business. Sometimes the cheapest option can be the best one, but not if that is their only qualification.
If you don’t feel like you can afford the right person to outsource to just yet, make sure to check out the free Outsourcing for Success Bootcamp, which will give you additional in-depth resources and tips for outsourcing on a tight or non-existent budget.
What to Look for in a Potential Outsourcing Candidate
While you’re searching for your new hire, keep an eye out for these three traits:
If a candidate isn’t organised before they work for you, chances are that they won’t be while working for you either. Ask them questions about their existing systems and processes, both for the task they will be performing for you and for their CRM (how they’ll invoice you, track their time, etc.). If they aren’t able to answer satisfactorily, they may not be the right fit.
Do they know what they’re talking about? If a social media manager can’t answer basic questions about how they create a social media plan, schedule posts, or simple things like that, then move on.
Can they show you the results they have achieved for other clients? Sometimes you may run across someone bound by confidentiality agreements with larger companies that they work with (I’ve had to deal with this myself for my team’s social media manager), but they should still be able to explain the steps they took to achieve the desired results.
Don’t forget that if you need social media or virtual assistance, Katie is your gal!If you’re looking for branding, content, marketing, or support services, I would love to chat with you about how Unit 25 Creative + Consulting’s team can achieve the results you want. And if you want to get more in-depth resources to help you overcome the obstacles of outsourcing despite a tight budget, control issues, or lack of established systems, make sure to grab the FREE 5-day Outsourcing for Success Bootcamp!
About the Author:
Jenn is the owner and project manager at Unit 25 Creative + Consulting. She and her team provide branding, content, marketing, and support services for entrepreneurs. Jenn has always been that person who sees the path others can take to turn their passions and skills into a living that they enjoy, even when she was a kid! Her goal is to empower her clients and other business owners to do more of what they love in business AND life by providing the support and solutions needed to grow and succeed in their goals. If you’d like to learn more or just have a virtual coffee chat, schedule a Discovery Meeting or Coffee Chat today!
I hope you enjoyed our guest blogger this week. If you have any more tips for knowing when you are ready to outsource, pop them below! If you know you need a helping hand- then get in touch and let’s see how we can help you grow your business and free up some of your time.
no blog post as such, this week, but a chance to enter my fab giveaway to win a mini Instagram package and a copy of the fantastic Carrie Green’s She Means Business book.
What’s on offer-
A Mini Instagram Package
A 30 min Skype call to discuss your business and your goals for IG.
I’ll curate and create 2 weeks worth of content
I’ll schedule the content for you
I’ll send an analytics report at the end of the 2 weeks
2. A copy of She Means Business Book by Carrie Green.
If you don’t know who Carrie Green is, she is an amazing, inspirational entrepreneur, founder of The Female Entrepreneur Association and now an author! The book is practical as well as inspiring, with plenty of advice and workbooks to help you grow your business- a must for all female entrepreneurs who want to succeed in their business!
Why you need to be using Facebook Ads to reach your Ideal client.
If you haven’t tried Facebook ads before, and don’t really know much about them, then here’s an intro to using Facebook ads for your business, to attract your ideal client.
When I owned and run my last business- an eCommerce business selling homeware and gifts, Facebook ads were a huge part of my strategy for reaching more customers and sales- I spent a fortune on them!
When I started I could organically reach a good percentage of my followers, but as time has gone on, Facebook has changed so much and the organic reach is now extremely low compared to what it used to be. But we all have to spend money on marketing our business in one form or another and FB ads are a great way to start to reach our ideal clients.
You have the ability to reach your ideal client, using specifics like demographics such as gender, age and location as well as targeting fans of specific pages, people with various hobbies, interests and habits. The more you start to look into FB ads the more you’ll realize how amazingly powerful they can be. I know many entrepreneurs that use them as a main part of growing their business.
The stats: Let’s look at Facebook.
There are various different types of Facebook ads depending on what your goal is. You may wish to increase your likes on your page, you may want to push people to your website or opt-in. or you may wish to try and get customers to sign up for your service or course.
Whatever your goal is, there is a FB ad for you.
When you look to set up FB ads, don’t be scared away by all the options.
Yes- please send me the FB ads worksheet!
The most common types of ads are
Conversions, and Traffic.
You are basically telling Facebook that you would like your ad optimized for the purpose of your ad.
Here are a few of the most popular ways to use FB ads.
Increasing Your Facebook Likes.
Page like ads can be a great way to start growing your following and likes to your page and can be set up from as little as £1 or a $ a day.
If you are struggling to build your following and want an easy way to try and grow your following and improve the credibility of your Facebook page, these are a great way to start.
If you don’t have a big list and believe that increasing your list is your goal, then we can use Facebook’s list to encourage people to visit your opt-in or freebie so they are on your list. Once they are signed up, you can then send your list content that you’d like them to see. If you are selling a product, then these are great for offering a discount or free gift when a customer purchases. These are probably the most common, that I’m sure you have seen in your newsfeed.
Sending customers/clients to your website
If you don’t want to offer a freebie or opt-in page straight off, but would like to increase the traffic to your website- such as a blog post, then make sure you choose something that offers amazing value content. If you have a video or blog post that is rich in content on your website or offers the reader the option to learn something, they’ll want to find out more, so make sure you offer an opt –in at this stage, encouraging them to sign up to our lost, so they can learn more value from you. When you next set up a FB ad, you can also re-target those people that have visited previously.
The perception for many small business owners is that
Facebook ads don’t work
Facebook ads are expensive
They do work, especially when used correctly and aimed at targeting the correct people. I’ve had first hand experience of using them and seeing how they work for me.
You can actually get started for as little as £/$1 a day, to see what result you get. When I run ads for clients, I’d recommend setting up at least 4 different ads to test out what works best for you, at approx. £5/$5 per ad/per day. A Facebook pixel can be installed in your website to track the conversions that your FB ad has generated.
Don’t forget to download your free 2 page Facebook Ads worksheet to help you plan your next ad.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on FB ads. Have you used them and have you had success from them?