Okay, I admit it… sometimes I’m a “hater” but I’m working on that… [mea culpa]
More specifically, when I say “hater” I mean my misperception about certain things. For example, my irrational decision to never eating Indian food. Even though I have so many friends who are die-hard Indian cuisine aficionados, I resist it completely. It’s because of that one time (not at band camp), that I got food poisoning. The worst three days ever! That was enough for me to draw the line in the sand and make a final decision that I was never going to eat Indian food. Pretty harsh, I know.
Well Similarly, I had a misperception about Instagram, because I thought for a long time that it was just a social media platform that my kids were on. My two boys (16, 14) go background and forth between their SnapChat, Instagram and “Finsta” (total side bar: What’s a “finsta“? – well, it’s a fake Instagram that kids have so they can post what they really want to post about and not have to have their parents spying on their social media activity). So clever, right? Kids are always going to find a way… I know when I was a kid I had some ninja maneuvers around where I would be and with whom. Ahhh, to be a teenager again…
Back to Instagram. Sure, I’ve had an Instagram account for a while, periodically posting here and there with no real plan. I know better and know that sporadic activity is not going to create any sort of momentum. I’ve been more of a Facebook loyalist since pretty much everyone in the world is on Facebook. And, most internet marketing influencers and people I watch are on Facebook. Especially, since we geek out about Facebook ads and what’s happening with the latest in algorithm changes.
So, why Instagram? What changed? As with anything, it’s there’s an uptick in activity, there’s a reason why. And, I have to take a closer look objectively.
Since last year I started watching more news about Instagram’s level of activity, how more people were on there for marketing purposes and leveraging influencer marketing. Like when Kim Kardashian drinks her fit tea, has the packaging strategically placed right by her favorite Vuitton bag and casually sipping her tea posts that she can’t live without it…
Several months back, Instagram started implementing features which were very similar to those that were working so well on SnapChat. You can see the trends on how the timing of this shows why people were moving back to Instagram here.
I was also watching how many of my clients had made huge inroads in building their tribe on Instagram and with the use of hashtags, the chances of someone finding you were ever higher than on Facebook. So if you are an artist, you can use hashtags strategically to appeal to your perfect customer. And the bonus is that right now, this functionality… the ability to grow your tribe is essentially organic. You don’t have to pay for this, vs. on Facebook where it’s very much “pay to play.”
So I finally decided to commit to posting consistently on Instagram and engaging purposely with ideal customers and building rapport.
What’s happened over the past six months? I’ve been able to grow my email list by offering value on Instagram and using more of a pull strategy vs.being “that guy” who is always promoting their thing. I’ve also incorporated some automation into the mix as well. Best part is that the same efforts I’ve used on Facebook to grow my email list have gotten way more traction on Instagram.
In fact, I’m really not on Facebook as much as I used to be. While I do run traffic for my clients on Facebook and peep in every now and again, I’ve found that my efforts are definitely converting more on Instagram.
Listen, I’m not breaking any speed records with hundreds of thousands of followers, but what I am doing is connecting with people intentionally and inviting them into and my world. Pretty cool.
Are you interested in growing your own reach on Instagram? Give it a shot, or like I mentioned to some realtors at a recent presentation, hire an intern to do this for you. I would definitely give Instagram a serious look. I’ve put together a quick half hour free training where you can learn some fundamental Instagram strategies that will help expand your reach as a business owner.
By the way, let’s connect on Instagram! MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT – CLICK HERE
The Bigger Question: Should I get a Finsta? 🙂
7 Lessons learned from the book Rework
I’ve heard it time and time again, entrepreneurship is truly the greatest roller coaster ride. I give credit to Adam Carroll, one of our first podcast episodes for that initial concept. Man, truer words have never been spoken.
Late last week I was on a Skype call with one of my mentors tossing ideas around for what I should prioritize on my business to-do list. Should I focus on my book writing? Should I focus on creating my online product? I clearly was on the cusp of a potential downward spiral. He sensed it immediately and suggested for me to read Rework.
To be honest, I had heard about this book several years prior but I never got around to adding it to my reading list. Clearly it was time for me to read it. (total aside: when your mentor strongly recommends something, do it. Don’t delay… don’t belabor. Instead get into action…you’ll be glad you did. It also further nails down the idea that you are very coachable.)
As I was reading the book, I went through many “holy sh*t” moments realizing where I had gone wrong with some of my actions and decisions. Alas, just one of the many big dips on the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride.
So, with the concepts still fresh in my mind, here are 7 Big Lessons from Rework, (including Rework quotes) that I am incorporating into my business and hope you gain some value from it too:
#1: Everything you think you know is wrong…
No, you don’t have to quit your job to start a business. No, you don’t need serious capital to start your business. In fact, Fried & Hansson caution that you really do give away too much power when you brings on investors. Stories of other entrepreneurs whose initial goal was to create a power house business in order to quickly sell it for a healthy seven figures, later regretted the decision to sell. They missed the business they were so passionate about creating…don’t focus on the money, focus on what drives you to create the business in the first place.
#2: What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan
As a recovering corporate rat, I will say this has been a challenge for me. Over a long tenured career, I was accountable for the goals set up by my chain of command. I would wait to get approval on the “official”marching orders, then I would go and get ‘er done. My goal was to exceed those expectations within the confines of those marching order though…
Conversely in entrepreneurship, certainly as a solopreneur, you truly are at the helm. I sometimes forget that if it’s to be… it’s up to me. Period. If I want to start a blog, do I have to wait for senior management approval? No, just do it. If I decide to reinvent myself in my business, do I wait for someone’s seal of approval? Nope, just do it. If you are just talking about what you are “going to do” not only is that the language of uncertainty and procrastination, Fried & Hansson caution that this thinking is “pathetic and delusional” — OUCH!
#3: Solve a problem you have. Scratch your own itch.
Not sure what service to offer in your business? Not sure what to include in your online product? What is the one thing you want people to walk away with that would help them move their business forward? Fried & Hansson encourage us to “pour yourself into your product.” Make the product your own in its authenticity and solving the “itch” that you once had. So, if you were once upon a time in pain figuring out how to do Facebook ads and you feel like you finally cracked the code, don’t hoard the learnings. Put together a product that will serve and add value to others, take action.
#4: Good Enough Is Fine
I wish I would’ve read this book at least a year ago. When I was creating my first online product, I was in such stress over the noise in my head, “will this be enough?” “should I add just one more thing?” “Will they like it?” “What if people complain?”
For the love of it all… I wasted so much time with the noise! If Fried & Hansson would only have said to me, “Hey Patty! Good enough is fine” In hindsight if my focus would’ve been around creating a product that offered value, that would’ve been good enough… in fact more than good enough… “gooder” 🙂
#5: The requests that really matter are the ones you’ll hear over and over… You won’t be able to forget them.
As we are building are awesome Boss Free Baller Community, one of the central themes that Tim and I discuss is “what do the Ballers want to hear?” Our podcast launched earlier this year, the feedback we’ve received has been super positive. We’re grateful for that, but as we grow, this “notable” from the book is just a reminder to keep our ears open to listening what problem / challenge you are working to solve. As entrepreneurs we are in the problem solving business, right?
#6: Start small
Confession. Do you ever look at someone’s business and say, “Wow! Look at her/him on stage…they are so amazing, I could never do that!” Whether it’s public speaking, huge product launches, seven figure years, we look at other people’s successes and only see the glory. Fried & Hansson recommend to start small. If you want to be a public speaker, start small. “If you’ve never given a speech before, do you want to give that speech in front of 10,000 people or 10?” Makes sense right. Said another way, dues must be paid.
#7: Be Original
Authenticity wins every time. “If you are going to be like everyone else, why are you even doing this?… it’s better to go down fighting for what you believe in instead of just imitating others.” Is there anything more to say here? Just do you.
These seven tips are just a peak under the tent for what you will receive with this book. I highly recommend this easy read as a great “guiding principles for smart entrepreneurs” book. Have all my business problems been solved? no. But I do have better clarity on how to cut a lot of the noise I had in my head about where my business is going. I say that was well worth a weekend of reading.
Before I turn this into a rant… let me preface by saying that I am an “open networker” on Social Media. I’m open to connecting with people especially because I am online and this is how I make a living. I always am open, because you never know who you are going to meet next virtually – I actually think it’s quite fun.
However, and that’s a big HOWEVER, I’ve unfortunately had to block violators on Social Media channels. Sure you get the random creepy guy every now and then who always seems to start his inbox message with “Hello miss…” That’s an easy fix, just click the Block / Delete button and move about your day… I’m not talking about that guy… I’m talking about this insidious “friend” who out of nowhere violates the “rules”.
I was discussing this the other day with some friends about how there are just some people who don’t understand these unwritten rules of the Social Media road… and while this is a short blog post, I believe it’s a good way to get the conversation started.
Social Media is for creating relationships not for you to SPAM me! I really think I’m going to create a survey to those misfits / violators asking them if any of the following tactics have netted them any growth in their business (whatever the business it may be – albeit referencing legal businesses in this scenario).
You are a Social Media Misfit if …: (these examples from Facebook interactions)
- …If your Profile pic is that of your cat, or a Cowboy boots or similar nothingness… what?? How are you supposed to build a rapport with people? Get a proper profile pic – you don’t need professional head shots, just a picture of you so we know who you are… for the Love of it all, this is an easy one people.
- … If you friend me, I accept, then you ADD me to your random Group. Listen, I’m really not interested in joining your “Ground Floor” opportunity. You haven’t asked me Permission… I call your attention to the 1999 classic Book from Seth Godin, Permission Marketing — even though this book is somewhat dated, the fundamentals are still so relevant today as it applies to social graces on Social Media.
- …If you’ve scoured my Friends list and then inboxing them with your unsolicited offers. This is completely uncalled for… Here’s the deal, yes you can create a relationship with someone in my friend’s list, but you have to ease into it. Do you have something in common? Do you have several mutual friends? Do you have similar interests? Start the conversation online (not in messaging) and see where it organically goes.
- … If you post your unsolicited RANTS on my wall… what is wrong with you? Seriously, that’s like spray painting graffiti on my door.
- … If you tag me in your posts, for your Friday night Zumba black light party… maybe I don’t want to do Zumba? I get it – you are attempting to leverage my network, but again refer to Seth Godin’s book above.
Of course there are filters and settings that will offset some of this misconduct in Facebook, but every now and then, the misfits will find a way to work around the rules.
Seth! Help us out here, write an updated edition to your book. If you do, I’d be happy to be a contributing party…
Here’s to the Social Misfits… thank for showing us what NOT to do…
What’s your biggest Social Media Misfit pet peeve?
Looking to make your idea go viral? Just make your idea “sticky”, that’s what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge did… I don’t know what was more of a hit this Summer (2014), Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (since I heard it roughly 38 times during my 40 day Yoga Challenge) or the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Yes, it is a great cause, in fact I didn’t know very much about this little known disease. When I started seeing #icebucketchallenge every where on social media, I Googled to find out more. Some people were complaining that the true mission of ALS was lost because of the entertainment factor of people getting water over their heads.
Even Bill Gates, who I thought had the most creative video, participated. Naturally Mark Zuckerberg did too. With more than 19 million views already I’d say that’s some great press.
And while YES I was nominated, I chose to donate instead of getting an ice cold bucket of water dumped on my head. That aside, I was so intrigued by how viral this whole campaign became. I remembered several years back reading Chip & Dan Heath’s Book: “Made To Stick” (2007). I had the good fortune of hearing Chip Heath lecture on the marketing aspects of what makes an idea stick, or in this social media era – what makes an idea go viral. Digging into my book notes, the Heath brothers summary is right on the money. Here’s what makes an idea “sticky”:
- SIMPLE: not dumbing things down – but how complex is dumping a bucket of water… I loved that multi-generations got involved in the events. How this can relate to you: What’s your core idea? What’s the core message?
- UNEXPECTED: In July I remember scanning my newsfeed on Facebook and saw this video with one of my Facebook friends doing the Ice Bucket Challenge – yes it was unexpected at the time… an eye pattern break actually – I couldn’t help but stop and play (and then play again)
- CONCRETE: paint a mental picture – the expressions on people’s faces was humorous
- CREDIBLE: The Challenge was for presumably a good cause: ALS – had the feel good factor
- EMOTIONAL: I know I cringed on more than one occasion watching the icy cold water being dumped
- STORIES: As people accepted their icy wet fate, they first had to nominate friends, family and in the case of celebrities – you got to see who their friends were… It was story telling in it’s most succinct twitter length way
Good cause = Check! Fun factor = Check! Memorable = Check! And now I want to see what other non-for-profits Marketing departments drum up. The quest for “sticky” continues.