Social Media Success In 20 Minutes A Day

[Scroll to the bottom to watch the video of this blog post]

One of the biggest push-backs I get from businesses when it comes to social media, is that they don’t have TIME to do it. I get that. Us business owners are busy!!

But I do think it’s possible to achieve social media success in just 20 minutes a day, if you focus your efforts on the right actions.

And those actions are:

1. Create

You need to be creating content to maintain visibility with your audience, to show you know what you know and to sell to them too!

2. Engage

Engagement is really important for building relationships. Commenting on others’ posts will allow them to get to know you and will also draw them to your content.

3. Sell

If we don’t ever try to sell and tell people how they can buy from us, we’re limiting the potential we have to convert our followers to customers.

So, is it possible to fit these three actions in to our daily activity. The answer is YES!!

If you want to find out how, come along to my next webinar on Thursday 25th June at 11am GMT, where I’ll be sharing an example schedule of how to grow your business on social media in just 20 minutes a day!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR

How to Create Captions That Stop People Scrolling

[If you’d prefer to watch rather than read, head to the bottom of this post to watch the video!]

Your caption (or the text accompanying your image/video/link) matters A LOT in stopping people scrolling past your content.

If the caption doesn’t make them stop and read, chances are they’ll scroll straight on past to the next post.

So, how can you make your captions stop that thumb from moving on?

1. The first two lines

The first two lines of your caption matter the most. They determine whether the person reading will skip on to the next post or whether they’ll click to ‘see more’.

These first two lines should be given the same thought process as an email subject line or the headline of a blog or article. How can you use these words to compel people to want to read more? Think about how you could tease the content, open with something they can’t not continue to read, shock them, inspire them, educate them, and leave them wanting more!

2. The tone and language

The tone and language of your captions should reflect that of your business and your audience. So many captions by businesses are far too stuffy, corporate and professional, and use words not commonly used in every day conversation.

Make sure your captions are easy to read and a true reflection of the personality of the business that has written them.

3. How long should it be?

There is no definitive answer to how long or short your caption should be. It really depends on the content of that caption. Keep it as succinct as possible and avoid rambling. Sometimes a short punchy caption can have a really big impact. Other times, you need to create a longer caption to build on the story or to fit in all the points you wish to share. So long as it fits within the character limit of the platform you are using, go with what feels right for that particular piece of content.

4. Emotive captions

Captions that tend to work really well are those that create an emotional connection with the audience. If you can tap in to emotions, your audience will feel like you’re speaking directly to them and that you have a deeper understanding of them.

Using emotional words and experiences is a good way to do this, and sharing stories rather than facts. Think about what challenges, wants and desires your audience have at any one time.

5. Include a call-to-action

Make sure your caption includes an action for the person reading it to take. It could be as simple as reminding them to double tap, or asking them to leave their comments below. Or you could encourage them to save the post or to click the link. What is the final action you want them to take after reading your caption?

If you want more help with your captions, then come join me on Planet Social Media. There is a video on there on 10 ways to start a social media caption, which will give you some great caption ideas, as well as over 20 other videos focusing on different areas of social media growth. AND, it’s still only £1 to join! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.

How to create video content for free

Don’t let budget get in the way of you creating video content, because you can create great video content at no cost at all!

[If you’d prefer to watch a video rather than read this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the accompanying video]

Here are 5 things that will help you create video content on zero budget:

  1. YOU DON’T NEED EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT

You are probably currently within a metre of something you already own that you can use to create video content.  In fact, you might even be reading this post on it.  YOUR PHONE!!  Most phones now are of good enough quality to create good video content.  If you’re creating content for YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, use your phone in landscape orientation, and for IGTV in portrait.

2. THINK ABOUT YOUR LIGHTING

Lighting can make the difference between a bad and good video.  But what if you don’t have studio lighting available?  Natural lighting is perfect!  The best natural light to use is on an overcast day.  A sunny day often creates shadows and too much brightness.  Stand near a natural light source, like a window, and angle yourself towards it.

3. SUBTITLES ARE IMPORTANT IF YOU’RE TALKING TO CAMERA

The majority of social media users watch videos without audio.  So if you don’t include subtitles, the chances of them scrolling straight past your video are really high.  There are some low cost subtitle creation tools out there.  But you can also create them for free!  If you are an iPhone user, there is an inbuilt app called Clips, through which you record your video and it adds the subtitles as you are speaking.  You can then watch the video back, pause and click to edit any subtitle mistakes.  Kapwing also has a subtitles auto-generator and is free to use.

4. EDITING FOR FREE

If you are a Mac user, iMovie is easy to use to edit simple videos.  There are lots of YouTube tutorials if you get stuck.  On other PCs, DaVinci Resolve is a good option.  I have recently been editing more videos on my phone, as I find it easier to pick it up and do it whenever I get chance.  You can use iMovie on your phone, but I use VideoStory (I used it to edit the video at the bottom of this post).  Admittedly, I have a paid subscription.  But the free version is great too.  An alternative is VLLO, which doesn’t include  watermark on your videos when you don’t have a subscription.

5. BE UNIQUE

It’s not necessarily how much money you spend on a video that guarantees it’s success.  Sometimes success comes down to how unique the video is and how applicable it is to your audience.  I’ve seen businesses spend thousands on videos that have had hardly any views, as they try too hard to sell something to you and don’t relate to the audience at all.  Think of ways you can make you content unique and of value to your audience.

If you want more ideas on creating video content on a low or zero budget, I have a video on Planet Social Media, which goes in to much more detail than this.  Plus, there are over 20 other videos on there with ways to grow your business using social media.  It’s currently only £1 to join, and you can find out more and sign up here!

Day In The Life – Working From Home

I thought I’d document what a day-in-my-life looks like when working from home, rather than out delivering training.  I always find it intriguing what people actually get up to behind the scenes, so thought I’d give you a sneak peak behind my business doors!

No two days are ever the same!  So, I wrote down everything I did on Thursday 17th October.  And this is what my day looked like….

5:00 – Alarm goes off.  I’m an early riser and an early to bed kind of girl.  I head to the gym so that I’m back before my husband leaves for work at 6.40am.  My day goes so much better if I get to the gym but it doesn’t always happen.  Especially if one (or more) of my three girls have been up in the night!

6:30 – Home!  Usually the two oldest (4 and 6 years) are up by now.  Their dad heads to work and I get them their breakfast, then head for a shower and get myself ready for the day.

7:00 – The busiest hour of the day!  Gently ask* (*shout) repeatedly for the older two to get themselves dressed.  Help youngest with shirt buttons.  Do their hair and get them to brush their teeth.  Wake up youngest (just turned 1 year).  Nappy changed, dressed and give her a bottle of milk.  Gather school and nursery bags with whatever is needed for their day.  Drop off youngest at nursery and then the other two at school breakfast club.

8:10 – The calm after the storm!  Usually feel like I should be at least half way through my day by this point!  Have my breakfast and a much needed cup of tea and plot out my day.

8:30 – Work begins with webinar prep.  On this particular day I have a webinar at lunchtime that I have yet to write.  I keep them short and simple.  So it doesn’t take me long to prep a few slides for the webinar.

8:45 – Blog promo.  I wrote a blog post the day before so spend a few minutes sharing it on social media.

8:50 – Social media learning.  I have a read through articles about different areas of social media and create some posts to share about any ones I think will benefit my audience.  This is a crucial step for me in keeping up to date in what’s new in social media.

9:10 – BREAK!  I tend to work in 40 minute chunks.  I set a timer on my phone, then put my phone out of reach so I’m not tempted to procrastinate!  I then take a 10 minute break away from my desk before the next 40 mins!

9:20 – Client work.  I needed to create some social media processes for a client who was passing over the social media reigns to someone new in their team.

10:00 – BREAK!

10:10 – Emails.  I usually have a quick scan of my emails in between sets at the gym so I know if there’s anything important I need to respond to straight away.  If not, I wait until about this point of the morning, to avoid the temptation of spending all day checking in on emails.  I then create some Instagram stories.  The remaining 30 minutes of this ‘chunk’, I spend engaging with people on Instagram.  I’m really trying to increase my efforts on Instagram at the moment, so try to spend time on there every day engaging with other peoples’ posts.  And I’m definitely seeing more success on Instagram as a result.

10:50 – BREAK!  During which I put on some make up and sort out my hair ready for being on camera for my webinar.  My husband also gives me a ring now so I chat to him while I do it.  If he rings me during the day, I usually bounce business stuff off him.  It’s hard to manage everything going on in your head when you work on your own.  So he’s my constant sound board!

11:10 – As I look semi-presentable, I take a few different selfies to use in future social media posts.  I then record three videos, under 1 minute long each, to use for social media posts.  I create these on my phone using the Clips app, so that they have subtitles on.  I’ll share them out over the coming two weeks, so that’s my short video recording done for a couple of weeks.  I then get ready to go live with the webinar.  I load up Zoom and check the background of my video stream, load up my slides and wait for the webinar attendees to arrive!

12:00 – WEBINAR!  This one focuses on how to stand out and be different on social media (if you missed it, you can get the recording HERE!).  I’m trying to host more regular short lunchtime webinars.  They’re great for showcasing my expertise and building my email list.  And I always repurpose the recording as well.

12:30 – BREAK!  This one’s a big break.  I don’t get all that much time to get stuff done for myself, so sometimes I take a long break during the day to tick off my personal to-do list.  I have my lunch then head out to drop-off returns at the post office, pick up a dress I ordered for my daughter’s christening, buy some socks for the girls to take to school the next day for the homeless, and get some food for the dog!!!

14:00 – Email check and responding.  Respond to comments on my social media posts, and replies to my comments on other peoples’ posts.

14:10 – Edit the webinar recording and begin uploading to host site.

14:20 – Set up for video recording.  I like to create a different set up for IGTV and YouTube videos, compared to my short social media videos.  I have studio lights and a camera on a tripod.  I record the audio on a separate mic.  So, it takes a bit of time to get it all set up.  When it is set up, I try to record at least 4 videos.  I usually share about one a week on both IGTV and YouTube, so this means I won’t need to set it up again for another month.  All didn’t go to plan.  The camera battery was dead so I decided to just record on my phone instead to get the job done.  And, one of the bulbs on my studio lights was flickering so I improvised with my SAD lamp instead!!!  Things don’t always go as you had planned them to but that doesn’t mean the time needs to go to waste.

14:40 – BREAK!

14:50 – Recording time.  I get my four videos recorded.  I usually change clothes between each video to make it look like I recorded them on different days (insider tricks!)!

16:00 – Get the webinar recording out to those who registered but didn’t attend.  Call back someone who rang earlier in the day (I use a call handling team).

16:15 – I head downstairs to get some dinner on the go.  The girls all come home hungry, so it’s important I have something ready for them to eat!  I sometimes remember to put something in the slow cooker that morning.  Today was not one of those days!  I take my laptop downstairs with me and watch a training video for something I need to learn for the project I’m launching in February.  I also email back and forth with my accountant about my VAT return and end of year accounts, and do a final email check.

17:00 – Head off to pick up the older two from after-school club then the youngest from nursery.  Get them home and fed.  Their hero returns from his day at work!  Then it’s the usual bath, book, bed routine.

19:00 – All kids in bed.  I usually have a tidy up and make sure I’m not coming down to a pig sty the following morning.  Take the dog for a walk.  Then I spend an hour reading a business book.  This is a new habit I’m trying to keep up, as I find TV pretty dull and always feel I’ve achieved nothing in the evening.  Chill for a bit then….

21:30 – BED!  Told you I went to bed early!

 

 

Hello, it’s been a while….

I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA on my blog.  There is one very cute reason for that…

Introducing my third daughter, Nancy!

Nancy is now 5 months old and I’m back working again, so I thought it only right that I start with an update blog post.  Then, from next week, I will start creating your usual blog content with social media and business knowledge and ideas!

A few things that have changed round here:

  1. My social media content

Maternity leave is a great head clearer.  To take some real time away from the business and not have the mental capacity to even think about it is definitely advised, though maybe don’t do anything as extreme as having a baby for the sake of that time!

And one thing it made me realise was that I needed some focus for my own social media content.  I now have a theme for every working day of the week.  If you head over to any of my social media (links in top corner!) you’ll soon pick up what the theme of each day is all about.

2. My Instagram stories

Instagram has always come pretty far down my own social media list for my business.  But it’s my absolute favourite for personal use.  So, I’m giving it a much bigger focus for the rest of this year.  Which means, if you want to hear me ramble on a bit and share a bit of my working and sometimes not-working life over on Instagram stories, then go give me a follow on Instagram!

3. My online courses

I have created 9 online courses that are sat there ready for you to devour.  So, over the next few weeks, I will be loading them up to my site and putting them out there for you to get your hands on!

4. My learning days

I’m going to be running regular ‘learning days’ this year!  This is where you have the chance to have me to yourself, 1:1 (or 1:team!) online for an hour and a half, and we can focus in on your social media activity!  The sessions are recorded so you can watch them back at a later date.  More to be revealed very soon…!!!

5. TRAINIng and speaking

And of course, I will be doing what I’ve always done – speaking at business events and delivering in-house training.

So, life will continue as normal but as a family of 5 now (6 if you include our Westie Ned!), which means it will be a slightly busier normal!!!  It’s great to be back!

Something you might be interested in…

It’s pretty rare for me to sell in a blog post.  I usually keep them focused on sharing knowledge and giving you ideas for improving your social media activity.

But, I’ve got something pretty exciting coming up, so I thought I’d break with the norm and let you know about it!

I’m currently in the process of planning a social media event.  I’m going to be holding it in Manchester in November.  And it’s going to be focused on SUPER SUCCESS!  It’s not an event for social media beginners.  There’ll be no basics included.

This event is designed for those businesses who want to up their social media game, to stand out more, to do things differently to their competitors, and to generate more business through social media.

BUT, I’m not quite ready to let you book on it just yet!  So, for now, all I’m asking is that you register your interest by adding your details to the form below.  And then, you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready for booking!

Being Authentic [VIDEO]

Authenticity is the buzzword of the moment when it comes to social media.  Are you being authentic on social media?  Never has there been more opportunity to be authentic.  With Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat, businesses who are being authentic are ahead of the game.

This week’s vlog is all about authenticity.  You can watch the vlog in the video below:

Tagging LinkedIn Connections [VIDEO]

Did you know that you can tag your connections on LinkedIn and organise them in to groups relevant to you?

In this week’s vlog, I discuss how to tag your connections and then filter by tag to help you send messages to those connections.

 

Give Them What They Want

This weeks VLOG is all about giving your Target Audience what they want!

Last week, I talked about knowing who your target audience is.

This week, I’m stressing that point even more! I spoke at an AAT event for accountants, and focused on the fact that their potential customers would rather hear about growing their business than about VAT regs!!

Sometimes its actually about being interesting to your target audience!

 

 

The Only Marketing Steps You Need This Year!

We all know that Marketing is something every business strives for.

To achieve the best Marketing for your business this year, follow these easy steps to Marketing heaven!

The use of Marketing has established itself as one of the most dominant ways to increase customer population in today’s market.

Here are the steps you need to incorporate into your marketing campaigns this year; how many are you already using?

Document your strategy
If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your marketing strategy!

Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.”

Time to invest in visual content

For Marketing content to be truly “creative” and successful it’s important that it’s visually arresting, not just pleasing.  Every day consumers are handed with well-designed marketing offerings, with good colour schemes, professional imagery, and nice fonts. All the pieces truley break through to the consumer as well as introducing something unexpected.

Stick with The Big Three
The Big Three of social media are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Quality content posted on these three is paying bigger dividends than ever before. Everything else on the social network is basically chump change. But, keep an eye on the up-and-coming venues like Vine and Snapchat. These upstarts are becoming more and more valuable as their audience becomes more dependent on mobile devices like smartphones.

Focus on using Information that is Informative and useful
Customers don’t want to be force fed advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need.

Always remember, your marketing is only as good as your content — so invest in your content!