Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Use an Instagram Editorial Calendar



By now you must know that Instagram is all the rage (where is that phrase from, Clueless?).  If you didn't, well no worries, I'll help you get in the know. What I'm about to share with you is somewhat of a hack. It will put you on the express train to becoming a pro at Instagram. It's one thing to suggest that someone create great content, but it's another thing to provide them with a tool to help them create it. The Instagram Editorial Calendar is a simple tool that will make an EPIC impact on the way you Instagram.

How to Use an Instagram Editorial Calendar

Each section of the calendar is designed to help you get specific on what, when, and how many times you'll post on Instagram. Sections include: Post Frequency, Post Type, Captions, and Hashtags.  This Instagram Editorial Calendar can be used to pre-plan your Instagram posts weekly.  Simply start by choosing how many times you'll post weekly then daily. Next, check what types of photos you will want to post for each day. Then, decide on what the caption for each photo will be. Finally, research and choose relevant hashtags. This tool is especially helpful if you're planning to create a microblog on Instagram or if you simply want to make your Instagram irresistible

Download the Instagram Editorial Calendar for free below:

The Instagram Editorial Calendar





How will you use this editorial calendar to improve your Instagram?


Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to Create a Microblog on Instagram



Whether you know it or not, if you're on Instagram, you may already be microblogging. Don't believe me? Well first let me share what microblogging is. Microblogging is when you share content in small bite size pieces using visual elements, short videos, or short messages. You may want to consider giving microblogging a try if you answer yes to one of the following questions: 

Are you toying around with the idea of blogging, but not sure you're ready to commit yet? 
Do you want to supplement your current blog with something fun and exciting for your audience?

If you're thinking you want to give microblogging a try, then you're going to want to have a plan on how to execute it in a way that is effective for you and your audience. Here's how to create a microblog on Instagram.

How to Create a Micrblog on Instagram

Choose Content Type

Know what kind of content you'd like to share on Instagram before you start microblogging. This will help you to relay a clear message and theme to your audience. You can create a simple content strategy by deciding what type of content you will share. Your posts could consist of education/information, inspiration, behind the scenes, or product sneak peeks. You could also decide to mix the categories. Try sticking with a minimum of two.

Provide Value

Providing your ideal audience with content that will add value to their lives will prove to be priceless for you. Providing value is essentially promoting yourself in a way that will make others want to share your value in turn causing them to promote you as well. How do you add value? Be the solution to someone's problem.

Create Attention Grabbing Captions 

Speak in a way that will get the attention of your ideal audience. Have him/her in mind when coming up with the caption. Talk to them like you are the friend they need with the solution they need.

Curate Vibrant Photos

Take pride in the photos that you post. Take time to research how to take great photos. Remember that each photo is one piece to an overall puzzle. Consider how your pictures look together as a whole. This is the best way to create a profile that has a cohesive look and is irresistible to those that come across your Instagram

Create a Call to Action

Although you will be adding value to the lives of your ideal audience, they can also add value to your life by responding to your call to action. A call to action is a call for your readers to take a guided action (i.e - sign up for an email list or share a post).  A call to action can be used to help you build your email list, find out more about your ideal client, and to secure new clients. Don't miss out on this useful tool.

Do you plan to give microblogging a try?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brand Your Blog Starter Kit



If you are looking are looking to brand your blog, trust me, I know the amount of resources out there can be mind boggling and overwhelming. With so many resources at your finger tips it can take a lot of time to sift through ones that can actually be of value to you. To help make the process a little easier for you I decided to collect all of my most helpful posts when it comes to this topic into a blog branding starter kit. If you're just starting a blog, this kit has posts that will help you connect with your ideal audience by creating a blog manifesto and a visual branding style guide. Take your blog to the next level with tips on how to take amazing blog photos and tips for a standout blog. Avoid blogger pitfalls by identifying the three things keeping you from being a great blogger and learning tips on how to build your brand through blogging. Stay ahead of the game by learning tips on how to prepare for a blog photoshoot and strategies for an irresistible Instagram. Check out the full list of resources below.

Brand Your Blog Starter Kit

1. How to Create a Blog Manifesto

2. How to Create a Visual Branding Style Guide

3. How to Take Great Blog Photos

4. 3 Tips For a Standout Brand

5. 5 Tips to Build Your Brand Through Blogging

6. 3 Things Keeping You from Being a Great Blogger

7. How To Prep For a Blog Photoshoot

8. 3 Strategies For an Irresistible Instagram


What could you use the most help with to successfully brand your blog?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

21 Ways To Celebrate Spring Like A Boss


Have you been getting the 9-5 smack down lately? Yeah me too, so I thought it would be a great time for us to get out, take a break, and enjoy Spring - which happens to begin on my birthday!  Believe me, you want to take advantage of this beautiful weather before summer arrives, and the sweltering heat has you begging for mercy. If you're at a loss for what to do to enjoy the rest of your Spring, I've compiled a small, but fun list of things to try, wear, and enjoy, before Spring is over. Here's how to celebrate spring like a boss!


.:Try 

Strawberry Picking
Spring is the perfect time to go Strawberry picking. Many cities have local strawberry farms and many of them allow locals to come and pick strawberries for a fee. It's really fun so I definitely recommend trying it.

Hiking
Okay, before you shoot this idea down, hear me out. Hiking can be really fun! Essentially it's just walking...with a few inclines here and there. It's best to go in Spring so that you don't feel like you'll pass out from the heat.

Reading outside
Don't think I'll have to do much convincing here. A good book and a cool breeze do a soul good.

Host a brunch
You probably see your girlfriends about once a week, so why not have them over for brunch. You'll get to brush up on your hosting skills and have a good time, so it's a win win situation!

Have a picnic
If you're not quite ready to host your own brunch, and want to have something a little more intimate...have a small picnic! Grab a blanket, some great food, some good friends and you're ready to go.

Buying fresh flowers
Why not buy yourself some fresh flowers? They liven up your space, add color, and let's not forget how pretty they are!

Open all your windows
Enjoy the fresh air, unless you have a bad reaction to pollen. If that is the case for you then open the blinds and let the sunlight in.

.:Wear

Wear Florals
Spring is all about flowers, real ones and ones you wear. Florals are always a major spring staple, so wear your floral heart out! I wrote about floral fashion a while ago and everything I wrote about then still holds true now.

Rock pastels
I love color and the best way to incorporate it into your wardrobe during Spring is with pastels. Pastels can be transitioned to summer by pairing them with a bright color of the same color spectrum or the opposite color of the pastel you're wearing. 

Layer up
The warm weather is coming with a vengence. If you like layering, go ahead and get it out of your system now. 

Put on pretty pink polish
Not much explaining necessary here...

Bring out the sunnies
It's Spring! The sun is shining, your sunnies are stylish. Put them on and let the wind blow through your hair.

Let your hair be big and flowy
Listen ladies, I know we love our big and flowing hair, but once summer comes it will be time for ponytails and buns. So have fun with your hair while you can.

Nudes and neutral manis
Nude and neutral manis are fabulous and polished. They fit in with the delicateness Spring brings.

.:Enjoy

Get smooth legs
Smooth legs for summer are a must, so get your smooth leg routine and test runs down this Spring.

Pamper your feet with a pedi
Just like you need smooth legs for summer, you also need to put your best "feet" forward. Check out how to pamper your feet with the perfect pedi.

Take a bath with rose petals and essential oils
What doesn't sound relaxing about this? Go ahead and do this EVERY season!

Get an instant facial...drink lots of H20
The secret to flawless skin is in the water. Here is how to get soft skin and here's how to make your skin glow.

Do Yoga or Zumba in the park
Exercise can be fun if you find the right type of exercising for you. If you hate gyms, exercise at a park. If you like to focus and relax, try yoga. If you like to get up and move, try Zumba.

Get a bikini body by eating clean
The best way to loose a few pounds to get that bikini bod is to eat clean! Don't got on any fad diets, but try eating only healthy foods like meat, vegetables and fruit through out the week and allow yourself 2 meals of your choice over the weekend and maybe one tasty desert.

Have a photo shoot
Now that you've been working on your body and you've got beautiful glowing skin, celebrate with your very own photo shoot!

What's your favorite thing to do in the Spring?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3 Strategies For An Irresistible Instagram




Do you like getting likes? Do you like getting followers? Well this post may be for you. It’s especially for you, however, if you are looking to build and irresistible Instagram that not only gets likes and followers, but that inspires a sense of engagement and community. Instagram is used for many reasons including for business and personal use. I’m sure you’ve seen those accounts that have tons of followers and amazing engagement and wondered what they were doing differently and how they have grown such a massive following. Well there are many ways that this can be done, but today I wanted to share 3 strategies that I’ve used to more than double my Instagram following and engagement in less than 6 months.

Tell a story
Story telling is a strategy that has been around since the beginning of time. Its main purpose is to foster a sense of connection between people. From the time we are children we are told stories with the use of picture books. Which makes it really apparent why Instagram is so effective. Instagram is an especially useful platform for story telling because of its large visual component. Simply put, we all love a good picture and we all love a good story that goes along with an amazing picture. In some ways we it allows us to live vicariously through others and in other ways it helps us to remember that we’re not alone.

Story telling is the number one secret used by effective brands to connect with their audience in a meaningful and profitable way. In order to be effective with storytelling you must first be clear about what story you are telling, what the point of your story is, and who will benefit the most from this story. 

Use the following exercise to get clear on what your story is and how you will deliver your story

1. What do you want to be known for?

2. Why are you using Instagram (business, personal, both?

3. Write down what types of photos you want to share?

4.  How will your photos be used as a part of your story telling (i.e. – bts, educational)?

5. Go back and assess your current photos. Consider deleting the photos that do not contribute to your overall story/theme.

6. After you’ve chosen which photos you will keep look at your top 6 photos and assess your captions.

7. Of those 6 photos rewrite any captions that are not written in your personal brand voice.


Post consistently

Consistency is important for one main reason - it shows commitment. No matter what type of relationship you are trying to foster, personal or professional, commitment is an important factor. Many if not all relationships cannot survive without it, because ultimately it shows that you care and that you stick to your word. The three things to consider when you think about consistency on Instagram include: how many times do you post, what are you posting about (do you have a theme), and how are you posting (layout/filter).
Time wise and photo wise stay on brand with what you post consider colors

Use the following exercise to create a consistency action plan

1.When is your audience on Instagram?

2. What posting schedule works best for you?

3. Once you’ve chosen a posting time that works best, test it out for a week. Be sure to record your results. Repeat as many times as necessary. Stick with what works best.

4. Think of each Instagram photo as a piece to a puzzle. What is your main theme?

5. Are your photos generally dark or light?

6. What do you need to change to make your photos collectively look more consistent?


Connect

If you’re looking for more engagement, likes, and followers well then you’re going to have to engage with, like, and follow others. Don’t get me wrong, that does not mean follow everyone that follows you, but instead it means building a community by interacting with those that follow you and those that you follow. Connecting can be done in many ways including, but not limited to: liking photos, commenting on photos, providing a call to action, and replying to comments on your own photos. If you’re using Instagram for your business then this is also a great platform to discover similar brands to reach out and work with like business/brands.


Use the following exercise to create an engagement action plan

1. Go back to your last 12 photos and respond to each comment that was left under each photo.

2. Research your favorite Instagram accounts and look at their suggested followers. Look at the similarities between the accounts.

3. Follow Instagram accounts that are similar to yours and brands you’d like to work with. Your feed should inspire and motivate you.

4. Comment and like at least 3 photos on your favorite Instagram accounts.

5. Comment and like at least 3 photos on your ideal clients Instagram accounts (hint what brands already have your ideal client? Start there.).

Click to download the 3 Strategies For An Irresistible Instagram: Engagement Action Plan Worksheet

Which of these strategies will you be using to make your Instagram Irresistible?