Author Archives: alicia

30 Day Social Media Content Calendar Planner

What Your Social Is Missing: 30-Day Social Media Content Planner

(And what you need to create a simple content marketing plan)

Figuring out what to post to social media is hard. It's hard to stick with 1 plan. You have EVERYONE telling you their “secret” method of gaining more followers, customers and clients, but for some reason, it's not easy for you.

I get it. Between trying to find the right graphic that's shareable and trying to figure out what to write, you might end up staring at a blank screen, losing traction, struggling to stay consistent and not getting the results you want from the platforms you spend soooo much time on.

How do you leverage social in a way that actually increases your brand awareness and builds an engaging tribe of people hot and ready to buy from you?

Not to mention, make it fun to post? You know, like back when it all firststarted. Well, let's tackle what your socials are probably missing and as to give you some context for the solution:

4 crucial things your social media content is probably missing:

You're missing consistency.

No matter the platform – Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, LinkedIn – if you are inconsistent, you will never get the results you want. Posting one day here, another day there – then forgetting and posting 2 weeks later is the EXACT formula to get your audience to simply forget about you.

In an online space where you can be drowned out in a day or two, dropping off of the map is something you DON'T want to do. It's the reason, you get many likes, comments and saves one day, but then the next time you post, 2 weeks later, it's half that amount.

If you don't remain top-of-mind with your audience, they will move on to the next brand. But you knew that already, right?

You're missing clear goals.

Why are you on Instagram? What results are you looking for? What's the goal for your social media feed? What KPIs will help you measure these goals? If your only goal is to “post something because everyone says you need to post,” and not a goal that directly affects your reader's and follower's buying decisions, your content will fall on deaf ears.

Your goal should always be to nurture your audience with the use of high-quality, meaningful content that solves their problems and arouses them to ACTION.

What's that action? Clicking the link in your bio, hitting your call-to-action button, DMing you, taking that next step. The content you post DAILY needs to reflect this.

You're missing originality.

Posting random quotes, selfies, copying content or re-sharing too much from other accounts dilutes your brand.

How can anyone remember YOU, if you're not original? I know, I know, this is hard. After all, what hasn't been done before?

Simply take the time to fully outline your brand's look, style, message, personality and story. This will set you apart and make you memorable.

This takes thought, time, and planning. Don't be afraid to outsource or invest in shortcuts for this. Really determine what YOUR look is, what YOUR voice is and how it is you creatively convey your message to your audience. This will make you memorable and easily recognizable in a sea of copycats.

While we all love sites like Canva that make it easy for us to find great images and graphics, you must remember to fully customize your visuals so you don't look like everyone else.

And finally, You're missing strategy.

By far one of the BIGGEST reasons you probably aren't seeing the results you want is because you're missing a solid content marketing strategy, specifically for social media. You may not have a clear plan.

Without a clear process, schedule or consistent creative ideas that keep you EXCITED about sharing content everyday, YOU WON'T POST. You need:

1. A plan for your brand's message.

What will you say? How will you educate, inspire and captivate your audience on a daily basis that further moves them into your sales funnel?

2. A plan for your visual content.

Stop curating!

Create content that's signature to you – graphics that are signature to YOU, that you can reuse over and over again. This, literally, “brands” your IDENTITY into your audience's minds so they instantly recognize you. And my friends, it does not have to be overwhelming. Once you have a solid design style for your graphics, simply rinse and repeat it every time.

3. A plan for posting.

Consistency is crucial. It's the reason why some people's following skyrockets and others don't.

If you can beat inconsistency once and for all, and post at a rhythm or frequency that feels right for YOU, your numbers will start to grow. More DMs. More inquiries. More people clicking on that link in your bio.

Your posting plan needs to be clear, outlined, easy-to-implement and not overwhelming.

How to fix it:

A simple content calendar with topics and prompts planned out is a great start. As you follow your plan, it'll start to take the stress out of posting because you will have already thought in advance about what you're going to say. The days of “winging it” on social media are over.

I'm here to help you beat inconsistency once and for all by helping you clearly define your social media goals and create a content plan that works for YOU.

To get you started thinking differently about your content, download my FREE 30-day Social Media Content Planner with 31+ prompts.

This is meant to get you thinking creatively and strategically about your content. It's not just for Instagram. Use the prompts as video content ideas for IGTV, Facebook Live, or even Tik Tok.

This planner is just a small snippet of my 18-month Content Calendar Bundle which gives you over 570 days of content ideas for social media.

Use this as a blueprint to show up, and show up often on social. Speak in your OWN brand voice, create your OWN original content. Shortcuts like Canva and the Pixistock photo subscription are okay, as they still help you think creatively and be original with your designs.


Download the 30-Day Social Media Content Planner. Post daily to get in the habit of creating effortlessly. Create unique content that speaks to your audience's pain points. 

Was this helpful? Drop a comment below and share this post with your friends!

[social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

CLICK Here to get 18 months of social media content to grow your online business!

Content

50 Facebook Group Prompts to Stir Up Conversation and Engagement

50 Facebook Group Prompts to Stir Up Conversation and Engagement

(and how to know the best days to post)

Have a growing Facebook group? Need more engagement?

Well, if you leave it to its own devices and don’t show up and post consistently, it will quickly fall flat.

And you definitely don’t want your Facebook group to be a dead zone.

You want it to be lively – conversation stirring, where people are engaged with each other, and benefitting from the content you post.

But figuring out what to say everyday and how to spark that conversation can be a struggle.

Not only do YOU want to be the leader as the admin, but you want to educate, inspire and present your audience with conversational topics that will keep them interested in your content.

To do that you must first know the purpose of your group.

Why did you start it?

What do you hope to achieve?

What do you want your group members to take away from it everyday?

How do you want them to feel after engaging?

Take a moment and decide this, as you don’t want to simply “throw spaghetti on the wall” (posting empty, irrelevant content) hoping it sticks.

Your ultimate goal when looking to increase your engagement on social media should be to:

  1. Inspire
  2. Educate
  3. Captivate

These are the 3 pillars to writing engaging captions and content, and in this case, to having group members that don’t leave; but instead they constantly want to comment and get value from your posts.

Once you know the goal of your group and how you want your audience to benefit you'll need to come up with daily content.

That's right, daily. Jumping into your group daily, showing up for your audience and being the one to start the conversation, puts your brand in a position to be remembered.

Having your audience dominate the conversations and galvanize your community for you will leave you as an afterthought, even if you are the host.

Facebook groups thrive on engagement, so you’ll need prompts that spark interest and conversation.

This can vary from niche to niche and topic to topic, but here are 50 prompts in question form, you can post that are worth the answer.

When people typically post Facebook group prompt lists, they often give very generic prompts that may or may not apply to your business.

The key to making Facebook group prompts relevant lies in how well YOU as the group host relate these back to your goal, topic or niche for the group.

So be sure to tailor these prompts to your niche or industry. Tweak them so they relate to something you typically teach, or create content around.

For instance, for the prompt, “Where in the world are you?”

Instead, you could ask your audience “Where are you? Tell us where we can go to get the best meal.” to bring it back on topic (say, for a travel or foodie group).

Alternatively, if your group has gone cold for a while and you need activity, you could leave a prompt question like this open-ended just to get the engagement back so the FB algorithm is triggered.

So here we go:

50 Facebook Group Prompts to ask your audience and Stir Conversation:

  1. Welcome new members and ask them to tell the group something about themselves (related to your niche).
  2. #MondayFunday, what’s something fun you’re doing today?
  3. 5 Emojis that describe this month for you (or that describe X related to your niche)
  4. If your week was the name of a TV show/movie, what would it be called?
  5. Share a photo of what you’re doing right now.
  6. Selfie Sunday/Saturday – Ask your audience to share a selfie so you can put a face to your member’s names.
  7. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
  8. What’s a useful hack you can share with the group?
  9. What are you thankful for this week?
  10. What’s something interesting about your city? Why should we go?
  11. What’s a great piece of advice you’ve received lately.
  12. What are you struggling with right now?
  13. What’s for dinner? Health check! What did you cook/eat today?
  14. Using the first letter of your name, tell us something that makes you happy (or tell us X related to your niche).
  15. What’s something you firmly believe in right now?
  16. Share something related to X that you’ll never do.
  17. What is this chapter of your life called?
  18. How old are you? (This is a great way to get market research on the age range of you target).
  19. What’s the favorite part of your daily routine?
  20. What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep? (You can give your audience a tip that you would do or recommend).
  21. If you could only do one thing this Summer (or other season) what would it be?
  22. If you had an extra $$$ what would you spend it on?
  23. We’re going to [X place] (or on vacation). The plane leaves in an hour. What one thing you cannot leave without? (Applying this to a popular conference in your niche or other niche-related location keeps the group on topic)
  24. SundayFunday – what plans do you have for today?
  25. [Related to X] I cannot live without my…
  26. Share a motivational quote to help us get through the work week.
  27. True or False. It’s a great time to X.
  28. What does an ideal Monday (or other day of the week) look like for you?
  29. Post a pic of what’s in front of you right now.
  30. If you were stuck in an elevator with anyone in the world, who would you choose to be stuck with? (Believe it or not, this can give you great insight into who your audience follows).
  31. What’s a song on your “do not” playlist?
  32. Post something about yourself people wouldn’t think is true but actually is.
  33. Share your lock screen!
  34. What’s a skill you want to perfect?
  35. When was the last time you did X?
  36. What is your life’s mission or life’s goal?
  37. What’s your super power?
  38. How are you feeling today? (You can respond so some of the audience comments with any thing or resource that can help)
  39. What’s a mindset block you want to let go?
  40. What’s your priority for this week?
  41. What’s something that makes you proud of yourself?
  42. What was your biggest victory this month?
  43. What’s something about X that causes anxiety?
  44. What’s your affirmation for today?
  45. Share a picture of your pet and ask your audience to share theirs’.
  46. Who do you like to follow on Twitter?
  47. What’s a lazy day thing you do?
  48. What are you procrastinating on right now?
  49. The one thing I need more of in my life is ______.
  50. What’s 1 non-negotiable thing you must have in your life (in your purse, on your desk, etc)?

Now that you have some creative ideas on what to post to your Facebook group, let’s talk about when to post.

When to Post to Your Facebook Group To get the Most Engagement

To know when to post to your Facebook group, you’ll want to study your Facebook Group Insights.

Step 1: Inside the FB app, click on the shield icon at the top right corner settings menu to access your group settings.

Step 2: Click then on “Posts, Comments and Reactions” at the top.

These are your engagement analytics.

Step 3: Scroll down to see your group's “Popular days” and “ Popular times.”

Bingo: This is when you want to post your best content.

If you’re just starting your group and do not have a lot of engagement, post at least once a day or twice a day – one in the morning and one in the late afternoon, to start getting some traction.

As time goes on and your group numbers increase, you’ll begin to see the best and most popular days and times for engaging with your audience.

Consistency is key, so be sure to post daily and you’ll start to see your engagement numbers rise. Take note of these prompts and let me know in the comments which ones you’ll use!

Want more content creation ideas sent to you every month, along with FREE stock photos and graphics? Enter your info below and stay updated!

    What to Write in Your Social Media Captions When You Think You’ve Said it All

    What to Write in Your Social Media Captions When You Think You've Said it All

    (with 10 social media prompts to help kickstart new ideas)

    [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

    Have you ran out posting ideas for social media?

    Odds are, you’ve posted your daily routine, you’ve shared a product or a service (probably more times than you can count), you’ve promoted a thousand how-to posts, and maybe even a bit of your home life.

    After repeatedly posting all of these things, you feel like there isn’t more left to say.

    You want to be unique.

    You want to stand out.

    You don’t want to sound like everyone else.

    But you feel like you’re repeating yourself daily and running out of content.

    Here’s one of the reasons that may be happening.

    You’ve not clearly defined your target audience AND defined your avatars.

    Yes, contrary to popular belief, they're 2 different things.

    “What are you talking about Alicia, I’ve already done this.”

    Bare with me.

    Let's look at this again. There's a rule you need to know:

    The broader your audience, the quicker you’ll run out of content ideas.

    Let me tell you what I mean by that:

    Serving “women over 40 who want to lose weight,” is too broad.

    You’ll want to make this as specific as you can so that you know EXACTLY who it is you’re speaking to.

    Step 1: Narrow down your target audience.

    Instead, try serving “women over 40, with teenage children, who want to lose weight, feel healthy in body and mind and learn how to make easy affordable meals from home that taste great.”

    Nowww we’re getting somewhere.

    Narrowing down your audience is the first step to figuring out what to post.

    Often times we stop here – and create content that’s centered around this generalized group of people.

    But you’ll quickly realize that talking only to “women over 40” will limit your content.

    Next you’ll need to:

    Step 2: Identify multiple avatars that make up your “audience.”

    Defining your audience with avatars is one of the missed yet CRUCIAL steps to creating content that reaches the right people.

    After all, audiences don't buy your products and services, specific avatars do.

    I explain this further in my blog post “how to create follow-worthy content on social media.”

    An avatar is a specific type of person, with distinct character and behavioral traits, defined by you, that is one of many in your audience. They are a type of persona that is the ideal candidate to purchase a specific product or service.

    Creating multiple avatars, gives you various scenarios and personas to speak to as you write your content.

    It's impossible to run out of things to say when you have multiple types of people to speak to.

    For example, we could break our new audience into smaller avatars that describe an ideal character’s:

    Name and location

    Daily routine

    Shopping habits

    Kid's sports or interests

    Typical weekend plans

    Favorite brands and tools

    Strengths and weaknesses

    Relationship statuses

    Cooking habits and favorite things to do in the kitchen

    Cooking shows they like to watch

    The list could go on and on.

    Your job as the brand and marketer is to identify and FULLY describe multiple avatars and their lifestyles so you can speak directly to these identifiers in your content and captions.

    For one avatar, a post could be about some of the best places to get organic food.

    For another avatar, it could be how to prepare meals when their kids are at soccer practice.

    For another avatar, it could be promoting a cookware set you think they’ll love.

    For another avatar, it could be a post about dancing in the kitchen and how you love doing that too.

    Once you’ve identified various avatars and their personalities, traits and behaviors, you then shape your content to reflect that.

    Content for “women over 40,” a broad, unspecific audience, isn’t going to give you enough ideas to find more content to share.

    Get specific, develop these characters and write them down. And once you do that, you now have a better idea of what to post.

    Try these 10 new prompt ideas using the avatars you created and see if you can come up with fresh captions for your social media content.

    What to post on social media when you think you’ve said it all:

    Now, choose 1 avatar. Depending on how many avatars you’ve created (and try to create as many as you can), you can create captions and content for each avatar using these 10 prompts.

    So, for example, you’ve created 10 avatars, multiplied by 10 prompts – you should have 100 new pieces of content.

    With this new strategy, now, try to come up with various captions from these prompts:

    1. Share the 1 thing your avatar must do to achieve X by the end of the month.
    2. Share how to overcome 1 obstacle your avatar has.
    3. Share the “BEST thing about X,” related to your niche.
    4. “Here’s what you’re probably doing wrong.” Share something your avatar should do differently to be successful.
    5. Share something that your avatar should add to their to do list today.
    6. Share the Do’s and Don’ts of X that will benefit one of your avatar.
    7. Share 1 thing your avatar can do this week to give them X result.
    8. Share a person (or type of person or professional) your avatar should have in their corner.
    9. Share a tool that your avatar should add to their life (digital, physical, etc.).
    10. “Today’s challenge.” Share a quick challenge your avatar should do or take on to help them solve a problem.

    Breaking your audience into avatars is how you create a wholistic brand that speaks directly to the people you’re trying to sell to.

    No more speaking to the “whole” and gaining a few. Doing that is the quickest way to run out of unique ideas.

    Every day, as you post to various social media platforms (not just Instagram), speak to a smaller group of people and use relevant hashtags so you reach the right people.

    Define 3-5 avatars to start. List each one, define their character traits, and descriptive traits using the bullet points above as a starting point. Write a caption that speaks to each of the avatars you’ve created directly.

    Drop a comment and let me know if this was helpful!

    [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

    Want more content creations ideas sent to you every month, along with FREE stock photos and graphics? Enter your info below and stay updated!

      30 Affirmations to Help You Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

      30 Positive Affirmations to Help Get You Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

      (with 30 FREE social media graphics from the Pixistock membership)

      [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

      There's no doubt about it.

      The Coronavirus that’s spreading rapidly throughout the world right now has caused a lot of us to lose hope, lose faith and increased fear.

      It’s natural to feel fear – as our bodies and minds try to cope with what’s happening in societies and countries.

      It's natural to acknowledge them.

      Welcome them, and then RELEASE THEM.

      As an entrepreneur and a leader, giving up may seem inevitable and the urge to throw in the towel feels certain in the midst of all this uncertainty.

      Feeling those feelings is okay.

      There is no judgement or shame in feeling like the business you started may not be your main priority right now.

      But if you’re willing to persevere, be vigilant and hold on a little longer, when this is all over, you will have come out on the other side strong in mind, body and spirit.

      And your audience will see that not only did you NOT quit, but you inspired them to keep moving forward as well.

      In order to do that, you may need a little motivation.

      Positive affirmations help give you that motivation.

      They are used to rid yourself of limiting beliefs.

      Beliefs that you’re not good enough, that you're not creative enough to pivot, that your brand won’t survive, or that you’re not strong enough to keep going.

      Affirmations challenge your thinking and change the way you view your current situation even if things may still appear to be grim.

      By stating positive affirmations every day, you empower your mindset.

      You shift your thinking from a defeated mindset to a successful mindset and that’s what keeps you putting one foot forward every day.

      The more positive affirmations you state, the better your mental state will be during this pandemic.

      Here's how to use these positive affirmations to strengthen your mindset:

      1.Take three deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling to a count of 10.

      2. Stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes.

      3. Say your affirmation (or list of positive affirmations) slowly and clearly.

      4. Repeat the affirmations 3-5 times, really focusing on the meaning of each word.

      5. Take another three deep breaths, allowing your body to absorb the positive feeling of the them.

      Function throughout the day with confidence and full belief that you can overcome any limiting beliefs and obstacles with what you have, right where you are.

      30 Positive Affirmations to settle your mind and spirit during the Coronavirus pandemic.

      (Scroll down to view and download the graphics)

      1.With every breath, I release the anxiety within me and I become more calm.

      2. I have replaced feelings of overwhelm with faith that everything will work out.

      3. I have released all irrational feelings of fear.

      4. I am bigger than any negative thing that could possibly happen to me.

      5. I will keep all situations and circumstances in proper perspective.

      6. I have replaced feeling like a victim with total accountability for my actions.

      7. I embrace all that's good and positive around me.

      8. I have come so far and will continue to move forward.

      9. Joy, joy, joy is now filling my life.

      10. I am free in mind and body of obsessions and compulsions.

      11. I forgive myself for ever inflating the severity of my problems.

      12. I am divinely protected.

      13. I am in charge of my breathing. I can slow it down.

      14. I will not let my anxious thoughts have power over me.

      15. My business will survive this.

      16. I have the ability to handle any challenge I face with strength and courage.

      17. I am receptive to the peace of a grateful heart.

      18. Though things around me may be uncertain, I am certain I will succeed.

      19. I am in charge of how I feel today. Today I am choosing happiness.

      20. Each day I am grateful for how loved I am and the many people that care about me.

      21. I can get through anything life may unfold for me.

      22. This is only temporary. The best is yet to come.

      23. I choose to be grateful no matter my circumstances.

      24. I am calm and centered. I am in control of my emotions.

      25. Inner joy radiates through my entire being. 

      26. No matter what happens today, I will find joy and positivity in it.

      27. I can think clearly and solve problems. I am focused and disciplined.

      28. I am grateful for past opportunities and the new ones that will be presented to me.

      29. I am creative enough, brave enough and capable enough to pivot. I will do everything I can to rise, persevere and overcome.

      30. I am not afraid to ask for help. 

      When you fully commit to believing in these, they will help you fight through the stress that the Coronavirus is causing and allow you to find your way through this storm.

      I’ve added these as a FREE social media graphics bundle so you can share them with your audience on online.

      Click here to download the social media graphics.

      If you are a Pixistock member, the Canva template versions of these are located within stock library.

      Spread as much positivity with the world as you can and let's help each other grow. 

      (Need more content for your social media? Join the Pixistock membership to get access to all my social media graphics and Canva templates.)

      Leave a comment and let me know which affirmation stands out and resonates the most with you.

      [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

      Related Content:

        10 Social Media Post Types to Help You Remain Consistent

        10 Social Media Post Types to Help You Remain Consistent

        (and ideas for WHAT to post when you run out of content ideas)

        [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

        Figuring out what to post to social media everyday can be HARD.

        And chances are, if you look at your content as a whole, you’re probably leaving some important posts out.

        Let’s face it, we LOVE to promote our business or blog because it’s the one thing we know and are excited about.

        But it also the one thing your audience can get tired of hearing about ALL THE TIME.

        Like it or not, seeing promotional posts every day is like being bombarded with billboard ads saying “buy now!” every single day about the exact same product.

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to promote your business on social media, but if that’s ALL your audience sees you post daily, you’ll quickly lose them as a follower or potential customer.

        Your social media feeds as a whole need to tell a complete brand story.

        Successful brands show many facets to their brand – not just their products and services.

        They share their ups, downs, wins, inspirational stories, clients, their team, their thoughts, their values and so much more.

        Giving your audience a well-rounded picture of your brand shows them that you’re valuable beyond what you're trying to sell to them and you have something substantial and meaningful to offer them whether they exchange money with you or not. 

        Storytelling with your content, is one of the best ways to begin getting brand awareness.

        (Photo from the Pixistock photo + graphics subscription – right click to download this freebie)

        Maybe a potential customer or client isn’t interested in your product right NOW, but after seeing a post about your values or what you stand for they’re more inclined to sign up for a free offer or even browse around on your site a little.

        To present yourself as a storytelling brand on social media, you must provide variety in your posts with these 10 Crucial Post Types.

        These categories were formed when I created my Social Media Content Calendar system

        A content calendar that gives you hundreds of social media prompts to plan and create meaningful posts.

        They are my 10 go-to, core content pillars when I have a brain fart or my mind can’t come up with new posting ideas in that moment.

        Let's dive into each one so you have category ideas to expand your social media content:

        10 Content Category Types for Social Media

        1. The Authority Amplifier

        By far my favorite and probably the most widely used among businesses and bloggers on social media is the Authority Amplifier.

        Posts in this category are made to educate and teach your audience something valuable as to preset yourself as an Authority on your topic or niche.

        They are intended to preset you as a go-to authority and the person your audience listens to if they want to learn something valuable and beneficial for them related to your topic of expertise.

        Authority Amplifier posts should consist of short, quick wins on social media.

        Your audience has a short attention span, as they’re being bombarded with many other posts from a variety of different people and brands.

        In order for them to find what you’re presenting as valuable, you’ll need to solve ONE problem and give them a quick win in 2200 characters or less (for Instagram) and with a short description (for other platforms).

        You can do this with:

        Step-by-step tutorials

        How to guides

        Expounding on a topic

        Do’s and Don'ts

        Sharing facts and statistics

        These posts not only show that you have a valuable expertise but train your audience that you are the source in that niche while helping them solve a problem or tackle a pain point.

        2. Inspirational Post

        One of the posts that get high engagement on social media is the Inspiration post.

        These posts are usually the easiest  to create on the spot as you probably just write what you’re thinking or feeling that day.

        But inspirational posts can be powerful when written the right way.

        Most people will just post a motivational quote, an inspirational graphic or write a caption that inspires their audience. However, you can also create inspirational posts that are more than just quotes. 

        Here are a few other things you can share:

        Your love of a product

        New experiences

        Brand values and mission

        Positive life altering moments

        Your goals

        Word of the year/month

        Inspirational posts have huge sharing potential.

        The key is to write in an authentic way that shows your passion on the subject.

        These inspiring posts are made to motivate and influence.

        3. The Vulnerable Post

        The Vulnerable Post type is one that a few of us might be a bit intimidated to share because it requires your brand to be raw, real and authentic.

        Authenticity is a strength when it comes to creating content as it shows that you’re human (even though you also are a brand), with thoughts, feelings, emotions, or challenges, just like your audience.

        When creating Vulnerable Posts, you may be as open or transparent as you like. You control your narrative.

        The misconception is that you have to “share it all.”

        But, on the contrary, you can actually choose how “real” you want to be.

        Don’t like doing live video without makeup? 

        Don’t want to talk about your divorce?

        Don’t want to share your personal struggle?

        You don’t have to.

        But at some point your audience is going to want to see you relate to them and be open, honest and real.

        Doing this will position you as approachable, relatable and ready to connect.

        In the end, they will know, like and trust your brand all the more because of it.

        Some vulnerable posts types:

        Challenges/obstacles

        Fears/regrets

        Sharing self-awareness

        Failures/successes

        Life-changing moments

        Rants

        Vulnerable posts are meant to expose and uncover the real, raw YOU.

        Always ask your audience to share their experiences as well on the topic to spark conversation and connection.

        4. The Audience Take

        Here’s a post type that a lot of people forget about.

        It’s natural for us as business owners or bloggers to talk about ourselves and things surrounding our business and lives, but the trick for increased engagement is to always:

        Let your audience in on the conversation.

        The Audience take is a post type where you directly ask for your audience’s opinion or feedback on any given subject or topic.

        It also can be a powerful way to get market research as it relates to your business.

        Knowing what your audience cares about, is thinking, feeling and more importantly, how they respond to a specific question or type of content will give you clarity and insight into what to post, and how to connect with them.

        Here are some examples of Audience Takes you can post:

        Agree or disagree?

        Product or branding feedback

        Choosing the next promotion they want

        What would they do?

        Thumbs up or down on a topic

        How would you feel if….

        These conversation starters prove to be super effective if the your audience is already interested in your content and the value you bring.

        Don’t be afraid to ask them their opinion as it shows that you care what they think.

        Audience Takes are for YOU to discover and learn about your tribe.


        [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]


        5. The Promotional Post

        The moment we’ve been waiting for…

        Any opportunity to promote your products or services on social media is needed, right?

        Promotional posts introduce and reintroduce your products or services to your audience in a way that compels them to take the next step with you.

        While that typically means we want our tribe to buy our product, they won’t always purchase right then and there.

        Promotional posts remind your audience that you do indeed offer something of value so that when the time is right for them, they know exactly where to go and who to go to to get what they need.

        Promotional posts can be:

        Flash sales & holiday promotions

        Introducing a new product

        Highlighting your website

        Future products in the making

        Countdowns

        Freebies and lead magnets

        These posts give you the opportunity to feature yourself as a business, and shine a light on everything you offer to your audience.

        Do this tactfully though, as over-promoting starts to fall on deaf ears and the “unfollow” is not far away.

        6. The Social Shoutout

        Do you promote and talk about others on social media too as opposed to always talking about yourself?

        This is what the Social Shoutout post type is for.

        The Social shoutout is all about fostering and cultivating community.

        It entails giving love to other people and profiles in order to connect with them – after all this is social.

        Shoutouts show gratitude, that you care about the success of others and highlights some of your favorite people online.

        And ideally, they'll shout you out right back.

        While social shoutouts are mainly for featuring others, they can also feature your brand as well, when you tell your audience where ELSE to connect with you online. You can do this by linking to your other social profiles.

        Here are some shoutout ideas:

        A biz bestie

        Doing a join live video

        Highlighting a client/customer

        Case studies

        People you work with

        Family who helps you

        Social shoutouts posts are what social media was made for – to connect with others and build communities. They are meant to highlight and feature.

        7. The Relatable Post

        Great for personal brands and influencers, relatable posts are simple – they personalize your brand and help you relate on a human level with your audience.

        While it’s great to talk about your business, as a personal brand, you’ll want to share more than just the products and promotions you offer.

        How can you relate to your audience on a personal level?

        What are some things that your audience should know or probably would like to know about you?

        You can post:

        About your spouse or kids

        Your hobbies and interests

        Fun personal facts

        Your routines

        Daily goals and to-dos

        Relatable posts are great for days when you’re not working as hard or want to post something fun on the go.

        Share your daily life, routines, fun activities, and more.

        They are meant to connect and relate so that your audience can get to know you better.

        8. The Celebratory Post

        Every now and again, you want your audience to get excited about something surrounding your brand, personal or professional life. This is where the Celebratory Post comes in.

        Whenever something amazing or interesting happens in your business, don’t hesitate to share it with your audience so they may celebrate with you.

        This excitement in your community energizes your brand and presents your business as THE place to be for interest, fun and good people.

        This makes you worth the follow.

        Some Celebratory Posts would be:

        Wins/Successes

        Milestones

        New hires/team members

        Successful Trips/Events

        Biz birthdays/Anniversaries

        Sponsorships/partnerships

        Remember to share your brand’s unique way of celebrating.

        Do you throw confetti?

        Pop a bottle of champagne?

        Do a silly dance, a unique high five?

        These small details show your brand’s personality and give you quick posting ideas for Stories, video, TikTok and others.

        Celebratory posts are meant to excite, energize and delight.

        9. Fill-in-the-Blank

        These last 2 post types help give you easy posting ideas for when you need a quick boost of engagement, likes, or comments from your audience.

        When paired with an eye-catching graphic, Fill-in-the-Blank posts are an easy post type to get your audience to leave their comments.

        Here are a few that you can post instantly:

        I’m really good at___.

        I need more of ___ in my life.

        Today, I will ___ without fear.

        ___ inspires me to stay motivated.

        Choosing the right fill-in-the-blank depends on your niche and the topic you’re going to expound on.

        Always relate these posts back to your brand.

        Give your own take and ask for your audience give their's, to start a conversation.

        And if there’s anything trending related to your niche or in the world at the moment, alter this post to relate to it, to get more saves and shares.

        10. Just-for-Kicks

        Sometimes as a brand, your business and profile needs a bit of fun, humor, laughter and engagement.

        While these posts may not be specific to promoting your business, if you can relate them back to a topic you're passionate about, one of your products or services, or a valuable tip, you'll have:

        Entertained your audience, as well as reminded them about the relevance of what you do.

        These can be fun games, jokes, memes, or gifs to lighten the mood, add some humor and give your brand a casual feel for that post.

        Try posting:

        Your favorite memes

        Funny Facts

        Fun quizzes

        Unique/weird holidays

        Share the weather

        Remember, always try to relate these witty questions and topics back to your business.

        While laughs are great, the more relevant your post is to what you do, the more you train your audience to remember your brand.


        You’ll want to make sure you’re writing engaging Instagram captions to go along with these post types.

        This is the beginning of learning how to storytell and market your  brand on social media.

        Rotate between these posts daily, weekly and monthly to give variety and show your audience that your brand is valuable, relatable, and simply fun.

        Doing this consistently will cause your audience to know, like and trust you more because you’ve given them a wholistic view of your brand story and given them a closer look into your journey.

        Need social media content prompts to go along with these?

        Download my Social Media Content Calendar System. It’s 600+ social media prompts to help you post consistently.

        Love it? Share this post with a friend!

        [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

          How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

          How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions

          (2 quick lessons to help you write and format your captions – FREE downloadable)

          [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

          One of the biggest challenges content creators face is determining exactly WHAT to say to their audience.

          Maybe you’ve found the right photo, and you have a general idea of what you want to say in your Instagram caption, but you can’t quite put it into words.

          You’re not a copywriter but you also don’t want to be too fancy.

          For goodness sake, you just want to provide value and connect with your audience!

          But how do you do this when you feel like everything has already been said?

          Or when you’re hoping for engagement?

          Writing engaging Instagram captions starts with knowing and clearly articulating the value that you want to share with your audience.

          Sharing value doesn’t always mean you have to educate. You can also inspire with your words, motivate or even add some excitement or humor to your posts.

          Believe it or not, humor and wit are both valuable because they show authenticity.

          So how do we determine WHAT we're going to write?

          (Photo from the Pixistock photo + graphics membership – right click to save this freebie)

          In this post, I'm going to break caption-writing in to 2 lessons to help you better understand what makes a caption compelling enough to read.

          Lesson 1:

          Identifying your value and determining what to post using the I.C.E. acronym:

          First, identify your brand’s value.

          Do you know your brand’s value?

          Do you know what makes your brand follow-worthy?

          Do you know the reason why your audience follows you or SHOULD follow you in the first place?

          Knowing this will give you a starting point for every single caption you write.

          Now that you've identified your value, let’s define the caption framework.

          Most Instagram captions look a bit like this:

          “Here’s me stepping into my purpose last week. ❤️???

          A short 1 or 2 liner with a few emojis.

          But the days of writing short captions (that don’t really provide value to the reader and your followers) are over.

          In order to get your audience to take the next step with your brand, they have to fall in love with your content first.

          Give them more substance to fall in love with.

          When attempting to write engaging Instagram captions remember the acronym I.C.E.:

          Inspire

          Captivate

          Educate

          1. Your captions should inspire.

          Inspirational posts are probably the most popular post-type on Instagram.

          Quote graphics get a ton of engagement as a whole because creating a visual graphic of the quote saves your audience from having to read the caption at all.

          And therefore, they can keep scrolling.

          (Quote graphic from the Pixistock photo + graphics membership – right click to save this freebie)

          But inspirational posts don't have to be all quotes and motivating lyric lines.

          Inspirational post can also:

          1. Tell a brand story
          2. Let your audience in on your wins/challenges
          3. Highlight a note-worthy case study or client testimonial
          4. Motivate your audience to take a specific action

          In order to inspire your audience, you need to know WHAT inspires them.

          What topics invoke emotion in them?

          What gets them talking? Laughing? Crying? What moves them?

          When you write inspirational content, let the words stem from your brand’s essence. It's the core of your personal brand that defines who you are.

          These posts create stronger connections with your audience as you tell your story, someone else's or things that move you.

          If you can inspire your audience consistently, they will begin to engage with you.


          Write 10 inspirational topic ideas you can expound on for captions.


          2. Your captions should captivate

          Captivating posts slow the scroll.

          These posts excite, entertain and spark conversations with the reader. You can do this through writing captions that:

          1. Get an audience option on a relatable topic
          2. Tell a joke, meme or a funny story
          3. Share your brand’s celebratory events and wins
          4. Make light of serious situations

          Social media is meant to be fun.

          Captivating and entertaining posts help give comic relief and bring a bit of fun and personality to your brand especially if you are in a serious niche like Law or Finance.

          Remember, your posts will be shown in between other captivating posts like cute babies and adorable animals so be sure to write in a way that brings humor, wit and your brand’s unique voice to every caption.


          Write 10 Captivating and entertaining topic ideas related to your niche.


          3. Your IG captions should educate.

          Educational posts scream VALUE.

          They are informative, teachable and can be extremely helpful for someone who is visiting your profile for the first time.

          These posts are meant to present you as an authority in your niche and show that you are the go-to person on the topic of your choice.

          Educational captions can be written by:

          1. Sharing short blog post excerpts
          2. Step-by-step, quick implement tutorials
          3. Educating your audience on your products or services
          4. Sharing statistics and relevant information in your industry
          5. Sharing your take on a controversial topic
          When writing educational posts, remember to write in a way that shows your brand’s personality, voice and energy to give life to your topic.

          For some niches, this could turn an otherwise dull and boring topic into content your audience loves to consume.


          Write 10 educational topics you can quickly write about for your captions.


          Additional Tips:

          When writing captions on Instagram, be sure to break up your line spacing and give bite size visual bits that your audience can digest.

          Instead of long paragraphs that are hard on the eyes and not so easy to read, break up your sentences and format your post in bullets to give the text room to breathe since the viewing area is so small.

          A scannable caption is the best format for Instagram.

          Formatting goes a long way when trying to inspire, captivate and educate your audience in your Instagram caption.

          In order for them to engage, readers must be able to quickly scan your content.

          In order for them to click “see more,” they need to be visually interested first.

          Now you have your topics using the I.C.E. acronym (10 for each category), you have a plan for 30 days worth of captions.

          Let’s put a format to this framework.

          For this next part, you'll need to download the Caption Generator Worksheet.


          [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]


          Lesson 2: How to Format your Instagram Captions using the the 4 C's:

          Catch and Compel, Core Info, Comment Call, and Call to Action

          How can you structure and format your captions so they help and not hinder you?

          Let’s start with the first few lines.

          1. Catch and Compel Statement

          Instagram allows space for 125 characters before the “see more” link.

          That means you have about 15-20 words to grab your audience’s attention and get them to click the “see more” link and read your entire post.

          This is called your Catch and Compel Statement.

          Catch and compel statements are meant to instantly grab the reader (catch them) and compel them to expand your entire caption.

          Getting them to click that little link can be hard if you’re not a copywriter or witty with your words, so here are some examples of what I mean.

          (Remember I.C.E.)

          1. When writing an Inspirational post, start with a powerful introduction that speaks to what the rest of the caption will read.

          One trick is to contradict or question the opening statement with a short question.

          Example: “It’s better to react with no reaction. Or is it?”

          Example: “Remember when I said everything would be okay? Well….it’s not…”

          2. When writing Captivating posts, start with a curiosity-invoking statement. Make your audience wonder what’s coming up next.

          Example: “Me, my husband and my dog, walk into a pet store, then this happened…”

          Example: “It’s Friday! And my team is out of office. Here’s where we’re taking a break this weekend…”

          3. When writing an educational post, start with a bold statement – maybe even a bit controversial to spark curiosity to click “see more.”

          Example: “Here’s how to plan a baby shower with 20-30 people in just 1 week.”

          Example: “With Mother’s Day around the corner, you’ll want to know these affordable ways to brighten her day.”


          With each of the caption topic ideas you just listed (30) create 1, 20-30 word power statement to introduce the caption.


          Second, you’l need to add the core message of your caption.

          2. The Core Info

          This can be 2 sentences or 20 sentences, but remember you only have 2200 characters to work with here.

          This section includes sentences that make up a core message for the caption.

          What do you want your audience to know?

          What is the most important information?

          What is the story you want to tell? Add it here.

          The best formatting practice is to break up your sentences and increase the spacing between the lines.

          Large paragraphs are harder to read and scan on social media as opposed to shorter sentences and line breaks.

          Here’s an example of a “educational” caption on the topic of “How to use Pixistock photos to enhance your brand:”

          As you can see, each paragraph is only 1 or 2 sentences, broken up by a period (.)  or emoji to give room for the caption to “breath.”

          Formatting your captions with increased line spacing is easier on the reader’s eye. 

          But what if I don't want to write all that?

          The days of caption one liners are OVER.

          At the very least, add 3-5 sentences in this section of your caption.

          Your audience wants substance – and to give them that, you need to provide more words.

          Additionally, the paragraphs are bulleted by emojis.

          This is my favorite way to display step-by-step instructions or bulleted lists.

          Humans process images 60,000 times faster that they do text – so adding that bit of fun and color in the form of an emoji draws more attention, taking your caption to another level.

          Use emojis in your captions that are in line with your brand's personality.

          ?Are you a magical brand? Use the unicorn.

          ?Are you a happy brand? Use the smiley face.

          ➡️Are you a serious brand? Use a right arrow.

          A modern brand? Use the plus sign.

          Identifying your brand’s personality will help you decide which emojis to use.


          Write an educational, inspiration or captivating posts that shows your brand's personality and is formatted in an easy to read way.


          3. The Comment Call

          Next, you’ll want to get your audience’s take on whatever you just wrote.

          Add a comment call asking your audience their take on your topic or caption, and to leave a comment in the comments section. 

          The Comment Call can be at the beginning of your caption or after the Core info.

          Most of the time, saying “leave a comment” isn't compelling enough for a reader to actually comment. Instead, try asking them a question specific to the value you just shared.

          For example, if you just wrote about your morning routine, you can write, :

          “What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?”

          If you just wrote about your home organization business, you can write:

          “What would you say is the messiest room in your house?”

          After the question, you can then command them to “leave a comment below.”

          But before you tell them to leave a comment, they must be compelled to write something. This is why you need to write captions with substance.

          Instagram is a fast moving platform.

          Your audience can scroll for hours without clicking “see more” on any post. Do everything you can to get that engagement.


          Write out a 1-2 sentence comment call that asks your audience a compelling question.


          4. The Call to Action

          Probably my most favorite part of writing an engaging Instagram caption is the call to action.

          The call-to-action is a short 1-2 sentence command that urges your audience to take action with you.

          This your chance to tell your audience directly how they can take the next step with you.

          I understand being afraid to repeatedly ask for the sale, the follow or asking the reader to “click the link in the bio.”

          It can feel like you're over-selling. But trust me, you're not.

          Due to algorithm changes, your audience most likely hasn't seen every single one of your posts.

          Best practice: every single caption should have a strong call-to-action in it.

          Call to actions can be as simple or complex as you want.

          You can say things like:

          “Shop our products. Click the link in the bio to get your first 10% off.”

          “Enroll in my online course that teaches you exactly how to [X].”

          “Book a call with me – link in bio.”

          But if you do not tell your audience to do anything, they will not do it.

          These call-to-action statements can be very effective if your “Core info” was motivating enough for the reader to WANT to take the next step with you.

          Don’t forget to remind them to take that step with this small but powerful addition to your caption.


          Write a basic call-to-action that's relevant to the post but gets your audience clicking the link in your bio.


          Here’s a visual reminder:

          Print it, pin it, hang it in your office so you always have a visual reminder for how to write them.

          Writing captions may seem like a lot of work.

          But because the algorithms are always changing, you’ll want to above all, make sure you’re providing brand-specific value in your posts.

          Remember, invoking curiosity is good, writing controversially is good, but above all writing in your brand’s unique voice is BEST.

          Longer, well-thought-out captions allow you to do that.

          Think of it as a mini blog post.

          But I don't always want to always right a long post.

          That's fine. Not every caption will require a lengthy post. It’s also good to show variety in length in your Instagram content overall.

          Above all, always write powerful content and make sure that you follow I.C.E. It:

          1. Motivates them to take action by Inspiring them
          2. Gets them excited or fired up about your brand or business by Captivating them
          3. Solves an audience pain point by Educating them

          This is how to write engaging posts on Instagram and how your brand will begin to be remembered overall on social media.

          Love it? Share this post with a friend!

          [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

            30 Days of Social Media Content to Post During the Coronavirus Pandemic

            30 Days of Social Media Content to Post During the Coronavirus Pandemic

            (with FREE 30-day calendar)

            [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

            If the Coronavirus pandemic has hit your business hard, you’re not alone.

            Between figuring out what to post, to what to promote, to how to market your business without feeling guilty, it’s a struggle right now.

            Whether you feel you can promote any of your products or services or not, the key is to continue to strengthen those connections with your audience so you are memorable through this crisis.

            Right now your audience is in a very vulnerable state – and using slimy scare tactics to get them to invest in your brand is short-sighted and wrong.

            (That doesn’t mean you can’t market and promote. Learn how to do it with integrity)

            But there are simple ways you can create relevant, meaningful content that strengthens the brand-to-audience bond.

            Your audience is still online, wanting to be inspired, entertained and wanting to be distracted from the global pandemic that’s happening.

            From anxiety inducing news articles, to trying to provide for their families, the stress levels, globally, are extremely high.

            That’s where you come in.

            No, that does not mean throw every one of your offers in their face to purchase. This is a perfect opportunity to:

            Be a leader and a voice of calm and reason in this storm.

            Reach out and share your own personal brand story.

            Start meaningful conversations and learn their newest pain points.

            The truth is, if you double down, when others are not, you have a unique advantage to be relevant and remembered.

            But let me clarify this:

            Having a unique advantage does not mean taking advantage.

            But creating consistent content when others are not, will certainly give you an advantage.

            *should I say it louder for the others in the back?*

            Taking advantage of your audience is the quickest way to lose their trust and respect for your brand.

            But I get it. Creating content during a time when you’re not sure how to relate the Coronavirus situation back to your business can be tricky.

            What to say?

            How to say it?

            And so I’ve created a quick 30-day Content Creation Cheatsheet to help you inspire your audience, spark conversation and strengthen the connection with them.

            They still want something to lift their spirits during this pandemic. So let your content and social media profiles stand out by being a virtual hub of value for them.

            Ok, but what if Covid-19 doesn’t relate in any way to my brand?

            Right now, focus on building a connection with your audience. This connection may or may not be directly related to something you sell. But if you stand out as a leader and focus on being relatable during this sensitive time, you will continue to grow your audience so that when this is over, you may begin promoting again.

            Promotion is NOT the goal of these content posts. Audience connection is the goal.

            Here are 30 social media posts to inspire and connect with your audience during the Coronavirus pandemic:

            Need a quick reference? Download the Social Media Content Cheatsheet.

            1. Stuck inside is not so bad. Share your favorite thing to do alone whenever you have a quiet moment.
            2. Share a book you’re currently reading. Is there anything in the book/about a character that you relate to right now? What lessons are inside that you can share related to what’s happening in the world?
            3. Share something about your business or job that you miss doing due to being quarantined. What did you love about it? What about it made you smile everyday?
            4. Share someone on your team or on your job who you’d want to be quarantined with. Why are they special? Shout them out.
            5. Get vulnerable. You’re human too. What about this pandemic is most worrisome? How can you comfort those who are feeling the same thing? Share.
            6. What snack do you love when working at home? Share a guilty pleasure that positively distracts you from the crisis.
            7. _________ made my day today. Share something small or big that put a smile on your face.
            8. Is there a blog post (yours or other) to share that can positively help your audience’s mental state during this time? Share and link.
            9. Share a quote authored by yourself to keep your spirits and your audience’s spirits lifted.
            10. Share 5 things you are grateful for in your personal or professional life.
            11. Isolation doesn’t mean you can’t connect online. Post a simple video chat with a friend, client, customer or biz bestie and share a topic or some laughs.
            12. Today my kids/spouse did ________. Share a funny story about something your kids/spouse are doing to lighten the mood.
            13. Start a 7 day or 30 day to do list. Each day share something that you’ve gotten done that you wouldn’t otherwise have had you not been at home.
            14. Share ways that you are planning ahead in your business or with your family/kids.
            15. This or that – toilet paper or paper towels? Walk through the neighborhood or sit on the porch? Go for a walk or go for a bike ride?
            16. Share the number 1 thing you’re focusing on right now, for your business or in your personal life.
            17. What’s something you’re looking forward to? Share it. If your audience is in low spirits, this can remind them that there’s always something to look forward to.
            18. Share a selfie – what do you look like when you’re quarantined? Make this light and humorous.
            19. Where do you hope to travel when this is all over? Share a photo or a quick boomerang of you searching Google maps for it.
            20. What is a positive word that you’re committed to internalizing throughout this process?
            21. Ask your audience what they are struggling with right now and respond without a product or service. Simply show empathy.
            22. Share a recent win and ask your audience there’s. Large or small, celebrate together.
            23. Remind your audience of and share one of your free resources.
            24. Share a meaningful post from one of your followers, group members, or clients/customers to your stories.
            25. How is your business committed to serving your customers at this time? What can you do? Share your commitment statement to your customers.
            26. When this is all over, my goal is to________. Share a goal, and ask your audience theirs’.
            27. It’s Spring! Share a Spring activity you do in your business, with your family, or friends. You could also post a throwback photo of last year’s Spring.
            28. Do you keep a journal? What did you write about today? Share your thoughts.
            29. Share a skill that you have that you’re going to perfect or try more of now that you have extra time.
            30. Share a post that shows deep empathy for what your audience is going through. Speak to their current struggles and thank them for being a valuable part of your life.

            Remember, it’s okay to pause and take a break from your business if you feel you must do so for your family and personal mental health. 

            Just remember to come back to your audience.

            They are still there, whether they are in the thousands or hundreds, waiting to hear from you.

            Don’t focus on selling if you’re not comfortable with it right now. Focus on strengthening the relationship between you and your tribe in order to grow your audience.

            Download the 30-day Social Media Content Cheatsheet here.

            Love it? Share this post with a friend!

            [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

            Get all of my strategies, stylish photos, graphic templates and more to create better content for your brand. Enter your info below to stay updated!

              How to Market Your Business With Integrity During the Coronavirus Epidemic

              How to Market Your Business with Integrity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

              (with action steps to help connect you with your audience)

              [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

              It’s our worst nightmare.

              A global pandemic that’s affecting so may lives around the world.

              The Coronavirus has left so many families are separated, distraught, and fearful of what’s to come. With supplies running low and uncertainty about job security, it’s safe to say that your audience (including you) is probably filled with anxiety and internal panic.

              So how do you as a business owner or blogger survive this?

              Do you quit?

              Do you throw in the towel?

              Is it even fair to think of business survival when so many people are struggling?

              First and foremost, if you are feeling heavily stressful because of this pandemic, it’s okay to pause.

              Take a break, take a breather and be with your family. There’s no shame in doing that, as what’s most important is your mental state and wellbeing of your loved ones.

              At the end of the day, THAT MATTERS MOST.

              If you are hell bent on remaining consistent with your blog or business during this time like me, the key to coming out the other side guilt-free and proud of your business is to market your business with integrity.

              Eeesh… “market.”

              Should I even be “marketing” anything right now?

              Is it right?

              I feel like I should give something for free, no?

              Here’s the thing:

              Marketing does not mean that you have to sell or pitch anything if you don’t want to.

              Marketing does not even mean that you have to hurry up and find a product to sell before your customers stop having the urge to buy.

              This is operating out of fear and not as a leader showing empathy for the struggles your audience currently faces.

              There are ways to market your personal brand, business, or blog without exploiting your audience’s situation while also positioning yourself so that you remain an authority in your niche and CARE about potential customers or clients.

              THERE'S ALSO NO SHAME IN SELLING. *repeat until you believe it*

              If your business is your primary source of income, if the more traffic you get to your site brings in more money for your family, you have every right to do what you can to sustain it.

              But there is a way that you can market your personal brand during the Coronavirus pandemic without taking advantage of potential clients and customers.

              The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing your Business with Integrity:

              DON'T:

              Exploit your audience’s situation.

              People are fearful. Your audience is in a huge place of uncertainty right now with determining what to eat, what to do with their kids, how to see their loved ones and simply how to survive. The worst thing you can do as a personal brand is be so self consumed with making money that you begin to exploit their situation. Irrelevantly raising prices, using scare tactics and false urgency only presents your brand as desperate and tacky.

              This is not entrepreneurship. This is sleazy and slimy selling.

              Do not exploit the Coronavirus pandemic to make a quick dollar.

              DO:

              Know your brand’s mission and values.

              This is one of the most important aspects of self-awareness your brand needs to know, RIGHT NOW.

              Have you outlined exactly what you stand for, what you believe in, and have you identified a clear mission for your personal brand?

              In the midst of a crisis, your brand needs standards, beliefs and values to not only hold yourself accountable, but so that your audience knows what to expect from you and how they will be treated.

              This is the foundational start to being remembered and remain at the forefront of your audience's mind during this time.

              Action step: Write a clear mission statement that outlines your brand's beliefs, values and how you see your business helping others. Or review your current one. Share your mission statement with your audience on social media.

              DON'T:

              Think solely about yourself.

              If your business is taking a rough turn during the Coronavirus situation, it’s a hardship that you probably wouldn’t wish on your worst competition.

              It’s okay to feel anxiety about the sustainability and survivability of your business. As you figure your way around this, don’t completely forget about your tribe.

              These are the people who have followed you, paid money to hear from your, invested in your courses, bought your products, and many of them are raving fans.

              They may be struggling too, and you have a unique opportunity to share your brand story in a way that strengthens the bond between your brand and your audience.

              DO:

              Acknowledge that you genuinely care about what your audience is going through.

              Empathy goes a long way.

              In a world where customers are being spammed left and right and exploited, with brands only caring about their bottom line, be the brand that acknowledges their struggles and acknowledges the sensitive fact that they have to make a decision between buying toilet paper and buying your product or service.

              This small acknowledgement through an email newsletter, a social media posts or even a call to your clients, goes a long way.

              It reminds them that you’re not simply about the $$$ and recognize their current struggle, even if it is a pain point that your products or services may not be able to solve at this time. Show that you CARE.

              Action step: Write a short, meaningful social media post, acknowledging the care you have for your audience at this time.

              (Photo from the Pixistock photo + graphics membership)

              DON'T:

              Quit.

              Taking a break is fine.

              Giving yourself some space to figure out how you and your family will manage this new reality for the next few months is fine.

              But by all means, don’t quit.

              If you’re in the real estate, hospitality, or event planning business, this is a time of grave uncertainty.

              But try your hardest not to use the Coronavirus situation as an opportunity to throw in the towel.

              Post less? Yes.

              Regroup? Yes.

              Research and find ways to cope? Absolutely.

              But don’t let COVID-19 bury the business you worked so hard to build.

              Don’t let this stop you from communicating and connecting with your audience.

              DO:

              Continue to connect with and relate to your audience.

              Remember, marketing doesn’t always mean you have to sell something.

              Both you and your audience are going through a shared experience.

              Use that shared experience to make the connection strong, especially if you have qualms about selling your products or services.

              Remain at the front of your audience’s mind during a crisis by providing free value. Maybe right now you don’t feel like being creative, or starting a new project – that’s OKAY. Definitely give yourself permission to take a break.

              Alter your posting schedule or posting frequency and give yourself space for things.

              After regrouping, and when you’re ready to connect back with your audience, however your choose, be consistent.

              As we are socially distant offline, social media and the internet afford us the opportunity to still connect online. Continue to connect and relate with your audience by providing deep, genuine and loving content that comes from the heart.

              Are you an entertainer? Your audience needs that now.

              Are you a storyteller? Share your personal experiences as well as others'.

              Are you an educator? Share valuable resources to help your audience through this.

              Are you a creator? Create content or projects that make life bearable.

              Show off your brand personality and use humor and wit to bring light to an otherwise gloomy situation.

              Your audience is looking for ways to keep their spirits up, so use your unique gifts and talents to share the things you love. This will not only allow you to be memorable, but also humanize your brand.

              Action step: What can you share apart from your products or services that foster connection and relatability with your audience? List some unconventional ways you can share love with the world.

              DON'T:

              Assume you know what your audience wants right now.

              Positioning yourself as a brand who cares about the wellbeing of its customers, is a simple way to ensure you are remembered when this thing is all over.

              But that also doesn’t mean assuming that all they want right now is toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Being isolated means that your audience could also need things like:

              1. Education on what to do/what not to do
              2. Strategies on alternative forms of income
              3. Comprehensive products with more value
              4. Ideas for future planning
              5. Things to do with their kids and at home activities
              6. How to turn their current situation around for the better

              DO:

              Ask your audience what they need from you.

              Based on your expertise and your talent, you still have something to offer your audience.

              Just because you cannot go outside, to your brick and mortar store, or attend that event doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.

              Your audience needed you before this crisis, and they need you now.

              The key is to find out what that is so you don’t market the wrong products or create content that provides little to no value.

              Action step: Send a quick email out to your audience or post on social media: “If I were to create [X], would that be something that interests you right now?” Or “How can I (or me and my team) help you during this time?” “What can we help you overcome?”

              DON'T:

              Advertise and market every single product or service you offer.

              In order to have some ounce of success during the Coronavirus situation, you need to be strategic about how you will market your products and services if you choose to.

              Don’t pull out every offer and product and blast an email to your list in a fear frenzy because you’re afraid you won’t make any money for the next 5 months.

              That’s the quickest way for your subscriber counts to drop.

              If you do not feel that you should lower your prices on certain products or services, don’t do the short-sighted thing and promote it all.

              Choose a relevant product to promote, or create one, that genuinely aids your audience, educates them and helps them during this time.

              If you don’t think you have a product that can do that – refer back to DO number 3: Create content that connects. And don’t underestimate the power of free content.

              When this is all over (and it will be) you will come out strong, with more authority, because your focus was to strengthen your audience/brand connection.

              Also, in your marketing messaging, avoid overselling with capital letters and multiple exclamation marks.

              Example: Buy this NOW!!!!! TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!

              Sentences like these put psychological pressure on your audience that not only appears insensitive and scammy, but you’ll lose credibility.

              DO:

              Alter your guarantees and product offerings (tactfully) so your audience feels secure investing with you.

              Free trials, freemium  and money-back guarantees are a much needed safety net for your audience when there is fear and uncertainty. 

              Before the Coronavirus situation, maybe they were interested in your products or services, but now they are hesitant to invest or buy because of the global crisis. Don’t let the fear of not making any money keep you from innovating and altering your products or services to meet your audience where they are.

              Instead, extend that virtual hand so they always remember that you went the extra mile for them at a crucial time.

              If your business does not offer money-back guarantees on specific products, consider temporarily adding one.

              If you have a membership, consider implementing a free trial.

              If there’s a product that normally is sold on its own, bundle it with others to increase its value.

              Alter your terms to help those who see your value cope with the current situation.

              You’ll want to do this tactfully. Giving away your products and services for free will hurt your business in the long run and not stimulate the economy.

              The goal is to give your audience the security they need to take the next step with you at a time where they are deciding where to spend.

              If you are marketing with integrity by genuinely caring for your audience and helping them rather than exploiting them, your business has an opportunity to sustain itself during this time.

              Will sales be slow? For some industries yes, for others not entirely.

              But remember, during a crisis, the value of your brand isn’t just in the amount of money you make.

              The value lies in your beliefs and standards and how you continue to connect with your audience, showing them that you care during a sensitive time.

              Action step: List some of your most valuable products and services. How can you alter any of them to give your audience security? How can you change the offer or provide a guarantee to urge them to take a chance on your brand during this time? Is there anything free you can create to grow your audience as a lead magnet for future potential sales?

              (Photo from the Pixistock photo + graphics membership)

              Marketing with integrity starts with knowing your brand values. If you have good brand values, as you promote any content (free or paid), it will become clear to your audience that its coming from the heart – from a place of genuinely caring about where they currently are and how you can help solve their problems.

              You don’t always have to sell.

              You don’t always have to promote.

              If you want your business to survive this, you must continue to provide VALUE – in your brands unique way, with your brand’s unique personality.

              With what you have, right where you are.

              Give hope, provide value, educate, and give love so that when the crisis is over your audience will not have forgotten about you and they come flocking back to your brand.

              Love it? Share this post with a friend!

              [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

                How to create follow-worthy social media content [FREE content generator worksheet]

                How to Create Follow-Worthy Social Media Content

                (with FREE Content Generator Worksheet)

                [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

                Creating social media content does not have to be hard.

                I get it. Some days you’re up for the challenge because you're really intent on growing your audience, and other days you just want to throw in the towel.

                What do I even say on social media?

                How do I get my audience to actually engage?

                Why is no one liking my content?

                These questions are common if you’re just starting a new brand, or even if you’ve been in it for a while and not seeing many results.

                However, don’t fret.

                The key to getting your audience to follow you on social media begins with the quality of your content. Always, quality over quanity.

                There isn’t a hack or a simple solution for getting more followers. You’ll need to consistently show up and produce problem-solving content that’s worthy of the follow.

                It consists of 3 things:

                1. Relatable posts that connect your brand story with your audience's pain points.
                2. High quality images and graphics that show your professionalism and steal their attention.
                3. Messaging with a brand voice that shows your personality, humor and excitement around your products or services.

                There are no hacks.

                There are no tricks.

                You content has to provide value, be attractive, entertaining and excitable to your IDEAL person.

                Let’s stop right there.

                Who is your IDEAL person?

                Not your ideal “audience.” But your ideal “person.”

                This person is most likely to consume your content.

                We call this person your “AVATAR.” It is the detailed descriptive character of a raving fan and an ideal candidate for your content, products or services.

                An avatar is not a group of people. It is ONE person.

                Multiple avatars make up your “audience.”

                On social media, you need to be writing specifically to THEM.

                Common mistake: You’re writing content geared towards your broader audience and not writing to specific avatars.

                (styled stock photo from the Pixistock membership library)

                How to Narrow Down Your Messaging to Speak to Specific Avatars

                This is the key to generating an unlimited number of creative ideas and topics to write about.

                Let's break this down.

                For example, a broad audience would be “moms with kids, under 40.”

                A specific avatar would be, “Megan, 25, has 1 newborn and just started a new job. She’s lives in FL and wants to learn how to homemake clothes for her new baby girl.”

                One is general, one is specific. Believe it or not, you can create avatars and descriptive characters that are even MORE specific than that.

                Once you have identified multiple avatars, you can speak directly to them through your content, visuals and captions.

                Here’s what I would write as a potential Instagram or social media caption if I were, a “business owner teaching moms with kids how to crochet.”

                “Caring for a new born is one of the sweetest moments of your life. In this time there’s so much to learn about your little one. You learn to feed them, care for them and clothe them. It’s in these moments that being a mom becomes more important than anything -any other job in the world. With everyone giving you gifts left and right, remember to give your own special gift to your little one. I teach you how to make custom clothes for your baby that they will cherish and look back on for years to come. Learn basic crocheting for free with me. Click the link in the bio.”

                This caption is heartfelt, specific to one of my avatars, while also promoting a lead magnet.

                Usually, we run out of ideas for captions because the trend is to write simple one liners. But lyrics, quotes, and short sayings won’t speak directly to an avatar.

                While they are great for speaking to general audiences, when it comes to getting your ideal person to take ACTION, there has to be more detail and more context around the product or service you're trying to promote.

                That, my friend, requires more words.

                In order to get more words, you need more avatars to help you generate context around your product or service. 

                Now that you've defined your avatars, and you have an idea of WHO you're speaking to, here are some tips for expanding your social media captions:

                1. Speak to the heart of their problem.

                What's the problem that your product or service is solving? What’s their pain point? What do they hope to gain from taking the next step with you.

                In your caption, identify one of the problems or pain points your audience has, agitate it a little bit with your words, and then present your unique solution or product.

                2. Get personal – don't be fancy with words.

                Social media is all about creating human-to-human connections online. Speak in the first person by identifying yourself as the go-to on your particular topic.

                Choose personal words, and write like your talk to show that you’re human, relatable and are having a conversation with your tribe. Remove the fancy jargon and instead of writing what would appear to be an intellectual paper, be raw, real and even improper to humanize your brand.

                3. Share your brand story.

                Follow-worthy brands know how to tell stories. If you’re a small business owner, a blogger or just starting out, you have your own story to tell. As you write your social media captions, be sure to relate everything back to your brand story.

                If your ideal avatar can see that you and him/her have something in common, they’ll want to hear and learn more about you. But do this tactfully, as talking about yourself too much can cause your audience to lose interest.

                With your words, share how you and him/her share similar problems, challenges or joys with your brand story.

                Creating follow-worthy content takes time. In order to captivate your audience, you must know the fundamentals of your own personal brand.

                Who you’re speaking to.

                Why you’re speaking to them.

                What value you offer.

                Knowing these avatar identifiers beyond a shadow of a doubt position your brand to be a powerful authority on social media, whether you sell physical products, services, or simply have a blog.

                If you haven’t defined these things, take a moment to write them out.

                Without them, you’re creating content, just to create it – without a clear plan and strategy to captivate and grow your audience.

                If you need help getting started, download my free content generator worksheet.

                Pixistock Content Generator Worksheet

                This will help you generate some ideas for messaging as you define your avatar in greater detail. Always keep your brand’s value and personality in mind so your messaging remains consistent and predictable.

                Repetition and predictability is key to retaining followers, fans and building a tribe that GETS you.

                Love it? Share this post with a friend!

                [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

                  How to Grow and Scale your Personal Brand: 2 things you can do TODAY

                  2 Things You Can Do NOW to Grow Your Brand

                  (and how to stop hiding behind your logo)

                  [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]

                  Are you hiding behind your logo?

                  And do you really have a personal brand?

                  So often when we start a business we automatically think we have a personal brand, because building a brand these days is so simple, right?

                  All you have to do is build your Instagram feed, take some selfies and you have a personal brand.

                  Wrong.

                  Starting a business does not automatically make you a personal brand.

                  When we talk about how to grow and scale a strong personal brand, it's more than just taking pictures of yourself and hoping larger companies discover you to send you their products.

                  >> Side Note:

                  It's also much more than simply having a logo. Your personal brand is comprised of much more than color palettes and font pairing. Yes, those things become the fundamentals of your brand identity, but they ultimately will not grow your business.

                  If you're looking to get more clarity around what your brand NEEDS to get you the conversions and customers you want, then you'll want to join my signature program: The Intentional Brand, where I teach you how to build, grow and scale a follow-worthy, personal brand in 90 days.

                  There are actually 2 types of branding that I want to tackle:

                  Personal and Impersonal Branding

                  What's the difference?

                  Truth is, your “personal” brand could actually be impersonal.

                  There's nothing wrong with that.

                  Impersonal branding is just a different way of connecting with your audience that puts more emphasis on your products and services.

                  So let's get into it…

                  Personal branding:

                  • Puts YOU at the center of your brand and you are the face of it
                  • Allows your audience to get a glimpse of your brand story and journey
                  • Often YOU become the reason we want to buy your product or service and want to take a chance on you
                  • Your personal name is your company name (not always the case, but often)

                  Personal branding puts the focus more on YOU, the person; but, in a way that allows, over time, for your audience to get to know you more, like you, and trust you enough to then take a chance on your products or services.

                  With Personal Branding, YOU become the reason why we want to take the risk to invest in your product or service.

                  How do you “brand yourself, personally?” You can do this by:

                  • Showing up and showing yourself often.
                  • Telling your brand story as it relates to the products and services you sell.
                  • Sharing your value and solving problems for your audience.

                  Some great examples of personal brands are, Marie Kondo, Oprah Winfrey, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

                  Second, there's Impersonal branding.

                  Impersonal branding:

                  • Puts your product or service at the center and focus of your brand
                  • Your audience sees, hears and knows more about your products than you, the person.
                  • Has your logo as the front-running image or face of your brand
                  • Your products become the reason why we want to get to know you (over time)

                  Impersonal branding puts the focus of your brand on your products.

                  As your audience uses your products, and falls in love with your services, over time, they will want to learn more about you, the person.

                  There are tons of successful impersonal brands. Just think of a well-known product you know and love and the odds are, that company is an impersonal brand.

                  These would be your larger, big box store brands like Target, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Amazon, even companies like WordPress, Shopify or Squarespace. As we use their products, over time, we begin to learn more about the founders and the creators of these brands.

                  It's important to note that either way of branding yourself is neither better than the other.

                  You just have to make sure you're implementing the proper business and marketing strategies based on the type of brand you are that will help you grow. However…

                  There is massive power and growth potential that's achieved from personal brand building.

                  This is why influencer marketing is so big and a successful marketing strategy.

                  Impersonal brands, recognize the strength of personal brands so much so that they will give their product to personal brands (influencers) to shout them out on social media.

                  If you can connect with your audience in a way that is relatable, valuable and solve their problems with your signature approach or product, your personal brand's growth will accelerate.

                   

                  Alright. You want to grow a strong, successful, personal brand…

                  …but you need to know HOW.

                  There are a variety of business and marketing strategies that you can apply that will help you scale. But I want to tackle:

                  2 Things you can do TODAY to begin to escalate quicker and accelerate your personal brand growth.

                  1. Apply my 80/20 rule

                  The 80/20 rule for personal branding relates to how much your audience sees YOU vs. how often you're showing your logo and other design assets.

                  Logos are great. Logos should be the signature graphic for your brand and every personal brand should have them.

                  However…

                  Showing your logo 100% of the time and never showing YOURSELF to your audience, will drastically slow down your growth.

                  Humans connect with other humans.

                  People want to see other people.

                  It's the same reason why a selfie gets way more likes and engagement on social media, than a picture of a laptop.

                  As a personal brand, you have to SHOW UP and SHOW UP OFTEN. But this doesn't always have to mean doing a live video. It also could be:

                  • Images of yourself
                  • Prerecorded videos of yourself
                  • Your voice via audio

                  Think of creative ways that puts you in front of your audience and shows yourself to them.

                  80% of your branding needs to show YOU, and 20% should show your logo and other design assets.

                  2. Share your brand story (as it relates to your products or service).

                  There are sooo many ways you can share your brand story and I go into detail about them in my program The Intentional Brand, but it's important to know that brand stories are often THE thing that gets your audience to take a chance on you.

                  Strong personal brands, understand effective storytelling – and use them to be more relatable to their audience.

                  Remember, humans connect with other humans. People buy from people.

                  Being transparent about your brand journey, your story and your experience as it relates to your product or service WILL (over time) BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR AUDIENCE.

                  This is where the accelerated growth comes in.

                  (It's not about manifesting and waving a magic wand. It's about putting in the effort to show up everyday.)

                  Yes, there are tons of business and marketing strategies you can apply to achieve this, but if we're talking about how to grow and scale your personal brand, you'll want to make sure you're always working to build that trust with your audience.

                  Also remember…

                  You control what you want your audience to see, know and experience from you and what you don't want.

                  If you're feeling frazzled about putting the real, raw, you out there, don't get caught up on that.

                  You have total control over what you want them to see.

                  Don't like showing yourself without makeup? You control that.

                  Don't want to record in your house because it's junky? You control that.

                  The point is, that you're making the effort to let your audience into your life and journey SOMEHOW.

                  Strong personal brands understand the value of connecting with their audience, being relatable and how that attracts potential buyers to their products and services.

                  Strong impersonal brands understand the value of a stellar product and are not afraid to invest in building that product to grow and scale their business.

                  Tell me in the comments, is your brand more personal, or impersonal?

                  Remember, they're different, and one isn't better than the other.

                  Just make sure you're applying the right strategies that will put your brand down the right path, no matter which one you choose.

                  Love it? Share this post with a friend!

                  [social-share align=”left” style=”icon” template=”16″ nospace=”no” counters=”yes” buttons=”facebook,twitter,pinterest,linkedin,love,messenger,copy”]