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They are the people who really need what you have to offer. The problems that consume their days and steal their sleep are exactly what you solve. You have the expertise they need.
Defining your tribe goes far beyond age/gender/location. You need to know where they spend time, both online and offline. You need to know what they struggle with and what holds them back from asking for help.
Most of all, you need to know how to authentically connect with your tribe.
Find Your Tribe
Knowing who the people are that you can best serve is the first step. Another term for this is defining your niche.
Many business owners are afraid to claim a niche. They feel that by focusing on serving everyone, they will get more business.
Unfortunately, it’s not true. You can’t be available to everyone and still make a difference in the world. You have to find who it is you do your best work with and focus only on that group.
Key thought: When you include everyone, you attract no one.
Let me give you an example. Let’s pretend there’s a woman named Barbara Feinstein. She’s 40, with two teenagers at home. She’s a practicing Jew. Her biggest struggle is that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do when her kids leave home. She’s built her life around being a mom.
Which invitation is going to work best to reach her?
- Looking for purpose? I can help. Contact me today!
- Are you ready for an empty nest? Contact me for information on finding purpose after your kids leave home.
Obviously, it’s the second one! The second headline shows that you understand her exact pain point and are offering to help. The first invitation is too broad and doesn’t tell her what you actually do.
Now, the second invitation also excludes certain people. People who are young. People who don’t have kids. People who have a long list of post-kid activities ready to go.
But that’s OK!
In order to be relevant to specific people, you have to be irrelevant to others. That’s the only way you’ll be able to work with the people you love most and do your best work for them. You have to exclude some people to truly serve others.
Once you’ve defined who you can best serve, you have to reach out to them in a way that’s authentic and draws them in. There are several important steps to this.
Step 1: Talk About Them, Not You
I hate to break it to you, but people aren’t nearly as interested in you as you think. They’re primarily interested in what’s in it for them.
Therefore, when communicating online or in person, focus on your prospect. Talk about what pain they have. Listen to what they have to say. Talk about solutions you offer that matter to them.
Too many websites are all about “Here’s my education, here’s my awards, here’s my testimonials. I’m so cool, hire me!”
That doesn’t work. Effective marketing says, “Here’s what you’re struggling with, here’s what keeps you up at night. Here’s a solution you need. Contact me to get it.”
Step 2: Use the Customer’s Language
Being well educated in your field is great, but it can be a hindrance when you’re creating marketing. Specialists tend to “talk shop” instead of using the customer’s language.
Which makes sense to you?
- “It’s really important to optimize your portfolio to minimize risk and maximize return. A mixture of mutual funds, short term T-bills, and government bonds would be a great mix for you at your age.”
- “We want to make sure your retirement account builds value but also doesn’t lose money before you retire. I think a mix of fairly safe, high-quality investments is best for you at this time.”
Unless you know finance, the first paragraph probably means little to you. On the other hand, the second paragraph uses language you’re familiar with.
Sometimes we’re tempted to “sound smart” by using technical language. It’s a big no-no. If you want to really connect with your customer talk about their problems the way they do.
Step 3: Be the Real You
Finally, be yourself. Too many business owners feel the need to put on a mask and pretend to be someone they’re not. It never works.
Pretending to be extremely tight and professional when you’re truly silly and fun doesn’t serve anyone. Instead, bring your true personality into your work. Being authentic not only helps you feel more comfortable in your business, it helps your customers feel more comfortable around you.
People can tell when others are being fake. No one wants to work with a fake. By bringing your true personality and perspective into your business and marketing, you’ll be able to serve those who will work best with you.
Connect Authentically with Your Tribe
When you’ve defined who your tribe is and reached out to them authentically, you’ll find your business growing more quickly than you expected.
By identifying your niche and communicating in ways that make sense to them, you’ll be light years ahead of most of your competitors.
It can be hard to decide who you truly want to work with and how to be fully yourself in your business. If you struggle with narrowing your focus, I’m here to help. Sign up Here for The best tips on Visibility to your market today and you’ll receive 25 Ways to Fire Your Boss
Taylor Manning. Caleb Maddix. Do those names ring a bell?
If not, you’re missing out. Both of them are massively successful entrepreneurs.
And they didn’t wait until “the right time” to launch their dream.
Taylor Manning started her freelance business during college. When she graduated, she didn’t even bother to look for a job. She knew that she had found what she wanted to do with her life – so she did it. At 19 years old.
Taylor became so successful that she now coaches other entrepreneurs, and makes more in a month than some people do in a full year. She flew past six figures per year by the age of 21.
Caleb Maddix is a 14-year-old entrepreneur who lives by the mantra “The gun that kills the most people is ‘gonna’.” He has heard countless people put off their dreams, saying that they will pursue a business when they get out of college, when they get married, or when they have more time.
He’s decided not to be that person. He says he sat down one day and realized that if he wanted to start a business, he could do it now just as easily as later. He’s been on dozens of mission trips and has seen what abject poverty looks like. His dream is to provide jobs for others, donate enormous amounts of money, and make a difference in the world.
What’s Your Excuse?
Neither Taylor nor Caleb let excuses stop them. Taylor could have said, “Oh, but I’m busy in school, I’ll think about this later.” Caleb could have said, “Oh, I’m just a kid, I’ll figure something out when I grow up.”
No one would have blamed them. And probably, no one blames you for the excuse you’re using either.
But what if you stopped making excuses?
What if you stopped waiting for “the perfect time”? What if you realized that you could start your dream today, and not some unknown time in the future?
What’s possible if you simply take action now?
Time Will Pass Anyway
In ten years, you’ll be a decade older whether you move toward your dreams or not. And trust me, you’ll wish you started today.
There will always be challenges. If you use challenges as excuses today, you’ll still be doing it in ten years. The circumstances will be different, but there will always be a reason not to start.
Will you let that hold you back? Or will you choose to be like Taylor Manning and Caleb Maddix, and take action where you are with what you have?
If you’re ready to act, I’m here to help. My Ultimate Cash for College program will help you develop the entrepreneurial skills you need to make extra money in school and beyond. Whether you want to start your own business full-time or just bring in extra money on the side, you’ll discover the strategies that make freelancers and entrepreneurs successful.
To learn more about the Ultimate Cash for College workshop, Sign up for 25 ways to Fire Your Boss today. Your dreams are waiting – now is the time!
Great Exaggerations: The Death of Influencer Marketing
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” –Mark Twain
Over the last couple of years, as the FTC, FDA, and Google implemented specific guidelines for compensated posts on social media. Some large companies have gone public saying that influencer marketing isn’t giving them the returns they wanted.
This has caused some folks to despair. They have declared that influencer marketing is dead.
I mean, if an influencer promotes you on Twitter but has to use the hashtag #ad, you’ll lose the credibility an influencer is supposed to give, right?
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is the process of having people with strong online followings review or promote your product or service. You focus on using thought leaders or other respected individuals to gain credibility for your offering.
Celebrity endorsements are a long-standing form of influencer marketing. So are sponsored blog posts, sponsored tweets, Instagram posts, and more.
Influencers can be paid or unpaid for their endorsement. Most of the time there is some sort of compensation, which now requires clear disclosure.
What IS Dead About Influencer Marketing
The reason that many organizations are fed up with influencer marketing is because they aren’t using people for their influencer.
They’re using them as a digital billboard.
So a major sports figure on Instagram holds up Gatorade. So a supermodel takes a picture with a specific face cleanser. Is that going to drive major sales of the product?
We’re jaded. We know that Bryce Harper or Kim Kardashian or whoever is a paid spokesperson. We know they don’t use or care about the product. We’re not impressed.
That’s the problem with influencer marketing done wrong. You are obviously paying an advertiser. It doesn’t feel authentic. We keep scrolling.
How to Do Influencer Marketing Right
Well, if influencer marketing isn’t dead, how can you take advantage of it?
There are several tips that are vital. However, the most important aspect is your mindset.
Influencer marketing is about an authentic connection with another person’s audience.
If you remember that, you’ll do well. (Click Here for more on Building this!)
Find the Right Influencer
Choosing an influencer based merely on the number of followers they have is a losing proposition. Instead, ask these questions:
- Does this person use my type of product or service in their life?
- Are they the type of person who could genuinely promote or review my offering?
- Is their audience similar to my target market?
- How engaged is their audience?
- Has this person shown the ability to inspire action in their followers in the past?
With the answers to these questions, you’ll have a short-list of influencers who may work well for your marketing outreach.
Build the Relationship
No one likes to be used. While some people are willing to be used for the right amount of money, their reviews or endorsements won’t be as authentic.
Instead, research the people you are considering as influencers. Find out what’s important to them. Investigate their guidelines for promotion, if they have any posted.
Then, reach out authentically. Talk about why your product or service would benefit their audience and share why you chose them as an influencer instead of someone else.
Keep the Conversation Going
Don’t see an influencer relationship as a one-time advertisement. Instead, engage with the new audience and the influencer over time. Find a way to connect that serves both you, the influencer, and the audience.
Can you offer coupons from time to time? Can the influencer ask his or her audience for feedback on your behalf? Can you answer questions?
Whatever you can do to keep the relationship strong over time will pay off in the end. Many times, a consumer has to see or hear about your product or service multiple times before they’re ready to buy. By keeping a conversation going, you’ll increase conversions.
The best influencer marketing feels like consumer advocacy. It’s something that truly fits the influencer and his or her audience, and it’s beneficial to that target market.
When you find a few great fits and build those relationships over time, you’ll get incredible returns that will far surpass those big-name companies that are paying for a famous person to pose with their product on Instagram.
In short, influencer marketing is alive and well – if you do it right.
Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of starting your own business? You’re not alone. Many people think that entrepreneurship is very risky – although, in some ways, it’s more secure than a day job.
What you may not realize is that you’ve gained tremendous skills from your current job and your daily life that can help you succeed in business. When you think creatively about what’s needed to run a business, you’ll realize you have many more skills than you think.
The Easy Step: From Job to Freelancer
In many cases, the job you have now is a service that’s needed by many companies all over the country – or all over the world. With the expertise you’ve gained, you can do work for clients on a freelance basis.
This shift is the easiest in terms of skill transfer, but it can be challenging to implement. In some companies taking clients in the same area as your job will be seen as competition and will be disallowed. If you aren’t able to build your business while working, focus on gaining marketing skills and perfecting your craft while saving money to make the leap.
When you make the jump to freelancer, you may find that your old company becomes a loyal client!
Skills Needed For Entrepreneurship
Maybe you’re not in a job that can become a freelance gig, or you simply hate your job and want to do something else. It’s time to start evaluating the skills you’ve gained and how you can apply them differently.
Keeping all of your paperwork in order and making sure your clients are properly cared for takes a lot of organization. In all likelihood, your current job requires you to stay organized and on top of details as well.
To build on this skill while you’re still working, learn to document processes and investigate what organizational tools work best for your personality and style.
When you start your own business as a solo entrepreneur, you may think leadership isn’t that important. Actually, it is – starting with self-leadership and extending to traditional management and leadership as you grow.
Self-leadership includes things like internal motivation, time management, and staying on task. Traditional leadership includes communication skills, giving constructive feedback, and handling difficult conversations. Most jobs give you many opportunities to work on these skills.
One of the most important skills in business is the ability to let other people know what you do in a way that encourages them to want to learn more. You may think that if you don’t work in the marketing department, you don’t have any marketing skills.
In reality, marketing is all about making genuine connections, finding out what people need, and serving them to meet those needs. Practice your listening skills, discover what the people around you need, and find ways to meet those needs. Do this in person, on social media, and through email.
Not only will you gain valuable marketing skills, you’ll be building priceless relationships that can help you for years to come.
Many people don’t realize that mindset and resilience is a key business skill. They’re too focused on getting a degree, becoming a manager, or leading the company in sales. The truth is, without the right mindset you won’t succeed in your job or in business.
The right mindset includes believing you can succeed, anticipating problems and how to overcome them, managing your emotions, handling fear of failure, and overcoming imposter syndrome. Often, these mindset changes require outside help from a coach – you simply can’t overcome your blinders without an objective view to help you.
Ready to Go From Job to Business?
While I’ve only scratched the surface of the transferable skills that come from a job, you are probably encouraged that you’re more ready for a business than you thought.
If you’re ready to make the move from a job to a business, you’ll need someone to help you apply your skills in new ways and work on your mindset challenges. You can join the amazing individuals and businesses that have worked with Plan to Succeed Coaching and started or grown a company. With an average return of multiple four figures can you afford not to start?
Contact me at 910-493-3527 today!
As a millennial, you want to make the world a better place, and many times the company you work for doesn’t give you much opportunity to do so. As a result, many millennials are focused on volunteering, side jobs, or even starting their own company.
Starting a company with a social, environmental, or community-focused objective is a great way to step away from greed and ladder-climbing while still earning enough to support yourself. Social entrepreneurship is a growing segment of small business, and it’s easy to see why.
Social Entrepreneurship Melds Purpose with Profit
There’s nothing wrong with making money as long as it’s done right. If the goal of any company is to simply pile up dollars without worrying about the impact they have on the environment, people, and society at large, you don’t want to work for them. Neither would I!
Instead, social entrepreneurship allows you to make a responsible profit while doing things that really matter in the world.
Toms does this very well. A thriving shoe company, they have a one-for-one philosophy that connects their sales success with making a difference around the globe. They currently help provide shoes, prevent bullying, improve access to clean water, and more.
Social entrepreneurship allows business owners to experience a strong connection between their work and their community. One of my favorite things to do as a coach is help a small business or non-profit connect more closely with the city they operate in. I love seeing the renewed focus and determination of business owners when they realize their work really matters.
Social Entrepreneurship Does What the Government Can’t
We all know that we live in a society with many needs. While we’d love to have someone else take care of everything for us, the reality is that we have to take care of each other. It’s what it means to live as a contributing member of society.
We want the government to be responsible with its resources and help as much as possible, but there are significant limits to what a government program can accomplish. By running a small business that makes a difference, you can reach in and help where the government can’t.
Yoobi is a great example. This successful company sells colorful notebooks and desk accessories and focuses strongly on giving back. The company’s name means “One for you, one for me.” For every item purchased, Yoobi donates an item to a classroom in need in the United States.
Where we might look to local and state governments to help struggling schools, Yoobi steps in and gives what they can themselves.
Are You Making a Difference?
So, how’s it going with your work? Are you making a difference? If you’re ready to show up powerfully by starting up a side-hustle, small business, or non-profit with a close connection to your local community or to provide for a worldwide need, I’d love to help.
Let’s talk about how you can start to be the difference you want to see in the world. Contact me today at 910-493-3527!
Answer quickly: What does Gary V have that you probably don’t have?
Nope. It’s not hustle, a ridiculous work ethic, or a million dollars.
It’s a personal brand.
What does Gary V sell? He sells himself, and he does it very, very well.
I mean, it’s as simple as the fact that I can say “Gary V” and you instantly know what I mean. So why does it work – and more importantly, how can you create one too?
Why a Personal Brand Works
People do business with those they know, like, and trust. A personal brand helps people feel that they know more about who you really are, which helps them develop the “know, like, and trust” factor.
When you develop a personal brand, you don’t focus your messaging on what you sell, you focus your messaging on who you are and why you’re driven to serve others. This helps tie into another key marketing principle – people love to shop but they hate to be sold.
If you’re focusing on portraying who you are and why you’re serving your audience, you avoid the feeling of “selling” while you are, in fact, boosting the credibility of your products and services.
Finally, people buy based on emotions and justify their decisions with logic later. By building an effective personal brand, you’re building a bank of positive emotions with your targeted tribe. When they see that you have a product or service for sale, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
How to Build an Effective Personal Brand
I want to get one misconception out of the way right away – an effective personal brand does not have to mean that everyone likes you and you offend no one. In fact, you may turn off a large group of people.
What matters is that you connect deeply with your target customers. You want to build a loyal group of followers – a tribe – and that means you have to take a narrow focus that appeals especially to them.
Let’s look at Gary V again. He’s got an incredibly passionate tribe who hangs on his every word. People who want to hustle at the level that Gary does. People will sacrifice everything in order to succeed. To them, Gary is a hero.
And then there are detractors. Have you ever had someone write in Inc magazine that your theories could destroy others’ businesses? Gary V just shakes it off. He’s not for them, he is for his own tribe.
Some other methods that will help you build your personal brand:
- Have a Clear Message. Know what you’re portraying and to whom. Gary V started with a message based on a single word: Hustle. Your message should have that same focus and clarity.
- Be Consistent. As someone building a personal brand, you have to keep your public persona consistent. Share the same message and focus on LinkedIn as you do on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
- Be Unforgettable. One benefit to being controversial is that people remember you. Love you or hate you, they remember. As someone building a personal brand, you can’t afford to be bland or sound like everyone else.
- Focus on Exposure. In order to build your personal brand, you have to be visible. Be active on the same social media outlets your customers frequent. Create content – videos, and writing – that gets shared.
- Be You. You won’t be successful if you try to be another Gary V or another famous personality. Those folks are taken. Be you, connect with your tribe, and watch your brand grow.
What do people think of when they think of you? Not sure? By clarifying your message and focus you can increase the business seeking you out versus chasing people down!
Ask me how you can get results like my average clients ROI of 5 figures.
I have been a professional coach for almost three years and the value my clients get from coaching with me changes lives. When you are able to become location independent, leave your 9 to 5 or work from the beach, trust me you’ll wonder what took you so long!
Work with me 1 on 1 or I have group programs starting soon!
Visit Plantosucceed.net to get started today.
Being well-connected to your community is vital to your business’ success. And I’m not just talking about your community of customers and followers – I’m talking about the actual city or town that you live in.
In business, it’s not just what you know but who you know. A good friend of mine has invested herself in building a brand behind her name. She has become quite a bit of a digital nomad, however, if you walk into our town everyone knows of her. If they don’t physically know her they can at least recognize her from her presence in the community and social media.
Her visibility in the community gains her the social proof to be seen as an authority. People go to her first because they see her and associate her with success for their programs and events. Her name has become synonymous with connectedness.
Being known and having her reputation enter the room before she does lowers people’s concern about working with her, it also builds know, like, and trust factors! This is how you draw people to what you are doing authentically and without having to be salesy.
Interested in seeing the same results yourself? Here’s how you can build relationships in your community.
How to Build Relationships in Your Community
Engaging with your community isn’t just about building your brand and reputation, although it will do that. It’s about having an authentic focus on being involved and caring about the people in your city or town.
Be a Partner or a Sponsor
A great way to build community relations is by being a partner or a sponsor in an academic or charity setting.
What ways can your business connect with a local school or university to hold events or offer internships? Can your company offer scholarships as part of a community-wide contest? What other organizations can you partner with?
You can also look for charity events to sponsor or partner with. If your company has a focus on helping children, for instance, a fun run related to schooling or children’s health would be a great sponsorship.
Fun and Games
Consider having your organization put up a team for a local softball, basketball, or bowling league. Or, look for volleyball leagues, billiards leagues, or beanbag tournaments. Not only will your employees enjoy bonding outside of work, but your business will be a participant in community events.
Whether your company’s team wins or loses is far less important than the fact that your company is involved in the community in a playful, fun way. You don’t always have to be selling or building your brand – sometimes it pays to just relax!
Encouraging individual employees to volunteer in their spare time is great, but why not take the next step and bring together a group from your company to give back to your city? You can even allow people to volunteer for part of their paid hours each month.
There are a ton of different ways to volunteer as a group, including Habitat for Humanity, helping at food banks, cleaning up the sides of the road, and more. Get creative and make a difference!
Why Your Community Matters to Your Business
Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Being connected to your community has been a fundamental part of the health of a business for decades.
Being well-connected to your community not only builds goodwill and brings in customers, it helps you attract the top talent from your area. Your company will be a desirable place to work, and you’ll be able to retain your best workers more easily.
Community connections also help you win major business accounts. Why not be the supplier of choice for the industries in your area? Why not show your commitment to relationships and social responsibility, and reap the rewards of being a good neighbor?
When you take the time and energy to build real, long-term, valuable relationships within your community, you’ll strengthen more than your market position. You’ll also build morale among your staff, become a desirable place to work and reap the intangible rewards of giving back in ways that matter.
Are you ready for valuable relationships in your business? Have you been asking how do I get to the next level, and break through the noise?
Join us in person Wednesdays 9:30-11am or you can join the Facebook community here.
So we’ve all heard that people now have the attention span of a goldfish and it’s hard to gain attention. There’s so much going on online that many times your message gets lost in the noise.
Fortunately, there’s still a way to stand out.
And that way is through video.
Not just any video, mind you – but video of you, talking, relating, and getting to know your audience.
It may seem scary to get in front of a camera, but it’s unavoidable if you want visibility online. Here are several different platforms you can use, and how to choose what’s best for your business.
1 – 30 Minute Videos
You can create any length of video you want, but research shows that there are two “sweet spots” in length: up to 2 minutes, and 6 to 12 minutes.
For videos two minutes or more, you’ll need a standard video platform (micro videos are shorter, I’ll talk about those in a minute.)
Option 1: YouTube
YouTube, owned and therefore beloved by Google, is a great place to put a video that you want to have appear in search results. It’s also an incredibly active platform and serves as the second-largest search engine after Google.
- Key Demographic: In an average month, 80% of 18 – 49-year-olds watch YouTube.
- Best Ways to Use YouTube for Business:
- Create a channel that matches your branding.
- Use keywords to target your audience (search is a big deal).
- Be consistent in creating valuable, interesting content.
- Don’t forget calls to action – tell folks what you want them to do!
- Promote your videos on multiple platforms.
- Respond to feedback to keep interaction strong.
Option 2: Periscope
While Periscope seems forgotten in favor Facebook Live (more on that one in a second), it’s still alive and kicking. Based on Twitter, it takes advantage of more professional relationships rather than just friends and family.
- Key Demographic: 75% of users are between the ages 16 – 34. You can use hashtags to attract audiences with specific interests.
- Best Ways to Use Periscope for Business
- If your customers are active on Twitter, Periscope is a great way to build visibility by sharing that you are live.
- Use your scope to add real value, not just ride hype.
- Choose the best time – research to find out when your audience is most likely to be on Twitter to watch your broadcast.
- Keep it under 10 minutes, as viewers tend to drop off after that.
- Use hashtags to extend your visibility and reach.
Option 3: Facebook Live
Facebook Live takes advantage of both the massive popularity of live stream video and Facebook’s huge user base. The lack of ability to target your video to a specific audience is a major drawback of this platform. While it may seem “obvious” that Live is better than Periscope, it actually depends on where your paying audience spends time. Also, you’ll have less competition on Periscope than on Facebook live.
- Key Demographic: This one is tricky – you’ll only be seen by folks who are friends and followers on Facebook. You can go live in specific Facebook groups if it’s allowed by the moderators.
- Best Ways to Use Facebook Live for Business:
- To get more viewers, you can try to attract more followers, and you can share your video post-broadcast with a larger group.
- Use keywords in your title to attract folks who are browsing in the Facebook Live tab and aren’t yet your followers.
- Announce your upcoming live stream in advance, so followers who are interested can plan to attend.
- Be consistent in broadcasting. The more consistent you are, the more of an audience you’ll build.
- Be focused. Have a topic ready that you want to discuss, don’t just talk aimlessly.
- Communicate with viewers and respond to comments live to encourage interaction.
- Use Facebook Live in a group or on your page, wherever you have more followers.
Micro Videos – Up to 1 Minute
Micro videos are very short, up to one minute. There are two primary platforms where these can be useful – Snapchat and Instagram.
Option 1: Snapchat
Snapchat videos can be up to a whopping 10 seconds long. That doesn’t seem long enough to say much of value, but you’d be surprised. You can use both video and pictures to build buzz, share tips, and more.
- Key Demographic. Very young. 60% of Snapchat users are 13 – 24, and only 14% are 35+. There are more females than males. This is a great way to reach younger customers.
- Best Ways to Use Snapchat for Business:
- Show your customers a shot or video of what goes on behind the scenes at your business.
- Share discount codes or special announcements specifically for your Snapchat followers.
- Feature your followers.
- Demo your product or share a key feature of your services.
- Work with an influencer who has a similar base to cross-promote.
- Address relevant issues in an authentic way that resonates with those under 25.
- Use Snapchats short snap lifespan to promote limited time only events.
Option 2: Instagram
Instagram is a great place to build relationships – don’t expect to gain traction if you just want to talk about and promote yourself. Instagram’s video feature allows you to post videos up to 60 seconds in length. There are tons of ways to capitalize on this popular platform’s video sharing.
- Key Demographic: Young and international. 80% of Instagrammers are from outside the US, and 90% of users are under age 35.
- Best Ways to Use Instagram for Business:
- Hashtags! Use five to ten hashtags per post, and put them in the first comment rather than on the post itself to avoid detracting from the image.
- Show what you do in a creative way. Instagram is an incredibly image-focused platform.
- Use Instagram Stories, which combine images and video and are live for 24 hours.
- Show behind-the-scenes shots, similar to Snapchat
- Collaborate and @mention others. Instagram is about relationships more than demos and selling.
- Build anticipation for an announcement or launch by giving small tidbits of info at a time.
Of course, all of this assumes you focus on basic marketing best practices: focus on your audience, not yourself; focus on the benefits and outcomes you create for others before mentioning a specific product or service, and honestly care about what others are sharing and doing as well!
How do you use video to create visibility online? Share in the comments!
Now What? Finding Purpose as a Millennial
There are certain times in life when we find ourselves at a “Now what?” moment. Right after you graduate high school, right after you graduate college, and right after you find your first job are common times to ask yourself, “What is the point of this?”
In order to be successful and thrive, it’s essential to find a sense of purpose for your life. It can be a large, overarching life goal, or it can be a focus for this particular season of your life.
To find this sense of purpose and focus, however, you have to know what skills and passions you have. When you work within these strengths, you’ll find the most joy.
What Skills and Passions Matter?
As we move through life we learn how to do a lot of things. We learn to read, we learn to type, we learn – and then forget – how to use quadratic equations.
Those are not the skills and talents I’m talking about. I’m talking about identity-based skills and passions, things you are naturally good at that you can develop and leverage into work that makes you both successful and fulfilled.
One of my clients, for instance, found that her top strengths were:
- Futuristic Thinking. She loves to plan for the future and big visions and dreams drive her forward.
- She always wants to take action and implement the next step.
- She loves to give praise, smile, and brighten others’ days. She also expects good results in her life.
- Problem Solving. She is an incredible problem-solver. She thinks of every situation in terms of how it can be made better.
- She’s a competitive person and loves knowing that she’s rising to the top of the group.
As you can see, these strengths can be used in a variety of ways, but this client will be unhappy if she’s in an inactive role, around negative people, unable to make a difference in her situation, and unable to plan for the future.
How to Discover Your Strengths
There are a lot of tools that help you discover your strengths and passions. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Taking some time to journal and reflect on times you’ve felt very happy and fulfilled. What did those situations have in common? What did you do to create them? This will give you a lot of insight into your passions and strengths. Some are near the surface, and some take some digging to find, but it’s worth the effort.
It’s very common for those close to us to be able to see more of our strengths than we do, especially if we’re self-critical. Ask supportive close friends and family what they see ask key strengths in your life. Also take note of what others are always asking your advice about. It’s likely to reveal a key expertise you haven’t thought of.
One of my favorite tools to use in helping my clients identify strengths is the CliftonStrengths Finder. It uses a detailed survey to measure your strengths in 34 areas, giving you a top five that you can focus on. If you purchase the extended results, you can also see which areas you are weakest in. Knowing your weaknesses can help you choose business partners, friends, and more that compliment you and help you grow.
A good coach can ask you questions and help you explore your life in ways that uncover strengths you never thought you had. Having an impartial outside person help you discover strengths and passions may be just what you need to get on the road to success!
Making the Most of Talents and Passions
Once you have discovered what your talents and passions are, the next step is to apply them in ways that help you live a purposeful and successful life.
Because talents and passions are often general and can be applied in many ways, you may need help. A qualified coach can help you find ways to move your life closer to what your talents reveal would make you happiest.
It doesn’t matter where you’re starting now, what matters is where your focus is. There are always ways to take steps toward your dreams. Let me help you find them!
In my work, I’ve helped clients change careers, increase their income, make money from passions they assumed would always be hobbies, and more. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation to take the first step toward your own dreams!