Facebook, Instagram, Social Media

Busting the Top 10 Social Media Myths

We have taught thousands of creative entrepreneurs from all over the world. We teach what we know, what works for us, and the strategies that are totally doable for you and your small business. We teach not for you to get a flood of thousands of followers, but a flood of followers that are authentic and totally “your people”. We haven’t fallen into the “follower obsession” and we don’t want to make you fall into that negative space either. We only focus on finding truly targeted, amazing, and engaged followers who will become brand advocates, clients, and online friends.

We have taught thousands of creative entrepreneurs from all over the world. We teach what we know, what works for us, and the strategies that are totally doable for you and your small business. We teach not for you to get a flood of thousands of followers, but a flood of followers that are authentic and totally “your people”. We haven’t fallen into the “follower obsession” and we don’t want to make you fall into that negative space either. We only focus on finding truly targeted, amazing, and engaged followers who will become brand advocates, clients, and online friends.  |  Think Creative Collective

By following the same steps that we use to grow our audience you will curate a tribe of dreamy clients and forever friends. This is why having a social media game plan is worth it. When you put your energy into growing the right tribe, it will pay off in referrals and sales. Period. We see it happen constantly for us so we know the engagement is ready for you right around the corner. 

So here’s the giant list of excuses you pull or the myths you buy into when we talk about social media. Spoiler alert: we bust each and every one of them. 

Social Media is not worth my time: Connecting with your audience, providing education, or making sales isn’t worth your time? Yeah, right. All of those things happen when you focus on being present online. There are collaborations, sales, referrals, and relationships that we would not have today if we didn’t spend time on social media - mainly on Instagram. We love getting to respond to you guys in the comments and see what you’re up to online.
 
Being active on Social Media will suck up all my time: We used to think this as well! Luckily, the more you do it, the better you get. Also we’ve made some worksheets that make scheduling, posting, and curating content for Social Media even easier! If you can spend just 10 minutes every morning, mid-day, and evening online (which is more than manageable for most people), you will have a great impact on your tribe. (Also, you can save time and create consistency using Later.)
 
You can’t make sales off Social Media: Whoa, we’re about to bust this one right quick! No joke, we’ve booked a 2k client straight off an Instagram comment and have since made thousands on our courses. The inquires on our website that keep coming in most often cite “Instagram” as how they heard about us (despite us no longer taking traditional clients). And we don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers!

All the “big” accounts have paid for their followers or likes: Now we can’t speak for everyone, but for us and a lot of other creatives, paying for followers is a big no-no. Not only does it cost you money, it curates a following of spammy and inauthentic people (that is, people that will in no way become clients or customers). This is obviously a waste of money. Now, paying for ads on Facebook (or Instagram) that directly impact your “likes” or “email subscribers” is something else entirely. When you pay for those ads you pay to specifically target an audience who is into what you’re putting out there. Win-win.

Only professional photographers can have a pretty feed or graphics: Well, if you’ve been around these parts any you know that this isn’t true. Sure, having a professional camera or training can lend to some amazing creations, but it isn’t the end-all. The majority of our feed (as in two out of three images) are shot with our iPhones and edited in our favorite app. There are certainly tricks of the trade that you can replicate so it’s definitely worth perfecting, because a pretty image sells well! Try our Instagram Bootcamp Challenge now and we will walk you through how you create “pro” images without thousands of hours of training or equipment.

People don’t want to hear about my personal life on Social Media: Although there is a dynamic to this, this statement isn’t true overall . We are all humans (even those puppy or miniature pig accounts that we follow) and as humans we connect with others best when we can relate to them. There are totally ways you can bring in your personal life into your feed while also referencing your business, service, or product. Ask yourself how you can share the “why” part of being business or the “how” - what you offer can impact lives. Sharing a bit of your personal life puts a human face to your business which is often forgotten when we follow businesses online, and it helps to break up the posts where you might be “selling” to your audience.

No one cares what I have to say / No one reads what I post: So, this one might be true (for now). Ha! But, guess what, it’s okay! When you’re just starting out growing a presence online you might only have your mom and your best friend listening. The more you post and the more you write for your audience the more impact you will have on those readers. Someone out there right now needs what you offer. They won’t find you on day one, but keep doing it for them anyways. Ready to change the game? See you how you can Snap, Style and Sell here

If I’m not on every social media channel, what’s the point: Social media overwhelm is a real thing, y’all. It’s why we pretty much quit Twitter and why we put Periscope on the back burner (because let’s be honest, Facebook Live is starting to rule the roost). We knew we could only handle two to three  channels well. So we chose Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. We’ve gotten into a groove with these channels now, so we might be adding in some live streaming channels soon. The bottom line is, don’t feel like you have to be everywhere right now. Choose the ones that you like and that you know your audience is hanging out on. Master those and see if you want to add more in the future.

There’s constantly something new to learn about Social Media: Even though Facebook does change their algorithms practically on the daily (or at least it feels like it), this doesn’t impact the foundation of your presence on that platform. Other channels do change some features, but remember that they are generally geared towards making viewer experience even better, so we can’t blame them for that. You will never have to fully relearn how to be on a specific channel (unless you’re considering MySpace, ha!) so don’t let the “tech” part scare you off. 

Being on Facebook is pointless these days: It’s true that not all of your audience will see your posts on Facebook. It’s true that Facebook is charging you to “boost” your posts to the people who already like you. All of that aside, it’s still super beneficial to be on that platform. We also have to remember that to have an account is free and the reward for using it properly can be super powerful for a business. We are on Facebook for two major reasons. One is so we can stay engaged with our private group that’s for members only. We see so much engagement in that group and love that they can feel comfortable to ask questions and share personal journeys, since it isn’t public. The second is so that we can run targeted ads to a very specific audience, so we can grow and be in front of people who are interested in what we’re putting out there. You have to have a Facebook Business Page to run ads, which are powerful in growing your audience - so it’s definitely not pointless to be there!


COME HANG OUT ON OUR FAVORITE PLATFORM


Facebook, Social Media, Instagram

The Power of Unplugging from Social Media

Do you ever notice how you read one post online about a topic and next thing you know you’re being served up ads or related content out the wazoo? Yeah, the secret that our phones are listening to us 24/7 is out. Although this is fantastic for a personalized ad experience it certainly doesn’t help our already overwhelmed minds. When we sit down to read just one thing, all of a sudden we look up and we’ve zombie-style zonked out, staring at our phone for hours on end.

When this happens it makes us begin to hate our phones. It makes resentful of social media apps that may not be at fault in the first place. So what do we normally do when we feel this way? We shut down completely and never look back. Well, since our businesses rely on the buzz of social media, we can’t leave it for too long.

But there is an opportunity to not feel tied to your phone like it’s an extra arm. There are strategies you can put in place to avoid the total social media burnout.

unplug-postgraphic2.jpg

 Here are some quick tips to help ease some of the social media overwhelm that leads to a total unplugging.

Turn Off App Notifications

First we started with the Periscope notifications (does anyone still use that? Did we just age ourselves by 6 months?). Those tiny dings going off all the damn time started to drive us batty. So out they went. Then we turned off Facebook Messenger notifications. For some reason some people still think it’s okay to have business related conversations in the messenger app (hint: it’s not) so we just avoid the urge to respond by not hearing the ding.

After a few months of that we were still feeling a bit tied to our phones (heck, our batteries were also draining super fast). So, next up came the Instagram “heart” notifications. If you go into Instagram settings you can specify which notifications you want to get (you can leave comments or follows on if you want). We eventually turned everything Instagram-related off, but more on that in a second.

Finally, we went all across the board and turned off Gmail and Facebook notifications. At first we felt like we were leaving a crying baby in a locked room kind of panicky, but we decided to give it a few days to see if it made our overwhelm better or worse.

It turns out it was the best freaking thing we’ve ever done.

Look, we love us some Instagram. Like, seriously love. We also love chatting with peeps in our Facebook group. But here’s the thing: when we would get a few notifications pop up we would drop what we were doing to address them then pick up whatever task we were working on. This is no bueno for productivity. We found that we started to resent it when people would comment on this or email us that. That’s not a normal feel, dude.

We found that we wanted to give minutes and spend time in these apps to engage, respond back, comment, etc. So without any notification whatsoever we’re able to decide the time to do that on our schedule.

Pick One Day to Respond to Messages & Comments

Now that we weren’t getting notifications for #AllTheThings and needing to respond within seconds, we had a little bit more love for our apps. We now pick times throughout the day to pull up the apps on our phones to check the activity and respond to comments. Sometimes this is set (if we know we post at a certain time, we’ll check it about an hour later), but usually it comes up when there’s a lull in our day. Say for instance when Photoshop is taking 18 years to load.

We know some bosses who will only check and respond on a certain day of the week. This may work for them or their business, but we find that we don’t like going that long without responding. Choose a rhythm that works for you and try it out.

Understand & Remind Yourself That You Can't Be Everywhere

This is a big one. We would rather you not have your hands in too many social media buckets and instead pick 1 or 2 that you want to rock really well. Don’t half-ass 7 things, just full-ass one, okay? We accepted early on that Instagram was our happy place, but Twitter wasn’t. Totes okay. We spend our energy in the app that we love and that we know our audience is already hanging out in.

We give ourselves the grace that we’re not going to respond within seconds and that’s okay. We’re not saving lives here so a delayed response isn’t going to hurt anyone. We encourage you to set boundaries and expectations for your audience by being on social media when it suits you.

The more you’re able to set boundaries, the more love you’ll have for the platforms, which will lead to better content and engagement. Win, win.


We hope these are some tiny changes that you can allow yourself to implement here and there for your creative sanity. Our minds already feel like we have one too many tabs open so it’s nice to do what we can to lighten the load.


Join Us on Instagram (Well before you unplug)


Facebook, Ads

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising

‘Tis the heart of the retail season and if you’re a business owner with the perfect gifts to sell, now is the best time to leverage Facebook’s advertising platform to reach more customers and drive more sales. Because who doesn’t want to make more money, right?!

So, if tackling Facebook advertising in the middle of the holiday shopping season seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve put together a quick 6-step guide to walk you through the process.

‘Tis the heart of the retail season and if you’re a business owner with the perfect gifts to sell, now is the best time to leverage Facebook’s advertising platform to reach more customers and drive more sales. Because who doesn’t want to make more money, right?!  So, if tackling Facebook advertising in the middle of the holiday shopping season seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve put together a quick 6-step guide to walk you through the process.  |  Think Creative Collective

Being the savvy business owner that you are, we’re going to assume you have a Facebook business page and Instagram account. If you’re just getting started, you’ll need to create these before jumping into the advertising arena.

One of the great features of the Facebook’s Ad Manager is being able to manage both Instagram and Facebook ads all from the same place. If this is your first time setting up an ad, you will be prompted to put a credit card on file before you can run an ad.

Let’s dive into the 6 steps for creating successfully holiday ads:

Step 1: Marketing Objective

When creating an ad the first screen you see asks, “What’s your marketing objective?” This is a critical part of the ad set-up. I recommend planning your goals and what you are seeking to achieve with Facebook Advertising prior to getting started. This might include a list of products to feature or holiday sale offerings. For the purpose of this blog post, let’s assume we’re a retail store looking to drive online sales. In this case, we’re going to select the marketing objective of “Traffic.” This means we’ll be adding a link to our ads which will take customers directly from Facebook or Instagram to our online store.

When selecting the traffic consideration, be sure to name your campaign to easily track and identify the ad once it’s live. If you are sending people to a specific product, include that in the name. For example, HolidayCoffeeMugs_Traffic.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

If you’re not sure which objective to select, ask yourself this question, “As a result of someone seeing my ad, what action do I want them take?” Do you want them to like, comment, share, click-through, or watch a video? This will help you decide which is objective is right for your ad. Of course, if you’re looking to achieve multiple objectives, then set-up an ad for each goal and track and manage separately.

Step #2: Audience Targeting

Now that the ad objective is dialed in, it’s time to target who we want to see the ad. Identifying a target audience is where the magic happens with Facebook advertising. Again, as a savvy business owner, you most likely have a strong understanding of who your target audience is, but if you don’t have the demographics and shopping behaviors outlined prior to setting up your ad, it might be worth pausing here to make a list of what your ideal customers look like.

One of the great features of creating audiences is that you can save them when you use again later - such a time saver!

When creating an audience for your ad, you can define the group by location, age, gender, languages spoken, detailed targeting (which we’ll get into in a moment), and connections. The connections allows for targeting people who already like your page or you can exclude them, depending on your goals. I recommend that if you are trying to target folks who already like your page, do not complete the detailed targeting section. The detailed targeting section works best to target a specific audience. The people who already like your page will most likely also fall within the parameters of your detailed targeting.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Step #3: Detailed Targeting

Just as identifying your marketing objective requires some additional thought, so might your detailed targeting segments. To get started, select the “Browse” option.  A number of categories populate. Here you can select the best parameters to reach your ideal customers. You can drill down by interest (hello, shopping and fashion interests!) behaviors, job titles, demographics, etc. You can even specify an income level. This is very helpful if you sell luxury goods or items where you know that your target customers have a large disposable income.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

As you start to populate the detailed audience requirements, an audience definition meter to the right will show your overall potential reach and daily reach on both Facebook and Instagram. This will also tell you how broad or specific your ad is. Keep in mind the broader your audience, the quicker your budget may be spent trying to reach the large group. Likewise, an audience that is too specific may not reach enough people to maximize results. Select enough parameters that keeps the meter in the green portion of the spectrum. This may mean making some adjustments to the detailed targeting segments to reach an ideal number. You can always make adjustments once the ad is running but aim for an obtainable potential reach to start.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Another tip while setting up your targeting segments is to use the “Narrow Further” feature. For example, the Interest in Online Shopping has a potential reach of a potential reach of over 939 million people - that’s huge! Within that group you may be looking to only target those who have an interest in clothing or fashion accessories. This will reduce the potential reach and better target those with an interest in your type of product.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Step #4: Placement

With your marketing objective and audience defined, it’s time to select where you want to ads to be displayed. Select either Facebook, Instagram or both. Depending on your selected placement you may be eligible for the Audience Network. I, personally, haven’t used the Audience Network as this is a newer feature which targets audience outside Facebook, primarily on apps. If this is something you are interested in, you can learn more about it here.

Additionally, you can target those on specific devices or operating systems. Note that in order to  push your ads to Instagram you have to include mobile devices.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Step #5: Budget & Schedule

Next, it's time to set when your ad is going to run and how much you plan to spend. We recommend setting a lifetime budget and a standard delivery which allows Facebook to maximize showing your ad throughout the day to your target audience. Be sure to set your start and end dates for the campaign and verify the optimization matches your marketing objective. In this case, it would be “link clicks” to drive customers to your website.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Step #6: Get Creative

Now it's time to get creative! There are two ways to set-up the creative side of your ad. One is to use an existing post from your page. In order to do so, just select the “Use Existing Post” and this will allow you to select the specific post to be applied to your paid campaign.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

In this example, we’re going to stick with the single image ad promoting the purses in our online store. Facebook has free stock images available but I strongly recommend uploading your own imagery in line with your brand. Include a logo or call-to-action on the image. Just remember that Facebook only allows up to 20% of the ad image to contain text. If you’re not sure what percentage your copy covers, use Facebook’s overlay tool by uploading your image and using their grid to measure it.

6 Steps to Master Holiday Facebook Advertising  |  Think Creative Collective

Once your image is uploaded, you can continue to build out your ad to include the product’s website URL, headline, description and call-to-action - there is even a “Shop Now” button, making it easy for customers to make a purchase. Remember, in our example, the objective to this ad was to drive web traffic. This means including a link to the correct destination page. Be sure the link sends customers to the product shown and not your website’s home page. The fewer clicks someone has to take to reach the shopping cart, the more likely they are to purchase.

Be sure to add a caption to your ad and a headline which stands out. Do note that many links when added will auto populate a headline and description. You are able to edit this to your desired copy, in this example the headline could read “Holiday Purse Sale.”

Now that you’ve created your ad you can scroll to the bottom and select “Place Order.”

Once approved, your ad will begin on the date and time you selected. Any time you visit the Ads Manager, you can monitor the results and make any edits to your target audience or budget as needed.

If you run your first ad and don’t see the results you desire, don’t give up. When starting with Facebook Ads, there is some testing that needs to be done to hone in on your target customers. Be sure to test different targeting segments and once you find the ones that works best, rinse and repeat for all your holiday product promotions!

We hope this guide helps you get excited about Facebook advertising for your business and helps you drive more sales this holiday shopping season!


Continue the conversation on Instagram!


Facebook Groups, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

15 Essential Free Tools for Your Social Media Marketing

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when trying to devise a plan to make your social media not only work for you, but also to prepare your business to be more profitable. What if we could put you through a social media bootcamp and tell you EVERYTHING we know?

Well, lucky you, that’s what’s about to go down.

We have rounded up every tip, trick and secret to not only up your marketing game, but to give you tools to get started right now. Grab a cup of coffee and a notebook, and clear your space of distractions. We have a feeling you might be here for a while so put on some cozy socks and throw that hair up into a top knot. Let’s get to business.

15 Essential Free Tools for Your Social Media Marketing | Think Creative Collective

Instagram

Instagram has hands down been our favorite platform. We have seen some crazy insane growth - we are talking nearly 75 new followers a day. It has easily been our biggest income driver outside of webinars. Here is what you need to know:

Facebook

Facebook has been such an incredible way to meet new people. Connect with fellow entrepreneurs and feel a sense of community. Heck, that’s where Emylee and I found each other. Check out some of the ways we utilize Facebook.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for us. We see more than 43% of our blog traffic come directly from Pinterest. These strategies work! On average pins from our site see 68,329+  impressions per day. This sort of traffic has led to sales not just in the U.S. but all over the world. Just last week we were on a call with a customer from Belgium… talk about BANANAS.

Twitter

Twitter is a speed-based platform. With tweets lasting only minutes, it is hard to keep up. However, it can be a wonderful way to have some fun conversations. We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t put all our social media marketing eggs in the Twitter basket. We’ve decided to concentrate our efforts elsewhere (for now), but that’s not to say that there aren’t some amazing small businesses using Twitter to authentically grow their following.


Did you make it back up the rabbit hole we just sent you down? We know that was a lot of information so try not to let the overwhelm sink in. Focus on one platform at a time and perfect it like the total boss that you are before adding on another. It’s okay to not be everywhere! In fact we encourage you to be where your audience is. Find out where they hang out online and show up there with bells on.

Sit down with your marketing department (AKA you, you and you) and set a plan in place for how you can use 1-2 platforms well this quarter. Set up a strategy, put it in place, and don’t deviate from it. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to get true data on how a platform affects your business so you can begin to see real results from it.


COME SEE HOW WE USE INSTAGRAM FOR OUR BUSINESS


Facebook Groups, Facebook, Ideal Client

How Facebook Groups Can Grow Your Raving Audience

Facebook groups are far from new, but as they continue to grow in popularity their potential benefits to your business also magnify. What if you could be seen by thousands of new people, the kind that need your product or service and are already primed to buy? What if you could gain highly valuable survey data without fumbling with forms and spreadsheets? What if you could sell in your sleep? All this and more is possible by utilizing Facebook Groups.

How Facebook Groups Can Grow Your Raving Audience  |  Think Creative Collective

Whether you have your own group or intend to just participate in a few, you have the power to grow a raving audience. See all the crazy benefits and how you can start gaining momentum today.

Get High Visibility

When participating in groups specific to your niche you are automatically in a virtual room full of all the right kind of people. And bonus, more of those same kind of people join every day. By speaking up and participating you have the opportunity for high visibility for yourself and the brand you represent.

Sense of Community

Over time and with consistency you start to learn about these people. Who they really are, what they really do and how you could work together. This is a community in which everyone wants to support everyone (and if you are in a group in which this isn’t the case, unfollow!) I don’t know about you but I could use all the love, support and encouragement I can get. Air fives and Friday celebrations are always welcome!

Mastermind with Top Industry Professionals

Have a business idea? This is your time to speak up. There are TOP industry professionals lurking in groups all over Facebook. Find them, talk to them and learn. They are in the group because they want to help. Don’t just private message people, ask the whole group, you never know who is going to have the answer you are looking for.

Market Research

This is where your watching and listening skills come in. What are other people posting about? What are their struggles, pain points and biggest hurdles? How can you tweak what you offer to continue to serve this audience better? Seems a little crazy, but consider this the never ending Focus Group primed for your business.

Sell in Your Sleep

By watching, listening and participating you continue to become a more prominent and visible member in the group. Overtime people know how you can help and will often tag you if they feel you are the best (wo)man for the job. Ripe referrals can lead to hot hot hot sales. You might even start selling in your sleep!

Ideal Clients, Friendships, Networking or maybe your next Biz Partner

It seems odd that you could find all this in one place, but it is exactly what happened to us. Emylee and I continued to see success in our business through active participation online. We struck friendships around the country and across the globe. Seriously, who else do you know in South Africa? 

You might be surprised, you could be exactly the person someone else was dreaming of connecting with. I never imagined I would have a business partner and even more so I never imagined I would meet her online. 

You can read more about our crazy story over here.

At the end of the day we want you to be a successful company on and offline. Since opening our doors just a couple months ago we have opened the doors to over 500 creative entrepreneurs. Everyday we see people growing, learning and striking up new valuable relationships. 

Join our private community and as a bonus you will get instant access to a library of resources for small business owners, creative entrepreneurs and bloggers.


For more behind the scenes, find us on instagram.