Social Media, Profitability, Planning

How to Get People to Follow, Like & Buy from You

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.

Sounds pretty dreamy right? Someone finds you online. They are interested in what you have to offer and learn to more about you. They like what you do, say, and sell and eventually buy. Well folks, to make this happen you really have to focus on a couple of key things.  |  Think Creative Collective

Plan

Do you think any Fortune 500 company started growing without a plan in place? Seems totally obvious, but also extremely easy to skip. Here are a few of my best suggestions to help you put a plan in place:

Post

Next you must generate content both on and off your website that showcases your expert abilities, knowledge and crazy awesome skills. 

Authenticate

No one likes buying from any ordinary “company.” They like buying a story. They would much rather purchase a “persons” goods or services, instead of some mythical 3rd person. Make your brand personal. Use an authentic voice. 

Sell

I know what you are thinking. I am not a sales person. I just want to be creative. Can someone just pay me without me having to give them that icky sales pitch? You can skip all the slimy steps if you focus on getting your audience to know, like and trust you.

The Hard Lesson

What I learned the hard way was if I want my dreamiest of clients to find me, follow me, like me and later buy, I need to know who they are just as much as they need to know me. This meant I have to turn on the hyper focus switch to grow my email list! In 2 months, I quadrupled by list by implementing some simple strategies.

 


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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!


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Marketing, Social Media

Followers Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

So you own a business, startup or blog, or all of the above. You continue to push out social media post after social media post. And you keep praying that follower number increases. You obsessively check your phone to see who added you on Instagram and Twitter. You await new subscribers. And celebrate every time you gain a new follower on Bloglovin’. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! That number doesn’t matter. Whether it is 200 or 20,000 it is moot. Your focus needs to shift. 

Followers' Ain't Nothin' But A Number  |  Stop what you are doing, the number of social followers you have does not matter! See why.  |  Think Creative

Engagement, Engagement, Engagement

The number, the exact number is totally irrelevant. Sure the more you gain the more confidence you might have, or the more brands might consider partnering with you, but that shouldn’t be what’s driving the boat. Instead your focus needs to be on engaging your audience. Get them to read your content. Comment on it. Share it with their friends and colleagues. Send you emails. Maybe they will even write a blog article about how great you are. That sort of interaction is what you are looking for. Sure you can pay Facebook or Twitter to get additional impressions, which will potentially boost your follower numbers, but if you only pay short term, in the long run you could potentially see a decrease in site impressions. 

As you gain a following, specifically with Facebook, they determine how many people “get” to see your post in their newsfeed. If there aren’t “likes”, “shares” or “comments”, i.e. engagement, the post impressions could be dragged down significantly. I am not saying that paying for exposure can’t work in certain instances, but it has to be a well thought out process. 

Quality over Quantity

Would you rather have 100 clients who pay you $100 dollars each for your services, or 10 clients who pay you $1,000 dollars? Either way you end up with $10,000, but I almost guarantee there will be more footwork, planning, and communication confusion with those 100 clients than you would ever run into with just 10. Sure those 10 clients expect more because they paid more, but they also are likely to be the people who tell their friends about your awesome service when the time is right because they invested in you and what you are doing.  

“If you’ve been using the number of followers you have to measure your social media success, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Do an audit of your audience and determine which users are the right ones, and cull your lists accordingly.” (source)

I wish there were more to say, but it really is that simple. Switch you focus and cut yourself some slack. It is ONLY A NUMBER!

How do you measure engagement with your business or blog?

Social Media, Profitability, Instagram

How to Use Instagram Stories to Get More Sales

Instagram Stories debuted and our biggest complaint is that we don’t know what to call them. InstaSnaps? Instants? Snaps? Insta Stories? #TheStruggleisReal.

Besides that, we’re in love. 

We’re not here to debate whether Instagram stole SnapChat’s idea or any of that jazz. We love them, we use them and we know they’re going to help with engagement. If you want to figure out how to make actual sales from them then you’re in the right place. P.S. from here on out we’ll be referring to them as Story or Stories. You can call them whatever you want.

Instagram Stories debuted and our biggest complaint is that we don’t know what to call them. InstaSnaps? Instants? Snaps? Insta Stories? #TheStruggleisReal.  Besides that, we’re in love.  |  Think Creative Collective

We talk a lot about humanizing your brand and the power of putting you in front of your brand. Here’s what happens when people see a face attached to a brand. They:

  • Find ways to relate with you;
  • Are more forgiving of blunders;
  • Think of you as a person, and
  • Connect with you on a deeper level.

So what’s the combined, massive effect of all of those things?

Your clients and customers will spend more money and stick around longer (probably because they’re busy buying everything you offer).

Why? Because you showed yourself as a real life human freaking being.

Look, we know it’s hard to find that fine line of personal life + business life. We know a lot of you choose to not show certain aspects of your life (kids, where you live, no makeup, etc). That’s cool. We’re not asking you to upload your entire family reunion photos to Instagram.

But, maybe you could Story it? 

Maybe you could Story your morning coffee (the one that isn’t perfectly edited). Or your evening glass of wine. Or your family at the zoo.

Because the cool thing about the Stories on Instagram (similar to Snaps) is that they only last 24 hours. And no one can comment or like them. And no one can share them.

How cool is that?

Stories on Instagram are the perfect platform to showcase what you’re eating (because no one cares unless you’re an actual food photographer), where you are (without showing your address), and what you’re doing outside of work.

Once people get a glimpse of that (even just for 15 seconds), they feel connected. They see that they own the same living room rug as you, or enjoy extra butter on their popcorn like you do, or - just like you - have kids that throw themselves on the floor of Target.

This is brand relationships at its finest, y’all.

Another unique aspect of Instagram Stories (one that Snapchat failed at) is the ability to comment privately on the Story. Ever since Instagram Stories came out we’ve been getting DMs from people with whom we’ve never interacted before.

We were able to have actual conversations with potential customers (or past customers) and it was amazing. 

So, if you’ve been Grumpy McGrumperson about Instagram Stories lately, maybe it’s time to change your tune.

Consider the behind-the-scenes value you could add to your brand by participating. Brainstorm some scenarios where you could Story and consider making a list of what you absolutely don’t want to Story. 

Think outside the box. Live a little! Let us see what you ate for lunch today.


If you want to check out what we’ve put on our Story lately be sure to follow along with us on Instagram!


Facebook Groups, Social Media

How to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Small Business

As a small business owner, Facebook is definitely not the hot place to be. With less than 5.5% referring traffic for our own site, Facebook was never the platform that made sense for us to invest our time on. Until they changed the live streaming landscape in August 2015.

FBLive-postgraphic.jpg

Now, it wasn’t until February of 2016 that all accounts were able to use the streaming capabilities on their own pages. From August to February the only type of accounts able to use live streaming were celebrities and journalists. But it’s interesting to note that these two (very different types of people) were using Facebook Live in the exact ways that would be helpful for small business owners (see, our obsession with Amy Schumer was for research!).

So, before we can get into the amazing impacts that Facebook Live can have for your small business, let’s squash some myths, and give you some tips.

  1. Periscope is practically dead. Although there are still some diehard ‘scopers out there who refuse to leave the platform most everyone else has jumped ship. The idea for the two are the same: you open the app and go live. The ease of going live is tremendously easier inside Facebook (one app for the win), there are next to 0 spammers and creepers (especially if you are Live in a group vs. a page), it’s easier to go back to type responses to comments (once the video has ended), and it can live forever if you so wish.

  2. Speaking of going live in a Facebook group...this is the only way we use the Live features. Facebook gives you the ability to go live on your personal page, your business page, or within any group you’ve created. Way back when we started our business we created a Facebook group so we could easily converse with our audience, let them know about new things coming, and provide support. It’s now grown to almost 4k members (and growing on average by about 431 members per month). It makes the most sense for us to converse here because these are the people who are truly invested (not only in their business, but in learning). If we’ve already got an eager audience why wouldn’t we cater to them?

  3. If you’ve been thinking about going Live, but don’t know where to start, it’s okay. Our first couple of Live streams didn’t have much of a plan or an audience. Until your audience starts to see that you aren’t just going Live for the heck of it they will tune in. Our views and engagement go up every time we go Live. We recommend having some talking points ready so you’re not a blubbering fish on live stream. Even if no one shows up, remember that your audience can watch it later, and you’re getting good practice!

  4. Just like any other platform if you aren’t being consistently present it won’t work. One Facebook Live won’t make you 6-figures on your next launch, but you can build the relationships with your audience to build on the goal.

Okay, so now that we’ve got that out of the way and we’re all on the same page, let’s move forward with The Super Duper Facebook Live Strategy for Growth Plan (did you read that like a gameshow host?).

At the end of the day what anyone’s audience wants is a closer connection, and more scoop. It’s why we follow celebrities on social media platforms and it’s why we’re addicted to their Live streams. We feel like we’re taking a peek behind the curtain and we love it. Now, don’t confuse this comparison with the idea that we want you to celebritize your business. We’re not asking you to chase that status at all, but what we do want you to mimic is the purpose. So how can we make that happen?

Get Real

This is one of the biggest benefits of going Live, hand’s down. Right now (depending on your other social media efforts) you might just be digital biz with no real human-ness to you. Going Live solidifies that you are in fact a real person, with real feelings, opinions, and personality traits. Showing these off gives your audience brand new ways to connect with you.

Oh, you have the same Ikea rug in your living room as me? TWINS

Oh, you talk really fast and use your hands to make a point? ME TOO

Oh, you sit in the Target parking lot to catch a quiet moment before browsing the dollar spot? I DO THAT ALL THE TIME

See now how we can begin to feel like we relate, and know each other on a different level? Yeah, this is business gold. This is the turning point where people will buy because they either kind of like or need your products or services to the point where they will buy just because you are kinda their internet BFF.

Give Sneak Peeks

Creating a new product? About to launch your new website? Have new packaging to show off? Let’s see it on Live! These are all great opportunities to give your audience on Facebook Live the VIP treatment. We all love to see something or find out something before “everyone else” so consider teasing whatever new thing is happening in your business as a Live stream.

Tell them how excited you are, ask for feedback, as for beta testers, show the new thing off even if it isn’t finalized. Guess what this will create? An eager line of people ready to buy whatever new thing you just teased. Boom.

Show Behind-the-Scenes

We’d all like to believe that we live in these Pinterest-worthy offices, in our HGTV ready house, and we’re always wearing pants. That just isn’t the case and that’s okay. Don’t let perfectionism hold you back from showing some behind-the-scenes action.

Maybe your audience wants a tour of your office or workspace? Maybe your studio is a hot mess with a huge custom order that is about to go out? Maybe you’ve got a wild set up for those new course videos that need recorded?

These are perfect opportunities to show your audience what it takes to create and make in your business. Once we get the big picture (you mean those watercolor tumblers don’t just make themselves??) we begin to understand and appreciate the hard work it takes to make the final product. This leads to a better understanding of your time frame, price or quantity. Customers who “get it” are the best customers.

Give, Give, Give

When all else fails (as in you don’t think any of the above examples will work for you) then you can focus on giving. Educating, inspiring, helping, strategizing, whatever works for you, do that. In our business model we’ve found that the more we give the more that comes back to us in outstanding ways. The better experience we can provide our audience the happier and more fulfilled they’ll be.

If we can establish our expertise enough in some Facebook Live videos that you go buy #AllTheCourses, great. If we show off what we know and it helps you right then and there, great. It’s a total win, win.

Consider taking the topic of an old blog post and dive deeper in a Facebook Live. Or maybe you learned something in biz/life this week that your audience could benefit from? Maybe you came across a quote that you just needed to hear so you talk about it on Live?


Now for your homework (homework in a blog post is kind of how we roll). We want you to pull out a calendar right now. Pick some dates that you could go Live on your page or in your group. Set it in stone. Then go through this post and brainstorm what you could chat about and provide on camera. Assign topics and a few bullet points to your dates then tell your audience that you will be there LIVE! Build up hype around your videos so your people know that you’re even doing them. Then just do it, hit live, take a deep breath and go for it.

P.S. We like to use this iPhone tripod while Live streaming to avoid shakiness.


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