It is the beginning of the year and I know many are looking at their budgets and wondering if they should reduce their marketing dollars. Let me share this social media success story – and this is a great one.
A friend was recently going through a career transition and was using her downtime to focus on her love of baking and all things desserts. She is not a formally trained chef, but she has a lot of talent and even more passion for her culinary craft and started an Instagram page of her baking, fun behind-the-scenes in her kitchen, decorating skills, and even a few shots of her frosting loving dog. Not every dessert was a success or perfect, but she also included those as a "Don't do this" and although it wasn't always pretty, it was endearingly real. She posted consistently, followed pastry people she admired, took good quality pictures (on her iPhone!) and eventually attracted the attention of a well-known chef in Chicago who reached out and offered her a lucrative position as a pastry chef at her new restaurant! BAM!
I love stories like this, but as a social media manager, I'm not surprised at all, because I see the power of social media every day. Instagram in particular is enjoying more popularity than ever, and contrary to popular belief, it's not for a certain age set, but for everyone.
One of the main obstacles I see in clients is that they are intimidated by social media or are hesitant to put themselves out there. I hear:
- Algorithms, analytics, and hashtags are confusing and time-consuming they say.
- I don't want to post my face
- Why would anyone follow me? I'm boring
Boring is as boring does I say. Yes, we want to see your face, because people want to see YOU. And yes, algorithms, analytics and all the other technical stuff can be confusing and takes time- which is why hiring a good marketing company is a great investment. (Sorry, couldn't resist adding a plug-in there!)
Social media success is more than marketing your product or service - it's really marketing YOU. There are a million pastry chefs/real estate agents/insert- your- industry -here out there, but what makes your business unique? Your passion and personality. Yes, potential clients care about a good product, but they really care about working with someone they like. Someone who oozes excitement for their craft and wants to share it with the world. That's why I encourage clients to show themselves on their social media- and not just their face, but their unique and authentic personality. There's no one else in the world like you!
The next step to success is to post consistently. Every day, every other day, whatever is it, be consistent and ALWAYS use good-quality images. You don't need to be a pro photographer to take good pictures. Use the editing tools within Instagram to filter, sharpen and lighten as needed. Don't be afraid to be creative.
Engage with your audience as often as possible. Ask questions, acknowledge comments and DM's, follow people you admire and leave a comment. Engage, engage, engage. It works!!!
All these things do take time and effort. You won't get a million followers overnight. But you will get results. You might even have fun. And the possibility that your next big client or job offer could be just a post away is very REAL.
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