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Make It About Them, Not You

Make It About Them, Not You

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry I'm speaking to the small business owners and aspiring small business owners out there who are trying to grow their businesses on social media. Here's the quick takeaway point of this journal entry: you've got to make it about THEM and not YOU. This will save you loads of time and also keep you sane. There's no need to Instagram every Starbucks you drink, every cute thing your child does, or every date night you and your hubby or significant other have together. Spend a few weeks doing that and you'll exhaust yourself! And you probably won't see much business from it either.

If I had to boil down Instagram for business into one sentence it would be this: every time you think about posting something on your business account, pass it through this filter: "Is this serving my audience in some way?" The other would be: "don't chase likes and follows, instead chase click throughs and website views" (hey that rhymed!) but that's a topic for another day perhaps. 

When you start a small business and you set up a social media business account, such as on Instagram, you obviously have to post pictures of your products or talk about your services. But you also want to sprinkle in some other content to keep things interesting, introduce yourself to your clients/customers, and be seen as a real human behind the business (customers are looking for that more and more these days - a lot of people are moving away from faceless, human-less, ginormous companies like Amazon to support people-centered small businesses). So what do you post to fill in the gaps between product/service photos? It depends on your business of course but every single business should strive to primarily post things about THEIR AUDIENCE and not merely about THEM. Let me make this a little more clear through an example. Last week was my two year anniversary with my boyfriend. Sure, I could've posted a photo of us and said "yay two years!" but I am trying to get better and better about posting things that are about my audience and not just about me so here's what I did instead. I posted a photo of a beautiful bride who recently got married wearing g+h earrings and spoke about how I love hearing all of my customers' love stories. I shared how I met my boyfriend on the dating app Bumble and asked my audience to tell me how they met their significant others. It was really fun because a lot of the people who follow me are engaged and looking for wedding jewelry, so they're in love and eager to share their stories. There was so much love in the comments of that post, let me tell you! It truly brought me so many smiles to read their stories and I also got to connect individually with some of them who messaged me. You see what I mean? I made it about them too, and not just me.

You don't have to do this ALL the time but strive to do it MOST of the time. Listen, most people have a hard enough time keeping up with their close friends and family members on Instagram, so they sure don't have the time to keep up with a complete stranger's daily trips to Starbucks and other routine matters. If that's the type of content you post most of the time, your audience is going to quickly tire and unfollow. They followed you because you {insert what you do - whether that's sell jewelry, or offer one-on-one business coaching, or anything in between} so they want to see content related to that topic. Period. Don't make it complicated!

Let me come back to something I said earlier so there's no confusion. Yes, it is important to introduce yourself and let your audience get to you know as a person. That helps build the "know, like and trust" factor of the client or customer journey. First, someone has to become aware you and your business exist (know you), then they have to come to like you, and then they have to come to trust you, before they will buy. If you're selling a $30 item, people might acquire the know, like, and trust factor with you in one day. If you're selling a $1,000 coaching session, it's going to take a lot longer. I think that's a great gauge for how much you should be sharing about yourself, don't you think? If I'm selling $30 t-shirts, I probably don't need to talk too much about myself. If I'm selling a $1,000 business coaching session, I probably need to talk about how I graduated from an Ivy League school, worked in the corporate environment for 11 years, left and built my own 6-figure business, etc. You see my point?

Here's another thing to keep in mind. I think some business owners post too much about their kids, coffee, or dogs because they don't know what else to post. They want to post SOMETHING and those things are quick and easy to share so that's what they do. There's no thought, no planning, no content creation and, frankly, no work behind it. You might feel better for a second because "I posted yay!" but it's not really serving your audience or your business in any way.

If this resonates then perhaps the place to start is to plan out your content. It doesn't need to be formal and written out, but think about it intentionally. For example, say to yourself, "I want to strive to post on Instagram Stories 3 times per day, 5 days per week." Ok, so that's 15 times. So tell yourself that business-related content needs to take up 10 or 12 of those stories and personal posts about dogs, kids, and coffee can take up 3 to 5 of those stories. Does that make sense? Become intentional about what you post, instead of doing it unconsciously. Once you've become good about that, the next step is to become more intentional about those 3 to 5 more personal posts. For example, I live in Charleston, which is beautiful and romantic (and also happens to be a top wedding destination), so I could share some scenic photos from around town. Here's another example: I primarily sell jewelry, but my catch line on the sign outside my shop in Charleston is "jewelry designed by a former lawyer pursuing a prettier life" and so I talk about how I left my job as a lawyer once per week on Instagram. How can you make your personal posts engaging, and not just a Starbucks photo snap? We all have unique traits about us that can help make our business stand out. Emphasize those when sharing about personal topics!  

Bottom line: you want people to follow your business social media account because they are interested in your business, right? So give the people what they want! Post about your business and stop wasting time posting too much personal content. Here's another filter you can use when thinking about posts - if I post this, will anyone be enticed to visit my website and learn more about my business or what I'm offering? Because, honestly, that's the entire point of your business social media accounts! Keep that goal in mind and it might help you come up with some interesting content for your audience. How can you educate a quick tip in 30 seconds? How can you inspire with a photo or idea? How can you use your gifts and talents to serve your audience? It's all about service!

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something from my experience and also my mistakes!

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. I only have a few weekly journal entries on the board right now, but I'm adding more on a weekly basis. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to read the entries that resonate most!


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