How My Instagram Kept Growing While I Was Inactive

We know we need to keep growing our social networks to drive traffic to our website and make sales. This is the funnel we have adopted as the technology has advanced- but it’s tiring when you start out! All that growth takes time and effort. You know how to do it- but that doesn’t mean you have the time or energy to! So what is going to sustain you through those times where you simply can’t stand to even look at Instagram?

I’ll give you an insider view of how I reached a new Instagram follower milestone after not posting to Instagram OR stories in days!

 Beginning of the week: 720 followers on Instagram

End of the week:  800 followers on Instagram (and it’s still growing!)

What made my Instagram, that was being so inconsistently updated, so appealing to these 80 new followers?  

1. The Content 

The messages I had been putting out in my old posts were still as true today as the week I posted them. Having evergreen content that is engaging, thoughtful, and honest will keep you interesting to your followers old and new! Plus, if your feed is looking good, people will have no problem waiting to see what you come up with next! What is good evergreen content? Inspiring quotes, introducing yourself, giving your why, a client success story, a good joke... lots of things can be shared at any time. Plus, a good stock photo never goes out of style. Check out my favourite collection of stock photo sites here!

2. The Branding

Within my content, I made it very clear who I am, what I do, and why I am a valuable person to follow. That means that when people stumble across my feed they can quickly assess whether they want to follow me or not- and through my branding I make that decision very clear either way. I would rather someone know off the bat that we’re not a match than get annoyed by what I post! It’s best to let everyone know exactly who you are and what you do openly and honestly- it will make your followers that much more meaningful and right for you too! The way I do it is by talking about myself about once a week (it’s hard to start but you’ll get used to it!) and sharing things that I truly believe- I don’t fake it to try and get followers  that’s a recipe for a bad relationship with social media!

3. The Hashtags 

Hashtags are the reason that people found my content in the first place! My content and branding could be on point but it means nothing if people can’t find it.

The two places that hashtags matter most are in your bio and on your posts! Whether you put your hashtags in the comment or on the post itself, the same guidelines will apply.

If you want to know everything I have to say about hashtags, head on over here to get the ultimate hashtag guide, How To Use Hashtags to Reach Your Ideal Audience! 

I hope you feel prepared to take on Instagram now! But just FYI- a lot of this has also worked for my Pinterest account!  If you want some more social media hacks then get in touch. You can book an appointment with me right here on my blog! Just hit the Get Started button. Talk to you soon!

Be Productive: 4 Not Completely Obvious Tips

I know that you've seen all of those articles out there that tell you how to be productive. They say things like "make lists!" and "get enough sleep!" and "eat good food!". I don't have anything against this advice at all. But it just seems kind of obvious, right? If you want to be successful in your business and personal lives, you have to take care of yourself! So many people forget to do that- but it's not the ONLY thing you can do to be productive. It's just the bare minimum. So, here are my not-completely-obvious productivity tips that take you that step beyond. You're pretty comfortable with eating and sleeping- now you can give these a try!

1. Clean

I know, this is part of the basics of caring for yourself too, however, cleaning can help you feel productive at the very top of your day. I always make my bed before I do anything else, and it feels like a bigger accomplishment than it is, every day. The room looks brighter, cleaner, and I feel fresher and ready to start my day. If I take on a bigger task like doing some dishes before work, I have the time to get my body ready for some light labour and I have a chance to think through whatever is on my mind before I get to work. Cleaning can be very meditative! Plus, whoever you might happen to live with would appreciate it and it has been proven that working in a neat and organized space makes you more productive!

2. Play Productive Mind Games

This one might not be productive for everyone, but I like to warm up my brain with a game like Sudoku or a study app like TinyCards or Duolingo. It gets my mental energies flowing and excited about the accomplishment of completing a puzzle. I do set boundaries around these activities though- there's only so much productive Sudoku one can play in a day! Additionally, Sudoku in a newspaper or puzzle book might give you the opportunity to interact with a pencil and paper, a feeling that people often miss when working on computers all day (and doesn't having a writing utensil in your hand make you feel productive?)

3. Listen To My Body

While I am working, I take bathroom breaks when I need to. I put on a sweater when I am cold. I try to have everything I need within arms reach- a snack, a drink of water, a sweater, my slippers (I live in a basement suite and my feet get really cold!)- so that I don't have to get up and leave the room to meet my body's needs. I meet them as soon as possible so that I don't allow them to distract me. My concentration gets a lot lower when I am cold or hungry or in any way uncomfortable- I make sure that I don't have to stop working 20 times a day just to meet my physical needs!

4. Treat Work Like Work, No Matter Where I Am

Working from home is such a luxury, and I totally went through the honeymoon phase with it. I wouldn't get dressed until 4 or 5 pm, after I had got my major tasks for the day done, and you know what? I would feel gross by the time I did get dressed. Working in your pyjamas is totally fun, but it doesn't make you feel very professional. I do still indulge with certain things that I wouldn't in an office building- I don't give myself a dress code, I don't wear makeup or do my hair, and I sing along to my background noise music on occasion. I do still get fully dressed, brush my teeth and hair, and think to myself that I am going to work. Honestly it has made me way more productive and way more satisfied with my jobs. I can demonstrate to myself that I take this very seriously! I also try to work outside of my house once a week by going to a coffee shop to work for a few hours. It gives me the sense that there are people around me holding me accountable, which is an essential part of staying productive!

That's it! Once you have mastered the obvious, try looking at those not-so obvious things that will make you more productive!