Focus

IMG_7307

If you’ve been part of one of my coaching series, or free call sessions, then you must have heard me going on about the importance of focus at least more than once. It is so tempting for entrepreneurs, especially if you are working alone, to get caught up in the never-ending ‘to do’ list, trying to do everything at the same time and end up getting… well… not getting a whole lot done.

Here are some TOP TIPS to help you focus on what’s really important for your business:

If it doesn’t fit… don’t do it!

Of course, we all need to pay the bills, fix the bug in the website, call the plumber to get that leak fixed, scroll through the latest Instagram posts or work on the technical drawings of the latest design about to launch, but does it all have to be done right now at the same time? And, is what you’re doing really contributing to your long-term vision, or is it just fun / a distraction? Focus on what’s really going to drive your business, prioritize a few essential to do’s and go for it 100%.

When in doubt, ask yourself the question: what would my boss tell me to do right now?

“nerd hour” vs “play hour”

OK, so 100% focus and doing everything in line with your business vision sounds great, but we can’t be all-in all the time. Carve out two separate time slots in your busy agenda: one for “nerd hour”: the time in which your only priority is to get those bills paid, update the database, work on your long term marketing plan or sort out your office. Then, plan another one for “play hour”: the time in which you let your brain rest a bit, get creative, have a coffee in a new place, be inspired, go to a museum, anything that gets you to think about your business from a different perspective, and helps you relax and re-charge for another busy day of being a best-in-class entrepreneur.

Get it done, then time for fun

Getting ahead in business and staying motivated to reach your seemingly impossible goals can be really hard, you might find yourself losing focus of the really important things that will really drive your business…. especially if you are in the start-up phase. One thing that I’ve learned myself is that if I get the hard, annoying, difficult stuff out of the way first and then allow myself to work on the things I really love, I get a lot more done in the day and it feels like a little reward every time I do so. And, make sure you celebrate your little victories (website live, first product shipped, first 100 followers on Instagram…..) with your friends, loved ones and/or business coach.

Need help structuring your time, finding what’s the most important thing to focus on for your business or just start-up support in general?

GET IN TOUCH 

for a free of charge 30 MIN start-up call

Influencer Marketing: The importance of finding the right story teller

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-12-34-42

Influencer marketing is THE most time and cost efficient way to get your brand seen and known fast with a large target audience. Combine this with the ever growing need for brands to tell a story and be able create a personal, emotional connection with the target audience… and you have a bit of a marketing paradox.

There is quite a big risk that your brand story might get lost in the viral storm created by the latest Instagram star, but it is the best way to get to the brand out there, right? So now what?

Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your brand story isn’t lost the viral storm:

1.         Choosing a person by follower/social reach alone is not always the best decision making criteria (the follower numbers are not always true…), rather look for a few smaller accounts, with very high engagement that really fit with your brand identity.

2.         The influencer of choice should be able to co-creatively design original content with the brand, not just use a product for a selfie. This will ensure more personal involvement, engagement and endorsement of the brand and it’s story.

3.         Do a quick intent check: Does the influencer of choice want to truly represent the brand or is it just an opportunity to boost their personal image/numbers/fame?

4.         When choosing your influencer strategy, always ask yourself  “What personal value does my target customer get from the created content other than a pretty image to look at?” i.e.  Is the content a one-off cute pic or can it be used for a future local campaigns or online activity?

6.         When choosing your favourite influencer, did you provide them with a briefing? Is your brand story clear enough for them to ensure they are telling the same story?

Need help getting your brand story across? Need help identifying the right partners for your brand?

GET IN TOUCH

 

 

Post content inspired by Linkedin articles from Cornelius McGrath: 2017 The year to tell your story and Valerie Ox: This is why most influencer marketing campaigns fail – and how a bad strategy destroys authentic storytelling

 

Boosting your brand visibility with targeted social media collaborations

4 seasons in one day

You want a very select group of consumers to get to know your brand, but you’re not sure how to go about it?

Why not work with a select group of social media influencers who can not only showcase your brand to an extremely targeted audience, but also endorse your products with genuine support and product reviews for increased credibility.

A good example is thestylishequestrian.com: a platform that showcases the latest trends and provides daily inspiration for the ultimate street to stable lifestyle. Working with the stylish equestrian has brought small businesses new distribution opportunities and large brands the targeted visibility they require for growing their brand with the right audience.

The stylish equestrian provides tailored visibility packages that include visibility in the signature sets on multiple social media platforms, but also brand ambassador programs that include product reviews, Instagram endorsement to over 31K followers and the option to run give-away competitions.

Want to work with The stylish equestrian or need some advice on how best to increase your brand visibility?

GET IN TOUCH

Digital detox

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 07.38.40.pngWhen vacationing in the Philippines, our phones decided to go for a surprise swim in the South China Sea. Imagine the shock and horror of someone who lives off of being a social media influencer and consultant: losing your phone is pretty much like having your right arm chopped off.

 

Well, actually, that’s how it felt the first 12 hours, but then, slowly, it gave me time to have a little think about how much posting is really needed and made me realise that checking the instagram likes and website stats every 20 minutes might not be necessary, especially not when vacationing on a magical Island like Palawan.

Of course I could have used all kinds of pre-scheduling apps like Hootesuite or solve Instagram posting problems with a solution from your pc to Instagram like Gramblr, but me being a bit of a spontaneous, spur of the moment, what’s good right now kind of poster, didn’t think I would need these during our holiday.

So, my forced small scale digital detox got me thinking: how much online activity is really needed and how much is too much? Ironically, I found myself discussing exactly this query earlier this week with a couple just starting their Stand Up Paddle Board business in Ibiza (check’m out here – a must do when on the island!). Well, it depends…. are you intending to become a social media influencer and want to get noticed by brands, then probably there really is no limit to how much you post, as long as you retain the quality over quantity rule. Are you a small business and want to attract customers, then relatively slow is probably the way to go, focusing more on generating website traffic and loyal followers, but even here, quality over quantity is the golden rule.

Island vacationing has given me ample examples of when the digital addiction might be taking the upper hand. A few 20 something girls for example, were with us on a magnificent tour of the Bacuit archipelago and spent most of their time checking their selfies and their likes in insta: seems like a bit of a pity to not enjoy the magical location and moment a bit more. Hey, I was also guilty of a selfie or two and posted a quick update to my Instagram stories (with a back-up phone), but that was it, for most of the time we just enjoyed the view.

Over dinner we encountered a few more 20 something ladies taking pictures of their food. Everyone does it, and if you’re writing a foodie or travel blog, then by all means go ahead. But, if like in this case, you’d like to gain some likes and followers on your social media profiles, maybe a pic of a plain pasta in the wonderful Pilipino Islands is not what’s going to boost it for you.

Quality over quantity, my golden rule. Maybe taking this forced mini digital detox has helped me realise this even more. Taking a few days off (you are on holiday after all) isn’t really a a bad thing. It gives you time to relax, reflect, regroup and come back more focussed and energised.

Would you like to know more about how to find your ideal quality over quantity ratio for your business or social media profile or how to schedule posts so you can enjoy a little digital detox yourself?

GET IN TOUCH

 

How to get more likes on Instagram – equestrian style…

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 17.12.26.pngData tells us that colorful pics, particularly those predominantly washed in blue, get the most likes on Instagram (blue, really?). But it takes more than a fast filter to attract, and engage, a dedicated following on instagram.

I’ve done some searching to find the magic formula… which unfortunately doesn’t exist. I did however come across some top tips from the fashion industry and have translated them into equestrian relevant instagramming tips and tricks.

 

1. Be you

If you want to build a real presence on Instagram, you must first and foremost “be you” or keep it real (read more on that here….), and although you should keep your followers engaged with a regular flow of relevant and curated content, there should not be an overdose of you. Most successful instagrammers and bloggers mix it up with a few personal posts and other original content. So maybe mix up the horse selfies or Eskadron sets with a spontaneous snap or an impression of your beautiful barn surroundings.

2. Find your groove

Finding your groove applies to how you pace your posting to the general ‘theme’ of your stream. Being consistent helps followers to get a sense of who you are and really get connected to your point of view. It took me over a year to find my groove, but paying close attention to what your followers want to see, is worth the time spent and the homework done. Find what they love and suits you best and stick with it. This takes time and there will always be a pic with a little less engagement, but keep going. Do you have great shots of you and your horse at competition, or are you best at artistic seat shots, and do your followers respond to these? Keep’m coming!

3. Connect

Want to gain engagement fast without compromising your account by using one of the many like-follow bots out there? Connect! Connect with accounts you love and the ones with followers that you think would be a great fit for your account. Find a creative way to collaborate (don’t just ask for a shoutout, there needs to be a benefit for both of you!) and be active on their accounts. On my own account (@the_stylish_equestrian currently at 28.4K followers) a major growth boost has come from my collaborations with larger accounts in the form of special edition blog posts. This not only got me noticed, but also landed me some great new Instagram friends.

Would you like an objective editing eye to have a look at your Instagram and help you find your groove?

GET IN TOUCH