People love stories. That’s why a lot of us read books, watch movies or binge watch a favorite TV series. It’s a way for all of us to connect. The emotions that come with shared experiences can be universal. Everyone wants to feel something. To feel connected. The power of storytelling is an engaging way to interact with and include your customer base.
As part of your social media presence, sharing your company’s personal stories and experiences, while asking others to engage with you, can be appealing to people. If the subject is relatable, they will want to reach out to feel like they are a part of something. You can connect with your audience by telling your story:
Find stories that will appeal to people who might actually use your products or services. Hearing personal stories like these, can inspire your customers. Pose a question to them at the end of your story to get them involved. For example, after a heart-felt story of what motivated you in your business, ask your followers what they are passionate about.
People remember a company that has a personal story. On multiple occasions, I’ve heard others talk about how they bought something from a small company that makes their own t-shirts where the owner is a mother with a new small business, or this newlywed couple that started a company inviting other couples to design their own wedding rings with them in their own personal workshop. The story you tell doesn't have to be lengthy or overly complicated if that's not the real story. Just tell YOUR real story, and people will find they can connect with different aspects. Have a cat in the office? Talk about how the cat came to be in your office or home. Lots of people have pets and like hearing about our furry friends. Show that your company and employees are personable human beings, and that you’re not just a faceless, corporate entity.
It's also important to talk about your employees (if you have employees) and what they provide for your business. Do you want them to gain experience? To have a friendly and fun work environment? People love to hear about good working environments. Try featuring your employees and their stories of working for your company. Maybe have them talk about what they have learned working for you, what projects they are doing, or why they picked that career.
You could also talk about where you are located and your presence in that community. If you have a cause you support, share that as well. People love to hear about what charities are being supported, and will be more likely to utilize your company, or even talk about your company with others about it.
Engaging customers with relatable stories allows them to feel like they have something to contribute, by sharing their own similar stories. And once you’ve got them interested in your story, you can use it to include your business services. If you can resonate with your customers, the engagement will follow.
This month, we are excited to feature a guest blog from The Divine Group. The Divine Group been doing brand photography for many years and we wanted to get her input on how you can get great social media photos to engage your audience. Here's what they had to say:
As a brand photographer, I get asked, "What images should I use for my social media posts?"
Although every brand is different, here are some basic ideas that translate for most personal brands.
1. Photos that you can turn into graphics!
To create these- you will want to shoot your subject (your products, yourself, your subjects) on a blank background. I recommend white because it's versatile and easy to add text and logos too.
Position yourself off to the side so you can add in text later and make graphics to announce your new products, courses, or services!
2. Action photos of yourself or your products!
These are great tools for storytelling and can be used to talk more about what you do or what your product does.
How to create them-
Hiring a brand photographer will be the most efficient way to get these images from a time standpoint. A good brand photographer will help you create the shot list and set up the session so you get what you need.
Financially, if that's not an option, pairing up with a friend or fellow business owner is the next best thing! Have a content creation day where you go out and take imagery for each other. Don't have a business bud? Ask a friend or a partner to help you out.
Doing it yourself can work great for product brands, but be more challenging when it comes to showing your face. You can buy a tripod for your phone with a timer and set up self portraits in a location with great natural light.
Keep in mind, each brand is different, and a lot of my clients hire me to do specific imagery and then they create some of their own, especially if you like creating content. If it's something you loathe, hiring it out and having a friend help can make life as a business owner a lot easier.
Have more questions about what images to take? You can always reach out, happy to help! Check out The Divine Group for more information.
This week, Amy met with Aaron Forsman with Forsquare Consulting, LLC. Aaron and his wife Nicole, own and operate a local event planning business, but they don't stop there! They love helping people plan their important events from baby showers to weddings, but wanted to continue helping them after the event by guiding them in to the next phase with insurance and family/retirement planning. Whether you need auto, home or life insurance, family and retirement, or income planning, they can make sure you have the right coverage for you!
Let's welcome Melanie Schmidt from Minnesota Title. Melanie is in Amy's BNI networking group and is always a joy to talk wth. In this video she took the time to meet with me to talk about what's happening in the real estate market during the summer of COVID-19, how things are changing and what's new!
Check out the video and let us know what you think.
When is the last time you got the opportunity to stop and think, "Are my social media platforms up to date?" Now is the perfect time to seize that moment. Like most business owners you're focused on the daily grind, website content is usually the last thing on our minds, even for those of us who do it for a living. We thought we would take the time to remind you to GET YOUR PROFILES UP TO DATE now that the entire world is watching!
Since many of us are working from home over the next few weeks with the recommendation of "social distancing" on our minds, our time on the internet is skyrocketing. If someone goes to your Facebook page and it's the information isn't current or you haven't posted in awhile, they may think the temporary closure is permanent and move on to your competition. So how do you get things up to date and what's important? We're glad you asked. Here are 6 things to help bring those social media profiles into the current:
All in all, these are pretty simple steps to get you updated, but we get it. There's only so much time in the day. Our goal at Spotlight is to do the dirty work for you. If you simply don't have time, or even better, just plain old don't want to, get into touch with us and we will gladly take the tedious tasks off your hands! It's time to turn the Spotlight to your business, and generate a solid social media following now!
Angela Divine Photography and Spotlight Business Solutions have paired up to help YOU take social media off your plate for 6 months! Angela is a local Twin Cities photographer who specializes in offer custom brand photography and we will take care of the social media strategy and posting for you so you can focus on the other aspects of your business!
This is for you if:
✅Don't know what to post or when to post.
✅ You are spending hours and hours planning your social content every week.
✅You are using stock photos or that 2 year old head shot
✅You are too busy to post consistently.
✅You spend more time on your screen then with the ones you love.
We are only taking 3 clients and at a very special price, so if you want in, you better hurry. Send us a message if you're interested! We'd love to hear from you.
Are you creating a Social Media Calendar for your business?
You are a champion when it comes to your business! You schedule your work hours throughout the week. You never miss a coffee date with a new client. You are always on point when it comes to communicating with your clients. You color coordinate your calendars and have your life and business organized!
What about your social media accounts?
Here are 3 tips that will help you create your own social media calendar:
We all know how important social media has become for showcasing our businesses, but it can be hard to keep up with posting daily while keeping things engaging for your audience. It may seem easy at first, but when you sit down at your computer, your mind goes blank! Trust us, it even happens to us from time to time.
So what do you do?
How many emails do you get in a day? There’s junk email, work email, personal correspondence, appointment reminders and many, many more bits of information floating in your inbox. Think back to those times that a coupon from Target pushed you from kind of wanting that new office chair to add to your cart and purchasing it. Now, think of your small business. See where I’m going here? If you’re running a business but don’t have an email marketing strategy, you’re not at the front of people's minds. In the fast paced world we’re in today, that’s as good as being forgotten. Here are some reasons why you need to rethink your email marketing strategy yesterday:
Are you intimidated by the very thought of making a video for your business on social media? Does the phrase "live video" make your stomach hurt? Are you completely overwhelmed by keeping up with the Social Media "Joneses"
We want to help you overcome your fear surrounding social media video making and putting yourself at the forefront of your audience. This Spotlight Session will be hands-on so you can get the feel for creating your very own video to showcase your business on social media. We will also provide you with the tools to overcome barriers that may be preventing you from creating your own videos.
Brought to you by Spotlight Business Solutions and Sher Nyquist Coaching.
Amy Lauria & Kristina Nyquist of Spotlight Business Solutions will guide you through the process of creating your own video on social media and provide insight on the right tools for the job.
Sher Nyquist, Transformational Business Coach, will guide you in EFT Tapping and breathing techniques. These tools will empower you to surpass your fears and overcome barriers so you can move forward with this powerful vehicle of videos.
Lunch and beverages will be provided.
Amy Lauria, the president of Spotlight Business Solutions, has been working as a social media marketing and website ninja since 2005.