When I was just starting out as a freelance social media manager, I wrote this post which outlined the tools that I was using to manage my business and make life feel a little less hectic.
Over the past two years, some of those resources have definitely stood the test of time. However, as I’ve grown my business, updated my offerings, and brought on a team-- many of my needs have changed-- which means my business tools have too!
An Instagram influencer is defined as someone who has established an engaged audience on Instagram and can use their credibility, trustworthiness, and authenticity to persuade that audience to convert.
In short, an influencer is anyone who has influence over a group of people.
It’s a common misconception that in order to successfully partner with an influencer, the influencer account must have an extremely high number of followers, or be a high-profile celebrity.
This is simply not true.
If you’re interested in working with brands on your social media accounts, blog, or podcast -- you’re going to need a media kit.
A media kit is essentially a content creator’s resume.
It’s used to share the details + statistics of your online reach and partnership capabilities.
Even those who wish to be micro-influencers (accounts with less than 10k followers) should have something on hand to share important details about themselves with potential partners.
Let’s face it. As a business owner, you’ve got plenty to do on any given day.
You know the drill.
Each time you check something off of your list, another task is magically added.
It’s a never ending cycle-- and to top it all off, apparently you’re supposed to post high quality content consistently (like every day?!) to social media.
What? Who has that kind of time?!
So maybe you’ve heard how important Instagram Stories are becoming.
Maybe you heard it from me ;)
Maybe you see all of your online pals + competitors hopping on and using Stories, and you get it. You understand why + how they work.
You’re totally onboard. Stories are “a thing” on Instagram now. There’s no turning back.
Let me ask you a question.
Are you using Instagram Stories regularly for your business?
If the answer is “NO”, you might want to rethink your current marketing strategy.
When Instagram first announced it’s new Stories feature in August of 2016, the world let out a universal deep sigh and collectively rolled their eyes.
Much of the initial pushback on the new feature was because, well-- Snapchat was already doing that… get a life, Instagram, stop playing.
However -- in true Alpha fashion, Insta-stories quickly surpassed SnapChat’s daily active users, and has continued to beef up the in-app offerings with exciting new features.
“Which social media platforms do I need to be on?” is a question that I get asked a lot.
“Should I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Youtube? All of them? Some of them? None of them? HALP!!”
The simple answer is— there is no simple answer for every business. #sorry
Let’s have a chat about your Instagram BIO.
Real Talk : In my time on Instagram professionally, I’ve seen some BAD business owner bios.
Bios that barely say anything, or worse, bios that say all the wrong things.
Business bios that say things like “I love coffee, The Bachelor + weekends reading at the library.”
To those bios I say, WHO EFFING CARES.
When it comes to automation, I’m a BIG fan.
Maybe it’s because I’m a type A list-maker who loves getting stuff done. (Bonus: Not having to physically do it all myself).
I especially love it when I can get everything accomplished in an extremely efficient manner.
“Automate It” might just be my new motto.
Let’s talk about local business + Instagram for a minute.
If you own or operate a 4 wall brick + mortar, like a hair salon, a restaurant, a local boutique or a gym— your interest in social media probably lies more heavily in wanting to use your feed to get warm bodies into your establishment, rather than gaining a million followers who never will.
Or at least that’s where your interest should be.
There’s a quote from author, Bob Burg, that says, “All things equal, people will do business with, and refer business to people they Know, Like, and Trust”
This makes total sense, right?
I mean, we’ve probably all been in a situation where someone has asked us for a referral— for a doctor, a hair stylist, a place to eat— and we default to someone/somewhere we personally know/go.
It’s not really a huge surprise, but I’ve noticed that many business owners tend to focus all of their efforts on Instagram into growing a following.
Some will even gauge the “success” of the account strictly by the number of followers they acquire.
And sure, while it’s great to have a large number show up in that little box labeled “followers”, that isn’t necessarily putting any money in the bank.
Ok folks, let’s talk about it- The Great Debate.
Should you be focusing on SnapChat, or Instagram Stories for your business?!
Both? Neither? HALP!!
Now, I certainly have an opinion. But in order to better understand my personal position on the subject- let’s begin with a little history…
I'm in the business of social media management + visual content creation. Because of this, I've used more than my fair share of the latest + greatest scheduling platforms + editing apps.
Since I'm not only creating content + managing accounts for myself; but for a variety of other clients in different industries; I've been able to test out a plethora of different tools + resources for Instagram.
The following list contains my top 20 Instagram tools, apps + resources.