I have a magnet on my fridge that says "I don't expect everything handed to me, you can just set it down where ever" and I have those same vibes with the pre-made Reel templates on Instagram. They are super simple to use! You'll want to open these while on your phone because the template option doesn't show on a desktop.
Click on the Reel to play it, after you've watched it once you should see text pop-up under the play button that says "Watch again on Instagram" - tap on that! Once it's open in Instagram, tap on the video again to open it in full-screen.
You'll see a "Use as Template" option. Click on that!
Then use the templated format by tapping on the + signs to add your media!
Enjoy! Happy Holidays!
1. Christmas Sound
2. Christmas Sound (2)
3. FÃ¼r Elise Sound with a Twist
4. Week Day Sound
5. Mr. Sandman Sound
Ready for a break after the first round of holiday madness? Try these ideas!
1. Mix up a cocktail so it's ready for when you need it
2. Get a quick work-out in before more people need saving
3. Relax by looking at these cute cat paws
4. String up some holiday lights so guests can find the party house
5. Try a new recipe?
Hopefully these ideas help you relax and prepare for the rest of the holiday season! Enjoy!
Not every business is running a sale for Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). And that's ok! However, that doesn't mean that you should stay quiet during this time! You should still be promoting your products and services. Here's why and how.
Take advantage of the spending-spree that's happening
Black Friday and Cyber Monday get consumers in the spending MOOD. Take advantage of that by ensuring your products and services are being promoted on social media, via email and sms, and in stores. Stay in front of your audience during this seasonal spending time!
Rely on quality, experiences, and service instead of a sale
You might be surprised with how many people are NOT looking for a sale, especially with today's economy. A sale is great, but it's not the deciding factor. What is? Experience, quality, and service. Consumers want what they buy to COUNT, to be worth the money. This is great news for those who aren't offering sales on their products and services. But all of that means you need to really tout your benefit statements! Let your audience know exactly what they will get from your product/service and how you make their lives better.
Focus on the need
Consumers might be watching Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but they still have other needs in their lives. Make sure you're still addressing those needs and staying in front of your audience!
This is not the time to stay quiet! Instead of promote the benefits of your products and services and how you help meet your audiences' needs.
Boo! OK settle down my little goblins. It’s time to overcome your fears of digital marketing and create a scary-good plan that’s sweeter than pumpkin spice.
Digital Marketing is a fear many business owners and entrepreneurs have when launching or growing their businesses. Not knowing where to start can keep you frozen in place. Well don’t worry, like a self-designated tour guide in a haunted house – or that one friend who doesn’t scream at jump scares – I’m going to take you through this scary process one step at a time.
I’ve curated an easy-to-follow list of steps you can take to get started with digital marketing. As you move through this list, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and confident.
Step 1: Outline a Strategy
If you don’t do this first, I can guarantee that you’ll have to rework steps 2-6 over and over until you get it right. Finding out you’re creating content for the wrong audience or creating content that doesn’t convert, is a tough lesson to learn! And it costs you more time, money, and resources in the end. And honestly, that should scare you the most! So, stick with the order and you’ll come out on top.
Write down the answers to each of these questions. Don’t just think about the answers as you read this. Take the time to write down the answers so you have an actual plan when you’re done with this.
Thinking through these questions will you help you keep goals and priorities in mind as you continue down the list.
Step 2. Build a stable foundation with your website
Start with your website. This is your home base. Even if you sell on Amazon and Etsy, you need a website. NEVER rely on a 3rd party site 100% of the time for your sales. You should always be prepared for the bottom to drop out of 3rd party sites. I’m not telling you to not use them. I’m telling you to be ready for the winds to shift, because, my dear, they will. And it can ruin a small business.
If you think of your website as a foundation to your business, then you’ll understand that it needs to completely support you and help you reach your goals. You should include:
Don’t forget Mobile & SEO:
Step 3. Pave roads that connect with your audience
Ok! Your foundation is built and ready for the world. Now it’s time to pave roads toward connection. These are all the ways you’re going to reach out and communicate with your audience. These roads are BUILT BY YOU and you control how often you’re communicating via these channels. Who’s going to hop on these roads you’re paving?
You audience can consist of:
Make sure you’re communicating to everyone! Different roads could have more of one audience than another, so pay to attention to what they respond to and where they are in your sales pipeline.
Roads toward connection could be:
Remember these are roads that you’re building on your own. You choose what it looks like, what the experience is, if they walk alone or with you. Take time to think about the experience you want your audience to have.
Step 4. Start showing up online
While building your own road and experiences above, you also need to start reaching out to audiences in their own spaces. Join their conversations and meet them where they are.
Where are your prospects and customers online?
It’s important to watch your prospects/customers, find out where they go for connection, and meet them there.
Send everyone back to your website (your foundation) where they can take an action with you. This is called a call to action and it’s sooooo important to growing your sales.
Calls to action you can use:
Step 5. Keep creating!
Now that you’re putting yourself out there, it’s time to start creating more content. There are so many ways to provide education, entertainment, and encouragement without giving your products and services away for free. If you need ideas for content, I recommend you sign up for Inspire-Starter, a subscription services that gives you ideas every day via text and a monthly content planning worksheet to map out ideas and start creating!
Think about what kind of content you want to create for:
Re-use content as much as you can! Share your Reels on TikTok and your TikToks in a Reel. Use video for stories as well. Another great idea is to embed tiktok videos and Instagram posts in blog posts or on landing pages. This saves you time and allows you re-use great content.
Step 6. Start paying for ads
Here’s the part that no one loves, but if you’ve been showing up online, on social media, and creating content, then this step is going to come easier to you than it would have before.
Set up an advertising account on the platforms you want to use. Most will try to give you an easy-to-navigate process. On the plus side, once you start advertising and spending money, many platforms will give you ad credit (ex. LinkedIn likes to give $50 to those getting started).
Following these steps in order will help you get started with a solid foundation and build confidence along the way. Confidence is writing messaging, using new technology, and doing what it takes to meet your goals.
I met Amy earlier this year and quickly fell in love with her vision, her constant hustle, and her hilarious personality. Amy M. Le is an award-winning, Amazon-bestselling author AND the founder of Quill Hawk Publishing.
If you're ready to write you own book and you're not sure where to start. Or you've already written your first version and now you're wondering what to do next. The answer is = Quill Hawk Publishing.
Amplifying Diverse Voices through Quill Hawk Publishing
"Quill Hawk Publishing helps emerging writers indie-publish their work through a consultative approach." This means they walk you through the process and give you access to everyone you need to finish your book complete with illustration, publish it, create an audio version, and promote it.
Learn more about their services...
Get Started Today
Amy M. Le
Amy is a Vietnam War survivor and Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) warrior.
She is the founder of Quill Hawk Publishing, a woman-owned, Asian American company that helps writers indie publish their books while amplifying diverse voices through storytelling.
Amy grew up in Seattle and had a successful career at Microsoft and T-Mobile before pivoting to become a writer, publisher, and speaker.
She is the award-winning author of the Snow trilogy: Snow in Vietnam, Snow in Seattle, and Snow’s Kitchen. She is currently working on her phoenix series—three books showcasing the resilience of people who’ve survived deep trauma.
Amy also co-founded The Heart Community Collection , a resource for the CHD community, and sits on the board of the Vietnamese Boat People Podcast. Amy also serves as an officer for two writing organizations in Oklahoma.
When she is not writing or volunteering, Amy is experimenting in the kitchen or screaming at the TV while watching NFL games, UFC fights, or Formula 1 events.
I mean, can we talk about how fun she is????
Connect with Quill Hawk Publishing and Amy M. Le
Who’s ready to just relax? (ME!) If you're like me during the summer, you are trying to get all of the fun things in before it starts getting darker at night, before school starts, before fall ... before it feels like all the fun went home for the rest of the year. If you’re also like me, then you’re probably looking for some time-saving hacks for social media content. I can help with that!
One of the easiest summer hacks I have for digital marketing is the same one that I recommend for the holiday season as well (right after Christmas when you’re still in a daze but don’t want to be forgotten on the socials.). During the holidays we’re all extra busy – probably a little hungover, too – but still responsible for social media marketing and implementation.
My big idea is actually quite simple (you’ll agree after you hear it). Go through your social posts from last year and look at what performed well. Share those posts again this year. There! Like I said, super simple!
To get started, you can look at your insights from Facebook or whatever platform you’re wanting to use. That’s a bit harder route if you’re in a hurry. I recommend you start in your photo or video tabs on the Facebook business page. It’s much easier to scroll to content from last year this way. If you start on your wall it's going to take forever. Once you’re on the photo or video tab, start choosing which content you want to re-post.
5 ways to re-post content while giving it a fresh spin
Use these ideas to re-introduce the content to your audience.
2 ways to re-post
Coming up with Reel ideas leaving you with hot flashes? Stay cool and use these ideas ...
1. Answer a customer/client question.
2. Create a How-To Reel
3. Post Behind-the-Scenes Fun
4. Create a Slideshow of Photos
5. Post a Quote with Music
We've picked out 11 fun, summery-sounding songs for your next TikTok video. The songs range from old-school classic to newer songs, guaranteed to pull in all age ranges! Plus, these are "business approved" so you don't need to worry about offending your audience.
Tip: If you want to use one of the songs, I'd recommend clicking on the "Grab the sound here" link while on your mobile device. This allows you to open the sound directly in your TikTok app so you can "Save as a favorite" and find it later when it's time to created your video.
1. Sunshine by OneRepublic
Grab the sound here.
Check out this example...
2. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
3. Ooh La La by Faces
4. Barracuda by Heart
5. Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
6. This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Grab the sound here.
Check out this example...
7. Doo Wap (That Thing) - Lauren Hill
8. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
9. The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy
10. Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
11. Bang the Drum All Day by Todd Rundgren
Pretty please don’t try to buy social media followers. You’ll most likely get bots and inactive accounts who most definitely won’t be engaging with your posts.
It’s easy to get nervous about a small follower count when you’re first getting started, but before you start buying followers … ask yourself this question:
Would you rather have a lot of followers or would you rather make money?
Seems like an easy answer, right? Many brands think these two things go together 100% of the time, always. It’s true that follower counts help, but it’s not the only answer.
Remember this, when you start SPENDING MONEY to gain followers you’ll quickly learn it’s a LOSING GAME because most of those followers aren’t even real. EEK! And you can be “punished” for this, because when your high number of followers aren’t engaging with your posts, the algorithms will show someone else’s content before yours. Why? Because it looks like you’re not posting valuable content.
Instead, grow your followers the hard, time-consuming, organic way to ensure you have a REAL audience who’s going to engage with your brand and actually buy from you. It takes time and it takes work, but I promise it’s worth it.
Here are a few ways to get started in the right direction …
There are a few things you can do on your website to gain followers.
1. Pop-up on website. Include a pop-up or call-out on your website that allows visitors to easily click a “follow” button. You can focus on one social platform at a time, so you don’t overwhelm them with options (once a user is overwhelmed, you’ll lose them). You can even set up rules on the backend of your pop-up that says “if someone saw the Facebook pop-up, serve the Instagram pop-up next” for example.
2. Play up Pinterest. Ensure your content is easy to pin on Pinterest by including a “pin it” button with your content. Make sure you have a great image to go with your content! Otherwise, your site visitors won’t have anything memorable to pin. You can also pin your own content on Pinterest as soon as you post it, just to get it into circulation on the platform.
3. Social share buttons. Make it super obvious that users can share articles, blogs, recipes, etc. on social media. Put the share buttons right in their faces on your site!
Social media platforms obviously provide an ideal place for you to gain new followers. Here are a few ways to go about it.
4. Influencers and advocates. A great way to spread the word is to work with influencers and advocates. There are plenty out there you can pay to post about your products and services. I encourage you to get creative here and redefine who’s an influencer or advocate for you. Look closely at employees, clients, local celebrities, and other affordable or free options that may end up bringing in even better audiences.
5. Share posts from regular people. OMG us regular folks LOVE it when a brand shares our posts or highlights us and you know what? Our friends and family love it even more! They will share those types of posts until the end of time. Yes the images might not be professionally taken and the content might even have a typo. But it’s REAL and people love that stuff!
6. Cross-promote social channels. Remind your followers that you’re on multiple platforms. Make it worth their time but providing different types of content on different platforms. You don’t need to make every post different on each platform, but every so often throw in something special on each platform to make them slightly unique.
7. Engagement post. Create a post where you ask followers to tag a friend. This is a great way to get new eyes on your content!
8. Contests. Take your engagement post to the next level by running a contest. Ask your followers to tag a friend, like your post, and like your social page. Their friends can do the same to enter the contest.
9. Create a content series. Just like your favorite TV show that you want to tune into, you can do the same on social media. Create a series of posts that your audience will want to keep coming back for. Make sure to remind them to share with their friends and family.
10. Boost posts on Facebook. When you boost a post, you're placing your content in front of more eyes. Boosting allows you to target specific types of people. If they feel drawn to your brand, they will like/follow your page and hopefully purchase from you.
We’ve covered your website and your social accounts. What about all other forms of communication you send out to prospects and current customers? Take a very close look at EVERYTHING you send out. It should have your social handles included!
11. Transactional messages. Look at all of your transactional messages. They should have your social media info included. This could be invoices, welcome email or letter, follow-up emails, invitations, etc.
12. Product labels and packaging. Include your social handles on all product labels and packaging. This is a “hot” customer – they just purchased from you and are excited. Use that momentum to turn them into a follower on social media as well!
13. Promotional displays. Do you have displays set up in retail stores or a booth at an event? Make sure your social handles are on display, too! If a potential customer doesn’t buy from you TODAY then make sure they have a way to connect with you before they leave. QR codes are great for this, too!
14. Share button in emails. If you’re providing tips, ideas, advice, recipes, etc. via email newsletters or promotional emails, make sure you also provide a way for the audience to share the ideas on social media.
15. Include social handles on business cards. You’re spending a lot of money on these business cards, make sure they can connect with you EVERYWHERE, not just via email and phone.
Keep in mind that growing an audience organically takes time. It can be frustrating to see low follower counts when you want to appear more “established” but you NEED to grow your audience the right way if you want long-term success.
Trust me when I say that “bot buying” (i.e., buying followers) will hurt you in the long run! All platforms go through and clean out bots and spam accounts every once in a while, when this happens many brands will lose hundreds or thousands of followers if they’ve been buying followers. Plus, like I said earlier - you will lose the algorithm battle when it looks like you have horrible content because you have horrible engagement because you are followed by bots and not real people who are eager to engage with you.
Does anyone else’s mind go on vacation starting June 1st?
It’s an automatic switch in my head to slowly start powering down. June 1st means I should obviously be somewhere with a drink in my hand! If your mind is in vacation-mode, too, then please join me as I slowly power my brain back on for this important exercise. Why? Because summer is an excellent time to sit down and take a good look at how your marketing and communication plan has been performing so far. It’s also a great time to think about what changes you want to make to positively impact the rest of the year.
Don’t set your drink down! You can do this one-handed. I promise.
1. Take a deep dive🤿 into missed opportunities
If you’re like me, you’re always seeing amazing ideas from others throughout the year that you wish you would have done. A very simple example is that on Mother’s Day I saw someone else post a beautiful, inclusive Mother’s Day message that really spoke to my heart. I wished I had come up with something similar. So I made a note for next year so I wouldn’t forget to be more inclusive with my message.
That’s what Number One’s deep dive is all about. What have you seen that you wished you’d done, but it’s too late now? Go back and start making a list of things you don’t want to miss out on next year. This is a great activity to keep you on your toes and always improving your marketing efforts.
2. Ensure your sales aren’t dropping while the temps are rising 🥵
You audience is busy during the summer. Look back through your benefit statements and edit your messages to tell your audience how you can make their lives better THIS SUMMER. While they’re on the go, planning vacations and family activities, spending more time outdoors, and trying to schedule childcare while school is out. How can you help them? Thinking through this will help you stay relevant with your audience and ensure you won’t seem “out of touch” with what they’re going through.
3. Make some waves🌊 this summer for a successful winter
I know the sun is shining and you should probably be floating on water with a pina colada, but this is also a great time to think about fall and winter. Specifically, what systems can you put in place to ensure a smooth holiday season? If sales drop during the winter, how can you make more sales right now to prepare for that? If sales skyrocket during the winter, how can you make sure you’re ready for those busy months?
Are there any new marketing strategies you’d like to test? Maybe product or service combos? Test those now! Take a few minutes to review your marketing strategy and content calendar before the holidays are on the horizon. Because once they’re within your sights, it’s way too late to make big impactful changes.
Happy Summer 🌞
I love this time of year and work on my patio whenever I can. I’d love to hear what updates you’re making to your strategy and if you’re testing anything new. Join our private Facebook group of content creators and marketers so we can chat!
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.