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Imposter Syndrome in Social Media

Imposter Syndrome in Social Media

“I don’t want to come across like I am bragging”

How Imposter Syndrome is effecting our social media consistency

I recently did some market research for a course I am working on. I was told that before I launch a new product I need to make sure there is an actual place for it with my ideal client (read blog Jan 2020). Everything I was working on for the course checked the boxes with those I spoke to, but what surprised me was what I was missing. 

Nearly half the women I spoke to said their biggest struggle with posting on social media was not knowing how to talk about themselves without sounding like they were BRAGGING. It nearly paralyses them, and prevents them from saying anything at all. 

I had never considered Imposter Syndrome a thing, until I started my own business. Now that I recognize it in myself, I hear it so much more in others.

So, how do we post with purpose on social media in a way that attracts people to us and builds our like-know-trust factor. 

BE SOCIAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Think of social media like a networking event. We don’t just walk into the room and hand out samples and business cards. We mix and mingle. Ask questions, listen, laugh, share stories. So let’s do that on social media. 

Let people get to know us. For me, I like to ask if my posts will somehow educate, entertain or endorse. Endorsing being the salsey posts, they are the ones that are done directly the least. Here are a few ideas.

  • How to’s (educate)
  • Tips of your trade (educate)
  • Behind the Scenes (educate/entertain)
  • About You (educate/entertain)
  • Personal Insights (educate/entertain)
  • Your Staff (educate/entertain)
  • Your offer/products (endorse)
  • Upcoming promos/sales (endorse)
  • Testimonials (educate/endorse)
  • FAQ’s (educate)
  • Blogs (educate)
  • Quotes (educate/entertain)
  • Throwbacks (entertain)

LET’S SEE ONE IN ACTION

Create a post that shares some personal insight about you, while still giving your ideal client an idea of how you can help them. Talk about your business without always trying to sell your business Here is a sample I use in on of my content creation presentations for a service provider.

Caption Idea … 

“Which of these items do you think is most important to running my business? Absolutely right, it is the coffee! Without it I could barely function. Coffee ensures I am ready to always look after your accounts and provide the best advice I can for your peace of mind. What about you, what is your morning ritual that kick starts your day?

service provider flatlay

Break this down.

We start with a caption that invites our audience in by asking a question: Which of these items do you think is most important to running my business? 

We share some personal insight: Absolutely right, it is the coffee! Without it I could barely function. Coffee ensures I am ready to always 

We share what we do and how we can help: look after your accounts and provide the best advice I can for your peace of mind. 

We have a CTA (call to action) that asks for a comment: What about you, what is your morning ritual that kick starts your day?

We talked about our business without selling out business….and 0 bragging!

Your turn! Try this formula and see how it works for you. 

New Goal Setting with Analytics

New Goal Setting with Analytics

As a photographer, I am a visual person. Numbers are my kryptonite. As an entrepreneur I recognize the importance of tracking a few specific metrics, which inevitably mean numbers (god forbid, possibly even a spreadsheet).

Goal setting with analytics for small business owners is an important way to prepare for, and measure growth.

Today is the second last day of the year, so I feel it is a pretty good time to take a look at a few numbers, and get ready to not only review the past year, but prepare for the next year. 

Here are a few thing I did:

Paper & Pen Planner

 

First, I cracked open my brand new Yearly Planner. As much as I love digital, I like a good paper and pen planner. Sometime mid year I even started colour coding my entries. Using my brand colours, orange means a booking is specifically business related, like a discovery or client call. Green means it is revenue generating, like a photoshoot or coaching session. Blue is for networking or personal time. 

Back on track . . . first thing I did was go to the very back of my planner and wrote down a few stats from the end of this year. 

Number of photo shoots. 

Number of coaching clients. 

Number of social media followers. 

Then I wrote down my goals for the new year. By having it at the end of the book, it is a reminder next December to go back and see how I did. 

Second thing I did …. each of the months in my planner has an overview page, so wrote down a few monthly goals. 

 

Social Media Analytics

 

Third, I went into my Facebook Business Suite Insights. On the top right of the desktop screen it defaults the calendar stats to 28 days. I went in and created a custom view for the year. I could immediately see that my Facebook reach was down, but my Instagram reach was up (800.2%!)

Next I went into the Content Report, and selected Likes & Reactions. I was not surprised that neither of my top posts were not business related. 

My top Facebook post was of my husbands recent retirement from the military, from November

My top Instagram was a Reel of my girls building the new pergola on our deck, from July. It is important to remember this was based on Likes & Reactions. At 2,617 views, it ranked my 3rd highest viewed Reel. 

What I also confirmed is that Reels reached a far greater audience than the amount of followers I have, so they will be a big part of my content strategy going forward.  

Next I went into the Audience Report. I was not surprised to learn that my key audience is women 35-55. What I was a little surprised by is that 40% of my Facebook audience is still from Alberta, even though last week was my 3 year anniversary as a Haligonian. 

On the flip side 40% of my Instagram audience is from the Halifax region.

A big contributor to this is likely that the Instagram account was created when I launched Dandelion Digital in 2020, whereas the Facebook account was renamed Dandelion Digital from my previous photography business in Edmonton. 

 

 

Analytics as a Goal Setting Tool

Here is the take-away, and the importance of knowing this information. 

I work with small business owners to post with purpose through photography & social media. What has gotten me through the pandemic was the use of zoom, and social media coaching to other new entrepreneurs. So I now recognized that I will focus on that more heavily on Facebook, where the bulk of my followers are long distance and available virtually. Instagram will not ignore the coaching at all, but it will prioritise my key service of local brand photography with social media strategy. 

So, are you reviewing your past year, to start planning your new year? What insights have you made for your business? 

Vendor Tips for Live Events

Vendor Tips for Live Events

 

Two years ago I was working on a business plan, preparing to launch Dandelion Digital. At the time my business plan played to my strength and experience…photography and social media for live events. While I completely love the switch to brands for small business, it was great to have live events on my calendar again this month!

Marketing Live Events on Social Media

One of these live events was a craft show. I was so pumped to work with the organizers. Back in my employee days I did a lot of work on trade shows, so this was almost nostalgic for me.

This live event was the first big craft sale in nearly 2 years, featuring Atlantic Canada artisans. A few weeks before the event I started a social media campaign to introduce the vendors, and their products. It was very simple, and drove a lot of awareness and engagement.

From that experience I have a couple of tips for vendors as they return to live events.

 

Vendor Bio’s

Are you submitting your bio to be shared in a program or post for the live event? Writing it in third person gives the reader a narrative they can relate to.  Use your name rather than ‘I’. For instance if you read “I am a photographer”, rather than “Allison is a photographer”, which works better from your perspective as the reader?

If you are a show organizer with several different vendors, speakers, or presenters, create a quick questionnaire with leading questions to help them provide information in their bio that would appeal to the ideal customer of your event. That helps them know how to talk about themselves, and gives every bio a consistent, yet unique spin.

 

 

Vendor Photos

A photo may be the first impression of your product. I can showcase the detail of your craftsmanship. If you are posting (or submitting) photos of what you are selling, you want it to grab peoples attention. Keep these photo tips in mind.

  • Start taking pictures during your process for a behind the scenes look
  • Try for a close up that emphasizes detail – try different angels
  • Keep your picture as uncluttered as you can so your product really stands out.
  • Back away and show your full display or booth – watch for distracting items like garbage, coffee cups, extension cords
  • While you are at it, shoot a quick video spanning across your entire display
  • Shoot vertically and horizontally to fit different formats
  • Be sure of your focus
  • Straighten your photo
  • Colour correct your photo – be sure your whites are white
  • Keep your photos in a “photo bank” to repurpose for social media posts and other vendor shows.

 

For more details on some of these tips, refer to these 3 Photo Tips to Get Started on Social Media.

If you are not sure of how some of these tips are put into practice, consider getting in touch. You can also DM through Facebook or Instagram at @dandeliondigitalhfx.

3 Tips for Social Media Consistency

3 Tips for Social Media Consistency

A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation with a client I had done some product photos for. Within our conversation he asked how my social media posts seem so consistent in its messaging. I introduced him to Cindy, my ideal client avatar. The idea of the avatar is to direct your messaging to this one “person” in order to reach everyone.

 

Picture this.

Have you ever given a speech? Or been to a conference that had speakers on the stage? A common practice for speakers, especially starting out, is to pick someone in the audience to direct their presentation to. Maybe it is the person in the fourth row, centre seat. If the speaker directs their focus to this one person in that one chair, that does not limit the message. Everyone in the room hears it. Everyone in the room benefits. Everyone in the room understands and feels like that message resonates with them. But the speaker focused the message towards a single chair to stay on track and keep focus. That chair is your social media avatar.

 

How else can you build social media consistency?

 

Scheduling:

Create a monthly social media content calendar. Whether you sit down weekly or monthly to preplan, it gives you a structure to know what you are going to share with your audience. Photos, tips, instructions, ideas. Personally, I plan around 3 content pillars. Educate, Endorse, Entertain. That ensures I am not showing up just trying to push my service, but also help my ideal client.

Branding:

There is a time and place for stock photos, but brand photography that represent you and your business is important. Styling your social media with the colours and fonts that represent your business is also an easy way to be consistent, and recognizable. Using a free branding platform such as Canva creates graphics, quotes and photo accents with a branding kit that allows you to save a couple of colours so they are easily accessible. With tons of free fonts, you are likely to find the one that is consistent with your website and docs, and header images (like the one at the top of this post). I like to have a main text font plus a fun accent font! For extended options you can also upgrade to the paid version.

Imaging:

As a photographer my photos tend to be vibrant. Regardless if I am using a filter on my iPhone or editing from my DSLR in Photoshop they all have a consistent look. Discover your preferred style and stick with it. Some prefer a muted look. Some go warmer, others cooler. Especially if you are using a phone filter for your photos, stick with one. For instance, I had a client that used Juno on all the Instagram photos, giving the grid a consistent visual.

Oh, and pro tip, ALWAYS, always straighten your photos before you post them. That is my personal pet peeve!

 

I would love to hear how these tips help you be more consistent on your social media. To post with purpose! Send me a DM on Instagram at @dandeliondigitalhfx. I would love to connect

 

 

 

3 more Photo Tips to Elevate your Social Media

3 more Photo Tips to Elevate your Social Media

 

We all want to curate a perfect Instagram feed. Earlier this spring I started this series on photo tips for social media. We looked at lighting, building a Photo bank, and watching for distractions in your background.

Go back and check it out. This month I want to share

3 more photo tips to help elevate your social media images.

 Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. SELFIES are a solo-preneurs best friend when you want to add a photo and don’t have an entourage around. Set your phone on a window sill, a tripod, or even propped up with books, and use the self timer so you can be hands free.

Selfies are most flattering when you are standing in even light, facing sunlight, with the camera slightly above eye level, leaning towards the camera. Push your butt back, slide your ears forward, and stick your tongue behind your teeth for a NATURAL LOOK. It may not (let’s be honest – will not) feel very natural, but in a 1D image, butt back, eyes forward will be the most flattering. Remember, unless you are a Kardashian, this is your brand, and how you are representing your business.

 How can you add selfies into your content plan?

  • Showcase your community when you are out and about.
  • Shout out to your favourite business when you are in their shop
  • Tag a client during a consultation or meeting
  • Share a personal behind the scenes

Pro Tip: selfies can be both a photo, or a video, which leads to tip number 2.

2. VIDEO. This is about photo tips, so you may say they are not photos, but really, they are moving pictures taken with your camera, so I say, they kinda are. And in the trends of social media, video is becoming more and more analytically important to incorporate in your social media strategy. In a recent study of nearly five and half million post, “Video content receives 49% higher interactions than images” even though the majority of post were photos.

How can you incorporate video into your social media calendar? Pre-recorded video spliced into Instagram Reel of 15, 30 or 60 second intervals. 

IGTV is Instagrams longer format stand alone channel that allows for 60 second to 60 minute prerecorded videos. 

Lives are now available on several platforms, giving the opportunity for demos, tutorials, and community conversations. 

If you have not started to work with video yet, I found Reels are a great place to start. They can be creatively edited, and take away the fear of going live. My first reel has 88 views. I posted this reel today (note: you can download reels to your camera roll to repurpose like I have done here, but it is without sound and with a watermark), that in just a couple hours has over 2400 views, 37 likes and 5 comments. Here’s the thing. It had absolutely nothing to do with my business. It was about building engagement. Letting my followers get a look behind the curtain of my life. Building the know-like-trust factor.

3. My final photo tip is … EDIT your photos for extra impact, but don’t overdo it! For me the first thing I look at in editing a photo is to make sure it is straight. From there I want to be sure my contrast, colour and exposure pop.  

Free apps like Adobe Photoshop Express or Snapseed and even your in-phone editor are great tools. There are so many to choose from for impact, creativity and even crazy effects.

So, in all that is 6 Photo Tips for your social media. Let’s recap.

  1. Lighting
  2. Background Distractions
  3. Photo Bank
  4. Selfies
  5. Video
  6. Editing

Maybe in the fall I will share 3 more. What are you looking for, how can I help? Drop me a DM on Instagram at @DandelionDigitalHFX

Me & My Camera. A Camera Day Tale.

Me & My Camera. A Camera Day Tale.

Today is Camera Day.

Invented nearly 200 years ago in France, the first still image took nearly half an hour to expose. Fast forward to the modern digital camera, with instant results!

First sold in Japan 32 years ago, a commercial DSLR (digital single lens reflex is a camera with interchangeable lens) sold for $13,000 with 1.3 megapixel (source). Compare that to today’s 12MP iPhone 11.

I first discovered my love of photography at 16. I had a little Kodak 110 instamatic camera that I took to NYC. After the trip, I took my film cartridges to the drug store to be developed, and waited the week for them to come back. There was something magical about that waiting period (if you could stand the impatience).

The joy of reliving the trip.

The thrill of seeing the image.

Later that year I signed up for my grade 11 classes, with an option for Cooperative Education in photography. I got my first real camera, a used Canon AE-1, and  began a new love affair with the darkroom. Developer. Stop Bath,  (if you are nodding then your nose is probably burning too!) and the dreaded reticulation effect.

Out of high school I started my first real job was a photographer with (not in) the Air Force. By this time my dad had been posted overseas and after graduation I was hired at the Base Photo Unit in Lahr, Germany. This was the best learning experience ever. It defined my photo journalistic style.  I bought my first new camera, a Minolta 7000, while I was trained on Nikon and Hasselblad. Any given day I was

  • on the tarmac for a General’s inspection
  • getting called out in the middle of the night by first responders
  • along the boards at a unit hockey game
  • once I was even on the wing of a Herc
  • and every day I was in the darkroom

I returned to Canada for college – Photo Tech.

After returning to Germany, getting married, and being posted to Manitoba, now as an army wife, I worked in photo studios. One doing portraits, the other as a darkroom tech for a wedding studio.

Posted again to Alberta, now with 3 young children, I stayed home for a few years and ran a dayhome. Slowly I started to cultivate a home based photography business focusing on Weddings & Family Moments. At this point the industry was shifting to digital, but I was holding strong to film.

I remember buying my first flip phone, completely based on its 2MP camera.

Then the parenting shift occurred.

Suddenly I was volunteering for the preschool board, the soccer board and the gymnastics board.

Was I crazy?

Best thing I did. Some of those connections are still my best friends today.

This is also where I started the shift to digital, and began the ground work for where I am today!

Volunteering always involved photography. Then I was asked to do newsletters. Then Facebook appeared. I bought a digital camera. Already having a small collection of lens, I stuck with Minolta, buying a Maxxum 7D.

Digital was a whole new beast.

  • SD cards instead of film.
  • Instant replay on the back screen.
  • New light meter.
  • White balance.
  • Histogram (digital meter measuring exposure and colour).
  • No more darkroom.

I went back to school and learned Photoshop and Digital Imaging. The path was laid.

Back in the workforce, jobs were based on shooting community events and posting stories. The local radio station, Chamber of Commerce, and an event services company.

By this time I had a Sony A850 with a beautiful 1.8 135mm Karl Zeiss lens. As any photographer will tell you, good glass is the most expensive part of our kit bag. As cameras evolved, upgrading the body was practical. Sony had taken over Minolta so all my lenses, even the old film ones, had the same bayonet to fit all 3 bodies.

As the kids got older and jobs started to build my network in the community, the photography business shifted away from weddings and into corporate work. A grant allowed me to upgrade my entire DSLR kit. I wanted higher resolution, less noise (grain). Coming full circle, I bought a Nikon D810.

Now posted to Nova Scotia, and my first full time Entrepreneurship.

So today I pause. I reflect on my love affair with my cameras.

The stories they have told.

The family archivist.

The vacation companion.

The carry-on luggage.

The tool of the trade.

Other than my coffee pot, it is the single most used item I own.

The beauty of Camera Day is we can all participate. Get out and shoot. No matter if it is on Manual in the RAW, or with an old iPhone 6s, shoot, shoot shoot!

Pro Tip: Today is Camera Day, but tomorrow is Social Media Day, so be stategic and plan accordingly!