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Instagram Stories are a perfect way to tell your customers more

Instagram is currently used by over 200 million people each month, with 60 million photos uploaded every day with 1.6 billion likes. It’s a growing social media platform, which some people love, whilst others “don’t get”.

As a business, it’s an area you should certainly be considering using. Even if it’s just noticing what’s going on and seeing if your ideal customers are using instagram at all. More women are using it, and if you’re target market is women 26 – early 50s, then you should definitely check out instagram, as that’s where your customers are spending some of their time.

You may not even know what instragram stories are?

A new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

Introducing Instagram Stories, August 2016

instagram storiesInstagram stories appear at the top of your screen when you’re looking at your instragram feed.

They can be video or a series of still photos or images. They don’t add to your normal instagram feed, and they disappear 24 hours after you’ve posted it.

Viewers can send you direct messages from your story, but there’s no public comments, making engagement directly with you, so you qualify the person’s interest in you by their response to your story.

I had the pleasure of learning more about instagram stories from Claire Jones-Hughes of Clarita Digital in an #inconversationwith interview, which you can view in full here

She explained that instagram stories are like a news feed, and shares current ideas, events and thinking.

 

Tips for using Instagram Stories for your business

  • Less is more – as long as it’s quality. Once a month could be enough
  • Consistency is crucial. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Start with committing to one post a month, then increase from there
  • Ensure your profile is up to date, and branded for your business & the links work
  • Have 9 photos uploaded to complete the grid people see straight away – at least 6 for starters if 9 feels too much
  • Spend time engaging with others on instagram – relevant comments and conversation
  • Create 15 second videos (from instagram app) of your event, your product, customer feedback
  • Use hashtags in your stories to help people find you
  • Don’t share across to facebook that have lots of hashtags (facebook doesn’t like it)
  • Ask your customers what they want to know about you and your business, and use that for your instagram stories

Next steps for using Instagram Stories

instagram stories tips for businessWhat I learnt from Claire, was to give it a go. Try it. Have a play. See what works for you, and what you enjoy.

That’s great for me, and my style, that’s how I learn best.

I know that’s not for everyone. Claire is available to help you and has a free webinar coming up soon.

We’ll be carrying on the instagram story conversation in the Business Cheerleading Club group, to support each other to start, learn, develop and improve. There’s plenty of space for you to join us there too, for all sorts of business support, not just about instagram or social media. Claire has also agreed to do a workshop for club members on instagram in May, (open to guests at a charge of £29).

Let’s connect on instagram – We’re at tracey_jane_hughes – what’s your account?

Have you used instagram stories? What’s your story with them for you and your business?

 

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Stress busting techniques from Esther Nagle

stress busting techniques for business owners from esther nagleWe all encounter a little stress in our lives, so it’s important to know some quick tips to reduce and remove our stress. These stress busting techniques were shared with us by Esther Nagle, from Balance and Breathe, in our recent online conversation.

Stress busting techniques

1. SLEEP

Esther’s top stress busting tip is getting your sleep right. Many business owners struggle to sleep well as your brain is buzzing with ideas, or you “just want to get this done”. Instead of getting good sleep, and letting our bodies and brains rest, we often believe that we’ll work through it.

Without sleep, we’ll start to feel more stressed, and out of control. Sleep helps us get a more balanced view of our work, and life.

2. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF IN THE MORNING

After your great sleep, Esther suggested that you need to make time for yourself in the morning to set up your stress free day. Whatever you do with that dedicated “morning routine”, (and you may need to play a little bit to get it right for you), be it exercise, meditation, planning, or a mixture of different activities, will be important to the day ahead.

3. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

This is one area we know that business owners struggle to do. And it’s often the ‘regular’ bit of it that’s missing!

Whether you set an alarm to keep your day broken up, or schedule your day with breaks into it, it’s important that you step away from your work, take a break, before returning to it.

Having a drink, (why are brew areas so important in offices? Not just for the social interaction, but the act of moving from your desk to get a drink), going for a short walk, stretching, dancing, singing. Changing your physical and mental state for that whole body and brain change is important.

4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

This is an interesting one, but one you’ll probably have heard of. It’s interesting that Esther thinks this is important as a stress busting technique.

Knowing that you have a lot to be grateful for can really help you to focus on what’s fantastic about your work and business, and know that the current frustations (stresses), are only there to make your business better in the future.

Some people write down their #threethings each day in a journal or diary, or even share them on social media (making you accountable for what’s good in your life). Others will have times during the day when they’ll think about what they’re grateful for.

5. GET HELP

I know from personal experience that business owners are often bad at asking for help! We think we have to know it all and do it all. Hmmm. That’s not going help our stress levels is it?

So, what can you ask someone else to do? Is it the family to do more around the house if you need to work in the business more? Can a friend help you out at an event, instead of you trying to do it all yourself & not being pleased that you couldn’t speak to everyone? Would an assistant be helpful to do the things you don’t enjoy/aren’t finding time to do?

6. BREATHE

It’s interesting that Esther chose this one to end our conversation, as when she started talking about it, it felt to me that it was the most important stress busting technique that’s available! [Note – Esther has told me since that she could have talked for days about breathing, so she left it until last to ensure she told us the other top tips first!]

Breathing well, helps keep us grounded. Simply breathing in and out, takes the focus away from our busy mind, and focuses on the breath. There’s different breathing techniques you can learn. For starters, simply breathe in and out deeply three times.

I use this when I start to feel a little anxious and is the perfect way to get yourself back in control when you feel yourself getting a bit ‘off balance’.

More stress busting technique support

I learnt loads from Esther, from Balance and Breathe, in our short time together. Her stress busting techniques are all simple to put into practice and are all free! We just need to do them.

Esther shared an excellent 13 minute relaxation exercise. You can contact Esther directly for more information, or support

If you’d like some support, as a business owner, to reduce your stress, whilst continuing to work in your business, the Business Cheerleading Club has other business owners who know what you’re feeling, and going through, and will support you to put your stress busting techniques in place. It’s a place to ask for help.

What else would you add to these stress busting techniques for business owners?

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Why conversation is important to us

I love talking and meeting people and having a conversation. It helps the world go round, don’t you think?

If you don’t have a conversation with your client, how will you know what they want, and if you’re the right business to serve them?

How do find the right supplier, or negotiate the right deal for your business? You have to have a conversation.

I was looking at ways to help business owners learn tips and tricks to improve you improve your time management, or learn how to do something. I know you don’t have much time to go searching for what’s right for you. There’s so many courses and tutorials and youtube videos available, but what’s going to work for you?

Conversation with experts

in conversation with Sarah Arrow blogging for business tipsLast week I decided to have conversations with some experts I know in different areas of business, and personal development. My goal is to spend no longer than 30 minutes with the expert – they’re busy and so are you – getting a couple of #tipsforbusiness owners from them from our conversation.

I love learning, and spend a lot of time reading, and watching tutorials and webinars. But I’m sometimes left with more questions than I started with! I want to ask “what does that mean for me?”, “how do I do that in my situation?”. So, this way, I can do the asking!

We’re carrying out these conversations on our Facebook page as a live interview. So they’re free for anyone to watch, and ask questions during the conversation (or in advance if you can’t come live). We’ve created quite a list in a short space of time, and are now getting experts booked in for conversations in April. It’s wonderful how so many people are wanting to share their tips with others so we can all learn and do better in our lives and business.

Every conversation is recorded and will be available afterwards. For our Cheerleading Club members, they’ll have them in the club resource centre. We’ll also be putting them on our YouTube Channel, and of course on the Facebook page, so hopefully they’ll be easy for you to find what you need.

What would you like to learn from a conversation

So whilst I’ve started learning and having amazing conversations with fantastic people, we’d like to hear what you would like to learn from a conversation with….Who? Who would you like to have a conversation with?

If we can all have more conversations with each other, we’re bound to understand each other better, learn more, and help each other more aren’t we, and grow all areas of our business too?

That’s a dream I’m having at the moment.

Join our conversations & let’s grow together. A full list of our events is here on our Events Page.