Finding The Right Hashtags & How To Use Them

Anyone who runs a small online business knows that there are only so many ways that you can really promote yourself and get your business out there to be seen! Word of mouth is huge, but the next biggest thing is definitely using social media! You really have to see which social media platform work best for you in the end, but if you aren't using them at all you are really not marketing your business to is fullest potential.

In my line of business Instagram is a huge platform that is just ready to be used to help you show off your business and let people get to see and know you! You can he professional, and still put little personal posts out there as well. But unfortunately just posting doesn't help everyone see or find you. You want to know what does help with that?

#HASHTAGS

I know that if you have an Instagram account you have seen them, and sometimes they are honestly picked at random. But if you do it right, the proper hashtags can really help you be seen by the people in your target audience who use Instagram for researching! People are so visual these days, and being able to see images, products, and posts related to your brand helps the viewer get to know you before they even contact you. It helps build a trust between you, and makes you so much more approachable in my opinion.

But how the heck do you know what hastags to use?!?

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I know that the task of finding the rights hashtags can feel so overwhelming. But honestly it just requires a little bit of research! Here is how I did it!

If you are anything like me, you like following like minded people who you relate to and enjoy seeing their posts right? In my case this means on my business Instagram I follow other designers I love, small business moms, and other inspiring bosses! So to find my hashtags I looked at the tags of those like minded accounts. I went to the accounts of my favorite designer friends and looked at posts similar to what I do. Then I looked at their hashtags. I took a screenshot of each and then eventually went and wrote them all down. You will notice some that they all have in common, and some that just stick out to you. Then take some time and search through those hashtags on Instagram.  Is that group of posts something that you want to be a part of? If so then you have found your tag! I then did this some momma accounts as well that I like to follow. 

It really can be that simple! It does take a little time, but it's well worth it in the end! If it puts your brand out there in the eyes of the right person, and if you get even one sale from it, you have spent your time well. Just make sure when you are coming up with your hashtags for a post, that you limit yourself to no more than 30! Instagram will actually not allow your post if you exceed that number.

Speaking of using up to 30 hashtags, I have another tip for you today! You have gone through all of the work of coming up with the perfect hashtags for your brand, and possibly even different groupings for certain photo types that you post. Now how the heck are you going to remember all of these freaking hashtags?!? Well, you have two options!

Create a note - in your notes app on your phone, or even in a doc on Google drive, write out the types of posts you commonly do, and then simply add the hashtag group right there. Then just copy it and paste it in to Instagram when you do your post. If you use a ton of tags I kind of recommend adding your hashtags in as a separate comment or making sure there is space between your text and your tags.

Keyboard Shortcuts!!!! - OMG! Where has this shortcut option been all of my life?!? Did you know that you can actually set it up so that when you type in a single word, your string of hashtags will pop right up?!? For example, on my Instagram if I am posting a somewhat personal post I will type in kickassmompreneur and this is what shows up!

#Mompreneur #bossmom #momswithbusiness #createyourhappy #livethelifeyoulove #investinyourself #persuepretty #inspiration #thatsdarling #smallbusiness #smallbiz #webdesign #youngentrepreneur #entrepreneur #creativeentrepreur #communityovercompetition #womeninbusiness #savvybusinessowner #risingtidesociety #smallbusinessowner #georgiabusiness #georgiadesigner #girlboss #bosslady #bossbabe #mycreativebiz #freelance #designyourlife #livecolorfully #tiffanykuehldesigns 

I mean, how freaking simple is that! So this is how you do it. You know that note that you created when you were searching for the right hashtags? Well copy a group of tags to your device. Then go to settings > general > keyboard > text replacement on your device. Then you click the + to add a new shortcut. Paste your tags onto the phrase section and then add a word that you don't use often, but will remember when you need your tags into your shortcut section. Then just type in that word and select the tags when predictive text starts showing them! It's so freaking easy and it saves so much time when you are posting! I use this shortcut all the time now and I love it!

There are honestly so many forms of marketing out there for us small business owners, but using the right hashtags on Instagram is definitely an important one to keep up with! It can take you from not having ANY likes or views to suddenly having dozens to hundreds of people miraculously view your content, and it doesn't have to be overwhelming!

7 Tips For Successfully Blogging For Your Business

Time and time again, I have been asked if I have found a blog to really be that important for a business.

HELL YES!

If you are running an online business I truly believe that a blog is a must for so many reasons! But the idea of blogging can really freak some people out! Today we are going to talk a little bit about why having one can be so important, and I am going to give you the same tips that I give every person who has asked me that question!

When you have an online business you have to put yourself out there! You can not just open your business doors so to speak and BOOM you're selling your products or services like crazy! There are a few really good ways to put yourself out there, but guess what…. Blogging is one of them! When you do a blog you are communicating with your target audience and allowing them to feel like they are getting to know you before they even contact you. You are showing that you know your stuff, and even educating your potential client a little about what you do. You are showing that there is a real person behind the monitor and you're giving your business a voice.

Everyone always asks me if their online business really needs a blog. HELL YES it does! Today I tell you why, and I give you some super helpful tips on how to keep it going!

Here is my advice to you in how to start and run a successful blog…

Be Genuine!

If you don't take anything else from this post, please take this bit of advice and let it sink in. You should ALWAYS be genuine with your blog posts. Use your voice, and make sure that you shine through in all of your posts. I have always been asked what readers want you to post about. Guess what… it's not about what the readers want you to post about. It's about what you want to write! If you are genuine in your posts and write about what makes you happy, then and only then will you attract the readers that you really want. That's when you will have the readers who are there because they like what you have to say and feel a connection of some sort to you. In the end people are looking for that connection. They enjoy following along with, and reading posts from people that they click with. So always be yourself so that people are getting to know you through your words!

Have A Brain Dump Session!

You're probably looking at this wondering what the heck I am talking about. Haha! Well, this tip goes along with another question that I get asked a lot. How do you come up with topics to post about?!? This is where the brain dump comes in! Once a week, or even once a month I want you to sit down with a pen and paper, or in my case my phone or iPad, and set a timer for twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, I want you to write down every idea for a post that you can possibly think of. Once you have done this you can go back later and look through those ideas and pick the post topics that excite you. You will find that when a topic excites you, the post almost just writes itself. That's when the words just seem to flow! Then leave the ones you don't choose for a later time.

Don't Worry About Similar Posts!

“Why would people read my posts? I'm sure there are other posts out there about the same exact topic!” Guess what, you are probably right! But your post will have something that those don't. You will have written it! There are millions of blogs out there, which means I'm sure your post idea has been thought of before. But your readers come to your website because they like you! They enjoy seeing things from your point of view. The only tip that I do have is not to search or read any of those similar posts, because then you have a higher possibility of judging yours based on theirs or even subconsciously writing a post that mimics theirs, and nobody wants to do that.

Show Your Work!

If you are a product/service based business it is always great to do posts where you show your work. Give details on the project, the steps you took to create the end result, and even why you made certain choices to do things this way rather than that way. This shows your reader that you know what the heck you are talking about. Plus everyone loves a behind the scenes look!

Batch Posts & Schedule Them Out!

I believe I have mentioned something on here before called a batch day. Well, this is where something like that comes in. I find it easier to write blog posts if I take one or two days and just focus on the content. For example, Lauren from Elle and Company will go in one day and do nothing but outline all of her posts that she is planning. Then she will go in a day or so later and really write out those posts. This helps save her time because the outlines are already there and she knows what she wants to say, she just has to really type it out. However, I do things a little bit differently. Are you ready for this? Lol. I will go through and look through my brain dump and choose a topic. Then I tend to write my posts out while I am nursing my little one. Yup, most of my posts get written while I am nursing, because that's when I really have the time to sit there and think it all through. This just goes to show that you have to do it in a way that works for you. Regardless, it helps me to go through and spend one or two days setting up several posts at a time.

Only Commit To What You Can Truly Achieve!

“There is no way I can post every day! Why bother posting at all?” You do not have to post every day! Did you hear that? Let me say it one more time just so that it sinks in a little. You do not have to post every single day! Most people just don't have the time for that!!! You come up with a posting schedule that works for you, and then commit yourself to that. This could mean that your posting twice a week, once a week, or even every other Friday. The important thing is really just that you don't commit to a schedule that just isn't realistic for you!

Share Your Posts!

After you have put all of that work into writing your beautiful posts out, making it pretty with your images, and then hitting publish, you had better be sharing these posts! This is why every single post needs to have images. You use those images to share these posts on various social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Don't just add your image and slap your link on there though. That's really just going to annoy people. You want to organically share the content. So maybe put an excerpt of the text that will draw people in with the image and then put your link in your profile. For Pinterest, I would share every image in the post, but make sure you have one image that says what the post is to grab attention. For Instagram, just share your favorite image with a little blurb. On Twitter, you can share it a few times for a few days because a tweet has a very short lifespan. Then with Facebook just the one image with a link and a blurb. Just keep in mind that you don't want your social media to only be blog posts. Then you tend to look like a robot. Make sure you show some posts that show you're a human after all. Share some of your life and what you do when you're not working.

I'm not going to lie to you, running a blog does definitely take some time and effort. But in the end, it is so beneficial to you and your company, and it's definitely worth it. Your blog shows your target audience who you are and helps you build a trust with them before they even work with you or purchase from you. Every online business needs a blog!