Living “Healthy Like A Boss” with Megan Corey

This month’s featured entrepreneur is Megan Corey – a certified health and wellness coach who is determined to teach busy entrepreneurs how to achieve that perfect balance between living healthy and being a #boss! So, without further ado, I’m glad to share with you my interview with Megan below. She talks about what inspired her to start her coaching business, the struggles she went through and .. of course I had to ask her to share some of her favourite tools for running her online business #fempire.

1. Who has been your inspiration in starting your own business? 

There hasn’t been 1 specific person that inspired me. I came from a family where you worked for someone doing the same thing until you retired. I was taught to get a good job, work hard and save up for retirement. I thought that’s what my life would be. I realized after I had my 2nd child that I wanted more, I wanted to fulfil my passion, I wanted to find my purpose and I wanted to work for myself so I had the flexibility for my family. I have the discipline, determination and desire to always push myself in life and in my work so I knew I had to do something with it. After months and years of reading, researching, listening to podcasts, interviewing business owners and mapping out my strategy, I made the jump to open my business and transition out of the 9-5.

2. What has been the biggest challenge in starting your own business?

The lack of time is #1. While working a 9-5, being a mom to two small boys and trying to start a business on the side, nothing prepares you for what that looks like. I’ve always been an extremely busy person, but very organized. This takes it to a whole new level. The other challenge is just figuring out everything you need to do to start your business, from setting it up, marketing, legal stuff, creating products, providing services, selling, there is so much to do and you really learn along the way. The work is never done because your mind is always buzzing with the next thing you want to do. Then you realize you need to do x before y can happen, but you don’t even know how to do x so you’re back to square one. It’s a humbling experience for sure and so rewarding when you see the pieces start fitting together.

3. What are your favourite tools for running/managing your business online? 

Having a virtual assistant and tech help has been key. Looking for ways to outsource areas you may not be an expert in so you can focus on what you’re good at and what’s important has been a huge help. Tools like Dropbox for sharing and storing documents and videos, Zoom for video conferencing, workshops and group coaching has been great so I can engage with people all around the world from my computer. Having a platform to host my online wellness course that is also an email platform and landing page hub has been extremely beneficial as well.

4. What would you advise other females who are thinking to start their own business?

Start researching what you want to do and have your WHY for starting a business. My why is what keeps me going. I want to help people. I want to transform their lives. I want them to feel and look better than they ever have before in their minds and their bodies. That’s my why. 

I also recommend continuing to learn as you go, be open for constructive feedback, ask questions, find ways to continuously improve, take courses to educate yourself on the areas you are lacking, and just keep going. It’s hard when you fail. It’s hard when things don’t happen as fast as you want them to. It’s hard when you give up your social life for a while or you can’t just veg out on the couch because you are always doing something for your business. But at the same time, you have to find time for your self-care, your mental and physical well-being. That is one thing I never let suffer. Even if it’s 15 minutes of something each day, you need that release to be a better businesswoman. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m taking a break when I’m running on the treadmill or taking a yoga class. Allow yourself to take the needed breaks so you don’t break!


About Meghan Corey

“My name is Megan Corey. I’m a Certified Health and Wellness Coach to busy professionals, executives and entrepreneurs. I help people change their habits, shift their mindsets and transform their lives through my virtual private and group coaching programs. My program focuses on mindset, nutrition, stress management, fitness to create overall lifestyle changes that are sustainable and realistic so they last. I’m also a mom to two small, very energetic boys, I love to go on adventures, travel, and I love to be active. Just living life to the fullest to be Healthy Like a Boss!”

Get in Touch with Megan:

Websitewww.megancorey.com

Facebook: facebook.com/megancoreyhealthcoach

Instagram: instagram.com/megancoreyhealthcoach

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/megancoreyhealthcoach

Email: megan@megancorey.com


You and your business can be featured next. Apply through the link below:

https://forms.gle/uLZ66CzTysZrMCCj9

How To Start A Remote Online Freelance Writing Business in 2020? [ 7 Step Guide]

Are you thinking of starting a remote freelance writing business? 

  • Have a laptop?
  • Love writing?
  • Love research?
  • Love work remotely?

Then you can start your freelance writing business right away. I started writing blogs in 2017 and by 2019 I went in full-time. So in this article, I am going to share my step-by-step roadmap to starting your own writing business. Ready to start earning money from the comfort of your home?

Copywriting vs. Content writing 

Copywriting is defined as the art of writing “copy” for the purpose of making a sale. So, the job of a copywriter typically extends to writing sales ads, landing pages, website copy, and even social media posts. The thing that differentiates a copywriter from a content writer is the purpose:

  • A copywriter writes a text that directs the reader to make a purchase. Eg. a Facebook ad with the simple call-to-action “Sign up today”.
  • A content writer’s goal is to share information that provides value to the reader (without trying to sell). Eg. A blog post on “5 Products Proven to Clear Acne”.

What does it take to become a writer?

Before I share my tips for starting a copywriting business, I just want to let you know that you don’t need to have a formal background in writing. Anyone can be a copywriter or a content writer from a freelancer, to a CEO. I used to suck at writing essays of any kind up until college. Heck, I was a mathematics champion in school, so I really hated anything to do with literature. 

Instead, what you need to get started as a copywriter is research skills and a passion for writing. Based on that, you can learn some writing techniques and formulas and eventually, you’ll develop your own unique writing style and voice. 

Ready? Let’s go through the 7 steps:

Step 1: You must LOVE studying

Want to be a writer? Then you need to read and study other people’s work to improve your writing style. Sign up for online courses on Udemy, read books and focus on getting better at this skill. I used to practice writing on my personal blog where nobody would see it – until one day my blog post “Why Starbucks Failed In Australia” went viral and started bringing me daily traffic.

Step 2: Be CLEAR about what type of writing you offer

Everyone knows that there are different types of writers out there. So, what do you want to be remembered for by your audience? Do you want to be the “Youtube coffee review girl”, the “Instagram blogger” or “the Facebook ads pro”? The options are unlimited. But make sure you list down the areas of writing you offer so it’s easier for people to find you and approach you for the right things.

Do you offer:

  • Social Media posts
  • Facebook ads copy
  • SEO Blogs
  • Magazine articles
  • Podcasts script
  • Email marketing
  • Website copy
  • Sales page copy

Step 3: Create Packages for your Services

Once you have decided on your services, the next step is to create packages and price them.

To create an irresistible package you need to:

  1. Research what types of packages your competitors are offering
  2. Ask your ideal clients/audience what type of services they need from you and how much they would be willing to spend for it
  3. Based on this research data create an ideal package (middle package). Then create one that offers more, and one that offers less.

Want to know what services I offer? Access my list of Copywriting Services here. 

Step 4: Identify your TARGET audience

The next step is to research and identify your audience. Think of what market segment (niche) do you like writing about. If you are just beginning, then know it might take some time to perfect your targeting, because you’ll need to experiment before settling on a niche.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about so I created 4 different wordpress.com blogs for my various interests. I wrote about travel tips, cats, make-up tutorials and leadership. Besides serving as an online portfolio, 6 months down the road I realised that I loved writing about business and marketing leaving the other topics aside.

  • What is one thing you can continuously write about for 6 months?
  • Is there a demand? And are people interested to read about it?
  • Who are the people who will enjoy reading your articles?

Step 5: Have an omnichannel PRESENCE

If you are just starting a freelance writing business you need to be everywhere your audience is Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, forums, groups etc. Next, build your online portfolio (in my case this was my DIY WordPress site) and start pitching your services. You can attach this link to job opportunities on different freelance websites like Upwork, Freelancer or LinkedIn.

The key takeaway here is to be visible and easy to find by your audience.

Step 6: Offer FREE Services for a Testimonial

Why FREE? Your first few jobs might be on a free trial basis because let’s face it most businesses want to hire experienced writers. As you start getting a few clients, remember to gather good testimonials from them which you can post on your website on social media pages so new visitors can see them. Testimonials are great because people can relate it to themselves and if you were able to solve a problem for someone in the same situation with them, they are more likely to trust you.

Step 7: Have a Marketing STRATEGY

So, now that you have an established social media presence and a clear offer you might be thinking “so how do I get clients?”. It’s actually not as difficult as you think. Ask yourself this: “Who needs a copywriter?”. Every business on this planet, regardless of size, location or industry NEEDS a copywriter. The opportunities are plenty. 

As a new business, you need to spend some time marketing your businesses. In terms of which strategy you choose to use, that’s up to you and your goals. But if you aren’t familiar with marketing, in general, know that there are two types of marketing:

  1. Push marketing – this involves searching and contacting your ideal clients and pitching your services. Google businesses you would like to work for. Reach out to them and let them know you would like to help them out. Another thing you must do is networking: go to local events, networking events, join seminars and meet up with local business owners. Use these leads to build an email list that you can use to pitch your services.
  2. Pull marketing – build a strong online presence (social media, website, branding, partnerships) so people can come to you instead of you going to them. Focus on sharing valuable content on all your platforms that are targetted at helping your ideal customer save a problem. Think of ways you can add value to people without trying to push sales. Write blogs, share testimonials and client reviews in order to “pull” new clients to your business. 

You will need to use a combination of both.

Getting started as a remote writer is very easy. It’s probably the easiest business one can start in 2020 – all you need is a laptop and passion for writing. 

If you are a beginner writer, looking to learn a proven copywriting technique feel free to download my FREE Copywriting Guide for Writing Effective Social Media Posts

Meanwhile, I’d like to hear from you. Are you an aspiring copywriter? What are your main struggles?

FEATURE: Why finding your WHY is important to grow a successful and sustainable business in 2020

  • A few months ago I invited Alexandra Noon to an email interview when I was researching inspiring women entrepreneurs to feature on my blog. When she replied so quickly, had the right energy plus an amazing startup story I knew immediately she was a great for for this series.
  • So without further ado, I’ll let her tell the story behind what inspired her to ditch the corporate life and venture into the land of entrepreneurship. She also has a gift for you! So make sure you read till the end.

1. What inspired you to start your business?

Alexandra Noon: ”I was working in corporate and going from one corporate office to another getting promotions and moving up, though the stress and anxiety were getting worse as the years went on. I was bringing the negativity home and it was ruining the relationship that I had with my boyfriend (now fiance) to the point where we almost broke up. I knew that I find to find something else because I couldn’t keep living these same days over and over again on repeat becoming more and more miserable.

My fiance actually found a Facebook ad describing an educational platform that teaches people the principles and skills of sales and marketing. I signed up for this education and started my affiliate marketing business. The commissions that I earned through pairing with well-established companies with high ticket items allowed me to retire from corporate at 29 years old.

Now I still have my Affiliate Marketing business and a team that I mentor in that space as a Freelance Digital Marketing business and I am a Business Confidence Coach focused on helping female entrepreneurs leave their comfort zones so they can show up and become visible online and increase profits in their business. ”


2. What was the main challenge you faced in your business?

Alexandra Noon: ”In the beginning I struggled heavily with confidence and self worth, I didn’t have any belief in myself so of course building a business and actually seeing success was difficult when I was constantly second guessing myself and tearing myself down. I had to take my business seriously and really commit to my success, for me that meant learning how to take care of myself. I started introducing more education and self care into my life.

Learning more about personal development allowed me to step into a new space that I hadn’t yet explored of myself and the success followed. I went from just being interested in my “side gig” to really becoming committed to my business and working for it because I had gained the confidence in myself to know that I was capable and worthy of success.”


3. Favourite tools to run your business?

Asana – I use for to-do lists, mapping out projects, quick access to all of my links, specific workflows, jotting down my ideas so I can come back to later, saving great articles or youtube clips that are applicable to certain aspects of my business. Everything is organized in specific files and I have SOP’s all ready to go for when I hire a full time VA. It feels so good to have everything organized and I know where to find everything. This was a huge game changer for productivity as well as staying on track with projects because I break things down into daily/weekly tasks – that way it isn’t so daunting, it’s just bite size pieces that make up the completion of a big project.

Google Drive – I LOVE all things google! I have my entire life in google docs, sheets, etc haha I love that it updates immediately and everything is transferable to all of my devices so going from laptop to desktop to phone it makes life easier. I also use this for clients and the team I mentor, giving everyone a folder and keeping everything organized and easier to find. I love the customization and that you can add comments within docs for easy editing communication on projects.

Canva – Such an awesome tool for basically anything! I make all of my branded content, workbooks, PDF’s, freebies, etc in there. As well as client work. You can do a lot in there with the free version as well.

Calendly – Super user friendly scheduler. Its a scheduling life saver for booking coaching calls, meetings, sales calls, etc quick and efficiently for both parties. I love that you can add questions in there so for something like sales calls or new client calls you can have a built in pre-qualifying form all in one link for them. There is a lot of customization in there as well which is nice. In future I will most likely upgrade to something like Acuity but for now Calendly is serving me well.

FB Group – One of my favorite places to build community and connect with like-minded individuals. I love providing a ton of value to my community members with free downloads, free trainings, guest speakers, contests, etc. *Getting in other like-minded fb groups has also served me well for networking and building new connections with possible clients or future collabs.

Instagram – My favourite place to show the behind the scenes of what I am up to, I show up daily in my instagram stories. I love building connections with my ideal client and creating those conversations in the DM’s. Instagram is such an intimate platform, I find it more natural for me to build connections over there and really form genuine relationships. I love to keep my feed and my stories fun and colorful as a reflection of my personality.


Your advice for other women who want to start their own business?

Alexandra Noon:”I would highly recommend you figure out what your WHY is. Why is starting a business so important to you? Are you looking for more money? Great, but money isn’t a deep enough reason! What exactly is that financial freedom going to give you, what type of life will you be living, how do you feel when you wake up in the morning with that financial freedom, how will you show up for your family, etc.

This will take some work to really dig deep into it. It’s so important though, you want to have an emotional connection to your WHY. It has to be so strong that when the excuses are screaming at you, your WHY is screaming back louder and stronger. If your WHY isn’t strong enough, the excuses will be.

Seek out advice from someone who has the success you’re looking to create. Ask for help, more often than not they say yes to a quick chat and could give you some really helpful tips to get started. Leverage the resources that you have around you, there is help out there – you just have to ask for it!


About Alexandra Noon

Alexandra, founder and creator of Rise Of The Voice Inspired movement, lives in the beautiful British Columbia, Canada with her fiancé and 1.5 year old Italian mastiff (aka.. her dog child!)

Alexandra’s signature course Confidence To Cash https://www.thevoiceinspired.com/confidence-to-cash is now available – This self-paced course is designed for female entrepreneurs helping them confidently step into the next level of their success by increasing clarity, self worth and visibility online so they can bring in that next level cash!


We have a FREE gift for you!

You won a Free 45 min 1:1 session with Alexandra Noon – just reach out to her on social media and tell her Alle sent you!


Claim your gift from the IG link below:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thevoiceinspired/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/the.alexandra.audrey/
Website: http://www.thevoiceinspired.com

Tips, Trends & Apps to Help You Grow on Social Media in 2020

Welcome to ALLE’s #WomenEntrepreneurs Series!

Are you planning your Social Media Strategy for 2020? Then, you’re in the right place, because in this article you’ll get the latest tips, trends, and apps recommendation to help you grow your business on social media.

This article is a collaboration with Gurmeet Kaur, the creative hands behind “Hands4uu”- KL’s upcoming Digital Marketing Agency. We’ve befriended each other on Instagram and earlier this month, I’ve asked Gurmeet to answer 4 audience questions which I have compiled based on my followers’ inquiries.


So, without further ado, let’s go through the Q&A style post. 

1. Popular Content Types in 2020

Content marketing is going to become even more prevalent in the upcoming decade with a greater emphasis on quality. Instagram is already starting to remove likes and the number of views for certain countries (it’s still in the beta testing stages right now). That will most likely be implemented worldwide by next year and affect more accounts. As a result, it’s even more important for content marketers to post engaging content that will help resonate with their audience as opposed to vanity metrics. In 2020, I see these 2 types of content grow in popularity:

1.1 Video     

According to a Cisco study, by the year 2022, about 82% of all online content will be via videos. Video content is going to dominate the next decade and take up the social media world by storm. It’s already showing an increase in the number of TikTok users with about 500 million active users worldwide as of September 2019 (source: Oberlo blog-TikTok statistics). Besides TikTok, there are stories on Instagram or longer-form content on YouTube which can be incorporated into your social media as well. Let’s not forget IGTV as well on Instagram.

1.2 Digital Products

Offering a range of digital products like e-books, webinars, tutorials are going to see an upward trend in 2020. Everyone wants an easier way to learn with the convenience of being able to play-back a tutorial or replay that training session. 

2. Content Creation Trends for 2020 

2.1. Instagram becoming your home page

Your Instagram profile has all the inbuilt qualities to become your new home page. The goal of your Insta feed should be to convert visitors into followers and eventually paying clients. Keep in mind, when setting up your Insta profile, it’s important to have everything aligned with your brand. The colours, the tone, the message. Brand consistency is very important for recognition. 

2.2 Emphasis on Authenticity     

This has to do with the no-edit trend where you should focus on posting original, authentic pictures with no filters. Clients want to see a more honest and real side of you/your business. Show your face or film yourself behind the scene of running your business. 

2.3. Photography & Emoji Combo

Emojis have become very popular and relevant in the last few months (another trend influenced by TikTok).  By adding an emoji to your photo (or video), it helps you stand out from the crowd and convey even more emotions. Take inspiration from influencer @kedjess who is a huge fan of this and uses emojis on all her photos. 

3. Gurmeet’s favourite content creation apps 

  • Canva – It’s very easy to use and makes your graphics, presentations and all your other marketing/branding collaterals look very professional.  
  • Storio – Great templates for creating stories and posts.
  • Typorama – Great for Typography designs, type and overlay pictures. 

4. The No.1 thing most businesses get wrong

There’s no proper strategy or plan in terms of what you post. If your business deals with cosmetics or make up products for example, why are you posting content on how to bake a cake? You need to have a proper strategy in place. If that’s intimidating to start with, focus on setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) goals to help you work out your strategy needed.  


Final thoughts

Hope you’ve enjoyed this article which is part of my Women Entrepreneurs series. Every month for the next 6 months I will be posting an article highlighting other female startups and sharing their story to the world.

Let me know if you have any questions for me or Gurmeet. Do you like this type of post? I would appreciate your feedback. 


About Gurmeet – BA (Hons) Management Studies, University of Nottingham  

She spent 5 years working for DHL and quit her job because she “wanted to pursue something of my own and came up with the idea of Hands4uu”. She helps start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs with digital marketing and social media management and aims to expand into corporate training as well in the future. Follow her on social media to get more insights, tips, tricks & updates on the social world and content strategies.

Connect with Gurmeet:

Instagram: @hands4uu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hands4uu

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gurmeet-kaur/


4 Instagram Content Creation Trends for 2020

Instagram trends change rapidly. So what will 2020 bring for us?

It’s December (fa la la la la) and you’re probably already taking time off from your work to spend Christmas and New Year with your family. Aren’t you? Regardless, this is the perfect time to start taking notes on upcoming trends, while you pretend you are busy with work so you avoid answering questions from that nosy family member. Get your notebook (or notes app ready) because content trends are coming your way!

4 content trends to try in 2020: ⁣

Instagram aesthetic trends are ever changing – so what will 2020 bring for us? Scroll through the carousel images below to find out:

Trend #1 Graphics Over Picture

I’m sure you’ve already seen this trend around. This is probably my favourite trend and it’s also easy to identify. This trend was made popular by PicsArt and TikTok which both allow users to draw, add stickers and words over images and create an immersive and 3D look to social media posts. Use this trend if you’re trying to attract teens and young adults (like Digi Telecom) by adding brush strokes or emojis to your product photos to make them “pop” even more. In 2020, we’ll definitely see more marketers taking advantage of dynamic imagery for their content.

Graphics over Image by Digitelecom

Trend #2 A Curated User-Generated-Content Feed⁣

This is not a new trend as we’ve seen UGC all over the internet for the last couple of years. Is this trend going to be still popular in 2020? Definitely. Reposting UGC is such a powerful content strategy as it’s a great way to grow brand awareness, position yourself as a consumer-centric brand and reach a wide range of customer types. In 2020, curate UGC with a theme in mind, like Girlily does on her Instagram page @girlilydotcom.

UGC content curated by Girlily

Trend #3 The Monochrome Feed⁣

A single colour feed or black & white theme is such a simple way to give a polished and branded look to any feed. We’ve seen this grow in popularity mainly amongst photographers and designers, but this will change in 2020 as more companies look for ways to stand out. Apart the minimal B&W look, we’ll definitely see brands adopting more of the Pantone colour of the year 2020 “Royal Blue”.

Pink monochrome feed by SaintAimesLondon

Trend #4 The No-Edit Look ⁣

In the last few months, we’ve seen a 360 shift from perfectly posed and impeccable edits (bye-bye cellulite!) to more natural, unedited and raw pictures (hello cellulite!)”. As Taylor from Later puts it: “the days of perfectly poised Instagram posts are over, making room for more genuine and authentic relationships”. We’re definitely going to see more influencers and brands jump onto this trend in 2020. If you want to hop on to this “no-edit” look trend, but you still want to maintain a polished & consistent brand image, you can play with Lightroom or VSCO filters, but remember to keep it minimal.

Minimal Edit Look by WeAreFreedomCollective

Ready to hop on new trends? Or sticking to your existing strategy in 2020?

Have I inspired you to try any of these trends? Share a picture on Insta & let me see it by tagging me @allebusinesscoach. I am really excited and can’t wait to hop on some of these 2020 content creation trends, especially the graphics over text. ⁣

Stay tuned & happy planning!⁣
Alle

Learn more about my Social Media Services here: https://www.instagram.com/allebusinesscoach

References:

Canning (2019). “Where is the Instagram Aesthetic Headed in 2020?”. Available from<https://later.com/blog/instagram-aesthetic-trends/&gt;

McCoy J. (2019). “5 Big Content Trends for 2020”. Available from<https://www.searchenginejournal.com/content-trends/329253/#close&gt;

The Kleen Folks (2019) “4 Content Marketing Trends for 2020”. Available from< https://thekeenfolks.com/keensights/content-marketing-trends/&gt;

Instagram Stories are Growing Like CRAZY? 4 Tips for Creating Winning Stories Ads

Though Instagram introduced Stories back in 2016, the feature has quickly become one of the most popular tool for sharing social media content. Right now, Instagram Stories have over 500 mil monthly active users, doubling its user count from 2018 to 2019. Below is a graph that illustrates just how much Stories have grown since 2016.

Instagram Stories Useers. Source: Instagram 2019

Also, if you are a savy business owner –  which I know you are – you’re already familiar with using Instagram stories. Not only they are fun to film, but they have become a great tool for building close relationships with your audience. 

Fantastic! What else could you wish for? Right? Actually, there IS MORE!

Did you know you can use Stories to reach people beyond your followers? 

How? 

Instagram allows businesses to create Stories ads as an extra way to boost brand awareness and drive sales through the platform. Stories ads are a good strategy for anyone trying to reach new customers who are already using the platform on a daily basis. Through Stories ads potential customers can learn more about your offer, consume your content and interact with your other followers.

Need further evidence this works? According to Instagram (2019), 30% of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and 1 in 5 stories gets a direct message from its viewers.

So, how to make a Story ad fly? Here are 4 tips: 

Instagram Stories Ads. @Allebusinesscoach

Tip# 1: Keep it Short

Stories last for up to 15 sec., but you only have 3 sec. to capture your audience’s attention fast. Instagram advices to use vertical images/ video with little or no text at all for best results. 

Tip# 2: Don’t use GIFs & Stickers

Stories are so entertaining especially because because Instagram allows you to use fun stickers, polls & GIFs for FREE.  Yet, for your ads you should stick to your original content only. Stickers on stories are not considered original, and IG will might reject your ad.

Tip# 3: Do a Tutorial or Show a Behind the Scene

Stories ads don’t have to be “Hey, buy my product!”. You can share a behind the scene video of you packaging the product, or do a tutorial on how to use it. Keep it fun and entertaining rather than promotion driven.

Tip # 4: Have a Clear Call-to-Action

Now that you’ve captured viewers attention through your creative design, its important to direct your viewers to take some kind of action. Do you want them to visit your page? Sign-up to your mail list? or Send you a DM? Keep it short and direct.

End of “Story”

Think of Instagram Stories ads as watching a good movie trailer that convinces you to buy tickets to watch a movie. You only have 3 sec. to capture the attention of viewers, and to do that, you need to be bold, interesting & authentic. Also, don’t forget to be genuine, because people can smell “fake” brands from far. 


Do you need help with planning your Instagram content?

Get in touch via my email : axc99@yahoo.com. I would love to guide you through! Want to learn my easy copywriting formula for writing social media posts that convert? Download this guide for FREE!


References:

Instagram (2019) “The Rise of Stories”. Online. Available from <https://business.instagram.com/a/stories/overview?ref=igb_blog&gt;

Entrepreneur (2019) “What Makes an Instagram Stories Ad Fly? Answer: These 5 Elements”. Online. Available from <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/331597&gt;

MediaKix (2019) “How Many People Use Instagram Ads”. Online. Available from <https://mediakix.com/blog/how-many-people-use-instagram-stories/&gt;

#WORKATION: How do you travel & work at the same time?

If you’ve followed my social channels for a while, then you know that every now and then I like to grab my laptop and go on short “workations” across South-East Asia. But I wasn’t always this lucky. In my previous desk-based consulting job, I rarely even got to see the sun. I used to get up, commute to office before sunrise and get back at dawn, after the sun had set.

Starting an online biz has allowed me to travel & explore amazing places – all this while my business runs completely online. But as my biz continues to grow, and with work running 24/7, I find it impossible to disconnect from the internet even for a few days. 

So, “why travel if you are so busy with work” you might wonder. Well, there are a few reasons why I chose to travel every 2-3 months.


Reason # 1: New Environment Stimulates Creativity

As a copywriter & content strategist, I am always seeking new and interesting places to draw inspiration from. With creative work, the worst thing it can happen is losing creativity and falling into a repetitive loop (ouch! – I shrug as I wrote this).

View from Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia


Reason # 2: Better Focus & Productivity

Being away from home, allows me to see things in a different perspective. On my latest trip to Langkawi, I was so effective that I planned SM content for 3 clients & finished a website copy, all in just 3 days. Normally, this would have taken me at least a week.

View from Penang Jetty, Malaysia


Reason # 3: Detach from Everything

Not only that, but being away from home, even for a few days, allows me to detach completely from my house chores, business admin and daily routine. I feel more relaxed and inspired when I don’t have to think that I have left the washing machine running or knowing that I have a pile of dishes from last night’s dinner piling in my sink waiting to be washed.

Being a digital nomad for the past 10 years, I’ve also learned a few tricks that help me ensure I am staying productive when I travel.

Tips to get work done while traveling:

1. Plan it properly – make sure you make all your travel arrangements before hopping onto the plane, boat or bus. Have your boarding pass & all bookings for travel, activities & accommodation ready to save you time & reduce stress. 

2. Pack the essentials – laptop, handphone, chargers, headphones, tablet, pen drives/back-ups, notepad, pen, etc. Choose the place you work carefully, inquire about WIFI connectivity in advance, although most hotels & cafes provide that for free. Make sure you activate your roaming, so you are fully covered. 

3. Notify your clients & team of your travel schedule in advance – Let everyone know that you will be away and may not have 24/7 access to internet connectivity, specifying which is the best way to reach you in case of emergency (call? email?). Schedule your calls in advance based on what time zone you’ll be in so you don’t end up answering calls at 4am in the morning.

4. Work in advance – If you know the date of your travel you can plan your work in advance: prerecord Youtube videos, create & schedule a batch of content for your SM, try to finish ALL urgent and pending tasks BEFORE you start your holiday. 

View from Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

Ultimately, I love traveling. Travel makes me feel free, inspired and most importantly, creative. 

Let’s hear your thoughts. What other travel tips would you want to add to this list?

Want to keep up with my #Expatlifestyle? Follow me on Instagram : @allebusinesscoach

5 Ways to Overcome Instagram’s Massive drop in Stories and Post Reach

Have you noticed your Instagram post and Stories reach dropped this October 2019? Well, if it has, don’t panic! You are most likely NOT shadow banned and you’ll emerge just fine.

Here are some stats based on my own observations and based on my audience feedback:

  • some people said their IG stories viewes decreased by 85%, others say they get 0 views
  • most of Instagram users have complained of a 50% – 85% drop in organic post reach
  • Both small and large accounts are affected

Why is everyone on Instagram experiencing this massive drop?

Since August 2019, Instagram made it clear they are taking actions and penalising accounts who are using “unauthorised” 3rd party automation services for growing their accounts. These services include: auto follow services, mass comments, mass likes and mass stories watch.

You may be thinking “But I’ve never used any of these growth services, and my growth has alsways been organic. WHY is my account penalised?”

Well, the good news, you probably aren’t penalised. However … you are still affected by Instagram stopping automated services indirectly. Why? You see, when someone uses mass story viewing services and looks at 100,000 stories per minute, your posts probably got boosted to the explore page. And it made it easier for your posts to get higher reach under certain hashtags that were targetted by these automation services.

Now, remove that and what you get? A massive drop in reach accross the entire platform. As I mentioned before, do not panic. Just give it a few days and I’m sure the Instagram algorithm will reset.

Meanwhile, here are 5 new startegies, that will help you get back your organic reach:

Watch on Youtube: 5 New Startegies for Instagram

1. Post Quality vs Quantity Content

Now more than ever it’s important that you post only high quality content. Why? Because with this massive drop in Instagram posts reach, your posts don’t get seen by as many people. Every post needs to be intentional and calculated. What does your audience usually interract with? Is it educational posts? Motivational quotes or personal stories? Post less frequent and more quality.

2. Go LIVE on IG Stories

Whenever you go LIVE, Instagram will send an allert notification to all your followers prompting them to watch your video. And by people watching and enagging with your posts, you are increasing your chances of your future feed posts being shown to these accounts.

3. Post Shareable Content

Another tactic that I’ve personally tested on Instagram is creating “viral” or “shareable” content. This is crucial because with your organic reach dropping, you need to find new ways of getting your posts discovered by your target audience. A great way is to posts quotes and graphics that your followers can share on their accounts/stories and thus driving back traffic to your page.

4. Enagage with Other People

Don’t just sit around complaining that “Instagram sucks” or that “my engagement dropped so much”. You need to be proactive and manually search your ideal customers/audience on Instagram. Find them, message them, like their photos and leave meaningful comments onto their posts. And guess what? Because everyone’s reach has dropped you have a better chance of them noticing you and visiting your profile back.

5. Check your Insights

Did you know that you can now get even better insights into your Instagram strategy? There are plenty of tools that allow you to check individual posts insights and see which posts have brought the best reach, engagement, likes, comments, and even which posts have caused you to lose followers! Go study your insights and strategise your upcoming content based on that.

Conclusion:

Comment below: are going to try out any of these tactics?

In the end, I believe that this drop in reach is temporary and it will take a few days for the algorithm to reset and start pushing your content to more people. I hope you don’t feel discouraged, as I mentioned above, everyone on Instagram is affected.

Thank you for your support and I truly appreciate everyone who has been messaging me and shared their IG stats.

Follow me on Instagram for daily Instagram tips! https://www.instagram.com/allebusines…

FREE Copywriting for Social Media Guide download PDF here: https://mailchi.mp/6ca5495aeaca/abc

FREE Instagram Checklist download PDF here: https://mailchi.mp/72a94a461777/check…

Can you grow a business on TikTok? Q&A with TikTok Expert

Do you struggle to figure out what TikTok? You’ll be interested to know what a TikTok expert & business coach has to say (below)

I’m sure you’ve heard and seen by now that TikTok is the latest craze among teenagers. Not to mention, that according to research TikTok has outperformed EVERY other Social Media platform in terms of app downloads in 2019. So why do so many people use? What is it mainly used for? and most importantly, should you start using it for your business?

I had all these questions in mind, and luckily I stumbled upon Amanda Lee’s Instagram profile (@amandaxcn). She seemed to have all these super engaging, interesting IG stories posts which seemed unreal! Also, somehow she managed to add popular music tunes to all her videos, yet Instagram music isn’t available in her country (Singapore) or in the location I’m currently living (Malaysia).

So, I knew I had to talk her and get some PRO advice on how to use TikTok. She was very lovely, we clicked immediately and mutually agreed to have a vid. call and share knowledge on social media for business and most importantly, on this new phenomenon called TikTok.

Here’s a short clip from the 1 hour long call that changed my perspective on TikTok – and of course, I edited and posted it on TikTok which is one does nowadays. 🙂

Watch on Youtube: Q&A with Tik Tok Expert from Singapore (Summary)

Note: Before jumping on the call, I have asked my audience to send me questions related to Tik Tok, which I’ve summarised into 4 main topics. Here’s me asking the questions & a summary of her replies.

If you missed my Instagram stories, I wrote this blog article to share some insights into my interview with Amanda:

TikTok Q&A:

Question 1: How long have you been using TikTok app?

Amanda: I installed the TikTok app (the old version) on my phone about 5 years ago, but only in the past 1 year I started using more frequently. I was impressed by how quick you can edit videos and I was having some issued with Facebook removing/banning my videos with songs in them. So, TikTok came in to fill the gap.

Question 2: What features do you love most about TikTok app?

Amanda: TikTok is definitely a new and fresh style of filming and sharing content on social media. I personally like to watch raw and unfiltered footages of people’s lives. And TikTok is great for that, you can be authentic, unedited and be yourself behind the camera. There isn’t so much judgement or pressure to be & look “perfect” or “polished” – compared to Instagram. And secondly, I absolutely love that TikTok comes with a huge music library which is FREE to use for all.

Question 3: Can brands use TikTok for growing their business? If yes, what type of brands should be using it?

Amanda: I think that anyone can use TikTok regardless of their industry. The easiest way to use it (which I recommend to all new business owners) is to film behind the scene videos : film yourself at work, and show your personality. Do you have a funny side? why not show it?

Question 4: How do you think TikTok can help #onlineentrepreneurs (like me) scale our business?

Amanda: Well, you just go and test it out! But I have to warn you: don’t have high expectations! It’s not going to bring you overnight success – yet you should try it an see if it catches on you. I would advise you to use it film your life behind the scenes and just be crazy, funny, emotionally YOU! Because customers love to see the person behind the brand. Secondly, I think you need to have a clear image of who your customers are before diving fully into TikTok marketing.

Summary:

Wow! I have learned so many things from this discussion. So, here are my final thoughts on TikTok app.

Firstly, now I understand the hype around this app: it sounds so attractive and fun to use. Would I try using it for my business? Of course! I can download the app and start playing with it. If your audience is not there… I am sure you can still get valuable insights into the market trends and what’s “hot”. Secondly, I think you need to have a clear image of who your customers are. Are they teenagers, in their early 20s or up to 30s? Then you may find them on TikTok. And lastly, if none of these factors are what you are looking for, you can still use it as a damn good video editing tool – free music? I’m in.


About Amanda

Amanda is a Singapore-based business coach. You can catch up with her on her Instagram page @amandaxcn.


Thank you all for reading.

Honestly, have you downloaded the TikTok app? If not, what’s holding you back?

Connect with me on Instagram:

TikTok for business: A Beginner’s Guide (+Video Tutorial)

Are you curious about TikTok? or are you just wondering whether you should use it to grow your business?

This is an introduction for beginners. 

Do you get bombarded with TikTok videos everyday? They just seem to follow you EVERYWHERE! I know, it’s crazy!
I have downloaded the app myself and just can’t take my eyes off it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of TikTok.

  • What is this new app?
  • Who is using it?
  • Should I be using it?

If these are questions that you have, then keep on reading. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok was launched in 2017 in China and is a popular platform for sharing short-video content (15 sec – 1 min). The app took the global social media market by storm in 2019 when it became the no. 1 most downloaded app on Apple store (CNBC 2019). And for good reason, because it’s so fun to use and has some interesting and immersive content. And since kids & teens love it, and @GaryVee advocates it, I knew I had to write this article and fill you in on all the details.

A few PROs and CONs:

The PROs:

  • It’s the no.1 most downloaded app of 2019: 1.1 bil. installs as at Mar 2019
  • Popular among gen Z: 66% of users are females, aged 13 – 24 
  • The app has great video editing features (effects, free music library, filters, 3D effects etc.) 
  • Entertaining videos (focus on authentic content)

The CONS:

  • Most marketers (older than 30) have never heard of the app
  • Concerns over children privacy have lead to a ban in India (currently it was lifted) 
  • Although the app has international appeal, more than 40% of users come from India. 
  • It’s not going to work for every business (especially if you are in B2B, or your audience is highly professional)

How to create a TikTok video?

Watch this video to learn how to film and edit a video in less than 5 minutes!

TikTok Video Tutorial

Here’s a summary:

  1. Search for a viral/trending hashtag on your home page
  2. Find the music tune (you have an extensive library to choose from)
  3. Select your desired filters / 3D effects
  4. Shoot the video and be your authentic self
  5. Once you upload a video it will immediately start getting likes from other users which will see it on their own explore page

How popular brands use TikTok?

Do brands actually use TikTok for marketing? Yes, they do. Scroll through the carousel images to find out how they do it.

Popular Niches on TikTok

  • Make-up: Sephora posts make-up tutorials, shares clips of influencers, reposts other users’ content
  • Fitness: Gymshark shares meme videos, athletes & inspirational gym workout videos
  • F&B : McDonalds posts # challenges and encourage users to recreate them. For example, their #bigmactiktok is a challenge where users have to use gestures and “mimic” creating a big mac burger in 15 seconds.  

What Marketing Strategies Work on TikTok?

If you’re a business owner, or marketer THIS is the part you’re here for. And here are 4 marketing strategies that you need to use on TikTok if you plan to capture your audience on this platform.

  1. Hashtag Challenges – these are an essential part of TikTok and the users simply love taking these challenges. I remember the first video I posted on TikTok when I was testing it out was a #BobaChallenge which essentially, was a game-like challenge encouraging users to create their own virtual bubble tea. Great marketing idea, isn’t it? You can create your own # challenge (similar to creating an Instagram filter) and work with influencers to kickstart a campaign. Once a # challenge is created on TikTok, people can find it and post content which will boost your brand awareness. 
  2. User-generated Content – this works great on TikTok because gen Z loves the full immersive experience rather than watching TV. If you can encourage users to share clips of them using your products you are more likely to get a higher engagement. Ask users to film themselves cooking (recreating) a recipe, or recreate a make-up look, or anything that requires them to get involved.  
  3. Influencer marketing – similar to Instagram, you can work with influencers on TikTok and ask them to share videos using your product. The videos are typically more raw and authentic – which is something that the ten Z finds more appealing. So, don’t look for perfection – and just go with the trend. 
  4. Paid ads – currently limited to certain countries/regions. However, I’ve seen ads from a few brands on my page  – so it’s clearly working in Malaysia, which is my current location. 

Overall, TikTok is super fun and creative: you can use it to edit videos, create hashtag challenges and work with influencers to grow your audience. So, if you are a biz owner TikTok can be a valuable marketing tool for your business

Comment below: Are you interested to explore TikTok for your business?

Thank you.

ALLE, Social Media Strategist


While you are here, make sure to follow my Instagram page where I share daily video tutorials on most popular marketing trends & apps.


References:

CNBC (2019) How TikTok Took the World by Storm [Online], Available at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4uRVBFaYg8&gt;

TikTok (2019). [Online], Available at <www.tiktok.com/about>