We are just a little over a week away form MOMENTUM and as I plan the event with Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing I will also be one of the presenters. What will I be talking about? Social media of course!
As a small business owner I know the importance of using social media to grow your business, I should know this, considering that’s what I do for a living…helping businesses grow using social media. The one thing most people don’t understand is, it’s not just posting to your Facebook or Instagram accounts, there’s so much more to it.
At MOMENTUM I will be touching on all the main platforms and why each one is important for your business and when you should be posting.
Are you interested in hearing more about what I will be talking about? Do you also want to hear what our other experts have to say?
Make sure you get your tickets to MOMENTUM now before they sell out.
Nichole and I have been working hard to put on an amazing event for entrepreneurs and business owners large and small to help them either get started or help them grow in business.
Want to know more?
If you’re like me and I’m sure you are, you get a ton of emails a day and a lot of them are from a newsletter you opted in for. Could be from a retail store or another company that you wanted to do business with, but you’re still getting all these emails.
With all of these emails, how do you stand out sending yours?
It’s funny, most emails I get are getting flashier and loaded with graphics and images but have absolutely no content at all. Even the first few we sent out had a few images to promote an event or whatever ever it was we were doing but getting no traction.
Once I read DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson, he talked about the Soap Opera series of emails. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a series of emails, 1 a day for 5 days that reads like a soap opera. I stared one right after reading about it and started to notice my open rates growing. Still not what I was hoping for but a lot better than a flashy email.
How can I get even more people to open and reply to my emails?
After talking to our friend Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing, she told us about the 9 word email. It’s as simple as it sounds. A short, simple email with just 9 words…that’s it. When I sent my first email I had no hope to be honest, I thought it was going to be another email that would be sent to the trash.
Was I ever wrong. Not only was my open rates going threw the roof but I was getting replies to each email I sent and the more I sent, the more replies I was getting.
A marketer was saying that, there is no way that’s a good email and that emails need more images and graphics and they need to be flashy to get a good response. That’s not the case at all, a simple email with a great subject line is all you need.
What would you rather open, a simple email or a flashy email?
We are very happy to say that this week we have our good friend Nichole Howson from AIM Social Media Marketing as a guest blogger. This week she talks all about Instagram and how you can make your posts rock as much as her does!
There are HUNDREDS of apps out there… And believe me, I know how hard it is to narrow it down… If you took a look at my phone, you’d see what I mean. I tend to download EVERYTHING that I MAY need one day. I’ve got a graphing calculator. No idea how to use it. But I have it…. Just in case.
So, with ALL these apps out there, how do you narrow it down to find the BEST apps to use for your social media?
Well…. You look at blogs like this one for guidance. So here it is… Here are my TOP NINE apps for Instagram!
Don’t ask me why… But people LOVE these short little GIF like videos. Actually… I do know why. It’s because of something called Pattern Interrupt. This is what causes you to slow down or stop when you’re scrolling through Instagram to actually take a look at the video.
It’s moving… so it catches your attention.
Canva is one of the best things I’ve ever found. It’s photoshop made easy! Pick your type of graphic, swap out a little text and an image and you’re good to go! Great for on the go graphics!
Learn more about Canva here!
Ever take a photo that is just a little… bland? The colours aren’t really bright? This app is a simple and easy fix! It brightens the photo and makes the colours more vibrant! Bright colours cause pattern interrupt as well!
You took a picture, you’re about to post it and then you notice there’s something random in the background that can ABSOLUTELY NOT be in the photo. This app is going to be a life saver! Just colour overtop of the object you don’t want to see and then hit retouch. DONE.
You want to reshare a photo someone else posted on Instagram. Instead of screenshotting it, cropping it, and then retyping their entire caption, you can use this app! It will copy their entire post, making it easy to reshare, but it also puts the persons Instagram handle on the left so people know it’s a reshare! Great way to avoid the accusation of you stealing someone else’s content! You’re clearly just resharing it and spreading the love!
6. Color Pop
Have you seen those images where everything is black and white EXCEPT for one random brightly colored object? Aren’t they cool? Talk about serious pattern interrupt! Color Pop makes this SUPER easy to do. It only takes a few seconds!
I want to create a graphic of myself in front of the great wall of china. But I’ve never been…. So, I have three choices. (1) Jump on a plane. (2) Pull up photoshop on my computer. (3) Chose the easy way out! Use Pixomatic!
This app allows you to outline the object you want to crop out of a photo and then swap out the background for another image! Just a couple seconds and …. VOLIA! I’m in China!
I recently got locked out of my house. I shot a video of me running around the house trying to get in and my victory once I got in. Now I have this 64 second video that I want to share as a story on Instagram. But I can’t…. Stories have to be shot in 15 second increments. BUT WAIT! One of the 500,000 apps I have on my phone can help with this!
CutStory takes any video and splices it into 15 second shots so I can upload them into a seamless story.
Want an app that does almost EVERYTHING? Well, look no further! This app is AMAZING for photo editing! You can do so much with it! There are 25 different features… Plus 12 different filters. I could spend another 20 minutes talking about it… Or you could download it and try it out!
Well there you have it! There are my top nine favorites! Do you have a favorite? Share them below! I can never have too many apps!
A little while back I was asked if I wanted to do a presentation to teach small business owners how to build a simple website using WordPress. I was very excited to be asked so of course I said yes! This presentation as well as many others are being put on by Windsor Hackforge and there will be a total of 6 presentations for each topic.
Now, I have spoken at an event called YQG Talks and that was awesome! It’s something I really enjoy doing but as far as teaching and building a slide deck that is packed with value and to do it live in front of people…well that’s something new for me and something that is way out of my comfort zone.
Some might say, teaching using a slide deck is no different than doing a live webinar but something about being in front of a room full of people and not just talking but teaching is a bit out of my comfort zone. Is that going to stop me? Not one bit, I’m very excited for this opportunity and this will help me grow and be better at what I do.
Not only is this a great opportunity but this also adds another webinar to Let’s Learn with Russtek. We want know, what are you doing to get out of your comfort zone to grow as an individual or as a company?
Around this time last year, we wrote a blog post about Time Management and the struggles entrepreneurs face working from home. With the weather starting to get nicer we thought it would be a good time to revisit this topic and try and help with some tips to staying productive while still working from a home office.
“For a lot of entrepreneurs starting out, your only option is working form home until you have the cash flow to work from an office. This is a great way to get your business up and running and save some money. You are focused, you are motivated…time to get to work and be productive!!!
But wait, you missed that one show you wanted to watch last night. Ok, just one show then I’ll get to work. You are your own boss so who cares right? Now you see that there is some dust on the floor. Ok, just a quick sweep, wash the floors and maybe dust a little. Then back to work for sure this time, no more procrastinating.
Working from home has some great benefits but some major downfalls as well. It’s hard to be productive with so many distractions around. How did I manage to stay productive and not get distracted while working from my home office?
It’s not easy and has challenges but the best way to do this is set a schedule and follow it. Set your alarm for whatever time you did before when you were in school or went to work. No matter what, I set my alarm for 6am. Get up, get showered and dress for success every day. Even though you’re in your home office and no one will see you. Why does that matter? Ask yourself, are you more productive in your sweats or PJ’s or in good clothes that you would wear to the office?
I have set a schedule to work uninterrupted from my desk from 8am to 11am then take a lunch. This lunch is your time. I take that time to eat, clean or do whatever it is that I need to but I make sure I am back at the desk for 1pm. Then work uninterrupted till dinner time.
I understand things come up, they always do but think of being at your desk as you are at an actual office. If you must leave for a meeting or a networking event during the day, make sure you set that time aside and work later in the evening.
If you set your mind to it, you will be able to stay motivated and work from home and be as productive as you would be in an office setting.”
Everything I said in this post is still true and I have even found different ways that help me to stay productive. I now have my alarm set for 5am and read before I start my day, I now use a To Do app called ToDoist that helps me stay focused and I still make it feel like I’m heading to the office even though it’s a room in my house. Though I work through the day and into some evenings now, my schedule is almost the same as it was back then. If you want to know more about what a typical schedule looks like, take a look at this post from a few weeks ago!
We want to know how you stay productive if you work from home! Head to our Facebook Page and leave us a comment!
I’m going to start this blog off with a story…
Rachel Pedersen, a social media influencer and someone that continues to teach me more each day, just had her Instagram account shut down. The reason for this seems to be she had a massive amount of people following her in a short amount of time. The good news is she got her account back up and running…. only to be shut down again due to a troll claiming she is fake. Trust me, this is not true. She is real and she is amazing. As of writing this blog her account is still down as she tries to prove that she is real to Instagram.
What can we learn from this story?
Each profile you have, if it’s Facebook or Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn or whatever it may be, all of these are rented spaces and nothing is guaranteed to stay.
Why is this important?
If you focus all of your business on just one platform and you happen to lose that for whatever reason, can your business survive? What if you have an online business or even just part of your business online? Can you survive if the one platform you focused on goes down?
This is why I encourage everyone to work on multiple platforms. Right now I am on almost everything that is out there. I use only a few but I am on just about everything just in case something goes down and I’m doing my research for the next big thing.
Take for example Snapchat, I am on there but don’t use it often but I’m ready to use it if that’s the audience that I need to market to. There are a few other platforms as well that I’m on as I research and make sure if it’s the next big thing to happen in social media.
I will leave you with this, just remember that all social media is just rented space and if you need help expanding or what to know what platforms work best for your business, Let’s Chat and see how we can help you.
For those that have followed me on social media for the past few years, you’ve seen my posts in May eating way too many Big Mac’s.
Why do I do that in May?
I want to help those families in need that have to stay in the Ronald McDonald House going through the worst time of their lives.
A good friend of mine has had to spend far too much time in the RMH with both his children having to spend time in hospital. Currently, I have a friend that is in the Toronto RMH and another friend that recently had to spend time in the RMH with their new born in hospital.
Not being a parent I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have a child in hospital but sitting on the outside looking in I want to help. My good friend that had both his children in the hospital started to go from one McDonald’s to the next and helping out in any way that he could and even working at a MacDonald’s for the night last year helping the staff.
This friend is someone that I looked up to as a kid growing up and is still a good friend now so I wanted to and still want to help out so families going through the worst time of their lives have a little piece of home while they’re away.
This year McHappy Day is on May 2nd and what I want to ask of you is to come meet me for a coffee or for a Big Mac. If you’re looking to get out of the office, bring your laptops and let’s work together using the McDonald’s free WiFi. For every Big Mac you eat or every coffee you drink, McDonalds will donate $1 to the Ronald McDonald House.
I’ll see you on May 2nd and let’s have a coffee!
A lot of people have asked what it is I do exactly and what does a typical day look like for me. Well the cool thing about what I do is, no day is the same! There is always something different and that’s what keeps me on my toes.
I do try and keep some sort of a routine though and I’ll go through what the day in the life of a social media manager looks like…sort of…
5:00am – Every morning I set my alarm for 5am, usually getting up slightly before my alarm goes off and then opening my iHeartRadio app and listen to Mike and Lisa on AM800. While I Listen to the morning show I scroll through my social feeds as well as all the news that I missed using Flipboad and CrackBerry apps.
5:30am – Once I finish going through all the news I like to read a few chapters of whatever book I’m reading at the time. Currently I am just about finished with DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson. Once that’s finished I have the second book from him, Expert Secrets followed by Gary Vee’s book Crushing it. I’ve found that reading this early in the morning is perfect because most people aren’t up this early and I love the quiet time just to myself.
7:30am – After reading a few chapters I start to get ready for the day and put a pot of coffee on. Working from a home office can be a challenge at times but I find that when you get up in the morning and act as if you’re going to an office it helps you stay productive. This is why, when I wake up and start to get ready I dress as if I’m going to the office. That could mean a golf shirt or a dress shirt but either way I always try to dress professionally.
8:00am – Now that I’m ready for the day and at my desk the first thing I do is check my email and sort emails that I have already taken care of. The way I use email is, my inbox acts as a To Do list and only when I have completed what was in the email, that’s when I file it into a separate folder. After checking my email, I open ToDoist and get an idea for my day and plan it out. I this time to get content created and scheduled for myself and clients.
12:00pm – I try not to schedule meetings in the morning so I can get things taken care of in the office but that’s not always the case. When things do work out however, I try to plan client meetings and coffee meetings around or after lunch. If I don’t have a meeting to go to, I do my research and get caught up on blogs to be posted. A part of this job is always learning so if I’m not doing research I’m in a Masterclass or on a webinar to always grow.
6:00pm – After an afternoon or meetings I try to be home by 6 and make sure I eat some dinner. Normally I’ll try to start cooking around 5:30 so that way I can catch the news at 6 while I’m eating. Some days I will call it a night at this point and others I will put in another couple hours of work. By 8pm I am winding down for the night and trying to relax so I’m rested for the next day.
This doesn’t happen exactly the way I’ve said each and every day but I do try to keep somewhat of a routine. I find for me; this helps me stay productive! Let us know in the comments how you spend your days and if you have a routine similar to this.
Momentum is here!!! Last Thursday Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing and I launched our HUGE event that is geared towards business owners and entrepreneurs to help them with all aspects of their business.
Now, why and I shamelessly plugging our event in this blog post? Clearly, we have many ways to get the word out about the event so why talk about it here? We this post isn’t really about the event as much as it’s about her and I teaming up to put together an incredible event!
Over the years there have been many things I have had to do on my own as well as things I have done in a team and every single time, no matter how great the things I have done on my own are the things I have accomplished in a team are far greater!
With that said, I want to tell you a little story about team work and I will apologize now for the length of this post but trust me, it will be worth the read.
Competition turned into teamwork!
Back while I was working with the Beer Store and still just a part time employee, the union for the Beer Store wanted help to raise money for the Leukemia Society. This was the birth of the Returns for Leukemia Bottle Drive, the worlds largest bottle drive.
In the beginning years of the bottle drive a friend and fellow Beer Store employee at another store was as passionate about the cause as I was and we both “Team Captained” our respective stores helping to raise money for the cause. At first it was all about the 2 of us competing and trying to one up each other until we decided to work together and see what we could do as a team.
After the two of us teamed up and started working together we started to see more volunteers, getting other stores more help as well as more promotion for the bottle drive in the Windsor area. This is where my journey as a social media manager started. That’s where I started a Twitter account and a Facebook Page to help promote the Windsor efforts of the bottle drive. This in turn was so successful that we then used that for the entire province with collaboration with the Beer Store and Leukemia’s marketing teams.
Seeing that we could raise more money as a team we took our ideas to coordinate our district to the Beer Store corporate office and the bottle drive planning committee. This was the birth of the “District Coordinator” and the start of yearly planning meetings with people from every district coming together as a team to make this event even greater. To put it in perspective, the first year the bottle drive raised around $200,000 and the year I left the Beer Store, about 12 years after the first bottle drive we raised around $1.7 Million as a Province.
I go a little more into detail about how well we worked together and how many side events have come from us working as a team on this weeks Podcast that will come out on Thursday!
What I will leave you with is if you have the opportunity in business to work with someone to help others or help each other and grow your businesses, take that and run with it! I will say, I don’t know where Russtek Media would be now if I didn’t have Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing by my side as a mentor and business partner!
This week’s blog we’re going to be a little more personal instead of a business or social media related blog post.
This week I want to talk to you about burning out. A couple Friday’s ago we posted a podcast about burning out as I was starting to get to that point and felt it all last week. I was sluggish and tired all week, couldn’t get up in the morning when I wanted to and was falling asleep very early at night. As well it was brought up in a social media Facebook group that I’m apart of so I felt it was a perfect time to talk about this.
Burning out is something I have done once before in the past, not just being tired, actually burning out. You feel like you can’t get out of be bed, you have no motivation and you struggle with simple day to day tasks.
I was at that point this past week. I made sure to get my clients work done and what needed to get done but I struggled with the day to day work and getting all the extras done that I normally do.
How do you know if you’re burning out?
For me it’s something that builds up. I was getting very busy in the last couple months helping my amazing clients and those that know me, know I love to make sure everyone is happy and look after others before myself.
I was still getting up at my normal time of 5am and starting my routine but I started to notice I was working later into the evenings and I was working on Sunday’s that I usually try to take off. With working that much and not having a full day off for me like I usually like to do I was getting more tired each day. It was a week ago Saturday that I struggled getting out of bed and was getting sick.
For me that’s the start of burning out. Sadly, I had that feeling all week. It wasn’t until this past Easter Sunday with family that I took the day off other than a coupe emails that were handled in a short time and I took the day off.
Going forward I know what I need to do, and I will work towards being more aware of my body and mind and taking care, so I don’t get to this point again, so I can better serve my amazing clients!
We want to know, have you ever burnt out?