I have to admit, Instagram sort of passed me by until quite recently, and while I definitely would not class myself as an expert on Instagram, I have learned quite a few things over the last few months so I thought I would share them. If you are more experienced than me, feel free to add your comments in the comments below!
So, here goes ...
Post regularly. Some say daily, and some say three times a day. I would say aim for a minimum of three times a week.
Make use of hashtags. # is how people find you. For example, if I add #businesstips to my posts, anyone who searches on that hashtag will see my stuff. You can add up to 30 hashtags to each post, so use them all.
When I was about 10 years old, I was lucky enough to have a handshaking lesson. I kid you not! I have no idea why, but I can remember my dad, who was self-employed, showing me how to greet someone correctly, something I have been very grateful for many, many times since.
It's a fact that most people do not know how to shake hands properly. It's either the alpha male (or female) bone-crushing handshake or what is typically called the limp fish handshake. The latter is far more common than the former, believe me - I have experienced a LOT of limp fish handshakes over the last 40 years, and I have to say, like many, rightly or wrongly, I do make an instant judgement about that person.
I am often surprised at how people show up for business meetings and opportunities to quote, especially from trades like builders, plumbers and decorators.
I appreciate that you may be swinging by after a day’s work, but for goodness’ sake keep some clean clothes in your van. Ideally with your logo on them. Have a notebook and clipboard. Look professional. It does make a difference. Be different from your competitors.
I helped one builder client increase his conversion rates by 22% just by wearing a smart logoed shirt and carrying a clipboard with a set of questions on it.
'Oh no', I hear you cry, 'I can't do that. I'll lose all my clients. I don't want to rock the boat. No-one will buy from me. My business will fail. I will be penniless and homeless. No, I can't do possibly do that!'
Sound familiar? Most of us are worried about putting our prices up because we are scared of rejection: that our clients and customers won't think we are worth it. That they will use it as an excuse to stop buying from us.
Well, if you are not giving a great service, then that may well be the case, but we'll assume that you are giving an exceptional service, so it's unlikely to have a negative impact on your profit. Please check out this quick blog on the actual impact of putting up your prices. (Hint: if your present profit margin is 25% and you increased your prices by 10%, you could lose 29% of your sales and still be making the same amount of profit.)
So, if you are too busy with clients, now is the time to raise your prices!
While massive action (of the correct type!) is probably the fastest way to achieve your goals, sometimes this is just unrealistic. We all have busy lives, and often we are running our businesses around jobs, kids, friends, families, hobbies and social lives. The days can run into weeks and the weeks run into months, and before you know it, you haven't moved forward for six months.
Make a commitment to do at least one thing every day to move yourself towards your goal. Read, research, network, make a sales call, send an email. Do what you need to do. Baby steps are OK. But do them every day.