Love them or hate them, the big social media influencers have figured out a lot about running successful personal brand businesses, and we can learn from what they do as we build our businesses. I personally enjoy following influencers, whether it’s the lifestyle, fitness, travel, motherhood, or fashion influencer — I enjoy their content and often buy products they share. These men and women are excellent marketers, and in this post, I’m taking social media marketing strategies I see these influencers using and sharing how you can apply these online business strategies to your non-influencer business!
I get my best marketing ideas from businesses completely outside of my own industry, from places like true crime podcasts to Whole Foods sales calendars, and… influencers too. Of course, if you don’t follow any influencers yourself, some of these strategies will be harder to connect with. But, if you’re like me and have a favorite go-to influencer, you’re going to totally get what I’m saying here! So, cheers to up-leveling our marketing with some interesting influencer strategies.
L I S T E N T O T H I S E P I S O D E N O W:
1. The art of the subtle, gradual sell versus the HARD sell.
Influencers are the best of the best at this. They are very frequently selling you something, but with the good influencers, you don’t feel the cringe feeling like you’re being sold to. Even when it’s an ad, they know how to make it feel subtle, honest, and well done.
These social media posts are not a commercial you mute on the TV or a podcast ad slot that you press the fast forward on! #Sponsored or otherwise, this content feels like your girlfriend just found an awesome Amazon gadget that she wants you to know about! Pay attention next time and see what you engage with most!
Quick ways to incorporate this into your business:
- You don't always need to go into extreme detail on your new offer or product in the form of a lengthy IG post.
- A good subtle sell is YOU focused — as in focused on them as the customer!
- Shift your terminology away from the what to the how and why.
- A subtle sell is gradual and takes the time to explain exactly how it's going to make a difference for your audience.
Think about how you can sell your product and services MORE on social media. How can you sell without hesitation whether it's subtle or not so subtle? Don't put pressure on yourself or make it an ordeal! Sometimes it's as simple as “Here’s what someone else said about my course. Here’s why I think this would help you!”
2. You don't have to share everything about everything!
These influencers look like they’re sharing their entire life, but they're not, and you don't need to either! Lifestyle influencers often look as though they are posting a play-by-play of their entire day. Instagram is not reality, even if it sometimes feels that way, and they will tell you that too!
One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Caitlin Covington. In a Q&A on her blog, she discussed the reality of social media. “Instagram is truly a highlight reel of everyone’s life. It is not real life. A person may choose to share the very best parts of their life (including me), but there is so much going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about … Remind yourself of that the next time you see someone’s “perfect life” on Instagram.” [source]
You can apply this to your online business in a few ways:
- Share what your audience wants to see that you also WANT to share (it's probably not a play-by-play). Then pay attention to story views and post interactions to see what they want more and less of!
- As a business owner, you have the right to keep your private struggles private. Ultimately you're selling something, and you don't have to share it all.
- Having a private personal life is vital when building your brand to avoid burning out; this has been huge for me!
Need more social media marketing help? Check out these posts:
9 Hacks to Increase Instagram Story Views and Engagement (episode 156)
From Laid Off to 6-Figures - Story with Tiffany Cheung (episode 109)
7 Lessons I Learned from Reaching 10k on Instagram (episode 103)
3. You can pre-plan your Instagram content, record things in advance, and treat what you share like a content calendar.
The top fashion bloggers treat their content like a magazine would by planning ahead. They just don't show this side because it's not what they're selling. This could mean sharing sponsored content on Monday, travel products on Tuesday, group giveaways on Wednesday, etc.
You can follow a similar plan in your business! Batching and scheduling content up to a month in advance will take so much pressure off your plate.
This might look like pre-recording reels to post at a later date or setting specific content types for each day of the week. Before my maternity leave, I pre-recorded stories to have them ready to go and be present with my family, which helped so much!
Inside my course, Booked Out Designer I have a lesson on planning content for your Instagram to save yourself time. It’s awesome and will help you feel prepared as a content creator.
You could also structure your content plan like one of my favorite mom influencers/educators, Kari Locher. She creates a theme for her content each week. This allows her audience to know what to expect when they come to her page. It also creates a sense of community and positions her as an educator! There is no shame in batching and planning ahead!
4. The power of group and solo giveaways for engagement and growth.
Chances are you follow at least a few influencers who do things like weekly giveaways, group giveaways, blog engagement giveaways, or story engagement giveaways (think voting on a poll). Just like you, these women are seeing dips in engagement, and things like giveaways are done because they work so well for fixing this problem!
It may not be the best idea to give away LV purses, PayPal cash, or a brand new coffee maker. A better idea would be to give your audience something related to your business (think products you love, discounts on your offers, Starbucks gift card). Unlike these influencers who have a wide range of followers, you want to give away something that attracts customers within your niche and creates community.
Your best ideas are likely to come from unexpected places or people. Try to observe what does or doesn't make you want to enter someone else's giveaway. Then be strategic with creating your giveaway, keeping a specific outcome in mind (more than increased likes on a post).
5. Getting people to think of YOUR BRAND when they think of something else.
The power of association is huge when it comes to people knowing who you are and working to create a personal brand.
A couple of my favorite examples of personal brand association in action:
Dani Austin raved about an Amazon back massager to her followers. It wasnt even her product, but her followers managed to sell it out! Now people associate this product with her and see it as her ‘thing’.
Jenna Kutcher made mac n cheese a staple of her brand just by saying it was her favorite food on her podcast and blog! This was organic for her and helped grow her personal brand.
This is personal branding at work! So ask yourself: what’s something you love that can become part of your personal brand? How can you associate things with your brand organically?
I hope these tips were not only fun but helpful for you in your business! There are so many marketing takeaways we can have from people OUTSIDE of our industry, and I love observing what works and what doesn’t in other fields and applying it to my own!
If you listen to the podcast version of this blog, I also mention the influencer Taylor Wolfe! She’s my FAVORITE, and her witty content will give you a big laugh if you’re someone who loves following influencers. Let me know over on IG what you think of this episode, and send me a DM. I’d love to know if you’ve had any exciting takeaways from people outside of your industry like what I’ve shared here, and let me know who your favorite bloggers are to follow!
June 7, 2022