Hi, I’m Kat! Have you seen me around online, but new to my blog? Then welcome in!
These days there are more tools than ever available to support online businesses, and an insane amount of Social Media job titles & virtual assistant reporting metrics. Some of it just makes us think, ‘oh man… am I doing ENOUGH with my social media?’
This post is my personal take on building a brand online, which generates comments and inbox messages, piques interest and is genuinely relatable. It’s also reassurance for you that you don’t need all the things.. at once.. right now. Remember why you started out online in the first place. Think about who you want to serve as an audience, and what you’d like to teach them. Take a deep breath. Then get reading.
1. You need to write back to people in the comments section as often as humanly possible.
It’s ’social’ media, not ‘talk to an internet wall that never replies’. Your engagement WILL slowly die over what it could potentially be if you don’t do this, unless you only share soulless guilt memes for people to tag their husbands in. (Not a bad business model. You’re welcome. Sell them mugs while you’re there!)
Your followers want to KNOW you. Let them. Set your boundaries around what you’re willing to say online and what’s to be kept private. Then go all in on your big long list of topics that interest you, and will also interest the people who follow you.
2. You probably don’t need an expensive website developed and customised just for you.
Your passing last minute whims during the ideas phase about where to put that image or header require frantic recoding & resizing on the back end (if you hired a developer, who will focus on delivering from a usability point of view and wants every detail of menus, placement, and generally is of minimal use with structuring the actual copy, wording & pages your business model should ideally have).
Your confusion about what order to have your flyout menus stacked in, requiring multiple changes so you can see what you like best, is generally an inconvenience you’ll be billed accordingly for, unless you learn to do it yourself.
If you only have a small following and have NOT yet effectively monetised, your money is better invested on high quality content, training and images, than building out an expensive customised website. In fact with easy, beautiful websites like Squarespace you can have a full ecommerce solution for around $50/m.
Save your money for a branding shoot & a Canva for Work subscription!
3. You probably don’t ‘need’ fancy branding yet.
Outsourcing branding palettes & the building of ‘brand awareness’ is for people who can afford to pull a % of their turnover as a marketing budget.
Most people don’t have the money laying around. With tools like Canva, along with Appsumo releasing endless cheap programs designed to help with all things marketing.. choose some colours, and just get back to showing up on your chosen platform/s. Or do a course- there are plenty out there, and you’ll hold the skill for life which makes it FAR easier to outsource & delegate later down the track.
Too busy to spend 20 minutes a day on a course to DIY but you can’t afford to outsource the job? I don’t believe you’re at the point in your business where you should even be concentrating on a personal brand makeover yet unless it’s a lifelong dream of yours and you simply can’t function without it. But perfection has no place in learning to build a business.
Go back to your existing audience who already love you for who you are, start showing up with even more quality content, and snowball your online presence so you CAN afford all the perfect things!
You can even project plan a ‘makeover’ over many months, as your business budget allows – you don’t need a big launch where you emerge from your cocoon as a vibrant social media butterfly, leaving your old self for dead. You are enough to consistently deliver value into peoples’ lives, exactly how you are now.
4. Consider choosing somewhere on social media and focusing there for a while.
It’s easier to be the master of one social media platform than show up on all of them. You can end up with inconsistent posts, which only work if you’re pretty good at viral-ish content. Content calendars can potentially lead to stilted sounding posts, or forgetting to engage with your followers in comments in real time.
I’ve built out content calendars for a living before – AT SCALE. For corporate, with social media KPIs and multiple team members on very good salaries getting paid to try and engage followers across platforms. I’m not saying don’t use multiple platforms, or content calendars.
But it’s not what I recommend. It can get impersonal, really fast, once you take your focus away and disconnect from your followers.
I teach building a personal (emphasis on PERSONAL) brand through authenticity and community building. So for the fastest business growth.. for the day-to-day getting to know you stuff, show up somewhere and stay there. Sure, repurpose it for other channels if it’s simple and not pulling you from your income generating business activities! But for your primary social media presence? Point everyone there. Via your email signature, your private Facebook profile, calls to actions on all your other social media, your website call to actions.. choose a platform or a function, focus your efforts for a little while, and get to know it intimately.
5. It’s OK to have your kids running in and out of your livestreams and videos if you’re a parent, and your target market is other parents.
Manage their behaviour over time (mine aren’t perfect but they do hush down when I’m on a livestream these days, I do a big grand announcement!) and they’ll even get involved if you want help. Parker helps make play doh on our livestreams! Social media is about being social and for many of us, being a parent is a fact of life. Running a business from home should be a fact of life for your children- if your goal is to never let them see you work because it means you’re devoted solely to them, think about the life lessons they could potentially miss out on! P.S. You’re better off live-streaming using a Rode Lavalier mic to cut out background noise than not showing up at all that day because your kids are in the room. Bonus: you’ll get better and better at it.
6. People don’t watch every single video to the end, so stop obsessing over it.
Don’t believe me? Check your stats! Again, you’ll get better at being on camera the more you show up. Make sure your titles and captions are super clear and explain EVERYTHING you want watchers to know, because most won’t make it to the end. And never forget a call to action in the description or comments, if you’re not retargeting the video views with one as an ad.
7. Social media tech equipment doesn’t need to cost the earth.
A Rode Lavalier mic is a sound investment at around $70AUD, a podcast mic is under $200 (I saved for mine and got it during a sale for $150ish), a beauty ring you can pick up for around $200 (for consistent lighting in your videos filmed at your desk) and you don’t need a fancy dropsheet video background. Just use a wall or set up the area behind you so it’s not cluttered. People are there for YOU, not for your accessories.
8. Focus 80% of your attention on the content and 20% on how you’re presenting.
I have recorded livestreams in all kinds of places and sure, I could have done a better job. I’ve had internet cut out on webinars and had to switch platforms midway through a presentation. I change the way I write my posts all the time and the filter I use on my images. But I always research my audience’s pain points, and I strive to make sure my content leaves the viewer having learned something, found a resource, or feel more connected and less lonely. We focus WAY too much on how to show up, and not enough on getting stuck in there. Your idea of perfect is someone else’s idea of a horrid mess, and vice versa.
9. Set community management guidelines and personal boundaries, and you’ll reduce your fear of showing up online considerably.
I can guarantee you if you wait until your critics stop moaning (often people who should really know better, like family and close friends) and the random internet stalkers stop talking, you’ll be looking back wondering how all those others managed to beat you in their quest for personal success. People don’t have to know about them as a wider rule. But if you know what to do when certain situations arise, you’ll have more tools in your arsenal and it contributes to how you feel when you tap ‘upload’ on your latest video, or are writing a blog post. Rules will be different for everybody.. but set some. Set page rules, group rules and life rules. They’re often referred to as boundaries. It’s not just talk and telling people ‘how you feel’- take action, and enforce them. If you find yourself addressing the same thing over and over again by someone who just doesn’t ‘get it’, don’t be scared to block a family member or acquaintance from a social media platform until they’re willing to have a chat about their unruly behaviour. Don’t own people’s issues when they don’t belong to you.
10. Give it ALL away in the title.
Gone are the days of ‘click bait’. When I worked in government social media, I developed the ‘5th grade’ rule- posts shouldn’t use words (apart from nouns that are required for context) above the easy comprehension of a 10 year old because it’s too hard to capture someone’s interest while scrolling. (Yes of COURSE there are exceptions, however this is a great general rule to stick to on socials.)
People aren’t dumb, or lazy. You just haven’t earned their full attention. Only your super page followers are likely to tune in. You have maybe 3 seconds to capture the attention of everyone else- so start making it count! (PS – I’m guilty of these all the time in the name of SHOWING UP over ‘perfection’, but when I reshare my videos I always work on improving the title and caption!
Livestreaming your hot brownies out of the oven? Here’s some example video titles.
‘This recipe is so easy to make!’ No.
‘Cooking on a Sunday!’ NO.
‘I love chocolate, and these are so YUM!’ NOO!
‘Watch me make 4 ingredient white chocolate brownies!’ YES. (Then add the written recipe in comments or a link to a blog post.)
‘Pulling white chocolate brownies from the oven! Want the recipe? YES.
‘I’ve made 2 batches of these incredible white chocolate brownies since I learned the recipe. How to cook my version of Blondies!’ YES QUEEN.
Bonus! 11. Remember the best cure for fear.
The best cure for fear is doing something successfully. And you can’t do something successfully without trying.
I hope you were able to consider the time spent reading this post as an investment, and I hope you either learned a new thing or two from this post, or it reminded you of things you already knew and has reinforced your resolve.
Because in my 5+ years in the online space, I’ve supported an alarming amount of others in this space too. From influencers, corporate, corner stores, hair salons, Wellness Advocates, real estates, pages who have gone viral and need help maintaining their new communities, pages who stubbornly refuse to go viral despite mind blowing content daily, multiple pages with millions of followers, pages with 23 likes and no website. People with exceptionally large influence who received a following by default due to their influence, but don’t know what to do with their followers.
I’ve seen it all.
The tips I’ve written above are some things I’ve reflected on today as I’ve sat here thinking about the businesses and social handles that ‘made it’, with owners who are hitting their objectives, and those that didn’t.
The number one decider in their online success?
How committed the founder or key player was to making their business work on social media.
Are you invested in your own success? Define the where and how of your success – how that success currently looks to YOU.
Over 6 weeks, learn more about Showing up, Social media, and Sales with Soul in the e-course I developed in conjunction with DoTERRA Presidential Diamond and 7 figure income earner Jessie Reimers.
We designed it for home based businesses learning to make sales online by building an authentic personal brand.
See you in there!
Click this link to preview the curriculum: https://kat-fox-digital.teachable.com/p/social-media-sales-with-soul/
Questions about Social Media & Sales with Soul? Ask them here: