By: Dezarae Davis
I’m starting to fall in love with Instagram stories one reason is because my content on Instagram stories is discoverable. What does that mean? It means that people who aren’t following me can still see my stories now how do these people discover me? One way is due to me posting content on Instagram stories consistently in fact I’ve been using stories almost daily this has increased my following, engagement, and more activity in the DM’s and we all know it goes down in the DM’s! There’s nothing more amazing than saving myself time from draining sales calls I’m getting more targeted buyers who have their minds made up and know they want to buy from me.
Sharing my stories and what’s going on in my world or the thoughts in my head connects me to my followers and ideal audience on a deeper level. They get to know me better in a way that’s different than just posting on my newsfeed. I can have my #PersonalSaturday with my audience where I open up and tell my followers a few interesting facts about myself and create posts using stickers, asking questions, and more to get my viewers engaging and responding to me. I also use stories to educate my audience about business, marketing, sales, and motivational short video clips.
Millions of people are using Instagram stories, most users prefer Instagram stories over their newsfeed and are more engaged on Instagram stories. In marketing and sales storytelling not only can help you attract your ideal buyers or audience, but you can captivate their minds and hearts using stories. Storytelling is more relatable and real people enjoy communicating with other real people.
How to Sell Online Using Instagram Stories and What to Share
#1 Avoid overthinking Instagram stories you can easily show your followers the “behind the scenes” of your business and a few more ways, but not limited to:
The list goes on there’s a lot of activities you can share with your audience at least three to five days a week so get started now!
#2 YES! You can run Instagram Story Ads
Here’s a suggestion though refrain from wasting money on ads if your content is dull, not engaging, inconsistent, and poor quality.
Last but not least copywriting is vital to your success when it comes down to running ads. You must create copy and content for the right audience and have a message that aligns potential buyers to your brands with an irresistible offer.
What is an irresistible offer? One that makes sense, has a BIG promise, a complete no-brainer, sense of urgency, and is borderline too good to be true. Your offer must make sense to your potential buyers it should be either what they want or exactly what they need and have been waiting for! Make sure your content and copy is ready to go before spending money on ads that way the chances of better performance is greater and of course your ads can be tested and modified as needed.
#3 Instagram Stories Strategy
No game plan equals poor results! Video converts higher especially on Instagram therefore, leverage IGTV, post more video stories on IG (you can even include text captions for those who maybe at work and can’t listen but can read what you’re saying), and GO LIVE! You must build your presence online and show up consistently in order for your audience to look forward to your content on a regular. In all that you do have specific goals and intentions simply map out your game plan to dominate Instagram and Instagram stories.
The key or goal is to keep users or your followers engaging with your content longer this is done through storytelling think about when you read a book it’s not meant for you to be done reading in a few seconds. This is the exact reason why you want to post content on your stories that stretch for example, I could talk about ways to make money on Instagram with a small following if I teach on two to three points I can create more than five to seven clips (video or text) to keep my audience waiting for the next story and engaging with me instead of them skipping through. Your content must be engaging because guess what?
Your viewers who normally hop on the app for a few shorter periods of time will more than likely see stories or posts that’s MOST interesting to them. Whereas, an active user like me my feed, stories, and discovery refreshes frequently in other words Instagram shows me more content to keep me engaged and active on the app. Lets take a look at a sample Instagram Story plan now keep in mind your plan maybe more specific this is a general plan. In order to be successful and to follow through with your own custom plan you must decide what days and hours you’ll commit to and stick to your plan just in case your audience is watching you and looking forward to your content. Commit to what you can do so that you can show up as your high level self! Show up like a millionaire and dominate the gram!
Instagram Stories Strategy Plan
Monday Motivational Stories
Repost Other Content
Share Favorite Restaurant(s) & Places
Promote Content & Value (4-5 days/ week)
By: Dezarae davis
Ways to market your business on a budget: Setting Up a Marketing Budget
Hey CEO, you’re wondering if it’s possible to market your business on a budget right? Truth be told every business owner should be on a budget whether the budget is tight or flexible. It’s critical to allocate your budget and spend money wisely so it’s encouraged that you set up a marketing budget. Before we go into ways to market your brand on a budget lets define and create your budget first (yes, this can change overtime or be adjusted as needed).
As a marketer and sales consultant I hear this a lot when I ask potential buyers or prospects what their budget is and the conversation usually goes like this: “I don’t have a budget, I never thought about it, or what do you charge?” One of the best advice I can give you from business owner to business owner is to never jump on a call with any business professional and not know what your budget is. Time is precious and negotiating back and forth because you don’t have a budget set in place especially for marketing can be time consuming always know your numbers. There’s no such thing as “I don’t have a budget or don’t know my budget” refrain from telling yourself and others you don’t know your numbers when clearly you do know what you can and can’t afford.
Setting Up Your Marketing Budget
#1 think about your goals short or long term whichever is important for you to conquer. For me I have long term goals, but focus more on my quarterly goals. Lets say your goal is to make $2,500 per month in 90 days or less or to make an extra 2k per month the reality is an investment such as $7, $27, $47, $97, and the rest of the pennies (yes, I said pennies) may not cut it.
Now am I saying that you can’t make a lot of money on a tight budget? NO, that’s not what I mean however, with a low budget you have to put in the leg work, time, sacrifices, and sweat equity 9/10 by yourself. So if you want to earn more money, market the right way, and save more time learning from others who made mistakes for you and can give you the shorter route you need to know your numbers and what you are willing to commit to consistently.
With having a budget there’s two situations to avoid that can easily happen 1) overspending and 2) underspending. Overspending makes sense when the ROI (return of investment) will be worth it or if it’s necessary to overspend for certain supplies, projects, or marketing services. On the other hand underspending may not be in the best interest of your company, current buyers, or future buyers in fact underspending might cause your business to not grow at least not fast enough. It’s true you do have to spend money to make money so refrain from being “stingy” with your business. If you believe in yourself and business spending should be easier by the day not harder.
#2 Know your deadline it’s critical to know exactly when you need something completed. For example, if a client wants me to craft content and copywriting pieces for them I need to know when they want the task completed as it can affect the price. Meaning if the client wants a rush order it might cost them more whereas if I’m given a reasonable timeframe for completion and research my price won’t go up. Understand and be clear on what you want and when you want it.
#3 Do a little research not too much that will lead to overwhelm and stressed, but enough to understand on average an estimated investment you need for marketing. No different than you already knowing on average how much milk costs because guess what? When you get to the register you won’t be able to negotiate for a deal just because you don’t know your numbers and didn’t do your own research or simply don’t have enough money.
#4 Will the budget come out of your pocket or your business account(s)? That depends and if you are reading this blog article right now it’s because you either need to be on a budget, want to be on one, or need to figure out a budget. When I started my business all of my funding came straight out of my own pocket. I believe that if I take care of my business it will in return take care of me back that’s the proper mindset to have. So avoid being afraid to spend your own personal money to fund your business welcome to the world of entrepreneurship it’s about taking your own risks. If you are a business owner or anticipating to become one you are the primary investor of your company. Plant and sow seeds into your business so it can grow and take care of you in return. Now enough of that, let's get into the numbers my favorite part.
You know what they say it’s a number’s game
Here’s an example of how you can budget DFY (done for you marketing services) and DIY (Do it yourself marketing) see estimates below.
YouTube + Google: Free (however, there’s a lot of information online some credible while others are not and you have no access to a mentor, consultant, coach, or team).
Courses: $15-$300 and UP that’s right I’ve seen courses at 3k and beyond while courses may include a free community group you will not have direct access to your consultant nor deep dives on specific topics. You can expect some LIVE Q&A’s, but no direct attention to your specific needs.
Ebooks: $0-40 Similar to courses except there’s no powerpoint presentations and not as visual as courses. Courses are video tutorials, masterclasses, and trainings.
Membership Subscriptions or Masterminds: Can run between $0-$400 plus per month
To promote on most social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook is a $0 investment outside of running ads that can bring exposure to your profile page, lead magnets, and website to name a few
Other digital products: $0-$297 and up
(Done For You Services or private 1:1/ Intensives)
Marketing is about getting your product, services, message, and brand communication out there to your ideal buyers this comes with a price tag and I recommend you avoid the cheap route. Why? Because I’ve done it before and the quality doesn’t always measure up there’s a phrase “you get what you pay for” and in most cases this can be true. Price shouldn’t be the final factor or reason to move forward with a product or service numbers don’t lie, but numbers can be deceiving. With someone or a team doing the marketing, promoting, and branding for you estimate depending on what you want or need the investment will be anywhere from $550-$1,500 per month or more.
On average social media ads cost at the minimum I’d recommend putting aside a $5 per day budget however for someone to properly run the ads for you so that your business can maximize it’s reach I hope you’re not expecting to pay an expert 2 bucks a day that’s being unreasonable and unrealistic. I’m being upfront so you won’t be disappointed in the end but prepared and website development and SEO can cost up to 1k and to handle your website or blogs SEO by an expert monthly would be a $250-$350 investment. To sum it up when it comes to done for you services avoid low numbers and aim higher for the best quality services and experience. At the minimum your DFY budget should be above 1k per month whereas your DIY budget could be $200-$650 per month. With DFY if you don’t have a 1k plus monthly budget my suggestion would be during your sales call with an expert value and respect their time be upfront about your budget forget about wondering or asking what they would charge to see if your number will be below their asking price! The reality is a marketing company or expert’s fees will typically always be higher than your budget or what you estimate.
Yes! I caught that you see I know how it goes, I've been in the marketing and sales industry for a while prospects want to know my fee or how much they’ll need to invest to work with me, but won’t tell me their budget for me it doesn’t work that way. Now I have a different mindset if a client or prospect can’t or won’t tell me their budget before our call (such as in my questionnaire or survey) I will automatically cancel their sales or fit call. Why? Because my time is precious and I respect my clients and prospects time I won’t be on the phone, DM’s, or emails negotiating back and forth about the investment or trying to create budget plans. Know your numbers before booking a call with me.
That is why I suggest you mention your situation briefly and what you can afford because one the expert might be able to work with you and scale back certain services or have other solutions available. Why hop on a call to discuss a package that’s not in your budget or that you’re not willing to invest in right now? When you want or need someone to do something for you always know what you’re willing to spend and sacrifice, invest, and by when if you’re unsure you’re not ready to invest in a team or support right now. If you outsource your marketing will you make more money faster until you can do better and budget more funds start where you can and do as much as you can on your own.
The next step:
Work on your marketing budget now for Q3 and determine how much can you spend towards coaching, consulting programs, and or digital products, and or outsourcing if you can make it happen. Having a marketing budget is apart of your marketing plan and you need a plan in order to know where you’re headed, what needs to be done, how much, and how much you’ll make with a plan (an estimate)… Do this in order to learn what you need to, connect with clients, or to acquire buyers this will require both investing financially and investing time. Lastly, it’s normal to associate money with a budget however keep in mind it’s vital to factor and budget in the time especially when you’re doing most of the marketing yourself. Prioritize and focus on what’s important for example, getting my nails, hair, and feet done weekly or bi-weekly isn’t more important than me paying my team, purchasing a domain, website hosting, or other expenses my business needs first.
That’s not to judge I truly believe in self-care however on the flip side I know what’s important to me and where I want my business to be. Therefore whatever sacrifices I must make to reach my goals I make top priority. I see it as if I sacrifice now later on I’ll have an abundance of cash flow where I won’t have to sacrifice one over the other. It’s mind over matter and a great strategy to practice so, let me know if my tips helped you.
Until next time remember knowledge is only power when you apply it!
Marketing consultant who specializes in turning your ideas into a marketable and sellable product, digital product, or service!