I don’t make resolutions for the new year. I make goals. Things I want to accomplish as an SLP, mother, wife and overall person. This year, I decided to devote a month to a particular social media outlet and learn everything I need to learn to make my business soar. I researched books, scanned Pinterest for hours on end and read tons of blogs! I even took a couple of courses and listened to some great podcasts. In that month, I will start putting all that knowledge into place. At the end of the month, I will keep habits I can do and get rid of others I cannot keep up with. Let’s face it, social media is tough! It can run your life it you let it. Small business owners like myself do not have time to spend all day on social media. So I will discover what works and that is good enough for me.
So what’s my focus for January?!
I noticed my Instagram numbers were down a bit so I decided to start there. I went from gaining 100 new followers a month to maybe 20. I have not been good about engaging and interacting with others. (Which I know I need to improve!) I’m a small business owner-meaning I wear I all the hats! Scheduling, billing, marketing, developing materials for Teachers Pay Teachers, and dealing with insurance are all things that start and end with me. I don’t have time to spend hours on social media! I know there are more “multiple hat wearers” out there! So, I am working to make my life easier and yours! I will be sharing my “Instagram journey” this month.
Book Suggestion for the Focused SLP
I read samples of several books about Instagram. That’s the beauty of the Kindle app and Amazon. This book was the one I decided on. I don’t want all the technical crap. We get that enough in speech pathology journals. I just want something that speaks in plain language about marketing and Instagram. It’s easy to read and implement the ideas in it. I’ve read the first 8 chapters and I’ve really enjoyed this book. It’s great for the person that social media marketing is not their forte.
I don’t necessarily want to gain thousands of followers. I want to gain followers who are interested in the field of speech pathology, need therapy ideas, or looking for new activities to add to their sessions. I also want to gain parent followers who would benefit from small tips along the way to help their child.
I seriously scoured Pinterest, researching everything on Instagram. I even added sections to my “Marketing: Instagram” board such as Editing, Profiles/Bios, Hashtags, Instagram Stories and Tools. (Did you know you could add sections to your boards?!!) Using the book above as well as these blog articles, I made a “to do” list for the month of January. It’s a list of approximately 20 tasks that I need to address or work on for just Instagram. At the time of this post, I have not gotten through all of the articles I pinned. By making my “to do” list, it kept me from being overwhelmed. I chose a task to accomplish for the day and read all of those blog posts in that category. One of the first tasks was my bio on Instagram. Man, did I learn a lot about those 4 little lines!!! Another hot topic is a content calendar. I have a editorial calendar for my blog (I don’t always follow it!) but not a social media calendar. So guess what I did? That’s right, I found a few blog posts and set up an Instagram calendar for January!
Hashtags are a big deal on Instagram. There’s apparently a science that goes with this concept. Concepts like “community hashtag” vs “branded hashtag” or large, medium and small hashtags…what the heck it all this mess?! I took Molly Marshall’s “Hashtag Camp” over a couple of days. It was 6 lessons that were no more than 10 minutes each. There was also a small workbook to help you through the lessons. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to learn about hashtags and how to find good ones. I found that most speech therapy hashtags fall in the medium to small groups. Photo editing, captions and stories are other topics that I will be learning more about. So, now you’re wandering what the heck you should do? Well, start with a “to do” list. What do you want to improve on? Be honest with yourself. Your business depends it! Now get on your Pinterest account, make an “Instagram Marketing” board and pin away. Take an hour to pin, read and do. I made mine a secret board. Pin articles that pertain to your list. Don’t pin photo editing stuff if you can do that well. Here are some blogs I found helpful:
Molly Marshall Marketing (Hashtag Camp) and 2018 Instagram Strategy Guide
Ivory Mix & Linen and Lane (Content Planning!)
Kristin Brause (5 Day Instagram Email Challenge)
I stumbled across a podcast the other day that is completely dedicated to Instagram! I really like Grammer School. It is a great podcast that is posted everyday! I love that Todd is open about the fact that he doesn’t know everything about Instagram. He even states he is learning as he goes. I love that! His podcasts are short-about 10 minutes-which makes them perfect for traveling SLPs to listen. I usually have about 10-15 minutes drive time between clients. I can listen to an episode then jot down my notes when I get a chance. I am definitely recommending you add this to your resources, if you are interested in growing your Instagram!
If you are a fellow SLP business owner (private practice, blogger, TpT author), I would love to have some company on this journey. I will be posting periodic updates on my Instagram. I also plan to write up a post at the end of the month to let you in on everything I learned this month!
What could you do better with your Instagram?