5 Hacks to Build Business in the Off-Season

If you own a seasonal business then today's blog post is just for you! Running a company that thrives one season and comes to a halt the next is not an easy task. Yes, checking out (mentally and/or physically) when things slow down would be the easy solution during the off season, but that would not benefit your business! Enjoy my five ways to build your business during the off season that will help you enter the peak season with confidence! 

1 | Perform Maintenance 

Whether you need to revamp the look of your storefront or contract a designer to create a much needed website update, performing maintenance to your business where it needs it the most is always best during the slower business months. It takes a lot of time and energy to devote to either of the above, and you will need to give that time and energy to make certain your business stands out above the competition in every shape and form. 

2 | Educate Yourself.

Update your certification, take a new photography class, research the newest marketing trends, sign-up for a workshop - all of these are great ways to educate yourself and ultimately benefit your business. Clients are more likely to seek your service if you can showcase your talents by continuing your education and expertise by staying on top of trends as it relates to your industry! In addition, this will give you an ego boost and credence that will carry into the busy season. 

3 | Build Your Online Presence.

Having an online presence has become just as important as owning a telephone. From this point forward, consider your blog, website and social media accounts as another form of your portfolio. Not only are you able to showcase your work, services and products but also you are able to become a storyteller by sharing daily and weekly updates! 

4 | Attend a Trade Show or Expo.

Going to a trade show or expo as a vendor or attendee is another great way to build your business during the off season. Once you sign-up to be a vendor at an expo, you are taking on a marketing strategy that is tried and true. However, make sure that you are prepared to meet and greet expo attendees with a look that will draw them to your booth! By going to industry specific trade shows, you'll be able to learn where your industry's future is headed, receive discounts on products from participating vendors and even network! 

5 | Collaborate Other Professionals!

Now that you are a networking feen after reading my last networking blog post, you are ready to collaborate with other professionals in your industry or near your storefront. Create a styled shoot to submit for publication or host a meeting with business owners near your company to plan for the upcoming season. Either way, by collaborating with others shows that you are a team player and ready to further your business by working with your fellow peers. 

5 Tips For Hosting an Instagram Takeover!

Instagram takeovers have become globally popular for increasing brand awareness and customer engagement. Normally, this digital event is hosted by an online opinion leader on an Instagram account that is not their own. Depending on the intended goal of the takeover, choosing a host and "poster" (i.e. the person or business creating the posts) comes in all shapes and sizes! 

Today on the blog, I am thrilled to present five tips when it comes to being the hosting account for the Instagram takeover to help make your digital event a success! 

1 | Find the Right Poster.

Yes, as a host account for the Instagram takeover and a digital influencer, you will need to make sure the company, ambassador or individual is compatible for your line of business. Prior to agreeing to an Instagram takeover, research the poster's website, products/services, business practices, etc. to ensure they will connect with your audience. While the standard intent of a takeover is for the poster to gain followers, you don't want to lose followers because their brand does not fit with yours! 

2 | Set the Guidelines. 

There is no shame in setting strict guidelines for an Instagram takeover. Once you and the poster decide on the overall goal of the takeover, set the guidelines based on those goals. Be clear and you will be the less likely to run into issues/problems during the event. Examples of guidelines include the following: using specific hashtags on each post, number of posts, content guidelines, duration of the takeover and even requiring the poster to interact with other users.

3 | Create a Hashtag!

Creating a unique hashtag with promote the Instagram takeover by allowing all of the posts to fall in one local area. In addition, an event hashtag will help other Instagram users follow along! Hashtags will also make the takeover easier for you too monitor should multiple contributors get in on the game.

4 | Promote!

There is no better way to create excitement about the Instagram takeover than promoting in through other outlets. Weeks leading up to the Instagram takeover, share the event on your blog and other social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). Not only could this lead to others interested in participating in your Instagram takeover, but also will allow your followers to pose any questions prior to the event. 

5 | Monitor. 

Sure, you've set the guidelines for your Instagram takeover, but there is always a chance the poster could go rogue. However long your Instagram takeover lasts, make sure to monitor the event and do not feel hesitant to make edits as necessary! (Just make sure to let the poster know of the edits you made and why!) Remember, at the end of the day, this is your account and your followers.

If you'd like to learn more about Social Media Marketing and how Magnolia Media Public Relations can help you, use the below form to contact us today!

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3 Ways to Network When You're the Newbie!

Whether you just dove into a new industry or you moved to a new area, it is never easy being the new person! Whichever of those aspects you represent, networking is very important to finding your tribe and establishing your company among your peers. While I've covered 3 Reasons You Should Network and How, today I am sharing three ways to network when you're the new kid in town! 


FACT: FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS FOR 21% OF ALL SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRAL TRAFFIC TO WEBSITES.*


1 | FOLLOW, FOLLOW, FOLLOW.

Research which social media tags local professionals are using in your niche, and jump on the bandwagon! Secondly, find business pros like you by typing in a business category and your area into a search engine. For example, "wedding photographers in Richmond Virginia." You'll boost your following, and connect with others who grow your referral base.   

2 | FIND A NETWORKING EVENT!

The age-old trick of turning on your company and (again!) typing in your favorite search engine, "networking events [your city]" or "business networking events [your city]" is the perfect place to start. When in doubt, I suggest browsing the following websites to easily find networking events by zip code: 

3 | DON'T BE SHY.

When you find a fellow industry professional you want to Facebook message or say "hello" to at a networking event, do not be shy! You've done the research, located the event, and drove there, so why toss in the hat now? When it comes to conversations - share your story of how your got started with your company, what sets your business a part, and watch your tribe grow! Oh, and whatever you do, do not forger your business cards!! 


REMEMBER: NETWORKING IS NOT ABOUT COLLECTING CONTACTS, BUT BUILDING RELTIONSHIPS.


*Stat provided by Meltwater