Episode #51: Listener Questions: How to Increase Social Media Engagement, SEO, & Brand Messaging

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. Listener Questions: How to Increase Social Media Engagement, SEO, & Brand Messaging.

In today’s episode, we’re answering listener questions about how to increase social media engagement, SEO, and brand messaging. We’re finishing up the episode with a weekly actionable tip!


Cassy Joy: I see a lot of people on social media that use a CTA; a call to action, at the end of a long caption. Here’s a paragraph of information, and then the last thing is, “Now what’s your favorite memory of a birthday growing up?” Right? It’s a big ask. And I think if you actually want someone to engage, if that’s the priority, then ask it first.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re going to answer your listener questions.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [1:06]
  2. Shop Talk: Listener Q&A – SEO update [14:04]
  3. Blog/vlog tips [27:51]
  4. Domain names [28:53]
  5. Getting more engagement [29:27]
  6. Presenting a unified message [36:39]
  7. Tip of The Week: [37:38]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:06]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. Cassy, I’m going to prompt you, because I would love to hear about your less than 24-hour trip to Nashville.

Cassy Joy: It was really good. I’m glad you prompted, because I’ve promptly forgotten it. {laughing} I’m just kidding. Not the experience was forgettable, it’s just; you know, the rigor of life and all the other things overshadow. But it was wonderful. It really was. The travel/air experience was very interesting. So I flew Southwest. And I have to say that they did a fabulous job, all things considered, of being very respectful and mindful of everyone’s health and wellbeing. They boarded very slowly, for example, and they saved the middle seat open, which was wonderful.

But it was eerie being in the airport. San Antonio is where I’m at. And I flew out of what is normally the very busy side of the airport. And it was just very eerie, because essentially all the stores are closed except for an Auntie Em’s, which is something that taunts me every time I walk by. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, designed that way. The smell.

Cassy Joy: Oh, it smells so good. I have never been a client of Auntie Em’s. But my goodness.

Diane Sanfilippo: Really? Well I worked in a lot of malls, so I’ve eaten my share of Auntie Em’s with sweet mustard.

Cassy Joy: Have you? That sounds delightful. I could go for a cinnamon roll right now. But they were essentially the only one open, in addition to a local coffee shop. So it was interesting. I had to say, a little silver lining on the experience; I really enjoy having my personal space. You know? Because in an airport, sometimes folks get in a rush, and it’s like; we’re all here. We’re all going to board. They’re going to get you on the plane. But there tends to be this bumping elbows, trying to rush on. And there wasn’t that feeling this time, which I really enjoyed. So that was great.

And the Rachel Cruz show team was phenomenal. She’s lovely, and wonderful, and sharp as a tack. And we had a really great conversation. I demonstrated week 2 from the book Cook Once, Eat All Week for her audience. And she specializes on encouraging her audience to get out of debt, as did her father, right? Dave Ramsey, in case you didn’t know the connection as her dad. And it was just so interesting, because they were excited to bring me on the show to talk about Cook Once, Eat All Week from the perspective of being very budget friendly.

So it was really fun. Because as you know, I created this as a way; yes, I wanted to scratch the itch of making something that was more efficient with regards to my own personal grocery shopping. But I was more interested in time saving aspect. And it’s been this beautiful surprise of this project, and this book, how much it’s really helping people save money.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I love the idea of the saving time and money. Because that’s something that, as entrepreneurs, I think a lot of people listening; I mean, yeah, we can promote your book, whatever. But when you find a way to help people do things that do save time and money, that’s kind of the holy grail. Because usually you do have to; yeah, you’re going to be spending more time cooking than you will just buying food out. But, striking that balance so beautifully. I want for every entrepreneur to have healthy financial situation.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know what I mean? You just don’t want to be starting a business and digging yourself into a financial hole over and over again. I think getting out of debt is; it’s never been a topic that I talk about a lot. But it’s something that; I was scared of debt from the time that I was super young. So I always worked on that. So I think that’s such a wonderful; I don’t know. Just a wonderful connection between what we’re doing with food and teaching and entrepreneurship.

Cassy Joy: It is. It’s an intersection that applies to everyone. Waste is waste. And no matter what’s in your bank account, throwing away food or being inefficient is something I think everybody wants to get over and move past. It was just a real joy.

And then, from a technical perspective, it was fascinating to see; I mean, it definitely feels like an ordained situation that I was there, because I got to see this video team, and how they operation, and how they produce the show. So I got to ask questions, and just pick their brains on what do they enjoy about their job, and how do they start. It planted a lot of really wonderful seeds for when we do that for our own Fed and Fit show that we’re going to start filming; you know, every day I say soon. {laughs} But as soon as our equipment is installed. So that was wonderful.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love it.

Cassy Joy: Which leads really nicely to, on the Fed and Fit front, something that the team is working on right now. And I’m really excited. We did a deep dive analysis and brainstorming on this yesterday. But we’re finally going to bring our audience meal plans that y’all can download and purchase on their own. It’s been a long time coming. We have nutritionists on staff, that we specialize in special diets. It’s a wide breadth of expertise that we can offer that we haven’t. It’s all been living in one-off blog posts or in books. And it’s just about time. It’s time to be able to offer that in the spin and style of kind of that Cook Once style where we’re saving people time and money and making it as efficient as possible. So we’re looking at September to launch the first round, and I’m just really pumped.

And then, on the personal note, the last update I have is Bishop, my daughter. My 3-month-old second child in the house, human child. She slept 8 hours last night. and I don’t say this to be one of those braggy mom moments, where you’re like; “My daughter’s sleeping through the night.” I’m saying this because I genuinely thought that sleeping through the night was a myth. I thought that didn’t exist for small babies. Because my first, Grey, she was up every; I nursed her every hour for 11 months. And Bee is like; I’m good. I would like to be in my bed, and I’m going to sleep. And I keep waking up now; I’m conditioned to wake up after every 3 hours or so. She’s just happy as can be. And it’s just so; I don’t know. We’re in a good spot. I’m sure things will change tomorrow, but right now it’s really nice! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Talk to me tomorrow.

Cassy Joy: Yeah! What’s going on Diane? What do you have going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, you know. A little of this, a little of that. So, the past couple of weeks I’ve talked about my team and I revisiting our approach to emails, because we got some really lovely feedback. Look, it only takes a little bit of feedback for me to just say; we did it! {laughs} I’m trying to celebrate those wins.

Because most people don’t do that. They don’t stop to say; hey, I really like getting your emails. You know what it’s like. It’s so nice to get that note. But we have these different communities of people who subscribed to emails; particularly for the 21-Day Sugar Detox, which is one of my programs. I’ve written three books in that series. 3 books? Three. I’m like; is it more? {laughs} Three books in that series.

But we just nurture that audience differently than we do people who just follow me as Diane Sanfilippo, and people who follow Balanced Bites as a food brand. So we’re revisiting how we’re emailing the people who get the 21-Day Sugar Detox emails. So we’ve gotten a draft going, and it looks really similar to what we do for Balanced Bites. Just different header, different footer, and different content. But it will have; so this is the piece I want people to understand. If you have multiple things that you do; multiple brands, etc. We’re going to have components of these emails that can kind of swap in and out of each other.

So for example, if we send a healthy cooking tip to our Balanced Bites email subscribers, not everybody who gets that email also gets this other email, or if they do, we’re not going to send the same information the same week. Maybe in 4 to 6 weeks we’ll send people the reminder of how to cut an avocado a certain way. It’s a way for us to repurpose content. It’s a way for us to throw the polaroid in the river again. Right, I always use that analogy. Because we’re not all paying attention to the same content at the same time. And one thing that I’ve really thought about a lot is; I don’t always think more is better when it comes to creating content. And we can probably agree and disagree on certain points about the content creation machine and what we’re making and what we’re sharing. But when I hear that somebody; this is not personal to you, I don’t know what’s on your blog. But when I hear that somebody has thousands of recipes on their blog, I’m like; who needs thousands of recipes?

So this is me as a person. I think some people love tons of options, tons of variety. I’m like; show me the best. That’s me and my personality, right? And also, because I think as people, we just can’t file away that much information, there’s a certain breadth of information, and there’s depth to it. Yes, it’s a great cookie recipe, and then maybe you’ve got a twist on it, whatever it is. And I think that’s kind of all we’re really doing when we make more recipes over and over. Right? It’s a different flavor of people, or whatever.

So this isn’t a knock on that; it’s not me to have ten ways to marinate steak. If you follow me on Instagram you know; umami steak is how I make my steak 50% of the time, and the other 50% of the time, it’s like a cilantro garlic taco-y style marinade. Literally, those are basically the two. And I think they’re best. And I just have no interest in 20 other ways to do.

So for me and my personality, giving people content that I’m like; this is still a thing I want you to know. It’s the same thing over and over. How to make fresh pico. I’m going to teach you this many times a year. I’m just going to say it again. Because it’s still as important and relevant. And when people ask me what I’m eating; I’m like, it is the same sh*t, different day.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: It is not different. I do not have another recipe I’m following. I’m making the same thing all the time. So, because that’s how I am, I’m like; well this is how I’m going to share content. Because that resonates with me. It’s true to me. It’s what I actually do. So it’s helping to inform what we’ll share and giving us the freedom to say; great, we can send that content out 6 weeks later. We can share the fresh pico; my tip is buy roma tomatoes. Ok, here you go. That kind of thing.

So anyway, we’re getting that rolling. I’m really excited. I love seeing the consistency across the brands. Visually, it’s really important to me to have that consistency. And also in the experience of the person who gets the email that they feel like they’re getting value, and they’re also being presented possibly with something they can buy, which might make their experience better. Maybe it’s my spices or meals or whatever it is. And they’re also getting great value, information, and education, and all of that that’s relevant to being on the 21-Day Sugar Detox list.

Anyway. Just exciting to see that. And then also on the email front, it’s like; email, email, email in my world. But also on the email front, just really thoughtfully approaching the way that we will be communicating with our affiliates for Balanced Bites meals and spices. The spices affiliate program is almost finished in terms of getting it all implemented. And because those websites are separate, it’s kind of annoying, but they’re separate affiliate programs. The whole thing is separate. But it is what it is. But I was talking to one of our friends, Stacy Toth, this morning about what she loves and doesn’t love about when people who, she’s in their affiliate program, how they email and how they share about a promotion. Or how they ask you to share. Or what kind of resources they provide. Do they put images right in the email? Do they link you to something?

Because as much as I am that person, too; I have a couple of things I might share as an affiliate. Literally, a couple. I think I might have two things I might share as an affiliate at all. I’m not really in that world very much. So I wanted to hear from someone who; I knew she’d have her opinion on ways that are good and not, because she and I are very similar in that way. Like; we think it through. And it’s important for me to put on those glasses, and look at it like; ok, if you’re receiving this email, what’s in it to make it as usable as possible without being too much information. So that’s kind of what’s on our plate over here. And I’m pretty pumped about it. So email, email, email.

2.  Shop Talk: Listener Q&A – SEO update [14:04]

Cassy Joy: Shop Talk. In this segment, we discuss topics that are related to business and entrepreneurship that are on our minds and yours. And this week, we’re going to answer your questions. So these are some listener questions that we collected from Instagram. Thanks for following us over on The Driven Podcast on Instagram. You never know when one of us are going to pop into stories and open up a question box, so if you want to get something submitted; commenting there, sending a DM there is a good space. We have a team member who monitors very closely, so she’ll catch it.

Alrighty, so the first question we have here; ETaylor_CHS asks, “SEO updates! Now that you’ve had time since the class to implement, plus tips!”

Diane Sanfilippo: That one’s for you, I think. Because…

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I guess that is for me. Well, oh gosh. Well this is; I feel like {laughing} someone else’s currently steering this ship and I’m just a passenger aboard, but I can tell you what’s going on from my perspective. Things are going really well. So we did; we used the Everything Digital Marketing, went through his course, Ty Kilgore. He’s a wonderful human, and did a wonderful job in leading us gently through this whole process. I learned a lot. And it’s a long process.

Diane mentioned in her intro about having thousands of recipes; we are one of those. We have thousands of recipes, and other pieces of content. Whether they’re old Fed and Fit podcast episodes. I had; oh my gosh, hundreds of podcast episodes here, as well as other wellness articles. So our to-do list, to Diane’s point, actually, was prioritized in breaking it up so that we went back and reworked the content that was our best content. And made sure that was biggest hitting. Then we have kind of our middle tier priority of content that we get to when we finish the first tier. And to be totally honest, we hardly ever get to the middle tier, because there’s so much that we can keep doing.

So my perspective on SEO updates, where we are right now, is that it’s a never-ending process. It is a never-ending process. It’s kind of like when you decide that you want to right-size your healthy lifestyle, and you want to start eating well and exercising, and you go on a 30-day some sort of a program, or the 21-Day Sugar Detox for example. After you’ve finished it, you’ve not arrived. You’re not done, right? A healthy lifestyle is a forever target. It’s a moving target and a forever pursuit.

And SEO is very similar in that regard. We’re never done. Because Google algorithm is going to change. Articles that we’ve updated that we’re very proud of, for example; I’ll give you an example. Our dermaplaning article is crushing it right now. And it’s very exciting; who would have thought? So this is how we build content. This is kind of an aside. How we build content; every once in a while, I will go on and I will do, for example, a skincare demo on Fed and Fit. And I just reference the random products that I’m using. And I talked about this DERMAFLASH tool once. And we were flabbergasted by the amount of interest that that sparked. Folks were really curious about this DERMAFLASH. They wanted to see me use it. Thousands of people clicked on this link. So we thought; my goodness. Clearly, there is a need and our audience is curious about it.

So, we built an article all around how to dermaplane. Whether you go all in with the DERMAFLASH, or a more affordable option. And we outlined them all. So we got it up, and when you let your users and your readers inform that content, we knew what questions to answer in that article. And I’m so proud to say that we’re finally on page 1 of Google; which is the name of the game. Right? That’s where the most traffic is. And we were hanging out at spot number 11 for a long time.

So we just; we keep updating that article, though. So it’s just like a fire that constantly has to be stoked to make sure that we’re still giving the best and most relevant answers that folks are looking for. So that’s really, I feel like, where we are right now. Our next big hurdle; and that has helped a lot. Traffic has definitely dipped in June and July quite a bit from where we were in March and April and May. Which is very understandable, because everyone’s attention and focus has been diverted, rightfully so.

However, because of our work on SEO, our traffic has remained relatively steady at a point that would have been a high for 2019. So I’m really proud of that. It’s really a credit all to my team doing that hard work. So that’s going well.

And where we’re at next; the next riddle we’re looing to crack, and code we’re looking to crack, is we are essentially experts now on meal prep. I’ve referenced it a lot this episode. But you wouldn’t know that when you look at www.FedandFit.com. And you wouldn’t know that if you Google. We have the top selling meal prep type book in the country, but you wouldn’t know that if you googled Fed and Fit meal prep. So that’s our next big riddle to solve. We’re trying to make sure the terms that we actually have authority in, like dermaplaning, and meal prep. The terms that we have authority in; how do we double down on that content and make sure we’re bringing rich content and making sure it’s also available and searchable.

So I think my tip for that is, look at what you have authority on and that’s where to focus. Because SEO is this deep abyss of endless things that you can do. And focus on, I would say, where you actually have some authority.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, to circle back on what I was saying about better not more all the time, to counterpoint myself based on what you just said. No, really. Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to be the best until you do another thing. Like, maybe you did make 5 cookie recipes already, and then you make a 6th one, and that one is the one that becomes the cream that rises to the top, and so that’s where you focus. So I do think there’s this balance. I’m saying that with 10 years perspective of running an online business.

But if you’re new, that doesn’t mean don’t keep creating new content. Don’t keep sharing something new; a new take on something, a new twist, until you find what lands. Because a lot of the questions we get are; how do I get more engagement? How do I get people interested? And we never know what; like you have talked about that DERMAFLASH before. But however you talked about it this time landed differently. We don’t know if it was the day you did it, the time of day, the way you presented it. We don’t always know. So just to play devil’s advocate around my own point of view; there is value in the more. But when you get to a point where you have a lot, it is good to just circle back.

So instead of just writing a new article on dermaplaning, you’re like; well, this one is the one. And we just make it better. We refine it. Maybe we add to it. Whatever we do, we hone that one so that it’s really the best and the most, and the thing.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely. And to your point. So right now, this episode is publishing a few weeks after Diane and I are chatting. But right now, we just republished a chipotle instant pot brisket recipe on the website. And that’s several years old; that recipe is several years old. And the thought that goes into pulling older recipes from the archive are; gosh, this is good. Our team is like; this is good content. Let’s polish it off a little bit. Dust it off, see what relevant questions people are asking about brisket right now in the Instant Pot. Let’s test the recipe again, see if there are any tweaks we need to make, and then we republish it. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that. I think that’s a good practice.

And it also helps you understand; we couple that with a demo on Fed and Fit Instagram, for example. And eventually it will be a YouTube video that will be archived and saved so that you can watch it again. But if you come at it from different angles, you send traffic directly and you create better content. That’s how you’re really going to play this “SEO game”. There’s no way to hack it. You just have to work hard, and from many areas.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, one other question that I would have; maybe this is a note for people, to go back to this article. You were saying that now it is on the first page; did you say it’s at the top or it’s the front page? It’s ranking really well on Google. What did you say?

Cassy Joy: First page.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, first page. And that’s volatile. It may stay there a while, it may move up, it may move down. So on this note of SEO, and how do we not just make more of everything just because it went well. Would you then not only update the post here and there, and just optimize it, but maybe go revisit some of your other skincare posts and add a couple of sentences that add those keywords and a link back to this post, to continue to make that post more relevant in the eyes of Google? How does that work?

Cassy Joy: Yes, you’re very intuitive, Diane. Yes. That is exactly how it works.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I should have been a blogger! {laughs} I’m just kidding.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} You really missed your calling. Just kidding.

Diane Sanfilippo: Not at all.

Cassy Joy: Just kidding. So one of the ways this works is; and if you go back and listen to our SEO episode, I essentially just go off on a tangent about a lot of these concept if you want to hear more about it. But yes. When we have an article that’s performing really well, that article is getting a lot of traffic. So a lot of folks are going to this dermaplaning article on www.FedandFit.com. Now, I know that we have another article that could use a bump. It’s really good, it just needs a few more clicks. It needs some links to it from an article that is ranking and that has authority. So we’ll say; if you liked our dermaplaning article, go check out…

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, I was thinking the opposite. But this is interesting.

Cassy Joy: The opposite helps as well. So link; I think they call it linking silos is the term. And essentially you jut provide links to the articles that you really want to do well from each other. And in the food world; let’s say you have a grilled chicken salad recipe that does really well, and you don’t quite understand why, you would just then go ahead and link the other chicken recipes that you think those readers would want to see in the bottom. If you like this chicken recipe, here’s 10 more. And that helps then give your other ones a native boost. So yes, it is kind of like that. And you do back and forth.

Diane Sanfilippo: So here, see more is better in this case.

Cassy Joy: More is better in that case. And I was joking with Ty Kilgore when we were taking his class. It was something like, grilled chicken. Let’s just use that as an example. He says, what would happen if you ranked number one on Google for grilled chicken? And I forget the search term for every in a month what a number was, but it was astronomical. And I was like; you retire! {laughs} We all laughed, and he was like; yes, but also you can’t retire. Because tomorrow, someone else is going to come out with a better grilled chicken article. And you have to draw the line on how often you go back and update. For us, we revisit things on a monthly basis, unless it’s just really, really crushing it. But yeah, there’s a lot of ebb and flow to it.

Diane Sanfilippo: On the note of SEO, because it’s not at all as in-depth as what Cassy just mentioned. My team, what we’re in the process of doing with regards to SEO, is actually much more centered around ads. Which I’ve never run ads really. I’ve done ads here and there for events, for book signing events where I would do a Facebook ad, a local ad to people around an area within 20 miles or so. Just to make sure they were seeing that the event was happening. And that worked really, really well for those events when I did it.

But, we’re working on search engine optimization and things that will be feeding into things like Google ads and Facebook and Instagram ads. So we’re in the process of working with someone on a retainer basis monthly who is like dedicated to getting that done for us as a team. So, really excited about that. Because when you have a product to sell that’s really specific, you have to get really good at targeting the people who are looking for that thing. And part of that can come organically with search engine optimization on our website and on our blog.

But in the meantime, building up our customer base is so important that if we can do some things that are ad based, we’re going to do it. And the cool thing about having a business like mine is that there are a lot of people searching for things that are relevant and specific to me and my books and my programs, so we can really focus on that and not just be throwing out ads for frozen meal delivery. We can look at things that are much more specific that somebody is looking for Diane Sanfilippo meals. Or Diane Bites meals. The way that people don’t know what things are called, and they just search for certain things. So I’m really excited to see what comes of that. And then there will probably be some other SEO updates to our websites and blog as a result of that work.

3. Blog/vlog tips [27:51]

Cassy Joy: That’s really exciting. Our next question comes from SkieSraha. I apologize for not attempting. I just didn’t want to mispronounce it. This person asks, “First steps to starting a blog/vlog/micro-vlog.” It’s a really good question. And Diane and I actually, we just thumbed through the archive of The Driven Podcast to see if we have a more in-depth answer for you. And it doesn’t look like we do, so I think we might do a dedicated episode on it.

But I would point you towards our episode 5, 6, and 7. It’s a miniseries on getting started in business. Three parts. And that might be a good place to start. In the meantime, we will keep noodling on how to bring you a dedicated episode to answer that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. We definitely just wanted to touch on it quickly here. Because I think starting with these getting started in business concepts is helpful for whatever it is. Whether it’s a blog, or anything else. And then good question, so we can do a deep dive on that coming up.

4. Domain names [28:53]

Cassy Joy: Alright. Next question comes from Lynn’s Blynns. And this person asks, “Diane mentioned almost never paying for a domain. How? Any other web tricks and tips?”

Diane Sanfilippo: I actually don’t know what she’s talking about there, because I do pay for domains. I have domains that are registered. So I would love clarification on that. Because I don’t know where you heard that? Maybe it was someone else. {laughs} Those are two we answered, but there weren’t deep answers for. But there’s more questions. So hold tight.

5. Getting more engagement [29:27]

Cassy Joy: Yes! {laughs} Ok, next question is from Sheri_CL, and she asks, “Getting more engagement. When I ask a question, people like the post but don’t comment.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm. Welcome to the internet.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} What advice do you have, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, first of all I would not take it personally. A couple of tips. So, a couple of weeks ago I talked about a new strategy that I’m working on that; I do feel, and maybe it’s just, I have changed my perspective on social media. I’m like; I am posting what I want to post. And my people will connect when they’re ready. I’m not just trying to get upset if there’s not the engagement I wanted. But, two things. One; keep thinking through what your question is. Maybe you’re asking them something that’s too difficult. Maybe they can’t think about that in the two seconds on Instagram. I would maybe, instead of just asking a question. Ask for someone’s opinion or advice. That’s a really good way; I don’t do it often, because I’m usually not looking for that information. But I do when it comes to; what’s your favorite pizza topping to add to a premade frozen pizza.

And this can be a little trite. I’m rolling my eyes at myself. Because I like for social media content to be both an escape and a place to really connect and learn on real stuff. Because we’re not getting any younger and it’s important that we go deep on certain things and we don’t just keep it all surface and unicorns and rainbows. There’s a real world out there.

But with that, if you’re trying to get that engagement, I would ask for advice or an opinion. Try to tie it back to something that you’re pretty sure people already have advice or opinions on. If you have a question that’s about something different that isn’t advice or opinion necessarily, give options. So that people can pick which answer. Sometimes, if your question is so open-ended, people don’t know what to say. You’re expecting that they’re able to sit down and process this new thing that you just introduced them to, but they were just kind of swiping through. So those are a couple of points that I would lean into.

The other thing that I would do is, and this is where I’m looping back to what I talked about a few weeks ago. Consider expanding on a post. Again, I don’t know if this is a question you’re talking about in stories, or on the feed. But if you’re saying they don’t comment, I’m assuming it’s an Instagram feed post. Have a way to provide more depth and more context in your Instagram stories. For example, Cassy is talking about with her team showing a demo for a recipe, and then the recipe is also in the feed. And if you ask something that doesn’t know what kind of answer they might have; if they’ve seen more about it, especially that DERMAFLASH, for example. They’ve seen you demo it; more information in that way provides a lot more for them to potentially talk about.

So I think that basically providing those different access points for the content that you’re sharing will give more opportunity to create a conversation. But again, I do think it’s also about going back to maybe you’re asking something that people don’t even want to talk about. Maybe they don’t want to answer it publicly. Maybe they don’t have something to say about it. So I think as you’re building an audience, you may see someone like me post a question that’s kind of intense from time to time. And people do respond to it. But it’s a big audience and I’ve been cultivating that kind of conversation for a long time.

So, I might say lower your expectations. And create an easier conversation for people to enter into. It’s this; you’re just kind of casual, you’re breezy, and make it easier for people to enter into the conversation. And then just keep trying to ask in different ways if the way you were asking before isn’t working. Because sometimes it is you. We always think; they’re not responding. Well, it’s not about them. We have to do better at the way we invite people into the conversation. And this is where being the business owner and always having that self reflection of; what could I have done differently that might have invited a response a little bit more easily and a little bit better. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It does. And you know, I almost want to be as; I’m always a fan of leaning into transparency. It’s very, very powerful when you’re as vulnerable and honest as possible. If you say; like your question on a post could be; what can I bring you. Or; man, use an example and just have your audience lead you in how you could have done it better. And ask them for their opinion. You can keep trying things, but if you’re open to that idea, I think it’s also very powerful. What content do you want from me? What’s been your favorite piece of content I’ve ever given you? Ask them an easy question to maybe break that ice that you know they’re going to answer, and then lead with it.

And I also would recommend putting that question at the beginning of your caption. I see a lot of people on social media that use a CTA; a call to action, at the end of a long caption. They’re like; here’s 300 words, or however many characters fit on Instagram. Here’s a paragraph of information, and then the last thing is, “Now what’s your favorite memory of a birthday growing up?” Right? It’s a big ask. And I think if you actually want someone to engage, if that’s the priority, then ask it first. And then make your point secondary.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a good point. I think sometimes people who take the approach as kind of romantically storytelling for a long time before they get to the call to action; that can be a better strategy when you’re really making an ask of someone financially. Because you just don’t want to lead with asking for money. Right? That’s not the way to create the story and enter into this world and invite someone into that. But in this case, if you’re just asking people; you want them to engage about their favorite pizza topping, we don’t need to bury that. You know what I mean? Put it right up front. Don’t make them look for the checkout. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Exactly!

Diane Sanfilippo: So, yeah, I love that. And I definitely go back and forth on that. But I’ve been trying lately more to put the nugget that I kind of want them to answer or respond to up at the top. And maybe I’ll reiterate it at the bottom, or maybe not. So if they do read the whole caption, hopefully they do, and can engage after that. So hopefully that helps.

6. Presenting a unified message [36:39]

Cassy Joy: Ok. So our last question comes from MSEvaMirales. I hope I got that right. This person asks, “How do you give a unified message when you have a lot going on in your business?” And I’m going to give you a brief answer. Diane and I, on our previous episode, we talked a little bit about this. But I think it’s ok to be a multifaceted business. It’s great, in fact, if you find that you have a lot of questions to answer for a large array of your audience. And the unified message is you, and the reason you started your business. That is the thing that bridges the gap. You are the thing that ties all of these different, let’s call them verticals. Content verticals. If you are putting out content, or if you offer a bunch of different products, and they all seem to be very different. What is the reason you got into business, and why are you starting it? Essentially, boil it down to what is your why. And that is the unified message that you can put out there. And it’s good to reiterate it every once in a while.

7. Tip of The Week: [37:38]

Cassy Joy: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, this week I’m going to give everyone a tip. We like to kind of roll in from our last question or our last point often, so I’m going to give a tip on a unified message. So I actually opened up Eva, our listener who asked that last question. I opened up her profile. And she has a few things going on as an educator, as someone who is involved with a couple of different direct sales company. And I want to challenge you all to look really objectively at your own social media. Land on your page as if you didn’t know you, and you aren’t you.

What is it about this page that would encourage somebody to go ahead and tap follow if they were a stranger? Right? Because that’s really what you’re trying to do. If you have only information and content that people who know you really well are going to follow you for, then we’re kind of losing the full scope of power of what social media can really be all about. So what I would do is just kind of take a really critical look at that. And how would you get a feel for what this person is all about, what they stand for?

So in this case, your handle was MsEvaMirales, asking the question. And I think I’d like to see a collective overarching intro. Here’s me. Here’s who I am. And then punctuated throughout what you’re doing in your feed. You have a few posts that are quotes. I would love for there to be content that’s posted periodically that makes me understand that the things you’re about are; being an entrepreneur, being a reading specialist. And in a way that’s visually cohesive. Right now, I feel like I see those pieces. I see that you work with Noonday collective. I see that you work with Beautycounter. But the visual presentation of it is coming through in different ways every time. There’s not; I don’t know what to expect of the visuals.

So I would love for there to be something where; whenever you’re posting something that’s about reading, we’ve got a certain look and feel to it. Whenever you’re posting something that’s about Noonday collective, a certain look and feel to it. And I kind of see that a little bit; you’re doing selfies a bunch with some earrings, and I like that pattern. But for some of these other things, I don’t have something where I know what to expect, so that if I’m swiping by something in my Instagram feed that I would know that it’s you. So I think that would be really, really helpful in this case.

So what I want you guys to do is just kind of take that inventory of what you’re sharing, and make sure that what you’re sharing is intentional and focused in that way.

That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @CassyJoyGarcia as well as @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo as well as @BalancedBites.

Tune in next week for another brand new episode. We’ll talk to you then.

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