Nerissa Golden Blog

Blog posts by Media Strategist and Business Nerissa Golden.
Visit her website at www.nerissagolden.com.

Using Hashtags on Instagram is Must for Business

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms, but do you know how to use it?

While many like to use it as it’s less crowded than Facebook to share photos with friends, if you plan to use it for business then you have to know how to use it correctly.

Using hashtags on instagram is a must.
Using hashtags on instagram is a must.

Instagram is a mobile app for sharing photos around common themes. You use hashtags aka the number or pound sign (#) to tag your images so others can find them.

If you have a brand or offer a service then your images need to be seen by people who could be your next client. How will they find you? You must know what hashtags they use commonly and are interested in.

Let’s take an easy one like travel.

While you can fill the status with “having lots of fun in Antigua”. If you are trying to promote your travel agency, hotel or some other travel-related venture , maybe even luggage then you need to include hashtags such as #Caribbeantravel #picoftheday #instatravel #instapic, #luxury, #luggage.

Make sure Antigua is written with a hashtag in front of it like this #Antigua. Key words should be tagged every time.

Do a search for the top Instagram hashtags in general and also in your area of interest.

Like Follow Lead

As you can’t include an active link in your status for people to click through to your site then you must capture their interest to encourage them to follow you and connect with your on your business platform.

Get more helpful tips on using the top social media platforms correctly in Like Follow Lead: Mastering Social Media for Small Business.

Find me on Instagram @trulycaribbean .

Upgrade your Business Email Address

I tell you the truth. I think twice about recommending your business to colleagues if your email address still says Yahoo or Hotmail.

On a regular basis friends and other clients ask me to refer them to someone who can help them with a business problem. The first place I check is my network. I am always looking for the opportunity to recommend a friend or business contact but I will pass you over if you’ve got an email address that screams I’m not serious.

Even if your business is only part time, you can still present it professionally.

I love Gmail and so you may get a pass if you use one but make sure it uses your company name or your full name rather than hotmess@gmail.com or bootylicious@gmail.com.

email

An even better and the recommended option is to register your company domain name and then create addresses that you can use. Most domains come with options for about 100 addresses which you can create and forward mail through.

Using your company address gives legitimacy to your business and also serves as a daily advertisement.

I always search for the company I see mentioned after the @ symbol. You could gain some new customers simply using an address registered to your domain.

Don’t forget to add links to your social accounts and website to your email signature so it appears every time you send an email. Another way to pick up new customers with minimum effort.

Festival Day is in the New Caribbean Christmas Anthology

Image from Festival Day by Kathryn Duncan of KaribGraphics Trinidad
Image from Festival Day by Kathryn Duncan of KaribGraphics Trinidad

It is always great when you can make something old new again. In this case, one of my favourite poems from Islands Days is now featured in the new Caribbean Christmas Anthology just released by CaribbeanReads Publishers.

Festival Day which highlights the dual celebration of Christmas and the cultural festival on Montserrat is included Round My Christmas Tree.

The book features 27 stories, poems, recipes, and artwork that range from the sacred to irreverent and from heart-warming to just down-right funny, according to the publisher’s website.

Get yours by clicking on the ad below.

How Many Customers Does Your Business Really Need?

No one is buying?

The market’s just not big enough.

Our population is too small.

All of these are comments I hear regularly from business owners and people considering starting a business on Montserrat.

black-business-ownerWhile there is truth to all of the above statements, often we generalize and take on other people’s assumptions without testing them for ourselves.

Consider no one is buying. Are you running a business where you need people to purchase your service daily or can one good sale per week set you right and meet your monthly sales goals? Evaluate what your daily, weekly and monthly sales targets need to be and then evaluate your systems with those figures in mind. If you do require daily sales then what promotions or changes can you make to improve how your customers engage with your product or services? Maybe you are not advertising enough or not advertising on the media platforms or in the locations where your customers are.

The market’s just not big enough. Montserrat (5000) is one of the smallest markets in the region and while many think that is the case, places such as Saba (1800+) and St. Eustatius (3000+) have even smaller populations. Again look at your market. Do you need all 5000 people on Montserrat to keep you in business? Even if you did, could you meet the demand? The better plan would be to look at your sales targets and ensure they cover your expenses and a reasonable profit. How many people would need to purchase your cleaning or accounting service this month?

If your goal was 10,000 per month then evaluate your pricing packages. How many private homes would you need to clean monthly to reach that goal? How many businesses would it take to reach the target? If you have support then maybe it can be done by taking on more private homes or increasing the fees for servicing businesses.

Our population is just too small. Small gives you the opportunity to be unique and create a premium and quality product. If you look around and see everyone doing the same thing, then it does not make sense to follow the trend. All of you will be competing with the same products in the same space. Rather, find a way to position your products and services in the market so you stand out. Develop unique products, offer exceptional service, personalize your offerings to keep customers coming back.

Rather than listening to the voices around you who are often only repeating what they’ve heard from others, do you own research and listen to your inner expert.

Use the Start a Business in 5 Days Workbook to help you develop your market and sales strategy.

You can Start a Business in Five Days, says entrepreneur Nerissa Golden

StartABizin5BRADES, Montserrat – Media Strategist and Business Coach Nerissa Golden has released a free download called Start a Business in Five Days in the hopes of getting more people to put their dreams and ideas of business ownership down on paper as the first step to bringing them into existence.

“Over the years as I train at workshops or speak individually to people, they often need some hand holding to get them to keep moving once they’ve taken that initial step of saying I want to own a business,” explained Golden. “The workbook provides a template for working through some of the basic steps that anyone considering starting a business should consider.”

Surprisingly, having enough money to start the business, is not one of the first steps.

“That comes later,” Golden says. “Finding the money to fulfill your dream becomes easier once you’ve solidified what you want to do and how committed you are to achieving it. Quite often you may hear “no” several times before a banker or investor says “yes.” You’ve got to have a deeper awareness about your commitment to starting and growing the business before others will want to support it. Your mind game has to be right.”

The free download is available on www.nerissagolden.com and provides worksheets to complete for each of the five days. The first day is focused on identifying the natural talents that many people overlook as potential moneymaking opportunities. It also encourages the budding entrepreneur to brainstorm a list of business ideas which will be later linked to those gifts and the opportunities in the community.

“Later on in the workbook, every effort should be made to survey different people outside of your usual circle to assess who your potential customers would be. It is important as you can review your strategy and develop a business model which could offer different levels of the same service at varying price points,” she explained.

While the download was focused primarily on people wishing to start sole proprietorships, Golden noted that the principles are transferrable to ventures which could employ others. “Over the years I’ve used the basic concept to start a sandwich business which I only ran for a few months to help meet a short term financial need but I also used it to start a school which employs staff and continues to operate today.”

For more information on starting a business visit www.nerissagolden.com to access more resources and support.