7 Tips for Looking like a Zoom Meeting Pro – Even When You’re NOT!

With the world in lockdown, most small businesses don’t just get to hit the “pause” button. Meetings, consults, and happy hours are moving virtual – and that means you, as a business owner, need to OWN the virtual space as you keep working toward your goals.

So, when it comes down to that meeting, are you feeling a little…hesitant with your virtual meeting skills? Check out our top 7 tips for looking like a Zoom Meeting PRO:

Be aware of your surroundings. I know – you’re stuck at home and your office is in shambles and the kids are screaming for a snack and you have NO IDEA how you’re going to jump on a call in 10 minutes. In these current times, a lot of your colleagues and coworkers are struggling with the same problems. Do what you can to create a clean background. Tucking yourself into a corner is fine – clear just enough clutter to create a non-distracting backdrop. Then – lock your setting in place and don’t move that tablet or computer until you’re done. No wobbling cameras = no unintentional personal effect showing up. PRO-TIP: Yes – there are backdrop settings. You can use a photo, a beach backdrop, etc. If you can – avoid using it for business meetings. Zoom is wonderful, but not perfect and as you naturally move, it doesn’t keep up. Your shirt changing to your backdrop or a bright, unrealistic backdrop can do just as much to distract your group as a chaotic background.

Embrace what you can’t change. Look – kids, pets, significant others – we’re all trapped in the same space. And chances are, something will pop in at JUST the moment you need it not to. Embrace it. Explain that the kids are kids and they may pop in. Apologize – and move on. Also – see point number 1 (in case you skipped that one!)

Enable the beauty filter! No need for make-up (unless you want it) and it helps smooth the appearance. Total confidence boost for you – and a cleaner look for a positive impression for the group. Check out this feature on our Facebook page. And while you’re there – be sure to follow the page for more tips and updates.

Mute yourself and check your image BEFORE you officially join the meeting. You can set up Zoom to allow you a preview of what your meeting will see, so you can make any adjustments to Steps 1 and 2. If you’re wearing lipstick – this is your chance to make sure there’s none in your teeth.

MUTE yourself when others have the floor. This is ESPECIALLY true for larger meetings. Having too many people speaking can be disastrous – Zoom can’t figure out who to highlight, no one can hear the important piece that needs to be heard, and it’s just overall not a good time. Unless it’s a happy hour – then, all bets are off. PRO TIP: You can mute and un-mute yourself with the space bar (when the chat function is closed). This makes it so easy to pop in, say something quick, then stay on mute to avoid too many people speaking.

Find a way to show appreciation or applause while on mute. In a world where we seek reaction and audience participation, Zoom and mute buttons can make it feel like we’re working in a vacuum. My personal favorite – the ASL sign for applause! It’s so visual and eye catching, your speaker can see your response without interrupting the presentation. You can also use a thumbs-up, a wave, a clapping of hands while on mute – whatever works for you!

Confidence is key. Look like you know what you’re doing, embrace it when something goes weird, and you’ll get the hang of this new virtual world in no time!

That’s it – so easy, right? Now that you’ve read our 7 tips for looking like a Zoom Meeting PRO:you’re ready to talk on virtual meetings – but do you know what you need to say? If your brand could use some help – Flamingo Consulting LLC is here to help bring your big, beautiful brand forward! Schedule your Free discovery session with us today!

8 Ways to Up Your Instagram Game

The statistics are staggering – 60% of online adults have an Instagram account (that’s Instragram for those not up on their social media vocab). And nearly ⅔ of Americans use IG on the daily. While not necessarily the ideal playground for every business, it’s easy to see what would make playing on #’s and IGTV so inviting.

The downside with so much traffic? It’s easy to get lost in the social media world, when everyone is SHOUTING for your audience’s attention. It’s estimated that by the end of the year 2020, ¾ of US businesses will be on IG. And 2 MILLION businesses are monthly advertisers, meaning you’re fighting a bit of an uphill battle to be seen. But with such a big pie, even a small slice can be more than enough to make any entrepreneur jumping for joy with the flood of new connections, followers, and clients.

The trick for any business on IG is maximizing your effort. If you’re going to hustle on IG, here are the best 8 ways to up your Instagram game.

  1. Have a business page – and create an inviting bio. SO important. It should be short and sweet, but eye-catching. Tell more of your story by using emojis. It should give a glimpse of who your business is, what it does, and what it stands for. Need an example? Wendy’s bio: “📸🍔 🔥” That’s it. Short, sweet, no confusion. Apple’s bio: “Everyone has a story to tell. Tag #ShotoniPhone to take part.”
  2. Mix up your content. Post different types of content – shares, new images, branded images. Show pics of your different products. Use different camera angles and filters. Test out each new IG beta they let you. But beware going off-brand. If you are a serious brand – stay serious. Silly brands – don’t take yourself too seriously.
  3. PICTURE IS KING. You can write all you want for a caption but IG is set up for easy speed-scrolling. You need a quick image that SCREAMS your brand AND is interesting to make them stop scrolling. Without seeing who is posting the image, they should know it’s you because it feels like you. Original content is the ideal – IG users don’t want to see the same post shared 8 times. They want to see you. Using similar graphics, including your logo on your images as a watermark, keeping within a certain color scheme – all of these will help keep your images feeling like you, but with changing content.
  4. ABCTA: Always be Calling To Action. Beautiful images are great, but your followers need to know what to DO ABOUT IT. A call to action should be included with EVERY. SINGLE. POST. Call now. Click here. Download here. Join today. Click for more details. Follow us. Schedule your appointment. Take our…all of these are great CTAs. Catching your followers’ eye won’t get you anywhere if they don’t know how to engage with you!
  5. Use those #s and geotags! Geotags are especially good for brick-and-mortar businesses! Highlight where you are, where you’re headed, and even tag who you’re seeing to gain additional attention from browsers. When it comes to hashtags (#), look for ones that have thousands of uses or up to the low-millions…massive numbers of other similar hashtags may get you buried, but you also don’t want too few or it’s not a valuable use of your # limit. Also, consider creating your own # for people to use when they post about you or your products.
  6. IG Stories are the stories for you! Not sure if your content is the best, but want to test it out? Want to offer a short-term giveaway (you know – like for only 24 hours…hint, hint). Use IG Stories! These images last only 24 hours for your followers to see. These can even be short videos, so be sure you have SOUND to enhance the experience for your followers!
  7. Build your calendar. That’s right – you can BUILD your content ahead of time and have it plan to roll out exactly when you want it to. This allows you to not have to be active to post it at every second of every day (or however often you prefer to post). Creator Studio – the free app within Facebook business pages – allows you to sync up your Facebook page and IG page – and even cross-post the content to both places. You can also use paid services like Hootsuite and Gain to help you visualize the posts you schedule. Pro tip: respond to everyone who comments – even if it’s just as a thank you! This will make your followers feel appreciated and more likely to like you and/or your brand, and want to work with you.
  8. If all else fails, bring in a professional. Most business owners didn’t start a business because they LOVE social media (present company excluded, of course!). For a lot of entrepreneurs, social media is boring – or worse, intimidating and overwhelming. If you’re one of those entrepreneurs, consider either hiring someone to help you figure out a system that will work for you to create content and build your social reach OR even to do it for you. There’s nothing worse than spending time on something related to your business that you HATE. And taking this one task off your plate can give you more time to do what you love, like serving your clients!

That’s it! 8 steps to up your IG game. If you’re loving the idea of #8 – reach out for a with Flamingo Consulting LLC for a FREE Discovery Session!

The NEW Social Media – Handling your Digital Footprint in a Pandemic

The NEW Social Media – Handling your Digital Footprint in a Pandemic

In case you haven’t been paying attention the last few weeks, there’s a bit of a global crisis going on. Cities, states…entire countries are limiting physical interactions like no living generation has ever seen. For businesses – especially brick-and-mortar businesses – social distancing requirements have changed the way we interact with our customers, clients, and local businesses. And what does a small business do when, in some cases, you literally CANNOT do business? You take to the virtual, digital world. Usage of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has increased like never before. All previous best-practices and trends are out the window as we learn to handle social media in a pandemic.

So, in a world where every business is SHOUTING for attention on social media, how does a small business really stand out? Or worse – how does a small business stay ALIVE in a new digital age, especially when they haven’t harnessed the power of social media before?

Check out our 7 steps to keep rolling with your social media in a pandemic (or get started!):

  1. Stay Consistent. Growth in a digital world takes time – even with paid ads. Consistent posting – and consistent interactions with followers – will go a long way in terms of organic growth. Creating a posting plan of 2-3 times a week is a great way to start – not overloading your followers with content, but still engaging them on multiple levels.
  2. Remain your true authentic self. I know, I know – “authentic” is the new buzzword. But it’s never been more true than today. If your brand is funny, be funny. Serious – be serious. Stay true to your brand voice. Creating original, true-to-you content is all the rage. Your followers have come to expect something from you – something that feels like your brand. If you have a serious brand that all of a sudden is posting constant memes with Netflix’s The Tiger King references, your followers won’t know quite who they’re dealing with anymore. Your brand matters – and should be consistent, no matter what the world is doing.
  3. Original content is key. Sharing posts has a place in social media – absolutely. But about the 8th time you’ve seen the same post or question or meme, you start to ignore it. Or worse – be annoyed by it. Branded images and unique content can set you apart from all the other noise your followers are being inundated with on social media.
  4. Embrace the Change. Accept it. Talk about it. Talk about what your business is doing. Talk about what changes have taken place. And TELL YOUR CUSTOMERS HOW THEY CAN CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU. Have gift cards? Facebook can help you sell them. Offering curb-side delivery or porch-pickups? Tell the world. Talk about new products you’re developing. Talk about your plans for the coming year. Talk about how you’re helping your community. This time is scary and dark for many – but talking about it can be the key to a customer staying loyal and believing you’ll be here after the world starts spinning again.
  5. Find new leads and build your email marketing lists. Whether you’re doing this through Facebook lead ads, building a viral blog, or gathering referrals and reviews from your existing clients, this is a time you can focus on your reputation – and gather connections you’ll want post-quarantine.
  6. Try Videos. Yes, this is typically something I recommend outside of a pandemic situation. However, now more than ever, video matters. Your followers and potential followers are struggling with boredom (at best) and anxiety (at worst). Being a gentle distraction is welcome to many – and I mean MANY. Verizon recently reported a 20% week-over-week increase in web traffic. That means you have more people spending more time on the web than ever before. They’re spending longer periods of time surfing and scrolling, outside of their normal usage hours – there’s really no bad time to post. And attention-grabbing videos can mean those potential customers spending more time interacting with your brand than posting just words or a simple image.
  7. Get help if you need it. Social media professionals are still at work – even if it’s in yoga pants from our home offices. Getting some coaching – or even having a professional handle your social media for the time being – may be just what your business needs to stay afloat during this pandemic. As always, you can reach out to Flamingo Consulting – whether you need a quick coaching session or you need help carrying the social media load. We’re here to help!

Want to learn more? Check out our FREE Discovery Sessions – we’d love to chat about how YOU can grow during this crazy time!