Build Your Instagram Community and Build Your Small Business

How do you start to build up your online community? By interacting on social media and growing your fan base. It can take time to target and convert the kind of followers that will advocate for your brand. But there are technologies popping up to help make this easier.

Likewise Marketing, for example, is a platform that lets you grow your following on Instagram, engage with your audience, and increase conversions. The company's followers tool allows you to connect with up to 50,000 targeted users per month. And Instagram, with more than 700 million active monthly users, is a favorite among millennials, and has the highest brand engagement rate of all social media platforms. This makes it the perfect starting point for your social marketing efforts.

Small Business Optimism is Off the Charts

What's causing this optimism?

According to a recent Gallup Surveyoptimism among small business owners is the highest it's been in eight years. In fact, "the percentage of small-business owners expecting company revenues to increase during the next 12 months rose from 48 percent to 58 percent."

What's causing this optimism? After surveying more than 1,000 of its small business customers from all 50 states, Guidant Financial found that "dissatisfaction with corporate America" ranked as the main reason why respondents pursued business ownership in 2016. That dissatisfaction with corporate America may be the nudge that small business owners need in order to risk starting their own business. They're following their passions and not just the dollars, which means they're starting businesses for the right reasons. And optimism can help you stay motivated and open to new business opportunities, as well as eager to seek out ways to make the world a better place.

Criticize with a Spoonful of Sugar

Try using positive-outcome statements.

Which of the following two statements is likely to produce a better result: "You need to stop making so many mistakes," or "I would like you to work on improving your accuracy?"

How about these two: "You need to stop criticizing people," or "I would like you to work on finding ways to praise your employees more?"

While it's tempting to use scare tactics or blunt feedback, positive-outcome statements tend to be more persuasive. (Researchers hypothesize that most people respond negatively to feeling bullied or "guilted" into changing a behavior.) So, if you're trying to create change, focus on the positives of that change. Take the person you hope to persuade to a better place instead of somewhere he or she should avoid.

How Much Does Your Outfit Matter? More than You Think

The image you choose to portray to others is a big reflection of your true self.

The image you choose to portray to others is a big reflection of your true self, but the opposite effect can also be achieved. Ever heard the slogan “dress for success?” It’s true.

Research psychologist Jeffrey L. Magee surveyed more than 500 firms to assess the impact of dress in the workplace. His studies led to the conclusion that continually relaxed dress ultimately leads to relaxed manners, relaxed morals, and relaxed productivity. 

Think about your own experience. On a typical morning, you might wake up feeling groggy, stumbling around the house in sweatpants and a T-shirt. But take a few minutes to get dressed, and the results are wondrous; it’s as if you just had another cup of coffee. It’s amazing what a simple outfit can do. Button up that shirt and your whole mood shifts, the sky is suddenly brighter, and you summon up additional energy. You’re ready to conquer the world. -VIA