Instagram Tips for Entrepreneurs

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Navigating social media can be daunting for entrepreneurs. You need need to be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  It is also in your best interest to also be on Instagram if you run a business.


Why?  The customers you want to reach are using this platform to connect with friends and businesses like yours. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and most use the platform to find and connect with business brands.


Tips for Better Instagram Use and Engagement:


  • Follow and Engage with Others:

The best way to gain followers and boost engagement in your posts is to follow and engage with other people! Find and build relationships with current customers, prospective clients, and other like-minded or complementary businesses. This does multiple things for you and your business – it establishes you as an authority, it helps boost your credibility, it makes your company seem more personable and it encourages people to follow you back and engage with you. Don’t forget to respond to comments, mentions, and private messages.


  • Hastags! Hashtags! Hashtags!:

Hashtags are searchable keywords that begin with the pound sign (#) and all social media platforms use hastags to search their platform for content. Using relevant hashtags will get new eyes on your business’ content and boost the associated post’s engagement. Instagram users can also follow hashtags as well as accounts; which can mean more engagement for your company if you use hashtags people are following. You can easily find relevant hashtags by using Instagram’s search bar. Simply type in a potential hashtag and you will see not only related hashtags but how many times each hashtag has been used.


  • Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories are short-lived posts that receive top billing in the social media interface. This means the post will be the first thing your followers see when they login to their accounts. These posts last 24 hours then disappear. It is a great place to make short announcements, specials, or shout-outs.


  • Keep your Brand Consistent:

Be sure to keep your company’s brand consistent when posting on Instagram. Don’t go overboard with the filters and cute little addons. People want companies to be more “real” and approachable.


  • Link it in the Bio:

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in actual posts now but there are ways around this. Simply put the link in your account bio and on your posts state “link in bio.” This also allows you to focus more attention on the link by calling it out.


  • Measure it!:

Having a lot of followers (on any social platform) sounds great but if they are not engaged with you and clicking on your links what is the point? Make sure to track the clicks to your personal website using both the in-platform analytics (follows, likes, shares, and comments) and 3rd party analytics on your website (like Google Analytics). Use the data from the analytics to craft your posts to better engage your audience.


In summary, make sure what you’re putting up is highly visual and engaging yet consistent with your brand; utilize local, popular, and other relevant hashtags; interact with other Instagram users to get more eyes on your page and brand; and don’t forget to measure the results.

The Importance of Social Capital

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social capital


By Debbie Gregory.

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Social capital refers to the connections and shared values between people that enable more cooperation and growth than one person can do alone. When you have taken the time to develop a wealth of social capital you will easily obtain any other resource that you need.


1.)  It Should be Natural Networking

Networking can be unpleasant for most people, but it is truly important to be successful. The best is to start small and be patient. Let the relationship grow naturally by being honest and authentic and show the people that you value them. Start with your own friends, family, and coworkers. Find others in your field that you look up to and connect with them. Just remember to be authentic – don’t put on a fake persona, eventually they will see through it and be less than pleased.


2.) It Establishes You As A Leader

Offering advice or resources to other people without expecting something in return builds trust and establishes your reputation as an upstanding person in your field. If the assistance is helpful, you place yourself as an honorable and knowledgeable person in your field.


3.) It Creates Strong Teams

Social capital is not limited to those who you know personally, who work with you, or those in your company. You can, and should, extend your network as far as you can. Nurturing a wide ranging network will provide you more resources to look to for solving a greater variety of issues.


4.) It Makes People Want to Help You

Once you have provided helpful support and advice to others in your network, they will want to give it back when you need the assistance. Most people genuinely like helping others – especially if they have been helped at some point by that person. Never be afraid to ask for assistance when needed from the network you are carefully creating. It you don’t ask, you don’t get.


Other tips to build social capital:

  • Be honest and do not shy away from hard truths. People value honesty.
  • Help connect others together.
  • Contribute to debates.
  • Actively contribute in your chosen field.
  • Support other people when they need it.
  • Help others in your network with their work.


As the saying goes – every entrepreneur needs three kinds of capital: financial, human, and social. The financial is easy – the other two take a lot of work. Take the time to build your social capital and both you and your Veteran or Military owned business will reap the rewards.

Turning Construction Contacts into Contracts

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Over 60 exhibitors looking for business with small certified firms DVBE’s, DBE’s, WBE’s, and SBE’s.


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Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business

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By Debbie Gregory.

There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. If you fancy yourself an entrepreneur, odds are you already have the drive, but, you might not know where to start. Launching a business takes planning, decision making, goal setting and action. So before you jump into self-employment, here are a few key questions to ask yourself.

What is my talent and who is my customer? Whether you are offering goods or services, make sure you are offering a solution people are looking for and are willing to pay for. Write up a business plan, which will serve as a roadmap to your success. Maintain your focus and don’t try to be all things to all customers. Your target market is the ideal client looking for what you have to offer.

Do I have the discipline it takes to make it as a business owner? Are you disciplined enough to report for duty, even on the days when the sun is shining and the temptation to play hooky is strong. Being your own boss often means working longer and harder than you would if you were an employee. Success in business requires passion, a lot of hard work, staying power and drive.

Can I assemble a team that will help drive my business success? You can’t go at it alone; a team will help you build and grow your business. Even if you plan to be a sole proprietor, you’ll probably need an outside support team to keep you focused and on track. These people may include a lawyer, accountant, sales rep, web developer, etc.

How will I finance the business? Your business plan should give you an idea of how much funding you will need to cover not only your startup costs but also ongoing expenses before you are generating a profit. Evaluate your options, including business credit cards, lines of credit, vendor credit, a business loan, or a combination of these sources.