COM0014 Blog #6

Do People Know Your Story?

My story of how I started my business and the questions that applied.

business name

While reading through the blog, John Jantsch had a list of questions to help you find your story. I found this to be helpful and I think that these questions could help anyone start a business, a blog, or any platform that requires telling your audience who you are.

When we did our mission statement for the business. My sister and I had to explain who we were, what we were trying to accomplish and how we were committed to staying up to date on the newest fashion and beauty trends.

When I started my business a few years ago, my goal was to sell products, relate to my customers and to include my customers. The type of business I had was selling fashion and beauty products for less. I wanted my customers to be able to buy nice things at an affordable price. I was able to buy bulk and sell low. It was getting to be very successful, until life got in the way, and I had to close. It happened around the start of the pandemic.

Some of our accessories

To achieve my goals, I needed to know what the customers wanted. To accomplish this, I had to research what was in style and popular at the time. I also reached out on my Facebook group page I designed and created for my business. Lastly, I asked my potential customers a few questions. Such as,

  • What kind of beauty products you like to try?
  • Would you prefer skin care, makeup, or both?
  • What brands would you like to see in the store?
  • Should I also include accessories?

Asking these questions and having potential customers take part and have an opinion, really made a difference. I didn’t want to have an overload of products in my house that no one wanted to buy. It was easier to order thing approximately every two weeks, especially the way fashion and beauty changes so fast.

My business was unique because it was just for my local area. We delivered, we allowed pick-up and the odd time we would mail a few things.

So, this is my story on how my business got started. One day I would love to do it again. I still have lots of products in my basement. I won’t be selling it though; it is from two years ago. I am sure the trend has moved on lol

Would you like to have a say/opinion in what goes in a local fashion and beauty online store? Or would you prefer to just see what is there?

We are a small community, it was easy because most of us know each other. This may not work in a big city.

COM0014 Blog #7

Personal Reflection

One of the main things that I have learned on this two-month journey, is that I really enjoy writing blogs. I was a little nervous at first because I have always wanted to try blogging, but I didn’t know enough about it. For instance, how to start the blog and how to engage with my audience.

I had written a blog early in the course about “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Social Media”. I had great feedback from the audience and I was able to connect with my readers through storytelling. Another one that I did was “What did I Do on My Vacation”, I really enjoyed working on that one as well. Learning how to do hyperlinks, adding pictures, and adding a question to give readers that nudge to interact with me. Brilliant!

I know that I am not a professional blogger, but maybe I can be one day. I would like to continue learning more after the course is over.

Storytelling is important for digital content because it gives your narrative structure. It helps to grab and captivate your audience. You need to set the scene, be creative, set the tone and end with a question, so readers will engage. I also learned less is more. You are writing a blog, not an autobiography. You can tell stories not only with words but with pictures, videos and audio recordings.

I am hoping to start a blog of my own, once I have more time for myself. What will I write about? I am thinking a life blog, where I tell my life stories and struggles. As someone who has had over thirty surgeries and born with a disability. I think I can help others through their journey. Now this is just a thought, it could be about something else entirely.

Do you think you will start a blog, after this course is over?

If Yes, what kind of blog?

If you are already a blogger, what do you write about?

COM0014

Personal Brand

I have always had a very fast paced life. I had my daughter when I was seventeen. I was a single mother, and I loved every moment of it. She is now twenty-three and has a daughter of her own. They both still live with me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My Granddaughter calls me Hanny because she can’t say granny. Most people don’t believe I have a twenty-three-year-old, let alone a granddaughter.

Savannah (Granddaughter)

I still managed to graduate from college twice and received two diplomas. One in Social Service Work and the other in Office Administration, as well as my certificate in Medical Terminology.

I would have to say that I am a very determined individual who will stop at nothing to achieve what I want and deserve in life.

I have had over thirty operations and counting. My daughter likes to call me super woman and still tells me she wants to be just like me. That is the biggest compliment I could ever ask for from her. It melts my heart every time.

My daughter and I at Christmas

As of right now I am not working due to medical issues, but I still need to do something in my spare time. Which is why I wanted to take this course; you can never have to much on your resume. I wanted to learn more about social media and how to use it for my business.

So, I would have to say I am determined, I like to try new things when I get the opportunity, I like to travel as much as I can, when my health permits. I like meeting new people and I enjoy making people laugh.

As for my colleagues, they would probably say that I am funny, kind, empathetic, a hard worker and I can pick up on anything very quickly. I am a visual learner so; you normally only have to show me once and I can continue from there. I would also think a few of my former colleagues would say I am stubborn. I would go to work in a wheelchair if I had to. I have walked to work double stitched and still made it on time. I try not to do that anymore and I do not suggest it to anyone. lol

I used to say “It could always be worse.” Then my sister told me to stop saying that because something else would happen to me. My family calls me Gods’ guinea pig lol. My entire family has great humor.

Me (left) sister (right)

Cut the Cord

Is It Time To Cut The Cord?

YouTube is my new cable, and I am sure it is for a lot of us. A few years ago, I started watching a few YouTube videos here and there to pass the time. As I started really diving deep into it. I found documentaries, murder mysteries, fun DIY content and free movies. My family and I were just watching YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, so we decided to cut the cable. We were paying almost $200 a month for cable that we weren’t watching anymore. A family bundle for YouTube costs $17, and that is for five of us to use it. Our Netflix costs $17 and that is for four users. Amazon Prime only costs $100 per year. Plus, we do all of our streaming for movies and shows that we like and all we have to do is download an app to our Amazon Fire Stick.

As of 2020, there has been a huge cut back on cable TV. Its estimated to be between 5 and 7 million. Now that is a lot of lost business. According to comparitech, there has been a steady decline since 2012 at an estimated loss of 30 million cable and satellite subscribers.

You don’t need cable to watch TV

I took it upon myself to take a poll with a few of my family and friends, to see if they have cable or not. Out of twenty participants, only four still have cable. The four that still have cable were over the age sixty. So, I am wondering if this is more of a convenient thing. I only say this because I know for a fact that the four that still have cable, can barely work a cell phone. If they knew how to navigate through YouTube or change it up and get Netflix would this still be the case. It has nothing to do with age. I just think they can’t be bothered with it. My Uncle said if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. lol So I guess i did get my answer.

What do you think about cutting cable? Have you already unsubscribed to cable or satellite? What do you like or dislike about it?

COM0014 – B2C Case Study

Target

I would like to start with a quick background of the company I chose.

Targets official store was opened in 1962, in Roseville, Minnesota. It was founded by George Dayton. It is considered to be the second largest discount store in the United States.

Target has a social media following upward of 29 million and rising. The platforms they mainly use are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, they are also on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Target

I went on the three more popular social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Target team appeared to be very interactive with the followers. Any complaints that I have seen were addressed the same day. When they do address the audience its in a nice way. I did not pick up on any sort of rude or sarcastic tone. On the website they also provide different ways to contact customer service, including an option to chat now. I like the option to chat now, I use it quite often with online shopping and they are quick to respond.

I do believe that their approach is working. I went online to see what the customers were saying and while reading the reviews there was many positive than negative. Overall, Target has a review rating of 4.1/5, and 4.1/5 is a very good rating for such a large company.

How many of you shopped at target before? How was your experience?

Social Media Topic

Are You Annoying People With You’re Phone at Dinner?

I believe that setting social media boundaries is a great idea.

People are spending way too much time attached to their devices. You can’t go anywhere with anyone anymore without someone having a phone stuck in their face. You can’t go for a nice dinner without having that third party guest sitting on the table and having your friend, spouse, child, brother, or sister stare at it every few seconds to see if they have missed anything. Finally, you have that beautiful silence. Until you hear that infamous DING go off and then the focus has once again left the table. So, what does the other person do? That’s right they pick up their phone and why is that? Because you don’t want to just sit there and look at the back of their phone.

Death of Conversations

Now this is just an example. Has it happened to me before? Absolutely! That is why I’m using it. I get it, I use my phone a lot to but never at dinner, especially at a restaurant. It is my biggest pet peeve.

Now how do we disconnect? One easy way is to leave your phone in the car. All of your notifications will be there when you leave the restaurant. You can check them then. Put your phone on silent, including the vibration feature. If you don’t, this will still have you diving for your phone. Now, I understand there can be circumstances that prevents you from doing this but that is understandable.

Pew Research Centre stated that 88% of adult found it NOT ok to Use a phone at dinner time. If you would like to see more, click here.

What do you think? She we be disconnected at the dinner table?

References

Nicander Mohr, C (2015, September 15). Yes, You’re Annoying People when You’re Using your Phone. The Wonder of Tech. https://wonderoftech.com/cell-phone-manners/

COM0014 – Blog#3

Target Audience

Christmas boxes

I used to own a small online business with my sister, approximately two years ago. It was doing well, considering we had just been open for a little over a year. We sold purses, jewelry, makeup, scarves, beach apparel and many more products. Also, at Christmas time we would curate a box that customers could purchase for family, friends, or themselves. It included one item from each group. Each box would have a piece of jewelry, a purse or wallet, make up, a scarf, comfy socks and so on. The box would contain seven full sized items and we would add an extra free gift. We sold the boxes at $50 with a guaranteed value of $100 and we did the wrapping as well. I didn’t realize how much everyone would love them because they sold out in a week. We also got to interact with our customers face to face. We would deliver to your home, work and we also gave the option for pick up. Unfortunately, I had to shut it down for a few years due to medical reasons, but I do plan to reopen in the next year.

When we started this business, our target audience was for anyone who wanted to purchase our products within our area. In some cases that I have read for target audiences for a business like mine. Their demographic would be more specific, for example women from the ages of twenty to forty years of age. We discussed it and we didn’t want to put that on our mission post. We felt it should not be specific. Anyone at any age was our demographic audience. Sometimes there would be people from out of town who wanted to purchase our products, so we would mail it to them with a flat rate of $8. We turned no one away.

Here is a list of some incentives we used to capture our audience.

  • Giveaways once a month and on holidays.
  • Free gift with purchases over $50.
  • If you wanted to join our emailing list for updates and special offers, we would offer 10% of first order.
  • With makeup bundles, we would add an lipstick or gloss of their choosing.
Items that we sold

How we used social media for our business. We had our official business website, a Facebook business page and Instagram. We also handed out business cards and did face to face networking. We would also ask our customers if there were some other products they would like to see in our store. We wanted their input, which only seemed fair because they were the ones buying the product. Its getting to know your audience, everyone has different tastes.

Question, If you were a customer of mine, would you like the idea of having an opinion on what products we bring in? Keep in mind we were a small local business, and we could easily communicate with our customers and knew many of them.

How to Make Money using Social Media

There are many ways to make money on social media and here are the most popular ways. Also, I will tell you the top three in two categories with their approximate earnings. I could do a lot more but we would be here all day. While I was researching this topic, I was amazed at how much people can make. The earnings will be from 2019 to 2020.

YouTube – Monetizing your content

  • Ryan Kaji – Has 41.7 million subscribers, 12.2 billion views and has made an estimated $29.5 million since 2015. He reviews toys and does unboxings.
Jeffree Star
  • Jeffree Star – Has 16.9 million subscribers, 600 million views and has made an estimated $15 million just from YouTube. He is a makeup guru. Also, he has made millions more from launching his own makeup brand.
  • Nastya – Now this little girl hit the jackpot of YouTube. She has 190.6 million subscribers, 39 billion views and earns approximately $18.5 million. She shares this channel with her father. They do experiments and basically vlog their day

TikTok – TikToks Creaters Fund. Must be at least 18 to apply. Now this is to make money straight from TikTok. This does not include endorsement deals or being an influencer. The more followers you have the more companies will want to make deals with you. Here are the three most popular TikTokers.

  • Charli D’Amelio – Charli has 104.7 million followers. She gained popularity from a dance called the Renegade, but she just post whatever content she wants. She makes approximately $4 million.

  • Addison Rae Easterling – Addison has 73.3 million followers. She is known for her dancing. she earned approximately $5 million.
Addison Rae

  • Zach King – Zach has 54.3 Million followers. He was popular on another app called Vine, so most of his followers came from there. He gained his popularity from a clip called “Jedi Kittens”. He makes approximately $5.17 Million per year.

Now the estimated money that each individual makes, is just from their respected channels. This does not include partnerships, endorsements or collaborations. So you can just imagine their actual yearly earnings.

Do you think having a YouTube channel would be hard work or relatively easy work?

Would you be interested in starting your own channel or TikTok?

Refrences

Torre, E. (2021, January 26). Ten most popular TikTokers. Influence 4you.

https://blogen.influence4you.com/the-10-most-popular-tiktokers/

Berg, M & Brown, A. (2020, December 18). The Highest Paid YouTuber Stars Of 2020. Forbes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2020/12/18/the-highest-paid-youtube-stars-of-2020/?sh=72204ecf6e50

COM0014 Blog #2 – Storytelling

Storytelling and Communication Styles

Story telling is essential for social media, you need to be able to pull your audience in and keep them captivated. Your audience wants to be able to relate to what you are saying. You want then to return time and time again. Regardless if you are telling a story, advertising a product, or having them return to read your blog. You need to know how to convince them to stay and click that subscribe button or spread the word to increase your following..

As technology has evolved, so has storytelling. There are so many ways to get your stories across in todays modern world. Here are a few examples:

  1. Creating photo albums with captions
  2. Going live (you can go live on most apps)
  3. Create a short video or boomerang on Instagram
  4. Create a twitter moment
  5. Always do updates

Again, these are just to name a few.

Cave to Computer

Story telling has been around since the cave man era. They may have drawn pictures on rocks instead of writing in a book or on a computer screen, but the drawings told a story that has held people’s interest to this very day.

I found this quote online “It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” This hyperlink not only has this quote, but it also tells you different ways you can tell stories. Thought it was interesting to share with all of you.

What do you think of this quote?

COM0011 Blog #1 Social Media Topic

Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good – Some of us are lucky enough to benefit from social media. For instance, you can make a living off YouTube, TikTok, or running an online Instagram shop and that’s just to name a few. I think that is fantastic, especially for people who have anxiety and find it easier to make their living working from home. Also, you can keep in contact with friends and family with Facebook and Instagram.

The Bad – Unfortunately, there is also addiction. Yes there are many types of addiction and this is one of them. Spending to much time on social media can have its consequences.

  • Neglecting family and friends
  • Neglecting your daily responsibilities
  • FOMO – Fear of missing out
  • Online vs Reality
  • Isolation
  • Inadequacy – feeling like you don’t belong because it SEEMS other peoples lives are more fulfilling than your own
  • Using it as a security blanket – If they cant see me I have nothing to worry about. This can be were some people change who they are. This goes along with inadequacy.

Here is a link that will address some issues that I have not mentioned. It’s a good read.

https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/social-media-syndromes-take-a-look-at-some-modern-day-disorders-born-out-of-social-media/2097225/

The Ugly – There are dark sides to everything and the internet is no exception.

  • Cyberbullying
  • Harassment
  • Revenge pictures or videos
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stalking of all kinds
  • People who say they are your friends, but are only out to hurt you

References:

“Social media syndromes: Take a look at some modern-day disorders born out of social media.” Financial Express. October 4, 2020. (There was no author listed)

Photo by Alanna Mullins “The Ugly Truth: Social Media and Fake News.” March 25, 2019. <https://medium.com/@alannamullins/the-ugly-truth-social-media-and-fake-news-e8428d3c57e7&gt;