Girl with phone

I Am Embracing Snapchat And Here’s What I Have Learned

I jumped on the Snapchat train a few months ago and hopped off. In the meantime, Snapchat became a major social media player in the world of business. As someone who travels alot, it made sense for me to jump back on the train. I hope you can see how easy Snapchat is to use, when used in a smart, safe manner.

MYTH: SNAPCHAT IS SCARY

Many people think Snapchat is a scary social media platform. In all honesty, it’s as scary as you make it. When you choose who you are engaging with, it becomes a fun platform to engage in. As with any platform, if your kids are using Snapchat; it’s vital that parents install the app and “snap” with their kids. In fact, I know of a church youth group director who snaps regularly with middle school kids. She knows that many of the kids in her youth group have parents that are not following their kids on Snapchat, and she saw this as an educational opportunity. The kids in her youth group look forward to snapping with her on Snapchat and when she misses a day, her kids miss her. In a perfect world, parents should be there, as well. Fact of the matter is, many parents simply won’t do it. By engaging with our youth on the social media platforms they are on, the doorway of communication stays open.

FACT: SNAPCHAT IS A GREAT WAY TO TELL YOUR STORY

If you don’t tell your story, it’s a fact that someone else will tell your story.

Laptop and Phone Social Media

When you use Snapchat to tell your story, it’s fun, inviting and a simple way to invite people into your life. Business owners can showcase their products, share how their products are used and even give demonstrations on how to use their products. From recipes to travel destinations, Snapchat is a fun place to tell your story.

As with any social media platform, be smart on how you use the platform. Your Snaps do disappear from the Snapchat feed in 24 hours, but keep in mind, once something lands on the world wide web; it’s for everyone to view.

I would love to connect with you through Snapchat. You can follow me at http://snapchat.com/add/travelwithsara1. See you on Snapchat!

If you are using Snapchat for business, I’d love to hear how you are using it.

 

 

Michelle Hartman

North Iowa Women In Business Series: Featuring Michelle Hartman

The North Iowa Women In Business series continues as we introduce you to Michelle Hartman. Michelle is known as the “Crazy Tupperware Lady” all around the world. She is a go getter and never lets any grass grow under her feet. Michelle is a proud Star Director with Tupperware and she works as the leader of an organization with more than 160 consultants.

Michelle Hartman

When did you start your business?

I started my Tupperware Adventure in April 2008.

What advice would you give a woman wanting to start her own business?

Starting your own business is so rewarding!  I choose who I work with & enjoy partnering with local organizations! I highly suggest getting involved in your local Chambers.  I am a member the the Greater Franklin County Chamber & the Clear Lake Chamber.  Having my own business has allowed me to have FUN with marketing & customer service.  I grew up with my parents running 2 home businesses.  My mom is the owner of Cathy’s Country Cook’n & yes this is where I get my LOVE for baking from!  I was always her right hand gal, from making cookies to making labels to helping her at local shows by selling cookies.  My parents also own the Carlson Christmas Tree Farm & have always allowed me to be part of the business, from selling Christmas Trees during the holidays to making the open house flyers and designing posters for advertisements .  This I feel has been a huge asset in me wanting to start & run my own business. One of the neat things is now I am seeing my daughters wanting to be involved in my Tupperware Business!  In fact I take my oldest daughter with me to some parties & I LOVE to see what she is learning just by watching me.  If I am busy she is selling & explaining Tupperware products to the ladies at the parties!  This truly warms my heart as you just never know the skills you learn as you grow up that will be so influential in your life & career!
Who has mentored you through the process of building your business?
I work with a great group of Tupperware Directors with-in my region and we learn from each other. I also enjoy listening to marketing and customer service trainers, both online and at local events.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to a very hard working man named Mike & he is a concrete foreman for Larry Adams Concrete.  We have two beautiful daughters, Hope is 13 years old & Ivy is 8 years old.  They attend West Fork School and are very active in sports, 4-H & Girl Scouts.  We are a very active family & love the outdoors!  We LOVE the Great State of Iowa & spend much of our summer vacation time visiting the neat places we have within our state from county/state parks to the Iowa State Fair.  We also enjoy ATV trips to Wisconsin.
December North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club

How Small Businesses Can Work With Bloggers

Small businesses owners often ask me how they can work with bloggers, as they have no clue where to start. They then ask me why they should work with bloggers. From my personal experience and helping business owners work with bloggers, I have put these tips together for you, the small business owner. Let’s start with the why.

CUSTOMERS ARE ONLINE

Your customers and potential customers are on the world wide web. When a blogger writes an article about your product or a business, you now have an article promoting your business across the globe. Bloggers will also share their article through their social media platforms, which will give your business additional exposure.

For example when you google “how to spend a day in Webster City,” four posts that the North Iowa Bloggers wrote appear on page 1. The North Iowa Bloggers visited Webster City, Iowa in December of 2014 and shared their experiences through blog posts and social media. They visited local businesses, ate in local restaurants and shopped.

Amy in shop in Webster City

Another example: Natural Plus Nursery, of Clear Lake, Iowa, hosted the North Iowa Bloggers for an afternoon in Spring of 2015. Mary, co-owner of the nursery, shared the history of Natural Plus Nursery and showed the bloggers what they offer. Google, “what does Natural Plus Nursery have to offer”. On page one through google search, you will find three blog posts written from this visit and on page two, you will find two more.

Google anything similar to these keywords for these two businesses and you will find posts written by the North Iowa Bloggers. This is just one way that small business owners can work with bloggers. Your imagination is the only thing that is stopping you, when it comes to how. Social media and the world wide web offer endless opportunities for both parties.

Now, let’s tackle the how.

HOW TO FIND BLOGGERS

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, as they often have bloggers that are members. Here is where you can get connected with bloggers that can help you grow your business. Attend social media breakfasts in your community, bloggers attend these and love meeting new businesses owners at these types of events.

December North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club

If you hit a road block with these two venues, ask on your personal Facebook page. Trust me, you will be connected with a local blogger or two in a relatively short period of time

HOW TO CONTACT A BLOGGER

Bloggers will have a contact form on their blog, which is a great way to reach out to a blogger. You can also e-mail them, as they usually have this in their about section or how to contact me section. If you can connect with them through social media, send them a direct message through their Facebook Business Page or a private message through Twitter. Bloggers love interacting with small business owners and will help you.

TEAM PLAYERS

If you are a small business looking to grow, bloggers can help you grow in ways you never imagined. Bloggers are team players, just as small business owners are. Keep in mind that traditional marketing still has its place for many small businesses. Be ready to expand and grow, as your online customers are waiting to meet you.

Bloggers offer a “new way” of marketing and I hope you will give it a try to see how they can help you. If you don’t try it, you will never know what could have been.