How to Optimize Your Instagram Account for Growth

How to Optimize Your Instagram Account for Growth

With over 1 billion users on Instagram and growing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast pool of businesses, influencers, and personal accounts that Instagram has accrued since their launch in 2010. In just over 10 years, Instagram has grown into one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. 

According to Facebook, owner of the Instagram platform, 81% of their users research products or services on Instagram and 54% of people surveyed by Facebook say they made a purchase after seeing a product or service on Instagram. This is why promoting and optimizing your Instagram is key to growing your business. The easiest way to ensure growth on Instagram is to make your profile identifiable, easy to understand, and informational. 

Simple Steps to Optimize your Instagram Account for Growth

  • If you think of the Instagram search bar as a search engine tool, you will start to notice brands that have made their profiles easy to find and identify. This includes using a relevant handle, username, profilo bio, and photo.
  • For businesses, it’s suggested to use your logo as your profile photo to ensure immediate brand recognition as soon as your Instagram handle shows up under the search bar. Additionally, be sure to keep your handle (such as @styleblueprint) simple, easy to spell, and as close to your company’s name as possible. Avoid using underscores and periods if possible. 
  • For your profile name, you have 30 characters/spaces to either spell out your company name again or give a bit more information about your company, where you’re located, and what exactly you sell. Since this doesn’t have to match your handle name, think about using SEO keywords to describe your business such as “Nashville Coffee Shop” or “Atlanta Hair Salon”. This will help you rank higher when people search keywords or hashtags in the search bar.
  • Your bio is another way to expand your optimization with keywords about your business in 150 characters. If you’re a spa, you should use secondary keywords such as “facial services” in your bio. After adding in your bio, be sure to set your profile to a business page and add a category such as “News and Media” or “Restaurant”. This helps Instagram quickly narrow down search results. 
  • Contact information is vital to converting those who visit your profile into customers! Add in each and every way a potential client can contact you under the contact options tab. Here you can display your phone number, email, website, and address directly on your profile. After your contact information is set, learn how to put the ‘Highlight’ option to work for you! Create branded icons for each Highlight and add relevant stories. This is an easy way for new followers to get to know your company and the type of information they can expect from your Instagram.
  • Now that your profile is set, work on maintaining a brand aesthetic throughout your static profile grid. Use similar filters and clear and professional photos each time you post to your feed. When typing captions for your posts, research relevant keywords as these are vital to showing up on the ‘Explore’ page. Don’t forget to use ample and relevant hashtags at the end of your caption, too. Aim for 10 to 20 hashtags per post to increase eyes on your profile via the search bar tool and the Explore page. If you want readers to go from your post to your website, use a link in bio tool to help you track your website clicks and help your followers easily access information. Finally, be responsive and interact with your followers and similar accounts to establish yourself as an active and trustworthy account. 

Growing your Instagram audience takes time and commitment but it can be a vital tool to growing your business or brand. Don’t get discouraged with your progress and you’ll see your followers steadily grow for years to come.

7 Ways to Grow Your Email List

7 Ways to Grow Your Email List

At Blueprint.Inc, we believe in the power of email and we always have. This is your most direct communication with your customer. Yes, your website matters, your social media matters and your customer service matters. But, only one thing can augment each of those. That one thing is email.

When you have an engaged email list, you have much more than just emails.

Through email, you can:

  1. Connect directly to your customers or potential customers.
  2. Keep your brand top of mind.
  3. Use your email list to create a custom audience on social media platforms for paid promotions and ads. 

For anyone unconvinced previously that email is King, the pandemic shutdowns may have changed that thought. Email lets you connect directly with your customer. Directly. Your email will arrive in their inbox. They will see it. It’s up to them if they open it, but it’s there. No other form of marketing is as powerful.

Also, your email list is an asset you own. Subscribers can unsubscribe, yes. But, you do not need to worry about a change in algorithm that will affect your email list like you do with social media and SEO on your website. 

So, how do you grow your email list? It’s much harder than it was just 10 years ago, but it’s possible and it’s worth doing right. There are at least a 100 ways to grow an email list, but today we are going over our top 7 ways. 


#1 Give something free in order to receive emails. Do so with a pop-up on your site. For example:

  • If you have an online store, offer 10% off in exchange for a new email subscriber. 
  • If you have a B2B business, offer a free PDF download filled with useful information in exchange for an email.
  • Compile information you already have into an easier-to-navigate ebook. It’s free in exchange for an email.
  • Make sure that the content you are offering for free, in exchange for an email, is hyper-relevant to the customer you wish to gain.


#2 Host a giveaway: 

  • One example is to host a giveaway with like-minded brands. If you own a local cosmetics store, team up with a local boutique, a local jewelry store and a local day spa. Together, offer a nice prize and everyone promotes the prize online, via email, on social media and in-store. Pick one winner. It’s likely that everyone who enters the giveaway will like all the brands involved and be a good customer to all. 
  • Another example is to offer something from your own company, perhaps a facial, a beautiful bag, a 5-hour home design consultation, a free oil change for 5 years, free donuts every month for a year … there are so many possibilities. What do you do best? What can you giveaway? Host a giveaway and then promote it through a platform like Viralsweep. Use a paid promotion on Facebook and Instagram to spread the word to a targeted audience. 


#3 Use a popup on exit-intent from your website:

  • When someone is leaving your site, a pop-up to remind them to sign up for your newsletter as they likely enjoyed what they were just reading. Again, offer them something. “Sign up and receive our list of The Top 6 Reasons Your Marketing is Not Working” Don’t just say “Sign up for our newsletter.” No one wants to sign up for a newsletter. People want to sign up for something where they get something they want, immediately.


#4 Create a quiz which require entering an email to receive the results. If you use Mailchimp, Fyrebox is a great Quiz integration for your website.

  • Which Nashville neighborhood Should You Live in?
  • Which Atlanta Restaurant Should You Eat at Tonight?
  • What Countertop is Best for YOUR Kitchen?
  • Which Dress is Right for YOUR Body?
  • What Email Platform is Best for Your Business?
  • What Website Platform is Best for Your Business?


#5 If you have a retail store, always ask for email when checking someone out. ALWAYS!

  • This seems obvious, but it rarely happens. And, retail clerks often seem apologetic to ask. Simply ask and give them a reason to sign up. 
    • “Can I get your email to send you your receipt so you won’t have to worry keeping up with it?”
    • “Can I get your email so that we can send you special saving as they come up?”
    • “Can I get your email so that we can send your our monthly round up of favorite products?”


#6 Consistency:

  • Be consistent! Depending on your business will determine how often to send emails. But, we suggest at least once a week. At the barest of minimums once a month, but it hurts to put that out there. If once a week is too daunting, really try for every two weeks.
  • Unsubscribes: don’t worry about them (for the most part). As you send emails, people will unsubscribe. Make sure you are putting out good content and then be okay with unsubscribes. You will have a cleaner list of people who WANT to hear from you!
    • If your unsubscribes are concerning, there are more sophisticated tactics to help.
      • A welcome series to new subscribers to let them know who you are before you start sending them your regular emails
      • Segmenting of your audience for different interests
      • Look at your emails. Are they ones you would want to receive? Do they look nice? Are they helpful? Be your own critic and continue to optimize what you are doing.


#7 YouTube video with link to a download PDF in it: 

  • If you have YouTube videos, please start adding a call out for a PDF download that is filled with great info to your video. And, a good reminder at the end of the video as well. Then, right where people can see the description of your video, add a link, right there, for that free download. You want to capitalize on the other marketing you are doing and be able to convert it into emails!

Hopefully at least a few of those email list growing tactics spoke to you and you can now implement a plan to start growing your email list today.

If this seems overwhelming, or you simply do not have the time, please let us know. At Blueprint Marketing, one of the things we specialize in is growing email lists and we’d love to work with you. Contact us here!


7 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners

7 Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to check off everything on your to-do list. However, knowing the difference between “being busy” and actually getting things accomplished can be the secret to an efficient business. Here are seven productivity tips you can implement into your daily routine to make the most of every workday. 

Productivity #1
Follow these seven tips for increased productivity in your small business.

Set SMART Goals

One of the first productivity tips is goal setting. If you don’t set goals, you may lose focus of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. While this is likely not the first time you’re hearing of SMART goals, they’re important when thinking about the future of your business. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, and by ensuring every one of your goals meets these characteristics, the more likely you are to achieve them. Start by creating long-term goals for your business. Then break those up into smaller goals — things you can get done every month, week, and day. Not only does this help you track your progress and set targets, but having a plan in place also reduces the amount of time you spend on irrelevant, time-wasting tasks.

Minimize Distractions

Blocking out distractions may seem like an obvious productivity tip, but it’s helpful to have a reminder every now and then. From the constant ping of emails to phone calls and random drop-ins from co-workers, the average workday is filled with distractions. Whether you’re working in the office or from home, consider closing your office doors to discourage people from barging in. You can also put your smartphone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, or turn it off altogether when you’re working on a critical task. By doing these seemingly small things, you’re gaining time back in your workday. 

Productivity #2
When you have a critical task that is time-sensitive, block out any distractions that may get in the way of completing it.

Prioritize & Delegate Tasks 

It’s important to look at what tasks need to be done first to meet the goals you have set for your business. Organize these tasks into a list where the most critical ones are at the top. These should be tasks that require your personal attention and are critical to the success of your business. Additionally, tasks at the top of your list should be completed first thing in the morning before there is time for distractions to arise. If there are tasks on your list that do not require your personal attention, delegate them to other members of your team. This again helps you leverage productivity tips to free up time in your workday for more important and pressing matters.

Hire the Right People

Before you delegate these tasks, however, you want to make sure you have people with the appropriate skills and knowledge supporting you and your business. If you don’t believe your employees are capable of completing certain tasks, you’re less likely to delegate those needs. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to hire the right people — individuals you trust and who possess the right skills to get their job done. 

Productivity #3
Take the time to hire the right people who are like-minded and dedicated to achieving the goals you have set for your business.

Automate as Many Task as You Can 

When making your list of priorities, it’s important to ask yourself if any of the accompanying tasks can be automated. For example, many businesses automate their accounting procedures by sending recurring invoices or payments. Additionally, you can also automate your social media by scheduling posts ahead of time. There are various apps and services that do these tasks for you, again giving you more time for you to focus on more critical tasks.

Create a Streamlined Set of Processes

Unclear, inefficient processes can not only lead to frustration and miscommunication, but they can lead to a loss in revenue as well. It’s important to create a streamlined set of processes for your business and employees as they ensure everyone has a clear understanding of their daily tasks and the expectations that have been set for them. Not only does this leave less room for error, but it also allows more time for you as a business owner to focus on strategic and creative thinking.

Productivity #4
Create a streamlined set of processes for your small business to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of how the company works and what is expected of them. 

Have a Clear Line of Communication

Similarly, it’s important for your business to have a clear line of communication. In a small business, there is not much room for error, so it’s especially important that everyone is on the same page and is up to date on everything that’s happening within the business. Many organizations use chat platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to remain in constant communication with one another. Monthly all-company meetings may also be helpful as they allow yourself and your team to sync up and give updates for each department. This helps avoid future mistakes or misunderstandings and improves productivity across your business.

It’s important to find the processes that work best for you and your business. By creating more time to get important tasks done, the more likely you are to generate revenue and run a successful business.

How To Get Ahead On Pinterest

How To Get Ahead On Pinterest

How to get ahead on Pinterest

Welcome to week three of SB Media’s Pinterest series! By now, you’ve learned how to create the best Pins and master Pinterest advertising. This week, we’re moving on from the nitty gritty and getting into the fun stuff: holidays, seasons, big events and special moments.

Ever browsed Pinterest for holiday table setting inspiration or DIY Halloween costumes? Ever done it months ahead of time? You’re not alone. People use Pinterest to get inspired about the major moments in life. Pinners start early and are ready to act, whether that means trying out a tip or purchasing a product.

If you’re looking to get ahead on your Pinterest business profile, it’s important to master Pinning for seasonal moments and cyclical trends. Whether you run holiday campaigns, seasonal promotions or just aim to stay on trend, we have compiled some tips to help you succeed.

How to Get Ahead on Pinterest

  • Choose moments wisely. Pinners plan for all kinds of events – from Black Friday deals to Diwali celebrations – but your business doesn’t have to promote content for all of them. Select a few moments or cyclical trends that align with your brand, and Pin that content well.
  • Start early. Pinterest recommends promoting content early – at least two months prior to an event – to ensure it reaches the greatest audience possible. That’s why you may want to start pinning those holiday cookie recipes now.
  • Get creative. Rely on our guide to creating great Pins, and put a twist on it. Creative content like gift guides, bucket list ideas and “survival kits” can help your campaign stand out against the crowd.
  • Guide your search. Looking for campaign inspiration? Pinterest’s Guided Search Tool can help. Just enter a search term like “Mother’s Day,” and Pinterest will provide you with related keyword suggestions to help you tailor your Pins to what Pinners are actively searching for.
  • See the possibilities. Pinterest Possibilities Planner is your complete guide to seasonal moments and popular events on the platform. Check out their event-specific tips and Pinner interest calendar here. Bonus: For quality holiday Pinspiration, visit their Holiday 2018 boards.

Interested in more Pinterest tips and tricks? Your StyleBlueprint team would love to advise you. Contact us for a consultation.

*All stats sourced from Pinterest here.

Pinterest Ads Manager 101

Pinterest Ads Manager 101

Blueprint.Inc | StyleBlueprint

This week at SB Media, we’re continuing our Pinterest series. As you may recall, we’re dedicating the month of September to sharing how to best use Pinterest to grow your business.

As we showed you last week with our guide to creating the ideal Pin, your brand’s organic Pinterest presence is a vital component to success on the platform. This week, we’re sharing another element to the Pinterest success equation: advertising with Pinterest Ads Manager.

Why Should You Advertise on Pinterest?

  • Pinterest is a future-oriented site, and Pinners are constantly looking for inspiration. You can use Pinterest to influence your target audience’s future behavioral choices and tendencies.
  • Advertising on Pinterest can help you get ahead of the competition, as people tend to browse Pinterest in advance of other platforms.
  • Pinterest ads, or Promoted Pins, can increase your brand’s impressions and engagement metrics over time, as Pinners frequently engage with others’ Pin boards, and tend to revisit their own Pins after saving them.
  • Pinterest offers unique metrics, like “save” and “close-up” data, that other platforms don’t. This data can offer you a nuanced look at what engages and interests your audience.

Pinterest Ads Manager Tips

  • Establish Your Business Profile: In order to advertise with Pinterest, you will first need a business profile. If you haven’t done so already, you can set one up here.
  • Promote Top Pins: Pinterest advertising operates through promoted Pins, and some Promoted Pins perform better than others. It’s best to promote Pins that are already generating engagement on your boards. Pins that your audience is already viewing, saving or re-pinning will be most successful when you broaden their reach.
  • Use the Pinterest Tag: The Pinterest Tag is a code that is placed on your website to track Pinners’ behavior on your site once they leave Pinterest. Pinterest Tags can provide you with all kinds of data, ranging from page views to checkouts. You can also use this tool to determine which audiences to retarget going forward.

Interested in more Pinterest tips and tricks? Your StyleBlueprint team would love to advise you. Contact us today for a consultation.

*all stats sourced from Pinterest here.