Category Archives: For Content Creators

My Advice to Local Businesses – What I learned in 2021

This blog post informs other local businesses and fellow content creators on what I learned in 2021, business and marketing-wise. I have studied some of the trends I have mentioned over the past few years. Take this with a grand of salt, and remember, what I will list, worked for me; what I did that work may not work for you; keep that in mind. I also learned quite a bit from my marketing and business classes last semester. Below are five main things I learned – and recommend others to do this year.

Comunity Over Competition

I know in the blogging/influencer community, there are quite a few of us that look at our colleagues and assume they are enemies/competition when that isn’t the case at all. Competition is far from the truth. When you’re in business, but your business is in a local community; Plus, building a community and connections is way healthier than viewing others as enemies or competition. Deep down, when it comes to this phrase, it is putting relationships and customers first. I often see the business owners or influencers stress about their “competition” even to the point that they lose sight of their mission or vision for their business/brand. It isn’t to suggest that we should not serve others well, but to let go of the feeling that your business isn’t “doing enough” or isn’t “as great” as the next business like yours. Stop stressing, and focus on what matters in the now.

Listen to Customer Feedback / Pay Attention to Analytics

This piece of advice may seem like a given, but I mean – dig deeper. Take reviews seriously, conduct frequent surveys about what your customers and target audience want to see, or just general feedback surveys. Survey Monkey (not sponsored) is a great way to conduct affordable-free surveys! I recommend using their service before any others for your first time.

Use Social Media to Advertise and Connect

Social media is a free way to boost one’s business or gain attraction and customers. With the changing technology and increased use of social media, it is wise to get involved and create pages on various social media sites. Tiktok is great for small businesses that can ship out products but not necessarily great for local businesses that can’t or don’t have anything to ship out. Instead, local businesses such as bakeries or services can use Instagram or Facebook to grow their business. Also, look into collaborating with creators such as bloggers or influencers to help spread the word of your business and help your pages and business grow! A lot of good advertising consists of “word-of-mouth” marketing, so ultimately, if you can get people talking about your product, business, or brand, it will pay off and help you get even more noticed!

Recently, Kentucky has ranked one of the top states for “staying connected” on social media and the web. The top five sites: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok (Sophy, 2020). If it were me, this is what kind of businesses should have what:

  • Eateries/Resturaunts – Facebook and Instagram
  • Jewelry/Accessories/Clothing – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok
  • Local Goods – Instagram and Facebook
  • Event Venues – All of the above except, Snapchat

I could keep going, but I’ll stop there for now in this blog post. It is also worth noting that local groups on Facebook also have set days for local businesses to advertise; see if there are any in your area!

Show Your Face / Show Off Employees

When you show more of the “behind the scenes,” it gives off a vibe and sense of community to attract more customers. Showing off your employees and even showing your (the owner’s) face on social media can also help create a sense of identity for your brand.

Post Consistently

Post consistently. It helps create a community within the customer base and shows your commitment to your brand. It is also easier for a business or someone to grow on social media if they post consistently. I also suggest not being chaotic with posts but staying authentic and true to yourself and your brand/business. Many customers/followers enjoy seeing posts that are packed with value; keep that in mind.

According to Auburn Advertising, “Post on social media every day. Organic reach, which is the number of people you reach without paying to boost an advertisement or post, can reach only a certain amount of people. Each time you post is another opportunity to reach your audience. Posting each day strategically and consistently maximizes your organic reach (Payne, 2020).

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

And with those tips, I wish you good luck! If you would like to talk more about any of the advice I mentioned above, please email me at caitie@lifewithcaitie.com, and I will be happy to discuss any of the topics said more! This is a subject I am very passionate about, and I genuinely hope the advice helps your business or brand in some way! I suggest watching Vanessa Lau on YouTube for more tips like these, as I learned so much from her! I adore her passion and energy! Also, don’t forget to follow my Instagram and subscribe to the blog to stay updated on all things Kentucky and local – if you like to learn more about local living in Kentucky. This year in 2022, I will be focusing more on living local! If you don’t already know, my motto is, “don’t just support local, live local,” and I hope to encourage others to do the same this year! Stay tuned to my Instagram stories for updates and more!

Sources (APA7):

Joshua Sophy. (2020, July 11). Kentucky ranks as the most connected state on social media. Small Business Trends. https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/07/socially-connected-states-teneo-survey.html#:~:text=Kentucky.,LinkedIn%2C%20Snapchat%2C%20and%20TikTok.

Payne, L. (2020, December 30). The importance of consistency in social media marketing. A Service of Inner Spark Creative. https://www.auburnadvertising.com/articles/86-the-importance-of-consistency-in-social-media-marketing

Stop Thinking Everything is a Competition

Your Friends Should Not Be Looked At As Your Enemies – That’s Unhealthy

Me and my best friend, Mary Adams circa May 2019

Stop thinking that everything is a competition. I’m not talking about being competitive in sports or the actual Game of Life, but being competitive in life – in general. I saw something on my feed the other day was kind of iffy to me. It was a “meme” or a “quote” that said something on the lines, “You can pick my brain after you pick your payment method” … but that wasn’t why I decided to write this blog. I saw a comment, “right? Like no I don’t want to teach you how to be my competition” talking about how someone who makes shirts was asked how they did it. The whole post was in good fun and I’m sure didn’t mean any harm at all but I still wanted to bring it up in this blog and to bring up some points about this way of thinking. Obviously I don’t expect anyone to give their knowledge for free, nor do I expect people to teach people how they do something… for free. All I’m wanting to address is: Why are we so competitive and feel the need to look at everyone like they’re against us in some kind of way?

I made an Instagram quiz poll the other day going through some questions that talked about competitiveness in different situations. Here were the questions and answers:

  • You see your best friend getting something she has wanted for the longest time. But you’re still working on getting what you want. A) Cheer them on B) Clap from a distance C) Nothing D) Sulk about obstacles that are in your way About 30 said A, 15 said B, 2 said C while 1 person put D.
  • Someone at work just got a promotion. But you’ve been there longer… What do you do? A) Congratulate them B) Work Harder C) Find a new job D) Sulk about it 20 people said A, 14 Said B, 0 said C while 2 said D.
  • You’re playing your favourite game with your family. Your sibling/cousin wins. A) You flip the table B) You offer a rematch C) You get a different game D) You’re done playing 7 people said A, 21 Chose B, 3 chose C and 0 chose D.
  • You are a local blogger. You see everyone else blowing up (on IG/Blog) but you. How do you feel? A) A little sad but you’ll get there B) Jealous C) Happy for them D) Like you need to work harder 20 people chose A, 3 people chose B, 7 chose C while 4 chose D.

I’ll answer honestly how I answered my own poll/quiz. I chose: A – B – B – D. Sometimes I feel very competitive especially when it comes to winning and losing. These days I rarely sulk and I never put other women or men down just because they’re one step or two ahead of me. Then again, I’ve been practicing a TON of self love and care as well as using daily affirmations to better my mental health. I love cheering my friends on even when I never hear them cheer me on, I see someone in a workplace get ahead of me even though I’ve been here a while I tend to want to work harder! But I also congratulate them as well. I kind of work harder in peace that way. When it comes to games, I don’t really care if I lose but if it is my favourite game I will most likely ask for a rematch! Unless it is Monopoly. And the blogger stuff… Goes so much deeper than the poll.

Since I have been in this local kind of group I have noticed people form cliques, get super competitive with each other and I’ve noticed some of us getting overwhelmed with each other. I am here to say, stop. Stop treating fellow bloggers in your area or in general like they’re your enemy, or your “competition”. We are not peanut butter factories or fast food joints (that seem to love to go back and forth on Twitter), we are a COMMUNITY. We need to start acting like it. Shoutout to those who have taken a new blogger under their wing and helped them out! Shoutout to the one’s who also include everyone and give them chances to shine! But anyways, I felt this blog was a good chance for me to address that issue here in the blogging community.

When it comes to being competitive with your friends about life, take a deep breath and figure out why you feel that way. Is it coming from their vibes, or yours? I once had a friend, we will call her Elle, every time I got rewarded or something good happened to me she was quick to shut me down and brush whatever it was off like it was nothing. When it came time for her to shine I had to be clapping for her or else she would stop talking to me and give me the silent treatment. This was in high school and it has stuck with me since. That, is not healthy! Looking at your friends like competition and controlling their actions when it comes to you through manipulative tactics is very UNHEALTHY. So is viewing everyone around you in your workforce like this as well. That is also unhealthy. I used to be jealous when I entered the blogging world. I was 6 months in and this other blogger came around and her first 3 weeks in already had 5,000 followers, when I sat at 1.5k. It was very unhealthy of me to disregard her and cut her off even when she was coming to me for answers and just genuine talk. I wanted to block her, and work 10x harder. Then truth hit me when I was researching… It isn’t about numbers. It isn’t about who is better. It is NOT a competition. This was a community, and I knew I needed to stop sulking and just work hard and do my own thing! Once I stopped viewing others as competition or like my enemies, I soared. I started getting brand deals and gifted products to blog about. I started getting notice. Because I started to just do my own thing, and I began to focus on practicing self care and love. I tell myself every morning, “You are awesome. You help others. You are appreciated, you are needed.” And that affirmation has helped me ever since. I started to find a sense of belonging as well as the months kept going.

If you would like to quit thinking this way then I suggest these FIVE awesome practices to help you find peace in yourself and others!

  • Practice and Read Affirmations – I promise you, this helped me so much the last few years. Speak what you want into existence.
  • Practice Paying it Forward – Pay it Forward (they say what goes around comes back around) Practice being kind and showing it in the world. It really does pay off and every time I do this I feel a better since of being in a community.
  • Meditate – Practice clearing your mind! This helps calm me down often!
  • Form a “Tribe” – If you’re still feeling like you don’t belong, form your own little community! Create a Facebook group or a group in general that everyone you include can rely on!
  • Journal – Journaling is so good for your mental health and I recommend journaling to everyone for anything! I find daily/monthly prompts on Pinterest and I journal starting there. It has helped me and I’m sure it will help you!

Hopefully this blog has helped you in some way and don’t forget to practice what I’ve shared – if it does help, let me know! If you have any tips or advice to add feel free to comment below! I enjoy having conversations! Don’t forget to follow my Instagram! I post daily affirmations and much more in my stories! Click here to check out my IG. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog as I do write and publish a ton of content just like this! I love blogging about self care, love and all things lifestyle related! Any blog ideas you’d like to see here? Email them my way by emailing: caitie@lifewithcaitie.com. May the Universe bless you today!