Things you can be doing to make the most of your new shelter-in-place routine: Catch up on creating consistent content, connect more with your audience, secure more brand deals and sponsorships that HELP people right now, provide a sense of positive community to ease the panic the best you can, revamp all your pages, and take 5 to regroup and realign for your own mental health. Let me break all that down for you…
Catch Up On Content
That to-do list that’s never-ending, the one that keeps getting longer and longer…yeah now’s the time to dust off the cobwebs and get to it. As an Influencer/content creator, you’ve heard this a million times, but here it is again: consistency is everything. Now’s your chance to get back into action and get consistent with your content again. The best part is, you can do it from the comfort and safety of your home. You may need to get creative with your space and rethink how and what you create, but look at it as the massive opportunity it really is! Everything that’s kept you “too busy” to produce more consistent content is likely on hold right now or not even in the picture anymore. So get to brainstorming, planning, executing, editing, scheduling, and posting.
P.s. if you’re looking for an amazing tool to help streamline this process for you, I highly recommend you check out one of the go-to tools I use here at The Influencer Grapevine for content batching called Planoly. Look out for a deep-dive into how to use it and what it can do for your content strategy in the coming weeks. Make sure you sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss it!
Make Deeper Connections With Your Audience
While everyone is stuck inside and going kind of nuts, it may be a good time to up your interaction and community participation. There are two keys here to focus on: 1) utilizing as many of Instagram’s engagement features as possible, and 2) dipping into some more personal content so that people can feel more connected to you.
Yes, more people will be online as we ride out this quarantine, but many of them like to interact in different ways. To capitalize on as many ways as possible, try using the features Instagram has provided that are MEANT to increase interaction. Not only will you be able to really connect more with your followers, but doing so will boost your engagement in the algorithm. Some ideas of what you could do are:
– going live more often,
– posting more frequently on the feed and stories,
– utilizing polls and chats in stories,
– reposting your followers’ content (that always gets people excited), and of course
– starting conversations in the comments of your posts and others’.
Another great option is the new feature that Instagram just rolled out specifically to encourage social distancing: the fun little “stay at home” sticker for stories. Using this tag will aggregate your story, along with any others they follow who have also used it, into a little highlight story. With this, all your quarantine activities have more discoverability and give people a little inside look at what you, personally, are doing as you stay safely inside.
When it comes to what you are actually sharing as you engage more, use this time as an opportunity to introduce other facets of your lifestyle to your followers and other interests you don’t normally talk about. It can bring light to more commonalities you may share with people, build more affinity, and increase touch points. In plain English, an extra peek into your life and what you do with your time = increased know, like, and trust = effective and authentic influence.
Mention (& Monetize) More Products Than You Thought
While we’re on the subject of sharing more lifestyle content and all the products that come with it, think about the new doors that will be open for possible partnerships! For example, if you are a travel influencer and for the first time are sharing what your morning routine in quarantine looks like, notice how many products you’re mentioning that could be a natural sponsorship possibility for you! You actually love and use these products, even in this time of crisis, so why not get the brands’ attention and let them know you want to partner with them? Businesses still need to sell and people still need to buy, so it’s only natural for you to jump into that mix for some of your favorite products and help create a win-win all around.
Building relationships with brands you’re interested in is just as important now than it was before all this quarantine madness began. Your outreach and networking should not come to a stop right now. If anything, you should focus more on it. Think about it this way: if brands see that you’re truly coming from a place of wanting to show up for your audience and continue serving them in a time of crisis, that says a lot about you. And the way Brands interact with you now that everyone is under so much pressure can say a lot about whether they’re a good fit for you to work with and whether you share the same values as well.
Use Your Influence With Social Responsibility
No matter how big your following is, know that people look to you for more than just inspiration and product recommendations. They see how you act, react, and interact with others. When I say scary words like “Social Responsibility”, don’t shy away. All I’m getting at here is that there’s a chance for you to be a good member of your community online and in real life, being a positive example during this crazy pandemic.
When there’s suffering going on in the world, the tendency is to want to suffer together, vent together, and share about our frustrations. You know, like what your second cousin that you only met twice does on Facebook constantly. More than it is cringey, it’s not helpful. You don’t need to go above and beyond here and make too many references to the damage the world is facing and drop a bunch of Twitter news that we can’t say is even accurate. Basic rule of thumb: be positive and helpful and try not to spread rumors or fear during this difficult time.
Learn More About Your Niche/Industry
The last thing you should be during this quarantine is bored. If you have some spare time on your hands, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your industry knowledge. Spending a little time to check on how your content measures up with FTC guidelines is not sexy, I get it. But very necessary. After all, if you want to maintain your status as an authority in your industry and be the best you can possibly be at your job, it’s important to keep up with the news about your niche. Look for anything that might affect you, your audience, the way you produce content or the way brand collaborations need to be executed, etc. You may even pick up some extra ideas or inspiration for how to diversify your content or how to make it better as you do your research!
Revamp All The Things
It’s a great idea to use all this extra time you have on your hands to revamp and optimize some of your social profiles (kind of an extension of the content catch up tip). Freshen up your Instagram Highlights, update your profile photos, rewrite your bios and check your links. I know it may sound tedious, but there’s no time like the present…unless you’d rather scrub the bathtub or something. Up to you!
It’s also a great idea to use the quarantine as a chance to revamp parts of your real life and not just your digital life! You could switch up your home decor to spark your creativity, shift around your office space to boost your productivity. Even consider revamping your whole daily routine and schedule to make room for things this outbreak may have added to your day like at-home workouts, excessive cleaning, and meal prepping.
Taking a minute to step back and evaluate how YOU are feeling about the pandemic takeover and what that actually means for your mental and physical health. It can feel like a lot of pressure to be so isolated indoors, without the comfort and familiarity of your friends and loved ones, and without the simplest of things (like not even the luxury of going to freaking Starbucks). Not only that, but layered on top of that, you have to keep showing up for your audience and you’re looked up to in many ways. You’re an example of how to react, someone to look to for reassurance, answers, distractions, and you set a standard with how you are treating yourself during this time. That’s a lot! Taking the necessary time to regroup and unplug is essential for you. When you are anxious or overwhelmed, that will begin to seep into the way you show up online. So take your me-time and self care V seriously right now. Leading by example for your audience is key! This is good practice for you as a leader in your space, virus or not.
It’s also important to mention that of course you can still be REAL about how you’re feeling with your followers and how the virus is impacting you. That kind of vulnerability builds community as I mentioned before, but also builds trust and reassurance for YOU! As innately social beings, don’t forget that you need just as much reassurance, distraction, and guidance as the people following you. Be protective about what content you’re consuming, the nature of the conversations you’re taking part in, and the sources you look to for information. Take care of yourself so that you can show up for everyone as true, honest, and stable as possible.