Our first Balanced Babe influencer of 2016 is gracing the ‘webisphere’ today, y’all! She’s got wit, spark, and a creative brain that gets you excited and inspired when given an opportunity to interact with her. Please meet, Johanna Grange of 101 Things I love. Not only is Johanna a fashion blogger for 6 years +, she is co-founder of a Chicago based social media strategy and content creation agency, Oak Street Social.
Now for all our babes who are still trying to figure out how to leverage their social media, we’ve got you covered. Johanna’s sharing her tricks of the trade with us today. No matter if you are an entrepreneur, starting a blog, or you’re a career professional, everyone can benefit from a social media presence. So today, we’ve picked Johanna’s brain about social media 101: where to post, when to post, how to interact, and of course how she lives a Balanced Babe lifestyle.
BB: Why is social media currently so important for businesses?
It’s my entire business! Social media has replaced traditional advertising. Now more than ever, businesses are being forced to think about their brand, their message and who they are targeting with their dollars. The difference is it’s much more cost effective and you can cast a much bigger net. Everyone is on their phones. Bye bye traditional advertising!
The same applies to my blog. After six years, I’ve realized that my growth in the last two years is 100% dependent on what I put into my social media. It’s made a huge impact on my traffic and the collaborations I’ve been presented this past year.
BB: Being a social media consultant, what platform do you think brings users the most traffic and why?
Without a doubt, Instagram is the #1 tool for lifestyle brands. In all honesty, I am in awe of the creativity on Instagram. It inspires me daily and allows me to tap into my creative side which was buried for so many corporate years. It also marries my Journalism degree with my agency experience which is the best of both worlds…in my opinion at least!
BB: What are some things that we are doing wrong when we use social media to promote a business or service?
At the top of my list, I would say posting at the wrong times, misspelling copy and grainy photos. The quality of the image is truly everything in this business. When it comes to timing your social media posts, it really depends on your audience, which channel and what your promoting. Is it a blog, product or service? To offer a sweeping generalization, I would say evening hours are best…really from 8:30pm-on BUT not always! That’s what’s so tricky about social media. And this applies to Instagram only. Whereas Facebook, for example, performs really well in the 5 o’clock hour and the 9 o’clock hour.
BB: What is your number one tip for leveraging social media?
That’s easy…your engagement! Social media is a two-way street like any relationship. If you want to make friends, you need to step into the sandbox and join in on the conversation. When it comes to engagement, I would set a realistic goal for yourself. Say you’re a blogger…I would engage with 20 accounts each day…that means liking AND leaving an authentic comment. On top of that, I would engage with 10 new accounts daily. It’s not all about likes as it is about commenting with sincerity. And always, always tag brands you are working with…if regramming, always give credit where due.
BB: What are some obstacles that you came across while establishing your business, and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest obstacle was finding balance in my daily life because I’m so accessible to my electronics. I have to be! The other piece was bandwidth. It’s hard to be an entrepreneur at first until you find your own natural rhythm. I’ve found that I’ve become somewhat of a night owl…unfortunately. BUT! I take a break daily from 4:30-8:00pm and wear my mom hat which is my #1 priority outside of work.
BB: What was the catalyst for starting your business?
After working for someone else for so long and feeling like I was plateauing at every job…I finally got to the point where I had grown up and discovered my passion. The real challenge was taking that first step. Do what you love! But really, I just love the creative process, the discovery, the idea generation and most of all, helping new concepts define their online presence. It’s incredibly gratifying. Shop small + local…support your city!
BB: How has your business evolved since you first launched?
In so many ways. We learned from our mistakes. We created stronger metrics for our clients. We learned who would make a great client and who was not an ideal fit. Most importantly, we learned confidence and the strength to say “no thank you” to certain clients. In the beginning you want to grow your bottom line but money isn’t everything. Happiness and fulfillment in what you do is very important to me. I work around the clock.
BB: How do you maintain the Balanced Babe Lifestyle?
Gosh, I would be a bear without exercise. That’s for sure. I also changed my diet to the core last year which has given me energy I haven’t known since I was a child. I cut out bread and mostly any white products. Not 100% gluten free but pretty darn close. I also cut out sweets. December was a bit of a bust but overall, I never drink pop and I don’t eat or buy candy. I even cut out sugary Starbucks drinks. Those two things alone changed my energy levels immensely. And like everyone says, eating six small meals a day is really what keeps you from scarfing down a huge plate of pasta at dinner! I also truly believe in family time, spouse time and girlfriend time. Each of these are completely integral to my health…along with a glass of pinot noir!
BB What are your favorite homeopathic beauty or wellness remedies?
I wish I was more diligent in this arena but I’m trying, I can promise you that. I don’t take sleep aids which is tough given my insomnia but I’ve learned about some alternatives. Besides limiting my caffeine after4pm…I use a ton of Lavendar Essential Oil in my office and bedside. It has a calming effect on me. I swear by it. That and melatonin.
BB: What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up at 5:30 and start thinking about coffee while I scroll through my feeds and do a quick check of my emails. Truly, no day is the same. About 6am, my peanuts stroll into our room for their morning cuddle and cartoon session. 6:15am I’m brewing coffee. My husband is up and at ’em by 6:30am and out the door at 7am, hence I’m getting breakfast started for the girls until our nanny arrives. Once she does, I’m showering and scrambling to make a breakfast smoothie before I hop on conference calls or head out to my first meeting. Tues, Thurs and Fri I reserve for meetings hence those three days are stacked. I return everyday at 4:30 to relieve our nanny unless I have media events to attend at night, in which case I stay in the city. On these nights I return home around 10pm and quickly reach for sweat pants. It’s a long day! It generally doesn’t end there because most my social media activity is executed from8:30pm – on. My work really begins at night.
Once social is executed, I will respond to emails and draft tomorrow’s blog post. My head hits the pillow about 12:30/1:00am generally.
BB: What’s next?
Hiring more employees in 2016. I need someone to manage me which is not an easy task! That and more Netflix!