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//embed.bannerflow.com/5a7afd48e314e03df8ca063b?responsive=on&nid=1&targeturl=It’s almost one year since Next Level Nutrition launched and what a year… the little business I started via a Facebook page in my student studio apartment has grown into a full time, profit making operation.While I might be pushing it slightly to call myself ‘millennial’, I have always been an early adopter of technology and fascinated by both its functions and how it changes the way we communicate. Back in high school I pestered Manx Telecom for the ‘service centre number’ which enabled text messaging on mobile phones, I thought I was the coolest kid around showing everyone how it worked.When social media came along, I was intrigued at the whole new world of possibility. As an avid fan of postcards and letter writing, sending and receiving written information has always been something I’ve really enjoyed and then to be able to do it from a computer, to anywhere in the world, really got me thinking about social media’s future possibilities.It was obvious to me that online life would play a big part in my future business and it absolutely has. I’ve built my entire business from my social media presence so I thought I’d share my top tips for launching and running a business online.

Be yourself

People want to engage with you and know your story. They want to know you’re living the life you promote. Get comfortable with sharing details of your life and share your struggles with your followersCreate your own content. For people to really engage with your posts, don’t just repost someone else’s content. Create your own posts and share what you’re learning. If you just repost, your followers will follow the original content instead of you.

Post regularly

One post a week isn’t going to be enough to get engagement. Social media is fast paced and if you’re not posting then your clients are looking elsewhere for the information. In nutrition, 7am, 4pm and 8pm seem to be the optimum times but test this for your industry, use analytics to track your posts.

Always put a call to action on the post

Finish your post by relating what you’ve written to the client and tell them how they can book in to see you/buy your product or service. A pretty post is great but without clients, you don’t have a business.

Check your facts

The internet is a wonderful tool but once you post, your content is out of your control. It can be shared, screenshotted and sent to people all around the world. If you post false information or lies, it can undermine your credibility in an instant.//embed.bannerflow.com/5a7afd48e314e03df8ca063b?responsive=on&nid=1&targeturl=

Be honest, be humble and admit mistakes

As a scientist, I’m learning about new developments all the time. Sometimes what we think was the best option becomes obsolete as new evidence arises. That’s ok, share your discovery with your followers and explain your thought process and findings.

Be positive

No one likes to read condescending or negative posts. Make your posts informative but with a positive spin. Don’t make people feel bad or make fun of anyone.

Respond

Take the time to like and respond to all comments personally. This makes a big difference to your followers and encourages them to comment more. More comments = more people seeing your post due to the algorithms on social media = more potential clients.

Credit your source

If you do use someone else’s picture or post, credit them. Doing can build relationships online with people who then in turn, may share your work, leading to more exposure. Not doing this can lead to copyright infringement.

Set cut off times

It’s OK for Amazon to be open 365 days a year, but for start-ups, I’d advise being strict with yourself. If you answer customer queries at 11pm, you set a precedent with that customer that it’s OK to contact you at that hour. You need down time. Running a business via social media means it’s difficult to disconnect when you just want to look at your mate’s drunken selfies but with some discipline, it can be done.

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