How to Turn Social Media Followers into Fans

Everyone is super focused on growing their social media accounts these days. We all want to see our follower numbers go up and up and up. But what good is having a ton of followers if they aren’t going to buy anything from you? Once you get someone to follow you, you can’t just start hard selling them and expect it to work. You have to nurture your relationships with them and turn them into fans before expecting them to go for what you’re offering. This is the absolute best practice for growing a business using social media platforms like Instagram.

In the video above I discuss in detail the three things you need to focus on to grow your Instagram account and then to turn your followers into customers.

You 100% need to focus on the know, like, trust factor.

If your followers don’t feel like they really know you and what you stand for, they won’t feel connected to your brand or your products. A lot of purchases are emotionally motivated and we all know we’d rather support someone we know and feel connected to over a stranger, even if their product is better.

Another thing you need to establish is the LIKE factor. It’s not just enough for someone to be familiar with you and what you do, they have to like you too. So how do you get your followers to like you? Authenticity, relatability and passion. People need to feel that you are genuine and can easily sniff out a fraud.  Be true to yourself, and share your story often.  If you are human and you show it, people will feel like they can relate to you. On top of it all, you need to have passion for what you’re doing. People love to get excited about things and feel positive- passion breeds positivity. If you have passion for what you do, you will help lift people’s mood and give them hope. This will inevitably make them like you!

The last factor you need to establish is TRUST. Trust takes time to establish. It will require you to be consistent, predictable and reliable.  You need to show up for your audience, and show up regularly even if you’re having a bad day. Use your struggles to inspire your audience, or even just to show that you’re human too. Be consistent in how often you show up so your audience will know how often you’ll be there. Lastly be predictable. Your audience should know what kind of content to expect from you. If you are posting about a completely new topic everyday, people will get confused and probably end up either not paying attention or worse, unfollowing you.

So there you have it! Focus on establishing the know, like, trust factor and you will inevitably be creating an army of fans who will be ready to jump when you have something awesome to offer them!

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3 Fears Holding Your Momboss Biz Back

Mompreneur Momboss work from home mom stay at home mom

The truth is, we all have fears. What sets us apart is how we decide to handle them. We have to decide if we are going to let our fears paralyze us or if we are going to recognize them, acknowledge our humanness and then crush them. You don’t have to get over your fears in order to be successful, but you do have to wade through them on order to make it to the other (successful) side. Here are three fears that I guarantee are holding you back , and what you can do about them:

1. The Fear of Failure

Deep down we all doubt ourselves just a little and sometimes probably a lot.  However, I believe that the doubt we foster is learned over a lifetime of hearing people around us telling us to be realistic. They tell us to aim for what they think is more achievable in hopes of sparing us the disappointment of failure. So, it follows that our fear of failure, is also very likely a fear of being judged.

This is a very real fear.

Of course, we want to impress those we care about the most. Of course, we want their approval and support as we undertake something that seems uncertain.  But the truth is- we are doing them a disservice by not following our dreams and not being true to ourselves.  Isn’t it true that we are happier, kinder, more thoughtful and generous people when we feel fulfilled and energized by what we do.

All we do by caring so much about what other people might think about us is hold ourselves back. The thing is, even if we do fail, it gives us a chance to learn. In fact, we learn best from trying, seeing what works and doesn’t, and trying again.  So, if we are to try ten times and fail seven, we’ve done better than we would have if we only tried three and had gotten it right each time. You shouldn’t be afraid of failure; you should look forward to the education it offers.

2. Fear of Wasting Time 

What if it doesn’t work out?  What if I take time away from the career I’ve built and what I’m doing fails.  Won’t I have wasted a ton of time that I could have been spending building my current career and advancing my position?

Well, if you’re on maternity leave- this isn’t a concern at all.  However, if you have gone back to work or you never got maternity leave- this does apply to you. Here’s the reality for everyone- you have time.

You can always go back to the job you had before, you can always go back to school. But if you don’t give your dreams and you passion a fair shot, you can’t do anything about all the time you ACTUALLY wasted doing something that doesn’t light you up daily. You wasted time that you could have been spending being happier. And your happiness is not just about you anymore. Your happiness is your ability to be a better mom, and to be able to give from a full cup to your babies. The only time you’ll be giving up is the unproductive spare time you spend watching Netflix and aimlessly scrolling social media!

3. Fear of Seeming Vain 

Here’s the deal about our new social media culture- it’s just that, new. The thought of taking a selfie in public 5 years ago would have be totally embarrassing, let alone filming yourself daily for public consumption. Being all over social media constantly, posting and commenting several times a day might seem pretty self indulgent or even juvenile. You might even worry that you’re being vain.

The truth is, you’ll get used to it. The most successful people push through the discomfort of learning a new skill and eventually it becomes second nature. If you’re concerned about how you’re going to appear to the general public put your blinders up. You have to keep your eyes on the road and focus on the where you’re headed. Don’t spend too much time thinking about the details of how you might appear and think about the fact that you are busy building something.

The random onlookers have no idea what you’re up to, and you’re not just some teenager posting for your teeny-bopper friends. You are doing something important, you are bringing value to the world and you are following your dreams.

You are your brand. You are learning the skills required to build out that brand, to find the people interested in what you have to offer and building the relationships you need to cash in on that brand equity eventually.

Don’t be distracted by people giving you a side look while you record your insta-story or whatever it is you’re working on. Just get the work done woman! You won’t seem like an ass when you’re killing it!

If you’d like to join a community of like-minded Mompreneurs that can help support you through these fears and help raise you up, I would LOVE to meet you in my Mindful Mompreneur Community on Facebook! CLICK HERE TO JOIN.

momboss instagram plan

 

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Five Tips for Flying with a Baby Under One

5 tips for flying with a baby under one

Travelling with a baby is hard; I think we know it long before we even start planning our first trip with baby.  However, the idea is also so enticing because baby’s plane ticket is free, they can’t walk and don’t have too many of their own interests yet, so you can basically cart them around to do whatever it is your heart desires (within reason, maybe clubbing is out of the question, unless you can find a quiet day time club, lol).

Our first trip with Rosen was when he was three months old, to the day.  We didn’t want to travel any sooner than that because for some reason three months seemed to be a magical age when things began to stabilize, ever so slightly.  We decided to go to a familiar destination that was only a 3~ hour flight. We chose Miami Beach. Since then, Rosen has been on 10 flights, to a total of 4 destinations. Miami, Bahamas, Montreal, and Fort Lauderdale. We had a trip booked to Switzerland for when Rosen was about 4 months old for our very good friends’ wedding, but had to make the difficult decision to cancel based upon what we thought we could handle.

We have some criteria that we follow in choosing destinations for the time being (Rosen is 11 months at the time of writing this).  

The criteria are:

1. The destination can’t be too remote. We need the comfort of modern amenities and the convenience of stores nearby where we can pick up the necessities.

2. The flight has to be under 4 hours. We’re just not ready for anything longer.

3. We also aren’t up for much of a time difference (not that we would get too far within that flight time limit). Some people might feel confident going farther and to more exotic destinations, but we feel its better to wait until he’s older for those type of adventures.

Getting on with it, in the 5 round trips we’ve taken, we’ve learned a thing or two about preparing ourselves for the flight. Here they are:

1. Gate Check Your Stroller

We usually take the big stroller with us, even if we’re going on a small trip. While baby is small, and needs to nap often, the big stroller is the most comfortable for him to nap in while we’re out and about. As Rosen gets bigger and only needs 1 nap a day, I think we’ll start to bring our smaller stroller with us just for the sheer fact that we will have less to lug with us to the airport and it will be easier to take in and out of cars.

The big stroller also has the most storage, so it’s great for carting around all baby’s stuff. If you gate check your stroller you can put all your carry on bags in the stroller and have more hands free for other more important things, like Starbucks.  Also, I personally believe you run less of a risk of your stroller being damaged if you gate check it.

2. Wear Your Baby in the Airport

Depending on the time of your flight, your baby will likely need to nap at some point while you’re in the airport.  If the baby happens to be napping in the stroller while you go through security, its going to suck because they will make you take the baby out of the stroller to put it through the scanner and or manually check it. Every time we’ve been to the airport, I have always worn Rosen through security with no issues.  The first two times I wore him in a wrap style carrier and they had zero problems with it. The third time I wore him in a ring sling which happened to be a mistake because it has metal rings (duh), luckily he wasn’t sleeping! The fourth trip I wore him in a buckle style carrier (Ergo 360 is my fave) and they needed to do a little swab of the carrier to check it. I have heard from other moms that they have made them take baby out of the buckle style carrier, so I would suggest taking baby in a wrap as long as you can, just in case.

Also, if you have baby in a carrier, you can put more stuff in the stroller 😛

3. Feed Baby During Take Off and Landing

I think the hardest part about flying with baby is take off and landing because of the pressure on baby’s ears. I remember when I was little that it really hurt my ears during take off and landing. Whether your baby takes boob or bottle, try to time it so they will be hungry enough to eat for 5-10 minutes while you ascend and descend from cruising altitude. This is when the pressure change is the greatest and it really helps relieve the pressure on their little ears if they are sucking and swallowing.

4. Don’t Get on the Plane Until the Very Last Moment

I know they call people with small children to get on the plane first, however, I think this because people with children have more stuff.  So- if you are flying with your partner, get them to go on the plane first and get everything settled in the seats.  Stay at the gate until pretty much everyone else has gotten on the plane, and then hop on with just you and baby.  This way you don’t have to be stuck in tight quarters with baby for any longer than necessary. We have found this to be some of the most helpful advice because sometimes boarding can take a really long time and you could be walking around the gate keeping baby happy and/or sleeping for a potential extra 30 minutes.

5. Introduce Your Baby to All the People Sitting Around You

If you introduce your baby to the people around you while baby is smiling and happy (before take off), those people are more likely to be compassionate when babe gets fussy later on. It’s just human nature to care more about the wellbeing of someone you’re familiar with than a total stranger and that applies to babies too! You might be surprised, your sweet seat neighbour might even try to help you entertain babe or even calm them down when the going gets tough!

There you have it! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, stay tuned for the next part in this series which will be tips for travelling with a toddler!

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One Year Ago Today: Our Home Birth Story

A year ago today I became a mother, officially.

It all started when your due date came and went without a sign of you. We were so convinced you would come early that I’m sure you decided to show us exactly what being a parent was all about and you came almost two weeks late. Also, just for fun you decided to stay breech until January 26th (less than 3 weeks before your due date), when the midwives manually turned you into head down position and thank goodness you stayed there!

40 weeks pregnant. Waiting for a natural home birth. Natural pregnancy, unmedicated birth

Here’s how it all went down…

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 (EDD):

Nothing, not a peep. I had already tried castor oil smoothies 2x by this point and they didn’t work At. All.

Friday, February 24th, (8 days past due):

Midwife gives me a Foley Catheter (a little water filled balloon that sits on top of the cervix) to try to manually dilate my cervix. We had already attempted a few stretch and sweeps by this point but my cervix was too high and far back for the midwife to reach. The Foley starts giving me mild contractions, and we leave it in as long as you possibly can in hopes for it to dilate me to 3cm and fall out on its own. It doesn’t work.

Sunday, February 26th (10 days past due):

We go back to the midwife and she removes it, and my contractions stop.

I think we also tried a stretch and sweep.

Monday February 27th , 2017 (11 days past due):

I can’t remember how many but I know we did a lot of stretch and sweeps, they were painful and a few different midwives tried because no one could reach my cervix. So they tried to find the midwife with the longest fingers***, and it still wasn’t fully successful. I even sat on a birthing stool for them to try.

At 6pm I went for one more round of induction acupuncture (I’d be doing this since 38 weeks and nothing).

Tuesday February 28th, 2017 (12 days past due)*THE BIG DAY*:

So, today was our last shot at having a natural “intervention free” birth and if nothing got started, we had to head to the hospital for an oxytocin drip the following day.

4 am– first contraction (I think because of the acupuncture).

7 am– up for the day, contractions start to get less intense.

9:30 am– head to midwife, she breaks my waters and tells me if I don’t start active labor within 24 hrs we were to meet at the hospital the following morning for a medical induction. We really, really didn’t want this because we really, really wanted to have a home birth.

11  am– Head to Best Buy at the Eaton Centre to buy a camera- had my first *real*  contraction (they say you’ll know the difference, and I did) while talking to the salesman, had to excuse myself from the conversation. I told Junior we better get out of there because I didn’t feel like being in labor at the mall.

12:30 pm– Finally home and things are picking up- I’m a doula remember so I think I have a pretty good idea about how things should go. Waiting for contractions to fall into a 4-1-1 pattern and of course they do nothing of the sort. They are short, strong and very close together- I didn’t know this was a thing so I couldn’t understand how quickly things might be moving, so we call the midwife and our doula Angela (most amazing doula ever! www.nutmegconsulting.com). Midwife tells us to call back if one of a short list of things happens and she says it could be as soon as 20 minutes or as long as several hours. We tell Angela our doula to come over.

1 pm– We call the midwife back- the thing on the list happened. Things were getting pretty intense pretty fast. Angela arrives and helps me get into the shower. For some reason the I didn’t want to be in the day light and our bathroom was the darkest place in the condo. I feel like it was some kind of mama bear instinct searching for a nice dark cave to birth in.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

2:30 pm– Midwife arrives and checks my dilation etc.- I think I was about 3-4cm dilated at this time. I was on my knees hunched over the edge of the bath tub with the water on very hot blasting down onto my lower back. I had towels under my knees and I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to know what time it was, I didn’t want to know how dilated I was- I was in the zone and I didn’t want anyone to knock me out of it. I was using my Hypnobirthing skills and they really helped me get through this. All I wanted to know was when I could move into the birthing tub. The midwife said I could when I was 6 cm dilated. I wasn’t going anywhere until then, so I stayed in the shower the whole time. I bet the hot water bill that month was pretty high lol!

6 ish pm– I was finally able to make the move to the birthing tub. I remember this transfer taking a lot of energy for me. But I just psyched myself up, got out of the shower and booted it straight out into the living room into the birthing tub. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it, and the midwife warned me that changing positions might make the contractions more intense, and she was right…However, the tub was SO, SO much more comfortable than being on my knees in the shower! What a relief. However, this is when things really picked up. I remember at one point though, between some contractions, when I was able to take a breather- I turned to everyone in the room and said “wow I thought this would be a lot worse” and they all laughed at me.  The contractions got so much more intense that at a certain point I felt like my entire body was seizing up and I was really having to work to get in deep breaths. Junior told me that every single contraction I made crazy noises. I also threw up- a lot, but I think its because my body was contracting everywhere and just forcing whatever was in my stomach out- I don’t recall feeling nauseous. Also all I ate was fruit, and a drink called ginger, lemon switchel that I got out of the First Forty Days postpartum book.  I highly recommend having this drink on hand for labor, the idea of anything else completely grossed me out.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

8:30 ish pm– My body just started pushing, I wasn’t doing anything to encourage it so I told the midwife what was happening. She told me to resist the urge but I told her I couldn’t really do anything about it. She checked me and was pretty surprised to find that I was 9cm dilated. I went from just under 6cm to over 9cm in an hour and a half. That would explain why things got so intense so quickly.   She told me that I didn’t have to resist the urge to push anymore, and I could actually just go with it because I was nearly 10cm. I started pushing leaned over the edge of the tub, but because my midwife was short and the tub was deep, she wasn’t able to really see what was happening so she asked me to turn around and put my arms over the back of the tub so I was facing her and sit on the little seat in the tub. This position was really bad because I kept floating up and couldn’t get my bearings to push down strongly enough. I think I was pushing in the tub for almost, or maybe even over an hour and you were crowning. However, the pushing just wasn’t as effective as the midwife would have liked. She also was a bit worried that he was coming out sunnyside up, and she thought his head might be swelling. Claire told me that she couldn’t quite tell what she was seeing. So in a very stern voice she suddenly said, “Milli, I’m going to need you to get out of the tub RIGHT NOW.” The tone in her voice sounded serious enough that as quick as you know it I was up and crawling out of there with a baby basically hanging out of me (ps. This tub was like 2.5 ft high, so you can imagine this feat).

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

9:40 ish pm– I crawled up onto the bed (thank god it was like 5 ft away) onto all fours and in two more contractions you were born! However- your umbilical cord was so short, they wouldn’t let me pick you up- and they were worried that it had torn because there was a lot of blood. I think the length of your cord is the reason you couldn’t turn into head down position on your own. Right after you came out, I had to hold you steady on the slippery shower curtain that I was kneeling on on the bed and wait for them to clamp and cut your cord and make sure all was ok It was the longest few moments of the entire process (they said about 2 minutes) waiting to pick you up! You were officially born at 9:58pm. I have to say that out of all of the labor process, the only true pain was the moment your head popped out. That was obviously pretty intense, and yes I did tear a little but it was only a first degree tear… not too bad!

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth. Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

The whole thing was an incredible experience. At no point did I regret our choice to stay home and at no point did I request or even wish for pain medication. Yes there was pain, but it was a different type of pain than I’d ever experienced before- more like the most intense pressure I’ve ever felt. By the way, I had kidney stones at five months pregnant and I would definitely say that was actually worse pain in certain ways than my unmedicated birth expereince.

The whole thing was completely other-worldly and I am completely in awe and amazed at the entire experience. I feel so blessed to have had the birth that we did, and I’m so happy that it all went so well despite the hiccups and tiny scares. Becoming your mother changed me forever- it gave me a deep confidence in myself, a new and bigger focus in life, and the ability to see what is truly important. I am so honored to have gone through such a beautiful rite of passage with you Rosen, and I can’t wait for all you have to teach me still.

Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth. Natural home birth. Hypnobirthing, water birth. Unmedicated birth.

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What it’s Like to Become a Mother

Becoming a Mom

Where to even start? I have been ruminating on this post for a while already, thinking of something epic to say. Because, truth be told, I’m not really up for being “just another mommy blogger”. I actually haven’t read many mommy blogs myself, and I don’t plan to but I’m sure almost everything has already been said before.

However, because this has obviously been the most life-changing thing I have ever been through not writing anything would be out of the question. So, I figure I’ll start with how I felt about becoming a mom before becoming one.

I thought it would be amazing and hard. True on both accounts. But what I didn’t realize is that when it happens, words take on meanings that they didn’t previously hold. For example, you’ve all heard that when you have a baby you experience a love you never knew existed before, a piece of your heart now lives outside of your body and things like that. Those things are all true, but when I heard those things previously I always thought, that’s nice, so cheesy, but nice *smiley face* moving on.

Now, it seems that those words just held the shallowest of meaning to me at the time because I didn’t have the experience that expands the depth of meaning held by them. A piece of my heart, yes, like a physical extension of myself that once was in my body, now lives on the outside. It is no longer just a romantic notion, its something physical I didn’t even realize I could feel.

I think that’s the main difference between what I knew before and what I know now. I knew romantic love before, even if I thought it was unconditional, and now I know a more physical, can never be broken even if my kid was the worst person in the world type of love (which he never will be, btw). This is the type of love that pulls in you in every direction at the same time.

I knew it would be painful, but I didn’t know how many different types of pain I could experience in such a short timespan.

I had a homebirth. That means un-medicated. It was hard, but it was amazing. It was my plan for a very long time to have a homebirth and I almost didn’t get to have it. It came down to the last day, in fact. I knew I could do it. I don’t think homebirth is for everyone, and the birth that is right for you is the one that makes you feel safe and most comfortable.

I am no stranger to pain. I had kidney stones at 5 months pregnant, and like other women have said before, I’ll take another un-medicated birth over kidney stones any day because at the end of labor, I get to have a beautiful baby in my arms and I know for sure that that is the eventual outcome. With kidney stones, there’s no pot of gold at the end of the pain-bow 😛

Anyway, labor was very painful in some parts for sure (like crowning), and the other parts were intense in a way that can only be described as pain because there is no other word that suits the sensations that over-take you. There is throbbing, stabbing, burning, pressing, exploding, and retching during labor. You can call me crazy, but I find pain fascinating. I have found a way to somehow remove myself from it by witnessing it. While it’s happening I examine the pain, think about what it really feels like, where it’s coming from and how interesting it is. My body is experiencing it but my mind is somehow separated. Its like I use logic to convince myself that I’m going to be ok, so the pain seems less threatenening. Anyway- I had a lot to pay attention to during labor lol.

Recovering from labor is also painful, especially if you have stitches.

Realizing that you are now responsible for the life of the beautiful soul that just came out of you is also painful. It’s so many things. I know that hormones have a lot to do with it but there were so many moments in those first few days where I looked at our little baby, eyes full of tears and thought about how incredibly fragile his life was, and how deeply it would hurt to lose him. So, there is now this ever-present anxiety that lives in my chest, which other moms tell me never goes away. I know that’s not pain, but it’s definitely not a pleasant sensation.

There is also this new type of reaction that’s coming up for me that I wasn’t expecting. I think it’s the innate, programmed-in, mother’s love that’s meant to protect her baby’s life at all costs. Again, it’s physical, not logical or intellectual in anyway. It shows up when tears just start welling up in my eyes when I least expected it and I feel these emotions from a deeper place in my body than I ever have before. It happened when our boy got his first shots.

It’s been a surprising, heart exploding journey so far and I know I’m only at the beginning. There will be so much more to learn, and so much more growth that I will experience as a mother. I’m really looking forward to it. I truly believe that our children are sent to us to help us grow in exactly the ways we need to in order to become better people.

What surprised you most about becoming a parent?

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