The Coronavirus Canceled my Job

Soooo…. Due to the coronavirus, Ontario is in a state of emergency and almost all stores with a door are closed. There are exceptions of course such as gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and some restaurants are offering takeout. 

However, a majority of people have been laid off for at least two weeks. At the moment it seems that the return date is April 6, but if the situation gets worse, it’s up for debate to remain closed longer. 

I will add a link that will go into this in more detail because this article is not going into the closure, the recession or social distancing. This article will go into detail how being laid off for at least two weeks will affect someone who lives paycheque to paycheque and can’t afford to “self -quarantine” or have the privilege to “work from home”. 

I’m going to outline what my plans are for the next few weeks, if I am getting another job? Will I stop Youtube and content creation? And how this scenario has made me become really grateful as well. 

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Hey what is up my name is Anna and I create content around social media, marketing and document it on the way while working a 9-5 but that last part might be on pause until I get my job back or find another job during this coronavirus outbreak. 

For those who may not know, I am covering maternity leave and I have a 1 year contract as a receptionist. Prior to this year, I was studying and working to become a social worker, long story short I didn’t want that and currently switching to digital marketing. I am using this year to dive into the marketing and online space and pursue a career in digital marketing. 

Since I am not making any money online, I needed a day job and that was the receptionist job. But, due to the coronavirus, my job is temporarily canceled until March 29th and so are many other people, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and many more are closing down or only offering drive thru and take out services. 

So what does this mean for someone who lives paycheque to paycheque. I’m going to dive into that.

I currently live in Ontario Canada and can apply to EI. EI is employment insurance, my boss is currently writing up my ROI so I can go online and apply for it. This means that I will get paid roughly 55% of my income.

If we do the math, 55% of $2000 is roughly $1100 and that is just enough for my expenses, I will get roughly $1000 a month, if this goes on for a month. If you’d like to know exactly what my expenses are I made a March Budget and went over my expenses. But in short, my expenses are roughly $1000 a month, so money is a bit tight over here. 

Next up, will I get another job? 

It honestly depends, because at the moment we aren’t opening until March 29th, but if the situation worsens and the government decides to remain closed, I might be looking for another job, however it’s going to be tough because so many businesses and stores are closing, so no one’s really looking to hire. 

It all depends how things go at my current job. If I can go back to my job, then of course I won’t need another job, but if I am jobless for more than 2 months, I will probably look for another job part-time, something like working at a coffee shop or grocery store, until I can go back to work. 

A lot of people don’t have the luxury or privilege to “work from home”

Yes, money is really tight for me right now, but I don’t have kids or any dependents and I live at home. Many parents work manual jobs, have kids, they have mouths to feed, they need to provide a roof over their families heads and so on. I know I’m not the only one who lives paycheque to paycheque and this is going to hit them hard because who knows how much longer we have to practice social distancing, so I really feel for parents. 

I saw this tik tok clip saying (this is not the exact quote but the account’s name is: @aishimations ) she said something along these lines, “self-quarantine is a privilege, it’s for people who can afford to not work or work from home, where as there are parents who work manual labor and can’t work from home”

Many parents work in manual labor and can’t afford self-quarantine, so it definitely is a privilege to be able to self-quarantine or work from home. But if parents are forced to self-quarantine it’s going to be really tough for them.

Yes, I know social distancing is what’s best to not spread the virus, but it’s also really difficult for a lot of working people to not have money coming in and just sitting at home waiting to go back to work.

Another question is, am I going to continue to pursue youtube? 

YES, at the moment youtube does not really require any income on my end, so with this time off I’m going to put even more effort into my side hustle, since I will be living off employment insurance and have all this time. 

This is the plus side to being laid off I guess, I can spend all my time creating content, getting better and researching more into digital marketing and social media.

As long as my bills are getting paid and I have some food I’ll be okay, it’s like that garyvee clip “eat shit and pump out content” so that’s the plus side I’m living bare minimum, but putting 100% into my side hustle. 

Lastly, I am really grateful for everything I have right now

The coronavirus situation made me really think about how grateful I am for the life I have. I’m really grateful that I can live with my dad and only pay utilities instead of rent, because if I had lost my job, there is no way I could afford rent. I’m really really lucky and blessed for that. 

I’m also lucky enough to be healthy, to be in the age range where if I get the coronavirus I most likely won’t die from it. 

Also it puts a lot of things into perspective, during this time, even though I lost my job and money is tight, I still want to pursue my online career more than ever and I know this is what I want 100%.

I’m going to use this time to be grateful for my life, my health, my family and go all in on my online side hustle! 

Lastly, if you are worried about the coronavirus, your job or family, I’m not going to say don’t worry because we all do, however know that when things go bad, it eventually will go up, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better!! 

Hang in there!!

Anna ❤

How to Grow on Instagram Organically in 2020

Although it is on the decline, organic growth on instagram is not dead, just yet. If you wish to grow organically on Instagram in 2020, it’s not too late, but it will take a different approach and mindset and I have some steps to help you with that.

The reason I say that growing organically on Instagram will take a mindset shift is because tips and tricks just isn’t enough when it comes to organic growth on Instagram, especially with the algorithmic change and Instagram removing likes. 

Also, people are just way smarter these days, can detect bs when they see it and run away. Here are some tips to help you grow organically on Instagram in 2020.

  1. Actually genuinely care about the people on the platform

This mindset tip will help with the next tip. When I say actually care about the people on the platform, I mean try to understand people from their perspective. 

Stop thinking about yourself and your wants for a moment, think about what people are going through by reading their comments and empathizing with them, celebrate them, understand them.

When you start doing this, you stop thinking about people as just numbers and as actual people. Again, this sounds obvious, but when I help people with social media growth I hear “how do I gain followers” or “ how do I get my followers to engage or share my posts” it feels as though they see followers as a number to get to where they want, it’s selfish and why they can’t grow on Instagram.

  1. Leave a meaningful comment, without promoting yourself. 

This tip is a banger, this got me from 0 to 500 followers in 5 months organically. Now that you are equipped with the right mindset, let’s talk action.

What you want to do is go to the explore page, type a relevant hashtag to your brand, then click on the “recent” tab and leave  meaningful comments. Read every caption, short or long, read it and respond to that caption WITHOUT promoting your own page.

Do not say:

  • Follow for a follow 
  • Like for a like
  • Check out my page for promo
  • Follow for a discount 

Do not write any spammy or sleazy comments because this will automatically make the person dislike you. 

By leaving a meaningful comment that’s all about the person, this will peak that person’s interest and will think “oh who is this”, they will click on your page and look at your posts’. You will gain so much profile visits and if the person likes you, they will follow you. 

  1. Be Grateful AF that that a stranger is following you on Instagram vs the billions of other strangers on the platform 

This tip is practicing being grateful and realizing that your followers chose to follow you out of the billions of accounts on Instagram. According to Statista, there are 1 billion users on Instagram, which is insane. 

https://www.oberlo.ca/blog/instagram-stats-every-marketer-should-know

This mindset is useful for the next tip I’m going to share, but before we get into the next tip, let’s relish in being grateful for the followers you have now, instead of wishing for more followers. 

Your followers are people, they aren’t just numbers, they aren’t dollar signs and I know this is obvious, but sometimes, the obvious facts go over our heads. 

  1. It goes down in the DM’s

Remember when comments were all the hype, the more comments your posts’ get, the higher the chances of your post hitting the explore page and it’s still a valid tip. However, as Instagram is moving away from likes, artificial relationships and towards more meaningful engagement, DM’s is your best friend. 

DM’s are important because it’s a deeper way to connect with your followers, fans, community tribe etc. This is where you can create meaningful engagement and Instagram will take note of this. 

The more meaningful engagement you build, the more the algorithm will favor you, then your followers will be able to engage with your posts’ even more and have a higher chance of hitting the explore page. 

After someone follows you from my last tip, you can hit them up with a little introduction about your brand, yourself, or platform. Again, do not PROMOTE yourself at all, do not promote your products or services, just have a genuine conversation to get to know that person.

Another powerful reason you should use DM’s to your advantage is because when you build meaningful relationships, your followers will want to share your content more because they know, like, and trust you.

DM’s are powerful, don’t forget that.

  1. Story Collabs 

Story collabs are a great way to grow on Instagram. If you have an instagram bestie, DM them to see if they’d like to collab. What you will want to do is pre-record a video about giving tips in your niche/category, then swap with your insta bestie and share it on your story.

This will allow you to reach an entire new audience, have them get to know you, check you out and follow you, if they like what they see. People are more likely to warm up to you this way because they know, like and trust your insta bestie and thus, your barrier of entry is a lot easier. 

Take away:

Give a sh*t about the people on the platform and build meaningful relationships in order to get that juicy organic growth and algorithmic favor.

COMMUNITY over FOLLOWERS

A lot of us worry about followers, how to gain followers, how to gain 10k followers or 1M followers and sometimes I do too. But, worrying about gaining followers is the worst way to grow because people are extremely smart these days. People have endless options and If they don’t like you, there’s another 10 accounts similar to you that they will like.

Then, how do you grow followers without looking sleazy? 

You build a COMMUNITY.

Everyone wants to grow on social media, in business and life. But, if you come off as sleazy and non – genuine. people will run away. 

Now, what is community? We hear this word a lot, it’s the new “viral” word in business. 

My community, this community, build a community, it’s everywhere in business lingo. 

The definition of a “ community” by Merriam Webster  is “ a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. living in a particular area.”

So, why is this word so important in business GROWTH? 

It’s because human beings desire human connection, we all want to feel included, have support and talk with like minded people. If you can build a community, you will have a strong core in your business.

These days, consumers are smarter than ever because they can sense when someone is sleazy, they also have google as their sidekick to research other options and will sense or even call you out on your bs.

Also, we have more options than ever before, from food, to clothing, to makeup, to people we follow we have endless options. So when people choose something, there’s a particular reason that resonates with them to convert them from window shopper to paying customers. 

For example, I buy from Sephora because they have a lot of options for my skin tone and skin type, not just Caucasian, I follow more asian influencers vs. Caucasian because I am asian and I resonate with asian influencers more than Caucasian influencers. 

When you look at the definition, community, it’s a group of people with similar interests’, which are a business’ care customer base, a business’ main demographic will most likely have similar interests.

So, how do you build a community? 

Community is more than people with similar interests in one location, it’s also bringing them together, creating a space where they feel like they know one another, where people genuinely care for them, they want to get to know you and know that there is no ulterior motive, people are just genuinely interested. 

To build a community, you have to take that extra step to say hi or send a nice message with no CTA. Because if you open with a CTA, people will think you just want to sell or a follow and are instantly turned off.

For example, you’re on a date and the first thing you ask them is to pay the bill…umm, no thanks. But, that’s what a lot of people will do, they will message people to follow them, they will message people to buy from them, they don’t even take the time to build a relationship and community. 

Building a community is fostering relationships and finding a way to bring them together and make it more interactive. For ex. You can say hi to every new follower, engage with their content and build a relationship. Once you have a few good relationships, create a facebook group and put them in one group, then you can do lives or calls and take it from there. 

You can also listen to your community, listen to their inputs, their comments, their critiques, etc. instead of doing what you think will do well, this is how you show you care about your community, you care about their opinions and want to make sure they’re happy. 

Next time you message someone, think about them instead of yourself. Think about how you can bring them value, think about how to build a genuine relationship and stop letting them know “ if you need any help with ____ feel free to message me” those messages are SO annoying.

If you’d like more info, check out this youtube video haha, but if you don’t worry about it, no pressure! Also, feel free to reach out if you’d like to chit chat a bit more 😉 

Why You Shouldn’t “Pick a Niche”

We hear this a lot, “pick a niche”, narrow down your idea and “niche down” so you can understand your audience. Niching down is like the new cool kid on the block in entrepreneurship world. But, how do you know that the niche you pick is the one, if you pick a niche, narrow it down and understand your audience right off the batt, how do you know it’s for you. 

When you niche down, you’re essentially becoming an expert in that niche, so I hope you are passionate in the niche you choose. If you are starting out in your entrepreneurship journey, picking a niche could hurt you and here are 5 reasons why you should NOT pick a niche. 

  1. Test, Test, Test 

How do you know you like vanilla if you’ve eaten chocolate your entire life? 

When you are starting out in your entrepreneurship journey, shiny object syndrome is a real thing. There are so many ideas out there, so many things you like, so many things you’re curious about, how are you going to pick just one?

This is why I recommend testing out your idea’s, this way you can have a wine tasting and see which flavour of wine you prefer. You can test out your idea’s see which ones you like, which one’s you enjoy learning about, which one’s you want to keep going with, go through ups and downs with. 

You probably know this already, but entrepreneurship is a long  and bumpy road, so I hope you love the niche you’re picking. 

  1. Maybe you like the niche, but it’s not a good fit for you from a business standpoint 

I think 80% of the world can agree that they love to travel, they wish they could travel whenever they want, there’s countries people long to visit, but will they love it when travel becomes work?

Just because we like something, it doesn’t mean we like to turn it into work. I’ll use travel bloggers as an example, bloggers have to write blogs on countries they’ve visited, make recommendations on food or hotels, or write about a museum they visited.

And yes, it looks luxurious, but will we all love to take the time to take the right photos versus admiring the scene, will we want to come back to the hotel to write a blog? To edit photos? To edit videos? Most likely not.

I don’t know about you, but after a long day of touring, I am pooped, I don’t want to do anything but drink or lay in bed, there’s no way I’m editing or writing a blog. I don’t want to turn something I like to work and end up not enjoying the process.

  1. Maybe you’re not as good as you thought in that particular niche 

There will always be growth, there will always be progression, but you do need to factor in talent. Are you good at selling the product/service, are you able to make a living off this niche you chosoe, are you able to make a profit?

This is not me saying “give up if you can’t make any money in the first couple months” it will take months to years to build a successful business, but if its been over 5 years, you might want to re-evaluate your niche or re-evaluate your business. 

That’s why you shouldn’t go all in on one niche because you may be better at something else than the niche you “thought” you liked or could make a profit. 

  1. You’ve invested money and it’s not a niche for you

Let’s stick with the travel blogger example, so you’ve decided you want to become a travel blogger, you invest $1000 into a DSLR camera, and another, let’s say, $1000 in other tech equipment like audio, editing software, lens, and other tech. 

Then you buy your plane tickets and living arrangements (hotel, airbnb or hostel), let’s say your accommodations are $1000 to NYC for 5 days and let’s add another $1000 for expenses like food and travel.

That’s now $4000 you’ve invested in becoming a travel blogger. In the beginning, you pay for your own expenses as you are building your audience, so you can get those bougie sponsorships and don’t have to pay so much anymore. However, before you get to that promised land, you realize travel blogging is not for you. 

Now, you miss traveling as a tourist, you miss just taking in the view instead of taking a million photos, you miss laying in bed after a long day instead of writing a blog to post the next morning, you miss eating the food right when you see it instead of taking another millions photos to go on your blog, you miss wearing whatever you feel like instead of planning the perfect outfit for the photos, and realize travel blogging is not for you. 

Now you have all this fancy equipment and didn’t enjoy the trips as you used to and it caused more stress than relaxation. 

  1. Maybe you just don’t want to niche down 

Maybe in the beginning you pick a niche, but want to expand, that’s totally fine. You don’t always have to stick with that one niche, so many brands branch out and it’s because they’ve built a brand. When brands branch out, their customers will know what to expect, the type of service, quality, performance etc. and that’s what we should focus on building a brand.

You don’t always have to stick to one niche for the rest of your life, if you want to branch out, do it, just know that it may not do well and you’ve got to be okay with it. 

However, if you build a strong and solid brand, then have that section be aligned with that brand, that way your customers or audience is not in shock when they see this new product/service because they will expect similar results, experience, feeling, but in a different form. 

Let’s say you sell clothes that are with quirky designs and your audience loves this. If you are branching out to makeup, make it quirky too and similar to what your audience experiences. If you provide free 2-3 day shipping for your clothes, offer that to your makeup too, make it similar to your brand. 

Take away:

I’m not saying don’t niche down, but sometimes is can restrict you and you don;t even know it. Test, see how things feel before you go all in on this one niche. Once you’ve found a niche you believe in, then keep going at it and reach that success. 

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this article, I hope it brought you VALUE and have a great day!

Anna T Nguyen