Why You Should Look Into Luxury Niches and Micro-Influencer Marketing

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Targeting a niche of clients is the first step in building a strong digital brand for your design business. Unique luxury niches such as yachting and private aviation interior design can level up your brand and raise yourself to the status of micro-influencer.But what are the challenges of these niches? And why is it worth taking a closer look at the opportunities and benefits of micro-influencer marketing? An overview of the luxury interior design nicheAn interior design niche is an area of specialty and expertise. If you offer niche interior design services, it means that you know how to offer the most value to your targeted clients by designing interiors that fit their lifestyles. Being highly specialized in designing luxury yacht or private jets interior spaces means your clientele is part of the small group belonging to the 1% of high-net-worth individuals.By targeting the niches of yachting and private aviation, you set yourself apart from the crowd with mastery in overcoming interior challenges in these domains. Think about confined spaces, strict regulations, extreme requests and the need for research, innovation and experimentation.The key is understanding the client’s experience — while a yacht is a holiday home, a private jet is a business tool. Accommodating extreme requests from clients can also represent a challenge in designing the interior of a luxury yacht. Adding spas, cinemas and all sorts of entertainment gadgets require extensive knowledge and research.Related: Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Pricing for a Luxury Design StartupTargeting a niche market: benefits and opportunities There are multiple benefits of targeting a niche. First of all, it sets you apart from the competition and establishes you as an expert in the field. By being extremely specialized, you can ask for higher rates for your service. Fewer people in an audience means more chances to develop an authentic connection and valuable relationships with your clients. Marketing a niche is easier than marketing a larger audience and leads to greater brand loyalty. You have the opportunity to get a higher engagement and create a new product as per the customer’s specifications. Focusing on a niche of clients increases your visibility. Businesses with a unique product or service tend to stand out and get featured across different media. Just remember that it is more important to get in front of the right people, rather than a lot of people. Related: The Rise Of Responsible LuxuryWhy micro-influencer marketing is more effectiveBeing an interior micro-influencer creates opportunities for collaborations with companies who want to reach buyers in a specific niche market. In a workshop I conducted for the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, I explored the opportunities for an interior designer specialized in a niche with a built-in and highly engaged audience.A micro-influencer is a more focused niche expert with a number of followers between 1,000 to 1,000,000. A smaller audience allows for increased accessibility, personal interactions and a better chance for connections to develop on a deeper level.Many companies choose influencer marketing to reach niche audiences of buyers who trust the recommendation of an interior influencer rather than the opinion of a celebrity. It can be a more effective marketing strategy, as influencer marketing campaigns have a reputation and designer trust. Connecting with the audience on a personal level and understanding pain points produces higher conversion rates. People value the recommendation of an expert in the field and trust his/her opinion.For an interior micro-influencer, collaborating with a brand means becoming an active advocate that helps sell the products.Related: How and Why Luxury Brands Should Embrace TikTok

Gather 'Round! The Top 10 PPC Stories of 2021

Gather 'Round! The Top 10 PPC Stories of 2021

Remember that giddy feeling on the first day of class? The instructor hands out the syllabus of everything that will be covered. Fast-forward a few weeks and you feel like you’re getting curveballs left and right?To put it mildly, that’s how running Google ads felt like in 2021. The platform threw a ton of unexpected changes at us this year—not to mention everything we faced with the Facebook and iOS 14 saga.

But what did we do? We found ways to adapt.

So in today’s post, I’m going to cover the top 10 PPC stories of 2021—what happened, what the impact was, and how to turn each one into an opportunity for home runs in 2022.

2021: The year in review for PPC

Cue the bell ring! You have your syllabus, and now, class is officially in session. Let’s dive right into chapters one through ten covering memorable 2021 PPC moments:

1. Google ruffles our keyword matching feathers

Keywords are the backbone of PPC. So of course Google would throw us some keyword curveballs this year!

The story: For keywords, 2021 was a rollercoaster ride. First, we saw the sunset of our beloved modified broad match in February. Google’s reasoning was that broad match is more effective now, and that modified broad and phrase match often serve the same use case.

Saying this ruffled advertisers’ feathers is putting it lightly. Many people used modified broad since it acted as a “happy medium” match type. Between the pressures of the pandemic combined with the ever-rising challenges of PPC advertising, many felt these keyword changes from Google were insensitive, unnecessary, and untimely.

Then, in September, just as the dust was beginning to settle, Google announced more changes to keyword matching behavior that stirred the pot again. In short, exact match logic will now be used for all match types, and if you have multiple eligible keywords that aren’t identical to the query, Google will look not just at Ad Rank but at relevance, too. That second part had many advertisers, like PPC Chat host Julie Bacchini, quite unsettled. Isn’t that what you’ve been doing all along, Google?
As if that wasn’t enough, it then claimed that because of these changes and improvements, there is no longer any benefit to using multiple match types for the same keyword if you’re pairing broad match with Smart Bidding.

This left many advertisers in a tissy… In fact, Greg Finn even wrote an article to argue this claim.

What this means for 2022: With the loss of modified broad match, I encourage you to pair broad match with audience targeting as a workaround.

Multiple match types or not, Google is right on one thing: less is more! Using plurals or slight variations is a personal pet peeve of mine. Downsize your list to just the core terms you need and stop wasting time on the rest!. Only key core terms are necessary in your keyword lists.

Additionally, keeping keywords grouped together in cohesive, thematically consistent ad groups will continue to be a best practice. Above all else, let’s also not forget about negative keywords in 2022, as they can be your lifeline if you’re stuck using match types that aren’t the most ideal.

Rethinking your keywords for 2022? Our free keyword research tool can help!

2. Facebook advertising falls victim to Apple’s iOS 14 update

Would it really be a 2021 PPC roundup without talking about the infamous iOS 14 update?

The story: On April 26, Apple finally rolled out the privacy-first iOS 14.5 update that now allows users to opt out of being tracked by apps—apps like, say…Facebook? Which provides tracking data so advertisers can track conversions and create retargeting audiences?

Advertisers are now facing incomplete data, shrinking audiences, and rising CPMs. Not to mention all the hoops they now have to jump through with Aggregated Event Measurement, domain verification, and shorter attribution windows.

This is because iOS14 allows for users to opt out of data tracking.  Now, I understand and respect the importance of consumer data privacy, but as an advertiser, it’s frustrating. If you’re going to be subjected to ads anyway, why not have them be personalized?
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Now, Facebook and industry experts alike are rushing to find targeting strategy alternatives. Some exciting progress has come of it!

What this means for 2022: This might sound crazy, but don’t give up on Facebook ads! It is still an effective channel for growing your business, so if you adapt and continue using it, you’ll have an advantage over competitors who give up.

3. Expanded text ads start packing their bags

Bon voyage, expanded text ads! The removal of these assets was far from quiet, let’s find out why:

The story: Back in March, responsive search ads (RSAs) replaced expanded text ads (ETAs) as the default ad type for Search campaigns. Then in August, Google told us we’ll be bidding (no pun intended) our goodbyes to ETAs in June 2022.

Don’t hold your breath, though. ETAs will still run after the change takes effect. What’s really being retired is the ability to edit and create new ETAs. Advertisers will only be able to pause, enable, or remove them.
What this means for 2022: The fact that Google is favoring RSAs follows suit with its other pushes for more automation. However, while RSAs are effective, the platform still lacks useful reporting for the different ad variations. I think that could be coming in 2022, as it’s been a common ask from the PPC community.

Even though the change will take effect about half way through 2022, there are things you should be doing now so it doesn’t negatively impact your account. Start the year off right by building out RSAs while you perfect any ETAs you’ll want to keep running now or after June 2022 being.

And if you see declining impressions in your ETA reporting, don’t mistake this as poor performance—it’s normal.

4. Third-party cookies start unpacking their bags

Google is really just slowly peeling off the bandaid here for us.

The story: On June 24, Google announced that the feared deprecation of third-party cookies would be pushed out to 2023.

Google stated that that in order to build truly privacy-preserving technology, it needs to “move at a responsible pace” to allow “sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, “avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publisher,” and “ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting.”

That being said, testing for FLoC—Google’s solution for behavioral targeting in the absence of third-party cookies—has been pushed out to Q1 2022.

What this means for 2022: No action is needed for FLoC, but keep your eye on it.

As for third-party cookies, you’ve heard this time and time again, but keep finding ways to collect more first-party data and get familiar with new solutions available like enhanced conversions, which we cover in this update roundup.
5. Google does a lil’ search term report quid pro quo

Fun fact: this is one of my favorite PPC stories from 2021. Read on to find out why.

The story: We know the search terms report was overhauled back in 2020 when low volume searches were taken out of view due to privacy.

This was a tough pill for advertisers to swallow, since we used to be able to see impression and click data on ALL search terms.

Fast forward to August, and advertisers notice the report is showing all search term data once again!
Twitter thread

Turns out it was just a bug that left us feeling sorely disappointed. But the search terms report changed again in September with some good news.

The report still does not show low volume terms that don’t meet the privacy threshold, but it now shows impression data for terms that didn’t get clicks, moving forward and prior to September 2020. In exchange, though, Google mentioned that in February of 2022 it will be removing any search terms prior to September 2020 that don’t meet the privacy volume thresholds.

What this means for 2022: Be sure to save any historical search terms report data you want to hold onto before February of the coming year! However, the search space has changed so much over the last couple of years that the impact those old searches hold will most likely be minor.

Also, start taking advantage of the search terms report a bit more in 2022, since we’ll be able to get more insights again. While this change wasn’t incredibly significant, it was a feather in Google’s cap to give advertisers an advantageous update for once. The platform may seem to have its own vendetta, but clearly it’s still listening and catering to its customers somewhat. Personally, this is the one PPC story from 2021 that makes me feel encouraged and hopeful for 2022.

6. Google Marketing Live leaves us all baffled

Google Marketing Live Stream 2021 was a…snoozefest? I love industry events as much as the next advertiser, but this year’s Google Marketing Live summit was resoundingly confusing and underwhelming.

Let’s break down why.
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The story: Let’s start off with one of the culprits behind the 2021 GML hate: customer match thresholds were not really lowered despite Google’s promises. While yes, the platform made the option of these hyper-specific audiences available to accounts below $50,000 in lifetime spend, the fine print read that customer match will only be available to those accounts in observation mode. This still makes targeting them inaccessible to small businesses with lower budgets.

Aside from that, the announcements were either so convoluted or so minor that they caused other roundups to share inaccurate information (understandably so).

What this means for 2022: Okay so GML2021 wasn’t totally hated on. One wonderful highlight to have come from the event was the new black-owned attribute option in Google Shopping.

Also, image extensions were taken out of beta and the tROAS bidding strategy became available for Video action and Discovery campaigns.

Another few positives: better visibility into performance max campaign reporting, and (my new personal favorite) the Insights page. This page gives advertisers an in-depth look at spend and budget pacing, recommendations, and more. For me and my clients, it’s been surprisingly useful as a way to look into Google’s thinking and brainstorm new optimization ideas to execute on our own.

7. Shopify & Google become besties

GML2021 had another exciting announcement to come of it:  Shopify and Google are now two peas in a pod.

The story: While Shopify users could always leverage both platforms separately, Google announced this past spring that it’s about to get much easier to use them together. Users of Shopify will now be able to set product placement across all of Google’s entities like Maps, Images, Lens, and YouTube in just a few easy steps.

They’re calling this new collaboration the “Shopping Graph,” as it provides shoppers with more information than ever before about the products they’re viewing and where else they can find them.

What this means for 2022: Shopify’s Google Channel directly in the Shopping platform makes it easier for Shopify users to reach customers beyond the SERP shopping results, regardless of their Merchant Center set up in Google Ads. With an evolving buyer’s journey, this is a futuristic look at how to capture purchases across every step of the funnel.
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8. Facebook goes out for 6 hours

You might be thinking: “big deal.” I know I was. But for advertisers putting lots of hard earned cash into Facebook ads, it was a big deal. Let’s find out why.

The story: On October 4, the app, the web version, Instagram, Messenger, and all of Facebook’s assets went dark for six hours on a Monday. All of Facebook’s servers had gone down.

For users, this was a wakeup call to not totally immerse their lives in social media. For advertisers, this meant opportunity lost. For Facebook, it meant $79 million in revenue loss.

What really happened behind the scenes that day, we may never know. What we do know is this was a message to all advertisers: always have a backup plan!

What it means for 2022: In this world, nothing is guaranteed. Even big, bad Facebook has its moments. If this doesn’t get you sold on a multichannel strategy in 2022, I don’t know what will! While the outage was minor to most advertisers, it’s important to be prepared for your advertising worst case scenario. When you’re running multichannel advertising, you’re covering your own butt. If a platform goes down, you’ll still be promoting your business elsewhere.

9. Google Ads monthly spend limits sneak onto the scene

If you’re thinking “Isn’t this already a thing?” you probably aren’t paying for Google via credit card. For card payments, this is a new feature!

The story: Google quietly rolled out monthly spend limits this year. They function alongside campaign daily budgets—which continue to be a necessity. Monthly spend limits are implemented at the account level and act as a safeguard against overspend across campaigns. Beware, though, once the limit is hit your ads will stop showing.

What it means for 2022: This can be a great solution for accounts that are tight on budget in 2022. However, there will need to be a level of restraint when using this feature since setting your limit too low can also ultimately limit your results.
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10. Facebook reveals its secrets

I wanted to finish off with a 2021 PPC story underdog. This update didn’t get a ton of coverage, but can tell us a lot about how to plan our 2022 Facebook ads strategy.

The story: In June, Facebook dropped an article and video series on how its News Feed algorithm works. But the most interesting part of it for advertisers was its explanation on how it uses machine learning to deliver ads.

In comparison to Google, Facebook doesn’t make clear-cut formulas like Ad Rank or Quality Score available to advertisers. When Facebook released these algorithm insights this year, it definitely caught my eye.

It comes down to three indicators that equate to an “ad score” (not visible to advertisers). This score helps the algorithm determine when and where to show your ad. Those factors are:

How the advertiser sets the ad up. This can include details like Facebook advertising campaign objectives, audience targeting, location settings, and more.
The value of the ad. An ad’s total value is based on how much the advertiser is willing to bid on that ad combined with how likely the viewer is to engage with it, as well as the ad’s overall quality.
Each viewer’s preferences. As an advertiser, you get to choose what type of person you’d ideally like to see your ad. Similarly, Facebook users have the option to set up ad preferences to give the Facebook News Feed further guidance on what’s the best fit for them.
What it means for 2022: While bid is mentioned here, I think one of the main lessons we can keep in mind for 2022 is that you can’t buy quality.

Facebook is looking for high-value ads with attractive visuals and compelling copy. You’ll want to avoid what Facebook Ads calls “low-quality attributes,” like too much text in an image, sensationalized language, or click-bait.
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Storytime: a tale of two years in PPC

In order to improve for the future, we must look at the past. Between ever-changing platforms and trends, staying on top of the latest and greatest from 2021 will save you from headaches in 2022.

While there won’t be a test to go along with today’s lessons, here’s a quick study guide of what we covered to help you prepare for 2022:

Google changed keyword match types and behaviors. Keep your keywords cleaned up.
Facebook was impacted by the Apple iOS14 update. Be nimble and adapt with new strategies.
Expanded Text Ads will be a thing of the past. Test your ETAs like crazy and get comfortable with responsive search ads.
Third-party cookies. Stay alert for first-party data targeting solutions in 2022.
Google’s search terms report got a facelift. Start using it more frequently and collect the data you need before February.
Google Marketing Live didn’t live up to the hype. Better luck next year. (But also check out the Insights page!).
Shopify and Google join forces. Use Shopify’s Google channel to capture more leads across your funnel.
Facebook had a six hour long “whoopsie.” Always have a backup plan!
Google Ads monthly spend limits make an appearance. Use it to make budgeting easier.
Facebook puts out an ad ranking tell-all. Stay focused on creating high-quality ads that users want to see and engage with.
With all these updates, a little bit of confidence in automation, a touch of preparation, and a lot of content quality love can go a long way. Use these lessons as a pathway to results that will make your upcoming year the best one yet.

The 85 Best Small Business Ideas for 2022 (by Category!)

The 85 Best Small Business Ideas for 2022 (by Category!)

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a record number of people leave the corporate workforce in favor of gig work, freelancing, or starting a small business. And let’s be honest, everyone has at least thought of quitting their job working for The Man at least twice or thrice (a month?).

That’s why we dove in to find the best small business ideas for those of you who are looking to get out of your mundane 9-5 job, or just want something new to invest your time and brain power into. In this post you’ll learn:

The 25 best businesses to start in 2022
Details and salary information
60 more great small business ideas to inspire you
The best small businesses to start in 2022: our verdict

Knowing that people have different motivations for starting their own business, we searched for the best small business ideas in four different areas: stability, profitability, ease of starting, and creativity. Before we get into each one, let’s cut to the chase and give you our prize-winners for each category:

Best small business to start from home: web developer
Best stable small business: childcare owner
Best profitable small business: event planner
Easiest small business: notary
Most creative small business: travel planner
Small business ideas from home

Remote work is all the rage, for good reason. Why leave your house to make money when you don’t have to? No more commute, no more expensive lunches and inescapable coworkers. We have the best small business ideas that you can make happen right from the comfort of your home.

1. Childcare business

After entire families were stuck at home together for months on end, daycare providers are in high-demand for parents who transitioned to remote work. The best part? If you are a stay-at-home parent, you can offer daycare out of your home and take care of your kids at the same time.

Avg. yearly salary: $29,000

2. Virtual fitness trainer

During and after the pandemic, gyms saw huge drops in membership numbers and influencers had a field day with DIY at-home videos. People figured out that they don’t need to go all the way into a gym to exercise. And the rise of video fitness trainers created an interest in a variety of exercise experiences. Which is a fancy way of saying that online fitness training, on YouTube, Instagram, via the MindBody app, and more, is a thriving business model.

Salaries for trainers range from $30,000 – $70,000 per year, but the money you make online would be dependent on your pricing model.

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Fitness trainer or not, video is the way to go. Follow our tips on how to get more video views and rank higher on YouTube.

3. Web developer

Learning to be a web developer does require training and upfront schooling costs. However, there are plenty of boot camps that will get you up to speed. And the best thing about web development is that you can choose a plethora of specialities, from focusing on marketing websites to e-commerce to blogs…basically anything you can browse on the internet.

If you’re not looking to actually be a web developer, consider starting a small business to manage them. Freelance web development is in high demand!

Web dev salaries are fairly high, starting around $60,000 per year and going up to $150,000 depending on your skillset and location.

4. Executive assistant

As the economy experiences massive growth through tech, there are plenty of up-and-coming c-suite executives who somehow never learned to schedule meetings (shots fired). But really, being an executive assistant can take place from the comfort of your home at a remote company, and if your executive is looking for part-time help, you can take on more than one. And there you have it, a burgeoning small business from home!

5. Nonprofit Work

Starting a small business is a lot easier when you know you’re contributing a net-good to your community. Starting a nonprofit isn’t easy, but it can be done remotely, particularly if you’re looking to run this business yourself. Pick a cause that you feel passionately about and dive right in.

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Always-good small business ideas

What do we mean by “good” small businesses? We mean evergreen, stable businesses that provide a service people will always need. Anecdotally, my grandfather heard Hoover promise to put a chicken in everyone’s pot. People will always eat chicken. So he started a chicken business. Don’t worry, these small business ideas don’t require plucking feathers. 

6. Translator

As the world becomes more global, the need for translation services continues to rise. Some of that involves translating emails, documents, and content, but others are more service-oriented, like accompanying groups or business leaders on international trips. It’s important to note that you’ll not only need conversational translation skills but also grammatical and structural understanding of a language. 

7. Tutor

If you’re an adult who has graduated from high school and/or college, you likely have something to teach kids. If you have an affinity for teaching, try out tutoring first. Not only can you tutor multiple students, you can dabble in different subject matter, like SATs or remedial Spanish. The time commitment stays according to what you want and small tutoring businesses are in high-demand, even remotely. 

8. Nanny

People just keep having babies! If you love playing with kids, using your imagination and packing snacks, a nanny business might be for you. Depending on your level of commitment to one family, sometimes nannying positions offer food, board, and benefits, or you could be a part time nanny!

9. IT consulting

This is a small business that is always needed by other small businesses. If you know your way around an IT stack and know how to fix it when it breaks, make a website and start collecting payments because you’re in high demand.

IT professionals are well-compensated by job or by the hour.

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10. Online advertiser

At this point, to say that digital marketing is an ever-growing industry is to say that the sky is blue. It’s a fact and businesses that want to survive must invest in online marketing strategies, but small business owners wearing many hats don’t have time to learn or keep up with the ever-changing platforms. Consider starting an advertising gig for small businesses. You might even end up starting your own agency.

If you want to learn about online advertising, you’re in the right place, my friend (both on this blog and in this post). Here are our best recommendations:

Small profitable business ideas

Why start a business if you’re not sure you’ll make money? We all work to live (hopefully), and these small business ideas will make you the most money to keep your bank account plump and your vacations fancy.

11. Handyman

Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. While I am in the process of renovating an old house, I have never appreciated handymen more. If you are handy around the house and like figuring out how to fix things, a handyman business could be for you.

Payment for handymen varies based on the type and length of a job. 

Related: Home Services Advertising Benchmarks

12. Event planner

This may fall into creative small businesses, but it is also a fairly steady job (despite the pandemic). People will always celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, and need help with planning the events. If you are hyper-organized, can herd cats with the best of them, and have attention to detail, consider planning events!

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13. Transcriptionist

With video content becoming more popular by the year, transcription services become even more important. In fact, I was desperately searching for transcriptions just last week. Now, I’m referring to casual marketing video transcription but for a legal or court transcriptionist or medical, you’ll need certifications that are fairly affordable to get. 

Transcriptionists make an average of $52,000 per year.

14. Movers

We’ve seen a rash of big moves the past few years with people exiting urban areas to purchase homes in the suburbs—and some migration back to big cities as well. Moving isn’t fun for anyone and small moving companies have made a fortune on this real estate boom. Get in on the action by starting a small moving business.

Movers typically get paid per hour or per job, if it’s a multi-day, out-of-state move.

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15. Antiquities renovation

Okay, it’s likely you’ve never heard of this one, and it likely mostly applies to people who live in historic areas. However, there is a niche market for people who are able to restore and reinstall original fixtures in old homes, from cabinet pulls to bricks and old window panes. In fact, I just bought 200 year old bricks specific to my town to place in the house I’m renovating. So if vintage charm is your style, this small business may also be.

Easy small business ideas

Looking for a side hustle that doesn’t take too much effort? Same. We found the easiest small businesses to start that will also be (we hope) fun too!

16. Pet care

Not to disregard the effort that goes into raising pets, taking care of pets can be the best job ever. You can be a dog walker, a cat sitter, check on chickens, feed horses, the list goes on and on. You can choose which jobs you want to take, what hours you want to work, and sometimes you’ll get to house sit as an added bonus.

Pet sitter businesses make between $10-$25 per hour, depending on the number of pets and your location.

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17. Proofreading/quality assurance

I’m pretty stoked on this one. Yes, being a proofreader and QA specialist are different…but also very similar. If you are a good writer and have a knack for noticing tiny details, these jobs might be for you. They are always in high demand, because who has time to check their own work these days, and you can easily pick up work on UpWork or a number of other freelance sites until your portfolio is ready to launch your small business.

Proofreaders and QA specialists can get paid up to $80,000 per year.

18. Notary

Ever need something notarized and don’t know where to go? Luckily, I know some small business owners who have a notary on-call. Becoming a notary isn’t the easiest process, but it isn’t expensive. And once you’re done, you too can be an on-call notary or offer your services to courthouses and small businesses full-time.

Notary salaries have a broad range from $20,000-$52,000 per year. But being able to choose when to work (or not) while you have a high-demand certification will come in clutch.

19. Short-term rental manager

Once upon a time, my parents rented out half of their house on AirBnb. They made a killing in their little hotel-less town with grandparents visiting family, families in between homes, and business people staying for a consulting project. Eventually they stopped Airbnb because it was too much work for my mom to clean and sanitize after every guest.

Point of the story: rental managers are largely successful and becoming even more so with the rise of home rentals. Reach out to local Airbnb and VRBO hosts to see how you can help manage their rentals acting as a sort-of superintendent for guests.

Rental manager salaries are dependent on where you are located, but most profitable in urban centers.

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20. Personal shopper

Being a personal shopper is the dream of so many fashion students. Imagine being able to shop for the perfect jewelry, clothing, furnishings, and not actually having to pay for any of it! With the expansion of online ecommerce stores, most of this job can be done remotely. And personal shoppers are well-compensated, earning about $60,000 per year.

Creative small business ideas

Want to start a small business to lean into your creative juices? Maybe you work in a corporate environment and excel sheets have dried up your brain. I’m all for having a creative outlet, and if you can make money off of it, even better. Here are our creative small business ideas.

21. Landscaper

If I had leaned into the plant-mom craze, I might want to be a landscaper, but I hate gardening. However, if you’re the type of person who gets stress relief from gardening, landscaping might be for you.

This can be one of the most satisfying, creative jobs. You’ll have the ability to transform properties into magic gardens—or at least maintain green lawns, flower beds, ponds, and make people happy.

Landscaper pay can be between $10-25/hour, or you can price your services by project.

22. Gift kit creator

Ever receive a box in the mail full of customized snacks, wine, gadgets, and knick-knacks? I’ve been loving the gift boxes I receive now that I’m working fully remote. And you better believe I love working with gift kit creators, who search markets far and wide to curate the perfect batch for their audiences. Gift kit businesses don’t require too much upfront, as you can ask the buyer to pay before purchasing and drop shipping any items.

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23. Travel planner

This is my dream job. Travel planners get perks galore, from discounted hotel rates to inside info about airlines and tour guides. It can be the most creative small business through planning trips in a niche–maybe your specialty is South America or Iceland trips for college kids or seniors! Even better, this business can be run from home…or anywhere in the world.

Travel agents typically get paid between $35,000-$67,000 per year. 

24. Influencer

While some people might not consider being an influencer a creative business, I certainly think the trendsetters of the world would differ. There are plenty of courses to take that will help train you to be an influencer in this brave new world of social media.

Being an influencer comes with a lot of scrutiny and variable pay; this is truly a pick-your-own-adventure type of gig. 

Influencer or not, the fact that influencers exist speaks to the power of social media marketing, so make sure you’re using it for whatever business you start!

25. Thrifting reseller

Thrifting, altering, and upselling vintage goods was the way NastyGal got their start—and has now become somewhat of an online business. If you have an affinity for spotting diamonds in the rough, hit your local goodwill, grab some clothes, make an eBay account, and get selling. You can be your own boss, designer, brand, or whatever you please with this creative small business.

How do you find the best business to start?

The most successful businesses solve a problem for a specific group of people. When you’re looking to start a small business, not a big corporation with investor funding, look for a niche that you, and you alone, are the best person to step into.

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It’s okay if you don’t know what your passion is yet! Don’t put pressure on yourself to figure it all out on day one. These ideas are meant to be just that, ideas. Iterate on them, make them your own, and we can’t wait to help you succeed.

The best small businesses to start [recap]

Here’s the full list of the best small businesses to start that we covered above. But we’re not done yet! Keep scrolling to find out why.

Childcare business
Fitness trainer
Web developer
Executive assistant
Nonprofit Work
Translator
Tutor
Nanny
IT consulting
Hospital janitorial agency
Handyman
Pet care
Proofreading/Quality Assurance
Landscaper
Gift kit creator
Travel planner
Influencer
Thrifting reseller
Notary
Short-term rental manager
Personal Shopper
Event planner
Transcriptionist
Movers 
Antiquities Renovation
Even more great small business ideas

At the end of the day, the best small business for you to start depends on your motivation for starting a business. Is it to work from home? Monetize a hobby? Start a nonprofit? Spice up your life? Here are some more great small business ideas to consider.

At-home small business ideas

Here are some at-home small business ideas for the introverts, the homebodies, or the homebound!want to have to leave your home!

Publicist
Voiceover-er
Grant writing
Photographer
Accountant
Dropshipping store
On-demand printing
Social media manager
Online advertiser
Freelancer (write, code, design, video)
Always-good small business ideas

There are tons more evergreen needs out there to give you small business ideas. Here are just ten:

Home inspector
Snow clearing
Online therapy
Elder care
Senior move manager
Junk removal
Bicycle repair
Credit repair specialist
Career coach
Ecommerce store for sustainable products
Small profitable business ideas

Aside from our five above, ten more of the best small profitable businesses to start are:

Caterer
Auto repair
Food truck
Carwash
Electronics repair
Interior designer
Virtual assistant
Locksmith
Real estate brokerage
Electrician
Easy small business ideas

If you want to run a side gig, here are some easy small business ideas for you:

Resume writer
Pet care
Proofreading/quality assurance
Notary
Short-term rental manager
Personal shopper
Affiliate marketing
Jam seller
Data entry
Menu planning
Creative small business ideas

Art is everywhere! These creative small business ideas afford you endless outlets of expression!

Landscaper
Gift kit creator
Travel planner
Influencer
Thrifting reseller
Photographer
Baker
Professional organizer
Jewelry designer
Homemade natural beauty & cleaning products
Cool small business ideas

Last but not least, here is an eclectic mix of interesting small business ideas to get you intrigued…

Hot air balloon operator
Home staging
Drone trainer
Christmas tree farmer
Online dating consultant
Tour guide
DJ
Herb farming
Mobile anything (pet grooming, hair stylist, bike repair)
Freelance bartender

78 [Not Overused] Holiday & Christmas Instagram Captions—with Templates!

78 [Not Overused] Holiday & Christmas Instagram Captions—with Templates!

How to make your holiday Instagram posts disappear:1. Choose image.2. Insert overused caption (I’m looking at you, “sleigh all day” and “tis the season”).3. Hit publish.

Poof! Your followers won’t even know you posted. 

The Instagram algorithm favors posts that get engagement, and the key to engagement is not just an awesome visual, but also an authentic and interesting caption. So if you want to make your posts shine, read on to find over 78 funny, inspiring, and interesting Instagram captions for:

Christmas
Hanukkah
Kwanzaa
Holiday season
But first, let’s start out with some tips and tricks to come up with captions that stick.

Holiday Instagram caption ideas

Here are some general ideas for coming up with Instagram captions to spruce up your December social media campaigns.

Use a lyric or quote, or put your own twist on it.Who cares if you’ve been bad or good when you have this precious face? [Photographer post] 
Do an online search for funny and creative holiday greeting cards.Whoever said “all is calm” has never been to our [house, office, gym, studio, etc]  around the holidays…

Try alliteration, with a twistChestnuts. Chimneys. Chocolate. Cheer. Chair pose. [Chihuahuas, CHEATERS!, etc. depending on the photo].
Try rhymingYou better not pout, but it’s okay to cry…when you run out of your [your product] supply.
Ask questionsWould you rather have your Spotify stuck on Dreidel, Drediel, Dredel, or Jingle Bells?
Put a holiday twist on something un-holidayStraight. Outta. The North Pole.If at first you don’t succeed…turn to the pros! [picture of your bakery’s Christmas cakes].
Search holiday hashtags and see what Instagram suggests. Or look at top posts for a particular hashtag and use it as your inspo!like start typing #funnyholiday… or “#inspiringhanukkah” 
Get personalWhile this is a very happy holiday season for me, it hasn’t always been that way. To those of you struggling this season, know that there are better years to come!
Share a memoryWhen I was a kid I used to [something funny]. What about you?
Give practical tips or helpful adviceKeep Sparky safe this year! Chocolate, macademia nuts, and salty snack foods can be harmful to your pooch.
Share a stat or factDid you know there are 16 ways to spell Hanukkah?
Side note: Why not go for great Instagram captions year-round? Check out these 80+ Instagram caption ideas and examples for any business.

Christmas Instagram caption templates

Sometimes, all you need for original holiday copywriting is a little prompt or the ol’ fill in the blank.

This holiday season, let us treasure what is truly important in all our lives, the reason for the season: [monkey bread/something funny]
Christmas comes but once a year, but when it comes we [get into gear/tremble with fear/persevere].
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is [an Instagram giveaway! / something funny/inspiring happening in your photo]
We wish you a Merry Christmas and [lots of good beer! / a merrier 
[Describe scene]….yup, that’s about right.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but [these/my/our ___] are so delightful
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but you know what’s really scary?
And since we’ve no place to go [describe what’s happening in the photo/give recommendations]
All I want for Christmas is you(r amazing cookie recipe)
Christmas list when you were a kid: a piggy bank! a sleeping bag! a trampoline!Christmas list now: a mortgage loan. a good mattress. a nap maybe?
“[Insert something relatable],” said no one ever.
Silent night? More like [describe the opposite going on in your picture].
My ideal 12 days of Christmas: [off you go].

Image source

Your Instagram marketing strategy just got a whole lot more fun now, didn’t it?

Funny Christmas Instagram captions

Now I’ll admit, some of this may be slightly used. They’re on the fence but they’re good enough to keep using in your fun and festive holiday marketing.

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases closest.
Apparently, being good for goodness’ sake was not enough motivation.
That warm feeling isn’t the Christmas spirit. I think you left the oven on.
It’s beginning to *cost* a lot like Christmas…
You had me at hoho.
I’ve decided to give everyone my opinion instead of presents this year.
Ho ho ho? Oh no no no.
Christmas has me feeling extra Santamental.
December 25th: the only day I become a morning person.
Gonna go lay under the Christmas tree to remind my family that I’m a gift.
“There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus.” – Bob Phillips
I wonder what would happen if I only jingled half of the way?
The only time of year in which one can sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of socks.

Inspirational Christmas Instagram captions

When in doubt, use a famous quote, a book or movie quote, or a lyric!

“Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.” – Nora Roberts
“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” Ruth Carter Stapleton
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” – The Polar Express
“Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” – Dr. Seuss
“Christmas is forever, not for just one day. For loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away.” Norman Wesley Brooks
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Suess

Hanukkah Instagram captions

Here’s a mix of funny, warm, and inspirational Hanukkah captions and ideas.

May your Hanukkah become brighter, lovelier, and happier each time you light your menorah.
Nes gadol haya sham (A great miracle happened there).
Keep your light shining bright year-round.
Eight nights, eight lights—an eternity of happiness.
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” –Anne Frank
“There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”—Edith Wharton
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”—James Keller
This Hanukkah, I wish for the light of faith, the warmth of home, and the love of family.
“Warmth of joy, the glow of prosperity, the sparkle of happiness”
Eight nights, eight lights—way too many [word rhyming with lights].
Dizzy as a dreidel over here.
I can‘t speak for your Hanukkah, but mine is LIT!
My secret to a happy, stress-free Christmas? I’m Jewish!
It would be a Hanukkah miracle if we could all come to a consensus on how to spell “Hanukkah.”
Let it glow.
Deck the halls with matzo balls.
Light, laughter, and lots of latkes.
“A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.” -Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Kwanzaa Instagram captions

Kwanzaa occurs every year from December 26 to January 1. It’s a celebration of African heritage focused on family, community, and social values. It has a slightly different tone from Christmas and Hanukkah, so these caption ideas are aligned with the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, collective work and responsibility, creativity, purpose, faith.

May the light of Kwanzaa bring a lot of happiness to your life. Happy Kwanzaa!
May the light of your kinara fill your home with peace and light your new year with love.
​​There’s the holiday spirit Kwanzaa is a holiday of the spirit
Unity. Self-determination. Cooperative economics. Collective work and responsibility. Creativity. Purpose. Faith
Umoja. Kujichagulia. Ujima. Ujamaa. Nia. Kuumba. Imani.
A family is like a forest when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place.
“We will never know ourselves if we do not know our history.” -Maulana Karenga
Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
Many hands make light work.
Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the number of things you can accomplish.
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.

More holiday Instagram captions & templates

Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit like…
Sending love and holiday wishes from our bubble to yours.
May all that is meaningful be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.
Hope this holiday season brings you many great memories and reasons to smile.
This year we’re giving a whole new meaning to [tradition/cliche/song lyric].
The modern day version of [something out of a historic or 50’s holiday tradition or song].
Try out these creative holiday & Christmas Instagram captions

Use these holiday Instagram caption ideas, examples, and templates to be a refreshing change in your followers’ feeds this year!

Want more?

The 9 Best Free Google Ads Training Courses for Every Level

The 9 Best Free Google Ads Training Courses for Every Level

Things that are easy to learn: -How to do the moonwalk.-How to win friends and influence people.-How to ride a bike.

Sure, there are techniques, but a bike is a bike. People are people. And the moonwalk doesn’t evolve every month or have machines learning alongside you…

…like, say, Google Ads.

The Google Ads platform (and consumer behavior) is never in a resting state, so beginners and experts alike need training from resources that are recent, relevant, and reliable. Which is why I’m sharing with you the nine best Google ads training and courses available now. For each resource, I provide:

Course format, length, and topics.
Learning level and goals it is best suited for.
Something that makes it different from the rest on this list.
The best Google Ads courses for all levels

It’s hard to find a resource that is useful for advertisers at any level of experience, but these two fit the bill. You will often find this with written courses since they are easier to update than videos.

1. WordStream’s PPC University Google Ads course

Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: all levels of advertisers
Length: varies
Highlight: benchmark data, influencer-written content
I mean, what award-winning resource doesn’t include itself in a resource roundup? WordStream has been a go-to source for online marketing advice for over 12 years and is the home of the Free Google Ads Performance Grader—an account audit and optimization tool that gets run 10,000 times a month!

PPC University is a series of 5-10-minute articles designed to answer both the questions you have and the ones you didn’t even know to ask. The course is divided into three sections:

PPC 101: how Google Ads works, account set up and structure, key metrics, anatomy of an ad.
PPC102: keywords, match types, ad copy, extensions, bidding, ad scheduling, budgeting, and auditing.
Advanced PPC: remarketing, mobile-optimization, lead qualification, dynamic formats.
The articles are written by top PPC influencers and experts, so you won’t just get what you need to advertise on Google, but rather, to stay competitive, save time, and save money in Google Ads. Plus, our benchmark data is an annual favorite.

2. Google’s Performance Max guide and tutorial 

Type: written, interactive content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: any level, especially those using Local and Smart Shopping campaigns
Length: 15 minutes
Highlight: always-updated information, key takeaways, quizzes
If this feels arbitrary, hear me out. Performance Max campaigns have only just become widely available as of November 2021, so there isn’t a whole lot out there on it. And yet, given the ongoing shift to automation—and the fact that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will fold into this campaign type in 2022—learning the ropes is important for any level advertiser.

Google’s Performance Max campaign tutorial shows how to use this automated campaign type to advertise across all of Google’s channels with just one campaign. All you need is a free Skillshop account to get access. Through its interactive content, you’ll learn

How Performance Max campaigns work
How to set them up
Best practices
Tips for post-launch
And I never thought I’d link to a help article in a course roundup, but here we are. Google’s Performance Max Best practices guide is also super solid. This 10-minute guide walks you through setting up your campaign, with tips throughout every step and a video tutorial. Between these two resources, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your performance with Performance Max.

The Best Google Ads training for beginners

The following two training courses are good for dipping your toes into the Google Ads waters. Between the two of them, you’ll get the key information needed to help you understand the basics of not just creating an account but also forming a strategy.

3. LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab

Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: beginners and local businesses considering Google Ads
Length: 25 minutes
Highlight: Google Local Service Ads, holistic strategy tips
If you’re completely new to Google Ads, there are some key concepts you’ll want to grasp before you even start touring the platform—like how Google Ads should fit into your overall marketing plan, how to build a strategy and measure success, and best practices to avoid common mistakes. Local PPC Lab is perfect for this, managing to turn the complexities of Google Ads into a simple (and very visually appealing!) course.

And make no mistake—while it is locally-focused, this course is the perfect fit for beginners and marketers of any business size. You’ll learn:

How Google Ads works and how to form a PPC strategy.
Keywords, match types, budgeting, landing pages, and ad copy.
Google Local Services Ads
Whether and how to choose a PPC partner 
4. Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
Good for: beginners with some familiarity with the platform
Length: 34 minutes
Highlight: Split testing, and see my three points below
Santrel Media’s Complete Google Ads Tutorial comes from co-founder Nate O’Brien. It’s the perfect way to tour the Google Ads platform once you have the prerequisite knowledge from Local PPC Lab. Yes, the course is helpful, but I also emphatically chose it for three reasons:

He doesn’t spend the first 10 minutes telling you how to earn three figures with online advertising.
He’s not so intense that you find yourself either holding your breath or sweating.
He says right off the bat that he used tutorials like this when he was first starting out.

Anyway, in this half-hour training, Nate will walk you through setting up your first ad and get you familiar with the basics of:

Campaign types
Conversion rates
Keyword research
Split testing
The course was created on September 8, 2021, so it’s recent (as of writing this post), and Santrel’s YouTube channel has 326K subscribers, so this is 34 minutes well spent. 

The best beginner to intermediate Google Ads courses

These trainings cover intermediate Google Ads strategies and concepts that don’t require intermediate experience.

5. Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
Good for: beginners and intermediates ready for Google Analytics galore
Length: 4h 40m
Highlight: Display advertising and Google Analytics
Simplilearn’s full Google Ads Course is five hours, but there’s a table of contents with timestamps so you can skip to the sections you want. Plus yo

In addition to walking through the steps to account and campaign setup, the course educates you on key Google Ads concepts to give you a firm footing. There’s also a heavy focus on Google Analytics and Tag Manager—which are essential for running successful campaigns. The training covers:

What Google Ads is and how to create an account.
Google Display vs Search Network and how Display campaigns work.
How Google Analytics and Tag Manger work and how to set up goals and event tracking.
6. Metics Media Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
Good for: beginners looking for a step-by-step training
Length: 1 hour
Highlight: uses a real account, covers keyword match types
The Metics Media Google Ads course was created by Simon Gorges, a full-time airline pilot (!) who has a YouTube channel with over 76,000 subscribers. 

In this training, Simon walks you through running your first campaign, using an actual account so you can see settings that were chosen for particular goals. This is a great way to learn the basics but with context. Here’s the docket:

How Google Ads work
Account and campaign setup
Account structure
Bidding
Ad extensions
Ad groups
Keyword match types, negative keywords, Keyword Planner
There’s also a short segment at the end on optimization. Note that this course was created at the start of 2021, before our beloved modified broad match was dissolved into phrase match.

P.S: Look out for our Google Ads auction visual in his tutorial!

The best intermediate Google Ads training

If the beginner courses feel too slow for you but you’re not looking to get cocky, this Google Ads training is the right fit. It is called a beginner course, but it covers some advanced topics in a beginner-friendly way.

7. Jason Whaling’s all-in-one Google Ads course

Type: YouTube video—screenshare and talking face
Good for: service-based businesses on a budget
Length: 1h
Highlight: keyword intent, remarketing, ad messaging
Jason Whaling’s Google Ads training course is designed to take you from beginner to advanced in one hour. He educates you on the conceptual level while at the same time moving through tactical steps. You’ll learn how to run a successful campaign for just $5 a day, as well as how to incorporate keyword intent into your targeting strategy.

The agenda is as follows:

Google Ads networks and search partners
How to structure your account
How to set up your campaign
Keyword intent and targeting
Offers and messaging
Experimentation and bid optimization
Google Tag Manager
Remarketing campaigns
If you’re an eager beaver who also happens to be fascinated by Google Ads, you’ll be right at home here.

The best intermediate to advanced Google Ads training

If you DO want to get into the weeds of Google Ads but DO NOT want to get overwhelmed, these last two Google Ads courses are your destination.

8. Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare and talking face
Good for: intermediates with a conversion-optimized website
Length: 13 minutes
Highlight: the headache of conversion tracking made simple
Paid Media Pros is a YouTube-based learning hub run by PPC influencers (and WordStream PPCU authors!) Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan. These two are the quintessential approachable experts, with authoritative but friendly advice and easy explanations.

The training shows you how to track conversions without having to import them from Google Analytics, by using the Google Ads Conversion Tracking Tag. You’ll learn three ways to set it up, with a particular focus on the Google Tag Manager (easiest) method. Here’s what to expect:

Conversions Manager overview
Website-based conversions
Conversion action categories
Manual Conversion Tracking Tag installation
Google Tag Manager
Tracking status column options
And keep an eye out for their bloopers video, it’s a treat.

9. Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bid strategies walk-through

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
Good for: advertisers looking to optimize budget
Length: 20 minutes
Highlight: bidding strategies!
Surfside PPC is a PPC-specific training company that teaches marketers and business owners how to promote their business online.  In Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bidding strategies tutorial, you’ll get a much-needed no-nonsense training on Google Ads bidding strategies, including:

All of the bidding strategies for Search, Display, and Video
Automatic vs manual
Which bidding strategies to use for which goals
Portfolio bidding strategies
How to set and change your bid strategy

Choosing the right bidding strategy can be a headache, but losing money by choosing the wrong strategy is an even bigger one. So take 20 minutes and set yourself up for ongoing performance.

Learn from the best with these Google Ads training courses [wrap up]

Whether you’re looking for a Google Ads crash course to get the quick and dirty, Google Ads tutorials to get the step-by-step setup, or advanced strategies to save time and money, there’s something in here for everyone. Let’s finish off with the complete list.

WordStream’s PPC University
Google Ads’ Performance Max campaign training
LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab
Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course
Metics Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
Jason Whaling’s Google Ads course
Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial
Surfside PPC’s bidding strategies walk-through
Got any good recommendations for the list? Let me know in the comments!

The Hottest Franchise Categories of 2022

Every December, we at Entrepreneur put on our prognosticators’ hats and try to forecast which types of franchises will do best in the year ahead. We look at growth—both in the number of franchise units and in the number of new franchisors in a category—and consider what trends are evident both within and without the franchise world. To an extent, we also listen to the instincts we’ve honed over years of ranking and writing about franchises.Naturally, most of the categories we chose this year grew in reaction to new, pandemic-fueled needs. Industries like cleaning and restoration, health and wellness, and senior care are among them. But in 2022, we expect a lot of franchise growth to be driven by the need—or at least the desire—to get back to some semblance of “normal.” That’s why we’ve also chosen categories like children’s education and enrichment (as kids head back to school), salon and spa services (as people return to in-person selfcare), and staffing and recruiting (as businesses continue to grow).You’ll find hundreds of franchises representing these and our other choices for trending categories (linked below). Remember, though, that inclusion on this list is not intended as a recommendation of any particular franchise. Not every company within a strong category is also a strong franchise, so it’s important that you do your own research to find out whether an opportunity is a wise investment for you. Read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and talk to current and former franchisees before you decide.ChickenChildren’s Education/Enrichment Cleaning/Restoration Fruit Health & Wellness Home Improvement Pets Salon & Spa Services Senior Care Staffing/Recruiting

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

You know the opening scene in the Lion King where Rafiki, in firm warrior I pose, presents Simba to the kingdom?The best time to post on Instagram is sort of like that. Except every marketing blog thinks it’s Rafiki. And Simba [aka the data] is like “I’m not so sure about this…”

So when is the best time to post on Instagram? There are approximately 39587 answers to this across the web. So who is right, who is wrong, and who just copied and pasted someone else’s data? Read on to find out:

The best time to post on Instagram, according to seven different sources.
Breakdowns by day, week, industry, time zone, and post type.
Tips and considerations when identifying your best time.
Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Asking when the best time is to post on Instagram is like asking how much Google Ads cost. There are too many factors to give a definitive answer and it’s a moving target. It all depends on:

Day of the week (and even month of the year and trends of the year).
Lifestyle and preferences of your followers.
The goal of your post.
The type of post (regular post, Story, Reel, IGTV, Live).
The thousands of signals used by the Insta algo.
So the answer is yes, but that it’s different for every account. Even still, benchmark data can give you a solid starting point, and after slogging through the jungle of posts out there on this question, I came out with two core sources with up-to-date data: Later and Sprout Social. And make no mistake—each of these resources emphasizes the importance of identifying your own best time (we’ll get to that later).

Of course, this chart is the gazillion foot view, because we’ve got best times to post by day of the week, region of the US, vertical, and more. So put your helmet on to contain the blast that is your brain exploding.

The best time to post on Instagram, according to…

This post includes conclusions drawn by Later, Sprout Social, ExpertVoice, Hootsuite, Planoly, Statusbrew, and Influencer Marketing Hub. I was surprised to find that Hootsuite, Buffer, and Coschedule did not have benchmark data on this.

Later

Later’s report from August 2021 is based on a study of 35M posts, excluding Reels and IGTV.

Best time of day: 3am-6am
Best day: Sunday
Best day and time: Sunday 6am
Worst day: Weds and Thurs
When I first saw these times, I thought it was a mistake. They’re super early! What’s the deal?

Image source

Later says that for most businesses their Instagram marketing strategy is to post when their audiences are most active (9am-1pm), but this is when competition is highest. So if you post prior to that, you are likely to get more engagement, which will lead the algorithm to favor your post and give you a headstart in ranking. In addition, you make it more likely that you’ll show up in your followers’ Feeds on their first scroll of the day.

Here is Later’s day-by-day breakdown:  

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
5:00 AM
1am, 3-6am, 7pm
Tuesday
6:00 AM
3am, 5-6am, 10pm
Wednesday
6:00 AM
3-6am
Thursday
5:00 AM
2am, 4-6am
Friday
6:00 AM
2-6am
Saturday
6:00 AM
1am, 3am, 6am, 11pm
Sunday
6:00 AM
2am, 6-7am, 10pm
SproutSocial

Sprout Social’s best times to post on Instagram come from a study on over 20,000 of its users’ accounts. Its findings are opposite Later’s, as it takes the traditional approach of posting while engagement is high.

Best time of day: 11am-12pm
Best day: Tuesday
Best day & time: Tues 11am-2pm
Worst day: Sunday

Image source

It’s interesting to see that engagement in the evening starts to trail off earlier and earlier as we go from Monday to Sunday and that engagement starts earliest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Here’s Sprout Social’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-3pm
Tuesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 3-4pm
Wednesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-4pm
Thursday
11am
10am; 12-3pm
Friday
11am – 12pm
9-11am; 1-2pm
Saturday
10am – 1pm
8-10am; 1-4pm
Sunday
9am – 4pm
8am; 4 – 6pm
 
 
 
ExpertVoice

ExpertVoice provides slightly different times but are more closely aligned with Later’s data. It doesn’t cite a source, other than an image sourced from “Latergramme,” which became Later back in 2016, so I’m not sure how accurate this information is. 

Best time of day: 9am-5pm
Best day: Wednesday
Best day & time: Weds 5am, 11am, 3pm
Worst day: Monday
Day
Best time to post on Instagram
Monday
11am – 5pm
Tuesday
5am; 9am; 6pm
Wednesday
5am; 11am; 3pm
Thursday
5am; 11am; 3-4pm
Friday
5am; 9am; 4pm
Saturday
11am
Sunday
10am – 2pm
Hootsuite

Hootsuite doesn’t have any recent information based on data studies, but it says that overall, the best time to post on Instagram is 11am on Wednesday. It takes the same approach as Sprout Social—to post when engagement is highest. It also shares the times that work best for its own Instagram audience: 8am-12pm and 4pm-5pm—which translates to wake up and lunchtime on the west coast, and the start of and end of the workday on the east coast. 

Best time to post on Instagram by vertical

Sprout Social also shares the best times to post on Instagram for eight different verticals:

Vertical
Best time
Second best time
Best day
Worst day
Healthcare
Sunday8-9am
Tuesday8am-12pm5-8pm 
Mon & Tues
Saturday
Media
Tuesday1-5pm
Wednesday 11amThurs 8-9am
Tues, Weds, Thurs 
Sun
Education
Friday4-5am
Thursday 2pm
Friday
Sunday
Nonprofit
Wednesday10am-6pm
 
Weds
Sunday
Restaurants
Monday9am-1pm
 
Monday
Saturday
Tech
Monday10-11am2-5pm; 8pm
Tues 10am-1pmThursday 12pmFriday 11am
Monday
Sunday
Travel & toursm
Thursday7am
Monday 11am-3pm
Thursday
Sat, Sun
Hospitality
Weds12pm
Thurs 3-4pm;Friday 8am-12pm
Friday
 
The variation among industries in this chart alone, and its differences with respect to the overall data shows you that the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business really is something you have to find out for yourself.

Best time to post on Instagram by time zone

Using data from its app users, including likes, comments, saves, and followers, Planoly came up with ideal times to post to Instagram based on time zone. The implication here is that lifestyles vary geographically. I believe it! Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the answer to this question even more complicated…

Image source 

Planoly’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
PST
MST/CST
EST
Monday
8pm
4pm; 7pm
8am; 2pm
Tuesday
6pm
9am; 6pm

11am

Wednesday

9pm

4pm
3pm; 9pm
Thursday
6-7am
10am
4pm; 11pm
Friday
8am; 3pm
6am
1pm; 5pm
Saturday
4pm
3am; 6am
12pm
Sunday
5am
4pm; 5pm
12pm; 2pm
The best time to post to IGTV & Live

Statusbrew had numbers on the best time to post to Instagram, but it just repurposed SproutSocial’s data and at times inaccurately. It does, however, share best times to post to IGTV and Instagram Live—for what it’s worth.

Day
Best time to post to IGTV
Monday
8pm – 10pm
Tuesday
8pm – 10pm
Wednesday
8pm
Thursday
8pm – 10pm
Friday

4am; 12pm; 2pm

Saturday
10am; 6pm; 7pm
Sunday
6am; 7am; 3pm
 
 
The best time to run an Instagram Live is Monday-Friday, 12pm or 7-9pm. Check out our tips on how to run an incredible Instagram Live session.

The best time to post on Instagram Reels

Influencer Marketing Hub provides the best time to post Reels based on a study of over 100,000 global Instagram post and engagement rates.

Image source

Here’s Influencer Marketing Hub’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time to Post to Reels
Monday
6:00am, 10:00am, 10:00pm
Tuesday
2:00am, 4:00am, 9:00am
Wednesday
7:00am, 8:00am, 11:00pm
Thursday
9:00am, 12:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday

4:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Saturday
10:00am, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday
6:00am, 7:00am, 3:00pm
 
 
How to identify the best time to post on Instagram for your business

Chances are, you’re looking to find the answer to this question because you are looking to get the most engagement from your posts. So in this section I’ll provide some tips on how to identify ideal posting times for your account as well as how to improve engagement with your posts.

1. Use Instagram Insights

So maybe you want to target lunchtime for your audience. But lunchtime where? In California? Boston? Instagram’s native analytics platform (Insights) can help you with this, since it shows you:

Top locations
Age range
Most active times
Gender
With this information, you can see in which time zone your audience is most active and post accordingly (Planoly’s data would be useful here). Age range may also help in ballparking wake-up, idle, and bed times. 

Image source

Insights are only available for business accounts. Learn how to set one up here.

2. Think through your personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers as human beings—their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and more. This is essential for identifying the best times to post on Instagram. For example, maybe lunchtime isn’t the best time to post for your audience if they’re more likely to eat with others or work out on their lunch break. And evening is probably not best for parents who are busy with putting their kids to bed. More questions to consider:

Why do they go on Instagram?
How much time do they spend on Instagram?
Who else do they follow?
Do they follow 100 accounts? 1000?
When are they likely to actually engage with posts vs just scroll through
How many times a day do they check Instagram? 
This information can help you to identify the best content to publish and when.

3. Use a third-party tool

There are a number of social media management platforms out there that offer more analytics than Insights, and even allow you to schedule your Instagram posts. These include Later, Buffer, HubSpot, SproutSocial, Autogrammer, Schedugram, and Tailwind. Some even have a feature that suggests posting times, like Hootsuite:

Image source

4. Know the algorithm

On June 8, 2021, Instagram published an update explaining its algorithm works. It gathers together all of the recent posts shared by the people that person follows and then ranks them according to thousands of signals, including:

Your post: content, location, video length, likes, interest metrics.
You: who is engaging with you and how.
Their preferences and behaviors.
Their past interactions with you.
So if you want to show up in the Instagram Feed, recency pales in comparison to engagement. The post says “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo.”

Which leads to the next suggestion.

5. Go for engagement

Clearly, we can see that it’s not about posting at the best time, but about creating the best posts. This increases your engagement signal strength over time which wins you algorithmic favor. Here are some ways to optimize for those five interactions mentioned above:

To get them to:

Spend a few seconds on the post: Draw them in with a compelling visual, get them reading with a great caption, and keep them engaged with a carousel or video.
Comment on it: Ask questions, like would you rather/what would you do, here’s mine/what’s yours, what’s your take, fill in the blank, caption this photo, and more.
Like it: Make the post useful, emotional, unique, visually appealing, and in line with your core values.
Save it: Share useful information, like tips, tutorials, and ideas they’ll want to refer back to.
Tap your profile pic: Use the ol’ link in bio, and make it a nice pic!
Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, then optimize by posting at the right time. Posting the right content at the “wrong” time is much better than posting the wrong content at the exact right time. For more Instagram marketing tips and (lots more awesome) post ideas, head to Local Social Media Lab—it’s a gold mine!

Some final tips

And the best time to post on Instagram is…. 

When you have attractive, useful, emotionally engaging content that aligns with your audience’s goals, pain points, lifestyle, and values!

Just kidding…kind of.

Only you can find out the best time to post on Instagram for your account specifically, but I think the more important question to ask yourself first is: How important is it to know? If Instagram is a small part of your social media marketing strategy and you’re mainly just using it for brand awareness, you can probably just go with the traditional ballpark ranges (late morning, early afternoon) for your posts. If you rely heavily on social media to meet your marketing goals, you may want to try out Later’s approach of early posting, and get into the research, testing, and tools. 

But the most important question to answer is: What are the best posts I can create for my followers? I know that’s not simple. But luckily the information and other posts linked to in this post will equip you to find this out and execute.

That’s all I got—if you know of any recent studies I missed, let me know in the comments!

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

You know the opening scene in the Lion King where Rafiki, in firm warrior I pose, presents Simba to the kingdom?The best time to post on Instagram is sort of like that. Except every marketing blog thinks it’s Rafiki. And Simba [aka the data] is like “I’m not so sure about this…”

So when is the best time to post on Instagram? There are approximately 39587 answers to this across the web. So who is right, who is wrong, and who just copied and pasted someone else’s data? Read on to find out:

The best time to post on Instagram, according to seven different sources.
Breakdowns by day, week, industry, time zone, and post type.
Tips and considerations when identifying your best time.
Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Asking when the best time is to post on Instagram is like asking how much Google Ads cost. There are too many factors to give a definitive answer and it’s a moving target. It all depends on:

Day of the week (and even month of the year and trends of the year).
Lifestyle and preferences of your followers.
The goal of your post.
The type of post (regular post, Story, Reel, IGTV, Live).
The thousands of signals used by the Insta algo.
So the answer is yes, but that it’s different for every account. Even still, benchmark data can give you a solid starting point, and after slogging through the jungle of posts out there on this question, I came out with two core sources with up-to-date data: Later and Sprout Social. And make no mistake—each of these resources emphasizes the importance of identifying your own best time (we’ll get to that later).

Of course, this chart is the gazillion foot view, because we’ve got best times to post by day of the week, region of the US, vertical, and more. So put your helmet on to contain the blast that is your brain exploding.

The best time to post on Instagram, according to…

This post includes conclusions drawn by Later, Sprout Social, ExpertVoice, Hootsuite, Planoly, Statusbrew, and Influencer Marketing Hub. I was surprised to find that Hootsuite, Buffer, and Coschedule did not have benchmark data on this.

Later

Later’s report from August 2021 is based on a study of 35M posts, excluding Reels and IGTV.

Best time of day: 3am-6am
Best day: Sunday
Best day and time: Sunday 6am
Worst day: Weds and Thurs
When I first saw these times, I thought it was a mistake. They’re super early! What’s the deal?

Image source

Later says that for most businesses their Instagram marketing strategy is to post when their audiences are most active (9am-1pm), but this is when competition is highest. So if you post prior to that, you are likely to get more engagement, which will lead the algorithm to favor your post and give you a headstart in ranking. In addition, you make it more likely that you’ll show up in your followers’ Feeds on their first scroll of the day.

Here is Later’s day-by-day breakdown:  

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
5:00 AM
1am, 3-6am, 7pm
Tuesday
6:00 AM
3am, 5-6am, 10pm
Wednesday
6:00 AM
3-6am
Thursday
5:00 AM
2am, 4-6am
Friday
6:00 AM
2-6am
Saturday
6:00 AM
1am, 3am, 6am, 11pm
Sunday
6:00 AM
2am, 6-7am, 10pm
SproutSocial

Sprout Social’s best times to post on Instagram come from a study on over 20,000 of its users’ accounts. Its findings are opposite Later’s, as it takes the traditional approach of posting while engagement is high.

Best time of day: 11am-12pm
Best day: Tuesday
Best day & time: Tues 11am-2pm
Worst day: Sunday

Image source

It’s interesting to see that engagement in the evening starts to trail off earlier and earlier as we go from Monday to Sunday and that engagement starts earliest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Here’s Sprout Social’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-3pm
Tuesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 3-4pm
Wednesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-4pm
Thursday
11am
10am; 12-3pm
Friday
11am – 12pm
9-11am; 1-2pm
Saturday
10am – 1pm
8-10am; 1-4pm
Sunday
9am – 4pm
8am; 4 – 6pm
 
 
 
ExpertVoice

ExpertVoice provides slightly different times but are more closely aligned with Later’s data. It doesn’t cite a source, other than an image sourced from “Latergramme,” which became Later back in 2016, so I’m not sure how accurate this information is. 

Best time of day: 9am-5pm
Best day: Wednesday
Best day & time: Weds 5am, 11am, 3pm
Worst day: Monday
Day
Best time to post on Instagram
Monday
11am – 5pm
Tuesday
5am; 9am; 6pm
Wednesday
5am; 11am; 3pm
Thursday
5am; 11am; 3-4pm
Friday
5am; 9am; 4pm
Saturday
11am
Sunday
10am – 2pm
Hootsuite

Hootsuite doesn’t have any recent information based on data studies, but it says that overall, the best time to post on Instagram is 11am on Wednesday. It takes the same approach as Sprout Social—to post when engagement is highest. It also shares the times that work best for its own Instagram audience: 8am-12pm and 4pm-5pm—which translates to wake up and lunchtime on the west coast, and the start of and end of the workday on the east coast. 

Best time to post on Instagram by vertical

Sprout Social also shares the best times to post on Instagram for eight different verticals:

Vertical
Best time
Second best time
Best day
Worst day
Healthcare
Sunday8-9am
Tuesday8am-12pm5-8pm 
Mon & Tues
Saturday
Media
Tuesday1-5pm
Wednesday 11amThurs 8-9am
Tues, Weds, Thurs 
Sun
Education
Friday4-5am
Thursday 2pm
Friday
Sunday
Nonprofit
Wednesday10am-6pm
 
Weds
Sunday
Restaurants
Monday9am-1pm
 
Monday
Saturday
Tech
Monday10-11am2-5pm; 8pm
Tues 10am-1pmThursday 12pmFriday 11am
Monday
Sunday
Travel & toursm
Thursday7am
Monday 11am-3pm
Thursday
Sat, Sun
Hospitality
Weds12pm
Thurs 3-4pm;Friday 8am-12pm
Friday
 
The variation among industries in this chart alone, and its differences with respect to the overall data shows you that the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business really is something you have to find out for yourself.

Best time to post on Instagram by time zone

Using data from its app users, including likes, comments, saves, and followers, Planoly came up with ideal times to post to Instagram based on time zone. The implication here is that lifestyles vary geographically. I believe it! Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the answer to this question even more complicated…

Image source 

Planoly’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
PST
MST/CST
EST
Monday
8pm
4pm; 7pm
8am; 2pm
Tuesday
6pm
9am; 6pm

11am

Wednesday

9pm

4pm
3pm; 9pm
Thursday
6-7am
10am
4pm; 11pm
Friday
8am; 3pm
6am
1pm; 5pm
Saturday
4pm
3am; 6am
12pm
Sunday
5am
4pm; 5pm
12pm; 2pm
The best time to post to IGTV & Live

Statusbrew had numbers on the best time to post to Instagram, but it just repurposed SproutSocial’s data and at times inaccurately. It does, however, share best times to post to IGTV and Instagram Live—for what it’s worth.

Day
Best time to post to IGTV
Monday
8pm – 10pm
Tuesday
8pm – 10pm
Wednesday
8pm
Thursday
8pm – 10pm
Friday

4am; 12pm; 2pm

Saturday
10am; 6pm; 7pm
Sunday
6am; 7am; 3pm
 
 
The best time to run an Instagram Live is Monday-Friday, 12pm or 7-9pm. Check out our tips on how to run an incredible Instagram Live session.

The best time to post on Instagram Reels

Influencer Marketing Hub provides the best time to post Reels based on a study of over 100,000 global Instagram post and engagement rates.

Image source

Here’s Influencer Marketing Hub’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time to Post to Reels
Monday
6:00am, 10:00am, 10:00pm
Tuesday
2:00am, 4:00am, 9:00am
Wednesday
7:00am, 8:00am, 11:00pm
Thursday
9:00am, 12:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday

4:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Saturday
10:00am, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday
6:00am, 7:00am, 3:00pm
 
 
How to identify the best time to post on Instagram for your business

Chances are, you’re looking to find the answer to this question because you are looking to get the most engagement from your posts. So in this section I’ll provide some tips on how to identify ideal posting times for your account as well as how to improve engagement with your posts.

1. Use Instagram Insights

So maybe you want to target lunchtime for your audience. But lunchtime where? In California? Boston? Instagram’s native analytics platform (Insights) can help you with this, since it shows you:

Top locations
Age range
Most active times
Gender
With this information, you can see in which time zone your audience is most active and post accordingly (Planoly’s data would be useful here). Age range may also help in ballparking wake-up, idle, and bed times. 

Image source

Insights are only available for business accounts. Learn how to set one up here.

2. Think through your personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers as human beings—their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and more. This is essential for identifying the best times to post on Instagram. For example, maybe lunchtime isn’t the best time to post for your audience if they’re more likely to eat with others or work out on their lunch break. And evening is probably not best for parents who are busy with putting their kids to bed. More questions to consider:

Why do they go on Instagram?
How much time do they spend on Instagram?
Who else do they follow?
Do they follow 100 accounts? 1000?
When are they likely to actually engage with posts vs just scroll through
How many times a day do they check Instagram? 
This information can help you to identify the best content to publish and when.

3. Use a third-party tool

There are a number of social media management platforms out there that offer more analytics than Insights, and even allow you to schedule your Instagram posts. These include Later, Buffer, HubSpot, SproutSocial, Autogrammer, Schedugram, and Tailwind. Some even have a feature that suggests posting times, like Hootsuite:

Image source

4. Know the algorithm

On June 8, 2021, Instagram published an update explaining its algorithm works. It gathers together all of the recent posts shared by the people that person follows and then ranks them according to thousands of signals, including:

Your post: content, location, video length, likes, interest metrics.
You: who is engaging with you and how.
Their preferences and behaviors.
Their past interactions with you.
So if you want to show up in the Instagram Feed, recency pales in comparison to engagement. The post says “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo.”

Which leads to the next suggestion.

5. Go for engagement

Clearly, we can see that it’s not about posting at the best time, but about creating the best posts. This increases your engagement signal strength over time which wins you algorithmic favor. Here are some ways to optimize for those five interactions mentioned above:

To get them to:

Spend a few seconds on the post: Draw them in with a compelling visual, get them reading with a great caption, and keep them engaged with a carousel or video.
Comment on it: Ask questions, like would you rather/what would you do, here’s mine/what’s yours, what’s your take, fill in the blank, caption this photo, and more.
Like it: Make the post useful, emotional, unique, visually appealing, and in line with your core values.
Save it: Share useful information, like tips, tutorials, and ideas they’ll want to refer back to.
Tap your profile pic: Use the ol’ link in bio, and make it a nice pic!
Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, then optimize by posting at the right time. Posting the right content at the “wrong” time is much better than posting the wrong content at the exact right time. For more Instagram marketing tips and (lots more awesome) post ideas, head to Local Social Media Lab—it’s a gold mine!

Some final tips

And the best time to post on Instagram is…. 

When you have attractive, useful, emotionally engaging content that aligns with your audience’s goals, pain points, lifestyle, and values!

Just kidding…kind of.

Only you can find out the best time to post on Instagram for your account specifically, but I think the more important question to ask yourself first is: How important is it to know? If Instagram is a small part of your social media marketing strategy and you’re mainly just using it for brand awareness, you can probably just go with the traditional ballpark ranges (late morning, early afternoon) for your posts. If you rely heavily on social media to meet your marketing goals, you may want to try out Later’s approach of early posting, and get into the research, testing, and tools. 

But the most important question to answer is: What are the best posts I can create for my followers? I know that’s not simple. But luckily the information and other posts linked to in this post will equip you to find this out and execute.

That’s all I got—if you know of any recent studies I missed, let me know in the comments!

Here's Why We Need To Humanize Content Now

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Humans have a profound relationship with stories. Some stories have lasted millennia — ancient myths and archetypes repackaged as the latest superhero movie or best-selling book. Stories can help humans connect and learn in a way that no other medium can. Yet, now, we find ourselves at a digital roadblock. A constant need for content has diluted the art of storytelling. To help us reconnect with our audiences, we need to humanize our content through more personal stories. Today, and even here in this magazine, we see titles such as “5 Ways To Feel Optimistic at Work.” While these are fine and can offer valuable insights, if you want to write something memorable and worth reading, parallel your own story with the tips. The reader will have a totally different emotional experience.Reclaiming the art of storytellingLife is made up of human experiences. Anyone can write a generic list of “do’s and don’ts” on any topic, from medicine to executive leadership. However, the typical reader’s eyes start glazing over when they read a wall of unrelatable text telling them what they should do, think, or understand. Unfortunately, too much content online focuses on a detached, impartial knowledge dump.Instead, it’s time to delve into the roots of this knowledge. Writers aren’t robots. Behind their ideas, philosophies, or leadership methodologies are stories. Humanizing content means tapping into these stories and using them to build a relationship with the reader. People have an innate desire to relate to others, but that isn’t cultivated by chance. It’s good storytelling that boosts relatability in a piece of writing. Related: The Future Storyteller of Our World Is YouThe power of anecdotesBy way of example, eight years ago, I was at the London Institute of Marketing with a generic PowerPoint presentation on marketing. I was scheduled for 30 minutes of speaking, and about five minutes into my slideshow, I could feel that I wasn’t connecting with the audience. They didn’t give me anything except the most polite, apathetic attention. It was like they were telling me with their silence, “OK, thank you for telling us what to do.”I was, after all, telling a roomful of marketing experts how to do their job and what developments there had been in marketing. Fortunately, I realized my mistake fairly early on, and I promptly ditched the slideshow. I stopped running through a list of bullet points on how to market. Instead, I proved these rules through my own story.The painful early lessons I learned, the long hours and grueling work that went into building a client base and a marketing agency from the ground up – all these experiences went into my story, and I felt the atmosphere in the room change. Suddenly, the audience woke up and saw how humanized content could create a deep and lasting bond with the viewer. I achieved maximum audience captivation by telling them the story of how one particular client had deeply impacted me by telling me their personal story. It was a client who had built a medical R&D company after a family member had died of a rare form of cancer. This story humanized this client for me, and I knew they were motivated by something much more profound than profits. We could completely rebuild this company’s branding strategy, focusing on the human-family element rather than the business element. Suddenly, even a large, cold medical corporation could feel like a close family friend.Related: Democratized News is the Future of Keeping Up With the TimesPost-epiphany reflectionsAfter turning my 30-minute presentation around and feeling a genuine connection with my audience, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. As I lay awake in bed that night, I remembered the times I had spoken with clients. When they had taken the time to share a personal story about their journey, I had instantly felt a boost in empathy and love for that person. I caught a glimpse into their inner workings, and it was fascinating. Compelling stories can take a bland, generic talk and transform it into a powerful way to teach a lesson. It just so happens that you’re able to build a powerful bond with the listener along the way. Related: 8 Tips That Will Help Your Storytelling DeliverIt might seem obvious as we talk about it, but humanized content is becoming less and less common in the digital world. Too many leadership articles are impersonal lectures. Instead, there’s a more effective way to pass on knowledge to the reader, and that’s through humanization.Let’s get out there and bring our story to the world.