Category: SLP FUN!!

5 Apps To Up Your SLP Instagram!

I upped my Instagram game in January as a new year’s goal (I don’t do resolutions) to make my business better in 2018. Not many consider speech therapy as business you would see on Instagram. But I have discovered you can find just about anything on Instagram. Between the bloggers, TpT stores and private practices, there are tons of SLP accounts! I used the entire month of January to research hashtags, comment/caption tactics, branding, etc. (You can see that blog post here!) Along the way, I have found some ‘Gram apps that have made my life a little easier. So, I figured I would share them with you today. I am going to assume you have Instagram already. So, these are great to use with the app.

Apps for Your SLP IG Account

Snapseed: This is great photo editing app. Yes, you could just use the filters in IG. But this one allows you to crop, rotate, blur the background, and lots of other photo editing tools. I hate it when I take a photo only to have my iPhone rotate the picture in my photos! This app allows me to turn it to the angle I need easily.

Boomerang: You don’t “need” this app but it sure is fun! Take a short burst of video and it plays it on repetition. I will use this one to show a quick burst of a new TpT product or add a blog post tease to my feed. The point is it’s a fun app!

Follower+: Want to know who just started following you? Or do you want to know who unfollowed you?? This app tells you that! I started using the free version of this app a few weeks ago. Test runs on new apps is a good way to tell if the app is worth buying in my opinion. I ended up liking it, so I have the full paid version now. In my research, I have found a common growth practice is a “follow/unfollow” method. NOT A FAN OF! That means someone will follow you. Once you start following them, they go back and unfollow you. I had no idea this was a “thing” until now. I started seeing my numbers fluctuate and could not understand why. Then I discovered why with the help of this app.

Planoly: I am loving this app! It allows me to schedule all my posts, see how they look in my feed and reminds me to post. Planoly also gives me stats about my account and allows me to see the top 5 posts for the week. Just this week, they released a change that allows you to auto post. At the time of this blog, I have not set my account to auto post just yet. I will be working on that this weekend.

Repost it!: This is an older app that I used a couple of years ago. It was on my IPad but not my new phone. It is great for allowing you to repost someone else’s post onto your account. I use the free version (when I use it) but a lot of times I just screen shot or add a link to the material I am reposting. Maybe I will get back to using it this month or maybe not.

These are my top apps to go along with your Instagram account. If you haven’t already, you may want to switch to a business account. With a business account, you can get analytics about your posts, when’s the best time to post, what demographic is your best, and how far are you reaching.

I would love to “meet” you on Instagram. Feel free to comment with your account so we can be buddies!

This SLP Eats: {Vegan} Lasagna Soup

Last month, I brought you my favorite chicken enchilada recipe. Today, I am switching gears for this month’s SLP eats. This past fall, my husband decided a vegan diet was the best bet for his health. My kids and I did not immediately jump on the bandwagon. Let’s face it…if forced to live on bread and cheese, I could do it! I love my REAL cheese way too much! However, we did give a try during Christmas break with a few dinner recipes. It wasn’t too bad (but still added my real cheese!) and I did notice that I lost a few extra pounds. I wasn’t trying to lose weight but when you cut out the food I live on as a traveling SLP (aka fast food), it happened. So here is one of our new favorite recipes that is very healthy unless you add the real mozzarella cheese!!!

SLP MOM APPROVED LASAGNA SOUP

Let me start by saying this soup is DELICIOUS! I make it just as it is written in this blog post, BUT I cook it in my pressure cooker.   I found the sweet spot for this one is 8 minutes on high pressure. Some posts recommend 5-6 minutes but that is for a regular soup. The lentils do not cook thoroughly at 5-6 minutes.

This soup hits the spot, especially on a freezing day of therapy visits. The kids and I add some mozzarella cheese (which makes it not vegan!) and some garlic bread. My favorite part is walking into my kitchen and smelling the basil and oregano cooking…yum!

So, what’s for dinner at your house?

The SLP and Instagram: What I Learned

I took the month of January to really focus on ways to make my Instagram better. Unfortunately, there are no social media marketing classes in graduate school for the SLP. (Wouldn’t that be awesome though?!) When I started Speech Chick Therapy’s Instagram several years ago, I did absolutely no research. I did not really think about it. You just post pictures of your therapy stuff and like/comment on others’ stuff, right? WRONG!! There’s SO MUCH more to it! So, here’s what I learned.

Planning SLP Content for Instagram

I never thought about planning my Instagram content. After spending a month researching, I learned how important it is to plan your content, even for the SLP. There have been many days in the past when I posted something just to post. Now, I have a weekly and monthly calendar that has every post planned out. I no longer have to find something to post or worry about posting something irrelevant to my feed. I bought a large wall calendar that holds all of my social media content. I also made a weekly sheet of IG posts, blog posts, newsletter content, and TpT content. The weekly sheet is easily transported during the week. During a cancellation, I can easily see what I need to have ready for the next day or two. Planoly is an app I started using and I love it! I had used Hootsuite in the past but had gotten away from it. Planoly allows me to schedule all my posts, input the hashtags I need and see how it will look in my feed. It also gives analytics that I am still learning how to use to my advantage. One of the positives I like is that I can categorize my hashtags so that I can use the ones I need according to the picture. If I post a picture of therapy materials, I can use my “therapy” hashtags.

Consistency

The next thing I learned during my “focus research” was consistency is SUPER important! Posting regularly is a major component to growing your Instagram following. People seeing your “stuff” on a regular basis allows them to become familiar with you and your business-whether it’s a private practice or a TpT store/blog. If you only post every once in a while, your followers do not get to know you or your business. They aren’t as likely to continue to follow you either since they have not connected with you. I have made it a goal to post 2x a day, even on the weekends. Yes, WEEKENDS! This is where Planoly (or any scheduling app) comes in handy!

Consistency applies to how your photo looks, not just how often you post. Using the same filter, brand colors, and overall “feel” of the picture is important to maintaining consistency. These are areas I NEVER considered before.

Be a Social Butterfly

You can post the most beautiful pictures consistently but if you don’t engage, it does not matter! This is where I tend to need some work. I get busy during my day. Then I do not take the time to respond to comments on my material or comment on others. My goal for the month of February to continue to respond and socialize more. The plan is to take a few minutes at lunch and carve out a little time at night to do this. With the new algorithm on Instagram, I learned that you should respond to a comment quickly to improve your visibility. The ideal time of response is 60 minutes.

Hashtags and Stories

Both of these are big players in getting noticed on Instagram. I have not been big in IG stories but I am trying to improve there. Stories do not take as much planning as your feed because they disappear in 24 hours. I learned that stories can be used for behind the scenes, product teasers or other feed related content. My goal in February to post an IG story at 3-4x a week. I never used Snapchat, so I guess that is why I haven’t jumped on the IG story bandwagon. But for the sake of improving my Instagram, I will.

Hashtags are necessary if you want to be discovered on IG. The gurus say you can use up 30 hashtags, but others say you appear “spammy” with that many. I use the hashtags that are relevant to my post. I think you should use the number you feel comfortable with. My hashtags are a mix of large, medium and small ones. Molly Marshall’s Hashtag Camp is a great little course that can help you with hashtags. I took it over the New Year’s holiday and it was a huge help!

The goal of January was to grow my Instagram organically. That means no buying followers, no follow/unfollow tactics or being fake! I want to engage with genuine followers who enjoy my content AND I enjoy theirs. While I want to grow my numbers, I would rather enjoy the engagement I experience with other awesome SLPs in great little community! I was able to add about 100 genuine followers. I did experience some “follow/unfollowers” which I did not find very nice. I started noticing my numbers fluctuate so I downloaded an app called “Followers+.” It’s a free app but you can upgrade to the Pro version. I have been using the free version but will probably upgrade soon. That’s when I figured out people would unfollow as soon as I followed them back.

Instagram is an interesting marketing tool for SLPs whether you are in private practice or on TpT. Be sure to take advantage of the link in your profile! Promote your website or TpT store!! This is the only place in Instagram that you can post a clickable link so don’t let it go to waste. I use LinkTree to have more than 1 link.  My LinkTree can take you to my blog, TpT store or YouTube Channel. You can find my latest blog post or my most recent TpT product.

Missed the first part of this blog? Check out this post which includes some great resources!

The SLP, February, TpT and Newsletters!

If you have been following my blog this year…Yes, I know we are only a month in… you know that I have set a goal to learning about social media marketing this year.As an SLP, social media marketing was not part of my coursework. Maybe it should be?!  Each month I am focusing on 1-2 types and trying out what I learn throughout that month. At the end of the month, I will share my results, what I plan to keep, what I read, and how it can help you (THE SMALL BUSINESS SLP!!!) Trying to learn everything there is to know all social media is overwhelming! That is why I broke it down into month long “assignments.” In January, my focus was branding and Instagram. I learned early that in order to “jazz up” my social media, I needed all my branding on the same page. That’s where the new logos came from as well as templates for blog posts, IG posts, etc. I have a blog post coming up in the next day or so discussing my findings for the ever so popular Instagram.

This month, I have chosen 2 focus topics again. For February, I am working to improve my newsletter and my TpT store. Neither of these started with any research. When I start something, I just do it! I learn on the job, so to speak. I figure out what I am not sure of, THEN I research it. Now that I have been a TpT seller for a little over 2 years, it’s time I learn how to market my store better. It’s also important that I make the time to write killer newsletters! When I re-branded in January, I did update my newsletter to show the new logo and colors. But as far as catchy subjects and ways to pull the reader in, nada! I just write how I speak which is not always a good thing!

The SLP & TpT

With my TpT store, I know I need to work on my product descriptions. I am aware they are crap. I just hope my pictures give enough info that people know what they are buying. Sometimes, my pictures aren’t that great either. Many of my products need covers that look more “put together.” This is no surprise to me. I also need to work on monitoring data better (aka learning to read all the data!) Are you starting to see why I chose this topic for February? I started my store in October 2015 with NO CLUE about TpT. I have learned things along the way, but now it’s time to really get serious.

The Newsletter

My newsletter is in the same boat. I started it with no idea what the heck I was doing. I just wanted to share freebies and stuff. But now, I have learned that is not enough. Aside from the foundation of a good newsletter, I need to educate myself on MailChimp.   I chose MailChimp when I first started because it was free and fairly easy to use. (Remember, I learn on the fly!) I know once I hit a certain number of subscribers, I have to pay. But I will cross that bridge when I get there.

So, as you can see, I will be busy again this month. I am looking for books, blogs, and podcasts to help me in both areas. I will share all my findings at the end of the month!

SLP Tip: The New Way to Use Stamps

Instead of a parent tip this week, I chose an SLP tip to give out.  Do you ever give a client a stamp and three days later it is still there?  They’ve bathed but it won’t come off.  Or do you bring a blue stamp pad and the girls want pink?  Maybe your stamp pad is dried out and you find out at stamp time!

Well, I have a solution for you!

Washable Markers!  We all have washable markers in our therapy rooms or bags.  Get rid of the stamp pads. Take your stamp and color it with the washable marker. Then immediately stamp the child’s hand. I apply just a tiny bit of pressure to make sure the design comes out. DONE! Clean up is a snap with a baby wipe. To work on requesting, have two color choices for the kiddos to choose from.

Extra SLP Tip!

For extra fun, use your scented markers! The kids love when I write their names and target words on their papers with the scented ones. Color the stamp with the scented marker and you have an instant smelly “sticker!” Kids will love it!!!

I have been using this technique for a while. I love that I can give my clients choices (which provides another language opportunity!!!) after all their hard work. Now, I don’t have to worry about dried out stamp pads, stamps that don’t wash off or bringing a less than bright color! Not all of those stamp pads are as brightly colored as they seem!

Looking for some more SLP fun? Check out this post on my favorite  supplies!