Watch a recap of the New Rules of Influencer Marketing panel discussion – the latest in BrainStation’s Digital Leadership Event Series.
Chiantelle Nicole is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a Certified Wedding Planner, and the founder of Chia’s Eats, a nutrition community and consulting service. After a medical scare in 2011, Nicole sought alternatives to the laundry list of medications she was prescribed. Her health journey led her to start her career as a Nutritionist and consultant.
“A big part of me wanted to try an alternative, and that’s when I turned to food. I love food already (I call myself a professional taste tester) and so I wanted to learn more about how to use it therapeutically.”
As Nicole looked to grow her business, she quickly understood that social media marketing is a big piece in establishing a brand and building a community. We spoke with Nicole to learn how she’s used social media to grow her brand presence.
Nicole took BrainStation’s Social Media Marketing course to find new ways to meet potential clients, community members, and partners.
“Social media is such a powerful tool and a great way to build a community all over the world. I actually met a lot of people through social media before meeting them in person. Even though I had a good foundation of how to utilize social media personally and professionally, I wanted to dig deeper to learn more about optimizing it especially because there’s always something new to learn.”
Nicole relies on channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to display her food and event content, and the Social Media Marketing course showed her the benefit of truly understanding your audience.
“Once you have that foundation, the application of a social media strategy and successful campaigns becomes so much easier,” she shared. “This course also reminded me of how important and powerful language and visuals can become, especially when you’re wanting to convert strangers to followers to clients in actually purchasing your product or service.”
A Strong Brand Presence
A big part of developing your social media and online presence is to have a recognizable brand aesthetic. For Nicole, that meant a classic, clean look that focused on storytelling and learning.
“When people go to Chia’s Eats, I want them to feel happy, excited, and eager to know more about food and nutrition. I want people to know where their food is coming from and make them feel inspired to try new things.”
The more she learns, the more her strategy has adapted to master the social channels that work best for her brand.
“Since taking the course, my marketing strategy has changed to focus more on specializing in one-to-two specific platforms at a time rather than constantly creating content everywhere. It can get super overwhelming especially with all the new features, and by doing this, it has allowed me to build a stronger community and generate good quality leads.”
After implementing some of the strategy she learned, Nicole shared that she’s increased her following on @chiaseats by 85 percent, her personal following by 95.5 percent, and her Pinterest views by 48.2 percent!
For Nicole, the biggest challenge was deciding on a specific direction that would set her apart from the competition.
“Learning how I could stand out and bring in my own offering was a challenge. However, the relationships and connections I made have really helped, and I would say that is key to my successes in marketing my brand. Second would be having a clear marketing plan and an ideal audience to speak to. Understanding what I was offering and investing in relationships … made a huge difference.”
Her advice to fellow entrepreneurs? Take it one step at a time. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the avenues and all the features,” she said, “but try them out anyway to see what works best for you, your services, and your audience. Ask for help and keep investing in you.”
A Foundation of Learning
BrainStation’s Social Media course was a great way for Nicole to dive into social media on a deeper level and apply new concepts to her marketing strategy.
“The highlight from my BrainStation learning experience would be in the real life examples from our instructor, Julie. It’s one thing to learn concepts and foundations, and it’s a whole other level applying it to something more tangible,” she said, adding that she expects to keep learning – life-long learning, after all, is at the heart of her business venture.
“Chia’s Eats is more than just sharing what I eat. It’s an online platform that focuses on community, education, and fun. I utilize this platform to share more about supporting local businesses, easy and healthy recipes, nutritional information, what’s in season in farmer’s markets, sustainability, and tips on how to live a more intentional and holistic lifestyle.”