Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Do you want to succeed in social media? Consistency is key. In this episode, Hayley Foster’s guest is Monica Van Landingham, the founder of VIER Media/Reunion Stay. Monica talks with Hayley about how social media content can be batched out far in advance. For example, if you plan on posting twice a week, make sure to do so every week after that. So when people land on your profile, they’ll know you’re active, present, and reachable. If you want more practical tips on succeeding in social media, you wouldn’t want to miss this episode. Tune in!
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Practical Tips On How To Succeed In Social Media With Monica Van Landingham.
I am here with the amazing Monica Van Landingham, who I got to meet in real life and spent four amazing days with this woman. I am literally still on cloud nine. I was super excited that we got that time together. I got to know you on a whole other level. Thank you for giving me some of your time so we can talk all things social with Monica V.
I'm happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
It is my pleasure. Monica, talk to me and give me the short version of your life story.
I'm a mom of four. I'm a native of Florida, born and raised. We moved to Nashville back in 2012. I'm a serial entrepreneur. After college, I was in the fitness industry and I did some sales and marketing jobs where I worked for a company called American Club Systems. We'd go and open up World Gyms and Gold's Gyms or take them over. I would go to different places and we would go in either start from the ground up or go into an existing gym and put new systems in place. That was my first job out of college.
I was teaching at Robeson College. Long story short, I'd lived in Binghamton, New York. I lived in West Palm Beach. I got moved to Jacksonville, where I graduated from college. I hired my husband to work for me. That's where I met the love of my life. That started my entrepreneurial journey. I had this great job. It was in my early twenties and I was learning a lot about memberships and build-outs and all these things. We got engaged. We were in Jacksonville and we moved back to the area of town I was from in Clearwater.
I went on my entrepreneurial journey. I had a couple of jobs where I worked for people, but I always had my businesses. We had married, had our first two children and started our first business together. I owned an indoor play facility. It was called Playtime Express and a Play Patch. When your kids were all over the places you would go, and they had all the toys that you would want, your kids play with it in your house. Instead of teacher robots, I was teaching mommy and me classes doing birthday parties.
For my entrepreneurial journey, I wound up making like a little manual. I didn't franchise, but I sold the license. People opened up their own versions in Maryland and different parts of my place. From there, I did a stint on a home shopping network. There are jobs in between. I worked for Terminix. I have million different jobs. Fast forward to by the time we had our fourth child, I got on Facebook. I started a Facebook business. This was before Facebook pages, before anything other than Facebook-ing.
I created a second profile instead of mine being Monica Van Landingham. It was Mon Van Landingham, which was a separate Facebook. I created events every week and order from wholesalers. I opened my own online boutique. Because this was 2010, I would put teasers of handbags, dresses, and mommy craft target prices. On Sunday nights, I would launch it and say, "Comment your size in the comments with your PayPal on." I started an online community selling swag.
Again, this was before there were such things as Facebook Pages. By 2011 or 2012, we started to have a Facebook Page. I created that. We moved over to that, where I would do live sales. Lo and behold, I had this community of 3,000 women between Facebook and Instagram who were showing up and buying my stuff. It was incredible. At that time, I didn't realize how incredible it was. This was before bucket list and community over competition.
To this day, some of these people I work with and I've helped with their social media, I’m still in contact with them. My husband sent me this giant box where one woman, Trisha, got everybody who was regulars and always showing up every week to my sales, with letters and gifts because of what I did as I was literally running my business. It was incredible.
Social media content can be batched out far in advance.
That was how I got started. It's a three-part on YouTube because back in the day, you couldn't load a 60-minute video on YouTube. Anyway, long story short, way too late, my husband got relocated here to Franklin in 2012. I was still doing my business for about a year. It was called Monica's Fantabulous Fashions. If I had realized it was going to go far. I don't know if I would've named it that. That's when Shopify started coming in. It was changing. Not that I won't do the fashion anymore, but it wasn't the same.
My business model was changing. At the same time, in parallel, I moved to Franklin, Tennessee. I was a dance mom and football mom. I was always this mom at the field that it was like, "Here, help me." I always help everybody with changing it to Gmail, how to do the parental settings and all those. Someone says, "I know a chef that's hiring. She gets someone for social media and will do office work." I'm like, "All right."
I had my first social media account and I had no idea, just BS and personality. I knew more than most about social, creator of Pinterest, a new account that I got a restaurant in town, and so on and so forth. Years later, Vier Media. I have about fourteen social media management accounts and my coaching program.
I had never heard this story before ever.
It's a long one. I condensed it. I didn't tell you about how I used to climb under houses for Terminix Pest Control when I was the real estate liaison, but I had to be a state pest control operator. I literally had to put the jumpsuit on for termites and to set traps, but I was the lady who would go to your mailboxes at the real estate and put my flyers as your bug lady for your termite inspections when you close down your house. There's a whole pocket full of those jobs too, but I tried to talk about the entrepreneurial part.
You are being an entrepreneur when you're doing some of those things. There's always a side hustle because we always see bright shiny objects. We're always looking for the next bright shiny, fun thing we can do, whether it's something that's in our business or outside of our business. Similarly, that was my story too. I was doing networking events because I wanted to bring females together to talk about business and networking. I was spring chicken into the Facebook world and Instagram. I went to my first summit and I started this business probably in 2010.
Vier Media is the name of my company and my last name is Van Landingham. I'd already had several social media clients, but I didn't have a company. I was doing everything under a Mon's Fab Fashion because that's where I had my tax ID number on. I wasn't making $6,000 government at that time. Back in the day, my husband and I were trying to figure it out. He's like, "You're good at this." I had 3 or 4 clients at that time. I'm like, "What would I call it? I don't want it to be something cheesy."
The real name I wanted was My ADD Works for Me. I have ADHD. It's a whole other story. I have it since I was in third grade. He's like, "You're not calling it that." We're in the car and his last name was Van Landingham and his background is Dutch. I started looking up different dialects and we have four children. I was looking at words and vier in German means fire like to ignite.
In Dutch or Danish, vier means four and we have four kids. I think about veering you in the right direction. I'm like, "This is the name of my company." It starts with a V because of my last name Van Landingham. Before I started Vier Media in 2013, I had a handful of clients and most of them paid me through their payroll. I didn't have to create a company, but at some point, I had to get a business card, logo and create a website. You and I probably have been doing this for about the same amount of time.
What's been the biggest challenge through all of these years that you've been doing this?
Time management and it's still my biggest challenge to this day. When we moved here in 2012 and I started my company around 2013, my oldest son was in sixth grade. Now, he's going to be 22 in October 2021. Both of my two older sons play college football. He was an athlete. He wasn't driving in sixth grade. I had to get him to all of his sports stuff.
My second son, Max, at the time he wasn't playing football, but he was in a competitive dance team. My daughter was the same thing. She was on a competitive dance team plus Zach, my youngest. My husband was working on going in Nashville back and forth. Some days it was a twenty-minute drive to work. Some days were 1.5 hours because of traffic.
It was doing all of those things. Not because the people I worked for had time limitations or constraints that I was doing social media, but trying to get it all done, trying to do all the things and be at all the places. When they were younger, it was harder. Now it's not as hard, but I have more work, so I’m still getting it all in. It's still the same issue, even though it looks different. It is different.
I can talk about time management all day long. I missed Clubhouse Room on Time Management. I'm sure it was amazing. Were you in that room?
I wasn’t. I did the Social Media room. Who did the Time Management room?
You recommend it and someone reached out to a bunch of us to talk about time management.
I did that room. That was with Jen. It's funny because, even though I struggle with it, I've overcome and I've gotten better.
Talk to me about that. As a social media person, I know how much social media time takes from my life doing my own crap. I want to know if you've got six clients and you've got to be social media-ing for all of them, what are you doing, and how are you overcoming that challenge?
I'm not like you. I don't have that A-type personality. I wish I did. I can get into the pocket and for my clients, I do. I have batch content. I go in and I spend time doing the graphics. I'll have different days of the week scheduled out, where for all of my clients, I'm already halfway, if not already scheduling, into late October 2021 as far as creating content. All my clients are different. I have a realtor and job recruiters.
Be open and willing to help. Doing so keeps you relevant.
That's the one that's more time-sensitive because they have new roles and new positions opening up. I worked for an ophthalmologist and he has five locations. I have a dermatologist that has five locations. I have a walk-in clinic that has six locations. Some of that content can be batched out far in advance, but of course, there is last minute like, "Here, post this." You got to do that too. I have all of those clients, all of my social media clients scheduled far in advance.
I do practice what I preach, the ten-minute rule, before I post. I go in for each of them, engage, post their stories, answer their comments, and then the post goes up. I then do ten minutes after and I revisit it again. It's all about structure and having the time. Those are part of my workdays. When it comes to the shoemaker, that's another thing. I do schedule and batch up all my content for month for Vier Media. At least 3 out of 7 days a week, I go in there and I'll push a postback because I want to talk about something else.
When you're in Clubhouse rooms four days a week, I'm not in them all day. I'm disciplined about my Clubhouse time. When I popped into Jen's room, I brought all those people together, so I came in. Usually, I'm only there Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for WEX, and then Thursday for my social, and that's it. That gives me the flexibility when I want to hop and I do. Those are my clients and I have to be prepared and there's always new stuff rolling in. There's always new stuff coming at me. At least, I have the decks loaded and I'm 5 or 6 weeks ahead with their contents, so anything that comes at me, no big work.
Are you currently taking on new clients?
The places and spaces that we're in, probably not. It's not like, "You can't afford me." As you can see here, I tend to move up from small businesses to work with larger-scale businesses. My contracts are usually a six-month minimum. The places and spaces that I show up on Clubhouse and Instagram are for my coaching for social media. Yes, for that. For social media marketing and management, you can make me an offer. I can't refuse. I'm always open.
I would love to pay you for obviously your zone of genius. I have a client who's looking for help. Somebody that's reading that has a medium-sized business and maybe looking for social media marketing and management, Monica Van Landingham, Vier Media. They could be your next client.
Just like you, you have multiple legs and multiple optimist arms for your business. I've got my social media management company and we've got a good amount of clients, knock on wood. I've got my coaching program and all of the strategies that I helped with others. I'm always open. You know me, I love to help. I love to be in the mix because it keeps you relevant too.
That's where you can find Monica if anybody is reading is looking for that. With any business comes a whole ton of challenges. Time management, obviously being one that is probably near and dear to all of us women that are working moms, wives, and entrepreneurs. It's a whole lot of stuff to juggle and you got four kids. I don't know how you do it with four kids.
I have an amazing husband. You've got one too, so you know. He's not an entrepreneur. He's always worked in finance. He's always been 9:00 to 5:00, but he's always, "Go do it." Since the pandemic, he's always worked in an office, but his office is around the corner. He's at their office now, but he only goes to the office maybe once or twice a week. He's here helping with rescue boxers. We have dogs. We're insane, but we're doing it together, and we're having fun. When Zach, who's only in seventh grade, when he goes off to college, we're going to be traveling and doing some stuff.
I know you do not only have this amazing vacation home in Nashville, Tennessee, that I was fortunate enough to stay at if anybody is looking for a place to stay in Nashville, but I've also already recommended it to three people.
We have this vacation rental property. It’s eight acres. It has thirteen bedrooms. We never left except to go to Publix. That weekend was about all of us getting together.
We want to come back and people are like, "How's Nashville?" I'm like, "I could have been in Nebraska because I saw nothing except the property."
I even said to the children, “Should we take them to the Nashville thing?” She's like, "They can do it if they want," but we wanted to give you everything we offered.
It was amazing. I wouldn't change a second of what we did.
I do feel like, "People didn't get to Nashville thing," but I live here and I never do the Nashville thing. We have amazing food. Trust me. We could do the tower. That's a whole other trip. You got to bring your husband and we'll do the tower.
We're going to get to some tips that you can provide to anybody that's reading because people are always coming to me and being like, "How do you freaking manage all the social stuff you do?" I'm going to ask you to think about some tips. What's been your biggest success story since you started this business? A lot of people will be like, "I want to get to know." It's like, "There are a lot of things you need to do to get to there." There is no overnight success. You got to climb that hill. You can't zoom to the top of it. No matter what you do, there's a mountain that needs to be climbed to get to where you want to be.
It gets further away or it's a new mountain. It's hard to say because everybody's version of success is different. I fantasize and have thought about scaling to do big products and be a big hoo-ha, viral Instagram, influencer, social media guru, or whatever. I'm not saying I wouldn't enjoy it, but it's how I operate. It's not how I work. The thing with social media is like any other business, but I can only speak of my genius zone. Social media is always changing from week-to-week. Remember when you told me about when they changed Carousels. Think of those times a million every week.
It's always changing and because I'm in the fray, I get it real quick. There's this level of expertise and not because I didn't have to go figure it out. It just took me less time to figure it out. My biggest success story, there are many different ones. The second restaurant I took on, I stomped Buzzfeed, The Food Channel, and The Food Network on Twitter to get them to come to notice this restaurant. It's called The Pfunky Griddle in Nashville.
If you haven't heard of it, you got to check it out. It's amazing. It's an experience. It has all it has gluten-free and vegan food, but you make your pancakes at the table and you pour it. It's very cool. When I took on their social media, they didn't have any. It was pretty well-known and there was a lot of goodwill built on. I'm not going to act like, "I did it all, but I did."
Everybody's version of success is different.
For the first two years, I stomped on Twitter, Buzzfeed, the Food Network, the Food Channel, the Travel Channel. Within the sixteen-month period of time, that all came around and did videos and features on the restaurant. That's all feathers in my cap. Those are professional hurray and I'm proud of it. For me, the successes that I feel are going to be corny but watching other people. I work with like Caitlin. I worked with watching her stuff. She wants to be an influencer and she's got multiples. She's a young mom. When I met with her, she's got 200 followers. Now she's probably 33,000.
She wants to be a mommy influencer. She's got brand deals constantly. Those are the best for me. I could tell you other things that have gone viral. I've got Reels and TikToks that have a million views and things that I did. Those are great for those brands, but for my success and where I'm putting my energy in my heart and soul. I was watching the successes of the people I work with.
I was watching people who are so timid to get on video or do whatever. That's the best part. Also, I’m covering my family's insurance, and that was a big milestone for me. My husband, for all those years, had the big earner job. He provided the health insurance and he's still good. Over the pandemic, I wanted to take it over. For a few years now, I'm handling that health insurance. That was a big win for me. It looks different and where my interests are at.
I couldn't be more aligned with everything you said. For me, it's a similar thing. I feel success when I see other people succeeding when I'm coaching them to succeed. I always say, "I'd rather support a million people than make a $1 million." $1 million is not going to bring me happiness and fill my cup. What's going to fill my cup is seeing the women that I'm coaching, guiding, and supporting to reach their goals and achieve success, whatever that means for them. It means something different for all of us.
It's funny because if you're listening, we're not saying that we're taking credit for their success because they did the work. I didn't want to be a teacher. I can't teach anything. It's that I'm passionate about this and I'm obsessed with this. It's just that you're watching people get comfortable with something. It's amazing to see them soar. I'm with you right there.
You're amused and you're a guide. Give us some tips. People that are reading are probably in the middle of the line on social media when it comes to their knowledge base.
In other words, everybody comes from a different place. Felicia said, "She wasn't on Instagram until she got on Clubhouse." I'm like, "What?" Their kids are younger. Her oldest kid is a little bit older than my youngest. Although, you'd think that people who are younger would have all of it. It's always amusing to me and surprises me.
Some people could come in and they've been on Instagram and they're more voyeurs. They knew how to like and they knew how to share or send a message but they do not know how to do their story. They didn't know how to do all these things. It's always a challenge and not in a bad way, but I can't go in the blanket, teach a course to a whole group of people because everybody's in a different space.
I'll throw one out there that I didn't know that important, but the fact that your name on Instagram is a searchable keyword term.
First and foremost, if I were to give you my three biggest tips when you're getting on Instagram for business, even if you have a personal one. When you're in there, you're like, "Locked and loaded. Seatbelts on, let's rock. We're going to do this thing on Instagram to mirror what I'm doing out there, whatever your product or services if you're showing up in other places, whether it's on TV or if it's on Clubhouse, whatever.
The most important thing you need to address first and foremost is your bio. Make sure it's optimized and it's clear. Even if they're coming in from Clubhouse or clicked on your Instagram from a website or someone tagged them, they're always going to land on your feed. That's your domain, so to speak. You need to be sure that you have it correctly. They can go to my Instagram and they can DM me and say, "Could you send me your posts about bio?"
Everything I say, they don't need to write down. I've got content on my feed that will tell everything I'm saying. If your handle has your name like yours is @IAmHayleyFoster. In your name portion, you don't have to put your name because it's literally there. If it's something like mine, @VierMedia, I need to have Monica on there. I didn't put my whole name. I put Monica because of the other characters you have left for searchable keywords.
For me, I'm an Instagram growth strategist and a social media coach. It's like a search engine. If someone put IG strategists, I'm going to come up at some point in that search. It's important to take advantage of it. They talk about the pain point as their next line. "What do you do?" Mine is, "I'm an Instagram Growth Strategist. I cultivate and empower ambitious women to use Instagram for their business." I talk about exactly the pain point that I address. The bio is so important. It's important to have your name in there. If your name isn't your handle, make sure that you have your name there.
Number two of all equally important three things is consistency. Do not plan on coming in here, show up every day, and then not show up for two weeks. You have to be consistent. If you're going to post on Instagram twice a week, be sure to post twice a week. You don't have to do it every day. I do encourage people to be on their Stories every day, at least 1 or 2.
When people land on your profile and you haven't posted since it's Sunday, but then they look at your profile picture and they can see the little ring go around it. They're like, "She's active, present, and she's reachable." It's important that you're tapping on your Stories at least once a day. I would say three, but you don't have to. Just be consistent. Consistency is everything.
It's the key thing in every aspect of your business.
Think about your kids. If you're not consistent, you show up late to pick them up from school. I am a self-proclaimed non-A-type personality with ADHD. Being consistent in showing up is still doable, even when you have those types of challenges. I do have to-do lists, but I'm not that person that goes through a list on the day because things get thrown at me from different directions with all my clients and all my kids, but you still can show up consistently.
I am solid as much of a hot mess as I am. Being consistent, having that optimized bio, and then the last thing is don't show up on a platform like Instagram and not engage. It doesn't mean you have to spend hours a day. I have something on my timeline called the ten-minute rule and it is the best formula. It can turn into a 30-minute rule or a 50-minute rule. You can put much or little. The ten-minute rule is for the days that you don't post. The 20-minute rule is 10 minutes before you need to do the thing you engage. Put on your Stories, answer your comments and your posts, then you do it for another 10 minutes, and you go about your day.
I will say that is probably one of the biggest things that I have noticed in terms of which one of my posts does better than others.
Put your heart and soul into the success of the people you work with.
It's when you engage before, story, and engage after. There are even more intricate tricks to it. For example, I've been trying at least a handful of days a week and these posts are doing great, but it's hard for me to be consistent at the 6:00 AM post. I'm up already. It's just the lunches, the dogs are walking in the day, and I go to the gym. There are lots of moving parts and I do want I can. I'm giving myself grace because I post every day.
At the 6:00 AM mark, my post is already ready. I've already got it prepped. I've already got the graphic made from whenever. I've got my caption written, so it's ready to rock. I go on Instagram. I put something on my Stories. I slide through some Stories, comment, get on people's DMs, and not just about saying a few things with them but being meaningful.
If I see something on yours, I’m like, "Go, mama. Look at that dress," I go and I answer all my notifications. I answer all my DMs. I answer any comments of mine. A little tip is when you answer people's comments, don't heart or like it as well. Answer their comments but leave the heart unread, then you post after ten minutes.
If you’ve done that for ten minutes, you answered all your comments and you engaged some post on your feeds and other people. After you post, you go back to all the previous posts that you haven't hearted, and you like them. Let's say you answered some of those comments last night. When you're going back, you're hearting them, and you're bringing them back in with the fray, "I'm active. I'm here. Come play," then you go back after you post for another ten minutes. Go engage with people in your feed. Maybe repost your Story and you're done. It's a great system and it is effective.
It's a great tip for sure. I do it the other way and I know it's not the right way to do it.
It doesn't matter if you like it before after. It's the same thing. It's just that works for me. I'm on Instagram more than once a day. The night before, I've answered all these comments from the Reel, I posted yesterday morning or something, but I didn't like them yet because I haven't posted again since then. I've got 2 or 3 posts back where there's a straggling comment that I hadn't answered. That's how I try not to miss them.
That's a great strategy. One of the big things is you got to do what works for you.
It's not one-size-fits. I say that all the time.
You said in the beginning, be consistent but do what works for you. If twice a week works for you, then do it twice a week.
Under-promise and overdeliver. I'm going to post and put value out there twice a week. Whether it's a Reel or a Carousel or a static post, whatever it is. That's all you need to be accountable for. If you show up on your Stories and you're engaging every day, you're giving them more than they're asking for because every time you engage on the comments on your posts and other people's posts, you're putting value out there. It's immeasurable.
This has been amazing. Thank you. This was great.
It was fun. I hope it helps, even those little tips. It's not one size fits all at all. Whether I work with people in groups, one-on-one, or however, it's still customized. The only way to figure that out is to jump in there and start doing it.
People are like, "Help me with Reels." I'm like, "Start doing them and you'll figure it out."
It's going to suck. Go to the very bottom of the Reel feed. I want to get rid of them but that's social proof. I started in August 2021. I wasn't a TikToker like everybody else. All the captions, I'm covering my face and not timed out. If you want a couple of good laughs, go to my first 5 or 6 Reels.
I'm excited about our next Digital Creators Workshop. It's going to be amazing. It’s more amazing than the first one.
We're thinking April 2022.
Thank you much for giving me your time. I truly appreciate you always.
I'm happy you got to know some of my crazy stories because I got lots of them of what I used to do.
Thanks, everyone, for reading until next time.
Clubhouse - Monica Van Landingham
@IAmHayleyFoster - Instagram
@VierMedia - Instagram
About Monica Van Landingham
Monica Van Landingham: entrepreneur of 19 years, Social Media Manager of 10 years. Through Monica's journey, she learned to navigate and apply Social Media in the simplest of ways. Social media manager, strategist, and coach for small to mid-size businesses-Monica thrives on helping entrepreneurs/business owners embrace and apply multiple Applications to their Businesses.