social media coffee chat | no.1 the basics

Ready to hit the ground running… start your social media business + brand or have you established yourself already over the past few years but don’t know where to go with your social media?? I’ve got you covered in today’s social media coffee chat!

Social Media Coffee Chat

Coffee Chat by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of a woman wearing pink and orange print pajama sets and holding a black coffee mug.
nashville toile pajamas + zo stack [20% off w/code natasha20]

For more than two years now, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join forces with some incredible companies to share my wealth of social media knowledge! Not sure why they called this little lady from Nashville or what potential they saw in me, but trust me when I say it’s been a whirlwind of fun AND it’s gotten me out of my comfort zone to share my love affair of everything social media, blogging + brand building with thousands of friends near and far.

Having said that, you know I am ALL for empowering small shops + businesses and I’ve prayed about how I can give back to others to pay it forward for a long time now… let’s be honest: I’ve seen it ALL in my 13 years of blogging = the good, bad, and lots of ugly, but I’ve come to know and trust myself, go with my gut feelings because they never seem to fail me and now I’m creating a bi-weekly coffee chat q+a series to help YOU build your empire.

So before we get into the nitty gritty details, we’ve got to start with the basics… I received more than 200 responses from my followers about what you want to know, so needless to say I’ve got LOADS of creative content coming your way! I’ll try to tackle a handful of questions each time so as not to overwhelm you and cheers to making it memorable:

As easy as it sounds, you just start… no I am kidding. First you make the decision to go all in, but my best advice would be to start with a simple business plan. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, heck you could write down your short and long-term goals on a scrap piece of paper, but you will want to be able to access this plan in the future, which is why mine is on my laptop for safe keeping. I truly believe this is the make-it-or-break-it component of business.

Everyone needs a business plan, no matter how small or large their company is. You’ll want to craft a company description [bascially who you are/what your brand is all about/your WHY], your target market [audience segments like age, demographics, location, gender, etc], products and/or services you plan to offer, financial and marketing plans [cost of running your business], and of cource goals on how you plan to get there.

Coffee Chat by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: collage image of Natasha Stoneking and her family.

A few questions to ask yourself and things to note:

  • How am I different from what everyone else is offering/selling and how can I stand out from competition? What makes me unique?
  • What are some of your favorite brands/social media accounts to follow/shop and how do they add value to keep you coming back?
  • Determine your IT factor… this helps you find your audience aka your “tribe”

Adn remember, this is different for everyone so define what YOU want to get out of owning your own business. 


OK, my background is in advertising and marketing so this aspect of my business comes fairly easy to me, however, there are a TON of free and inexpensive resources to help you create a brand identity you not only love, but gets your audiences attention, too.

You want a professional look for your brand since it’s the FIRST thing people see… so going with the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the smartest business decision, especially for the long haul. My best advice would be to find someone on Etsy/Pinterest who offers custom logos, but doesn’t charge thousands of dollars… that way you can use the colors in your logo to then design your website, business cards, marketing graphics, etc.

Pro Tip: Think about your favorite colors, details/fonts you love AND be sure to note things that you don’t like = that can also help you define your creative style. Pinterest is a GREAT resource for branding and I have a Blog Design Board for inspiration and ideas to get you thinking as well.

Also, seek out invaluable opinions and advice from your peers, family, and friends… send out a survey, ask for constructive criticism, and don’t be afraid to solicit help! 

P.S. don’t forget easy-to-execute graphic websites like PicMonkey and Canva. They have both served as two of my trusted resources for years in helping me create graphics, IG story templates, collages for blog posts, media kits, etc. They have free versions and ones that cost $$, but a great way to easily brand yourself with standout graphics that don’t break the bank!


Ohhhh I’ll be the first one to admit this takes lots of time, practice and effort to come up with content that not only stands out from the competition, but is fun to create as well. First of all, you have to stay true to yourself… don’t just formulate a post talking about loving bike shorts if you clearly 1) don’t wear them and more specifically 2) don’t like them. You only get ONE CHANCE to build credibility with your followers and if you lose it, it’s hard to get it back… hence this is why I take it so personally.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to focus on what YOU love to share: find 3-4 categories and stick to that. You know when you come to my slice of live, you’ll find fashion + style, as well as family + fitness + food with random stuff sprinkled in here and there.

One thing you can do is look at a calendar and work from that. For instance, March is coming up next week, so it’s evident people are on the hunt for spring break outfits [if traveling], Easter outfits and giftables, green attire for St. Patrick’s Day, sandals for warm weather, etc. If you’re into food, it might be a good time to start planning content revolving around Easter brunch or lighter dinner options, baking spring desserts, and so on. Don’t overcomplicate the process… if in doubt, start perusing Pinterest [yes I use it every single day] as a source for finding new things to post + discuss + talk about.

Now in terms of planning out that social media, this is a HUGE lesson to learn from the get go: YOU TRAIN YOUR AUDIENCE ON HOW OFTEN THEY SHOULD EXPECT YOU TO POST. Consistency is key… ask yourself what is realistic for your schedule?? And as always, 2-3 QUALITY posts each week rather than 10+ random posts will always stand out because the authenticity and creativity is there.

Here is a little graphic I created with 31 ideas to help get you thinking:

Coffee Chat by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of a editorial content calendar.

Had enough of me yet?? Trust me, we are just getting started. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN and I hope this first edition gives you some valuable info that you can truly integrate into your brand identity and help you work smarter, not harder.

As always, don’t be afraid to leave comments + questions as I love this type of dialogue and cannot wait to share more next week!

Coffee Chat by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Natasha Stoneking and her family.

What did you find most helpful about this coffee chat? Do you have any questions? Let me know in a comment below!

6 Comments

  1. February 26, 2021 / 3:32 pm

    This is INCREDIBLE! I am so thrilled about this series! I have been a follower since 2013 and I am so pumped to be able to hear all your tips and tricks!

  2. Margot Martin
    February 26, 2021 / 3:45 pm

    OMG! This blog post is priceless! I made tons of notes! Great Job, Natasha! I love the detailed information. I can’t wait for the next post!

  3. February 27, 2021 / 3:05 pm

    SO excited about this series!! I always love your content and way with words! So inspiring!

  4. D Breaux
    February 27, 2021 / 4:10 pm

    Thank you for all of the helpful information! You are inspirational! I’m not sure if my question will make much sense. When you start your instagram, should you have a good number of posts maybe 15-20 before you start requesting to follow other accounts in hopes they follow you back? I know I decide whether or not to follow someone based on my first visit to their instagram account. I browse the account to decide if it has content that interests me before I follow. Also, do I need to start requesting to follow companies that align with my brand right away or wait until I have content?

    Lastly, do you have to have actual photos of yourself consistently on your social? I do not want to post a lot of photos of myself, but rather provide curated content.

  5. Amber
    March 30, 2021 / 2:34 am

    Love love love this post! Cannot wait for the rest of this series! Will be saving and taking notes for sure! I am launching my online boutique this fall and can’t wait to soak up all this information.

    • March 30, 2021 / 12:21 pm

      i’m so glad… working on the third check-in right now and should go live this week!

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