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Olyasha Novozhylova of Not Basic Blonde: Five Ways To Leverage Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business

Build Relationships — Do not hesitate to reach out to your favorite blogger or someone who inspires you! Comment on their posts, share their content on your stories, get their attention, build relationships! Support other businesses or bloggers in your niche with comments and reactions on their stories, grow your community.

As a part of our series about How To Leverage Instagram To Grow Your Business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Olyasha Novozhylova.

Olyasha Novozhylova is the founder and creator of Not Basic Blonde, a fashion, and lifestyle blog dedicated to inspiring young women to create an extraordinary style. Graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Managerial Sciences, Olyasha successfully built a career in IT/Project Management, before she became a full time blogger. Olyasha is a model, blogger, entrepreneur, author of the children’s book “Cutie The Unicorn: It’s Ok To Be Different”, celebrity podcast host of NotBasicBlonde Podcast, Fashion Editor for 24FashionTV, Fashion Host Amazon Live.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My current career started suddenly and unexpectedly. I’ve been bullied in school because I always dressed so fashionably. I even wrote a children’s book about it. I’ve done modeling since I was 13 as well, but I’ve become a blogger and entrepreneur full time almost 4 years ago. I’ve graduated from Georgia State University with BBA in Managerial Sciences, and before I became a blogger, I’ve had a successful career in IT/Project Management, but I knew it wasn’t a biggest passion in my life. After I’ve finished my last project for the one of the largest Telecom companies, I knew I couldn’t go back to 9 to 5 anymore. I’ve decided to switch careers and share my passion for fashion with the world. That’s how NotBasicBlonde brand was born. As of now, I’m a Model, Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Celebrity Podcast Host (NotBasicBlonde Podcast), Fashion Editor for 24FashionTV, Fashion Host for AmazonLive.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I have so many interesting stories happening every day. I meet so many new people through Instagram and my podcast every day. I get to meet virtually or sometimes in person famous and successful people. Every one of them has a very interesting and inspiring story. I learn so much from every person, so I think it is the most interesting moment of my career.

Also, over this time, I’ve partnered with so many famous brands such Cartier, Revolve, ToFaced, PrettyLittleThing, and others, which was very interesting and so much fun.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’ve had so many, where do I begin… The most memorable out of all, when I was first starting, I was shooting 10–20 outfits at a time, in one photoshoot session.

It was a lot and super exhausting, I don’t know how I was doing it, I’ve had a car full of clothes, and I used to change in the car as well.

My mom used to make fun of me that I run around Atlanta with a car full of clothes, (because I was doing on location photoshoots around the city, and I would have everything with me) she didn’t believe at blogging as a real job at that time.

From this I’ve learned that I was too hard on myself, and I had to slow down in order to produce a better content. Also, I’ve started partnering with nationwide brands, so I had to produce more exclusive content, and I had to do a little bit at a time.

Ok. Let’s now move to the main focus of our discussion. For the benefit of our readers, can you explain why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

Because I’ve been there done that! I’ve created a course on how to grow and monetize your Instagram, it’s coming out in June. When I was starting blogging and I was growing my Instagram account, there were hardly any courses on how to do it. I’ve had to learn through trial and error. So I’ve became an expert in this, and by now I can tell what really works and what doesn’t.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

As of now, the most effective ones are TikTok, Instagram, Clubhouse, and of course Facebook. On TikTok you have to be consistent, but it could give so much exposure for your business. On Clubhouse you can connect with so many great people and promote your business through discussions, you can also join other rooms and get a chance to share everything about your business with a new or existing audience. Instagram is the oldest out of these, but with so many new updates, it’s profitable as well. You can set a shop with your products, and promote it, you can post reels, these can get a lot of exposure now, you can do paid story or post promotion, and it will push your products in front of a huge audience of your choice. With Facebook, you can set up your page, and push Facebook Ads, which can bring great return on investment. As for me, I use all of these, and I make sure I post my content especially on Instagram at a right time, when my followers are active the most.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share five ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Posting Consistency

This tip is number one in most Instagram strategy guides, but it’s really really important. I used to post somewhat sporadically, and I can tell you that since I made the commitment to post everyday — and sometimes twice a day — my account has grown exponentially.

Here’s the thing: one of the reasons people get really nervous about posting daily, is they suddenly see a drop in followers. That automatically leads them to think, oh, people don’t like hearing from me this often, I should tone it down.

This isn’t true though. What’s happening is you’re losing the wrong followers, and ultimately the followers you don’t want.

These people probably followed you randomly and then forgot and haven’t seen your content in a while. When they’re exposed to more of it, they decide for whatever reason it’s not a fit and unfollow.

Let me repeat, THIS IS A GOOD THING. Those people who don’t like your content for whatever reason are never going to engage with it, and your goal should be collecting a following that likes your content, believes in what you have to say, and will comment, share and heart your posts with enthusiasm.

2. Create Instagram Captions Your Followers Want to Read

Captions are important, whether they’re 3,000 characters or 10. Depending on your aesthetic, vibe and your photo content, you can get ahead with either!

I’ve always made sure to spend some time on my captions, and make them interesting to read. When penning captions, always include the following:

  • Entertainment factor — whether you’re telling a joke, a pun or an amusing story that happened to you, your caption should get buy-in from your followers. Sad and truthful captions can be entertaining too — in the sense that you make your audience feel something and resonate with what you’re talking about.
  • Informational Factor — You don’t always have to add in a bunch of info and education to your caption, but if your post subject calls for it, you should definitely include context and the who, what, when, where and why.
  • Community Factor — In each caption, you should try to ask a question that everyone wants to answer. This creates an ongoing conversation under your post that’s great for engagement!

You can also continue the conversation by posting regularly on your Stories, talking directly to your audience on Stories and exploring Lives and weekly Q&As.

3. Post More Videos

This is a huge secret I’m about to tell you! With the new Instagram algorithm and changes to the platform, likes are hidden. No matter how hard you work to get an extra like, it won’t really count in the long run. Videos are a great way to get around this. Videos get more views and a higher engagement ratio than just a regular picture.

In fact, you can even turn regular pictures into videos with apps like Sparkle Cam, Pixaloop, Plotaverse and more! You can then save your still photo as a video and post it.

4. Hashtags

There is a whole strategy on hashtags, I have so many experts on my podcast, NotbasicBlonde Podcast, and they are going into details on how to use hashtags in the most beneficial way.

5. Build Relationships

Do not hesitate to reach out to your favorite blogger or someone who inspires you! Comment on their posts, share their content on your stories, get their attention, build relationships! Support other businesses or bloggers in your niche with comments and reactions on their stories, grow your community.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

My movement would be about expressing your individuality.

Be Unique Not Basic! It’s OK To Be Different, It’s OK To Look Different! Show your talents, express yourself, be YOU, don’t let anyone to dull your sparkle. My Movement would be freeing and inspiring, especially for those who was bullied before.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

Great question! I’ve met Adam Sandler before, at Whole Foods in Santa Monica, I even have taken a picture with him, but I admire him so much! He is so talented and successful at producing legendary movies, that I would definitely love to have a lunch with him:)

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

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Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.