You should set goals that are slightly out of reach to keep momentum going and always strive for more.
But it’s also important to know what each goal is really for.
To avoid working hard but not knowing what you’re investing all that energy into – and why – use SMART goal formatting to guide you and your ambition.
This framework applies to every area of life, of course.
But, the general noise of social media platforms can easily lead even the most seasoned marketer’s attention astray.
Instagram, for example, has near-limitless posting and interaction options. There’s the main Feed, Stories, Guides, Reels, and DMs – and each channel has its own content types, formats, trends, strategies, users to respond to, and unspoken rules.
But you actually don't want to say, "My goal is to grow my presence on Instagram."
Where would even start and what exactly does this mean?
SMART goals that actually move the needle for your business look more like this example:
💪 My goal is to grow my Instagram followers by adding 4,000 highly-engaged parents of softball pitchers this year.
I’ll track this progress through my Instagram business account’s Insights.
And I’ll achieve it partly with some upgraded video production equipment that I can now afford by reinvesting some of the in-person lesson and clinic revenue I earned this summer.
That specific gear is a wireless lavalier microphone and tripod that holds my newest version iPhone. Shooting stabilized, 4k video with better sound will help me create better quality Instagram content than other coaches at the same stage of influence as myself.
But the biggest driver of growth this year will be doubling down on Reels. I plan to reverse-engineer hundreds of successful Reels posts from other industries and apply those ideas to my softball posts.
I will also leverage partnerships with brands and strategic collaborations with other softball creators throughout the year.
For example, I plan to collaborate with @marlybehindthedish, who was my catcher during college ball, to cross-pollinate our two Instagram audiences, share the social media content creation burden through dual video projects, and also run monthly local pitchers and catchers clinics together this year.
These clinics will generate real revenue and loads of great, social-proof-heavy video content for us to employ on our Instagram accounts.
#Must-Have Image and Video Creation Skills for Baseball and Softball Coaches
The next prerequisite for coach entrepreneurs looking to grow on social media is to start thinking more deeply about the visual aspects of your brand’s presence online.
Just like having SMART goals, this step of codifying a brand’s visual storytelling has been essential at least a century before anyone had heard of the internet.
The chosen letter font style and fresh paint on the sign above an old time shopkeeper’s storefront and how their products were presented in the shiny store window often could mean the difference between success and bankruptcy.
Once that same shopkeeper’s business grew enough to include print advertising in catalogs, magazines, and newsletters, the importance of affirming visual depictions of their products or services continued its ascendency.
Of course, each new medium, from radio – where there were no visuals, but brand pictures were painted with the sounds of ambient noises, wonderfully talented voice actors, and catchy jingle composers, which together amounted to something analogous – on to the television era, and finally the rise of the internet has continued the importance of how brands are consistently depicted to potential clients and customers.
Aside from few and far-between places like Clubhouse, social media is first and foremost a visual medium.
And a keyword to focus on here is: consistency
Ideally you want your posts to have a distinguishable appearance with a consistent color scheme, personalized editing style, or even applying identical or similar filters across all your images or videos.
We must also address the quality of these images and videos.
For promoting your services and your personal brand, it's important to have professional looking videos and images as much as possible.
This may be slightly less necessary in a place like Instagram Stories – where behind-the-scenes, off-the-cuff vibes can still play well.
But even with Reels and TikToks, where raw authenticity briefly reigned supreme, higher quality video and audio (up to a point of dimishing returns) is now favored by audiences and algorithms alike.
And just in case you needed any convincing about whether investing time in video creation was worth it for some reason, it might interest you to know that sports lovers watch twice as much video content online than the average users of social media platforms.
But who says you need a fancy camera or equipment to take amazing photos and videos?
With these universal tips and tricks below, you'll be uploading crispy-clean and business-attracting assets in no time.
When this function is enabled on your phone or tablet device in your settings, you'll see two vertical lines and two horizontal lines on your screen with each photo or video you take.
These lines are called grid lines and they help you better arrange the visual elements in your camera’s frame of view. That arrangement is technically called composition. And it’s one easy to do thing that’ll set your images and videos apart from the average, random social media post.
The key to capturing great shots with grid lines is positioning your subject in designated places among the lines that’ll make them look good to our human eyes and sensibilities.
This idea is based on the rule-of-thirds, a technique that revolves around placing your subject points either along the lines or in the intersections of them, rather than in the middle of your frame.
Great photos or videos tend to have one primary point that they want people's attention to be focused on.
Use the grid lines hopefully now permanently on your phone or tablet’s camera to place your focal point properly.
But because your camera doesn't always focus where it's supposed to intuitively, don't forget to tap on your screen to optimize your camera's focus and exposure levels (not over-exposed and not under-exposed) to ensure overall image or video sharpness.
This is especially the case if you shoot subjects in motion – as will likely be the case the majority of the time for baseball and softball coaches.
Using your camera's flash outside during the day can help soften up certain dark areas.
But, do not use your phone camera's flash when it's darker – like inside a particularly darkened training facility or during night games. It will hurt your shots way more than help them.
This is why it's always great to shoot your shots during the day or the afternoon outside in order to take advantage of those prime light rays.
Sunrise and sunset, in particular, make for stunning images and videos.
However, if indoors, a simple lamp light or Amazon-purchased ring light can do wonders.
Luckily, most indoor baseball and softball training facilities are well-lit enough for safety reasons, which means you can still get incredible footage without ever using the flash and at any time of day.
Those little finishing touches between your social media output and your competitors can add up to a defining difference in brand.
Here are a few editing apps that might come in handy:
Snapseed, with their photoshop-like, smooth easy to use platform.
VSCO, deemed the best by even photographers with their high-quality filters, particularly suited for outdoorsy (ballfield) types of images.
Canva, gets you access to infinite amounts of templates to use to craft custom designs to suit your brand’s theme.
They also have tons of high-quality stock videos and images that, when used sparingly and creatively, can really elevate your game on social.
For editing video footage on your phone, the app we recommend most, due to its ease of use and robust features, is called Filmmaker Pro Video Editor.
#Next Steps for Baseball and Softball Coaches Looking to Grow Their Social Media Accounts
Okay, with these must-haves in place, the next step depends on where you were in your entrepreneurial journey when you found this article.
If you haven’t yet established your unique baseball or softball brand – and all that entails – then we highly recommend checking out this ultimate coach’s guide before you do anything else.
But, if your brand is firmly in place for the time being, the next logical step is to learn which equipment we recommend – after hundreds of hours of testing what’s out there – for upping the audio-visual quality of your social media and online lesson videos even more.