Let’s talk Instagram.
Now I’m not going to lie to you. At the time of writing this I’m really just starting to get my head around Instagram.
I am intrigued by it, even fascinated, but I have a long way to go, and for my group members you might be pleased to hear it’s going to feature quite heavily in my journey this year, (although I feel at a disadvantage as I refuse to don a bikini), but hey we’ll learn together!
But for now I’m going to put you in the hands of people with far more Insta experience than I.
Let’s start with the lovely Luc from Ranking Systems who’s going to walk through how to create our Instagram Business account and link it to our facebook page.
Then we’re going to hand over to a very clever young lady who I’ve been watching for the last year or so, Vanessa Lau.
When I first saw some of her content I think she might have had a few thousand followers, now she’s up to 65,000! So she definitely knows her stuff.
Here’s what she would do if she were starting an Instagram from scratch!
I’ll be honest, I could go on here and post video after video but every man and his dog (there’s that dog again), is posting about Instagram strategies. It’s super hot right now.
It reminds me of the early facebook page days, remember those anyone? If you were part of my community back in 2010, remember 27 days to 2000 fans?? That was my very first product. I did about k in sales over 2 or 3 months. It was insane! 🙂
So as Vanessa recommends, once you have your brand, niche, and posting strategy sorted you need to get on top of what you’re going to post on Instagram and how to post it. She recommends Stories as a way to get in front of a wider audience, particularly as a new user.
The idea behind Insta Stories is to share spontaneous photos, videos, links, and text at the top of your profile that only last for 24 hours. The story is published separately to the content that you post in your feed, and it gives your followers a glimpse into your business.
This video from Hubspot is a great introduction to making use of the hidden creative tools in the Instagram app, so your story looks eye-catching to watchers.
What you share in the peeps behind the scenes of your business is up to you, but this is a place where you can have some fun.
It can sometimes feel like an uphill climb to create valuable content, so here’s a list of ideas to help you get going.
You know who your ideal followers are so have a think about what they’d be interested in seeing.
Don’t worry if you don’t think you have an interesting life though, people just want to get to know you! These prompts are loose and are just to get the creative juices flowing. The key thing is to show up and be authentic!
Even if you aren’t heading off to black-tie award dinners every five minutes, you’re probably up to something sociable as part of your day. If you walk around the park at lunchtime, or you go to lunch with colleagues, or even if the office cat wanders in, it gives followers the chance to see what you’re up to as part of your day and get to know you.
Let followers know what’s hot in your industry. Even a small news break can pop up on your Story to give followers bite-size info on current trends or events. You can even use those stickers mentioned in the video to create a poll asking for your followers’ opinions on current events.
Show Off Your Product
A series of 15-second clips on an IG Story are the perfect place to show how to use your product or services or chat through its features.
Promote an Event
Are you going to guest on a podcast? Maybe you’ve been featured on someone’s website or got a fab testimonial if so shout about it! You can either use the illustration features in Instagram itself to create a flier to go in your Stories or use Canva (see more about this below) to add the wow factor.
Showcase a Blog Post
Why not use your Instagram Story to point people to your website. A blog is a great way to bring people back to your site again and again and to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. A preview on your Story can help people find their way to your blog for the first time – and hopefully keep them coming back for more.
Link Out To Others
You know I love giving a shout out to content creators that provide useful info. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so if you work with someone great or you love someone else’s work, let people know. Networking is a great way to nurture relationships and connect with others in your niche.
Producing Clickable Stories
As I said, you can use the in-app Story builder features to make your Story stand out, and don’t get me wrong, they’re a great place to start. But if you want to make your business Story pop give Canva a whirl.
It is super-simple to use, all you do is head to the website and choose the Instagram Story Template, and you can instantly create pictures that really show your brand off. Canva has a brilliant Complete guide to creating an Instagram Story that shows you how to create eye-catching stories without worrying about the techy bits.
Here is an excellent guide to using Instagram Stories by the folks at Later.com – The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for Business.
And a mammoth post by the folks at Hubspot. Instagram Stories: What They Are and How to Make One Like a Pro
Finally, the folks at Bulk.ly have written a post on creative ways to add a link to Instagram stories: How To Add a Link to an Instagram Story – 7 Inventive Ways
As well as only being available for 24 hours the IG Story only lasts for a limited time of 15 seconds so don’t try uploading any epics!
If you want to post longer videos, then you need IGTV. If you follow me on Insta – and you should! – you’ll see that my latest offering is brought to you by the magic of IGTV.
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So my good buddy Dan from @wanderingworthy challenged me to come up with 10 ways he could monetize his new brand. . Always up for a challenge, we hopped on a FB Live in my ‘Your Lifestyle Business FB Community’ & between us came up with 12 ways he could start monetizing his new travel brand today! . It went on a bit long so we split it into 3 parts, check out Part 1 today! 😎 . These strategies apply to anyone building an online lifestyle business you can run from anywhere in the world. . Hope it helps! 😀 . Let me know which one(s) float your boat! . . . . . #podcast #entrepreneur #digitalnomads #busnessadvice #businessmotivation #businesstips #businessideas #laptoplifestyle #workanywhere #businessopportunity #businessminded #entrepreneurspirt #succesminded #locationindependent #travelpreneur #onlineentrepreneur #onlineincome #businessmentor
Now, I don’t want to blow your mind with an information overload, but I just wanted to mention IGTV as a way to use the platform to upload longer videos.
Check out What is IGTV Video and How Can Brands Use It? by the social media experts at the Digital Marketing Institute to dive into the specifics of how to use IGTV for your business. I was able to repurpose a Facebook Live and share it with my Instagram audience to widen my reach.
And last but not least, let’s talk about scheduling…don’t worry, you don’t have to spend all day every day with your phone in your hand snapping pics and taking video to market your business. Listen to this awesome episode from the GoalDigger podcast for tips on how to batch your content, so it’s ready to post way in advance.
When all your photos and videos are ready to go, you can set up a posting schedule. Of course, it’s cool if you prefer to post spontaneously, but if you’d rather set it up in advance to save time, it’s easy to do. Neil Patel has a great blog post on Tools to Automate Your Instagram Scheduling, and he walks you through setting them up.
I just want to do a quick shout out to a couple of people who if you’re serious about Instagram you want to be following and checking out their content;
1. Sunny Lenarduzzi – Yes I know she’s a YouTube expert but this lady knows a thing or two about Insta also! Here’s her YouTube channel, which feature quite a few awesome videos on how to start & grow your Insta career!
2. Jenna Kutcher – There’s something about this woman. She’s already crushing it, but I predict super big things for her in the next 10 years or so, she has such a relatable way about her. She’s known for her podcast but also empowers women through body image. Here’s her Instagram accounts (she has one for personal and one for the podcast). The podcast is where you’ll get all your juicy tips about Instagram. Her personal one is to watch how she executes it all!
I guess there are many more but these are the two that have really stood out for me.
If you have any more awesome folks who should be included here, let me know in the comments below. In the meantime go get crushing the gram.
Before we leave instagram, just for shits & giggles I have to introduce you to the funniest account on there. I guarantee this will make you laugh.
Go check out Celeste Barber. I’ll leave you to see why;