Social media can often feel like a never ending task within your business, but Kendra Swalls is sharing how to use Instagram to grow your business without burning out.
IE 327: How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business without Burning Out with Kendra Swalls
On today’s episode we have special guest Kendra Swalls, Kendra is a former teacher that began building a photography business.
After having her second daughter she left teaching behind and took on her photography business full-time.
That’s when Kendra really began learning about the business and building it rather than the creativity.
She loved learning about marketing strategies, social media, email marketing, and relationship building.
Kendra was able to really grow her photography business using those strategies.
She then began her podcast, “Girl Means Business” and built her coaching business and a brand around that where she now offers one-on-one coaching.
How often should we be posting to Instagram?
When it comes to Instagram, Kendra always says that there’s no “one size fits all”.
Everybody wants people to come on and say “Okay here’s exactly what you need to be doing and here’s exactly how to find success on Instagram or social media”.
It’s not about how often you post, it’s more about your consistency.
Instagram is a part of Kendra’s business so she posts daily on Instagram, but it’s not necessarily just posting to her feed, it’s posting stories or reels.
Now there are people that work a 9-5 job everyday or have kids at home, they’re not going to have the same capacity that Kendra does because it’s a part of her job.
If your capacity is twice a week then you need to be posting every week, twice a week.
You need to make it consistent to the point that your audience expects it from you, to where they know that every Monday at 6:00 pm you’re going to post something.
You need to figure out what you can do so that you don’t burn yourself out.
Because if you say you’re going to post every single day but you only have the capacity to do that within two or three weeks you’re going to say “screw it, forget Instagram, shut the whole thing down”.
What features within Instagram should we be utilizing?
Kendra thinks of the Instagram features as neighborhoods within a little community, you have your stories, your feed, reels or video content, and then you have live videos.
You have all of these little things that Instagram that come out consistently, in 2022 they’ve had a crazy amount of updates that they’ve done.
But those four things have been consistent in the neighborhood, and they all serve a different purpose.
Feed content is content you’re putting on your feed for your current audience, so it’s educational content talking about products or services and sharing tips.
The reel feature is where you’re looking to reach a larger audience, that’s where you’re getting higher views.
Reels are a little more playful, surface level things that are going to draw people in.
Live videos are good if you’re looking to have a very engaged audience and you’re trying to bring people in and have guest speakers.
Stories are used to build connections with your current audience.
All other features you use on Instagram need to be around your expertise or niche to provide value for your audience.
Your stories really show off who you are behind the scenes so you can post goofy things like your kids doing crazy things or cooking dinner one night while talking about something.
Those are the moments that put a real person into your business, so if you can only focus on one piece of the whole neighborhood then stories are your best bet.
How do we create the “like, know and trust” factor with our audience?
This is where the neighborhoods come in, if they don’t see your content then they can like or trust you.
The first piece is the no, how are you putting yourself out there?
Are you creating content that could potentially reach a larger audience, whether it’s reels or the carousel posts?
Are you creating content that’s going to get your account noticed because that’s how they’re going to be drawn in and want to follow you?
There’s a lot of accounts that you’ll go on that have bios saying “coffee lover, dog mom” which tells people nothing about why they should follow you.
They’re not going to take the time to scroll through your content, So are you setting up your account in a way that people will look and say “Ohh this is for me”.
That’s the No piece, the like piece and the trust piece that all comes from your content.
You should keep a broken record story, story stories, but that is where they get to like and trust you because they’re getting to know you.
And some people aren’t very big on being in front of the camera and that’s okay, the more you do it the easier it gets.
If you want your followers to get to know you, you need to post about your daily life, post a story of you going on your daily walk or take a picture of things around you.
You have to set yourself apart by having that personal connection piece.
How do you recommend transitioning your Instagram audience to your email list?
There was a day in 2021 where Instagram shut down for the day, everybody was freaking out and it was a big eye opener.
What happens if you can’t have access to this audience where that’s your livelihood.
Then Instagram went through trying to clean out accounts that were inactive, fake, or not following guidelines.
There were accounts with 30,000 followers being shut down and they couldn’t do anything about it.
You need to have another way to reach your audience even if it’s just to say “Hey this account is gone, I’ve started a new account here.”
You need to have a lead magnet of some kind, and this should be in your biolink, whether you have it as your sole link or a little link tree.
Think about what is something that your audience really needs from you that you can help them get a quick win on.
The great thing about lead magnets is you’re sharing something that they need for free, so you’re not selling them on anything.
You’re just saying “Hey I have this great resource, go check it out”.
If you’re not good at this or if you’re not used to promoting things all the time, build it into your schedule.
Build it into your schedule, every Tuesday you’re going to post a story talking about it.
Now we all have access to links in our stories, you’re going to talk about on your stories and you’re going to share a link, then on Thursday you’re going to put something on your feed post.
One of Kendra’s lead magnets is an email starter kit, it’s a free kit that helps you decide, go through the process of setting up an email list from scratch.
What is the difference between your email marketing content and your Instagram content?
Kendra loves to repurpose content, she doesn’t think it needs to be two completely separate things.
How you present it is the differentiator.
A lot of the time when Kendra is coming up with email content, she’s going back to a social media post or an older podcast and ultimately it’s all connected.
They’re content shared in different ways
You can take something from your social media that highlights the content and put it into an email and go more in depth with it.
When you get onto Kendra’s email list you can also get the email starter kit where you get a fun marketing quiz.
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