How to Go From 0 to 30k on Instagram w/ Kara Benz
And then we have our next example. So we're really looking at marketing strategies that win big and our next example is a lady named Kara of a blog named Boho Berry and she went from zero to 30,000 Instagram followers within a six month period. Now that was at the time we were putting this together and we were talking about Kara teaching a segment on this class but that was a month ago so, of course, now she has over 40,000 Instagram followers. Because of course, everybody gets 10,000 Instagram followers a month. But she is such a fast burner. That's what the military calls people who move up in the ranks unusually quickly, fast burners, and Kara is a fast burner in the creative industry. I have been amazed by her success, amazed and inspired. Now I met her as she was just opening an Etsy shop and just starting a blog and it was the very beginning of her career. And amazingly, that was within a year ago. It hasn't even been a year for Kara in online business yet. And I had the pleasure...
of welcoming her to the Luminaries Club. So she was a member and we were all knowing her as she was building her Etsy shop and growing her business online. And then during this six months period, she would come in there and share these results she was getting and she would say, oh, I posted these blog posts, I'm doing this thing for my blog and look at my traffic spike. And she would show us these amazing results she would create. And she would share with us these Instagram successes she was creating over there as well and none of us could believe it. We were all blown away by her success and watching her grow so rapidly. So without further ado because Kara's gonna tell you more about this in person right here, I'd like to welcome Kara Benz to the stage for her CreativeLive debut. (applause)
Thank you so much, I'm so excited.
Thank you so much, Kara, for being here. I can hardly wait to take this segment of class and learn from you today so I'm gonna hand that over to you.
Okay, I'm almost a little nervous now because Lisa talked me up so much that I don't know where to go from there. But a little bit more about me and I know Lisa explained a little bit but I started my Etsy shop back in April of last year and I started my Instagram account shortly thereafter with absolutely zero followers. And I did have a personal Instagram account but I decided to use my business account and start from scratch. And so I started with absolutely nothing and by January or by December, I was up to about 25, January I was up to 30 and I often ask myself, how did I do that, and I get asked, how did I do that. And most of the time I say, oh you know, it's just happenstance. I was just in the right place at the right time. But what it really boils down to is I took calculated steps and each step along this way, I was creating my own luck. So I'm gonna walk you through how I created my own luck today. With your Instagram account, as with anything, as in business and in life in general, you need to set yourself up for success. And the way that you do that is with three elements. You have an Instagram, you have your Bio, you have the clickable link within your Instagram profile, and then you have the overall theme of your Instagram account. So your cohesiveness, just like Lisa was talking about shop cohesion, you want to think about the cohesion of your Instagram account as well. So with those three elements combined, and I'm gonna dive into those deeper throughout my time here with you today, but with those three elements combined, you're gonna set yourself up for huge successes on Instagram. The first part is to craft your enticing Bio. You want your Bio to draw people in. Your Bio is where you make your first impression with people. So when people click over to your Instagram account, that's the first thing they're gonna see, it's the first thing they're gonna read. And your Bio is limited on Instagram to 150 characters or less so you really have to be short, sweet, concise, and to the point. But you want to give them as much information as possible as well. So I'm gonna walk you through a few examples of different Bios and stuff like that here in a little bit but we're gonna move on now to that clickable link within your profile. And I always say, think about the link. You want to swap out this link within your Instagram Bio. It's the only outbound clickable link. It's the only way that you can direct traffic elsewhere from your Instagram account. So if you're trying to get people back to your Etsy shop storefront, you're trying to get people to sign up for your email list, you want to be using that link to direct people where you want them to go. So that can go to your latest listing. If you have a special offer that you're promoting with a certain photo on Instagram, you can send them to your email sign-up as well. Or you can even create a landing page on your own website where you welcome Instagram followers to a specific landing page on your blog that kind of gives them the tour and shows them around. And then the third part, again, is your cohesiveness and consistency. And cohesiveness comes from all different aspects. Just like Lisa was talking with product photography, how all of your lighting needs to be the same, you need to have that same feel, you need to have that same color scheme, that same theme throughout your Instagram account. So one of the ways that you can do that is to just try to think of those three adjectives that Lisa was talking about when branding your business and always think before you post one of your photos to Instagram. Ask yourself if it fits within one of those three adjectives. And then as far as consistency goes, you're really thinking about your posting schedule, you're thinking about the content that you're delivering to your followers. Is it always consistent? Are you surprising them with random new things all the time or are you keeping it focused on what they're here for? Alright, so we're gonna talk about a few Instagram accounts that have the total package. And the total package, again, is that Bio. It is the cohesiveness of your theme and your clickable link. So this is mine, I just wanted to show it as a quick example. And this is this morning. I had to screenshot this right when I hit 40k because I was so excited. But I keep my profile pretty simple. I just put three things that I'm known for which that's an easy way to craft your Bio but I put artist, writer, and bullet journalist. Those are the three things that I am known for. And then I just used a little tag line to kind of give people an idea of what I'm all about. So I show you how to live a more centered and inspired life, one beautiful day at a time. And then I have a link here and I have just finished setting this up as the landing page that I was talking about so I don't ever have to change out my link in my Instagram Bio ever again. So when people go to this page, they're gonna be directed to whatever I want them to be directed to which is awesome. I'll explain that in way more detail later. And then the cohesiveness. So you want all your photos to have a theme to them which mine definitely do. Mine are kind of ethereal and definitely bright lighting with the productivity and organization tips. The next example I have is Rachel from Paper Berry Press and Rachel is amazing. She's doing awesome things on Etsy and off of Etsy but she actually just went through a rebrand and became Paper Berry Press. But her Bio, again, it's super to the point. It's apparel, stationary, gifts and goodies. So it tells you everything that you're gonna be getting from her account. It also has her email address there and then it has a hashtag. Now when you look at this hashtag within the Instagram app, that hashtag is clickable even within your Bio. So she's just telling people right there to use that hashtag when they're posting pictures of her product which is awesome. And then again, the clickable link and then her whole feed, I know you can only see the top three pictures here, but her whole feed is confetti, it's party. I mean, her products are featured in such great ways, it's just a gorgeous account to follow. I've got two more, this one is Kelly Jane and Lisa had talked a little bit about her yesterday but Kelly is an amazing designer. And her Bio says she's helping creatives, makers, and go-getters stand out, be seen, and get stuff done online. (laughs) And she also has a call to action in her Bio where she directs you to click the link below and that is to join her on Facebook. And Facebook is where Kelly really connects with people a lot as well so it's great that she's directing traffic from Instagram to there as well. And then her whole feed is bright, cheerful. It's full of all these amazing designs all along that same kind of pastel but fun color scheme. And I have directed people to follow her account several times. I'm like, oh my gosh you guys, you've gotta come look at this Instagram feed because if you scroll through her feed, it's just nothing but joy and happiness and I could stare at it all day. And then the last one that I have for you is Pam of wiredboutique.com and she is also an Etsy seller but she provides inspirational jewelry that's handcrafted to empower women. I love this in her Bio, it kind of explains a little bit about how she came up with the name of her brand. But Designed by mom to W-R-D and those are the first initials of her three children and wired, W-R-D, that's how she came up with that. But then she has a call to action, sign up for our email exclusive sales. She has a link there for the sign up. Now that link is not clickable. The only clickable link is that main one that you put into your Bio. However, it's nice to have that there so people can just copy and past that link and go sign up for the email list. And then her whole feed again, it's very cohesive. She keeps all to the same theme. She creates this gorgeous jewelry and then she also sprinkles in really pretty quotes, she sprinkles in a little bit of her personal life in there as well so it's a really nice mix but it all stays along the same theme.
Kara, we have a couple questions on the online chatroom. The cycle library wanted to know, should I share my Instagram photos to Facebook or keep those images separate?
I do sometimes. My recommendation is to not overdo it though. When you're sharing to Facebook constantly with every Instagram picture that you have, what that's gonna do is it's gonna make people realize that they don't need to follow you on Instagram. If they follow you on Facebook, they have no need to come follow you on Instagram as well because all those pictures are all automatically going over there. So I would just be careful, I would do a few here and there but I wouldn't go completely overboard with doing every single picture automatically.
Okay, that's a great piece of advice. And Sandra Pickert asks, is it okay to have your personal artworks and your business on one Instagram account? It looks like, yeah, she says, is it okay to have your personal artwork and your business planner stickers on one Instagram account or should I have two separate accounts for it? I'm unsure because both are creative but obviously not the same.
Yeah and I think if, it's kind of tricky because I do a lot of that kind of same thing and I do a lot of planner posts but then every now and then I'll sprinkle in other stuff that I'm working on. I think that's okay to every now and then sprinkle it in. But if you're doing it so often that it's confusing people about your message, then that's where I think you need to take a step back and maybe split that into more personal and business account if that makes sense.
Alright. The next thing I want to talk to you all about is Engagement and engagement is what Instagram is all about. Instagram is the most social social media platform out there hands down. People are so active, they're so engaged. There's communities, there's niche communities. I want you to think of engagement as kind of the currency of Instagram. So all those likes, hearts, comments, reposts, all of that counts as engagement on Instagram. And the reason I call it the currency is because that is how Instagram ranks the popularity of your posts and that is how you can get found in the Top Posts sections of search results. A lot of people don't know about this Top Posts section so that's what I'm going to dive into explaining next. And Top Posts and why you want to be there. When you search for a specific hashtag on Instagram, as soon as those search results pop up, and you'll see this here, these first top nine are the top posts. So that is curated by Instagram itself based on how many likes, hearts, and comments each photo has. So if you have a post and you've hashtagged it, this is one of mine, the bulletjournal hashtag, I did a search for that, and there in the top left, that is one of my posts. Actually that's the picture I took of my CreativeLive notes last night on my bed in my Airbnb. But I posted that to Instagram with the bulletjournal hashtag. And what's beautiful about this, if I was able to click around on screen here, I'd be able to show you that these posts are not necessarily recent posts. A lot of these pictures were taken weeks ago. I have seen posts in the Top Posts section that are 16 weeks old and this is what you're gonna find first when you do a hashtag search on Instagram. People are funny creatures. They will click on the first thing that they see. They're not gonna scroll through a million posts trying to find what they're looking for. They're gonna click within those first few rows. So if you can manage to get yourself into this Top Posts section, that is where you want to be because you're gonna be the first thing that people see. And again, engagement being the currency, that is how you get into those top nine posts.
I have a question here.
This is just a theory I have so I wanted to know if you thought it was an interesting theory. Does it also help if a popular Instagram account likes or and the reason why is because Etsy, big Etsy is what I call them, commented on one of my posts and then all of a sudden I got into one of the top posts so I didn't know if it was because, I mean, they didn't like it or anything, they just commented.
I'm actually very curious about that as well because for the most part I've noticed that all of the posts that are in these top nine and I spend a lot of time clicking around in them because I'm really curious. But what they all have in common is that they have high likes and high comments. So I don't know, did you have a whole lot of other comments as well on that post or was it just...
I am not a popular Instagram account unless you like my cat. (laughs)
Which a lot of people probably do.
He is popular! (laughs) My cat's popular but my account is not, you know, what I would consider a top Instagram account. But yeah, it was weird.
What I think is going on here is I think there's some sort of ratio of how many followers do you have to how much engagement. Like what's the percentage of engagement from your own followers that you're getting on that post. So I don't think you have to be a huge Instagram success to get into these top posts because I was landing in these top posts months ago.
The reason I wanted to bring it up to you because Lisa's point where you were talking about working with stylists or other bloggers like potentially could that.
Yes and we're getting there. I have a little bit on working with other brands. But yeah, anytime you can manage to get in these Top Posts, you're gonna be set up way better. Because under there where you see the Most Recent, that's where you're gonna land if you're not, like, right when you post a picture, you're gonna be in those Most Recent posts and that feed just gets longer and longer and longer and things get lost along the way.
Oh so Kara, so this is like, Top Posts is where you can get the compound interest from Instagram like we were talking about Pinterest, yeah. Because you're saying 16 weeks, so if it's there for 16 weeks, that's some serious compound interest on your post.
Absolutely, so yeah, the engagement is what gets you there. So that's what I want to really emphasize is that engagement is super important. We're gonna move on to hashtags and hashtags, I think, could be a whole day in and of itself. But when you first get started with hashtags, I think the most important thing to remember is that a hashtag is just a word or a combination of words that becomes a searchable link. So I want you to think about that searchable aspect of hashtags. And whenever you're thinking of hashtags to use in your posts, and I'm gonna walk through a few different ways to find those as well, but whenever you're thinking about those, I want you to think of every single thing that's in your picture. I want you to think of your location, I want you to think of other brands that are in your photo, I want you to think of colors, I want you to think of the theme, I want you to think of different niche communities within Instagram. What are some hashtags that they use? And hashtags, when you're gonna use a hashtag, I want you to be specific. It's like when we were talking about keywords in the Etsy shop, you want to be a little more specific. You don't want to just say hashtag jewelry or even hashtag cutest bracelet ever or hashtag duh. (laughs) Yeah, you definitely want to be more specific. Think of what you would be typing in to Google to find your product. So Kaitlin, maybe we'd be talking about hashtag boho tassle necklaces or something along those lines. So you want to keep those hashtags a lot more specific than just hashtag jewelry. Okay. Now on finding your hashtags, one of the best new features on Instagram is that it recommends hashtags as you type. So when you're typing in your Instagram description, it's going to automatically recommend hashtags as you are going. So if you start typing a few letters, and this is how I found a few of my hashtags for the bullet journal that I use a lot, I'll type in hashtag bullet and then it'll automatically populate a few different of the most popular hashtags so I can find different hashtags that way. Also, when you're going into the search feature, here, I searched for the #Mothersdaygift and as soon as you do that search, you're gonna see those Top Posts, of course. But up on top notice where it says Related and those are all related popular hashtags to Mother's Day gift so if you know of one hashtag that's working really well for you, you could always go in and search and look through those related. You can click on each one of those and kind of see how much engagement each of those hashtags gets. Another thing I really like to do is to dive into these Top Posts and see what other hashtags are they using in these posts. So that can be really helpful to kind of find new and different hashtags within your niche.
I have a quick question about hashtags. So when you're choosing the hashtags, do you want to choose something that's most popular? Because I would think if it's too popular, you're gonna get lost in a bunch of other photos. Or do you choose something in between? What's the best strategy?
Yes, I like to do something in between. I do like to use those super popular hashtags but within that same post I'll narrow it down to a lot more specific, like, niche-related hashtags. So using those more popular hashtags might help you get found a little bit but you'll also show up for all these smaller ones in the Top Posts and you'll rank a lot higher on those.
So mix it up.
Kara, we have several questions about hashtags.
Great, I figured there would be a few.
Yeah, on the online chat. Daisy Chain Oddities asks, I was told that big companies can claim a hashtag for themselves and no one else is allowed to use them, is this true?
I've never heard of that. I do know that it's highly looked down upon to hijack a company's hashtag. I would never do that. However, if you're posting a picture of one of your newest bracelet listings and you also have a Fossil watch in that picture, I strongly encourage you to use the Fossil watch hashtag or whatever their hashtag is for their brand. I don't think that they can copyright a hashtag like that per se. I could be 100% wrong but I'm pretty sure that it's completely fine.
And is there such a thing as using too many hashtags?
Probably. Instagram does limit you to 30 hashtags. And what I like to do is I like to sprinkle my hashtags throughout what I'm saying in my description. I don't want to make the whole paragraph hashtags but I'll sprinkle in, hey, you know, just posted this new hashtag rat bracelet in the shot today, check the link in Bio. And then I'll leave a little space and then I'll write in all the different hashtags. I don't think there's such a thing as using too many. I mean, you want to get found as many places as possible, right. Okay.
Great and let's see. Abby Gleason asks, does Instagram alert you when you are in the top nine?
No, I wish they did, that would be awesome. But I keep a really close eye on all of my hashtags. So the ones that I use commonly and the ones that I'm trying to rank for, think of hashtags as keywords, you guys. Think of those as the words that you want to rank for as if you were working SEO on your blog or your Etsy shop. So keep track of those keywords, those hashtags, and keep checking them often and see where you're falling and how you compare, how your photos compare to all the other top nine posts out there and see how you can improve. There's nothing wrong with getting ideas from other people for sure.
Great and one last question. One student says, I'm so excited about this Instagram section from Kara. If I have started to post in my Instagram more consistent and one-themed pictures about a month ago, should I delete my previous posts from months ago when I started and the posts were very different and not consistent at all?
I wouldn't worry about it. If you want a really good laugh, go check out my Instagram profile @boho.berry and scroll all the way back to the very end. I have ridiculous, horrible blurry pictures of jewelry that I was trying to make and honestly, I just leave it there. I feel like it shows my growth. I love looking back on that and kind of seeing how far I've come. And it doesn't, you don't get marked down by Instagram for having unpopular pictures. Like, I know Pinterest I think does that a little bit. They see kind of how popular you are overall. Instagram doesn't do that. You're gonna land in those top nine as long as that one particular picture is doing well. You don't need to worry about the rest.
Okay. The next thing I want to talk about is Photo Challenges and photo challenges is something that is really really big on Instagram right now and you'll see these photo challenges pop up for several different things. And one of my favorites and one that I've been participating in for quite a while is called the Plan With Me challenge. And what a challenge is is basically it's a hashtag that the creators have set up and then they market that hashtag and get a bunch of different people to participate and post photos related to that hashtag throughout the month. So the great thing about these photo challenges is that once you're in there participating and using that hashtag, you're getting a lot of eyes. Like, everyone else that is participating is also searching that hashtag and they're looking at your photos as well. And the really cool thing is that you can use your other hashtags that you're trying to rank for along with that challenge hashtag and you're gonna be getting a lot of engagement from everyone else participating in that challenge. They're gonna be liking and commenting on your stuff because that's what you do in a photo challenge. And Instagram is gonna see that as that post is really really popular now. So it's just really a little aside and something to think about. If you can find a photo challenge within your niche, it's something really really cool that's really gonna boost your engagement and get you into those top nine posts more often. Alright, Tagging and @Mentions and this is where we're gonna get into working with brands. First, I want to talk about the difference between a tag and an @mention. And tagging is where you are physically, when you are posting your photo to Instagram, you are physically tagging that brand or that person in the photo. And @mentioning is where you are just typing in their username into the description of your Instagram post. So what I want you to think about with tagging and @mentions is where does your brand overlap with others? And this is what I was talking about with the hashtags as well where you can think about different hashtags to use. I have a little success story with the tagging and @mentions and this is where, you know how I was talking about creating your own luck? This is where that comes in. I can remember the date very specifically. It was early September of last year and I was about to participate in a Whole30 challenge which those of you who have heard of Whole30, it's a diet. You can look up the book if you want to. But I was about to participate in the Whole and I decided to take my bullet journal, my planner, and I decided to write out all of my to-dos and tasks related to this challenge and I decided to take a picture of it and post it to Instagram. And I tagged Whole30, which is the company, I tagged them in the photo and then I used the hashtag Whole30 Challenge. A few days went by, I had some pretty good interaction. I had some likes and comments on the post. Everybody was really excited that I was gonna be sharing this on my blog soon. And September 13th at noon, I noticed on my Google Analytics that I was getting loads, loads of traffic back to my blog, back to my shop. I was like, where is all this traffic coming from? And I couldn't figure it out. Finally, I went onto Instagram and I noticed that Whole30 had picked up my photo and they had regrammed it to their 183,000 plus followers. So they had shared my picture and I got so much traffic all day long, it was crazy. And what's really neat to note there is that Whole30's audience is not my audience. I'm not a health blog, I don't sell anything healthy. I don't, you know, all I did was post a picture related to what they were doing, kind of combined it with what I was doing, and it just exploded from there. And I got so much traffic back to my Instagram. My Instagram went from 500, right around 500, to 3400 subscribers within 24 hours. I sold a ton of ebooks, I had a ton of new traffic to my blog, I had email lists sign ups, it was just insane. But the thing to know there is Whole30 never would have seen my picture had I not tagged them in it, had I not hashtagged Whole30 Challenge. So I strongly, strongly encourage you to think of other brands, think of ways that you could overlap with bigger businesses. Yes, Lisa?
Can I ask you a question, actually two? I was wondering if you would expand on the bullet journal because you've mentioned it. I'm not sure everybody knows what it is. So would you tell us what that is and also would you mind sharing numbers? What does a lot of traffic mean? (laughs) I mean, I ask you because I already know what that means but I want everybody to hear it.
Yes, I'll start with the bullet journal because that's really easy for me but the bullet journal is basically a DIY planner and it's a way to organize your life in one single notebook. It's a system of to-do lists and collections, different lists within your life. But it's kind of a DIY thing. Instead of buying a pre-printed planner, you do it all in one notebook and on your own and you can kind of lay things out as you wish every new day. So that's the bullet journal and that's what I'm super known for. When I talk about loads of traffic, Lisa, back in September, my average traffic was probably somewhere around 10 to 15 page views per day on my blog. It was pretty sad. When that happened, I logged into my Google Analytics and I looked at the real-time overview. And it's just a little segment under Google Analytics that lets you see your real-time traffic and it was soaring into the hundreds. At any second, I had hundreds of people on my blog so it was quite significant, quite significant. And what happened when I noticed that Whole30 had done that, I immediately went in and I adjusted that link in my profile to go straight to the Whole30 blog post that I had just done on my blog. So they landed on something that they were strongly interested in and then they clicked around and saw everything else that I'm into and was doing. So that's just another little tidbit.
Kara, couple of comments from the online audience. So Daisy Chain Oddities says, I don't have a question yet but I want to tell her that I adore her bullet journals. And then she said in all capital letters, we love Kara's bullet journals! So check it out everybody! (laughs)
That's so sweet, I love that!
Is there a difference between tagging and @mentions, is there a disadvantage or advantage to using one or the other?
I don't really think so, I prefer an @mention myself. When you tag someone, they are going to get a specific notification that someone has taken a photo of you, is what that notification says. And it's gonna show up in a whole different section. When you look at your notifications on Instagram, those are all right along the bottom. When someone tags a photo of you, you get a notification in the top left-hand corner of your Instagram screen. So a tag is gonna really grab their attention whereas an @mention, like, those big brands get @mentions all day long. So it really depends on how you want to do it. I prefer not to be that pushy and doing a tag but either way really I think it's fine. I don't think there's a disadvantage.
I have a question if you don't mind. I'm assuming you're gonna get to this part but I was curious about how much that traffic translated into sales for your business because that's always what's on my mind, you know.
Yeah. It didn't immediately. I did get a few ebook sales because I had an ebook available on my blog. What it did is some of those Whole30 people that are really big health nuts also happen to be into organizing and planning and personal development. So when they clicked around my site, they stuck around for that extra content and my traffic never went back down is what I'm saying. Like, I had people returning to my blog and kept coming back for more, for more content. So although I didn't see a huge immediate sales bump, I did see a continuous traffic boost from it so that was awesome.
Kara, so in terms of as a follow up to the question about tagging and mentions, is it okay to do both? Or is that, okay.
Absolutely, sure. Yeah, I don't see why not.
I just wanted to make sure that wasn't a negative, like if you did both it was too much.
Yeah, no, people tag me and @mention me all the time and it's totally fine. I like that. Lisa tags me and @mentions me.
Like, Kara, pay attention to me. (laughing)
On that note, I just want to say, like, it doesn't have to be a super huge Instagram account that reposts your photo. I know for Kelly Jane Creative that I showed earlier, we were messaging last night and she told me that back in December when I shared one of her photos, she said her Instagram account grew 300 overnight and that was when I had, like, 25, 20, 25,000 followers so it doesn't have to be a huge, like 100, 200, 300K. And I know with Lisa, she's seen some boosts when I share her posts.
We were working on your best year. There's a new year review we do every year and Kara was sharing she was doing my review and I would wake up everyday, oh in the course of a week, I got a thousand new followers because Kara was talking about me on Instagram.
Yeah, well I love you. (laughs)
Kara, there are a few other questions.
Okay, let's do it.
On our online queue. Janet Daggery asks, how do you find the various @mentions to tag to?
The @mention and tagging, this is a specific account so the @mention is gonna be their username as well as the tag but it just depends, again, go back to thinking about what you're using in your photos. Are you using any brands, is there anything that you could overlap with within your photos?
Okay and Haikun asks, how do you regram or do you regram? I've seen it before but I don't know how to do it.
Yeah, there's not a way to do it within the Instagram app. It's a totally separate, I use an app called Repost, yeah Repost, and all you do is you log into that account and then you have to search for the photo that you want to regram and it'll copy it to your clipboard and you can go back into Instagram and post that photo.
Okay, great. And finally, a few people had questions about the photo challenge. Sevon says, how would you find photo challenges? Is there one place to find them? And Time Capsule adds, can you look up the hashtag photo challenge to find these and then engage with these people?
I wish that there was a central place to search for photo challenges, I really wish there was. But what I would do is just search within your niche. I would look for, like, a Photo a Day Challenge. You can just Google these things. But right now I'm participating in a handwriting challenge, I'm participating in a planning challenge. There's a bunch of different lettering challenges. But I know that there's photo challenges out there for all the other niches as well, I just haven't taken the time to search for those myself. But I know that they're definitely out there. And then as far as engaging with that hashtag, you definitely just want to search that hashtag and get in there, like, comment on other people's posts, follow people that are participating in the challenge itself and you providing that engagement is gonna return that engagement to you as well. Absolutely.
Great, thank you.
Alright, let's move on. Providing Value and this is something that Lisa teaches a lot and that's value-based selling and also constantly thinking about what's in it for your customer, what's in it for your followers. You need to give them a reason to want to stick around. You need to provide value as often as possible in as many different ways as possible. So if you are a jewelry business, I know I keep using the same example because it's what's on my mind. If you are a jewelry business and you want to provide value to your customers, you could do a flash sale through Instagram, post a special little coupon code. You could even share different tips, share little tidbits about how you source your materials. Share knowledge, share information, share something that's gonna make them want to keep coming back to your account. And then Driving your own traffic. This is a huge one for me on Instagram because I feel like people are always like, I'm posting all these great pictures, I'm doing all these things and no one's coming, no one's looking at my account. And I think one of the biggest things it's likely says about Etsy. You can't expect Etsy to provide you with a ton of sales. Etsy is the tool that you are using to get those sales, to earn those sales. Now with driving your own traffic to Instagram, it's the same thing. You can't just expect it to happen overnight. You need to drive some of your own traffic there as well. So I recommend promoting your Instagram everywhere that you go. Have a business card with your Instagram account on there. You can promote it within your email marketing. You can promote it within your other social media pages, like Facebook, Pinterest, et cetera. You could even promote it within your orders that you send out. Create a little card that has your Instagram account on it and it says, hey, if you love this product, use this hashtag on Instagram and people will start hashtagging photos of your product and tagging you in those as well. So I think it's really crucial to start driving your own traffic to Instagram in addition to using all your hashtag strategies and stuff like that. Alright, any questions before we get into Analytics?
Erica has a question.
So going back to Facebook versus Instagram, how do you decide what to put on Instagram and what to put on Facebook since you recommended not doing like double post of everything?
Yeah, I definitely don't and I normally, I will physically post them completely separate. I don't like having the same content going to multiple places all in one day. I like to kind of mix it up so I want people that follow me on Facebook to get a different experience than the people that follow me on Instagram. It's cohesive but you get a different taste of me by following me in all those different places because I want people to follow me everywhere. But I would say just sporadically. I wouldn't really do it very often at all.
What's the difference in content? What's on your Facebook versus what's on your Instagram?
Well, Instagram is gonna be much more visual and I'm just talking a little bit about whatever photo I'm posting. Whereas on Facebook, I'm more geared towards I'll post a photo related to a blog post or related to a new product and I'll describe that a little bit more with a call to action or something along those lines. So it can be the same content, I just wouldn't overlap it as much as possible. Okay. I wanted to talk a little bit about Instagram Analytics because this is something that has really helped me with my consistency. And when we're talking about cohesiveness and consistency in the beginning, consistency is gonna be your posting schedule and Instagram does not have its own built-in analytics system so you have to go to an outside source for that. I used to use iconosquare.com but they recently started charging for their services so I now recommend Squarelovin. That is square L-O-V-E-I-N dot com and this is what you're gonna see when you log into your Squarelovin analytics. It's gonna tell you, and then this is all based on how often you post right now and it's based on your current posting schedule. It'll tell you what your best days of the week are to post, what your best time is, and then community interactions that you get based on the time of day and day of the week that you post as well. So this is really cool when you're looking in. For example, I know personally that I get the most engagement when I post between nine and 10, 11 o'clock in the morning. And then I also know that for some reason on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, people don't check Instagram at lunch. And then on Sunday, I know that people don't hop on Instagram until after lunch. Obviously, they're doing other things. But this is really helpful to look at. And when you first log in, if you haven't kept to a very consistent schedule, if you've kind of been scattered and all over the place, you're gonna have a lot of little red and orange and yellow bubbles on here. Once you start homing in and testing out different times of the day to see what works best for you, that's where you're gonna see this kind of come to life and you'll be able to see where you're getting the most engagement based on when you're posting which is awesome. Alright, I wanted to dive into two little Pro Tips before I finish up. One of them is that Instagram landing page that I was talking about earlier and I always say that you should be changing out that link in your Bio constantly. However, there is one kind of loop around that and it also helps with your Google Analytics. I don't know if any of you have ever checked or noticed that you can't really track your Instagram traffic. It doesn't show up as Instagram traffic in Google Analytics. So this is one work-around to that that I've found and it's working really well. But you create this landing page on your website or your blog and all of your Instagram traffic comes to that specific page. You only give this link within your Instagram account so you know that everyone that lands on that page is coming from Instagram. So that's how you can tell Google Analytics that all this is Instagram traffic. Then the cool thing is you have this whole page where you can point them. You can say, these are my most recent blog posts, this is the item that's on sale, this is, you can lay that out so it can say whatever you want it to say based on what you're trying to promote at that time, if that makes sense. The other pro tip that I have for you is to curate your Photos of You tab. Do any of you know what the Photos of You tab is? Okay. (laughs) The Photos of You tab when you log into Instagram and you go to your personal profile, it looks like a little picture of a head, if you click on that, it'll take you here. This is the Photos of You and this is the photos that other people are tagging you in. So remember when I said you could tag other brands? If you get tagged, this is where it will show up. So what I like to do because I know I do this and I know that there are other people out there that do this but I like to go into people's profiles and check out their Photos of You and that way I can see kind of what other people are sharing related to that person. So I can even see other people wearing their products in real life. But I like to curate this because sometimes not everyone's a good photographer, not everyone takes awesome pictures that you want to show up on your profile. So you can actually go in here, you can tap on each of these pictures and you can see where you're tagged and you can click to Hide from profile or to Remove from profile. So you can curate this section so that the Photos of You section is all just the most gorgeous pictures that people have tagged you in period. And I just love that, I love having that little bit of finesse to my Instagram account. And I don't know how many people actually check that but I love to curate that and make sure that it's looking really good. So that is all I have. If there's questions, I would love to answer them.
I think we've gone through most of the questions online. Does anybody in the studio have any questions?
Go ahead Vanessa.
How many times a day would you recommend to post? Like, I know you're gonna have a different opinion on that but I'm curious about yours.
I think whatever works best for you personally but keep it consistent. So I personally post two to four times a day and you want to keep those really spread out. You don't want to post back-to-back-to-back. A lot of people on Instagram, and I'm one of them, like, if I'm scrolling through my feed and I see the same account over and over and over again, I'll unfollow that person. So people do that so you want to be aware, you don't want to post too close together but you just want to keep that consistent. I recommend two to four, other people recommend more or less, it's totally up to you.
Along the line about scheduling, Amanda Aragon had a question concerning that. So how do you manage that posting schedule? Would you schedule it like you would a post about a sale or a blog post?
There are a few scheduling apps out there. One that I really like is Latergram. And if you just Google Latergram, you will find it but it allows you to upload photos and it allows you to upload a caption to go along with that photo. Unfortunately, there are no apps out there that will be able to post to Instagram for you. So you will have to go in and manually post those photos. But Latergram, what they'll do is they'll alert you at whatever set time you have for that scheduled photo.
Is it L-A-T-T-E-R, Latter?
L-A-T-E-R-G-R-A-M dot M-E, Latergram. Okay, awesome, that was like, perfect! It's magic!
Okay, and some other questions just came in. So if we have the landing page that we change up, does that mean that we don't need to change the actual link on the Insta profile?
Yeah, that was what I was getting at so that way you never have to change that link and you can just update the information on your landing page itself to be whatever is most relevant at the moment.
Okay, great. And finally, Time Capsule had another question. So does that landing page that you put up in the Bio, that's the landing page you put in the Bio and how can you get accurate analytics if you change out that website in the Bio a lot then?
Yeah, what I was saying is that's making that landing page your link in your Bio and never changing it out anymore is how you will start to get accurate analytics of how much traffic is coming to you from Instagram.
Oh I see, okay, I didn't get that from before.
So you'll see within Google Analytics that anyone that lands on that page, you can count that as Instagram traffic. 100% for sure.
I see, okay, got it. Thank you, sorry for the confusion.
So when you said you'll never change that link again but what if you want to go to a different website, in that case you would or are you redirecting links if you want to go to a different--
Yeah, if I wanted to link to something else, like for example, like, right now I'm promoting my time here on CreativeLive. So what I did is within that landing page, I made that my first thing and I just have a hey, check us out on CreativeLive this weekend, click here. And so within my landing page is where I will redirect them to wherever I want them to go.
I want to say something else, too, because I felt like I had an aha moment when you were talking about, you said flash sale on your Instagram and I realize, you know, we talked a lot about exposure and we talked about that vulnerable ask and I realize I'm new to using Instagram. It's something that I'm practicing at right now. I'm learning from you how to do it better. And I'm afraid to ask for anything on Instagram. And even when I see other people promote like a flash sale, I think, how did you do that, like, how did you, because I just want people to like me right now.
It's getting comfortable with that exposure, Lisa. Gotta get comfortable with the exposure.
And trust that I can go ahead and ask for something sometimes.
The world is not gonna end if you ask for something.
I also liked what you said about sprinkling some, it's okay to sprinkle in some off-topic posts because I know I follow very few people, I like to keep that clean and neat because I like to learn on Instagram so I really focus there and some people will go off-topic. And I don't mind when it happens once but I realize if it's two or three times then I'm saying, okay, unfollow. We're not made for each other.
Yeah, exactly. And for me, for example, I do a lot of that bullet journaling and planning but every now and then I'll sprinkle in like this is the new meal that I'm trying or this is the vacation that I'm on. Like right now people are very well aware that my Instagram profile is gonna be less planning and a lot more pictures of San Francisco but they know that it's only for a limited time and that my ultimate goal is to get back to my planning and organizing and things like that. So I think it's really important to keep that clear focus on your account.
Great, and Lisa I didn't mean to laugh when you said about that I just want people to like because I think a lot of people are like that, you know. It's like, I just want more likes, like why aren't they liking me? (laughing) It's totally my experience on Facebook and such and I think it's great that people know that you're also evolving. Like, you've had all this success but you're also learning and evolving all the time.
Everything I've revealed about Instagram is please pay attention to me and please like me. (laughs)