When instagram stories first came out, I remember thinking, "ok, this is something I could get into...” since I wasn’t willing to move over to an entirely new platform (sorry snapchat).
The problem was…I was scared AF of my own voice being played back to me (why is this SOOOO terrible? I’d rather hear fingernails on a chalkboard...)
My first few Instagram stories were silent videos of my food, or a photo of what I was doing that day. Remembering to document what I was doing in an Instagram story never used to come naturally to me in the moment, only after-the-fact. And even then, if I got around to actually posting anything, it was 1 or 2 quick snapshots, that never really tell a full story or let people inside my real life.
I also realized that the only Instagram stories that I actually watched on my own feed, were when other people would show a combination of themselves talking, photos, text overlays, and boomerangs that seemed to effortlessly flow together.
TEACH ME YOUR WAYS ?!?!
I had so many questions! Like...
How did some people seem to have such a natural presence on camera, seem so comfortable, and actually that make me want to tune in every day and see what they were doing?
How do people come up with things to talk about every day that are actually interesting?
And how do I stop feeling like an idiot when i’m in public, talking to my phone? What if people stare?
If you’ve had any of these thoughts yourself, you’re in the right place.
I’ve become obsessed with Instagram stories the last few months, putting out an average of 5-20 stories daily, and in this post, i'm going to share what i’ve learned!
This blog post is going to be sharing my top tips for how to use Instagram stories to increase your engagement on all social platforms (not just Instagram), build your email list, grow your Facebook groups, fill up your webinar and/or help you get completely booked out with 1:1 clients within a few months.
I can’t make this shit up.
Let me tell you a quick story before I get into my juicy tips about exactly how to use Instagram stories to grow your online business, get more clients, and increase your social media following quickly.
After Insta-story-ing (totally not a word) daily for about 2 months, this magical (yes I said magical) platform helped me to get completely booked up with 1:1 online business clients for the next 3 months. (Srsly.) Here’s how it all started...
A few months ago I decided to challenge myself to do at least 1 Instagram story daily, even if it was something I perceived as mundane or repetitive. So it began…weekly Costco trips, nightly sunsets, days at the beach or inside my “office” (aka my car). Most of the time I had no idea what to talk about, or how making an Instagram story would even benefit my business... but I kept on doing it.
The first few weeks, I had total stage fright, would rarely show my minimalist-makeup face on camera, and would talk very quietly to the camera- to make sure no bystanders would judge me or think I was losing my shit.
I even made my husband leave our “hut” or put earphones in if I planned to do a story because I was so embarrassed of what he would think.
Then, after a few weeks, the craziest thing happened. I started getting more and more comfortable in front of the camera… and dare I say I liked it!?
Remembering to Insta-story started becoming second nature, and I loved showing people the “behind the scenes look” at my day to day life, inside my business, random things I thought were funny, etc. But most of all I loved the amount of REAL connection and engagement I would get from the people who watched my Instagram stories - a type of connection that is increasingly hard to come by in the world of social media automations, bots, pods, auto-responders, etc…
So after 3 months of using Instagram stories to vastly increase my engagement on various social media channels AND book out more clients than i’ve ever had at one time, here are my top tips for using Instagram stories to grow your business (quickly):
Video more your thing? Watch here!
1. Insta story daily.
Even if you think of what you’re doing is boring and mundane, it likely won’t seem that way to your audience. Just make sure to switch things up! Aim for about 5-20 15 second “stories” daily
2. Ask your audience for their feedback
Just like in any relationship, you don’t talk only about yourself all the time (at least I hope not) You ask the other person for their feedback, how they are doing, what their struggles are and what’s new in their life. Same goes for instagram stories. You might not get an immediate response, but you can always say things like, “DM me!” or tell me what you think about X!
3. Provide value
Don't Insta-story just to say that you did it. Actually aim to provide some sort of value in every thing that you share. Whether this is healthy eating tips or your favorite deodorant or a lesson you learned.
4. Fuck perfection
You will quickly learn that if you are Insta-storying every single day, the raw, makeup-less, imperfect parts of your life are going to come out in the open. THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF THE PLATFORM. People connect with the real. Vulnerability and authenticity leads to trust from your audience. And you know what happens when people trust you? (They buy from you)
5. Stop comparing
Stop trying to be like that one mega-blogger you follow who constantly gets sent free shit in the mail. And if you find that your Insta- story watching is interfering with your own, stop watching other peoples and only do your own until you reconnect with your own voice and message.
This is a new feature! You can now use hashtags in your Instagram stories, which is a great way to get your stories seen by people that don’t already follow you. (But don’t go crazy with these, for the sake of looking spammy - stick to 2-3 per day, tops)
This is another new feature that has the same benefit of hashtags. You are now able to tag the location you’re in by swiping up on the screen and adding in your location before posting. Another greatly for people in the area who may not already find you, start following you.
8. Send people to the link in your profile
Always give engaged followers a “next step” - i.e click the link in my profile to watch my new Youtube video, join my email list, grab my freebie, or join my email list. (Just be sure the link is current!)
9. Tell a story
It’s great to show what you’re doing every day, but start viewing yourself as an actual story teller. For example: how would you talk to your friend if they were with you inside the coffee shop, or at the store? You would talk about things that are happening in your life, things you are going through, your struggles, funny things that happen to you, how your car broke down, etc.
10. Don’t be afraid to promote!
If you are providing value, engagement and inspiration to your audience on a daily basis, don’t be afraid to promote yourself! You WANT people who love watching your stories to know that you have an amazing product or service that would change their lives. But on the same token, be very careful about going rogue on Insta-stories for weeks at a time, and then magically showing up once you have something to promote. This looks money hungry (and it is) But since you’re going to be doing daily Instagram stories to grow your business, this wont apply to you 😉
11. Make a running list of content ideas
If you’re like me, you think of tons of ideas, all the time, EXCEPT right when you’re about to hit record. For this reason, i’ve started using the notes app on my iPhone to create a running list of Instagram story ideas that I have. That way, if i’m totally out of ideas one day, I just grab one out of the vault.
Want more juicy Insta-tips? Grab my free video tutorial on how to optimize your Instagram bio to get more clients, FAST!
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