About this episode.
You’ve got an Instagram account for your business, but how do you effectively use it to market your business? In this episode not only do we discuss some of the practical ways of using Instagram, we discuss some of the ways perfectionism can hold you back from using it to your benefit - procrastination, comparisonitis, self-doubt, the fear of judgement and being vulnerable.
Hello, and welcome to episode two of The Business of Perfectionism, my name is Kristy, I am your host, a business owner, and a recovering perfectionist.
First of all I wanted to say thank you to everyone who listened to, shared and gave me feedback on the first episode of the show, I am honestly so blown away by the support and the encouragement I have received - I was so nervous to put that first episode out into the world but I am so glad I did, it feels so good now to have this platform where I can share with you all, another place to connect and have a deeper conversation.
Today I wanted to chat with you about social media, or more so, Instagram
If you are listening to this Podcast I feel like I can pretty much guarantee that you have an instagram account, and even if it’s only a personal one right now, no doubt you will soon start one for your business and I think this is a really important conversation to have, not matter what stage you are in business.
Instagram is one of those things that we tend to really easily overthink, we really let it get the better of us, some of us spend so much time scrolling content that isn’t even relevant to us (hello procrastination tool), and then we go into comparisonitis - which tends to pretty easily happen especially if you’re in the earlier stages of business.
I don’t know about you but I sure have experienced my fair share of camparionitis, you know, her business looks so much better than mine, wow she is doing so well, did she really start at the same time as me and now she’s making $1m in a year - and then when it comes to creating your own content it can become so easy to begin to compare the quality or yours - or your perceived quality of yours to others and it can even become really hard to create your own content because you just find you’re stuck in this instagram hole, looking at what everyone else is saying, wondering if your opinion should be shared, if you can really say that, scared that someone might question your opinion or your content, call you out for being a fraud, worried that it isn’t good enough, you aren’t good enough and it can really REALLY easily begin to spiral…
And then what ends up happening is some more overthinking, and we go into people pleasing mode. We want to create content that people are going to love and engage with and so maybe you create content that isn’t even aligned with you and your business and your business goals. But you just do it because the other person is and you don’t want to get it wrong...
Or you’re paralysed and you can’t take any action at all, nothing you create is good enough, you think you don’t sound smart enough, you’re worried that people won’t like it, you’re worried you mum is going to see it or an old work colleague or someone that you haven’t even told you have a business yet just because you’re afraid of what they’re going to say…
One thing I really do want to say about Instagram is there is so much advice out there, you only have to be in certain facebook groups on checking out certain hashtags on Instagram to see how many people are out there offering advice, and if you’re spending time just researching it all and checking everything and everyone out, you’re going to get very confused, very quickly.
Confusing because one person is telling you to do things one way, and then the next person is advising you to do things a different way - people will state things like they are fact and and it’s pretty easy to get caught up in it all of the noise and get lost on what advice is the right advice or the best advice.
So take everything you hear and run it through your own filters, take some time to understand the app but really try not to overthink it - it’s better just to take action, implementing what feels good, while building up the momentum and growing your confidence at the same time, the more you begin to use these apps the more you’ll begin to understand what works for you.
So what I really wanted to chat about in todays episode, is what I know about instagram and I wanted to offer you a way of doing things in a way that works for you and your business, not doing things for the sake of doing them, because someone told you that you have to or if you don’t you’re losing out or leaving money on the table.
This is probably a little but more on the practical side of these apps as opposed to a mindset episode, but there is so much to cover in both and I do plan on chatting all things mindset in upcoming episodes.
So if you don’t know, my background is in marketing. I have been working in marketing for about 13-14 years now, and two days a week I contract back to a digital marketing agency and we specialise in Social Media Management and Facebook Ads Management.
The information and opinions I am going to share with you today are both based on all of my experience, my knowledge and more than that - it’s about helping you find a way of managing social media that is aligned to the way you want to do business, it’s about what feels good for you.
The first thing I really just briefly want to chat to you about is the algorithm.
So, if you don’t know the algorithm runs in the background on these platforms and basically decides who posts you’ll see, who it will show your content to, it will decide whether or not it deems your content worthy enough to appear in the explore page and so on.
A few things to note here, every instagram account is basically given an invisible score by instagram (you will never know what yours is), so if you’re spamming people, people are blocking you, hiding your content, there is no engagement, you’re not actually engaging with people either, your score will be really low and you’ll receive no reach when you do post - the account could even be marked as spam and shadow banned which means the posts basically won’t be shown to anyone unless they go to your page and specifically look for your content.
If you’re a good instagrammer - you use the platform well, you post good content, you’re engaging with people well, you’re replying to DM’s, sending DM’s - doing all the ethical things and being a real human about it - your score will be higher.
But there is so much more to it - apparently instagram is actually grading us based on around 500 different factors and I doubt there would be many, if any instagram, accounts that have a perfect score, so it’s really important not to obsess about this, concentrate on using the platform for what it is and how it works for you and truly understand that whatever you are doing, is enough and your content will eventually be seen by the right people.
So one of the most common things I usually get asked is - how often should I be posting.
And the answer is… Well, there is no definitive answer, there is no one size fits all - you should be posting as often as you want to in order to clearly communicate your message, promote your products or services, build an audience, nurture your audience and build your brand - and absolutely no more than that.
For some brands that could mean posting 2-3-4 times per week, for others that could be daily - I do know some small businesses that post multiple times per day but it really does depend on the type of business you have and how much content you actually have to share.
What’s more important than the number of posts, is the quality.
Really think about what you want to be known for, what do you want people to know about you when they hit your page, what do you want to be known for professionally? And what about personally? Anything that makes you relatable that you’re happy to share is always great for building connections also - it could be something as simple as you’re a serious foodie, always eating out at amazing restaurants, do you get up and go for a surf every morning? Are you a parent? Do you have a chocolate addiction? A shoe fetish? Are you one of those people that loves real life crime documentaries?
You certainly don’t have to share your entire life, but people are looking for ways to connect with you so really think about the ways you connect with some of the accounts you follow.
If you’re just jumping in and sharing tips and tricks educational content and it’s all very features and benefits of working with you type content, and you’re not putting in any of your personality into what you do, or maybe you’re not using video or showcasing your personality, ask yourself what is it that’s going to make people pick you over anyone else?
There have been so many people I have worked with in the past and currently, that I’ve followed along for a while and just knew that one day I was going to work with them, I just felt like they ‘got me’ and i have that ‘I really want to work with you one day’ feeling, just waiting on the offer to pop up, the opportunity to work with that person - which is why i feel really quite passionate about building your personal brand online.
To make things easier on yourself I suggest sitting down and working out your content pillars - which are really just the topics you will speak about. They can be really simple, things like tips and tricks of your industry or profession - that will make up one element of your content, another could be showcasing the work you’ve done, another could simple be you - sharing your journey, the decisions you’ve made, what this looks like for you - this is great for connecting with people.
As Seth Godin says - people do not buy goods and services, they buy relationships, stories and magic.
But of course with that being said you HAVE to sell on social media - the goal is not just to build a pretty profile and a nice little brand, you’re building a business, you’re also here to make money and so we want to convert some of those fans into clients or customers.
So if you have something to sell, don’t forget to make speaking about your offers, your products, your services as one of your topics - selling isn’t dirty, people have come to your page because they like what you do, they like you, they’re waiting for you to sell to them, they want to know how they can work with you. It’s up to you to make that as easy as possible for them, tell them how to take action, where to go, what to do - be clear on the next steps.
It’s no lie that perfectionists have a hard time selling, we tend to not really like speaking about our products or services or being really forward in the way that you can work with us - it makes us uncomfortable, we’re filled with self-doubt we overthink our offers and the way we’re presenting them and if no one takes us up, no one hits the DM for more button, we tend to make it mean something about ourselves - it feels like failure. So if we’re not actively selling and no one is buying, we can get pretty comfortable with saying that we haven’t sold anything or no one is enquiring about our services but we haven’t really advertised it either - so we haven’t failed because we haven’t tried.
And the truth is, sometimes your posts just won’t get the engagement or the reaction that you thought they would. And that’s OK - Instagram isn’t going to punish you, the post shouldn’t be deleted or archived - do not go into a shame spiral, don’t let it mean anything about you or your business.
The way I like to see it is every post forms part of the bigger picture, it creates a story - and we need all those posts to bring it together. If the message meant something to you, it was something you truly believed in, it was something you wanted to share - it probably touched more people than you realised.
Think about how many times you’ve seen an instagram post that you really liked, that you stopped and read, that resonated with you, and you did give it a like or leave a comment? I bet there have been a few - so maybe it wasn’t that fewer people liked this post, rather than just sharing a popular opinion that got you a lot of likes, maybe in this instance you shared something that actually really impacted a smaller number of people. Maybe this post got people to actually click the link in your bio and it got them to your website and you got a new enquiry - maybe this was the post where people went, wow, she really knows her shit. I think it’s time we looked beyond the algorithm and started looking at the people on the other side - not always creating content that we know is going to be super sharable or likeable, but we actually thought about the people this is really going to impact - and they won’t always be loud about it.
My approach to creating content is to create content that is going to ATTRACT your ideal client, this means you just being you, sharing your opinion, your point of view, using your voice, putting your unique spin on everything.
This is the form of marketing I love the most, attraction marketing, But it does require you to be vulnerable, to step out and be seen and this can be really scary - especially if this is new for you, you’re not used to seeing yourself on camera or hearing your own voice playing back to yourself. To be honest it’s something I am still getting used to and working on - 18 months ago I would NEVER have recorded a podcast, I didn’t do video - it took time, it took work, I asked myself a lot of hard questions and I really challenged my limiting beliefs and did the work to overcome them to replace them with more empowering beliefs.
Instagram and social media is a HUGE topic and it’s something I could chat about forever, there is so much to cover from a planning point of view, to content creation, taking action and posting, creating video and the benefits of video - let me know if you want more on that down the track too. There is a HUGE mindset element that comes into play with social media, we’re putting ourselves out there, becoming visible, sharing our thoughts and opinions, building expertise and authority and that in itself can be really freaking scary too…
You’ll find you’ll overthink and analyse all of the things you want to say and share, you’ll have a point of view and then you’ll find someone with 10k more followers that you offering an opinion that’s quite different to yours and then you’ll begin to question if you’re actually right or wrong, if you really know what you’re speaking about at all - or the fear that if you actually share your point of view if someone will challenge you - because clearly there are different ones out there and the thought of confrontation or being called out is really frightening!
So to help you on your way to social media success I wanted to leave you with a few quick tips, these are things that have helped me move through those fears I had about the platform and my approach to using social media for my own business:
1 Create yourself a list of content pillars - these are just very simple to topics you will speak about. To start, aim for around 4 and then rotate them in every week.
2 Where possible, pre-write any instagram captions for the week around your pillars, schedule them in so you know you have content coming - evening if it’s only 1 or 2 posts per week. You can add more as you go and as inspiration strikes.
3 Incorporate images of yourself in the feed so people can get to know you, if you don’t want images of you in your feed you can post to stories but save some to highlights so people can see who you are if they want to
4 Stories are great for sharing the behind the scenes and more on who you are and what you do - make use of polls, question stickers etc and just have some fun - this is an amazing place for people just to get to know you.
5 Set yourself a time limit on crafting your captions and stick to it. 15-30 mins should be plenty - what we’re trying to do is avoid the overthinking and overanalyzing. Even if you’re not sure it’s your best work - post it anyway!
6 If you don’t post for a day or a week or two weeks - you don’t need to explain or apologise for your absence - just pick back up and keep going. Don’t wait until Monday to start again and think ‘next week I’ll do it properly’ you’re better off starting again today than you are to have this dream of following through with the perfect week next week. Become the type of person that just picks up and keeps going again - become that person that just jumps back in and takes action and turns things around.
6 The more you’re taking action, the easier it will become and the more confident you’ll begin to feel. You’ll find captions get easier as you enter a state of flow - people will also begin coming to you with questions and you’ll start to identify common themes, problems, topics of interest to your audience and you’ll be able to begin speaking to those
7 Truly understand that a post that doesn’t receive the love you’d hope isn’t a make or break, in fact, if the message really means something to you, the post must stay
8 Feel free to ignore the time and the day, show up when you feel called, when the energy is there, when you feel the inspiration strikes.
9 Let go of expectation and take the pressure off. If you persist, you will succeed.
10 If you’re having trouble creating content one of the questions I love to ask myself and my clients is - what would this look like if it were easy. If you weren’t overthinking it, making it more complicated for yourself than it is… What would social media look like if it were easy?
And before I finish this episode up I do also want to say this…
Social Media is an incredible tool but you should not be replying on this, and only this to market your business. You do not own your social media accounts and I have seen so many people lose their accounts, some only for short stints, others I have seen being unable to be recovered at all after they’ve been hacked.
Another piece of advice I’d like to offer you is to not become a slave to the platform - unfortunately these platforms hold the power, gone are the days when we’d post and absolutely everyone that followed you would see it. The algorithm will decide how many people it shows your post to, it will decide on who it shows it to and that’s based on their behaviour not yours - it’s trying to keep people on the platform for as long as it can so it will distribute your content to who it thinks it can achieve that with.
I really hope that this has helped you understand how you can make use of Instagram for your business, there was probably a lot of information in here and I really hope that it resonated with you and helps you on your way to creating content for socials.
If there is anything more you would like to know please reach out to me, you can visit my website it’s just kristypask.com or find me on Instagram @kristypask and of course if you did like todays episode I would love for you to please take a screenshot and share this to your socials, please do tag me in it so I can give you a shoot out also - I really want to help as many people as I can overcome perfectionism and create the business and the life they’re dreaming about.
Thank you so much for joining me again today, chat with you again next week.
Links and resources:
Learn more about my 12 week, 1:1 coaching program: The Holistic Marketing Method
Connect with me on Instagram: @kristypask
Book in a 1:1 single session with me here.