Have you written off Instagram Stories for your business because they feel too time-consuming or complicated? I used to feel the same way!
When I finally dug deep and learned how to use Stories to connect with my audience, I discovered it was EASY to always have content to share by deciding on my 3 main content buckets, and I discovered that by focusing on building relationships most of all, I’m able to convert WAY MORE of my Instagram Stories viewers into customers than on any other platform.
Don’t ignore Instagram Stories, because they’re a powerful way to build your business! Keep reading for best practices and strategies that work.
Press Play on the Podcast Player below to listen to this podcast episode.
How to Be Brilliant on Social Media is On Sale for a Limited Time!
Hello friend! I have some exciting news to share with you!
My course, How to Be Brilliant on Social Media, is on sale for a short time!
I currently have more than 4,000 students in this course. It's regularly priced at $47, but if you get it right now, it's only $27! And I've even added some extra trainings and bonuses!
This bestselling class will:
- Show you how to stop obsessing over what to post
- Easily build a loyal tribe
- Show you the real purpose of social media
- How to build strong relationships with your audience (relationships that will last for years to come and truly help you build your business!)
- Help you bring the joy back to social media
Not only do you get all of that, but I've added some bonus trainings. (If you're a past customer, don't worry, you get these, too!)
My bonus trainings will show you:
- What's working on Instagram right now
- How to use Instagram stories
- Ways to grow with Instagram stories that you may not have considered before
- Best practices for the Instagram feed
- 100 Conversation Starters, so you’re never stumped on what to say!
Even if you haven't seen past success with hashtags, for example, there are many other growth strategies that you can use on Instagram. I can't wait to share them with you in this course!
This Course is for YOU as You Grow Your Business in the Margins
I've been accused of underpricing my products in the past, and it's true, I really do.
I've even had people reach out to me and say, “Beth Anne, I didn't buy your social media class for the longest time because it was priced so low, and I felt like it was just going to be fluffy nonsense. Who is offering helpful content at this price point?”
But finally those people decided to see what the hype was all about (thousands of customers and great reviews go a long way!). And after they purchased the course, they LOVED it, and recommended I bump up the price to reflect the content quality.
But here's the thing: I get the reality of being a stay-at-home mom and trying to grow your business in the margins. So that's why I try to have products at a variety of price points.
In my business, I am able to have premium courses AND mini classes that I can price more affordably! It works for me and I especially love that it works for moms who are on just about any budget. I'm so excited about this sale!
Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social to grab my How to Be Brilliant on Social Media class for just $27! This sale won't last forever!
My Past Students Have Loved This Class!
Here's what some of my students just today had to say about the class:
“I love the simplicity and the straightforward approach!”
“I loved the post prompt ideas. It's challenging to create unique content each day, and sometimes I just need a question to respond to. I found the prompts alone to be massively valuable, not to mention everything else I learned in the course.” – Amber Rochelle
“This course was pretty loaded! It's a lot to learn and it's a lot for your money.”
“This course pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone and try new things, especially Instagram stories.” – Gina
I Challenged Myself to Try Instagram Stories for a Month and Here's What Happened
In today's podcast episode I'm talking all about Instagram Stories and why they matter.
I want to tell you a little bit about my own journey with Instagram Stories. When it first came out a couple of years ago, I personally felt like Stories were super exhausting to create. They felt really stressful to me.
As someone who is especially wordy and used to recording long Facebook Lives or podcast episodes, I felt very limited by the short video format.
It took me a while to really get comfortable with Stories, and I'm so glad that I didn't just throw in the towel early on and just say, “OK, Stories are not for me. I'm too wordy and it's taking up too much of my time. No, thank you.”
It wasn't until late last year that I gave Stories another try. I wasn't really sure what was going to happen, but I knew that if I didn't commit, I would never find out! So I committed to being on Stories every day for a month as an experiment.
I also shifted my mindset and told myself that if I was consistent, that it would get easier. That shift made a big difference, because for the longest time my attitude towards Stories was that it was time-consuming and exhausting.
So every single day when I was tempted to not hop on Stories, I told myself, “This will get easier.” And it did! For the past 6 months, I've been an almost daily IG Stories contributor.
It takes less time for me to post on Stories now, because I've found a groove and stopped overanalyzing my content.
And here's the very best part: Stories are way more fun, too! I get to be spontaneous, share funny mom moments from my life, and share anything that's inspiring or encouraging me that I think my audience would love.
Building Relationships is My Chief Goal with Instagram Stories
My favorite part of IG Stories is all of the relationships that I've built with my viewers. So when you think about giving Stories a try, I want you to think about it in terms of the relationships that you can build.
I hear a lot of Instagrammers talk about the fact that they don't have the swipe up function because they have less than 10,000 followers. And so why should they even give Stories a try? They can't get the click through. So who cares?
Friend, that is a crazy mindset, if I do say so myself!
You've likely been posting in the Instagram feed for years now, and there's no direct way for people to click on that post and come to your website, right? You always have to tell them to click the link in your profile. Well, you can do the same thing with your Instagram Stories!
Just make a pretty link for your blog posts, podcast episodes, shop, email, Freebie, signup page, and just plaster that text all over those story panels when you want people to click (and, of course, also send them to the link in your profile). You can also tell your viewers to send you a DM so you can share the link with them individually.
So, to me, this whole swipe up excuse is just crazy talk. I think the bigger issue is that you're completely missing the point of Instagram Stories.
The point isn't just to drive traffic to your website or get more email signups. Those things are great, but primarily you should use Instagram stories (and every form of social media other than Pinterest) to build relationships.
Strong relationships matter so much more than reach, views, or click throughs. They are what you need to build a healthy business, because no one can take that away from you.
So many of my audience members have become dear friends, and I love them so much. I know their biggest passions, goals, how many kids they have, who homeschools … maybe that sounds creepy, but to me, not so much! That's what gets me excited and amped up to be on Instagram Stories on a regular basis.
Treat Your Audience Like Friends and You'll Never Run Out of Content
The other really common question I get about Instagram stories is, “What the heck would I even say every day? How are you coming up with things to share or say multiple times a day? That seems exhausting.”
Well, again, when you reframe it and start looking at those individuals viewing your stories as your online BFFs, it really changes what you share and how you share it.
I'm not saying that you need to go on Instagram Stories and air your dirty laundry! There are some things you might text your BFF that you're not going to share on your Instagram stories.
But think about like the GIFs, memes, and funny moments from your day that you text your real life BFF. You might share an article with your friend that you're both interested in. You might text them a little note to encourage them if they're having a hard day.
As soon as you start approaching your social media audience this way, it really changes the dynamic there.
Now with that, you need to remember that these are friends with a particular interest, and that's why they're following you. My friends on Instagram Stories, for the most part, are following me because they are moms who want to grow a business in the margins.
So the things that we have in common are: motherhood, business, and goal-setting and productivity. Knowing these commonalities allows me to divide my Stories content into those three spheres.
I share lots of funny little snippets of what my kids are doing and mom moments I'm having (even maybe a more difficult mom moment!), because I want to give my audience a good laugh, cheer them up a little bit, or give them some encouragement so they don't feel so alone.
I want them to know they're doing an amazing job as a mom. It's okay to live in this push-pull space — to not have everything figured out but still be able to trust that you're doing the best you can.
I see you, I support you, and I'm with you in that same struggle. We're in this together!
What are the three main topics that your audience will most resonate with?
One of my awesome students, Bailey of Purple Rose Bows, does a great job of sharing her day-to-day interactions with her son and daughter. Her primary customers are moms with little girls, so they relate to those behind the scenes shots, the cute kid moments, and the mom moments.
Bailey also shares lots of cute hair bow content. She'll share styling tips, new designs, or how her daughter is wearing her hair bow that day.
Bailey's third topic is the #momlife angle. Like on her Stories today, she was talking about her laundry woes and asking her audience, “Who can commiserate? Who's in this boat with me?” So her audience completely relates to her life in that way, too.
If you're someone who doesn't like to share your kids online, that is totally fine! You can pick three different areas to share. If you had a hair bow business, you could share about hair bows and also share funny mom memes, for example. Or even just you relaying a story about a funny mom moment when your kids aren't there.
There are plenty of ways that you can come up with three main content buckets that you want to share about on Instagram Stories, and you should definitely do what's most comfortable to you.
What's Better on Instagram Stories: Photos or Videos?
The other question I wanted to answer in this podcast episode came from Ashley inside my Facebook group. She asked, “Do you share more photos or more videos on your Instagram Stories?”
I think if you're nervous about Instagram stories, you can absolutely start off just sharing photos with captions. I did a lot of that during this past planner season. I'd share a lovely photo of the Brilliant Life Planner with a little caption and a link to the shop, and those did really well.
But what I have noticed for my own Instagram Stories is that when I am doing face-to-camera videos, I get more DMs and responses.
When I share a hard lesson I've learned, offer some encouragement to fellow moms, or give insight on a valuable business lesson, that's when people take the time to DM me and say, “That was so helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this, that was just what I needed to hear today.” Those messages warm my heart!
I also add text to every single panel for people who don't have the sound on or are in a situation where it doesn't make sense to have the sound on their phone. They can still interact with my Stories even if they can't audibly hear me.
I definitely see much more drop off on my Stories if I'm doing longer videos (typically anything more than a minute). But I'm not worried about that, because I'm also going to see way more personal responses back from people. Relationships matter more than reach.
So I do want to encourage you to give those face-to-camera videos a try! You don't necessarily have to look all pretty and polished every single day. (I've definitely given that up and use filters as needed. I don't love using the filters, I'd rather just be natural old me, but really depends on how ragged I am for that day.)
More Than Half of My Students Are Also My Instagram Stories Viewers
This is a stat I think you can all get behind: More than half of my premium course customers were Instagram Stories, viewers of mine! I could look down my customer list and go, “Yep, I see you in my DMs all the time. You're in my DMs all the time. You are, you are, you are. I know all these people!”
It was exciting to welcome all these new students and feel like I already knew them! It's extra special fun to teach someone who is my friend, because I already have a sense for where they're at and what their big goals and dreams are.
Those sales did not come from being pushy or making anyone feel like they had to purchase. They just came because I had built relationships with all of them and it was easier to say, “I want to be part of Beth Anne's because I like the way she teaches me on Instagram Stories. I like her style. She has the same values as me.”
My viewers who became customers want the same kind of life that I have, and that was really powerful for me to realize. Just sharing my life with all of these wonderful, amazing women by being their friend was why they chose to purchase from me. People buy from other people they know, like, and trust. It's so true!
So be brave, my friend. You can do this. You can invite people into the parts of your world that you want them to see. Start by sharing the things you would share with a new friend, share your values, and lead by example. Your audience is watching way more than you might think they are!
Don't focus on what you can get out of people today. Just ask yourself, “How can I help my people today? How can I encourage them today? How can I give them a little bright spot to their day?” I think you'll be amazed at how you can build relationships and have a wonderful time using Instagram Stories.
Stay Tuned for Another Podcast Episode on Instagram Stories Content Prompts!
If you're struggling with knowing what content to put in, your content buckets (“What do I actually share. Beth Anne?!”), I'm going to cover that in more detail in my next podcast episode. We will talk about 7 things to share on IG Stories when you're stumped on what to say.
I think you'll breathe a lot easier after that episode because you'll realize you don't have to constantly record videos of yourself to make Instagram Stories work for you. You're going to love that and be amped up and be that much more prepared to be consistently present on Instagram stories!
Grab My Social Media Course Deal While It Lasts!
Make sure you grab my course, How to Be Brilliant on Social Media. It is $27 for a short time, and it's worth a lot more (so my audience tells me!)
Head to brilliantbusinessmoms.com/social, particularly if this discussion on building relationships and treating your audience like friends resonates with you. You're going to love the course because that is a main focus of what I talk about, and I feel like it's just a breath of fresh air in this stressful, overwhelming online marketing world. And I really want to help you bring that joy back when it comes to social media!
And, of course, now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!