#032: How To Win On Instagram NOW With Sue B. Zimmerman

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Today, I'm talking with Instagram expert, Sue B. Zimmerman. We talk about how to win on Instagram NOW -- what's working and what's not.

Listen to me in the hot seat as Sue critiques my Catch My Party Instagram page. She was definitely blunt, but since I'm always looking to learn, I was interested to hear what she had to say. I think you will be too!

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Transcript: How To Win On Instagram NOW With Sue B. Zimmerman

Host: [00:00:03] Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here's your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian: [00:00:11] Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the show. I am so excited to introduce my guest today because I am a fan girl of hers. This is Sue B. Zimmerman.

Jillian: [00:00:24] I think of her as an Instagram guru. She's like a social media educator, she's a business coach. According to The Huffington Post, she's "one of the top 15 must-follow women entrepreneurs." If you are not following her, I recommend you do so. Welcome to the show, Sue.

Sue: [00:00:43] Hey, it's really great to be here. And I love that you told me when we were pregaming, that you heard me in your ears when you were on vacation in Hawaii years ago.

Jillian: [00:00:52] Yes. It was just as Instagram was this kind of cool platform, but nobody yet had cracked the code of how to use it for business.

Jillian: [00:01:04] And all of a sudden I was listening to a podcast when you were on it, and you started talking about that and you made my eyes go wide. I think it was a podcast on Social Media Examiner.

Sue: [00:01:18] Yes. Probably, because you said that you then met me at Social Media Marketing World this past year.

Jillian: [00:01:22] Yes. And I stalked you. I ran off the stage and followed you, kind of into the back, where I shouldn't have been. And I said Sue, please come on my podcast.

Sue: [00:01:33] Oh that's so funny. I do remember you now, and yes I do have a lot of stalkers but I love all of them, so it's all good.

Jillian: [00:01:40] I feel like I want to start from the beginning, but I also want to make sure we touch on all the stuff that's happening on Instagram. Because there have been so many new things rolled out just in the last month or so.

Instagram is a village

Sue: [00:01:55] Yeah, this might set you up for some good questions, and I know that you have some in mind but let me just first say to everyone listening that, you know, Instagram is really a village. There's over 1 billion monthly active users now.

Sue: [00:02:11] When I first started teaching six years ago, there was 140 million active users so the app is growing like crazy. And now there are neighborhoods in the village. That's what I like to say.

On Instagram, your feed is your digital magazine

Sue: [00:02:24] I use this analogy, I think it really makes people think more clearly about this app. So we have our feed which is what we've had all along, and that essentially is your digital magazine where the bio is the cover of that magazine; who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you're different from everyone else that does what you do.

Sue: [00:02:45] And then your feed is a representation visually of that content that you promised in your bio. And then we have another neighborhood which is our stories.

Jillian: [00:02:55] Yes.

Instagram Stories is another neighborhood in that village

Sue: [00:02:56] And there's a street in that neighborhood called Highlights, because in order to have highlights, you have to pull down the content from the Stories and bring those resources into your highlights. And then we have Instagram Live, the third neighborhood. And then finally we have IGTV.

Sue: [00:03:13] So there is a lot that we can talk about, but I want the listeners to know that no matter which neighborhood you commit to visiting and hanging out in, it's essential that you always show up with purpose focus and attention in a branded way that your followers will connect to you right now.

Jillian: [00:03:35] What do you say though to entrepreneurs, so our audience is bloggers, small business owners, that kind of thing. And I always say this, their most limited resource is time.

Sue: [00:03:48] Right.

Jillian: [00:03:49] So you're telling me there are all these avenues, all these places where I might need to be.

Sue: [00:03:55] Right. Well I mean I coach a lot of clients, and I have a lot of people in my VIP community for Ready Set Gram which is our signature course. And I tell people that you should not feel like you need to be everywhere because your competitor is, you need to be where you're happy being, where it doesn't really feel like work.

Choose a social media platform that doesn't feel like work

Sue: [00:04:19] If you're saying, oh my god, I've got to go post on Instagram it totally sucks, and I just checked it off my to-do list, next! You probably shouldn't be there, because so much of the success on Instagram happens after the post with engagement which we can get into soon.

Sue: [00:04:33] But I tell my clients to master one social platform, know every nuance, every tidbit of information on how to excel and show up in a way that people are going to remember you so that you stay top of mind.

Sue: [00:04:49] The more you spread yourself too thin and you just do random things, you're just going to get random results.

Sue: [00:04:55] And that's the problem with most busy solo entrepreneurs, creative-preneurs is they just do random things thinking that they need to do all the things and and they don't have any traction.

Jillian: [00:05:06] Got it. Okay. So if I were an entrepreneur today and given that you you laid out all these different features and places on Instagram, can you recommend one over the other?

What part of Instagram should I focus on? Feed, Stories, Instagram Live, IGTV?

Sue: [00:05:23] It goes back to what do you enjoy doing because a lot of people hate being on video. So they like have palpitations about like doing Instagram Live or doing IGTV, or maybe showing up in their Stories.

Sue: [00:05:35] You know it has to be where you have a comfort level. And when you have a comfort level, you have confidence, and when you have confidence you show up in a great way.

Sue: [00:05:43] The minute you are not comfortable doing something, it just doesn't translate well and again you get those mediocre results.

Jillian: [00:05:53] Got it. OK. Because right now I have to say, a switch turned in me where I said I want to be more active on Stories. I was having those heart palpitations just feeling like Oh I don't know what to put on. And I don't think people are going to really care.

Jillian: [00:06:13] And then I somehow shifted my mindset and said let's play around with this. Let's start exploring gifs and music, and all these new features and just have fun with it. And I know that for example, in my Stories they're going to go away in 24 hours. And that freedom has really helped me.

Sue: [00:06:36] Oh yeah. I mean, first of all people, a lot of people really love my persona because I am so real and relatable and not perfect by any means, and I show up in that way in my Stories.

What is the magic of Instagram Stories?

Sue: [00:06:52] And so you get a real sense of the intimacy of that person and that, to me, is the magic of Instagram Stories. When you can craft a story that is entertaining, compelling, interesting, funny, behind-the-scenes, you name it.

Sue: [00:07:06] If you can really connect to your followers in some way that makes them want to engage and converse with you, you now have a conversation.

Jillian: [00:07:18] OK so I just have to interrupt, I see people though, in their Stories and let's say they have Etsy shops, or let's say they're creative in some way, but I'm watching their Story, their kids jumping in the pool and I don't care that much. So then I get worried like, I don't want to show my kid jumping in the pool.

Sue: [00:07:43] Oh, agree. I know I am not interested in a day in the life of you as a mom. You know, what you do, what you eat, where you go that's on a personal-business account not a business-business account not a business Instagram account.

Sue: [00:07:58] So I have two accounts, you probably know this. I have a personal, where I show the day in the life of a busy entrepreneur.

Why you want a personal and a business account on Instagram

Sue: [00:08:05] And yes I do show you my husband occasionally, and my kids, my dog, where I go, where I shop, where I eat, where I travel and people like that, because a lot of people live vicariously through my travels, because I am on the go, and I show them things that they never would have seen. And I do it in a way that is entertaining.

Sue: [00:08:24] Now on my personal account, the Instagram Expert, I'm always showing up with and only with Instagram-related content for tips and strategies and news and tactics. And it's very laser focused.

Sue: [00:08:37] I say stay in your lane. Stay in your lane and don't detour. The minute you detour and show me that you're having... you know cheers, it's 5:00p.m. somewhere, Margarita time like I don't care.

Jillian: [00:08:50] Right.

Sue: [00:08:51] Good for you. Exactly.

Jillian: [00:08:53] Okay, I get it. So you then use both accounts very differently.

Sue: [00:08:59] Oh yeah I'm very intentional, very very intentional. So Sue B. Zimmerman is literally me. If you want to connect with me as an entrepreneur.

Sue: [00:09:11] I don't know if you know this, I've been an entrepreneur. since I was 13. I've had 18 businesses. I had my first million dollar business when I was 22. I was on QVC.

Sue: [00:09:21] I've got lots of wisdom and information that backs up the claims of everything I teach and do. It's based on experience and not just you know "I'm an expert." It's like I had success in my store on the Cape using Instagram first. And I had a very very successful store.

Sue: [00:09:42] I decided that I wanted to teach other people how to have the same kind of success because retailers were challenged and struggling and that's really how I got into starting to teach Instagram is as a small business owner who went through it.

Sue: [00:09:57] I was on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, doing everything to get more customers, and the minute I started using Instagram, my sales increased dramatically, so much so that I'm just like this is crazy. And so I just knew I was on a mission.

Sue: [00:10:18] Do you know who John Lee Dumas is?

Jillian: [00:10:19] Of course!

Sue: [00:10:19] John Lee Dumas is a good friend of mine, he interviewed me on his podcast. And if you go search Sue B. Zimmerman, John Lee Dumas, you'll see he challenged me on that interview.

Sue: [00:10:27] I said, I did a video kind of staking my claim teaching Instagram and that video's like five years old. I got back from a conference and just said I'm going to teach everyone all over the world how to use Instagram.

Sue: [00:10:43] So like I just kind of manifested what I wanted and I don't stop till I get what I want. I'm that entrepreneur. I'm that focused that determined.

Sue: [00:10:52] And so six years later. Yes, six years later I have a business that's thriving, it's extremely successful. I have two full time employees. I have five contractors. We're a mighty team of seven and I play to my strengths every day.

Sue: [00:11:09] And not everyone has that luxury. I don't want to go down a rabbit hole here with you, but that's just to give a little context to everything I'm saying.

Jillian: [00:11:16] Absolutely. Absolutely. OK so here's here's my question, is the goal with Instagram connection? Is it, I want people to interact with me? Or is it I just want to kind of blast out my life?

Instagram is about connecting and having a conversation

Sue: [00:11:33] No no no. I mean everything's always, like I said, with intention. I believe that a comment on Instagram, if someone leaves a comment on Instagram, a real comment, not a follow me BS but I hope I can say that on your podcast.

Sue: [00:11:50] OK so if somebody leaves a real comment in my mind, that is permission for you to have a conversation, meaning you can respond. I mean you should. You should respond to every comment.

Sue: [00:12:03] But meaning you could take that conversation deeper if you wanted, to you could strategically have conversations one to one in the Instagram Direct Message because conversations lead to building a thriving community.

Sue: [00:12:16] And when you, and when you have a thriving community of people who champion for you and endorse what you do, and talk about you, when you're not listening and tag you on posts and repost your content then you have conversions.

Sue: [00:12:29] And conversions, we all want them. Are things like growing your email lists or actually selling something but it doesn't start there. And that's where people have the biggest problem. They want to have a sale first without even saying hi or commenting or connecting.

Sue: [00:12:48] You've got to connect with a comment to have a conversation, you know to take that conversation deeper. And I do this. I have blocks on my calendar, twice a day, where I am spending time engaging in real conversations, and people ask me questions I answer. I direct them to a blog post I've written I've direct them to an IGTV video I've done. I direct them to an Instagram post.

Sue: [00:13:15] I give them the information they need and I build that trust and so when they are ready to purchase something from me, or maybe join my group coaching or buy my hashtag handbook or purchase one of my social media classes, like my instagram Story class or a hashtag class or a course I can direct them where they need to go and not sell them.

Sue: [00:13:37] No one likes to be sold to. No one. People want the thing that's going to help them get what their pain point is, like what are their challenges.

Jillian: [00:13:47] Right. As a busy entrepreneur I think that we think about Instagram as brand building. And by the way, that's really abstract.

How Instagram is brand building

Jillian: [00:14:01] I think we think about it in a really abstract way and what you're saying is very different.

Sue: [00:14:06] Oh but also I believe when it's done well, absolutely it's brand building. If you have a branded look and feel an energy around your content, you will attract your tribe. You will attract those that you are trying to serve.

Sue: [00:14:23] But if it's not branded or there's not a theme or a message or information that's relevant to attract that person you're not going to have results.

Jillian: [00:14:35] Right. But I think though you're taking it to another level then I think I typically think, when I think of Instagram. Which is for me it's more amorphous brand building.

Jillian: [00:14:46] So for example, Catch My Party, which is our first business. We have something like 150 thousand Instagram followers, and we show off content from our site which is all about parties. People upload their photos of their beautiful parties we show them off.

Jillian: [00:15:04] And so for me it's always felt like this is our way of giving back to our community, to say here we want to highlight these people who've done amazing work, hopefully send some followers their way. But I think that I have not taken it to another level.

Sue: [00:15:25] What is your account?

Jillian: [00:15:26] Catch My Party.

Sue: [00:15:30] What does that stand for?

Jillian: [00:15:32] Catch My Party is take a look at my page.

Sue: [00:15:36] OK. So I'm looking at your account already. Wow you really have 156,000 followers.

Jillian: [00:15:42] Yeah.

Sue: [00:15:43] Wow.

Jillian: [00:15:44] Thank you.

Sue: [00:15:45] OK and how long have you been here?

Jillian: [00:15:47] About five years.

Sue: [00:15:49] Wow. That's impressive.

Jillian: [00:15:52] And by the way I just have to say all organic growth. We've done nothing except post beautiful parties.

Sue: [00:15:59] Wow that's really impressive. OK. So where you wrote Catch My Party that's where you're missing out in some SEO. No one's searching for Catch My Party on Instagram

Sue: [00:16:10] And your bio could definitely be improved a little bit more directive. And what's this app?

What is MiloTree and how does it work?

Jillian: [00:16:19] So what we did, was we built a plug in to help us grow Catch My Party. It worked so well for us. We rolled it out as a separate company called MiloTree. And that's what the podcast comes out of is MiloTree. So if they want to grow your Instagram followers you can do it with our MiloTree pop-up.

Sue: [00:16:40] What is this pop-up? What does it do?

Jillian: [00:16:43] So what you do is you install it on your blog or Shopify store, or something like that and it pops up and it'll say Hey follow me on Instagram and the pop-up itself shows your most recent posts on Instagram.

Sue: [00:16:56] Gotcha. Okay.

Jillian: [00:16:57] And then you can also use it just so you know, for Pinterest, for YouTube, for Facebook or to grow your email list.

Sue: [00:17:06] Okay cool. All right. So anyway Catch My Party definitely can have some improvement in the bio there and the thing that's missing with Catch My Party in my opinion is people. There's no people here.

Jillian: [00:17:18] OK.

Sue: [00:17:19] I'm not interested in looking at parties, I'm interested looking at people having fun at a party and partying. I'm not interested in the set up. To me this is just ok. This is Pinterest.

Jillian: [00:17:32] Yes.

Sue: [00:17:34] This is more Pinterest. On Instagram, people want to emotionally be pulled in so. Oh Happy Day. Oh Joy.

Sue: [00:17:44] Oh Joy is a great account. She pulls you in. Oh Happy Day party shop pulls you in. Although they may they do a party shop, but they show people every now and again on theirs.

Sue: [00:17:56] So you're missing out on the human aspect of your account. It's more just showing the party. It's very almost like marketing heavy.

Jillian: [00:18:05] I love this free session here. Yes. And so that's what we are trying to think about, which is how to personalize it. And my instinct is to personalize it with Stories.

Sue: [00:18:20] Oh for sure. You're not doing any yet?

Jillian: [00:18:22] No I am, I am I think you might see my new haircut for example.

Sue: [00:18:27] OK. Yeah. So I see your haircut. I really don't care.

Jillian: [00:18:43] I know!

Sue: [00:18:44] That's such a disconnect from what you post so I would unfollow that account if I saw that. I'd be like, Who are you? There is nothing that represents a party in this post.

Jillian: [00:18:54] Right.

Sue: [00:18:55] And so I would have been like, I'm bouncing. This is not what I signed up for. This is not why I'm following you. It has to be consistent everywhere. If it's not you're going to lose your followers.

Sue: [00:19:08] Favorites of the Week. Yup what we do do that. Yes. Yeah. I mean again people are missing. Yeah. I mean it's a whole human aspect of the brand that's missing.

Jillian: [00:19:24] I love that. OK. I mean it's funny because I feel like my businesses are very siloed. So in my podcast people get to hear me and know what I am doing. But I feel like Catch My party is probably too siloed.

Sue: [00:19:46] Yeah I mean we can do a whole strategy session. Let's keep going with your questions for the for the interview what will what will help your followers the listeners.

Jillian: [00:19:55] OK so let's talk about followers and how important are they and how important is it to be growing followers.

Sue: [00:20:04] It's important to grow the right followers, not followers, and to be honest with you I have a lot of followers on the Instagram expert and they're not the right followers.

Sue: [00:20:12] And so you know I have 64,000 followers or something like that. And I wish I was much more intentional at the very beginning and blocked followers that were literally just random followers you know from countries, guys, teenagers, the random people that followed me all over the internet but don't take any action that lurk on.

Sue: [00:20:34] Because if I blocked all of them my engagement rate would be so much better. But now that I have some, I have so many followers that would take so much time for me to go back and the truth is I grow my email list about 200 to 250 people a week every week.

Sue: [00:20:48] And that's my biggest goal. My goal isn't the followers. My goal is getting people on my email list so I can stay in touch with them.

Jillian: [00:20:54] Interesting. OK. But then we were talking about how you will also reach out and talk to people on Instagram.

Sue: [00:21:02] Exactly. I do that every day. I mean I do that either in the direct message with a video, I do it in comments every day. It's what I do.

How to show up for your Instagram community

Jillian: [00:21:13] But people will say oh my god, that's exhausting.

Sue: [00:21:17] Well it's not when it's what you love doing. And how I get results. You want to grow with rising thriving business. It's working. That's positive reinforcement.

Sue: [00:21:30] I show up for my community because my community loves what I do. And I have real conversations and I have real customers and I have real clients and I'm and I make real money.

Jillian: [00:21:39] Right.

Sue: [00:21:40] So there's the positive reinforcement it's working. If it's not working you're doing something wrong.

Sue: [00:21:45] If you're not converting you know, you have 156,000 followers. And are they on your email list or are they just on Instagram?

Jillian: [00:21:54] They're on Instagram.

Sue: [00:21:56] Do you have a list?

Jillian: [00:21:57] Yes.

Sue: [00:21:58] OK. So if they're on Instagram they're not on your list that there's a problem. What is your goal? What do you try to get out of these followers?

Jillian: [00:22:04] We monetize via traffic predominantly and affiliate sales. So we're not selling a specific product. So our business model is a little bit different.

Jillian: [00:22:16] So with MiloTree we are selling a product, an app. So that's again why our businesses are very different and so therefore, I want that one-on-one connection with MiloTree, with the Blogger Genius Podcast, whereas I want eyeballs on Catch My Party.

Jillian: [00:22:39] So for example, on Catch My Party, yes we are incredibly aligned with Pinterest, and we have 850,000 followers on Pinterest.

Jillian: [00:22:49] So I say to people you know if you're a mom, and you've been planning parties, chances are you've been on my site.

Sue: [00:22:56] OK.

Jillian: [00:22:59] So we are intentional. And that's where Instagram, we've just kind of grown naturally. But I have not been as intentional with Catch My Party on Instagram so hearing you is very helpful.

Sue: [00:23:13] Yeah because I'm looking, you have 156,000 followers and you're not even getting 100 likes on a post. You know the one you just did. OK you have a couple hundred you make it to about 300 on a post.

Jillian: [00:23:27] Well it depends. Just so you know, a mermaid party. We will get many more.

Sue: [00:23:32] That's interesting.

Jillian: [00:23:33] So it's very content specific.

Sue: [00:23:35] Yeah. Yeah.

Jillian: [00:23:37] You know if it's a theme that people love, we can get over 1,000 that kind of thing.

Sue: [00:23:44] Right. Right. Yeah. So what is the question you want me to answer for your followers or your listeners here right now?

Jillian: [00:23:51] For my listeners is, should people on Instagram be thinking about growing followers? And I think what you answered is, it's really for you in your business about engagement and that if, in fact, you have high engagement, Instagram and their algorithm will go ooh this person's getting a lot of engagement. We should show her stuff to other people.

What is engagement on Instagram?

Sue: [00:24:15] Right. Well engagement is based on how many saves you get, how many comments you get, how many likes you get, and how quickly they all comment.

Jillian: [00:24:23] How quickly they comment once you post?

Sue: [00:24:25] Yes.

Jillian: [00:24:27] OK. And so therefore for so that's why you were saying it be better if you went through and got rid of the dead weight?

Sue: [00:24:35] Yeah. I mean if only you know, that's a lot.

Sue: [00:24:38] You know, when you have hundred you know thousands of followers that's weeks and weeks if not months and months of time, and so I just would rather move on. And now I block anyone that's following me. That is just like, Are you kidding me right. You know like it's just I can tell by their profile by. I know. I know my target audience. And if you're someone that doesn't fit it I'm just saying bye-bye I'm not interested in your follow.

Sue: [00:25:05] I would rather have the right follower, but I wish I did that long ago. That's that's what I'm saying.

Jillian: [00:25:11] That's so interesting. Could we talk about traffic because on Catch My Party. That is our primary goal. But Instagram is not necessarily a great way to get traffic.

Sue: [00:25:24] What are you talking about I get traffic everyday. What do you mean?

Jillian: [00:25:28] I guess versus say SEO, focusing on SEO or Pinterest drives traffic.

Sue: [00:25:35] Well so it sounds like that might be one of your preferred platform. I'm not heavily into Pinterest and I don't pay for any SEO. We get great traffic to our website every day because we use keywords and everything that we do and all of our blog posts and all of our YouTube channels and we know it. What are the right keywords.

Jillian: [00:25:51] Right. But in terms of when you are driving people, is the goal on Instagram to drive people to your site?

Sue: [00:26:01] Absolutely. Every day.

Jillian: [00:26:03] OK.

Make sure you have a website, not just an Instagram account

Sue: [00:26:03] Because you own it, you don't own Instagram. What if it blew up tomorrow? What if you lost your account because you bought followers. People message me, they buy followers, Instagram is cracking down on anyone with fake followers. They're deleting accounts. They're banning people that are doing bogus things on Instagram and they come crying to me as if I can fix it for them.

Sue: [00:26:24] I'm like, you shouldn't have bought all those followers or Instagram knows when to use software you know. So the only thing you have is your website.

Jillian: [00:26:34] So what do you think though about people who build businesses on Instagram who don't have a web site?

Sue: [00:26:40] That they could go away tomorrow and they'd be up shit's creek if that's what they're relying on and that's why it's so important to have a website.

Sue: [00:26:47] I mean you can start a business on Instagram. Many people do. My daughter did. You can start and test the idea you can do market research, but you should always, your goal should always be to get people to go back to your website and join your email list. Period.

Sue: [00:27:02] That is our goal every time. You know we have a weekly campaign with our blogs with my social stuff on Facebook. I'm constantly looking to grow my email list and nurture.

Sue: [00:27:15] The reason is I can nurture those relationships off of Instagram on my own terms through my own emails.

Jillian: [00:27:22] Right. And then how often are you sending emails?

Sue: [00:27:25] Once a week pretty much, we are publishing a blog once a week. Again we are in touch with our audience once a week when our list grows daily.

Jillian: [00:27:34] Right. Right. Okay now for example then, for you with Instagram. Do you feel ever there's whiplash?

How to keep up on all the changes with Instagram

Sue: [00:27:45] What do you mean by that?

Jillian: [00:27:46] Like they just rolled out IGTV.

Sue: [00:27:52] I love it. I love keeping up with all the updates. They're just improving and making it the go to place to be.

Jillian: [00:27:58] Yes.

Sue: [00:27:59] People have abandoned Snapchat including myself. People that are intimidated with doing a YouTube channel which I'm not and I have one Sue B. Zimmerman you can link the show notes. People can learn from me for weeks there.

Sue: [00:28:11] But a lot of people are intimidated with the process of a YouTube channel, and so this is a good opportunity to put up some content that lives on in your channel.

How is IGTV different from YouTube?

Jillian: [00:28:22] Tell me your thoughts on IGTV and do you think it will rival YouTube?

Sue: [00:28:27] No it will absolutely not rival YouTube because YouTube has a website and IGTV is an app. So the SEO is not the same.

Jillian: [00:28:35] OK.

Sue: [00:28:36] I have content on both. I have very successful IGTV videos, all of them over a thousand approaching 2,000 views. Lots of comments because my content is still consistent to what I do on Instagram.

Sue: [00:28:52] We are testing the channel and doing seven different content buckets there and next for our next team meeting we're going to review the stats, the views, the comments, and retention on each one because you can get stats for each one too.

Jillian: [00:29:08] Wow. OK so if I'm an entrepreneur and I want to try out IG TV, what would be your recommendation for my first video?

Sue: [00:29:19] It really depends. Like that's not where I would start if you're an entrepreneur, you have to understand all the areas of Instagram like we talked about at the beginning and if you're good on video and you are a good teacher and you can keep someone's interest and deliver really good content in a short period, then you can you should create the content that your followers would be interested in.

Sue: [00:29:41] Keep a Google doc. What are the questions they're asking you? What are the pain points they're having? Do they want to know the recipe for the mermaid cake? Is there dye in the frosting are you using pearl, you know edible pearls you know, like what are they asking you? That's what you that's what you create.

Jillian: [00:29:58] Got it. OK. What accounts do you follow that you go they are doing it right?

Sue: [00:30:04] I follow a lot. Everyone listening could go to the Instagram Expert and look at who I'm following. I am right now following under 650 accounts but I'm following them all because they're all amazing.

Sue: [00:30:17] And my favorites are brands that I'm very close to the Drybar. I get a blow dry time so I love the Drybar and I feel like I'm walking into the Drybar when I'm there.

Sue: [00:30:28] Creative Live. I love their content. I taught on stage there four times and I like supporting them. I like Post-It. Post-It brand is very creative on Instagram as a big brand.

Jillian: [00:30:42] Yes.

Sue: [00:30:43] They stand out nicely. There's Emily Coxhead. She's got an account which is awesome called the Happy Newspaper and from London it's a real newspaper I actually get it delivered so that's pretty cool.

Jillian: [00:30:58] OK.

Sue: [00:30:59] Sugarfina is a great account, a candy account which you could learn from. Like if you replicated what they did a lot. They've got the whole party thing going on, but it's with candy. Their accounts are really great.

Sue: [00:31:12] I mean I could go on and on but people can just go and look at what I do.

Jillian: [00:31:16] Great. Well okay. One last piece of parting advice to people who want to do better on Instagram.

Sue: [00:31:29] OK, and the question is?

Advice for success on Instagram

Jillian: [00:31:32] So that would be to people who are overwhelmed by Instagram. What would you say? I guess you've answered this question, but ok if I were to say back what you're saying and you can tell me if this is correct.

Jillian: [00:31:49] Find your lane, be intentional, and you don't have to be everywhere, and interact with the people who are interacting with you. How does that sound?

Sue: [00:32:05] Yeah I mean I think people that are stressed about posting, if they spent more time engaging they would have greater success.

Sue: [00:32:12] So to everyone listening it's like Oh my god I can't keep up. I got to post something every day. You don't, you just have to post really epic content when you post, not crap.

Sue: [00:32:22] And when you post epic content, you will get people interested. If you can't come up with something awesome to post and show up as an awesome person who is engaging.

Sue: [00:32:34] I will say this is one of my ninja tips is when you show up in someone else's comment feed and yes you all should turn on notifications on the Instagram expert. That's where on the top right there's three little dots. If you press those three little dots and you turn notifications on.

Sue: [00:32:50] Every time I post you will get a notification and so I challenge you to do that and when I post be a part of the conversation. Tell me what you learned from the post. Because I'm always teaching when you, the listener shows up consistently in the comment thread with a real comment that is thought provoking.

Sue: [00:33:11] The person commenting below you will see it and if you show up consistently in the right communities whether it's brands, businesses, bloggers, authors that you love and respect you will get their attention because every time you comment, there's a notification that you've commented and not only will you get a notification from the content creator. The people above you and below you.

Sue: [00:33:36] People leaving comments will see your comment and if it's really good, they might say wow that was such a nice comments that that person just left. I'm going to go check check that out.

Sue: [00:33:49] And that's what people don't realize, the power of the comment is so profound if people just focused on real conversations, Instagram would be so less stressful for people.

Jillian: [00:34:03] I love that I love that. Ok you've shared places people can reach out to you. But what is the way the best way to see what you're doing to connect with you? I'm sure it's like to DM you. So what should people do?

Sue: [00:34:19] The best thing to do is to literally you know open up your browser, if you're in the car pull over pull over and grab my guide. SuebZimmerman.com/bloggergenius and you will get my free guide that will set you up for success.

Sue: [00:34:42] And then you will be on my email list and you will be connected to me via email and you'll get all my wonderful emails and I'm talking about. So that's number one.

Sue: [00:34:51] Number two for those of you that are action takers, and I love action takers. Come on over to my Instagram account and introduce yourself on one of my posts and let me know that you came over from this specific interview and you can tag MiloTreeapp.

Sue: [00:35:11] Okay so I mean do you personally have an account? Or those are your two accounts?

Jillian: [00:35:15] Those are my two accounts.

Sue: [00:35:16] Okay so you can tag MiloTreeApp you can let me know that you heard this on this podcast interview and I will come over and say hello to you.

Jillian: [00:35:28] Oh that's wonderful. That's wonderful.

Jillian: [00:35:31] Well, Sue, it has been such a pleasure. I am a fangirl even though you've given me some some stuff to think about and work on. I so appreciate it again. The more I can learn, the better.

Sue: [00:35:45] Yeah well I am brutally honest it's that East Coast Boston persona that I have, met with a heart of love.

Jillian: [00:35:53] Of course and I feel it. So thank you.

Sue: [00:35:56] Okay good. All right thanks for having me. This is a lot of fun.

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40 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 41 mins duration .