Tips for getting more from Instagram

How to get more on Instagram and use Instagram for marketing – 3 Top Tips

Instagram is on the increase (BIG TIME) but how can you use it for marketing? In this video I go through 3 top tips for improving the effectiveness of Instagram, if you don’t want to watch the video and would rather read the transcript I have also included is below.

Transcript

Well, hello there, peoples. Instagram. Instagram, Instagram, Instagram, that’s all we hear nowadays. But how can you use Instagram to build a following, to educate people, to get them to take action? In this little video I’m going to give you three little tips, little sneaky things you can do on the Instagram to do exactly that, and if you’re watching this on Instagram, remember to click the follow button. If you’re watching this on Facebook, click like, and make sure you click on the notifications to see first. And if you’re watching on YouTube, subscribe and hit the little bell button to make sure that you get notified as these videos go live.

So, Instagram. What I’m going to do is, I’m going to show you a little Instagram page that I set up, actually exactly one month ago, it was about the 28th of April I set this page up. And it’s nothing to do with dentistry, it’s nothing to do with marketing. It’s to do with healthy living and eating good quality food, specifically vegan food. That’s not the reason I’m showing you it. I want to show you what I’m doing from the marketing side of things. I want to show you three little tips that you can use to build your Instagram following, and to get people to take action and to visit your website, and to do more.

What I’m going to do is I’m going to share my screen with you. This is my little Instagram page, and you will probably know that the best way to interact with Instagram is if you use it on your phone. Far easier to do on your phone than it is to do on a computer, but for the purposes of this, the computer screen actually works really well. What we’re going to do is we’re going to look at this page here, and you can see if I highlight, I haven’t got that many followers, 213, but that’s okay. I’m quite happy with that after the first month. But some little tips, some little tips.

One of those tips is to always, always, always use hashtags. Hashtags are these little babies, these little babies here that go after your content. Put your content in, and then use hashtags. Use hashtags that other people are using that you want to be found for. So, my little tip, my sneaky little tip, is to look for other people that are successful in your niche, whether that be vegan food, whether that be dental marketing, whether that be dentistry, look for people that are successful, people that have got lots of followers. Look at the hashtags they are using, then create a little text file and put those hashtags into the text file. Let the text file grow and grow and grow, more and more hashtags. Then, every post you use, use those hashtags.

And I’ll show you the reason why this works really well. The reason why it works well is because you can search for hashtags on Instagram. You can see this is one of the hashtags I used, vegetarian recipes, and you can see it’s had 848,000 posts. Let’s go for another one. Let’s go for vegan food. You can see we’ve had 15 million posts. Now, on Instagram, you can follow a hashtag. What that means in reality is that various followers can follow not only you as a person, but follow the hashtags you are talking about. If you don’t use the hashtags, you miss out on a whole load of people that will see your post. I used these vegan hashtags, and within seconds–oh yes, I mean seconds–I’ll have 30 or 40 likes of a particular post. That’s without having the followers. That’s just getting the likes of that post.

Here is the proof. Let me go back to my page here and have a look here. I’ve got 176 likes of this one, 52, 140, 49, 63. Didn’t use hashtags in that one. That was because it wasn’t about vegan food, that was as restaurant I visited. Sixty-three, and so on and so on, 21, 113, 63, 74, 68, 73. You can get a lot of likes through relatively very few followers by using hashtags. That’s tip number one.

Tip number two. Tip number two is to update your story. You’ve got two types of posts on Instagram. You can have your regular daily posts of the images that I’ve just shown you with a little bit of text and your hashtags, and you can have stories. Stories are little snippets of video which you can put daily, and you can highlight. If you update your story and you think you’ve done a particularly good one, you can highlight it. If you go to your profile page on the phone, you will see where you can highlight the story. When you highlight a story, you can name that particular highlight, and you can group highlights together, give them a little name, and you can even upload a little logo.

Here is what I have done. I have created stories. Some around motivation to be vegan, some around food ideas, some around store cupboard essentials. If I click on this, essentials, I’ve got to log in to see the story, but when you log in, you will see that story. Same with food ideas, you got to log in to see the story, and same with motivation. What we can do is we can group stories together. When you do your posts, your regular posts, use the hashtag, use nice images, and when you do a story, make sure your story’s around a particular theme.

If you’re in dentistry, you might want to do a very short 15-second video about replacing missing teeth, one of the options, perhaps implants. Then give another one the next day about bridges, another one the next day about dentures. Same with straightening crooked teeth. You might do a little story, 15-second blast about Invisalign, next one about [inaudible 00:06:31], next one prevention orthodontics, and so on and so on. Then group those stories together in highlights, and create little story highlights as I’ve done here, and create them and upload little logos to them. It can be a really good way of people finding quality content that they’re looking for on your Instagram page.

And the final thing to do, if you look here, is to have your website. You must put your website in there. Make sure you have a business Instagram account. That’s very easy to do, go to the settings, make sure you switch it to business. It will then link it through to a Facebook page. And make sure you have a link. The link to your website is really important because unless you pay for links on Instagram, this is the only place you can get a link in, so get your website in there. At the moment, I don’t have a website for this particular project, I just used my Facebook page, but get your website in.

So, there are your three top tips for Instagram. Use hashtags, lots of them, store them in a text file, put them in every post. Group together your stories, do them as highlights, upload little logos for each highlight, and think about how you’re going to group your highlights together. And get your webpage link into your bio. Please do let me know what you think. If you are already on Instagram, make sure you follow. If you’re on Facebook, make sure you follow and click notifications, select see first so you get updated. And if you’re on YouTube, click subscribe and hit the little bell button. See you soon.

10 Years 10 Business Tips – #10 – Maximise your own skills and outsource the rest

This is the final blog post in my 10 years celebration series and oddly, lands on my birthday!

So, it’s happy birthday to me, and happy birthday to my business. Although I’m a little bit older than 10!

So this post is about maximising your own skills and outsourcing the rest.

I first came across this principle whilst reading the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, so many small businesses try to do EVERYTHING themselves. I realised very early on that I simply couldn’t do this.

Within one year of starting my business and was still working full-time in the dental laboratory I employed a virtual PA to work within my marketing business.

She worked around 10 hours per month and sorted out all of my accounts and dealt with phone calls and managed my diary. I still have a virtual PA to this day and simply couldn’t do without one.

You MUST invest in your business!

I’ve also invested heavily in technology.

I started managing my client work manually on a spreadsheet but it soon got out of hand, I use Act! Premium a customer relationship management software to keep track of prospect and clients… I seriously could not do without this piece of software.

When I first started I also did a lot of my tasks manually, for example I used to search monthly for the range of keywords my clients want to be found for, I did this manually on Google and entered the results in a spreadsheet.

TIRESOME!

There is now extremely powerful software that can not only search for hundreds of keywords but also compare where clients rank against competitors, there is so much data it simply is not possible to do this manually.

Website design is also something I’m not good at. I can do the content and make it work but I’m not a designer! I see too many small businesses attempt to do websites themselves, believe me I can tell when I see one.

I firmly believe it’s worth investing in a good website designer as well as branding designer to get things on point, looking good and working well. I’ve got a few on the recommendations page of my website.

So the key is, understand what YOU can do uniquely that NO-ONE else can do… And then outsource or delegate (to either a human or software) the rest.

That way you can build a successful business which is scalable beyond what you could do on your own.

SORTED…

10 Years 10 Business Tips – #9 – Develop a positive mindset

It sounds simple doesn’t it, think positive… But I realise it is not always quite so straightforwards.

It takes time.

It takes effort.

But it’s worth it.

When Bill Gates created Microsoft he wasn’t thinking “This is pointless, no one in the world has a computer”, rather he was thinking “How can I make this new product accessible so everyone in the world DOES have a computer!”.

When Steve Jobs created the iPhone he wasn’t thinking “This is pointless, no one knows how to use a touchscreen phone”, Rather he was thinking “How can I make this new product so intuitive that EVERYONE CAN use touchscreen phone”.

If you ever think “This won’t work” then STOP.

Reframe.

Re-think the question to “How can I make this work?”

If you have a product or service that people want, if you have a way to deliver it that is uniquely yours and if you have the passion behind your idea then you will not fail!

10 Years 10 Business Tips – #8 – Don’t get stuck in the box

Think outside the box.

What box?

Who cares about a box?

Even thinking about the box puts in boundaries, forget it even exists.

Dare to be different.

Dare to be YOU.

Dare to challenge the norm.

Dare to change.

Do away with labels. I’m not a ‘marketing consultant’, that constrains me. I am who I am and do what I do in order to benefit my clients.

I refuse to be constrained.

I refuse to be normal.

And that’s what sets me apart, that’s what gives me a competitive edge. I have remained a small and agile company for a reason!

Are you stuck in your box?

10 Years 10 Business Tips – 7 – Develop your network

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book but is also one of the most important.

The first step is to identify similar businesses which share your customer demographic. The trick is to be really clear about who your ideal customers are, where they hang out, what they like to do etc?

Once you know who your ideal customers are you can then identify similar businesses which do not compete with you directly but share the same customers.

Examples that have worked really well for me are:

  • Video production companies.
  • Business coaches and consultants.
  • Training and education businesses.

In some instances I’ve been approached by these businesses looking to share common interests with me, other times I have approached them.

The key is to have something which is mutually beneficial to offer both your clients, that way you get a win/win situation for both your business, their business and all of your clients!

It’s about looking for commonality between businesses and then helping each other.

An example could be that I could approach a video production company and ask them to give me some top tips on how to produce videos for a business website. I could then reciprocate this and write them some top tips on how to market and attract more customers to a business.

We could reciprocate these articles, perhaps on our own blogs.

The video production company gets some excellent content helping their customers with their marketing.

My customers get some excellent content helping them with their video production.

It’s a win/win/win for both companies and all customers.

Working together like this also engenders a sense of friendship, trust and community and I found the building my business based on these values has been both sustainable and beneficial.

Begin working together… Sharing together… And building the rewards together!

10 Years 10 Business Tips – Tip #6 – Save for tax

Sounds a simple doesn’t let you? But so many people just don’t do it.

From the word go, and yes I mean my very first month in business I began saving for tax, even though I knew I had 18 months in order to pay after my year-end because I was a new business.

Being incorporated meant I could easily work out the business tax of 21%. I simply took my profits each month and put 21% of it into a savings account.

I do exactly the same today but include an additional 20% for VAT [thanks Mr Taxman, I really enjoy being a revenue collector for you… NOT].

In all of my 10 years in business I’ve never once worried about tax due dates as I’ve always had the money in advance.

It’s a very stressfree way to manage your finances.

I earn money out of HMRC

Yes, you read that right. I pay my corporation tax early and earn 0.5% interest! The earliest HMRC will usually pay interest is from 6 months and 13 days after the start of your accounting period.

So there’s even a financial benefit from being organised!

Find out more about HMRC interest rates for late and early payments

Live frugally

10 Years 10 Business Tips – 5 – Live frugally

I’m now privileged and humbled to have been in business for 10 years. April 5th 2019 sees 10 years since I set my company up.

This series of blog posts gives you my top 10 tips to surviving in business… This isn’t necessarily how you should do it, but it is how I did it!

Live frugally

I do this in my business and in home life.

Business

Many businesses think they make a profit but they don’t.

Profit is what is left AFTER the owner has taken out what they want from the business.

Profit is what remains with in the business each year, it can be used for a variety of reasons but it is not drawn by the business owner.

Keep your drawings and costs under control, whilst keeping turnover high to ensure you make a genuine profit.

Home life

I draw the minimum I can out of the business, I keep costs at home as low as possible while still enjoying the lifestyle I want to enjoy.

This allows me to keep the maximum amount of profit in the business, this can be used to make calculated and planned investments.

As a small business owner, personal finances are inextricably linked to our business. If we always live to our means the reality is that we will push ourselves and live outside of our means.

Stay humble. If you can’t afford it you can’t have it.

Just because you run your own business or have X profession doesn’t mean that you should earn a particular amount. If your business doesn’t generate it then you don’t own it!

I remember once being called into a practice, the practice owner told me they were in desperate need, their business was about to fall apart, they were about to make their team redundant, they were about to lose everything… Apart from the brand-new Mercedes AMG parked in the driveway.

I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t have a Mercedes AMG, but I’m suggesting that that may be a symptom of why their business was in such disarray, perhaps they just spent too much!

Keep it under control.

Stay humble.

Only buy what you can genuinely afford.

Invest in technology

10 Years 10 Business Tips – 4 – Invest in technology

I’m now privileged and humbled to have been in business for 10 years. April 5th 2019 sees 10 years since I set my company up.

This series of blog posts gives you my top 10 tips to surviving in business… This isn’t necessarily how you should do it, but it is how I did it!

Invest in technology

I appreciate that is not always possible to do this in every single industry and every single sector, however the principle remains.

A great example of using technology is that each month I wanted to report to my clients on where they were found in their Google search results.

I had multiple phrases for each client e.g.

  • Dentist in -location
  • teeth whitening – location
  • dental implants – location
  • and so it went on…

When I first started I simply took these phrases, typed them into Google and put where the client was in the search results into a spreadsheet.

But as I grew I realised this was taking SO much time.

So I invested in technology, I purchased some software which did this for me.

I now pay around over £10,000 per year on various pieces of software, all of them help me stay effective and deliver a service to clients which is not possible manually. I now regularly track over 50 words for each client and plot them against where they are with their competitors… A task which is simply not possible to do by hand.

Maintain your customer database

Since the word go I’ve also used Sage Act! It’s absolutely fabulous. I maintain my entire database of every single person that I’ve ever spoken to, I know what I said, who are said to, what was said and what the next steps are.

It’s shown me that sometimes it can take many years for a client to come to fruition… My record so far is 7 years!

So my advice is to look for ways to utilise technology to manage your clients, even if it’s just managing your relationship with your clients then do it… It will make you more efficient, help you deliver a better service and help you grow.

10 Years 10 Business Tips – 3 – Help other people

I’m now privileged and humbled to have been in business for 10 years. April 5th 2019 sees 10 years since I set my company up.

This series of blog posts gives you my top 10 tips to surviving in business… This isn’t necessarily how you should do it, but it is how I did it!

Help other people

Many businesses have their primary objective is making money or selling.

I firmly resolved to make my businesses primary objective to help patients find local dentists and to do that by helping my clients reach patients in need.

I knew that if I did that extremely well then money would be an outcome of that, rather than an objective in itself.

I remember I had one particular dentist who continuously contacted me asking for advice.

I can remember sometimes getting frustrated,. How was I going to make money out of simply helping people on Facebook all the time? Doesn’t this person know that I have a business?

But I stuck with it, clearly there were boundaries but after a little while this person asked if they could pay me to help.

Client number 2 was now on board.

What I began to realise now was that I needed to up the amount of FREE resources and information that I put online. I doubled my efforts to create free content by way of downloads, blog posts and social media updates.

The result was that people could now find lots of information themselves which cut out this initial continuous contacting stage.

By the time client number 3 came on board it was simply then contacting me to say that they had read lots of my content, liked what they had seen, had tried lots of stuff already but now wanted me to help further.

Client number 3 came on board after a 10 min phone call!