Instagram isn’t all about pictures anymore. Those were the old days. These days, it’s all about dynamic content. You got videos, reels, and carousels now. This can make the bar for creativity higher, so you got to bring your A-game or just hire a designer. Join your host Kendra Perry as she talks about all things Instagram. It’s time to be a creator!
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It’s Time To Be A Creator
This is episode 97. I’m here to help you simplify your business and blow it up simultaneously. The title of this episode is It’s Time to Be a Creator. What is that even about? We’re talking about my favorite social media platform, Instagram. I find Instagram is the best social media platform for most health coaches, not all. It truly depends on who you’re serving and where that person hangs out. I typically recommend that my students are on Instagram because it has the most opportunities and ways to share content. At this point, most people are on Instagram. Let’s dive into this whole creator thing.
You may or may not remember, but if you’re in the loop of things, the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, made an announcement that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. People got upset about this and were very confused. I got a lot of DMs from my followers like, “What does this mean for health coaches and my content?” I want to clarify. He didn’t say Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. What he said is Instagram is no longer a square photo-sharing app. I don’t know how long you have been on Instagram, but originally, Instagram was for sharing photos.
I got on Instagram right after Facebook purchased it. I believe it was 2014 or 2015 and it was a very different vibe back then. It was very much Instagram-in-the-moment photo sharing. They had these retro filters that everyone used to use and it was a very different platform back then. Platforms evolved and Instagram has evolved. What this means is you can still share photos. It doesn’t mean that you can’t share photos. As a business owner, basic photos aren’t going to work anymore. What matters is creativity in videos. Instagram is a dynamic visual app.
Think of all the different ways that you can share content on Instagram. You can share Stories, Reels, static posts, and long-form videos. There are so many different ways in which you can create content for your followers. Instagram is much more dynamic now and has a lot more different ways in which you can share content than a square photo that you took at the moment with your smartphone. We can see that Instagram wants to up the ante for a creative on their platform because they’re rewarding creators in a number of ways.
For example, they started paying certain creators to go live. If you went live within a certain amount of times, you could make $500. I don’t know if they’re still doing that. They have started paying certain creators for creating Reels. They also allow followers who are joining live videos to buy some credits. You can buy credit and that will go to the creator who is performing the live. There are all these different features coming out for creators. That tells us that Instagram wants us to go live, make Reels, and be more dynamic with our content.
Why is this? There are a lot of different reasons why Instagram might be doing this, but the primary reason is clearly to keep people on the app. The goal of every single social media platform is that they want people to stay on the app, be addicted, and consume content. The longer they are on the app, the more opportunities that Instagram has to advertise to them, which of course, where they make their money is with advertisements. They need people on their app in order to consume ads, click on ads, make purchases, and opt-in so that the advertisers pay Instagram. What does this mean for creativity? It means that the bar for creativity is very high. I have noticed that over the past, but I’m noticing now that the bar for creativity is high.
The people doing well on Instagram have very well done creative, meaning that their visual and video are very good. What does that mean for health coaches? We are not necessarily creators and designers. It does mean that your creative does matter and it matters just as much as the text of your post. It’s very important. What doesn’t work on Instagram anymore? For most people, there are always outliers and some people do still get traction from these types of posts, but it’s that photoshoot image with the long-form caption. It’s that beautiful photo of you that you took with a photographer and you have this long-form caption underneath it.
Years ago, that’s what I was doing. If you scroll down my Instagram feed and go back, that’s what you will find. You will see images of me that a professional photographer took with a long-form caption. I don’t do those anymore, for the most part. It’s because I noticed that those weren’t getting traction anymore. A big part of that is because share is a form of engagement when people share your posts to their Stories. It’s one of the most high-quality forms of engagement. Not only does someone think your post is good enough to share with their audience, but by the action of doing that, it gets your post in front of other people that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Is someone ever going to share an image of your face or you looking cute in a park? No. No offense to you or me, but people aren’t typically going to share that even if they think the caption is great. Look at what you see people are sharing. It’s typically quotes and stuff like that. That doesn’t work anymore on Instagram for most people. The other thing that’s not working is simple and boring quotes. What is working? Reels still work. They’re more competitive. More people are using them. They’re not getting the traction that they used to, but they still work. Instagram is still competing with TikTok. Therefore, they’re still pushing Reels.
Carousel posts are the ones that are typically educational where you swipe left. There are ten slides and you can read a little bit more on each slide. Those do well. I find personally that those work well for my account. You have to figure out what works for your account. What does work well is shareable content. I find shareable content tends to be things that resonate with your audience where they’re like, “That’s me,” and something that might shift a belief, shifting a limiting belief, and might be a little bit more polarizing. Not necessarily the very obvious polarizing things in our world, but maybe something polarizing in your industry.
For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, maybe it’s speaking about how you don’t agree with the calories in, calories out, philosophy, and speaking to that. That might be polarizing in your industry because people think that that’s the only way to lose weight. That’s what I mean when I say polarizing, but that is something that people will share and also content that you might be taking a stand on. It should be relevant to your niche and industry.
You might be thinking, “Screw Kendra. I’m not a designer. My design skills suck.” I hear you. I’m in the same boat. I’m not a great designer. I love Canva. I use Canva all the time. Sometimes I hit it out of the park and sometimes I crush design, but it’s not based on any expertise. It feels like a fluke because sometimes I’m like, “That’s awesome,” and then other times I create something and I’m like, “That’s a piece of crap and I don’t know how to make it better.”
The good news is you don’t have to do the design. You can hire a designer. I highly recommend this if you are using Instagram not only because it will free up a ton of more time in your schedule but also help you do better on Instagram. If you are taking the time to create content for social media, you might as well get some traction from it. The good news is it’s not expensive to hire a designer. I know many people who are paying designers, maybe $1 or $2 a post.
If you’re posting, what I typically recommend is people post to their feed 3 to 4 times a week. Let’s say you’re posting four times a week. There are four weeks in a month. Those are sixteen posts. Imagine you are spending, let’s say, $2 for that post. I can’t do math, but I’m pretty sure that’s $32 a month. You can get these so cheap by outsourcing to different countries where the exchange rate goes quite well for the money, the US or Canadian dollars. These people can be incredibly talented. That money is good money for them. It is easy to get a designer and not pay a ton of money for them.
The platform that I love is Upwork.com. I use that for all my outsourcing. I have found amazing contractors on that site and some duds. Know that anytime you start to hire people, you’re going to get some duds. Don’t use that as an excuse to not hire. Typically what I see is people are like, “I hired this one person and it was a bad experience. I don’t want to do that anymore.” I can’t tell you how many bad people I have hired. I have hired so many contractors who weren’t good fits. It’s not an excuse not to hire. It’s a part of the process. You truly can’t know if someone is a good fit until you work with them. Be okay with the fact that it may not work out with someone and you may have to look for someone else.
You can go to Upwork.com, post a job, and find someone within your budget. This is how I do my content and I post a lot of content. I’m going to be reducing the amount of content I post to Instagram. I think I’m doing a little bit too much, but I post a lot. I post every single day and multiple times a day. People are always like, “How do you create so much content?” It’s because I’m not doing it all myself. All I do is write my content and that’s it. It then gets passed on to a designer and to someone who schedules it for me. It’s very easy for me to sit down and write all my content and do all the Reels that I need for a month in about half a day. I do it all on a day. Sometimes I take a little bit more. It depends on my focus, but it doesn’t take me more than two days to do a month’s worth of content.
Essentially, what you do is sit down. A great thing about having someone like a designer is that it keeps you accountable because you are going to set up with this designer the date for which you’re going to have the content for them. I find it works best if I do everything at once for the month and then I can pass it along. That’s called batching content. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I love it. You can do something like chunking it out. Maybe you go in and spend over a week or an hour brainstorming posts, looking at analytics, and figuring out what type of content you’re going to make.
Maybe the next day, you do part of the content. You can do it that way as well. You have to figure out what works for you. Essentially, you’re going to come up with a date and say, “By the 15th of the month, I’m going to have all the content for you for the following month.” That means you have a deadline. That can be good at holding you accountable, which helps you be more consistent with your content. They’re going to design it and pass it back to you for scheduling, or hopefully, you can do send that to a VA.
Social media scheduling is something that everyone needs to outsource. It is not something you should be doing. If you’re doing it, stop. That will free up a couple of hours a month in your schedule. It’s incredibly cheap to hire that out. It does not require a skill and anyone can do it. Outsource that. You need to know first when we talk about outsourcing, the biggest reason you’re not going to be happy with the contractor is that you didn’t set them up for success. I did this often early on because I was hiring people all the time early on and wasn’t giving them enough direction. I was essentially wanting them to read my mind. That’s not good. They can’t read your mind. You are the boss. You need to tell them what to do and give them the direction.
You need to know your brand colors and your fonts and have a general idea of your brand identity. This will help the designer know how to create the content. The other thing I would recommend is figuring out what type of content you will post. I’m posting a high volume of Carousel posts. Those seem to work quite well for my account. If you are going to do a Carousel post, go onto your explore page, essentially the little search button at the bottom of your Instagram, and find other Carousel designs that you like.
You can find ones that you like that you think vibe with your brand and pass that along to the designer. You can send them 3 to 4 examples, so they get an idea. What I would do is have them send you some samples, do a couple of posts, send them back to you, maybe 2 to 5 posts or something like that, and give them very specific and detailed feedback. What do you like? What do you not like? Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t like these.” If you don’t like them, you need to give them better direction until you come up with a general feel and vibe of your carousels. At that point, you can have them go and run with it.
If you’re using Instagram, I highly recommend a designer because the bar for creative is high. If you’re not a designer and don’t have those skills, then outsource it and it will help you with your content. I see this as my prediction. I’m not a social media expert, meaning that I’m not an Instagram expert, but I know a lot about social media. I study it, look at the trends, and analyze my analytics. I have a lot of expertise in social media, specifically Instagram, but I am not a bona fide Instagram expert. My prediction is that this is going to become more true and 2022 will truly be likely the year of the creator. It’s time to become a creator. I want you to do that without wasting all your time trying to create new and interesting content.
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