Bokeh Podcast Episode #30: Using Instagram to Build Your Business – Lacey Oltman

You’re probably on Instagram, but do you know how to effectively use the social media platform to build your photography business? In this episode, Lacey Oltman walks us through how to build a purpose-driven Instagram account, and then how to create more compelling Instagram posts – both for the purpose of attracting the right client for your business!

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Read the transcript and show notes

Show Notes:

What is a Purpose-Driven Instagram Account [00:39]
Defining the Perfect Client [02:43]
The Informative Instagram Account [04:26]
The Lifestyle Instagram Account [06:35]
The Specialty Instagram Account [08:40]
The Aesthetic Instagram Account [09:16]
Writing Compelling Captions [12:33]
Tell Stories, Don’t Push Sales [14:44]
Add Value to Your Content [17:48]
Mixing the Long and Short [18:50]
Hashtags Further Your Reach [22:09]
Localize Your Hashtags [24:08]
Use 10-20 Less Popular Hashtags [26:07]
Get Reposted and Gain Followers [28:38]
Post Content Consistently [30:32]
Use Holidays to Your Advantage [32:49]
Take Advantage of Marketing Solutions [34:44]
More Likes, More Comments, More Followers [36:41]

planoly.com tagomatic @Laceyophotography

 

Podcast Transcript:

 

Nathan – All right, so I’m here again with my friend, Lacey Altman, Lacey, thanks for joining us again here on the Bokeh podcast.

Lacey – Hey, I’m excited to be here again.

Nathan – Yeah, and you are actually our first repeat guest so you hold a special honor and title. But you were with us back on episode number eight talking about finding your ideal client, today we’re gonna dive into a pretty loaded topic, really, and that is how to use Instagram as a marketing platform more effectively and originally we were gonna break this into two episodes, today we’re gonna actually go ahead and just try to push all of it into one, and so we’re gonna be flying through lots of information, if you guys are listening to this episode, get out your notebooks or your computers, your phones, get ready to take some notes, Lacey’s got a lot of great information to share with you and we’re breaking this really into two different segments, right, Lacey, the first is, how to create a purpose driven Instagram account, so let’s dive into that first segment, what does it mean to have a purpose-driven Instagram account?

Lacey – What it means is that we’re going to be creating such a distinct idea of who we’re speaking to that every time we’re ready to post a photo on Instagram, we know it’s going to be the perfect fit for your client, your ideal client.

Nathan – And I really like that, I’ve laughed about this multiple times over now, you and I have kind of joked about it, but I was personally and professionally using Instagram in a bit of a random manner and you called me on that, in fact, you called me on it multiple times, throwing tips and tricks at me, which have been so helpful, I can’t thank you enough for that, kind of pushed myself personally again and our brand in the right direction, but this simple notion of starting with a specific purpose in mind to drive everything that you do, it’s so simple, yet it’s so powerful, so this is really, really important, how then do we go about creating that purpose-driven Instagram account?

Lacey – Well, we want to have more interactions and engagements on our posts and we wanna create compelling content to attract that interactivity and therefore those two will attract your ideal client.

Nathan – That makes sense, so then in order to kind of get started with creating this purpose-driven Instagram account, what’s the first thing that you’re gonna wanna do?

Lacey – Well, what I have done personally, and I’ve found it very useful, is I created a story, first, about my ideal client, the reason why I did that is Instagram is, picture it as, like, a love language. Or, like, when you’re meeting a new friend or you’re on a date, and you are wanting to engage with them and find out more about them, you utilize it to speak to that ideal client, so what I did with that was first create a story of my ideal client, so where she lives, of course, I even gave her a name, her name is Charlotte.

Nathan -That’s awesome.

Lacey – Her age, her types of friends she hangs out with, her goals, where she likes to shop, where she likes to eat, her fears, just really created this person, and then that taught me how to speak better when posting content on Instagram.

Nathan – That makes sense, now when you talked to me about this before, I think you actually even described a scenario where you sat down with, like, a notebook or a journal or something and really took the time to completely imagine it and then you wrote out these details, is that right?

Lacey – Yes, I did, it was just really really helpful, now granted, Charlotte isn’t the only client, we do attract a lot of different types of clients, but overall, me making her as if she was a real person, I would always try to resonate, would Charlotte like this post, would Charlotte relate to this caption?

Nathan – That’s right, and by being that specific, that then drives the type of content that you’re creating because let’s be real, there is an incredible amount of noise in the social media spectrum, right, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera, so in order to rise above that noise even a little bit, that’s probably the simplest way to go about at least beginning to do that, is to have a very specific purpose for your account and the way that you’re gonna do that, the first really effective step to creating that purpose-driven account, then, is to very very specifically and definitely imagine this person that you’re trying to speak to so I think that’s really, really powerful. The next step that you, and you and I have discussed this topic at length at this point, but one of the things that you talked about after then establishing who this person is, who your target client is that you’re going to be communicating to with your Instagram account, you then define a type or a style of Instagram account, I think you mentioned that there are four different types of accounts, is that right?

Lacey – Yeah, there is, there’s informative, lifestyle, specialty, and aesthetic.

Nathan – Okay.

Lacey – Informative is you like statistics and progress reports, you like when people go to you for questions, you want to be or you’re striving to be the leader expert in your industry or trade, you have a strong opinion and you love sharing information.

Nathan – That’s great, and you might even, maybe a synonym to that would be educational, are you educating people, does that follow the same idea?

Lacey – Yeah, absolutely, because if you really think about it, when a potential client or a human being in general approaches your Instagram account, we always determine do I wanna follow this person or not, so we have to give them a reason to want to follow us, so anything that you do should probably be educational, inspirational, and the aesthetics should just flow, the content that you post, the photos that you post, it will have a common factor to make them flow from left to right as you would reading.

Nathan – Sure, that makes sense, okay, but let’s jump back to the four specific types of accounts, the first one that you mentioned was the informative account so I’m sharing information, relative to a particular topic, I want to establish myself as the expert, so that’s the first type, and then what’s the second type?

Lacey – Lifestyle, lifestyle is actually the account that I utilize, that’s my love language, and that’s basically you have no problem sharing personal info, now granted, keep it professional, don’t go too deep into your personal life, for example, I will post a picture about a date my husband and I went on or a walk in the park with my children, I’m confident in my personal style, I don’t mind being in photos, people compliment you on your looks, your taste, your decor, you’re outgoing, and I like to connect with people, that would be a lifestyle account.

Nathan – And why would you choose a lifestyle account, for example, over an informative account when we’re talking about a photography business, what is the benefit for you and your photography business in doing that?

Lacey – Oh, that’s a fantastic question. The reason why I do that is because I believe in authenticity and personalization, so I want my clients to see who I am, I want them to get to know me that way, that way they feel comfortable engaging with me with, let’s say, you know, a family portrait session.

Nathan – Sure, and then by clearly establishing who you are, you’re naturally gonna draw in a client who is similar to you, which naturally means, or hopefully anyway, naturally means that you’re gonna be creating an experience for this client that is even better, they’re connecting with you on a personal level now, they just like who you are as an individual, so it makes sense that they hire you as a photographer.

Lacey – Exactly, to me, that’s a beautiful thing because, you know what, not everybody’s gonna like me, they’re not, and that’s just how life goes, and so that’s okay, you know, send them on their way but that’s not even my ideal client to begin with so it kind of does the work for you by weeding out the less than ideal client.

Nathan – That’s perfect, okay, so, four types of accounts, the first one’s informative, second one is lifestyle, what’s the third type of account?

Lacey – Specialty, and this one you prefer to be more so behind the scenes, you’re complimented often for your services and products, you have a unique product and it makes you special, you prefer a business brand rather than sharing your personal brand and clients basically consider you an expert.

Nathan – Okay, and in some ways there’s some similarities there to informative, but this is more about representing a brand versus trying to educate clients on a particular topic.

Lacey – Absolutely.

Nathan – That makes sense, all right, so we’re to the last, the fourth type of account, what is that?

Lacey – Aesthetic, and this one is partially another one that I do, and you can combine, you know, a few of these in your Instagram, so, like, for example, I do lifestyle and a bit of aesthetic, and what aesthetic is, extremely detail oriented, you’re a planner, you love to style everything from your food, your stationary supplies, clothing, decor, you notice everything, misspellings, you know, you name it, you prefer communicating mostly through pictures.

Nathan – Okay perfect, and you mentioned earlier when you were talking about the idea of aesthetic, this notion of flow to your imagery, that you’re posting to your Instagram account, this is something you’ve discussed with me before, I know it’s not a strength of mine at this moment and I’ve kind of sort of trying to figure out how to do that best both on a personal level and with my business brand as well, but talk to us a little bit about what that looks like, how you would set that up.

Lacey – So an aesthetic, that would, you would decide, basically, let’s say a color scheme, we’ll start there, ’cause that’s something we all can easily identify with, so let’s say you post one photo of white peonies and then you post a second photo of a white mug of coffee and your Apple laptop, and then a third post you would, or picture that you would post would be a pair of white Converse chucks, pretend to see these images, what was the main color in those three images?

Nathan – Certainly white.

Lacey – Yes, and so that would be the aesthetic of it, you are doing a light Instagram, white is going to be the predominant color in your Instagram and it gives your Instagram a very tailored, customized look.

Nathan – I know that I’ve personally experienced accounts that are that way, I naturally, and I think you alluded to this before in conversation with me, it’s this idea of creating an account that it makes people want to keep looking and when there is that consistency, it’s so much easier to do that, you’re just, before I even dive into looking at an individual image, it’s just nice to scroll through the thumbnails because it just looks pretty, and as photographers and of course photographers are trying to draw in a potential client who also, at least, to an extent, anyways, is gonna be kind of visually focused it’s important to create an aesthetic that is consistent on multiple levels, but ultimately hopefully it accurately represents your brand and consistently represents your brand, so that’s a really great recommendation, that’s perfect, so for those of you listening in, this first section, we’ve talked about a few ideas on how to effectively create a purpose-driven Instagram account, if you’re taking notes, get ready to continue, or I should say, you’re gonna continue writing here, taking notes, we’re gonna jump into the second section, and we’re moving now from kind of the larger overview of what is my Instagram account about and what is the big idea and ultimately the aesthetic as well that is gonna drive what I post, we’re moving now into creating individual posts and yet again, it can be so easy to just throw content out there, hey, this seems funny to me right now or this seems interesting to me right now, or this seems pretty to me right now and I’m just gonna kind of randomly post that, but there are more effective ways to create a post that is actually going to grab the attention of our potential client or existing clients and I know that you’re gonna dive into that, I think we’ve got kind of three main ideas to dive into here with a lot of notes, so Lacey, take it away, what’s the first step to creating a more compelling Instagram post?

Lacey – I think captions should focus on your brand category so that would be the four that we discussed previously, informative, aesthetic, specialty, lifestyle, and to basically further the experience of the photo.

Nathan – Okay, that makes sense, so when we’re talking about a caption it should reflect, how would that be applicable for example if you have a lifestyle account like yours, what would the caption say in a scenario like that?

Lacey – So instead of just posting a picture right, so let’s just say you posted a picture and you’re in LA, and you’re standing on a rooftop of this cool hotel and you have a glass of wine in your hand you could say, In LA and that’s it, right, but that doesn’t really tell us the story, that just says, okay, well, we know she’s in LA, but you’ve got to write more to draw, you’ve got to write in a way that attracts your ideal client, but also tells a story, so giving you an example, you’re on the rooftop of the cool hotel, you’re in LA and you have a glass of wine, okay, for example, me being in LA recently when I was with my creative director going through my rebranding process, I said something like, here in LA with my creative director enjoying the rooftop view of Hollywood, you know, and then go on from there, explaining a little bit more.

Nathan – But you’re telling, you talked about a story earlier, more specifically you’re telling a personal story, when our brand, our Instagram account, is a lifestyle account, then the focus there is on a personal story, communicating a personal story, so that makes sense, instead of just kind of posting bland, kind of factual information, like you said, you wanna make it interesting, but you wanna make it personal in this case as well, so that makes sense.

Lacey – And some things, like, since I’m standing on top of the rooftop, right, so to stay something catching, like, in the epic center of it all, the view up here looks good, you know, things like that, that it gave your viewers, they knew the where, the when, and the why, and it drew it all together.

Nathan – That’s perfect, the where, the when and the why, okay, you guys are taking notes, make sure to write that down, that’s really great, okay, continue to walk us through this process of creating a compelling caption.

Lacey – So the next one is I would say stay away from always using a caption to push a sale.

Nathan – Yes.

Lacey – And so going back to again, my Instagram, I post personal and authentic content so that my ideal client or my potential client or my followers feel like they can get to know me, they know who Lacey is, and if we always push sales first, you know, it’s a turn off, why would I want you to, you know, take pictures of my family, you know, why would I want to bring you aboard on my personal little nucleus? So if you always do, like, a sales pitch, it’s just kind of like that annoying car salesman guy, you know.

Nathan – That’s a great way to put it, and I know that I tend to lean the direction of being, I don’t know, coming across too professional or worrying about being too professional or being too structured, not being personal and kind of open enough, so this is definitely something that I have to work on and this actually reminds me of something I’ve been listening to in the last day or so, you may know and certainly some of our listeners may know a guy named Gary Vaynerchuck, he’s become quite popular in the last couple of years, maybe a little bit more, he’s written a number of books on the topic of marketing and he talks a lot about how to go about the process of using these social media platforms for marketing, but one of the things he says, in fact, actually he wrote a whole book about the idea, that’s titled, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and it’s a metaphor that represents this notion of sharing, adding value, sharing or adding value, doing that multiple times over and then every once in a while, and just every once in a while, not selling as much as making an ask, so then it’s personal, too, right, like you said, you’re not that annoying car salesperson who’s just up in your face and trying to sell you something, you’re just asking for something and that’s the right hook.

Lacey – That’s awesome, yes.

Nathan – Yeah, and so I think this is a really important point, the notion of staying away from being too pushy sales-wise, share some type of value add or share something personal, draw those people in, and then occasionally maybe ask them for something or sell them something, I think that’s a really effective way to use that account.

Lacey – Or even give them something, like a free PDF, a checklist, like, I created a PDF that, I posted a picture on my Instagram telling that it was, for example, five wedding shoes that won’t sink into the grass ’cause as we all know, us ladies, when we wear heels at a wedding and it so happens to be on, you know, a grassy lawn or whatever, our spikes of our heels sink into the grass, it’s really annoying.

Nathan – I can’t say that I have personally had that experience, so yes, I will defer to your expertise.

Lacey – Oh, you should have that experience, heels are fabulous, and you need a pair.

Nathan – All right, and then when it comes to writing a compelling caption, the last point that you had shared with me was the idea of mixing short and long, talk to me a little bit about that.

Lacey – Yeah, so sometimes our attention spans, especially nowadays, ’cause we have so much technology that we utilize, we’re not trying to, we stay on a subject or a topic or a photo, whatever, for more than, like, six seconds at the most, three if we’re just really not interested, like, what is this, nah, and you keep scrolling, so not every caption should be long and not every caption should be short, it should be a mix of the two, so for example, a short caption would be, you posted a photo of a glass of rose and you said something like today is National Drink Wine Day, yes way to that rose, you know, it told you what the day we’re celebrating and it’s short and catchy and straight to the point, and we knew what was going on in the photo, a long one would be, let’s say, you had a photo of a recent blog post and you went on sharing basically a portion of your blog post was your caption and then you left the link, you know, in your bio, so they would go click on that, of course, and it draws traffic to your website, that would be something that you would do for, let’s say, a long caption, or even something personal that you’re talking about, let’s say, you know, you had this pivotal moment in business and the struggle was real to get to this point so it would be a caption that you would kind of share about and obviously, the process wasn’t just one little thing, otherwise it wouldn’t be called a process, so you would share a bit longer caption of that process to educate, and more than likely to inspire fellow entrepreneurs, because, you know, this journey is intense sometimes.

Nathan – Sure, and you know, something else, and I’ll just kind of throw Gary in here again ’cause he also spoke to this in the last day or two as I was listening to his podcast, but one of the things he said was, sure it’s probably pretty accurate that the people’s attention span these days is not as long or it doesn’t tend to be as long, it takes a lot more effort to capture their attention for longer than a few seconds, the flip side to that, though, if you are creating content that’s interesting enough, they’ll spend the time watching it, they’ll watch the long-form video or they’ll read the extensive text, so maybe in this case, when we’re talking about Instagram specifically, if you’ve got an image that is captivating or compelling enough, you may be able to drive more attention to that longer form text that you’ve posted on occasion and it would enable you to be able to do that. It has to be interesting enough though, and that’s on us certainly to, I think you’ve mentioned, studying or you mentioned here, actually, in the notes that you’ve shared with me, the idea of studying the analytics, kind of watching and seeing how your audience responds, you can figure out what type of images capture their attention and they respond to most effectively and then you can use that then to drive them to some of those longer posts.

Lacey – Absolutely.

Nathan – But I love the idea of variety, I think that’s really important for keeping all of our attention, I think that’s a really great idea, so good recommendation there, so let’s move on now to the second point, the idea of how to effectively use hashtags, this is something else that you really pushed me on personally and I’ve begun doing a little bit more, how do we effectively use hashtags in our Instagram posts, and actually before we even get into how, talk to us about why, what is the significance of using those hashtags?

Lacey – It stretches your reach.

Nathan – Okay.

Lacey – With people across the world, you know, certain hashtags people do look up, like let’s say a bride was looking up, wedding shoes, again, we’ll go back to using that example, so she would find the hashtag wedding shoes and then it would draw her to a feed where the most recent posts of, let’s say, that hashtag.

Nathan – That makes sense, and I like the simplicity of the way that you explained that, it furthers your reach so not only will individuals, brides or otherwise, who are searching for content relevant to your Instagram account, will they be able to more effectively or easily find you, they’re gonna search a particular hashtag, I would assume, maybe, correct me if I’m wrong here, but I would assume that Instagram also will make suggestions in that, I don’t know what they actually call it, the little search feed, if you click on the magnifying glass, you see all these different images.

Lacey – Yeah, related hashtags.

Nathan – Yeah, so they’ll actually put images in that feed that are relevant to their interests. If they’ve searched that particular hashtag before, they’ve liked posts with that hashtag before, then it’ll fill in that feed with hopefully some of your images as well.

Lacey – Absolutely.

Nathan – That makes sense, okay, so talk to us a little bit more about this process of hashtags, then. How do we go about effectively utilizing them?

Lacey – So I would, let’s say you are a photographer in Tennessee and you want to utilize, let’s say, local hashtags that your clients would be searching for in your area, so a mom was looking for a family photographer so you would be, hashtag Tennessee photographer, for example and basically it’s just an industry-related hashtag on your location, another thing to do is use variations of that local hashtag, so let’s say you’re in Tennessee and you’re a makeup artist so you would say Tennessee MUA, so Tennessee make up artist or Tennessee, actually, using the phrase makeup artist.

Nathan – And that’s such a 2017 thing to do, to shorten the phrase as much as possible or make it as easy to search or to type out as possible but you would actually suggest that, shorten it up, use the initials for that particular phrase.

Lacey – Yeah, absolutely. And I believe in using hashtags for your dream client, ideal customer ’cause they search for inspiration, pretend that you’re them and think about who he or she follows, so for example, let’s say you’re a girl in your 20s, a woman in your 20s, and you’re, like, ridiculously into fashion, you would do hashtag designers, for example in a stylized shoot that you did, right, the woman in her 20s is attracted to hashtag designers. And that would then again draw that person back to your account.

Nathan – That makes sense, now I know that, and I’m looking at again the notes that you shared with me, this hashtag designers for example, is a prime example of a hashtag that is gonna be extremely, extremely popular, right, there are gonna be a lot of posts with that particular hashtag associated with it, the next point that you made here, and I’d love for you to elaborate on this, is the idea of using hashtags that have less than 300 thousand photos already tagged in it, talk about what that means or why you should do that and maybe what you could do to kind of modify that hashtag designer to use a hashtag that’s a little bit less popular, less used, I should say.

Lacey – Yeah, these are the hashtags you wanna use the most because they mean your photos will get the most exposure, hashtags with more than 300 thousand get pushed down because so many people are utilizing that hashtag and you want to be listed in the top post section, now that, going back to with what I said in using the hashtag, like, Tennessee makeup artist, so what you would do instead of hashtag designer, like you were saying, it’s probably a very popular hashtag, you could say Tennessee fashion designer.

Nathan – Okay, that makes sense.

Lacey – That is a more specific and condensed hashtag that will probably have 300 thousand on down posts.

Nathan – Right, and then in that case, as you mentioned, if it has fewer posts, then it naturally gets pushed to the top.

Lacey – Yes.

Nathan – Okay, continue to walk us through, I think the next point you were talking about is the idea of using 10 to 20 hashtags, now that’s a lot of hashtags, why would you use so many?

Lacey – It stretches your reach, and there’s a lot of sometimes variables to the image that you’re posting, so let’s say you posted, okay, going back to an earlier example, the picture of a glass of rose, so yeah, you would hashtag what’s related to it, so hashtag rose, and you would hashtag drink national wine day because that’s the little catchy trend for the day, but you would also target things such as, let’s say, hashtag wedding photographer, hashtag weddings, different things like that because you can actually utilize, because we all drink champagne or wine at weddings, and that furthers your reach, again, the more hashtags you use, which you can use up to 30, that stretches your reach and broadens the audience and draws more traffic to that post.

Nathan – Got it, perfect, and then the last point, take us to that last point about how to use hashtags to gain more followers.

Lacey – So use five big hashtags that may get you featured by other Instagram-ers, bloggers, and brands, so for example, you posted you’re remodeling your house and you posted a picture of the design team that decorated the house and it was all Martha Stewart inspired, Martha Stewart is a great popular hashtag, if the photography looks amazing, that might actually get you reposted or featured on, let’s say, Martha Stewart’s Instagram, you know, they may reach out to and connect and say, hey, we loved that photo, we would love to feature you in, let’s say, our spring design home decor line, and that hashtag, too, let’s say Martha Stewart, since it is such a popular one, those that do look that up again, they will see your photo and will draw traffic to your account.

Nathan – That makes sense, now how do we, how do I understand this last point of using five bigger hashtags at the same time minimizing the number of hashtags that are so popular because something like Martha Stewart would be really popular, hopefully it would get seen, but then we also want our post to go up further, or to the top, by using hashtags that aren’t used so much, so how do you, is that the reason why you say only to use five, the rest of them we want to use slightly more obscure hashtags?

Lacey – Right, yeah, and you have to think in terms of cross-promotion as well, so if I hashtag, you know, Martha Stewart with that, you know, my newly designed living room decor, and then they want to feature it ’cause they like the picture, they kind of cross promoted me and it grew my exposure.

Nathan – Sure, sure, okay, all right, well perfect, so this is a great head start into utilizing hashtags more effectively, again, thanks to Lacey’s recommendations and advice, I’ve begun doing this more consistently and certainly in a more targeted fashion, I think a theme thus far has been specificity, throughout this conversation and I think it’s important not only that we have a specific purpose in mind, but then the posts that we’re creating, they’re very specifically geared toward a target client, and due to that effort that we’re using very specific hashtags that again, are hopefully not too or overly popular and getting lost in the mix, we want to find some unique hashtags that are relevant, again, to the target client or potential client that we’re going after so this is really great, we’re down to the last point about creating more compelling Instagram posts, and this has to do with post strategy and scheduling, so kind of take us through this process.

Lacey – So I feel that if you’re not consistent and if you do not produce a regular schedule of content, your account will not be as beneficial for your viewers because they approach accounts with what’s in it for me.

Nathan – So I can’t post just, you know, like once a month and then a couple of times here, and a few times there, I have to actually be consistent with it, okay.

Lacey – Consistency is key, you know, with anything in life, really, if you think about it. And a disciplined schedule above it all, you know what I mean.

Nathan – But that actually is a great segue then to the next point because this idea, I know certainly for me being busy with multiple moving parts, certainly, both my personal life, but then even more so really in my business, there’s a lot to keep up with and I personally enjoy approaching business and the way that I manage my workflow in an efficient manner, the idea of posting on a daily basis, as little time as it may even take, you know, in some cases, it only takes, like, what, 30 seconds to do that, if even less, but it can still seem like just yet again another item in my to-do list for the day, so the notion of having some time of structure in approaching this or more specifically a schedule will help us be more consistent, so how would you go about scheduling your posts?

Lacey – So me personally, I take about one day a month to plan out on a calendar the content that I wanna post and first where I start off, like, completely first, is I pay attention to all the holidays, the fun national days ’cause those are always, you know, great trends or, like, you know, little fun quirky days like Taco Tuesday.

Nathan – Sure.

Lacey – I don’t know, it’s a crazy trend, tacos, you know, it draws attention to your account.

Nathan – And it seems like there are always National Donut Day, National Laptop Day, there’s some day for everything, so I think that’s a great recommendation to pay attention to those quirky little days.

Lacey – Yeah, and see, why I like those days, it gives you fillers, you know, ’cause let’s face it, it’s not always the easiest to come up with inspiring, educational and fun looking fabulous content, you know.

Nathan – Right.

Lacey – Especially when you’re, like busy with life, you have children, you know, you have other factors to your personal life, it’s not always easy and I get that, but I start with those days because those are the easy fillers that you can create content for, and then I do what’s closest that’s happening within the week, so that would be, let’s say, okay, I know that on Friday I have an engagement session at Balboa Park in San Diego, so I am going to on two days later or three days later, after one of my favorite images is edited, I’m going to post that photo as, let’s say, a sneak peek, and that gives you other content that shows people your photography work, it shows them where you are at, it shows a gorgeous couple that’s all stylized and in love, and that will draw of course your ideal client.

Nathan – Now you mentioned scheduling this post for example from this session, this particular portrait session.

Lacey – Uh-huh.

Nathan – I know Instagram’s API, not to get overly technical, but doesn’t allow for, they’re very closed off, just to put it very simply, so, you know, there are lots of different pieces of software out there that allow you to manage and plan social media posts but you can’t actually upload an image and fully schedule that post, you have to come back and add the image and I know you mentioned using a particular piece of software, web-based software, I believe, to handle your posting schedule, what is that piece of software and how does that work?

Lacey – Planoly, I absolutely love it, you can actually upload photos from your PC, you can schedule your Instagram post from your PC. You upload a photo, you write the caption, it allows you to schedule the time, there’s the app too, so what will happen on your phone, your phone’ll give you a notification saying, hey, you said that you wanted to post this photo and so you just click on yes, you post the photo, copy and paste, it’s super easy and it’s right there for you and you can do, again, a year’s in advance scheduling content.

Nathan – That’s great, so it’s a bit of a roundabout way, but it gives you the notification, it just kind of feeds it all to you, reminds you, enables you to be able to copy that over and then you can post it very easily to Instagram, that’s a really great tool, we’re actually in the process right now of, matter of fact, we have just hired somebody to come on board and manage our social media for us, and they’re going to more than likely be using this particular tool to plan out our posting schedule, so that’s a great recommendation, take us to the last point in this post strategy and scheduling process.

Lacey – So if you dedicate a series of concentrated efforts to cultivating engagement with your ideal clients, and it extends your reach, you’ll see the increase in interactivity, basically, more likes, more comments, even more followers.

Nathan – So we’re right back to that notion of consistency again.

Lacey – Yeah, absolutely.

Nathan – We certainly have to be creating content, well, again, first of all, if we go back to the very beginning, we need to have a very simple expressed, very specific purpose in mind for the Instagram account, then we’re posting content that is relevant to and attractive to our target client but we have to be consistent with that, it’s not good enough to post two or three really great posts and then wait for a week or two and then come back to it, we’ve gotta actually be consistent, but if we’re consistent, we’ll see those results.

Lacey – Yes, but one thing I wanna stress too, is, don’t get overwhelmed by it, when I feel like I constantly have to post on social media, you can sometimes get burnt out, so I do take, if I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed or burnt out with stuff, I do take, like, a day or two hiatus, maybe even three days from social media period, just to refresh myself, because like I said earlier, it’s fun, it’s exciting, you meet new people through utilizing the world of Instagram, but it can be tiring, it can be, you know, a lot to always think of the next creative post that you’re gonna make.

Nathan – For sure.

Lacey – So taking a break, just to recharge yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not going to interfere with connecting with your ideal client or, you know, sales, or whatever your goal is, utilizing your Instagram.

Nathan – Sure, that makes sense, the cool thing, though, about using something like Planoly is that you can hand over that app to a partner, a business partner, friend, family member, whatever the case, and they can actually manage just copying and pasting those posts that you already created in Planoly for you while you’re taking those few days off, I totally get the idea of taking a day or two or three off, I think it’s important on multiple levels, but even applicable to this effort in social media, but again, being able to utilize some of those tools will allow you to fill in those spaces even while you’re taking a break, so I think that’s really, really great.

Lacey – It saves you a lot of time, and another great time saving app is called Tag o’ Matic, you type in a hashtag and it will list the 29 best related hashtags. And you basically, all it does is you copy it and you paste it and it goes straight into the comments section of your Instagram.

Nathan – Tag O’ Matic, and is that a IOS app, or is that a web-based app or?

Lacey – It is an IOS app.

Nathan – Perfect, all right, this is a lot of interesting information and certainly helpful information, Lacey, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to go through all of this with us, because we are talking about Instagram, where can everyone find you on Instagram?

Lacey – Oh, you guys can find me @Laceyophotography.

Nathan – Lacey O, and that’s just all one word, Lacey, L-A-C-E-Y, O, photograph on Instagram, is that right?

Lacey – Yeah, absolutely.

Nathan – Perfect, again, thank you so much for your time.

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