I see you over there, scrolling through Instagram, watching what everyone else is doing and trying to figure out how to make their strategies work for you.
I know you’re doing it because I’ve done it too.
But the problem is – whether you’re trying to grow on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, etc. – if you’re watching from the outside you’re only seeing part of the puzzle.
Which can mean that your marketing strategy just isn’t going to work.
In this week’s episode I’m sharing 3 things to consider when watching other people’s marketing and what you can do instead to focus on what will work best for your business and your audience.
Resources + links
Instagram Workflow Training: http://xosarah.com/igworkflow
Some of you are probably gonna feel called out in this episode, but I’m here with the no-bullshit business advice because I want to see you succeed.
And this is something I’ve done myself and I’ve seen lots of other business owners doing it as well.
Something that’s holding a lot of you back from growing your audience, getting more engagement, growing your email list, and growing your revenue.
And that thing is – creeping on other people’s marketing and trying to make it work for your business.
Here’s what I mean by this…
We love to gather information, marketing strategies, ideas for our launches, ideas for content, graphics. And so we read all the blog posts, listen to all the podcasts, and watch what everyone else is doing to try and then try to figure it out how to take what’s successful for them and use it to market our own businesses
You know so and so always gets great engagement so you scroll through post after post trying to figure out their strategy.
Is it the way they look in their photos?
Is it the number of times they post each week?
Is it the questions they ask?
What is the secret sauce?
Why is it working for them, not you?
But here’s the problem.
You’re only seeing a piece of the marketing puzzle. You’re only seeing the final podcast, the final webinar, the final emails, the final IG posts.
They might be growing their audience with a podcast or YouTube channel and then using Instagram as a more fun platform. But you’re looking at their Instagram for ideas when that isn’t what’s driving their sales you’re missing the most important part.
They might be spending hours on audience and keyword research, delivering information in a specific order, but you’re only looking at their videos for topic ideas.
Or they might have a massive audience that’s taken 10 years to grow and wondering why your audience doesn’t respond to similar posts.
So why doesn’t this work?
1 – When someone has a large audience, when their marketing is systematized and generates sales, maybe they even have someone writing their copy or creating graphics, they can be more flexible, they can experiment, they can have fun and post random things just to see what will happen.
So if you’re earning a few hundred or a few thousand dollars a month but you’re watching 7-figure business owners and trying to copy their marketing strategies they’re not going to work because you haven’t taken the time to lay the foundations and grow that size audience.
I follow a 7-figure biz owner who shares her meals often and I pay attention because I know the business she’s built and the results she’s created and I’m interested in what her whole life looks like.
But if you’re just growing your Instagram and someone who has never heard of you looks at your page and it’s half business stuff and half random photos that actually makes your content look unfocused and you may be losing potential followers.
When you see posts like that on someone else’s platform ask yourself – how would my audience benefit from seeing that? The answer will often be – they won’t.
2 – They might be gaining most of their sales from another platform. You’re watching them on Instagram, but all of their sales come from their email list. So you’re creating similar posts hoping to turn your followers into customers with a strategy that is only meant to warm up cold leads and turn them into email subscribers.
If you don’t have the email list strategy in place you’re either skipping turning IG followers into subscribers or you’re turning them into subscribers without a plan for what to send once they’re on your list.
3 – Their audience might be responding on a platform that your audience isn’t on. Instagram seems like the Holy Grail of marketing, but what if your audience is spending more time on LinkedIn or YouTube or Facebook?
If you’re trying to make Instagram work because that’s the platform you happen to enjoy and you’re following lots of business owners who are having success with Instagram you might completely miss the fact that your audience is hanging out somewhere else.
So how do you create your own marketing strategy instead of trying to replicate marketing from someone else?
1 – You need to pick a marketing channel that works best for you and for your audience. If Instagram isn’t working this might mean that you need to choose a different channel or a different audience.
I personally wouldn’t market to an audience that is all about LinkedIn because I like the creative aspects of Instagram. I like writing captions and taking photos and creating videos, so I’ve made sure that the audience I’m speaking to is also spending a lot of time on Instagram.
Take a step back and do some research to see where your audience is actually hanging out and don’t be afraid to shift who you’re taking to or the platform you’re using.
2 – Your marketing strategy needs to do 3 things: Attract new people, warm them up, sell to them. So take a look at the content you’ve posted on your main marketing platform. Often we spend the most about of time warming people up – telling them why they need what you share, giving them tips to get started, but never actually pitching your product. Or mentioning it like once every other month.
Audit your content by looking at the last month of posts from that one platform and note whether it’s attracting new people, warming up your audience, or selling. This will show you where the holes are in your marketing plan.
3 – Get a full marketing strategy. There are pieces of my marketing puzzle that you can’t see from the outside:
- how I plan my posts
- how I track my data
- how I choose what to share next
- how I use my podcast and my email list to grow my audience and my sales
Those things aren’t obvious just from looking at what I post. And they’re really not obvious if you’re only looking at what I share on Instagram.
This means you either need to learn how to create a marketing strategy from scratch (lots of books on how to do that) or you need to hire a coach, take a course, join a membership so you can get the full scope of what that marketing strategy entails.
The thing is, we feel like we need to figure it out on our own. I felt like I had to figure it out on my own too! Because there’s so much information available for free, I felt like I didn’t need to invest. But when I did, marketing and growing my business became SO MUCH EASIER.
If you really want to learn how someone runs their marketing and get the full picture then you need to buy their program or hire them for coaching.
Every hour that you spend scrolling, searching for answers, is actually you pushing your results another hour away.
And I can guarantee that if you spend more time implementing strategies and give yourself a time limit on Instagram your marketing will start working so much faster.
So my challenge to you is this…
Stop scrolling, stop using Instagram for research and inspiration, completely, for two weeks. I promise you won’t miss out, you can go back and find all the posts you missed if you really need to at the end.
Set an alarm every day for 9am and 4pm – or whatever works for you – to comment, DM, and share some posts. Spend 20-30 mins doing this and then put your phone away. And just see if it helps keep you on track.
And if you’re like – wait what about creating content?
That doesn’t need to involve you opening Instagram because content should be a once/week task in your schedule.
So if you need help getting your Instagram posts planned, written and scheduled in Instagram watch my IG Workflow Training >> xosarah.com/igworkflow and see exactly how create a workflow so you can really spend just 20 mins twice/day inside the app!