How to Use Instagram Stories to Grow Your Business

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As time goes on and things change (who am I? I sound like a 90-year-old Nana), we--as business owners--have to learn to adapt and change. Instagram used to be SO easy to use to find ideal clients and customers. There was some strategy needed to grow a successful account, but it was a lot easier to be "successful" on Instagram than it is today. 

Which is why Instagram stories is such a important topic to talk about right now. 

From my own polls and from talking to other business owners, we have found that a lot of people scroll less and watch stories more. Which is the #1 reason you need to be thinking about your Instagram story strategy!

If you really knew me, you would know that I am someone who loves efficiency. I love to strategize and figure out the fastest route to a dinner party or best route for our errands. I love choosing methods or systems that accomplish multiple items on my to-do list all at once. I love using apps or programs that can combine multiple aspects of my business in order to achieve diverse goals. Let me explain. 

I love Instagram because I can achieve SO many goals for my business in one place! For me, I use Instagram for networking, marketing, a portfolio, and I use Instagram stories to elevate my brand, connect with my audience and boost sales. I love that I can do all those things in one place! I could go on and on about other things I like to use for efficiency, but that's another post for another day! Today, we are going to talk about the magic of Instagram stories (and how to use it to grow your business). 

Since Instagram rolled out the update with the stories, I've only seen amazing results for my business. My sales skyrocketed, my collaboration opportunities increased, networking became way more fun (and influential), and I have people message me and email me all the time to tell me that they love watching my stories! I don't say this to brag or toot my horn, but I say this to show you how valuable this resource can be. People remember me. People are eager to see what I have to say. People cheer for me and my brand; meaning that they want to invest in my business. And I can guarantee that a lot of my success in the last year or so has come from establishing a voice on my Instagram stories. 

Generally speaking, my audience knows what I am going to offer them on Instagram stories, which is why so many people like watching them. My audience wants to see a peek into my personal and work life; they want to feel a part of the process. Isn't is true for all of us? We want to see peeks into other people's lives in order to feel like we can relate to them. If I can be relatable to my audience, they feel important and welcome in my tribe. And that's one of my biggest business goals! I want to make people feel important, loved, empowered and inspired. And in my experience, Instagram stories has been the most effective vehicle in achieving this!

The magic for me comes from being able to share more of my personality while also showcasing my products to my audience. I am able to use the resource to show my real face, while being a smart marketing manager for my business. If that's not a reason to use the Instagram stories, then I don't know what is! Magic is made when we can make our audience feel a part of the brand, not an onlooker. And this can happen so easily and seamlessly while using Instagram stories for your business. 

Here are my three, easy steps to utilizing the magic of Instagram stories:

  1. Make stories daily! Start making a routine of sharing part of your day with your audience. Get them used to hearing your voice (and seeing your face!) on a regular basis!
  2. Share aspects of both your business AND your personal life. Share funny stories. Share stories about your struggles. Share about new things in your business. Share about products sales. Switch it up and make them want more! If you're only showing pictures of your work, people could get disinterested (sad, but true), so make sure you take your audience along on the ride of your real life; not just work life. 
  3. Don't do the same exact thing every day. That's boring and people will stop watching. Give us fun content and make us hungry for more! Post stories that necessitate a response. Engage with your audience and ask for a response. I have met a lot of clients and customers from engaging with them through Direct Messages on Instagram. Be personable and kind!

If you're interested in elevating your Instagram game in 2018, let's chat! I would love to set up a coaching date with you.