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How Changing my Instagram Strategy delivered clients (without sales pressure)! (Click here for show notes.) Featuring pro-coaching member, Cathy Lawdanski @cathy_lawdanski on Instagram. These interview episodes highlight pro-coaching members, sharing their personal triumphs and how they made Instagram work for them.
Cathy Lawdanski is a consultant and team leader with Rodan + Fields. Her jam is helping midlife women grow in their personal development and faith. She believes you are never too old to try something new or to have great skin!
How changing my Instagram Strategy delivered clients without sales pressure
Minute 2:15 of Changing my Instagram Strategy: Struggling for a strategy
Q: Before you found your footing on Instagram, what was your Instagram platform like and what were some of your frustrations?
A: As a blogger, I was trying to build my platform to build up numbers to get sponsored posts. There was never a strategy. But when I joined Rodan + Fields,
- I was looking for people I didn’t have to cold-message so my content would resonate with them and they would come to me.
- Before, the goal was to get as many followers as you could, it didn’t matter who it was, brands just wanted to see numbers. It’s different now and especially if you’re into relationship building because people buy from people they know, like, and trust – it’s all about the relationship.
Minute 4:10 Experiencing the breakthrough on Instagram
Q: So you’re saying that before, you were trying to grow your numbers and not so much reach into the individuals. What made you change – what was the breakthrough that helped you to finally start really seeing how Instagram works and start reaching your ideal audience member?
A: In my company and other companies I saw younger women using Instagram in ways that were appealing to me. I watched their content and somehow got connected with you during that time and your coaching, so I took some of the free courses that you offered as I was changing my Instagram Strategy. One of the first ones was on Instagram stories. That progressed into a paid course on how to make Instagram work for your business and then into personal coaching sessions with you which really honed in on strategy specifically for me and my business. So I saw it working for others and I knew it could work for me. When I started blogging in 2015 I didn’t know anything about it so I knew the value of investing in good training instead of trying to Google everything. You have to wade through a lot of garbage, and time is money.
R: I agree with that and you don’t know whose advice works and who’s doesn’t, so the best thing to do is to try someone’s free course first and see if that works and Cathy’s talking about my 7-Day Instagram Story Challenge where you learn about gifs and how to change your color page and things you can use in stories to get started. That was the first thing she did, and then she invested in a Pro Coaching group of mine (which every once in a while I reopen), and I won her over but it was with my free stuff first. Once you try someone’s free training you can find out if you like their style of teaching or not that. My style resonated with her.
Minute 7:20 – Finding your target audience
R: Cathy the the part about how you saw the younger bloggers being able to figure out Instagram… the bloggers and the business women that are our age in mid midlife – they’re the ones that I am trying to be a voice to in there are the ones that I seem to attract because I did finally make it work for me and they’ve been told they need to be on Instagram and they go over there and get confused.
C: Our (middle) age group falls into two camps: it’s either
- I can’t do it. I don’t see the point or
- Okay I can learn it and it’s not too hard.
Finding someone who can teach you – listen, I have a college degree and I was at professional capacity, I raised kids, I managed the house, there is nothing about Instagram that’s harder than making three dishes of a meal come out at the same time! If you can do that, then you can do Instagram, but you need somebody to teach you, just like I did for changing my Instagram strategy.
So first, I just learned stories and took your challenges, learning one thing a day, and we could ask questions in the group learning together, taking the time to do it. It was so worth it.
Minute 8:58 How to gain ROI
Q: I have seen you grow, evolve, and just blossom. Tell us a little bit about the transformation – what are some of the things you’re seeing now that you didn’t see before – what are some of the fruits of your labor and your ROI?
A: I do have people coming to me! When you are a direct sales company, you’re selling your product and you’re selling your business opportunity. I have content for both of those things as a result of changing my Instagram strategy.
- People are dm-ing me – not all the time, I still build relationships – but they are much more receptive to what I offer because they know me now. So that’s been a big ROI.
- One thing that Ruthie taught me early on was about the four neighborhoods of Instagram – the feed, stories, IGTV, and live, and to try to be present in some form with all of the neighborhoods.
- I used to get so hung up on my feed and trying to make it perfect and she really dispelled that myth.
- For me to attract people I don’t have to be a professional photographer.
- Also, I was shocked at the number of views my IGTV got because I’m not an avid IGTV watcher. And just because I’m not doesn’t mean other people aren’t. The thing about IGTV is that it’s searchable – people are using it like a search engine looking for how to fade dark marks on your face, so my video attracts quite a few people.
- My stories are great for engagement.
- I haven’t done as much live as I would like to but the thing about live especially if I bring other people into them is I can tap into their audience and that’s really where I’m headed next for my growth.
Minute 11:30 Using hashtags to reach your target market
The other thing I learned from you is how to use hashtags effectively to get eyes on my content. Last week when I looked in my insights, I had 14 people go to my profile, and in my profile is a link to my email list. About half of the people that looked at my post came from hashtags, so it shows me that what I learned and implemented is getting my content in front of a different set of eyes.
R: Yes, you learned how to make hashtags work for you! That’s how you brought in those people – it’s just like throwing a pebble in the water – you see the ripple effect, and more and more people start establishing that know, like, and trust factor with you and then they tell their friends, and it’s just this big ripple effect. I always preach that the more you give on Instagram the more you get back. The more people you tag and give shoutouts in stories and in the feed, the more you love on them and comment on their content, the more it comes back to you. I think you have definitely seen that return on your investment in so many ways and how exciting that you’re able to use that dm for exactly what it was intended to reach your audience and to make those sales and to build those relationships right there.
C: I have made many good friends. And some are never going to buy from me but I don’t care because they’re my friends now! The DM has been great, and I know for me, when somebody I follow responds to me in the dm what that does for me – it makes me feel good and makes me feel seen. I’m more likely to pay attention and buy from someone who engages with me in the dm.
R: You never know – they say that a person has to hear a sales pitch about 7 times before they even start being interested because we are bombarded with so much information in this digital age. So you never know and can never discount who may be the next person to invest in your business or your team.
Minute 14:49 How to convert followers in the dm by changing my Instagram strategy
Q: I think you were telling me an example of this the other day – didn’t someone reach out to you to join your team?
A Yes! I think she’s going to sign today! We’ve been talking for a few months – she watched my stories, was about my age, and now having kids at home and being able to generate some income from home, but in this crazy time over the past two months life has changed. So the Rodan + Fields opportunity (being able to work from home and generate income) is very appealing, so she reached out to me again and we’re basically just in a conversation about what will be the best level for her.. So that was not somebody I had to reach out to. Although you still have to do some of that – I’m not saying you just sit there waiting for people to dm you. But she did, which shows me that what I learned from you about the content I put out and how I present myself to people on Instagram and another thing you taught me that was so important was defining my avatar.
Because with Rodan + Fields, we sell everything from teen acne to the best anti-aging on the planet so I could market to everybody – but then you market to nobody. I have chosen to be geared towards women 50 plus, so I talk a lot more about the Anti-aging products and what this kind of business opportunity could mean for someone in our time of life. So this really helps me so much because I don’t have to worry about what to post because I’ve put parameters around my content. So instead of posting a million things I have guidelines which makes it much more effective. Because I really doubt that an 18-year-old will follow me on Instagram.
R: Yes, narrowing it down, having your categories, knowing exactly what you will post about and what you won’t post about, and how frequently you’ll post frees up so much mind space. I love to teach this because once I get into it with people and just kind of lay out the strategy, it’s so much easier – you don’t have to work so hard at it now.
C: Because we don’t only do Instagram – that’s an integral part of it but there’s so much more to a business.
R: It’s been so exciting to see the transformation and I called Cathy a lifer because she’ll circle back every once in a while say “hey I’m going to change my strategy, can we talk?” so I really appreciate you Cathy and your support. You’ve been a good friend through all this. It’s been fun to just connect on the grandma level and on the faith level too. Cathy and I share our faith in God.
Minute 18:50 Category Ideas for Instagram
Q: What are some of your Instagram categories?
A: Rodan + Fields, faith, personal growth, and family – especially grandchildren – because let’s face it, they’re cute. I joke that they get more engagement on Instagram than I do!
R: Yes, and all that works together to attract your ideal audience. If you can share the dynamics of your certain age group, like you and I are the Gigis – then, that attracts the people we’re trying to reach.
I hope this encourages those of you who are listening in that have adult kids that life is not over, there are a lot more things out there we can do and Instagram is an exciting part of it.
Q: Cathy, where can people find you?
A: @cathy_lawdanski on Instagram. Because I made a commitment in January to solely focus on the Instagram platform, and the commitment has paid off. It’s been a slow growth but I’ve really seen the fruit of it, here we are in May and I’ve been so laser focused on one platform until I learned it well.
R: Yes! We kicked off the January Pro Coaching group and she stayed focused and present with her goals and made a strategy and never let up so now she’s really reaping the rewards.
Summary of how changing my Instagram strategy worked
- Instagram should be relationship focused, not numbers focused. Taking the time to get to know followers in the dm reaps huge benefits!
- If you are a middle-aged mama, you CAN make Instagram work for you, it just takes time and concentration (and probably a bit of investment)
- The four neighborhoods of Instagram (feed, stories, IGTV, live video) work together to reach a broader audience more quickly
- Hashtags help you reach your target audience (and get the click-over)
- Create categories for feed posts to free up mind space and make posting faster
- Niche your target audience’s age group and share material that resonates with their likes and dislikes
- Share, care, be genuine, and don’t expect everyone to buy
Quotes on changing my Instagram strategy
I knew the value of investing in good training instead of trying to Google everything. You have to wade through a lot of garbage, and time is money.
Once you try someone’s free training you can find out if you like their style of teaching or not not.
I have a college degree and was at professional capacity. I raised kids, I managed the house. There is nothing about Instagram that’s harder than making three dishes of a meal come out at the same time!
I used to get so hung up on trying to make my feed perfect, but Ruthie dispelled that myth.
People are much more receptive to what I offer because they know me now.
The more you give on Instagram the more you get back.
I don’t have to worry about what to post because I’ve put parameters around my content.
When you share the dynamics of your target audience, you attract the people you’re trying to reach.