In episode #110 of the Oh Shoot! Podcast, Cassidy Lynne and Mya Nichol discuss 2023 Instagram strategies, tips for growing an account, realistic posting schedules, and how you can make money from your IG account.
Mya is an Instagram growth coach who has recently transitioned into business coaching for service based business owners.
How Mya Got Started With Her Business
In 2019 Mya was accepted into the nursing program at her university. She was looking for a way to support herself and have income during school. Because of her nursing school schedule, Mya was looking into flexible jobs that didn’t require her to clock in and out like a typical 9 to 5.
Mya got started with network marketing for Monat selling hair and skin care products and did that for about a year and a half. She saw all these people growing on Instagram from 30 day reel challenges. As someone running a business on social media and wanting to grow her following, she started a 30 day reels challenge. With the first 30 day reels challenge she had high hopes of growing tens of thousands of followers, but nothing happened. After the first 30 days, she continued on with another 30 day reel challenge and posted 60 reels in 60 days. By that point she had grown a couple hundred followers, but not a whole lot. So she did another 30 days of reels to reach 90 reels over 90 days. She was also doing normal Instagram posts like carousels, so she had really done 120 posts over 90 days. By that 90 day period she still hadn’t seen much growth, so she continued on for another two weeks and grew from 4k to 10k in that two week time period.
Growing a Following & Becoming an IG Coach
After hitting 10k followers on Instagram, her growth didn’t slow down. She continued to grow and grow. Throughout her journey of 90 days of reels she was sharing her journey on Instagram. She never wanted to be an Instagram coach or anything like that, but soon her direct messages started to fill up with other small business owners wanting help growing their Instagram accounts.
She realized these people weren’t looking to join her network marketing team since they already had their own businesses. So she ended up creating an e-book and got started with one-on-one coaching to see where it went. And a lot of things came out of it. After being booked out from one-on-one coaching after two weeks of promoting it, she decided to put her network marketing on pause and dive head first into Instagram coaching. Mya is now at over 230k on Instagram and has been able to scale from 1k months to 150k months with her income. She has all sorts of offers, courses, and memberships to be able to teach people across the world. She recently launched her own podcast, Radical Disruption.
Mya’s Approach to TikTok
An an Instagram coach, Mya wasn’t on any other platform besides Instagram up until a year ago. She grew her Instagram to 100,000 followers before dipping her toes into any other platform. Now she’s on TikTok and Pinterest.
For Mya she really wanted to focus on one thing. Once she got to a place in her business and on social media where she had more streamlined systems and processes, then she had more time to spend on other platforms. In Mya’s cased she started to hire people to manage her other platforms, so that she is only on her Instagram account. No one else is in her direct messages or comments, but her. Her team takes care of the other social platforms.
Spend Time in Places that Give Results
When she first started on TikTok she was doing everything for her account. Through consistently posting for 60 days she was able to grow from zero to 20,000 followers. However, she realized she wasn’t seeing a huge return from the time that she was spending on TikTok. Most of her clientele that were actually paying her for what she was doing came from Instagram. After doing that time experiment and paying attention to where her income was coming from, she decided to take a step back from TikTok and hand it over to her virtual assistant. As a business owner, it’s really important to make sure you’re spending time in places that are actually giving results.
Now all she does on TikTok is check it once a week or twice a month. Her assistant repurposes all her content from Instagram to TikTok, so she doesn’t have a solid TikTok strategy. Mya knows there’s a lot of power in TikTok and a lot of people are making a lot of money on it. At the end of the day, she chooses to focus on Instagram and then repurpose onto other platforms.
Creating Videos on Instagram or TikTok
Usually what Mya does is film everything inside of Instagram. Then’ll she save the video without any text on it. Next, she uploads it into a shared album on her iPhone between her and her assistant. Mya’s assistant will then find the same audio on TikTok or something similar to add in the background. If she does forget to save a video before posting to Instagram, then her assistant will use Snapinsta to remove the watermark and upload it into TikTok. Then if needed they’ll add TikTok text over the Instagram text. There’s definitely a benefit to having the actual text done inside of TikTok to help with SEO and to have keywords in your caption.
Instagram Strategies in 2023
In 2023 Mya basically burned down the strategy she had been using for a year and a half that grew her to over 200,000 followers. She was posting to Instagram six times a week, but there was a five month period at the end of 2022 where her Instagram growth was stagnant. So moving into 2023, Mya wanted to trying something new.
Current Instagram Strategy
Now she’s posting 3-4 times a week on Instagram and it has been helping her growth pick back up.
As business owners it can be hard balancing the content creation side of things with the business side of things. There’s definitely a balance to find and posting 3-4 times a weeks has been a great balance for her now. A lot of people think they have to post to Instagram every single day to grow, but that’s not always the case. Mya has a lot of people within her offers that don’t post every single day, but still see growth in their accounts.
What we see on TikTok comes to Instagram
In general what we see on TikTok usually comes over to Instagram within six to eight months not just in terms of audio, but also in how people are creating their content. On TikTok there’s a bunch of content that is less edited. It’s more like a Facetime conversation with your friend! We’re starting to see the less edited content trickled into Instagram more.
The B-Roll type of content that is behind the scenes of what you’re doing with text over the top is super popular too. People are realizing they don’t have to spend hours and hours creating these pieces of content. They can just film something they’re already doing and slam some text over it, but still make it highly valuable content!
More Pictures on Instagram
There’s been a rebalancing of the algorithm with reels and picture content. Mya predicts people are going to step back from creating all reels content and get back to the picture type of content.
How Often to Post on Instagram
People ask Mya all the time how often they should be posting on Instagram and there’s no perfect answer to it. If you’re in a place where you’re feeling stagnant try something new, not just in terms of content but even in the amount of content you’re posting. If you feel stagnant posting three times a week, maybe try posting six times a week and see how it goes. Give yourself enough time to see results (not just a week)! Mya’s 90 day journey posting on Instagram is proof that it takes time to grow on Instagram.
What is Your Goal with Instagram
Ask yourself, “What is my ultimate goal with Instagram?” Is the ultimate goal to have a certain number of followers or to have enough followers to grow your business income? Just because you have thousands of followers doesn’t always mean you’ll make more money. In Mya’s opinion, the goal is to make an impact, build credibility, and get visibility so you can grow your business. You can do that without having to post five times a day or without going viral on Instagram.
There are a million different ways to monetize your Instagram such as:
- User-Generated content
- Brand partnerships
- Affiliate Marketing
- One-on-one coaching
- Guest trainings
- Social Media Management
Instagram monetization means you’re utilizing the platform you’ve grown on Instagram to drive traffic to your business, so you can make money from it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making money directly from Instagram. You’re utilizing what you’ve built and the time and energy you’ve spent on Instagram to have positive growth in your business.
#1 The Algorithm
The biggest myth is about the algorithm. The algorithm is always changing and there are multiple algorithms for different content formats (stories, reels, posts, etc). People think that the algorithm changes drastically. Looking back on 2022 there were only about six or seven big changes in the algorithm.
Most of the time the fact is that you need to switch up your strategy and try something new. The algorithm is designed to show your content to people. It may not always seem like the case and there are little changes happening, but worrying about the algorithm is not worth your time or energy. Regardless of what’s happening on Instagram, you can always come back to the main things like: creating quality content, niching down, clear messaging, knowing your ideal client, and having a social media strategy. Those are the main things to be focusing on no matter what happens on Instagram.
#2 Posting Reels to Feed vs. to Reels Only
When you post a reel to your feed, your reel is shown to those who follow you first. If your followers engage with that and like, comment, save, or share, it’ll tell the algorithm either a positive or negative signal. If people are engaging quickly it tells the algorithm that people really like this. Then the algorithm starts sharing it with other people and that’s how you end up on the explore page or the reels tab.
If you post a reel to the reels tab only, the algorithm mainly shows it to people who are non-followers and will start with a smaller audience. If that small audience engages with it then the algorithm might show it to a larger audience. However, what often happens is when people post only to the reels tab, the smaller group doesn’t engage with it. Then that reel dies off. That’s not the case all of the time!
Mya experimented with posting only to the reels tab at the end of 2022 and most of her videos never reached 10,000 views. Normally her posts reach 10,000 views a few minutes after posting to her feed. So experiment with it yourself and test it out! Reels posted to the reels tab might help you reach new eyes and visibility on your account.
Social Media Mistake: Yes or No?
Posting on Every Platform Daily
Is posting on every platform daily a mistake?
If you don’t have a team of people or aren’t repurposing your content then Mya says it’s a mistake. How much time do you really have at the end of the day? Creating high quality content will take at least an hour or so every day, so you have to decide if you have the time or if it’s better spent elsewhere on your business. It really depends on the support you have and the type of content you’re posting.
Consistently Posting Videos with Low Views
Is consistently posting views that get really low views, like 200, a mistake?
Mya says for sure a mistake, but depends on what consistency means. If you’ve been at it for a few months now and your videos are still getting low views, then something needs to switch up. If it’s your first few weeks or even your first month then she would say keep at it!
What if someone typically gets 200 views, but then has one that gets thousands of views. Then their next video goes back to 200. Does something need to change there?
Mya personally wouldn’t consider that jump a change, but she would look heavily into those outlier videos to see why they are outliers. Most of the time if you look at your insights you’re going to get data that can really help you to pivot your strategy moving forward. Mya is also analyzing:
- the hook
- the content
- the audio
- the caption
- the call to action
- how many non-followers did it reach
- what time of day posted and specific day posted
- did people share to their story
There is so much more to look into than just the number of views. Take that data and experiment with different things in there!
Only Posting About Your Business
Definitely a mistake. Mya saw a quote the other day that said, “Your followers don’t owe you anything.” They don’t. They don’t owe you anything. If people end up purchasing from your business it’s just a benefit. If you’re only focusing on your business you’re missing out on the people who are there for themselves. Your content on Instagram is just a glimpse into what people can get inside your business. If you’re not getting them that sneak peek, you’re not building trust with them and your credibility.
If people aren’t sticking around, then most people aren’t giving something in their content that is tangible. Something that people can take away and can implement and have a quick win from. If your content is only focused on your business you’re missing out on the opportunity to build trust and give them a quick win to get them hooked on your business and get them to want to purchase from you.
Posting 3-5 times daily on TikTok or Instagram Reels.
Mya says it’s a mistake because especially as a business owner, the focus shouldn’t be on only going viral and gaining followers. As business owners, we often fall into the trap of not thinking long term. Are you actually in this business for the long run? If the answer is yes, then what’s the rush? Why do we need to post 3-5 times a day? There’s no rush and you can get there through consistency. When people are so focused on going viral they end up getting burned out. Then once they reach burn out they end up dropping off the face of the Earth because they can’t take it anymore. That’s not helpful for you at the end of the day. So ask yourself, “Am I in this for the long run? And if I am, what is sustainable for me in the long run?” What is the long term vision of your business and how can you make sure the tasks you’re doing inside your business align with where you want your business to be long term.
A lot of people think that posting content is an income producing activity. However, unless you’re posting content that is leading someone into one of your offers or a call to action then it’s not an income producing activity. Does it mean content creation is not important? No, not at all. But don’t forget what your focus is at the end of the day.
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