Platforms To Explore Other Than Instagram For Business…
Instagram is fantastic from a business standpoint BUT it is forever changing – as is to be expected with a platform we don’t personally control. We must be adaptable while staying aligned to and authentic to our own brand and what people may expect from that brand. Part of building a trustworthy and dependable comes from the fact that you show up *mostly* how you’ve conditioned your audience to expect you to. It’s basic psychology when you really break it down. But that’s a topic for another day.
Why is Annie, a woman who built her business solely on IG, discussing other platforms for entrepreneurs to consider? Because of the first point I made in this episode. Things are changing. It is not nearly as easy as it used to be to grow an audience on Instagram. It’s not as easy to be seen. It’s not as easy to go viral and it can feel a lot more like a waste of time – or rather, like your time put in to content creation maybe doesn’t give you the return it once did. I know this because I experience it first hand AND my job is literally to help health and fitness professionals build online business, largely with the help of instagram. So, I live and breath this, and witness my FitsPROs and 1:1 biz clients TRYING to live and breathe this stuff.
I still think IG hands down the best platform for building an audience who is eventually ready to buy from you. NO question about that. It has other platforms beat in the combo of daily static posts but also IG stories, where I believe a lot of magic can happen in the world of entrepreneurship. This is all still true. It’s a free platform that, even with being a slower road than it used to be, is still a faster way to get skin in the game than on other platforms. You can argue TikTok is the new Instagram as you can grow a massive following very quickly there. I don’t have personal experience because I just refuse to use the app for multiple reasons. And I don’t have the bandwidth or desire to be there. However, it is a place you may be able to get that 2014 Instagram level of growth if you think it’s a place your ideal clients are hanging out. Probably worth a period of experimentation.
TikTok, to my knowledge is still lacking the main reason for this episode, search-ability and the long game.
Instagram’s hashtags used to be a potential big player in world of getting eyes on your content. And not only eyes but potential clients based on what they were searching in hashtags. I believe this has mostly died out. People who know a lot more about IG and have connections high up in Instagram, have hinted at this. Which I am fine with as hashtags were never a big pull for me and my audience as I never used hashtags to search as a consumer and it appeared, neither did my ideal client. In my advanced settings when I go to post on IG (at this time anyway), there is a new key word option which is a form of SEO – search engine optimization.
We see SEO used on search based platforms or content types – blogs, Google, Youtube, Pinterest, even podcast platforms to some extent. WE LOVE SEO. Why? If we can learn how to speak the language of key words, then we have more control in how our content ranks and shows up when someone SEARCHES for the topic we’ve posted about. This means two big things:
Before I say them – please remember you’re on social media as a BUSINESS AND BRAND. That is the point.
You see and use this all the time on the platforms I listed: Pinterest, Youtube, Google – it’s what brings up the blogs and tutorials you’re looking for!
Now, as stated, these are SEARCH-BASED platforms. Where Instagram is quick but short lived, search based platforms are the long game. Especially when starting out, you won’t see the instant feedback loop we get on Instagram and TikTok.
You have to think about it as building your portfolio. I also want to make clear I am not a guru. I have an active pinterest with 40-100k monthly viewers, but I’d like to see that past 1 million eventually. The big deal with pinterest is driving traffic to YOUR SITE.
THAT is number two
If you don’t have a website, don’t write search based platforms off just yet. You can direct to a mailing list landing page, or an application google form! No worries!
So like I said I personally find Pinterest drives the most traffic to my site – I will also say that Youtube and Pinterest have far superior analytics than Instagram. In large part because they are search based. That allows for more data to be collected I suppose.
You could throw podcasting in here as well!
Paige Major, my friend, photo and videographer set up over 400 videos for me in the process of making my exercise matrix for Pure PROgramming. She had me list every possible name for each exercise, the tags that might be used, and then she created my auto description with every program link and mailing list link or free resource that made sense. Again using the best key words to our knowledge. She has built her husband’s financial youtube channel for two years, posting an educational video every week. They have over 9,000 subscribers and have built a mailing list of over 5,000 I believe. That’s fucking awesome. Because that is a business approach to Youtube. That allows for a very high percentage of audience members to also be in your email marketing pool. It’s search based content with intention. But as you can see, THE LONG GAME.
It’s more work but it’s like long game investing. Consistent time in the market is most important. And it’s worth doing it right.
Where people are ready to and conditioned to shop directly from instagram and pinterest, I think that is anecdotally less true of youtube. But what I love about YouTube is the ability to organize content, build playlists, and create a really clean user experience.
If you’re looking to make MONEY, Instagram is undoubtedly a quicker route. Which is why I say it’s the shit. But if you’re looking at ways to expand beyond instagram, I would look at accepting search based platforms for what they are, and also evaluate what type of content you want to create.
For instance, I will not be creating long form video for Youtube. I just don’t want to. My goal is not subscriber #’s (though we’re over 500 now and that’s pretty cool because I had like 200 something before the exercise demos were formatted and uploaded), it is VIDEO PLAYS. My goal is to get as many coaches as possible (largely female or people who work with female clients) to use my videos as the demo in their own programs.
This was a huge a gap for me five years ago and it’s still a gap now. I just wanted a woman in my videos for my client programs and no one, to my knowledge, had the type of library I was looking for. I didn’t want instructional videos, just a clean, high quality demo. Making these videos yourself either eats up your time, your money or both and that just isn’t realistic for most people. Especially when starting out. Thus, five years later, here we are. I have plans to expand that library and even add videos beyond myself. BUT – my point is that I am not using youtube to it’s full potential and that’s okay.
There is so much truth to picking one platform and going balls to wall. THENNNNN expanding to other platforms. I know people, including myself, talk about repurposing content, or making a piece of content go as far as it can – taking a Youtube video, cutting the audio for a podcast, making smaller clips for Instagram reels, uploading show notes to a blog, and getting all of that on Pinterest. That’s a full time freaking job. Most people are struggling to keep up with ONE platform. And I fully recognize and respect that.
So, please don’t listen to this episode and feel pressure to start a Youtube channel, or Pinterest hub. But do maybe let your mind wonder as to how these search based platforms can work for you in the future. They have plus sides that social based platforms like IG and TikTok are currently missing.
Regardless of what platforms you’re on, know that the goal is always and forever to get people OFF the platform eventually. So, shift your mind to how that can happen, even on IG if that’s the only place you are.
And if you do really want to hit up Youtube or Pinterest, then zoom out and say “what’s the simplest way to get started and be consistent? What’s realistic? What is the lowest hanging fruit?”
On Youtube: Maybe it’s a two minute coffee convo per week on youtube. Simple, quick, low barrier to entry. Maybe it’s answering questions you’ve received from your audience once per week – spit fire answers, no prep needed.
On Pinterest: Maybe it’s taking your IG reels and posts, making a short blog post and linking them to pinterest. You do that once per week. Or maybe you literally do ONE of your posts per week.
Just like with any platform, you’ll build skills as you go – your set up, editing, Pinterest tactics, learning key words and building systems. Don’t worry about that NOW.
If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.
P.S. Save this value packed episode for later over on Pinterest!
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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