top of page

Growing Your Business With Instagram

Join me as I interview Emma Ryan Photography on my Small Business Matters with The Content Quarter Facebook group, about how she rapidly grew her wedding photography business and strengthened her brand using mainly Instagram.

Emma has produced a new e-guide full of tips on how she did this and it can be bought below -

Fancy joining a group of positive and like minded business owners to help you grow your business? Then Click HERE to go to the Small Business Matters Facebook Group!

Transcript from my podcast below -


Speaker 1: (00:05)

Well, hello everyone. It's me, Vicky, your content coach. And welcome to my excellent podcast series. Grow your business. I hope that you find that inspiring and please remember to subscribe while you're here so that you don't miss out on any useful advice or business knowledge. And you can also follow me on all the major socials, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I can't get you.

Speaker 2: (01:11)

There we go. Thank you so much for that. All right. Well, the technical difficulties are over. There we go. I did predict the unmute button, but I wasn't have clicked it properly. There we go. Uh, so yeah, anyway, welcome to all my lovely entrepreneurs. Anyway, how are you all doing this morning? And, um, we are halfway now through our, our Instagram a week. Uh, last week we had, uh, confidence and we did online visibility. Uh, this week we did Instagram, we're doing Instagram. Um, on Monday I did, um, a really good kind of, high-level sort of all of a few of, you know, kind of just good practices for Instagram and stuff. And, uh, today we have the amazing MRI and who I'm going to bring on very shortly. Um, but I just wanted to check in with you, see how you were all doing, um, by the way guys.

Speaker 2: (01:59)

Um, I mean, he's in news, we have 214 members now, which I'm absolutely over the moon about. Um, but I still need your help. I still need your help. Um, have, have you tagged anyone? How have you invited anyone rather than into the group? You know, I know a number of you have been kind enough to, um, you know, invite friends, you know, invite into the group or, or speak to them personally and get them them to join him. Um, if, if you have done that, I want you to tag them in a post in this group, because what we'll need is for those people to see the value in this group, like you do, um, see how it can help their small business grow. You know, we're all in the same boat together. We're all small business owners. Um, many of us, one man band sole traders, and we, we need to kind of get people active and involved.

Speaker 2: (02:50)

And, um, th that the best way to do that is for you to physically tell them that the value that you find in the group. So if you find a post interest and tag them and it tag many of your friends in it, you know, um, cause cause many of you have invited, you know, many like 10, 20 people into the group, which is absolutely fantastic. Um, so yeah, tag your friends in this group, drop me a message in the comments below if you've been doing anything interesting in business this week as well. You know, if you found anything, uh, useful, I'm just going to check the comments as well. Uh, Chris, Chris Randall. Hello, Chris, thank you for joining. Um, so yeah, um, today we're going to talk about Instagram again in more depth. I'm really, really, uh, chuffed about, we've got this guest on today, we've got MRI and photography, um, and has done an amazing job with her Instagram.

Speaker 2: (03:41)

Absolutely amazing she has. Hasn't been gone. Um, why don't we she'll tell you all about this, of course, which hasn't been gone very long at all, really in the grand scheme of things, um, only sort of a couple of years and um, she's just, she's built her business from being in that, to be in this, you know, mainly use an Instagram and organic Instagram, which is very interesting as well, you know, no sort of paid ads, things like that. So, um, she's gonna, she, she's basically been kind enough to come on and tell us about all of this, which is fantastic. She has a, um, an E guide, which is, which is only 15 pounds, which is amazing. I mean, if you can't invest 15 pounds in your business, then you know, you should, you've got to rethink that. I think, cause it's, it's, it's, uh, an absolute steal really for the value that it will bring to your business. So, um, I'm going to puff on it, another Lincoln in the group today too, so that you can get that book, but she has been kind enough to give us a few, um, kind of sneaky sinky tips and a bit of an overview on that. So I'm going to bring her on now. So here we are. Good morning, Emma.

Speaker 2: (04:49)

So I'm going to hand over to you now. Um, you know, I've given you quite the buildup, I'm surprised your head's not swelling. Uh, um, but, um, uh, Albany, you tell us all about you, your business, what you do and give us some Instagram tips.

Speaker 3: (05:04)

Okay. Yeah. So guys, my, um, my journey sort of started about 10 years ago, uh, shooting weddings for friends or family, things like that. Um, but I really didn't put anything into it. I didn't, I didn't, I mean, Instagram, I don't even think 10 years ago existed. Um, I didn't put any, uh, any effort into building my business or anything like that. Um, so about two years ago I, um, made the decision to make a goal of shooting weddings for a living. So it was a pretty big decision because, um, I was on maternity leave three years ago, I would say. Uh, but yeah, I was on maternity leave and um, yeah, I just thought, okay, well I'm pretty, I'm pretty good at Instagram, you know, socially, I was one of those people, always taking selfies, always at dinner, things like that. Um, so for me, my first protocol for building my business started, but Instagram, um, so I've gone from sort of seven wedding bookends in my first year, which was last, last year. It was my sort of first business year,

Speaker 2: (06:24)

Which in itself by the way is a very good start and where I have to say, you know, to have fun from your first year.

Speaker 3: (06:30)

Yeah. So, yeah, so I mean, like I said, I had, I had a few that when only booked in a little bit before that sort of friends of friends, um, but again, they weren't necessarily all my ideal client. And what I talk about a lot in my guide is how to achieve getting that ideal client, um, especially as a wedding photographer, but it can be applied to any business whatsoever because we all have our ideal clients. Um, so it's really, really important that, that using a tool like Instagram to grow your business, using your ideal client. Um, so this year I was, I had 35 Oh 35 for the 37 weddings booked in, um, so 35 full day weddings. Um, and obviously that all went a bit sort of wrong because of COVID. Um, but next year I've now got 52 and some of them, some of them are postponed, but some this year, um, some of them are, um, brand new bookings. Um, I also managed to secure just the Instagram in the period that we've been allowed. Weddings. I will have had 12 lockdown weddings, um, that all came through Instagram, all books made small days. So I've managed to call back a little bit of income just a little bit.

Speaker 2: (07:55)

Oh, that's fantastic. It's great news. It's um, uh, I think just that being present on your social media will have helped for that. Cause, cause I think, um, in the wedding industry, you know, you have rights and grooms kind of follow you even sometimes before they even have been proposed to, you know, that they're, they're start to plan that way. Didn't do it then find photographers or florists or, you know, whatever it is that they're like. And so when it comes time to actually approach them, they're like, yeah, I'm going to give him a recall. So, so that's so important, isn't it?

Speaker 3: (08:24)

That's a huge, huge, um, part of my process is building relationships with people before they're engaged, before they need my services. Um, you know, I could reel off 10 nerds of ladies I chat to on a regular basis, um, through Instagram. Um, and it's really relaxed. It's almost like building a friendship and building that really nice relationship with, with a person. So when they're getting or when they're there, they're due to get married, um, I'm the first person they think of. They don't think of their local photographers. Some of these ladies are in, I say, ladies, it applies to anybody, but particularly in, in the industry, uh, the wedding industry, it seems to be more, more the ladies that, that, that do the planning.

Speaker 2: (09:15)

I think so. Yeah. Um, we've got a quick question, Emma, from one day at Oshkosh gowns and Lincoln share, um, she just sits, do you forward plan your posts summer? So, I mean, if you're going to cover that in your, in your speech, you don't need to answer that straight away.

Speaker 3: (09:29)

That's fab. So, um, yeah, I do. Uh, so I use an app called planner Lake. So I do cover a little bit in my guide about how to use, um, apps like late to better plan your, your feed. I don't particularly use it as much anymore because I feel like I've been going for long enough now with my posts that I know what I want to post and how the aesthetics going to fit into a feed, but I would use it if I was going away somewhere for a week. Um, I think it's, it's, it's perfect for, um, kind of keeping us past go in whilst you were aware so that you you're still appearing active on Instagram. What I will say though, is there is absolutely no substitute for you being there using that app at that time for, for me being present on Instagram and using it, it's the hugest, um, part of, of building an Instagram following and an organic following.

Speaker 2: (10:41)

Absolutely. Um, uh, it's I mean, as, as a digital marketer and a coach and an online content creator myself, it's, um, you know, you, you, you do get asked sometimes to, to look after people's social media and, and to a certain extent that that's great, but, um, yeah, like you said, there's no substitute for being that person and, and actually interacting with people. It's fine for, you know, um, having something out there, you know, on a regular basis so that your fingers don't Def and things like that, but there's absolutely no way a third party like me could do as good a job as, as just being there and interacting with clients and building those relationships. So, yeah,

Speaker 3: (11:25)

Again, I think one thing that I know that you've spoken about before the key is you are your brand. So no matter where, no matter where you, you do your advertising, whether that's in a magazine, uh, wedding fairs, whether it's, um, craft fairs, Instagram, whatever you do, no matter where you are, you are part of your brand, um, and automate, automating that process, texts that aware. I think even though you might be typing out a caption, hating sentence or getting it to upload at PM or whatever, um, being able to respond to comments on a post, um, that your followers have made is hugely important to keep that relationship going. Um, and even if they're, even if they're spammy posts, even if a spammy comments on your posts, you know, you get a watch company sending three long, just reply to it because it needs constant. It's just constant movement, you know, even just say, thanks very much about keeping your, um, your parents on Instagram, moving constantly, constantly for being active.

Speaker 2: (12:37)

I think so. And perhaps that's not so good news for people who want to sort of step back from it and, uh, and stuff. But I think one of the things I covered on Monday was the fact that, um, you know, gosh, where I've lost my train of thought now, uh, no, but it's, it's just so important, isn't it to sort of, um, to get involved. Yes, that's right. To sort of find where your clients are. That's where I was going with that. Um, so if your clients run into how great that's, that's why you should like apportion your time, basically, you know, um, if they're not, if they're on Facebook, then, then maybe that's where someone like a digital marketer could come in and kind of help with that. Um, but, but that is your, your advertising. If, if they're there, if your clients are there, then that's where you should should be. Because I think if you, um, you know, if you were spending, uh, if you were sort of paying some, like someone to look after your social media for you, and they're the ones building the relationships, then when those people do come into your store or book your services, you haven't got that rapport. You can't say, Oh, so how's, so-and-so doing, Oh,

Speaker 3: (13:44)

Especially for service-based businesses, keeping that, keeping that relationship going is so, so important. Um, and it's, it's aware that once I have clients booked in, um, I keep, uh, keep it going. I follow the stories. And, and when I talk about being constantly active, I don't mean 24 hours a day. It's that looking at my Instagram? What I mean is when you are making a post be present when you're making it, uh, by all means, use an app to plan the aesthetic of your feed. Um, because again, something that I cover in my guide is that the aesthetic of your feed, it is really, really important because even if you've got a website, Instagram is your shopfront, it's, it's the shop window. If you, if you walk past a call shop and they've got tat in the window, people aren't going to walk into buy, buy, you know, even the most expensive outfit because they they're going to, they're going to think the shop's full of tat. Um, so what, what you're putting on Instagram needs to be your absolute best. Um, and it only takes 30 minutes an hour tops a day, uh, using sort of that, the methods that are covering my guide, um, to build that organic following and it all needs to revolve around when you make your post. So I really would think the most important time to be engaging with people on your social media, especially on your Instagram, is when you've posted Instagram will reward you for spending time on the app.

Speaker 2: (15:19)

And so I think a lot of sites and stuff do don't they, um, so what'd you say there was like an optimum time after, after posting? Yeah.

Speaker 3: (15:28)

Yeah. So I mean, what I tend to say is kind of like split it into thirds. So I would spend 10 minutes engaging, um, and they don't necessarily have to be, uh, you know, in depth engagement, scroll through your feed, maybe like leave a little comment, um, but make them genuine. You know, don't just, don't just leave three, look, heart emoji's number one, Instagram thinks you were bought, he thinks he's farming, and it's just, it's not going to register that, that comment that, you know, as you being online and present, um, you know, five words as a minimum, I really love this dress. This color looks great on you. Oh my God. Your cat is so cute. What's his name? People love comments on their animals. Like if you've got a dog comment on a post about the dog, people go crazy for that easy as well.

Speaker 3: (16:24)

You know, it's easy to comment on animals are cue. Right. Okay. Oh, that's a sweet, loving moment. Um, and then I would post, so make your post, um, so get your caption, post it onto Instagram, and then, um, spend another 10 minutes, uh, engaging again with people who might comment. Um, also maybe people who liked the post maybe drop into their Instagram feed, like a couple of posts back. Um, it just really gets that kind of fluid that movement going. Um, and it keeps Instagram thinking that, Oh, this person's really using this app a lot. Okay. So let's, let's reward them and make their posts more visible to more people.

Speaker 2: (17:12)

Absolutely. It's a, it's a very, very good point. Um, I would say to anyone watching in the group are catching up later on as well. I would hop onto Emma's, uh, Instagram and just maybe do a bit of homework and see how Sherwood's posts look, look at the, um, you know, that that's that thick of her feed and maybe watch her posts and our stories and things like that. Um, actually like, but before we sort of, uh, wrap up her mat, um, have you got any tips for, for stories?

Speaker 3: (17:41)

Yeah, so I was, again, what I say about using Instagram as you shop front. I, my feed is very kind of aesthetic friendly. My stories are very much a behind the scenes. I share everything, you know, I will share my daughter did a silly dance in the tele. I'll share pictures of my rabbit. I'll share a tick tops that I think hilarious means anything as long as they are within your brand, if they fit your brand and you are putting your personality out there, do it because people who are booking your service, using your service, coming to buy from you, they want to see who you are. And it can really connect with somebody when they feel like, you know, that, that they're maybe got something in common with somebody, but similar humor. And not only that, um, doing polls, uh, asking questions on Instagram, um, and in the stories is, is a really great way to up engagement on your, on your posts. Um, especially if you do a lot of people doing at the moment they're doing this or that. So they'll, they'll create an Instagram story with two pictures and they'll say, use the poll option. And they'll say this or that, would you prefer keg or donuts? Would

Speaker 3: (19:04)

You prefer a real Christmas tree or a fit because we're strict, but you can make it relevant to your business. You know, if you're selling cakes, for example, do you prefer chocolate or, um, let them drizzle, you know, and you do five or six of those and you think immediately people just can't help, but answer those and do it all the time. I'm like, Oh, this is brilliant. It's that there's no right or wrong answer for them. And you learn a little bit more about people who, uh, who have been watching your stories.

Speaker 2: (19:36)

Well, I think that's the key thing, isn't it? It's, um, it's a way of really, really delving into who your audiences and, um, that's invaluable. Uh, so you know who these people are and, and what to post. Um, we've got, uh, we've got a couple of questions. Um, um, one, uh, one Dieter's, what's your Instagram please. Emma. So that's just MRI and photography photographer. And, um, Chris says, are you making use of reels? Do you think they have a place for photography? And so does Wendy, Wendy asked a similar question? So yeah,

Speaker 3: (20:12)

I do. I do think they have a place for photography. Um, I think sharing things like before and afters people love to see more of it. Um, especially if it looks a bit basic, if you've taken a picture of broadened the wedding day in a, in a room getting ready by the window light, it might look nice, but before it might look a bit dull before you've edited it, people love to see that process that you go through to get to that final image. So before and after, um, you can share a few tips for your wedding day. Um, even if, I mean, Chris, um, even if you've come from a male perspective, maybe, um, and you come from like tips for grooms on their wedding day, because a lot of people do brides. Um, you can really, really, uh, create a lot. Um, so what I've been doing, um, when I've been doing shapes recently is getting somebody to video, not me, but the person that I'm shooting.

Speaker 3: (21:10)

So they will record it then on my phone. And then I will then share a few friends that I talk edited after that video. So people can see what the, maybe the model or the couple are doing, and then I've shown what I've captured from that moment. Um, so Chris, go on and take a look at my reels. I think you'll see, uh, I've got a few on there. Um, but yes, I think one day I've got that. I've got my first book here and so a real and important way forward at the moment that it appears to be. Yeah. Um, but you don't need to make these fancy videos. You really don't. We see these videos of people going to Bush and the, and the cloth changes, and nobody's got time for that. Share a few images. If you work in it, if you've got a shop, take a little tour around your shop, do a little kind of close up, and then far away have a product that you've got to sell, put a few selling points in there. It really doesn't need to be complicated. Um, I think we've got a lot of these, um, youngsters making us feel a little bit old with these wheels, but the grit, I think, uh, the good bit of fun and that they are a lot more relaxed than making your post to your Instagram feed again. I think,

Speaker 2: (22:27)

I think so. And one important thing to note, just to answer Wendy's question about reels versus tick-tock. Um, I mean, reel is, um, it's, Instagram's Tik TOK, isn't it? But, um, the, the most important thing about it, rather than just taking a video on Tik TOK and sharing it to your stories, reels are actually shown to everyone that someone doesn't have to follow you to see their reels. You know, it's, it's, um, it's reels are shown to anyone in the Explorer page or anyone searching for that sort of thing.

Speaker 3: (22:58)

Well, and you can just, if I go into the new wheel section on Instagram, it has been updated now it's front and center, the middle button Instagram have decided it's more important than you see anything else reels and you just, you know, it's dangerous. Cause you could just, you know, the calculated bad light scrolling, but when you see them, um, and I know I've started following people just from state of rail thinking, that's brilliant.

Speaker 2: (23:24)

That's exactly it. It's, it's, uh, you get to reach a wider audience. So, um, absolutely. If you're using Instagram, don't just post your Tik TOK video. Cause that doesn't really register to Instagram as a, as a real adult, you know, it's engaging. Yes. But, but you're best off to use a real on Instagram

Speaker 3: (23:39)

Tik TOK and you use tick-tock, you can save your tick-tock video and post it into your reels. So don't just share

Speaker 2: (23:46)

Yes. Please post the, into the real. So, uh, they use the same sort of timeframe, 15, 30 seconds. Um, so you can get use of that. Exactly. Yeah. So, so I'm always saying to people reuse your content. So if you already have a Tik TOK, then absolutely post it, but use the real function. That's a good tip. Might take tops, easier, the format easier to use and real. So that's what I've been doing. Okay. See, I'm I'm too old for tech talk. I've hit the 40 Mark now, you know, I'll get there, I'll get there. I'll download it out of curiosity one of these days. Um, but yeah, so, so Emma, I'm aware you're a busy lady. I don't want to take up too much more of your day. Um, so to everyone watching, I hope you found that useful. Um, I'm going to put the link.

Speaker 2: (24:32)

Uh, I did it yesterday. I put the link up to Emma's, um, uh, Emma's guide, so you can download that and buy it. Um, but I'll do it again today. Um, it's, it's really useful. It will go into so much more depth than we have done in this group and it's only 15 pounds. So, you know, you, you deserve that your business deserves that basically. Can I just add the, if you do download the guide and you want any additional help, I'm more than happy to answer any questions, you know, if you're unsure of anything that I've written in the guide. Um, I mean, I do think it's all fairly kind of clear, but if you wanna double check something, you'll ask how I personally do do something for my business or how you can make it relate to another business, please, uh, ask me because that's why I include that in the price. I'm more than happy to help take that makes it even more of an absolutely amazing deal. So brilliant. Okay. Well, um, I'm gonna leave that with everyone now. I thank you so much for joining us. That's been really, really informative and it's been great to talk to you about it. So to everyone else watching, um, have a great day be positive and be productive and great things will happen. Take care.

Speaker 1: (25:42)

Well, thank you so much for listening all the way through and reaching the end of my podcast. I really do hope that these episodes help you to grow your business and help you thrive on your journey as a small business owner. And if you want to find out how I can help you grow your business through a mix of great effective content and expert, business coaching and advice from an experienced business owner, that's me then get in touch through my email. Hello at the content quarter

8 views1 comment
bottom of page