Hello and welcome to the Alex Branning “Your Marketing Coach” podcast. Today, we are going to talk about the fastest growing social network out there right now. One of the social networks that is giving me a lead a day on average, let’s dive in and talk about it. All right, so one of the things I get asked a lot is, “Alex, I see you everywhere on social media. What is actually working for you to generate leads?” That is a great question. One of the fastest areas of growth that I’m experiencing right now is on Instagram. We’re going to talk about Instagram on this webinar. I’m going to give you a ton of ideas and show you it’s working for me.

Instagram is an exciting social network, but it’s one of those platforms that until you get used to it, it’s kind of hard to understand how it works. I want to show you a little bit of how Instagram actually works, how you can use it, and then I want to give you strategies to really leverage all the tools that Instagram has available for you. Now, when it comes to visualizing your social media platform, when you’re building your brand up, I want you to look at each platform as having its own purpose in your overall brand. Facebook is kind of like you having conversations with people, okay? Twitter is you sharing golden nuggets. Instagram is like your own personal magazine.

Instagram requires a photo with every single post. For me, when you follow me on Instagram, look me up, alexbranning. When you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that a lot of my pictures that I use, a lot of the photos have a very distinct look. I want you to be able to scroll down and recognize that looks like an Alex Branning post, see it, and feel like I’m becoming familiar to you. I talk a lot about the law of familiarity, where I want to become familiar to you, and I want you to feel comfortable with me before we ever meet. One of the ways to do that is to create consistency across my Instagram posts, it’s like a magazine.

Now how does Instagram work, right? When you’re on Facebook, there’s a lot of things you can do. You could like, comment, share, but on Instagram, you just like, comment, you can’t share, which is … it feels weird at first. You look at it and you go, “How do I message people? How do I find people? Are there groups? Are there conversations happening?” No. It’s literally just a feed, a single feed where you can scroll down and see the latest post from your network. Now, how can you use that to grow? How are you supposed to find other people? Let’s dive into that.

One of the things that is important to understand is how to actually find the people that you want to follow on Instagram. There’s a couple ways to do that, and it’s all basically focused around the search tool. I’ll share with you how I find my ideal clients, and the people that I want to follow. First, I find the influencers in the space that is already serving my clientele. For example, if I want to market to real estate agents, I am going to find influencers in the real estate market. For me that is Tom Ferry; that is Brian Buffini. There are other big level names, but those are the two that are creating the biggest impact on Instagram right now. I follow them, I follow the people that are already following Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini and others, and I’m able to be introduced via Instagram to a lot of my ideal clients, because if they’re following Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini on Instagram, most likely they’re looking to grow their real estate business, so it’s a good fit for me.

For you, find the influencers that are attracting your client. That could be me, it’s most likely going to be somebody else, but follow them, and then follow the people that are connected to them, commenting on their posts et cetera. Those are going to be your target clients. That’s how you find them. You can also find them using hashtags. Hashtags are great, you do have to do some research on that in figuring out which hashtags work. I would say go ahead and just start experimenting. For me for example, you can type in #alexbranning, you can find me on #socialmediamarketing, #yourmarketingcoach. There’s a lot of different hashtags that I use on every single post that I make, so that I continue to show up and be recognized in my space.

For you, as you’re looking to find your people, search for people by hashtag. For example, if you are in Orange County and you’re looking for people that you want to be connected to people in Orange County to grow your real estate business, you know, searching by the #citynames, like #orangecounty, #newportbeach, and finding people that are using those hashtags, then follow them because they most likely live there. One of the other things you can do on Instagram to find the right people to market to, is to create content that attracts them. You can search them out, or you can create content that attracts them using hashtags and tagging people that they’re following. Then, they’ll find you. That’s how you find the right people.

I want to give you 4 tips right now. Four tips on creating just a really powerful, dynamic Instagram presence.

  1. When you upload a photo, especially one that’s business related, take the time, use a photo editing tool to overlay a footer on the bottom of each photo. The footer should have your name, maybe your cell number. I’ve seen some people with a really cool looking footer. They’ve got their cell number on the bottom so that no matter what photo you’re seeing, you can actually just call them, which is awesome. You can use your website. I use my website URL and a footer on every single one of my photos, you’ll see it. Then, create your own custom hashtag. The first idea, use a photo editing tool, take the time to add a footer to all of your photos.
  2. The second idea is, create your own custom hashtag. Mine is #alexbranning. I also use the hashtag #yourmarketingcoach. There are other people that use that, but I’m dominating that hashtag right now, because I want to own that key word. That’s the name of my podcast, so I want to own that. I like including those hashtags on certain photos that I do; #Alexbranning, #yourmarketingcoach. You’ll see that on my posts.
  3. Another one, make sure that you post in your story consistently. This is another one of those things that people don’t really quite grasp about Instagram because it’s just different, this whole story concept. If you open up the Instagram app on the top, on the very very top, you see some profile photos with a circle around them. Those are stories that you have not seen yet. There is a camera icon on the very top left of your Instagram app, if you tap that, you can add to your story. If you follow me, you’ll notice that I do this a lot. I talk a lot about story. I post on my story a lot. I go live and it’s in my story. I post photos at least every single day that’s different than my daily post. It’s all in my story. The reason why I do that is because it shows up there right at the top. Right as you log in, my story shows up as one of the most recent additions. Posting your story consistently is a great way to stay on top online.
  4. Another one; this is a big one, that I’m seeing people not do, that is really limiting their growth, and that is engaging with your audience. Engage with your audience on social media. Like their post, comment if it’s funny, shoot them a direct message saying you’re loving their content. Really engage. If you want to grow, if you want to create relationships, generate leads, build your business on Instagram, then you actually have to communicate like a human being and engage with the people that are within your network, in your audience. Again, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make, and it just drives me absolutely bonkers, is that they’ll follow all their ideal clients, and then they’ll never reach out to them and wonder why their business isn’t growing on Instagram. It’s like oh my gosh, you’re not communicating with them, what do you think they’re going to do, just reach out to you and start doing business with you, it’s crazy! Engage with them, be a human being.

One of the things that I do with every single one of my follows, is I have a message that I send. Right now, I’m really big into the real estate market, so I have an auto responder that goes out as soon as somebody follows me. I go on there at night and respond to all my new follows and I send them a whole bunch of goodies. I send them 3 different things in their direct messages, 3 different free resources that they can grab, so they can see that I am there for them; that I’m there to support them, and that I want to be seen as somebody who is on their team. Even though they haven’t necessarily hired me yet, I want them to go, “Wow, this Alex guy just started the conversation, he started the relationship by sending me a whole bunch of free stuff; free resources, free education. This is really cool.

I recommend doing something similar. Come up with a short thing to send to all the people that follow you, you can see it if you go to your notifications on Instagram. You can see who’s following you. Just tap it, shoot them a quick message. You can copy and paste something in there, just make sure that it’s genuine, authentic and it provides value. Introduce yourself, give them something. That’s the way to grow your business. If you treat them like they’re another human being that you just happened to meet in this virtual space, you have an opportunity now to do business with them. If you follow them, they follow you back and you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. Period. You have to take action. You have to reach out and talk to them.

Couple of other bonus tips that I’m seeing that are working really well. I’m hoping I’m inspiring the heck out of you right now. I hope you’re listening to this going, wow, I really need to change my Instagram strategy. I need to do something different here. I hope you get off of listening to this podcast EXCITED about diving into the Instagram space, because there is so much do to there, so much to learn, so many people to meet. Your ideal clients are on Instagram. I can guarantee they’re on Instagram right now and you’re not reaching out to them, so jump on there and do it. Couple of other tips:

  1. Go live on Instagram on a regular basis. I like to go live on there at least twice a week. Share some knowledge, share some advice, make people laugh. Whatever is in your wheelhouse, do that. Go live, because they will be notified if they’re in your network that you have gone live. It’s a great way to pop up on their notifications with an Instagram.
  2. Another thing to do, is on Instagram, make sure that within your story, right, you can create highlights. Go to my profile, go to my Alex Branning profile and look at how I’ve structured my bio, and look at how I’ve structured my highlights. In the first one, I have my dog there, because people love that. I may change it, but I’ve noticed that people seem to follow me more when I have my dog there because it’s not as threatening, it’s not as business-y. They know I’m a real human being. I have different stories with topics that I believe people care about, like clickfunnels marketing, 60 second marketing tips, etc. It’s a great way, if you look at my profile you’ll have a very good idea of who I am and what I offer. Make sure you spend some time getting that dialed in, create some story highlights in there. I think that’s going to be a great way for you give people a snapshot of what it is that you do and how you can help them.

Thank you so much for listening to this. Please, please, please go and like me and follow me on Instagram so that I can follow you back; Alexbranning, all one word. Quick resource for you, if you were looking at taking this to the next level, I have power engagement marketing which dives deep into building up a strong online presence. I have an entire section on Instagram. Go to my podcast, alexbranning.com/podcast. This is episode 16, I can’t believe it. Make sure you go there and grab these resources for yourself.

One of the other things I’m going to invite you to do is join my level 10 program. Every Friday at 9 a.m. I am there live, answering your questions, giving you feedback, instruction, and inspiration to take your marketing to the next level. I would love to work with you. It is a paid group coaching program that you get a massive amount of value. It’s only $30 a month. I would love to have you a part of it. Thank you so much for being a part of the Alex Branning podcast and a part of my audience. I appreciate you, have a great day.


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