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Leveraging Instagram to cultivate a collaborative community with Jade Beason

It’s time that we start to shift our mindset about Instagram. Now hear me out—what would it look like instead of constantly finding ways to gain new followers and growth, that we focus on the followers that we currently do have? Our followers already love what we have to offer and support our business, so why don’t we pour into them and build an engaged community that can lead to business growth?

Content specialist Jade Beason joins us in today’s episode to talk about how to leverage Instagram to build a strong, engaged community. Listen in as she explains how you can leverage your existing instagram following by consistently showing up for them so that they can show up for you. In this episode, we spend time deconstructing the common things we think we should be doing on Instagram and focus more on community building strategies to see success on the platform.

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Leveraging Instagram in 2024

There have been a ton of changes to Instagram in the last year, and many creators feel discouraged by the app. The reality is that Instagram may not be the best tool for growth anymore; however, it is a great tool for building community. It’s a great place to interact with your audience, even if your sales and conversions do not ultimately come from Instagram.

The Instagram features you should take advantage of to interact with your audience are:

  • Daily Instagram stories
  • Live videos
  • Direct messages
  • Post comment threads
  • Interactive reels

Looking at Instagram this way may feel discouraging, but the truth is that it should feel like a relief. With community building as your primary goal on the app, you don’t have to feel the pressure of sales growth. 

You don’t have to completely write off sales growth on Instagram; however, seeing it as a secondary objective can help you have a better approach to the platform. Building a community on Instagram can still have a profound impact on your business.

Cultivating a community on Instagram

There are two types of Instagram creators: those that use the platform to build community and those that use it to broadcast. If you want to build a real community through Instagram, you have to have an active feedback loop open with your audience. 

Instagram stories is the strongest feature you can use to build a community on the app. It’s crucial that you use your stories to share original content, not to reshare other people’s content. Share a snippet of your day with your audience and invite them behind the scenes of your business. Use interactive features like polls to engage with them.

The interactive features on Instagram stories have different levels of engagement, so it’s important to mix them up. For example, the sliding poll feature is quick and easy to engage with, whereas the question box is asking more from your audience.

To create community, you need to become more comfortable with sharing your daily life on Instagram. It may feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. The creators who show up on a daily basis and share their lives with their audience always do well when they share affiliate links because they’ve built up so much trust. 

Showing up every day on Instagram stories builds a strong bond with your audience, which helps you understand what their pain points are and what solutions they need. When you want to scale or make changes in your business, you can look at what your audience needs from you and make bullet-proof decisions. 

How to stay consistent on Instagram

There are two reasons you need to be consistent on Instagram:

  1. It builds a solid community
  2. Instagram ranks your content higher when you’re posting on a regular basis

To stay consistent, try the “min-max method.” Set a goal for the minimum and maximum amount of times you want to post feed content on Instagram per week. That includes reels, static posts, and carousels. 

If your focus is engagement, posting three times a week is a good amount. However, if you want to grow your following, you should post a minimum of five times per week. 

You should always strive to hit your maximum posting goal, but sometimes life gets in the way, which is why the minimum goal is there. It’s still a good week if you hit your minimum goal.

Another key to staying consistent is to batch your work. For example, when creating reels, set aside one day to prepare for filming, another day to film, and another day to edit and schedule them. 

Growing your Instagram following through collaborations

Instagram has introduced several collaboration features onto the platform that creators should use to their advantage. You can now add three users to a joint feed post, and you can go live with up to three people as well. If you want to grow your following, there’s never been a better time to collaborate with people who have larger followings than you do. 

Things you need to stop doing on Instagram

There are several Instagram “strategies” that actually have a negative impact on your profile and business. Stop doing these things:

  • Buying followers and views
  • Engagement groups, follower trains, etc.
  • Comparing yourself to other creators so much that it impacts your strategy

The biggest differentiator between businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Jade believes that the biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail is that the ones that succeed find ways to find joy in their work over time. That may mean hiring people to take tasks off your plate or saying no to opportunities that aren’t aligned with you. If you want to see success, you have to find ways to keep the joy for your business alive.

Important sections of the conversation:

  • [1:33] How to use Instagram in 2024
  • [7:21] What it takes to build a community on Instagram
  • [13:58] The benefits of using Instagram stories every day
  • [18:34] How to stay consistent on Instagram
  • [25:26] Growing your Instagram following through collaborations
  • [35:34] Instagram strategies to stop doing
  • [41:58] The biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Connect with the guest

Episode Transcript

Akua Konadu
It’s time that we start to shift our mindset about Instagram. Now hear me out? What would it look like instead of constantly finding ways to gain new followers and growth, that we focus on the followers that we currently do have? Now these are the people that we know that already loved what we have to offer and support our business. What would it look like if we pour into them and build an engaged community that can lead to business growth? Well, that is your content specialists shade the sun comes in, and she joins us on the show to talk about how to leverage Instagram to build a strong engaged community, and how we can consistently show up for them so that they can show up for us. This episode, we spend time deconstructing the common things we think we should be doing on Instagram. And we focus more on community building strategies to see success in the platform. Hey, everyone, this is your host, Akua konadu. And you’re listening to the independent business podcast, more people than ever are working for themselves and building profitable businesses in the process. So on this show, I get to sit down with some of the most influential authors, entrepreneurs and creators to break down the science of self made success so that you can achieve it too.

Akua Konadu
Hello, hello, Jade How we doing today?

Jade Beason
Hi, I’m doing super well. I’m super excited for this conversation.

Akua Konadu
I am super excited about it to you know, Instagram. I feel like it’s always a hot topic. So let’s just get into it. Like, what is your hot take on Instagram right now?

Jade Beason
Okay, so today well, I’ve actually had this heartache since the start of 2023. And I have stuck with it. I feel like as the months have gone past, as we’ve seen, more and more updates come to the platform, I feel like this heartache has remained even more true. So I decided that start of the year, you know what Instagram, it’s still going to be part of my strategy, but it’s going to have a different purpose. And it’s going to have a different place. And I decided that I actually think that Instagram is one of the best platforms for community building, and not necessarily grow. I don’t think it’s a growth platform, I don’t even think it’s the best platform for conversions or sales, you can experience both of those. But for me personally, where I see Instagram, having the biggest effect on my strategy is in engagement and community platform. The fact that you’re able to go live with the audience, the fact that you’re able to upload stories on a daily basis, and they have interactive features on them. You can even use some of those interactive features in your reels. The fact that you can respond to people so easily the fact that you have such a robust direct messaging, platform and feature which most social media networks don’t have, these are all things that allow you to speak with your audience and build a community. Well, these are all things that Instagram do better than other platforms. So that’s how I like to use Instagram, I don’t necessarily use it to grow anymore, I use it to like connect with my audience.

Akua Konadu
That is definitely a hot tag.

Jade Beason
Well, you know, I wanted to start with a bang started with

Akua Konadu
a Absolutely. And I think again, because a lot of the times when we, you know, see in ways to when people talk about Instagram, it was always the other way around, using it to grow your busy business, right using it to get sales using it for all those things. And, of course, you hear community building, but I always feel like it’s secondary. I don’t ever, ever feel like it’s the main primary thing of how we should be using Instagram. And so I love that heartache. And it’s really true when you think about a lot of these features about how they’re interactive and allows you to connect with people, it really does change your perspective. And I think too, it also takes the weight off your shoulders, because I feel like I feel like there’s people on Instagram that fall across two spectrums. There are people who are still making money on the platform who are still doing doing well. But I think they were more so like early adopters, right. And then there’s people who are still struggling with Instagram on a day to day basis and are not seeing the results that they would like. And so I just love that you have that perspective, because then it really again, just opens up your mind and also to just releases some of these things that maybe you’re harboring with Instagram and the pressure that you feel of how to show up and wanting to grow your business when it’s like you’re really just there to connect with other people that people that want to connect with your business community building. And putting that at the center, which I love that how you’re implementing that into your strategy, I think is going to make you go way farther than if you’re mainly worried about growth in sales. Yeah,

Jade Beason
I completely agree. And the thing is, as I said, I started to implement this slight tweak in strategy. And you’ve kind of alluded to this, it’s, it’s not that I’m no longer using Instagram for sales or for growth at all. It’s just that they’ve become secondary objectives. And community building is now the primary objective for that specific channel. And I’ve been doing that since the start of this year and it has had such a positive impact on my overall marketing activity, because I have so much more clarity on what I use each channel for and also it’s made me feel so much better because I’m like well now I’m actually using each channel in a way that works for me in my community and in a measuring the impact of each channel in a way that actually allows me to see whether things are working or not. One of the things about Instagram that has been the case for While I was that the algorithm has advanced to a position where there is a huge element of it that you can’t control. And you can’t control any algorithm, of course, but there are other platforms where you can make tweaks. And if something doesn’t work, you can tweak a few things. And it massively increases your chances of actually hitting the algorithm getting views. Instagram has kind of become a platform where you can make all the tweaks in the world, and it still might not hit the algorithm like you’d like it to or like it would have a few years ago. So when that becomes the case, and when you lose a little bit more of that control. Sometimes it’s worth thinking, Okay, well, maybe there’s a new purpose for this, and maybe this new purpose, I can have more control over, I have a lot more control over the amount of interaction and engagement, I get on that platform. And if it drops, I have a clear plan of what I could do to make it better and go back up again. So for me, as someone who is a control freak, I prefer using it this way.

Akua Konadu
I love that though. I think that’s brilliant. Because number one, a couple things that you said having clarity for each platform, the reason why you’re using it, I think that’s so important, because how you show up on Instagram is different than how you’re gonna show up on YouTube versus LinkedIn and Tik Tok. So being really, really clear, because then if something isn’t going well on one platform, that’s okay, because you’re on other platforms, and showing up in a way that it feels good to you, but also to like, you have a plan set in place of how you want to show up, which I think is so I think that’s so important, because it’s gonna make you go further, that’s really important of having a game plan in that way, I think it again makes it a lot easier of showing up in a way that feels good to you. But also to Instagram doesn’t have to be I think, for a lot of us business owners, Instagram has been is still our number one main platform. And it’s okay, if it’s not, if it becomes secondary, like you said, and I just love how you really just shifted your perspective, because it’s true, we really don’t control at all with the algorithm. And we we we can make all the tweaks in the world, like you said, but we at the end of the day, can’t control the results that we get on that platform. And so it’s okay to instead of making it primary, shifting it to secondary and moving from there. And so wanting to shift a little bit to community building, let’s talk about that. Can you just let’s keep it real about what it truly takes to build a community on Instagram, especially as we’re talking about a platform that we really just don’t have control over. Break it down. What are some of the hard truths that we really need to know about what it really takes to build a community on Instagram? Yeah,

Jade Beason
for sure. Well, I think the first thing to know is that there often seems to be two different types of creators or businesses. And they’re ones who use social media for community building. And there are others who use social media to broadcast. And a lot of the time, we don’t realize there’s two different types, I think we assume that we’re all there to build a community. And then therefore, we assume that everything we’re doing has the kind of outcome of community building in mind. And that’s not always the case. And I’m not here to say that one is better than the other. If you look at celebrities, for example, would you say that a lot of the celebrities that you follow are trying to build a community? Or would you say they’re broadcasting themselves to you, I remember. Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with it. I love it. I’m here for it, and I follow them. And I like all their content. There’s nothing wrong with it. But it is a slightly different way of using Instagram. If you’re truly trying to foster a community, there needs to be a few different forms of communication. And there has to be some kind of feedback loop happening. It can’t just be you’re sharing content, and then you’re like, wiping your hands of it and keeping it moving. There has to be something else, which allows you to continue the conversation. So as I mentioned before, some of the great features that exist on Instagram, whether or not you think there’s too many features or not. That’s that’s to be discussed. But there are a lot of features, and some of them are really great for this right. I personally think your Instagram Stories is one of the strongest features you can use when it comes to building the community. And it really is the one of the features that helps Instagram stand apart from its counterparts, and a card truth of your Instagram stories. If you want people to look at them. You cannot be consistently reposting other people’s content. It is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I see it all the time. Unfortunately, another hard truth of Instagram Stories, once you lose an Instagram story viewer. So once someone looks at your Instagram story for the third time, and they’re like, Nope, I’m never happy with what I see when I click on your profile photo. They’re not coming back. It’s not happening when you open up your Instagram page. And if anyone’s listened to this, and they’ve you know, they’re on their phone right now open up Instagram, because at the top of the screen, you can see like, what is it four different stories about scrolling? There is no other place on that app where you are so limited with your choice. Everywhere else you’re scrolling or getting a new piece of content appearing every second. On your stories. Instagram is saying these are the ones that’s it. If you really want to sit and watch the stories then maybe we’ll get you in a bit of a loop and you’ll see 510 others but if you are 50 F on that row, it’s not happening. Okay, they’re not seeing your story. So a lot of people sleep on their stories and like, oh, everyone tells me that I have to post one story a day so I’m just going to repost someone’s funny meme and keep it moving. That’s the worst you could do. I actually would rather you not post at all that day, if you’re really stuck for story content, just don’t post and instead, come at it fresh the next day and start sharing things that are snippets into your life or snippets into your business journey, and start using those interactive features. Because that’s how the community is really going to get triggered. Start using things like the poll sticker, the question box, and one of the biggest tips because again, this is a subject I could talk about for hours. But one of the biggest tips when you’re using your stories for engaging purposes, is to understand that the interactive features aren’t all equal. And they’ve got to be used in different ways. When you think about the poll sticker, and you know that little emoji slider one, nobody has a good love eyes, but you can change it. Yeah, that one, what circles like those are really great for like low effort, engagement from your audience, because it was a poll, it’s just one one thought and one tap with that slider, you don’t even need to think about it, you just slide that emoji across. It’s really low effort is really low barrier. So a lot of people will engage with it when you use that stick up. On the flip side, when you’ve got stickers, like the quiz sticker, or even more, so the question box. Now we’re getting into deeper engagement territory, because with a quiz sticker, well, now you’re asking someone to actually think about what the correct answer to this question. So you’re getting a bit more thought from them, right? You’re occupying a bit more of their brain space? The question was, you are now asking someone to think of something to say to you and write it out. And I know when I say that, it might not sound like you’re asking for a lot. But in a world of social media, you’ve basically just asked a stranger for an essay. Like it’s a lot. So think about how you’re using those different stickers. And think about what you’re going to expect as the response because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with someone and they’ve said, I don’t use the question box, because, you know, I only get one person or responding or no one responds. And I’m like, well, first of all, you’re not going to get a lot of responses from that box, because it’s actually quite a high engagement feature. But also, what are you asking when you share the box, and nine times out of 10, they’re just labeling it, like, ask me anything. And I’m like, Well, no one knows what to ask you. Give them some instruction, say like, ask me anything about X, whatever your niche is, or ask them something, give them some help. So they get used to engaging with you. And when you start to put all those different features into play, and start really putting those things into action, you’ll start to get in a good flow with using your stories for community building, I’m genuinely just community building overall. And I

Akua Konadu
feel like that is a low hanging fruit effort. Like I feel like it’s a very easy thing to do, it’s a really easy place to start. And that is something I have been noticing more on Instagram that people are posting less, I guess more. So the people that I interact with on the platform, their posts, they’re posting less in the feed, but more in stories where you will see them show up on stories every single day, but they haven’t made a post in their feet in months. And they’re still getting the engagement. I mean, I literally didn’t think of it as one of my friends who does it repeatedly. I mean, she barely ever posted her feet, but she’s in her stories every single day. And I have like a nickname for because I call her now a mini influencer. She’s not an influencer. But it’s because she’s sharing so many aspects of her life, from business to relate, you know, with her friends and family and all these different types of things that I now care about what she’s doing also to outside of her business, I always am like, will share with me the recommendations that you got, you know, me, because she’ll use the question box, she’ll use all these different types of features. And so again, I think it’s a really like low effort that you can use just to start and just, like start showing of what your morning routine is. Or if you’re at the gym, it doesn’t necessarily have to be related to business because again, like we are more than our business and so people want to see those aspects of you because that’s how they get to know you that’s how they like you. That’s how they trust you and then start embodying then you can start weaving some other aspects of your business as well. So I really, really enjoy that piece. Because again, it’s it’s not hard to do, it’s really easy to get started and it’s you start to build, create relationships with the people that truly genuinely care about what it is that you’re up to. So I love that.

Jade Beason
Yeah, same there’s actually someone I don’t know if you know of her. She is a UK influencer called Grace Beverly they’ve ever heard about, but she owns a couple of different brands. It’s funny, there’s always like three influencers a compromise, like Grace, Beverly, Patricia, right. They’re always my examples, but she doesn’t really post on her feed, but her stories and there’s a handful of instances where I’m like that I will look at what your story is, every single day. She has stories every single day. And you know, she’ll upload a link to something and be like, Okay, guys, is it’s probably gonna send out like, that’s the influence she has on her stories. Her story specifically. And those are the creators who often have the highest engagement, the ones who put their effort into their daily stories and connecting with you and as you said, bringing you behind your behind the scenes when they link to something or they try to sell something it sells out because the people who have seen that link are the people who watch their day to day lives every day. I can’t even explain that kind of bond that grace must have with her audience the fact that I literally I know what her days look like on a on a daily basis, that’s incredible, you’d caught you rarely get that with any other platform. And it can sound super intimidating for someone to hear that I think I’ve got to I’ve got such like literally sharing all of my life at once. And I always say to anyone who feels that way, you’ve got to just start small and build it up. Because sharing content and getting used to sharing your life, it’s like a muscle. And the more you exercise it, the more comfortable and the easiest it will feel. And I’m not someone who’s on my stories every day, I’m on my stories, maybe three or four times a week. But it is a muscle and I’ve got to get used to it. Because even things like something will happen in your life. And you think that would be a good story. But even the thought of I should film that and put that on my stories. Like that’s something you have to train. Because you don’t always remember to do that. It is like it’s a genuine muscle of being used to being like, Oh, actually, I should share that with people, you know, and it doesn’t get easier. Yes, I

Akua Konadu
love that you shared that. Because that is so true. Like if you’re not doing on a regular basis, you’ll be out having the best time which of course, enjoy yourself, right? If you’re getting a moment, you don’t need to stop to take a video. Yeah, that is absolutely not what you’re saying. But what you’re saying is, is that if the opportunity is there, like just keep x like keep exercising that muscle, because then it’ll start to become so much natural to you to be able to get that content because like my friend, she sets up wherever now and I and she has no shame. And I don’t think of it, you know what I mean? I’m like, Oh, that’s really fun, like, what are you doing? And then when she comes out with her products or services, people are excited people are purchasing. And so I think again, it speaks to that. But I love to how you said earlier that not all features are the same. So really utilizing I think, again, you have to think about what is it that you want your audience to do having that clarity piece what that goal is, and then using the features that are going to help accomplish that goal, the best, but I just love leaning into stories. And so what are some of the benefits that you have seen from utilizing something like especially even that strategy to build your community? What are some benefits? Yeah,

Jade Beason
yeah. So I mean, the biggest thing that I’ve seen is that I just feel like I’m a lot more connected with my community, which has been really important for me specifically, because I’m going through a business model shift this year, where I’m transitioning from being primarily like an online coach, to moving to owning, like separate media company called the crater project. So I’m going through this shift, it’s quite new, it takes a lot of time. And the way that I like to run my business anyway, I like to do everything based on my audience and what they need. Because I think that first of all, is a safe way to scale. But also, it’s a way for me to ensure that I’ve got like proof of concept before I do things. So I didn’t know that I was going to make this transition this year, to be honest. But I’m so glad that I implemented this community strategy at the start of the year, because it’s made this a lot easier. Even if I’m not just outright saying, Hey, guys, I’m starting this new thing. What do you want from it, it’s more that like, I understand my audience’s pain points and their struggles, and what they like and what they don’t like and what they find funny and what they don’t find funny, like, I know all that stuff on such a deeper level now, and it is incredibly valuable as a business owner to scale and create new products when you have such a deep understanding of your audience. And

Akua Konadu
you wouldn’t be able to have that unless you weren’t building relationships building community. And so that is so so important. I think to you know, we hear this all the time on social media, in order to be successful, you have to be consistent all the time. I mean, everybody says that, which is absolutely true. There’s no nobody’s, you know, negating that. But it’s how can we be consistent? Right? I think that’s the biggest piece that a lot of business owners struggle with. It’s like, how can we show up consistently on stories? Or how can we, you know, post more in a way that feels good to us really connects with our audience? How can we be more consistent on Instagram? Yeah,

Jade Beason
and it should, I will, before I even break down like my favorite method for it. It is worth saying that everyone talks about the fact that we need to be consistent, because you’re right, we do need to be consistent. Something that doesn’t always get said is especially on Instagram, there’s actually like an algorithm reason for consistency. So yes, consistency is important, because it means that we’re showing up to our audience on a regular basis. And maybe it will be front of mind the next time they choose to make a purchase, etc. But also Instagrams algorithm, one of the signals that it looks at when it’s trying to figure out where to rank your content, and how many people are going to see your content. Basically, when it’s deciding, like, is this gonna go viral or not? Is it we’ll look at your recent activity on your content. So it’s actually going to go on your page and be like, cool, how many pieces of content have you uploaded in the past month? And how many interactions did they get? If you haven’t uploaded a lot of content or even a small amount of content within the past six months, if you’ve been quite on and off, and you haven’t really been very active Instagrams algorithm will be aware of that, and it might factor into your ranking. So it might be a reason why your content doesn’t get pushed out to as many people as it could. So I always like to throw that in there. Because otherwise the conversation we have about consistency, you’re right gets a bit stale. So sometimes I like to remind people like no, there’s actually like another reason and it’s a really important one. And my favorite method for remaining consistent on Instagram is a method that I call the min max method. It’s a method that I literally just made up myself when I first started my journey. And I actually use it across all of my social media channels. And it’s basically this idea that you set yourself a minimum and a maximum posting goal. So for Instagram, this would be per week. For other platforms, it might be per month. But for Instagram, it’s per week. And what you basically want to do is set a minimum amount of posts that you want to share. Ideally, we’re talking about feed content, because as I said, with story content, when you put too much pressure to post over time, it usually ends up being not great. So we’re talking about feed content, reels, carousels, etc. And you want to figure out, what’s the minimum amount of posts that you can share per week to still be able to hit your goal. Because people have different goals, and they require different posting frequencies. If you’re focusing on engagement, you could post three times a week and you’d be fine. If you’re trying to grow, then you probably need to post like five or seven times a week. So you want to have a minimum posting frequency, and then you want to maximum one. So the maximum one is the true goal. And this is usually the goal that we just set without a minimum. So usually, we say, I’m going to post every day. And then what happens is that we don’t post every day because life gets in the way, maybe we’re not well, maybe we’re going on an unexpected trip fine. And then we miss a couple days of posting, and then we get in our head about it because we’re like, Well, I was supposed to post every day, and then you get down about it. And then it knocks you off your game. And you’re like, well, I might as well just give up. And it might sound like such a spiral and such a reach. Like, you know, of course we don’t react that way. But I’m telling you right now that I’ve worked with hundreds of creators who are exact that react that exact way, myself too, I would react that way, it would throw me off my game. And I would feel like my whole strategy needs to go in the bin, because I’m not hitting my seven posts per week, when in reality, I’ve probably still hit five posts per week. And that is still a very good number. So we’re gonna call that the minimum target. So the idea is that on a good week, you hit your max. And if life gets in the way, then at least you hit your minimum. And what that does is it keeps you on a path where you are consistently posting enough content, but you’re doing it in a way that is kind to you and has some kind of flexibility. So that if you hit your min goal, you’re still like, whatever, I still hit my goal and you keep it moving. So it’s more of like a mindset thing that comes into it. Because I think that is one of the biggest challenges that we have when it comes to consistency. So a min max method, again, I use it across all my social media platforms, that has been my absolute savior. And then if I can share one other tip when it comes to the actual physical, like how am I creating this content and getting so much out, I backed everything up, I absolutely swear by it, I every single task I have to do as part of content creation is put in batches. If I need to prep for a filming day, which I’m actually ready to prep today, because I’m gonna film tomorrow, I will sit down and spend hours prepping like four or five videos, I’ll just prep all at once. I will film multiple videos at once. I very fortunately have an editor so I don’t have to do that anymore. But I would edit everything at once. I would upload and schedule everything at once. And that is how I get to a stage where I’ve got the content there and it’s ready. And then I just have the min max goal come into play to help keep my mindset on track and make sure I still feel like I’m hitting my goals.

Akua Konadu
All of that was brilliant. I mean, the min max, I’m like, Oh my gosh, that is such a great way to do that. Because yes, so that you can be kind to yourself. I think that’s the biggest piece. Is that because again, with Instagram, social media we do we harp on ourselves. Also when people miss a couple days of posting or if even if it’s been a while, have you noticed how people always feel like they have to announce it. I’ve been gone for a minute. And now I’m coming back. And it’s totally like shame and guilt centered when yes in

Jade Beason
person and they apologized. They’re like, I’m so sorry, you haven’t heard from me in four days. And I was like, even if you were posting the algorithm may haven’t made it so that I didn’t hear from you in four days anyway. I never would have known to do it. I mean, it’s totally fine.

Akua Konadu
Yes, yes, I know. Exactly. I always remind myself even just as a business owner in general, when you feel like oh, I’ve disappeared and now I have to come back. I would say nobody’s watching and nobody cares. That’s what you say. Yeah. Like, nobody’s gonna realize that all that you haven’t posted. Well, people will be excited to hear from you. Um, because I’m guilty of that. I’m not gonna lie. So yes, it’s it’s totally shame and like, guilt centered and just nobody’s watching. Nobody cares. But like, you want them to watch you of course, but like, you know what, I mean, nobody’s gonna penalize you because you have it. Oh,

Jade Beason
yeah. No one’s gonna be like, no one’s gonna Excuse me. I’ve not heard from you. In three days. I’ve blocked you like

Akua Konadu
not going to have fun Exactly. Like people are following you for a reason. And so you know, they’re going to be excited to hear from you. They’re going to cheer you on. And again, it’s a remembering that we don’t have any control. So really, I like that you have really set some nice parameters that really work well for you to where like you are enjoying the platform, which I think that’s what a lot of us need to get back to. Because we used to hear all the time. Oh, yeah, I miss like, where we just could only share just photos and this and that, but it’s like, everything has to evolve and you can still enjoy the process. So I really like that you have created some unique strategies that work really, really well for you. And it feels like current, like a breath of fresh air honestly, like I can, even just being consistent. Alright, well, if your consistency if your min is once a week, that’s fine. That’s your man. So it’s okay for that. Like, there’s Yeah, or it’s seven days, like, however that works. So I really I just love that you share that. And so what other as well like growth strategies are you seeing right now in terms of community building on Instagram? Yeah.

Jade Beason
And so there’s a few kind of circling around, there’s a few older ones that are still in play that I kind of wish they weren’t. And there are a few new ones, which I think are really, really working well. So something that I’m seeing that I think is working quite well for people is people doing something that I call manual reach, I always like to give things names, you’ve probably talked into it, it’s easy for me to refer to it, it’s basically the practice of taking like the reach that you’re gonna get from your content and taking that into your own hands. Because as I said earlier, Instagram is a difficult platform to control. Nowadays, it’s you could have the best posts in the entire world and do everything right, and it still might not take off. So when that happens, and you’ve got the best posts in the world, and you want people to still see it, because there’s value in it, there are things you can do to kind of take your reach into your own hands. And this is actually the strategy I use to launch the Instagram page for my new business, the crater project, and it worked very, very well for me. So there’s a few things you can do. First thing you could do is utilize any other platform that you’re on and start getting very intentional about driving traffic from that platform to Instagram. And the key thing to note here is that we’re not just talking about sharing a link to an Instagram post on your YouTube Community tab store we’re talking about, what we’re talking about is incentivizing people moving off of the platform they’re currently watching you on on Instagram, because to get someone to switch from tiktoks Instagram in one setting, you’ve got to give them a reason. So incentivize it and get people over to Instagram. So that’s one way that people are kind of manually controlling their age. Another way is to do things like partner or collaborate with another Instagram account that has a larger reach than yours. And this is something that’s been around for a really long time, but I still don’t feel like people utilize it anywhere near as much as they could. And Instagram has made it easier for you to do this now, because you can co collab and CO create a post that appears on both of your channels. And you can do this with up to three other people now. So this is the perfect time for you to really start collaborating with other people and sharing joint posts, videos, photos, you can go live up to three people as well. And going live is such a great way to really take control of your reach and actually ensure that you’re being placed in front of more people. So it’s just looking for those ways where you’re like, Okay, I’m gonna do something that isn’t completely algorithm based, I’m gonna do something where I’m like, I actually have a bit more control over who’s gonna see this here, if the algorithm loves it great, but I’m going to do what I can to actually drive some manual traffic there. So I’m seeing that happen a lot more now. And I want to see more of it. Because I think it is one of the best ways for you to actually grow on Instagram in 2023 1,000%.

Akua Konadu
And I think collaborations it’s true, I feel like people are sleeping on it. And I think the reason why is because we have seen where people with larger audiences don’t necessarily have the engagement. And it’s like, you don’t have to have somebody with a large following to collab, you know what I mean, you can find somebody similar audience size, if you’re what matters is that the engagement conversations are being happened, whether in the DM or the con, other comments, like, it doesn’t have to be so number based in a way when you’re collaborating, you know, just really again, think about what your goals are that clarity piece, and find the right person that’s gonna fit you doesn’t matter if they have a big audience or not, you know what I mean? Whatever, however you view it, what success looks like to you, but I love that I do think collaboration on Instagram is definitely still being underutilized. Because yeah, you can now collab with up to three people. So that again, expands your reach even more. So how can you leverage other people’s audiences to help you out? So and I love that. And then I think to your point, I didn’t realize that too, when Tik Tok blew up, a lot of people also grew on Instagram, because they were giving people reasons to get off of the platform. So that makes me feel good to hear that that is still working really well, because you are on multiple platforms showing up consistently there too. And using it for different reasons, but that’s still helping you in on your Instagram. And so another question that I have, too, is like, how are you currently? Just how is this fitting into your monetization strategy? More? So since you’re using Instagram for community building, not necessarily sales, how was that fitting into monetizing, making money off of like within your business? Yeah,

Jade Beason
for sure. So how I have basically kind of formatted all of my different marketing channels this year, which has worked really well. So as I mentioned, I’ve got the Instagram which is more middle of the marketing funnel stuff. So it’s more stuff where you’re trying to build a deeper engagement at the top where I’m really focusing on reaching as many people as I can. My YouTube is incredible for that my YouTube does a really great job of everything to elicit I tend to reach a broader audience from YouTube. Interestingly, also tick tock which I say is interesting because I’m not consistent on tick tock, I am changing that now. But I, I’ve left my tick tock to a side for a few months, but I still get a lot of people from my tick tock tick tock is a high reach platform. So it’s, it does really well, then people then go to my Instagram, and then they get to know me, and we can bond and I can speak with them, and we communicate better. And then that’s kind of where that relationship is built. At the bottom of the funnel, where the conversions are made, is my emails in my email marketing is where the conversions are made. Now, I haven’t sold massively to my audience this year, because I’m going through this slight business change and transition, I think I’ve only actually done one launch at the start of the year. But when I have sold, that’s what I’ve done. So that’s been the kind of marketing process that I’ve gone through. And I am doing like a virtual event for creators in a couple of weeks. And when I launched that, that will be the same way that I do it. So yes, I will still have, you know, messaging on my Instagram, where I’m talking about these tickets are now on sale, because of course, that’s it’s still important that you can talk about all these different things across all of your channels, it’s just knowing which channel was best at what, so that you could tweak your messaging a little bit, and you know how to measure everything effectively, you know. So that’s usually how I use I kind of like to work everything. And that’s how I’m able to still earn money. And I do have like multiple different income streams, though. And the ones that I’m referring to when I talk about the marketing strategy, that’s more my products and my services. And now this event series that I’m running, I do also work with brands, that’s quite a big part of my income. And that is just me having an engaged audience, regardless of the platform. And then we pick the platform based on their own objectives and goals that just works kind of regardless. And then yeah, I’ve got a few other bits and pieces here or there, I get paid from different social media platforms and stuff like that. So it works quite well, it creates a really nice ecosystem.

Akua Konadu
Yes, I love that ecosystem. That’s how I was thinking when you said that, because I’m like, Oh, it fits so nicely within your funnel. And again, just being really, I’m just gonna keep rehashing it just being very, very clear on what the purpose is that you’re using Instagram, and all of these social media platforms, I think is just so key. And to your point, email is king. Because we hear that all the time. We need to get people off the platform onto the email list. Because how many times have we seen social media be down or you’re in the middle of a launch and something happens again, we just don’t have control over these platforms. And I just I love everything that you shared just throughout this episode, because it’s you truly you really think in your mind what this is out of my control. But what do I have control over? Every single piece that you have everything you talked about this episode, you’re so intentional, and it’s all about, okay, I don’t have control over this. But I know I have control over this. So I’m going to use this to my advantage. And I think that is so powerful, just as business owners, because there are so many things that are outside of our control. But what we can do is just look internally like this be realistic about what we have control over and lean into it. Because girl, you live your best life, honey, you just seem so relaxed will be every everybody, like stressed out about? Like,

Jade Beason
I’m good, you know? Yeah, that’s so funny. I’m so glad you said that. Because yeah, one of the key principles I run my business by and my life is like, you have to control the controllables. And it is something that I’ve only become, like really engrossed with since I started my business. And I kind of went down like a self development journey. But honestly, the reason why I seem this way, and I have people say it to me all the time when they’re like, you know, Instagram, you’re dropping work, what if you’re dropping engagement? And what do you do when like, your videos don’t perform as well. And I’m like, you just ride the wave? And they’re like, how do you feel that way? Honestly, just ride the wave will go back up. The thing is, is I because I’ve worked with so many creators, and I’ve been so fortunate to do this so many business owners so closely as well, like you really, I feel like I have immersed myself in hundreds of people’s journeys and businesses, you kind of bring them on, and it makes it feel like they’re yours. So when you have that experience, and then you also have the experience of watching someone from the outside, and the impacts that things like their analytics can have on them. And the impact that things like focusing on the algorithm that they can’t control can have on them. And you have this ability to step back and see the bigger picture because it’s not you. When you do that with so many people, it’s hard not to start implementing whatever I’m teaching them and bringing that into my life. And it’s hard not to start to realize if I’m starting to do something similar. So I really credit all of the incredible people I’ve worked with. For that. They’re the reason why I’m able to kind of step back and be like it will be fine. I literally watch people go through these journeys over years and see where they are now. And I’m like see there was no reason for us to be so stressed was there was no reason at all, you know, so hindsight, beautiful thing. Oh, yes,

Akua Konadu
it is. I love that though. I I’m gonna start saying that I’m just gonna ride the wave doesn’t ever wave. But it’s so true. You know what I mean? It is again control the controllables that’s what I love that that’s just so so key. And so this question that I have, I don’t know if you’ve seen the trend on Tik Tok called D influence I’m seeing where you know people I don’t even know if they consider themselves influencers, but they pretty much lovingly lovingly kind of call out other influencers of just not them specifically, but their products or service like you don’t need to purchase that because you know, everything is all about influencing marketing on Tik Tok. I bought so many things on tick tock shop. But anyways all to say is I wanted to kind of utilize that same thing D influencing, but towards Instagram and social media. So what are some things that we need to D influence ourselves from? Yeah,

Jade Beason
that’s such a good question. There’s a few different things actually, I think one thing that we can do influence ourself on when it comes to social media. And I think we a lot of us believe that this has kind of gone away, but it hasn’t, I was actually on a call with someone earlier who’s experiencing this exact same thing. It’s engaging in any form of like inauthentic engagement or growth. And I call it inauthentic. Because it’s all encompassing. So yes, there’s the obvious stuff that we all know is bad, like the buying of the followers and the buying of the engagement. We all know that’s bad. It’s like a clear red tape. The thing is, though, there’s other stuff, there are engagement groups, there are follow trains, like things like that, where they’re real people involved. So you think that if you’re in an engagement group, and people are engaging with your content, and they’re real, that it’s okay. The problem is, is that not only is it against Instagrams guidelines, which is always an area that you want to avoid. But it’s also problematic because it is influencing your analytics, if you’re a part of an engagement group, and you’re receiving any form of engagement or growth, outside of any reason than the fact that people just like your content, if they’re engaging with your content, because you’ve part of a group, and they feel like they need to, it’s massively, massively limiting your knowledge and your awareness of what content is actually working for you. Because you don’t know what’s working, because everything has the same amount of engagement, because none of it is authentic. And that’s one of the most powerful things that you can have as a creator, is your analytics and your ability to go back on the past six months worth of content and see what has performed well, and then double down on that content. If you don’t have that data, then you’re actually just massively capping the amount of kind of results that you can get in the future. So you’re actually just holding yourself back quite significantly, too. So that’s something that I hope people will eventually completely stop using. I know they’ve died down, but they’re definitely still a thing, you’ll be surprised at how much of a thing they still are. And another one is comparison, which we are all victims of I do this do it sometimes as well. But more specifically, comparing your content or your performance or your brand partnerships or anything like that, to another creator, to the point where you’re letting this comparison impact your strategy. That’s when it becomes like a real problem. Because we’re all human. We’re all gonna compare ourselves from time to time. But if we’re able to do that, and then objectively be like, No, I’m gonna take a break from social media for the rest of the day and just chill, I’m gonna go journal, I’m gonna go for a walk, and I’m gonna feel fine. That’s amazing. You’re, you’re doing an incredible job. So the question that asked for me isn’t to never compare yourself. The ask is to, if you’re going to compare yourself, catch that you’re doing it and then distance yourself from it. Now what a lot of us do though, is we compare ourselves to someone else. And then we think well, okay, this person, actually only post stories and nothing else. And maybe I should change my entire strategy. This person only works with these brands. And even though these brands don’t align with my personal brands, maybe I should start working with them. This person targets this audience group, but I target this audience, maybe I should switch my audience group. These are big strategic changes that you’re making to your business, and you’re doing it off the back of a perceived result that someone else is getting, we have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes of someone else’s business or Instagram channel. We don’t know if their engagement is authentic. We don’t know if they’re purchasing ads, which there’s absolutely nothing wrong wrong with it’s a great strategy for a lot of businesses. But if you don’t know, someone’s putting money behind their content, and that’s why it’s getting such a huge amount of views, then you changing your strategy is going to throw you completely off course because you’re you’re doing different things, you know. So I just never recommend that you change your strategy based on what someone else is doing. And I always recommend that if you’re gonna compare yourself, which we all do, sometimes, we practice our little muscle to notice when we’re doing it and then step away.

Akua Konadu
Yes, that’s just everything was so good. I unfollow people that you know, friends, even like they know, I’ll tell them what I let you but I’m gonna mute or unfollow or whatever. Like I have been very honest with people. Because again, like it’s somebody who as a storytelling strategist, working in social media a lot you do, it’s very exhausting. And you find yourself comparing yourself and when you really don’t know what their strategy is. You also don’t know what it took for them to get to where they’re currently at. But we easily forget that on social media. Yeah,

Jade Beason
I was just gonna say, yeah, so I can’t tell you how many times someone said to me like, oh, but you know, I’ve noticed that you do this. They’ll say to me, but I’ve noticed that you send multiple emails a week, but then you’re also on this platform and then you post this amount per per week, and you do this per week, and I’m like, This is my full time job. And I have team, I have a team of people who are helping me and you are literally starting out on your journey, you have a full time job and a family and you’re comparing my content output. And this is a perfect example of why comparison is bad. Because this is not, it’s not the same thing. It’d be like me started, when I started my journey, comparing what I was creating, then to what I’m creating, now, it can’t be compared, it’s a completely different business. And this is literally my full time job. But we all do it. And or another good example is we compare ourselves our first post, we compare to our favorite creators 1000. Like they’ve been doing this for 10 years, and we’re like, No, I, if my first post isn’t that, then I don’t want to do it. And it’s like, to get to that point yet, we have to start and just get better over time. We’re not there yet. And that’s okay. And that creator, their first posts wasn’t good. And that’s okay, too. You know, they have to practice.

Akua Konadu
I mean, you have the time go back and scroll, you’ll find that, you know, they mean, I think I think we need to remember that you have everything that you need. Right now, in this season, you have everything that you need to be able to accomplish whatever it is that you want to do. And so not allowing yourself to be consumed by the success of other people instead of use it as an inspiration. And if you still can’t, then meet them. There’s so many, there’s so many outs, you know, just don’t get so wrapped up in something that’s so fleeting in social media. So I just love all of these advices. Because again, like seeing you where you’re putting in, like, again, you are having a lot of consistent content, you do things, but just to see somebody enjoying it, I think it’s just inspiring me. And I hope it’s inspiring you to that listening, that you can still enjoy social media. So I have loved this conversation. And so closing off this episode, I love to ask this question, what do you think is the biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail.

Jade Beason
So this is very aligned with everything we’ve just spoken about. I believe that the biggest differentiator is the fact that the ones who succeed, find ways to find some joy in what they’re doing over time. And that often might require a slight tweak in strategy, a slight tweak in approach, maybe even they hire people to take it over. If it’s simply something they no longer have the capacity to give the energy that that it deserves anymore. Maybe they hire people who are slightly better or quicker at specific parts of the production process. Maybe they keep it to themselves, but they say no to other projects that they have that same energy. And the reason why I think this is the biggest differentiator is because we all know consistency is truly the thing that’s going to unlock success, it is very difficult to remain consistent on social media for as long as the average person needs to to see success. If you hate it, it’s very hard. If you are like this is a chore. And every time you bring your phone out, you’re like, I don’t want to do this, you’re putting it off, you’re not going to stick with it. And if you do, you will not be creating the type of content that you that your audience deserves. I always say your audience can they can spill your energy. I’ve had a couple, if not even three, maybe two videos on my YouTube channel that I remember I created because I had to. And you can tell like I’m still smiling and stuff. But I have comments where they’re like JD, you Okay, your energy is slightly off, your audience can tell when you you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, and when you don’t want to be there, right? So you’ve got to find ways to keep that love of social media there and keep it alive, because that’s the thing that will get you consistent. And that is the thing that’s going to lead to success. Oh,

Akua Konadu
preach like that was oh, that was so good. Yes, finding joy, finding joy in your business. I think that’s just so so crucial. Because we forget that we get so caught up in the hamster wheel of having to get these tasks done. And I’d have to hit these goals and you don’t enjoy the process anymore. And all of a sudden, you either hit it and you’re like, not happy about it. You’re like what happened? Or you just you know, you forget and so I that is just such a key key thing in anything. And if you if there’s something that you don’t enjoy, if you have the capacity to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for help either bringing somebody on or finding a solution that’s going to work well for you. So I love that. Thank you. Thank you so much for this conversation Jade. Like I feel just super empowered now to like, go and just show up in a way that feels authentically me on social media. And so for people that want to connect with you, where can they find you? Yes,

Jade Beason
of course, I’ve absolutely loved having this conversation. So thank you for having me. And so they can find me on Instagram. My name is Jade Besian. That’s B e a s o n it’s all one word. Or you can check out the crater project underscore on Instagram as well which has a ton of free resources for you.

Akua Konadu
Awesome. Thank you so much. This has been a blast and thank you everybody so much for listening and until next time. That ends our episode of The Independent Business Podcast. Everything we’ve discussed today can be found at [email protected]. Head to our website to access for shownotes relevant links and all the resources that you need to level up. And if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss our future content. Drop us a review and leave our guests some love on social and thank you again for listening.

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