Authentic Online Marketing

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Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
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Ep. 16: Why audience clarity is the secret to driving traffic from your bio

Let’s talk audience clarity! So everyone knows how difficult it can be to get people off Instagram and on to your site, your podcast, blog website, or maybe an online shop. However, it’s not impossible and I’m living proof of that. I want to talk to you a little bit about just that today because there are a few simple tips which may surprise you that you can start using right away to begin driving that traffic from Instagram onto your site! But first, you have to get clear who it is you serve.

*This episode contains either affiliate links or links to my products. Should you choose to purchase, the show will go on! Woo hoo!

Click below for show notes!
https://authenticonlinemarketing.com/audience-clarity/

Click to learn more about the Authentic Marketing School!

christianbloggerscreentimeboundaries.teachable.com/p/authentic-online-marketing-school

Visit Alison’s IG
https://www.instagram.com/alisonsimmons.bible/?hl=en

Visit Michele’s IG
https://www.instagram.com/michele_bowman07/?hl=en

Visit Sarah’s IG 

https://www.instagram.com/sarah_e_frazer/?hl=en

How Audience Clarity Drives Traffic from your Bio


Like I’ve said many times before, a lot of people that follow me happened to be women my age. We’re in our second half of life. We’re trying to get used to not raising kids anymore, and it’s kind of exciting, you know, once you get over the grief and you realize, Hey, I can do some other stuff.

I’s fun to help other people, um, with this new project. Also, a lot of people that follow me are old souls. We just kind of connect for some reason. 

So you don’t have to be a certain age to benefit from this in other words or a female, but that’s who I work with usually. That’s the first step in fostering audience clarity. You have to get clear on who it is you serve. And the way I did this, I’ve told us before, I test it and I kept testing to see who responded to my content because I was also sharing my life.

Part of my life was caregiving. I was in and out of doctor’s offices with both my parents until my dad passed as one thing, I’m a GiGi. I share funny things about my grandkids. They sang happy birthday yesterday in my stories. You want to share things like that because story branding is crucial for audience clarity. You’re going to see where I’m going with this later.

Get clear on who you serve. And like I said, I’ll have a tool later for that. The reason that you want to drive traffic off of Instagram by way of audience clarity is largely because typically sales don’t happen right from Instagram.

Now it can happen, but especially if you have a service, it usually doesn’t happen right there. Really the key is to have a newsletter and that Instagram paired with a newsletter. That’s how I market. 

Get Clear


For example, I told my newsletter readers, “come watch the Live today.” It’s a training, so you can get in and on the loop. That works. Using them both and copying those links and things like that is super, super important. I’m going to take a break really quick to let my friend Alison, come on cause she’s going to tell us something.

Alison has all kinds of energy and she kills it on the Reels and teaches all kinds of Bible lessons. 

Alison: What I think is fun is that being part of your community has allowed me to get the feedback I need in terms of being encouraged.

So many women in your group comment on my stuff, but then they also send me private messages. You know, telling me the things that I’m like, I’m so insecure, but nobody knows that on Instagram. Behind the scenes I can share the insecurities and it’s been so helpful to be part of your community and know that we’re all going through this together.

I’m an accountability person. I love being held accountable. I love holding people accountable and being encouraged as part of that. That’s been, for me, the biggest take away from being part of your community in the last year.

Keep Going!


To reiterate, when fostering audience clarity you must know who you’re talking to and then get your link in bio set. Get your newsletter going. I’ve already given examples for what to use for link in bio, but some other things that you need to stay aware of is to post regularly and consistently keep going. If you don’t know what to post, at least post something! What’s your ideal time where you don’t really know that until you start posting regularly.

audience clarity quote image

It took me a while to figure out what days and times to post and what days and what times not to post. But I will tell you that Instagram’s algorithm will keep track of when you post. 

Post for your IDEAL audience

It’s so important to post regularly for your ideal audience. Another suggestion is to get more engagement. So you need more traffic in order to get them on your link in bio and to your site. In order to do that, you need more engagement.

Here’s some suggestions for engagement. One is of course Reels. I’m going to say Reels because that’s what Instagram is pushing out. And by the way, don’t ever delete a Reel because they could gain traction later on. On Friday, I posted a Reel and it just slowly took off.

There was like 300 views. Then I looked today and there’s over 1200 views on it. So, they kind of gained traction and you just never know. All video, not just Reels, but all forms of video are trending right now. You may be aware, but here’s an update. We don’t really have IGTV anymore. It’s all merged kind of into one form of both short form and long form videos, all in the same place. It’s a tab that looks like a little play button on your profile. It makes it a little bit easier to find and is a great tool for audience clarity. 

Another thing is carousels are hot because people like scrolling and the longer they scroll, the longer they stay on your site and the algorithm sees that and kind of pushes your post out there.

Know when to keep it brief

Another thing that you want to do for engagement is to not have too many long captions. Mix it up and don’t write a book every time. However, it is good to experiment with longer captions sometimes to keep people on your posts longer.

The authentic online marketing school, think Instagram meets newsletter. That’s how we’re talking about our Link in bio today, because where I’m going with this is you need a solid opt-in for your newsletter to help them work together. So with the authentic online marketing school, the first four weeks are the insider accelerator.

It’s all about capitalizing on the four key evergreen components of Instagram while staying abreast of whatever else is going on that they’re throwing at us. As a whole community, pods share hot seats. We’ll take a look at your bio, I give you feedback, tell you what to change, and the community gives their input too.

A word on the Authentic Email Marketing School

We talk about your content, how to gain followers, we have a little bit of a growth challenge, and then we solidify that Link in bio so that we can transition into the second half, which is email marketing school. So I have had great success with my email marketing school just in back in October.

We tested it and the members went bananas over it because after that I critiqued their welcome series, and if they didn’t have one, they walked away with one by the end of class. But also, if they didn’t have one, I had them send me their last three newsletters. I told them exactly what to change so that they could find their authentic voice. I know how to talk to my audience in a way that their audience would listen to and give them feedback and reply and respond. That’s what we do with a little bit of story branding.

I kind of coached students along with that, how to do storytelling and things like that

Incorporating Reels

What you want to do to get them to opt-in to your newsletter is to have a solid call to action, but not just one time, you need to talk about your newsletter more than once. Probably about every night. Really, if you are consistent on Instagram, you need to be talking about it in your Reels. I use Reels a lot of times to display and highlight my newsletter and I get subscribers from that.

 You can talk about it in carousels. You can talk about it in video or in regular posts, but you need to be talking about what you’re offering and it needs to be something really good so that people will want your product and get on your newsletter. This first opt-in is the first time that they see you off of Instagram.

So you’ve got to make it good. Then, you make the followup newsletters. Solid call to action, but always be dropping the breadcrumbs. Always be doing a call to action on every post so that when you do the call to action for opting into your Link in bio, they’ll actually be used to taking action on your site, that’s super important.

Have good CTA’s!

There are all kinds of calls to action that you can give. Even the small ones, like “drop a heart emoji” or “double tap if you agree,” but you have to get them on your post in order to gain the big ask, which is to grab your freebie or whatever your opt-in is like right now. Currently, mine is my Reels personality quiz.

Everybody wants to know what the answer to that quiz is because they want to know how to use Reels with their authentic voice. 

Let’s go back to clarity a minute. At the very beginning when I said you’ve got to get audience clarity on who it is you’re talking to, the tool that I was talking about is my hashtag formula tool kit. Now you may think hashtags went out the window, but they did not. They’re still very relevant.

Hashtags still help you connect with your ideal target audience. But if you don’t know who that person is, you won’t be able to find the correct hashtags. That’s why that is a bonus with my authentic online marketing school, because it comes with this workbook and worksheets that take you through all of the pain points of your avatar, because maybe you haven’t though that through. 

If you go through those audience struggles and triumphs and the things that you have in common with them, then that’s when you start developing your golden hashtags. I talk to you all the way through that in the videos and in the worksheets. 

Michelle joining us here is one of my members who’s been through this whole thing. The hashtag toolkit, everybody that uses it says it’s not just good for hashtags, but also good to really get the audience clarity you need.

“You’re not for everyone, and that’s a good thing!”

Let me just say, y’all, that the women I’ve worked with and the women that are in my community, they’re going places. Many of them have gotten clarity on their audience and developed podcasts. 

Michele, tell us a little bit about what you’ve learned through the hashtag toolkit and through our community, and how it has helped you grow on Instagram. 

Michele: The hashtags definitely have become more niched. I don’t know if that’s a good way to describe it, but we’ve narrowed down to smaller groups.

I’m trying to reach everyone in every category with audience clarity. Your message isn’t for every one is not going to relate to your message. Majority of the women that I serve are 40 and above some, there are some younger, but the majority are, are 40 and above. They’re Christian women and they’re in the same part of life. I am. They’ve got grandkids. They’ve got elderly parents, it’s so important to get clear on who it is, even down to the age I work with.

I’m thankful for your mentorship because when I look back on how much I’ve grown and changed because of the women in the group and because of your teaching.

Learning and growing

You’ll see all kinds of testimonies from people I’ve worked with.

People in my membership who have taken it before are rebranding to get audience clarity. So, it starts January 10th, but this is the black Friday sale! You get a buy one, get one free, basically. You get two for the price of one. The phase one is the insider accelerator, all about Instagram taking you through the four evergreen keys to IG. Nailing down your bio, what it needs to say in there through Zoom, Hot seats and things like that. We’ll get you squared away! Then we’ll talk about your content. Figuring out what to share and who is for getting your hashtags nailed down.

That’s one of the bonuses: the Hashtag formula toolkit. The growth challenge, learning how to grow your following, and then we will help you with that to get that going and get traction. Then the Link in bio, getting that all solidified, that’s phase one. While we’re doing that, I’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on on Instagram, and keep you abreast of all that and what to do since it’s always changing, always.

Community Grows Opportunity

There’ll be a great community aspect there with shared pods.

Phase two is the email marketing school where you will walk away with a great welcome sequence. If you don’t have a welcome sequence right now, you will walk away with one afterwards. It’s based on my cafe method: cue, aim, fire, and edge.

That probably means nothing to you at present, but you’ll learn. Users that have taken the school have gained so much confidence in how to deliver a newsletter that people want. Not only that, but to have an opt-in that really works. one gal, Melinda Patrick, after she took the school, she shared her opt-in in a Reel and gained seven subscribers right away. It works!

I just want to recap what I said at the beginning about the essential tactics for driving traffic from IG. In case you came in late first, get clear on who it is you serve. You’ve got to get clear on who that is, what demographic they are, what their likes and dislikes for the sake of audience clarity. 

Targeted Opt-In

You have to know that so that you can develop a targeted opt-in for your newsletter, which by the way, one of the bonuses for the email market or the authentic online marketing school is a bonus workshop on how to create an opt-in that people want for you, from you and how, and we have 35 ideas for your opt-in.

We also have headline templates, because often you just need to tweak your headline and that’s all it is to get people on your newsletter. So have a solid link in bio, use some kind of software or something, but make sure that it is clear. One thing I want to say is if you use something like Linktree, make sure that your opt-in for your newsletter is first. You need to get people on your newsletter before you get them to your website, shop, or anything else, because if you have them on your newsletter you can talk to them when Instagram goes down and you can say, “Hey, this sale is going on.” Or you can just be nurturing your audience which is super important.

Your ideal time is another way to get more engagement. Use longer captions and incorporate carousels. Like I said, make your opt-in first and your link tree and give a solid call to action. Not always “head to the blog,” not always “at my Link in bio,” but “double tap if you like Mondays.” Something specific and interactive.

You know, something easy that people can answer or do. Drop a ____ emoji below or something like that. Always give a call to action so that people are used to acting on your post so that when you give the big ask, which is head to my link in bio, click on it and get my freebie, they’re going to do it because they’re used to it.

ALWAYS remember… Know, Like, & Trust

You have to develop that know like, and trust factor, which is a whole other training that we’ll probably do later on this week, going live again, how to develop those connections with people, because there are ways to do that, too. If you’re interested in that, please give me a heart or something.

Then just be authentic, share your own goal. Don’t be afraid to be you because your people are going to show up. You can’t be for everyone. You’re not for everyone, but you are for some people. And that by getting niche down and clear on who those people are, is going to help you to get to your goal sooner and start gaining audience clarity.

That’s going to respond to your clear message that you’re going to offer, because you’re going to have a link in bio that reflects that. Now, speaking of link in bio, one of my members, Sarah Frazer, just joined. 

She was a client and then she was a member of my community. And she’s going to share her messages which is how young moms can get in the word quickly and easily. She has resources for all of that. And she just went through she’s part of my community, my insider community. 

Incorporating Actionable Steps

Sarah: I just want to say that I’m really glad that you asked me to speak because I have seen such a difference in my Instagram this year, after going through all of your trainings. I think I did everything you offered. The biggest impact that I’ve seen is that I now have actionable steps that I take every week to engage on Instagram. It’s easy there– I am a super busy person and I can do them.

They’re very easy to do. I’ve seen the engagement and my followers just explode. I’ve gained probably around 200 this year, which is a big deal because for the longest time I was just kind of stuck at the same number. It’s not a huge jump, but I’m sure Ruth has already said, it’s more about engagement than it is the numbers.

Engagement Over Numbers

I’ve seen such a huge jump in engagement. I get comments and likes on all of my posts. I get my posts shared and all the things that Ruthie taught is how that happened. It used to stress me to go on Instagram because I felt like I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know how to move forward.

Now I feel like I’m so much more confident on Instagram and I really sincerely enjoy it. It was so needed and Ruthie had the answer like every time. 

Ruthie: I’m so glad that you just keep sticking with me. That’s awesome. I see the growth and know you were kind of discouraged at the first of the year, but things have really changed. Tell them a little bit about your newsletter now that you’ve gone through the newsletter portion of the school.

S: So I’ve had an email list for probably about six or seven years and probably didn’t start sending a welcome sequence until about three or four years ago. I just had such a little open rate, like the first email would get a good kind of number, but the second email, the third, nothing.

It really works!

So I saw a huge percentage draw. I think it was around 15% open rate to begin with. Now I’m in the thirties and so almost double of what that was per email marketing course. Ruthie just has a way of explaining so clearly how to get our message across.

I really loved your email marketing course. That was a lot of value.

Definitely. 

R: I love story branding and teaching people how to do that. Um, but also it’s important to get other eyes on your content because a lot of times you’re just so close to it. You’re an author. You know, when we’re authors, our words can seem like our babies sometimes, it’s hard to give that up but it’s necessary.

R: I showed you exactly how to speak to your reader. It’s based on the four main points to the cafe method. Thanks Sarah!

Something for Everyone

With four weeks of newsletter story branding you’ll come away with swipe files, marketing prompts, and the hashtag tool kit.  You get feedback, hot seats, share threads, and there are always the Zooms with me where I give you feedback. On the newsletter part, I could take your newsletters and lovingly go through with red pen a little bit, but if you’re inside your head about anything to do with Instagram, like how you’re posting and your methods and your bio and how to get followers or maybe you’re wondering if your email opt in is a good enough. You wonder if your newsletters are saying what they need to, why aren’t people responding? I can give you feedback on all of that, because I’ve learned how to make it work.

Even if you have a big list like Sarah, or a smaller list.

The marketing school is a BOGO right now for black Friday. Buy one, get one free! It’s four weeks of Instagram training, one week to catch up, and four weeks of email training and one week to catch up. It’s a community driven course where I give you feedback. You can go look at the sales page linked here and at the top of show notes!

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