Authentic Online Marketing

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Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
Easy Instagram story ideas

Ep. 16: Case Study: Easy Instagram story ideas to attract followers

Need some easy Instagram story ideas to attract followers?  In this episode, you will find 3 Keys to using stories that convert followers to friends to eventually… customers!

Case Study: Easy Instagram story ideas to attract followers.

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


Sign up for the 7-Day Instagram Story Challenge

Follow Michelle from More Life Now

Check out Canva software for graphics

Listen to Ep. 58: 7 tips for repurposing Instagram stories

Listen to Ep. 30: 2 Easy ways to repurpose stories to Reels

Listen to Ep. 41: What to share in stories

Listen to Ep. 37: How to drive Instagram traffic with stories

Instagram Stories are key to deeper connections with your target followers. In today’s interview episode you will learn what to share in stories and why these steps are so important. When you open up stories, you will find 3 key platforms: Stories, Live, and Reels.  I used the Instagram live platform to interview my guest and tape this episode at the same time – talk about repurposing!  My guest  shares how she uses stories to develop conversations and a cool software tip she uses that you may not be aware of.  This is part one of 2 episodes on stories, and in next week’s episode, I give you all the scoop about Reels and why you should be using them!  So stay tuned and hang on because you’re going to learn how to connect with your audience.  

Michelle, from more life now is one of my pro coaching students. And she’s going to share with us how stories have helped her, to reach her target audience member or her target follower.  So here is the nice thing about going live – you can repurpose into IGTV and save it to your feed. 

And secondly, when you have a guest on, all their friends are notified that they’re live. And all your friends are notified of your live, which means more eyes on both your accounts!

R:  Tell us about your account, what your message is. 

M: Anybody that follows me will find out quick enough that I follow Jesus and have more life now because I have him in my life. And that is one of the biggest things, but I like encouraging women.

That is one of my top number one, things is encouraging women praying for people, I teach people about natural wellness with essential oils and nutrition, and just trying to teach people how to get the toxic stuff and people out of their life and get the good stuff in. I love that. And you know, also the undertone, I feel like with you, Michelle, is that you can have more life right now, no matter what your circumstances are, because it’s never going to be perfect.

I’m being very vulnerable here right now. My husband got laid off his job at the end of June. But we’re not going to dwell on any negative. We’re not going to worry about it because we know that God has a plan and we’re going to walk it out.

R: And we have been praying for you, Michele. So if you’re here listening,  please pray along with us, for Michele and her husband for his job. 

Easy Instagram Story Ideas: 7-Day Instagram Story Challenge
So let’s talk about stories a little bit, Michelle. So when you first started using stories, did you know what you were doing?

M: I was nervous at first because I thought, what if I mess up and then I was like forget it. Who cares? You mess up? Everybody messes up. So I first,  

I used to just share graphics.
I would share positive encouraging words and things like that.
And that was it.
I didn’t understand hashtags.
I didn’t understand stickers.

And then I met the lovely Ruthie Gray and my life changed. 

R: You said something there though – you do have to start somewhere. 

M: You just start because you don’t really know what you’re doing in the first place on stories. 

What was the first thing you did with me?

M: the 7-Day Instagram Story Challenge was first, but watching you is actually the way that I learn. I’m always remembering that I forget to do a call to action.

And that’s one of the biggest things that I’m working on right now in stories is that, and of course placing stickers in there.

Always making sure I do the call to action. And if I place a couple of stickers and I don’t want people to see them, I find a pretty flower to put a sticker to place over it yet. So there’s a lot of, , great tips that Ruthie shares in her teaching. In the free seven day Instagram story challenge.

R: So yes, we started interacting in stories and that was fun. Have you kind of hit your mojo? Like what you like to do in stories or what you are sharing on a regular basis? How are you using stories? What are some easy Instagram story ideas for follower connection?

M: To do lives but I’m also creating stories and I put those in my highlights of things that I want people to be able to go and look and learn from like about essential oils, but also like inspiring things.

Sometimes I just jump on for a minute or so to create a story just to encourage people. So I’ll put it down in highlights and inspiration. Because we all can use a little inspiration. 

R: So I always say for stories, make sure that your stories are educating, encouraging, or entertaining one of the three.

R: And I think you do a good mix of that, Michelle, and you said something very key there: sharing in stories and then to highlights. 

Some of you may not know this, but you can only get your posts in highlights if you share it to stories first. 

I did a little bit of tough love on the podcast, episode 11: Don’t keep talking about your product all the time or you just deaden your audience and repel them. And so what you want to do is kind of educate them about the product, but also just educate them in general, on topics surrounding your product.

So you do that in stories, right? 

Easy Instagram story ideas for educating followers about your product

M: Yes. That is something learning how to teach people, whether they buy my product or not, there are ways they can get toxic stuff out of their home and replace it right away, whether they buy my product or not. And I encourage people to do that.

I like teaching people and whether they’re already using my product, I still like to help them and teach them because the more you teach other people, the more you’re going to learn too because they’re going to ask questions. 

R:  That’s right. Value, value, value. That’s what you want to deliver in your content and especially in your story. So what are some fun things you’ve done with stories lately?

M: Well, I’ve tried reels, but I didn’t really, I’ve got to play around with that one.

(More on Reels in next week’s episode!)

So I’m not afraid. Asking questions. Yes or no questions.

Now I’m playing with Canva and they have a whole, so selection of questions and things you can actually to ask people, it’s making it much simpler. So asking people about them and learning about who’s actually following me and what their needs are.

Yes. That’s how you connect with your avatar, your target follower by asking lots of questions about them, getting to know them. It’s about them, not about us.

quote: be real in your stories; easy Instagram story ideas

Use Canva templates for easy story ideas

R:  Let’s talk about the tip you just gave about Canva. So you’re saying to use Canva for story templates.

M:  I have to confess up playing around three hours last night, looking at all of it. There’s so much there. So simple. Today I shared in my stories, five things I was thankful for with a Canva template, and then shared a blank one so other people could post what they’re thankful for.

R:  A lot of times we just need some inspiration. We don’t know what questions to ask. We just need a little bit of help to jar our brains. I’m so glad that you shared that tip. That’s a great tip because we need to use stories. to leverage and develop relationships. So have you found that you are getting some regular DMS through the use of stories?

M: Yes. There are people that I have that must have me tagged and I just want to shout out and thank them for that because they’re constantly replying to my stories and sending emojis and all the things. So I go back and check out  their story, because the more followers you get, it is harder to keep track of people. So I try to keep track of the people who are keeping track of me.

R:  PRO TIP:  One thing people might not realize is that when followers watch your stories, then your story pops up right beside their profile.

So they’re being reminded. “Oh, I watched Michelle’s story.” So you want to stay closer to their profile, that really does you a big service.

M:  My stories are scattered throughout the day. So they see another story instead of just one a day.

R:  That is another great point and something that I try to do too.  Instead of like doing 25 frames, at the top of the day where people might just tune out if they’re all a lot alike, all you talking, it’s better to spread them throughout the day, like twice or even three times a day, if you can, and just sharing life. What are some life scenarios that you share in stories, Michelle?

M: We live in an RV, so that’s why it looks like I’m in an RV bathroom. Sometimes this is my office.  So this is where I do a lot of videos. If you see me in here, this is probably the background – I’m in the bathroom doing a video.

We got rid of all our stuff. last year, we live 100% in our RV,  and we’re empty nesters like you,  and you have an RV, just got a new one. So we have grandkids and, all those kinds of things.

So those are the kinds of people that usually relate to, and there’s some younger ones that like to learn from where I’ve been, and that’s why it’s so important to be real in your stories. You don’t have it all together. Cause people don’t want to follow people that have it all together. People they relate to real though. And that’s why I like to jump in stories. I’m purposely trying to come in at least once a day in stories talking.

Just so people know, Hey, I’m a real person. I’m not just sharing these things and maybe to encourage other people to not be afraid and do it. 

R:  So have you found that you’ve made some connections and some clients through your story?

Easy Instagram story ideas for direct messaging

M:  Oh, definitely. Definitely. There’s people who may never see my feed. As much as the people who are going in my stories and there we connect through stories and then we start direct messaging. And yes, that is definitely, ,one of the ways it’s more intimate,  stories make you more personable to people and you develop that know like, and trust factor with them, and then you you’re generating the conversations about them.

R:  And then they start saying, really like Michelle. She lives in an RV. She’s an empty nester. Like me, maybe there really is something to this essential oils things she’s doing. And since I like her and have gotten to know her, I may as well ask her – and that’s the beauty of it. 

Well, thank you so much for coming and spending time with us today. Michelle.

M:  I’m so glad to be here and I really want to encourage anyone who has never done a live to just do it done is better than perfect. I used to be so scared to talk in front of people. And now when I look where I’m coming from to here, it makes me cry.

R:  The more we do it, the better we get at it.  Y’all go give Michelle a follow. 

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