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Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
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Ep: 36 How Instagram accountability leads to growth

In this special episode, I interviewed several members of my Insider Intensive group about Instagram accountability! You’ll get to hear valuable insider information from these soon to be graduates. First, we hear from Melissa Smythe of Braver Boulder Living she and her husband share an account and run it. 

*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!

It Starts With Community


Melissa: At first, I was floundering. I knew in my heart what I wanted to do but I didn’t know how to express it. The ladies in this group tried to help me hone in and figure out how to say what I’m trying to say. For me, that means encouragement and helping people slow down and live Brave and Boldly for Jesus. 

Everything these women do in every area their life they live brave and boldly. That’s my avatar! Additionally, I needed women that have big dreams and want to pursue and live fully for God and not play small. 

That’s what these women do. None of us are playing small. We’re taking those brave bold steps of faith. Your group has just helped us to do that and that step out of our comfort zone. You push and you challenge us then you give us grace and instructions. Sometimes it’s scary but you’re doing awesome. I think I think that that’s been the biggest blessing for me is having other women around me who are dreaming big. They want to live all out for the Lord and do the business that God has put in their heart. That’s what I take out from this group. 

Ruthie: Community and mindset are so important for Instagram accountability. Then, eventually, that germinates and creates opportunity. This group has collaborated like crazy. Every day I get on there and it’ll say Jennifer and Vina are going Live together or someone else new from the group is going Live together. It’s amazing and I can’t even keep up you know. That is pride and in your message. I’m so so proud of you guys and the strides you’ve made.

Don’t go it Alone


Alison: I need to go from a very different perspective. My mindset is overly confident! I think I can figure this out on my own. However, there are things that I need to learn. So, I’m reaching out to you and getting information.  I learned that my overconfidence has pushed me to be very narrow in my view as to how to serve my audience. The Hot Seat experience that I had delivered Instagram accountability from you and from the rest of the women in the community. That message was, “Yes, you’re a teacher. Yes, you have great information. But, you have got to pull back and just be you.” 

I have this sense of humor. People are always telling me I’m making them laugh, but I wasn’t sharing that because I was so busy teaching them. 

As soon as I had that hot seat, the next day I shifted my strategy on stories completely in a different direction. The interaction I am getting now is through the roof on my stories!  I chuckle because I wonder, what do I have that people like? Well, I have a sarcastic sense of humor but turns out people love that. 

Get Vulnerable About Instagram Accountability


So it’s getting me in that direction. Then, when I share something raw and real and vulnerable. Over the weekend I got a horrible email and shared that with my audience.  I was flooded with messages from women who have never contacted me before but have been following me. They reached out just to encourage me and to tell me how I encourage them. I got a lot of thank you’s for being so real! I didn’t think I was connecting with women because I wasn’t teaching them about the Bible when in reality, they liked my sense of humor. They enjoyed me, and when I shared my vulnerability in the real life moment, it blew open the door.

This group has shown me that yes, You do need help, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it.

Explore New Neighborhoods


Jennifer: Yes, I came into this as “The Planning Woman.

I should have a plan, but I was not consistent on Instagram. I mean I’ve been on there for a couple of years. I know all the neighborhoods, but was I in all the neighborhoods? No, because I didn’t have all the skill or the knowledge to make the most of them. Learning how to do a reel or being encouraged go Live and all of that has helped tremendously. Now, I have a consistent schedule that even when we’re done with this group I feel like I have the plan.

Of course, I’m still tweaking and I’m still not in every neighborhood all the time. However, now I have that knowledge due to Instagram accountability. I have made better use of the hashtags and I’ve seen much more engagement. When I look at my analytics for my post yesterday, I had 14 new profile visits. 

Before the Intensive, I’d maybe have one. You know, I think the combination of putting it all together is finally working. I don’t have a way to correlate this exactly yet, but I looked at my stats for my newsletter list and it has grown quite a bit in the last couple of months. 

Those are people who hear from me every single week, want to know what’s going on and what I have to offer. Hopefully they will eventually become customers and all that down the road.  I have to echo the community has been great. Sometimes, you can’t see for yourself how confident you appear for others! You might think “I look like a dork” and then someone will say “no you’re very confident you’re very bold and prepared.” 

If you only knew the sixteen-year-old who used to quake in her shoes having to go speak in front of a class of 20, and now I’m putting myself out there for the world. It’s just been affirming that I’m on the right path with my message. Furthermore, it’s given me the encouragement to take it even further. 

Ruthie: I loved your transparent post yesterday about how you changed your Instagram profile picture. It’s these baby steps that she’s talking about. She referenced the neighborhoods of Instagram. Well, there are neighborhoods on Instagram or you can call them different platforms. If we talk about the Feed, that’s the one that most people use. Within the program, I and others will encourage you to use the different forms of Instagram. As many as you can or at least get comfortable first with stories! We talked about the different ways you can use these and that promotes Instagram Accountability. The stories, the reels, the IGTV and the Live. 

Get Hashtag Help

Vina: I’m gonna take off on your Hashtag help. I’m looking at my impressions yesterday from hashtags and I got 186! It’s important to remember I only had a personal account 3 months ago. I didn’t even have a business account! So I had no statistics or anything. I had maybe 350 followers, and now I have 517. I’m a writer, and people would say I need to have a platform. But I’m thinking, “I just want to write! How am I going to have time to write and build a platform?” It was too much. 

It was difficult for me to commit at first, as Ruthie knows, because I didn’t have the time. But, the course and the Hashtag Formula was a huge help. I used to ask my children, “what is a hashtag?” This whole new world opened up around it and it really works. This has helped my writing too, asking “Who is my ideal reader?” My avatar? My writing has deepened because I am understanding who my audience is. Whereas, before, I was writing to say what I wanted instead of what the audience needs.

 

Ruthie: That’s amazing! She’s talking about The Hashtag Toolkit, which I just touched on. There are worksheets in there that walk you through your avatar. You’ll learn what they need, what are their pain points, what are their struggles, etc. This translates into how you present your content and Instagram accountability. You learn what to share in stories, in your Lives, and in your Bio, which is very important. 

The Beauty of an Ongoing Experience

Brenda: I was thinking about it as everybody was talking. This group just thrills me! I love this group so much.  I started with your 7-Day story challenge. At the time, I thought this is really gonna be the bomb! It was. But then with Instagram, there’s just continued learning. That’s what you’ve done for us! It’s not like a 12 week college class where you have to learn everything, it’s been an ongoing experience. Along the way, we’ve helped each other tweak many things through Instagram accountability. 

There is no competition, it’s just all for one and one for all. I love that we each have a message in different ways, God has knitted us together. There’s just nothing worse than having a message that you feel like God wants you to give to help people and just not knowing how to do it. I think that’s a great thing about what you do Ruthie. 

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Reflect on the Information as Long as You Need

Diana: This has been really great! I just changed my account to a business account when I came on with you. Before that, it’s been personal and all I ever did was throw up a picture maybe three times a year. My hashtag when I started this was “I don’t speak Insta.” It was a learning from the ground up for me, but we’re getting there. One of the beauties of this is we get access to the resources even after the Intensive is over. 

I had to take things a little slower. My husband had a stroke during the beginning of this course, so I have taken a few steps back. But that’s okay. I am where I need to be right now and I can always go back! I’m still part of this group and it’s just a beautiful thing that no matter what life throws at you, you can always go back. You can rewatch the training 10 times if you need to.  You will learn things as you go. 

Ruthie: That’s the other thing you we start seeing in this community of ours. We start seeing each other’s products. Many women in the community have purchased from each other because we’ve developed that relationship! Wren has gotten several podcast clients. Jamie has gained a few clients for her marriage practice. Several others have done the same. It’s just a community of supportive women who are from all walks of life.

Uplift One Another in Times of Need

Melinda: I’m kind of with Diana. Right after I started this, we had something hit our families too. I’m walking through some last weeks and months of cancer with my ex-husband and my children. I have never been more thankful for this community for surrounding me during a difficult season. I think Melissa had talked about how it’s it’s a group of Godly women, and it is! We are not in competition against one another, we are for one another. 

The Instagram accountability and the friendship through this. I’ve also learned that my whole message is calling women to live life even while they’re in a waiting season. Even when life seems to be on hold! What I’ve discovered over the last few weeks just through this community and through doing everything that Ruthie has encouraged me to do is my woman doesn’t really want to know much about the wait. She wants to know about the life! How can I live? I was focusing on the waiting and now I’m beginning to shift out from the waiting to the living. Waiting is waiting, you know. How do I live in the midst of this?

I’m discovering a deeper pain point with my target follower. The ones that God has called me to minister to. 

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Collaboration is Key for Instagram Accountability!

Wren: Well, I was just going to add how many collaborations we have done with each other. I’m wearing Melanie’s earrings! She started a boutique in the middle of the pandemic when her company of 25 years shut down. It was perfect timing for her, now I’m wearing her earrings that she has on her group. I’m going to Texas next week and I’m going to be texting Brenda to figure out where to go. I was on Melinda’s podcast and I’m having Vina talk about rest on my podcast. There are so many things going on between all of us. The connections that we have are just incredible. 

Find Real Friends from Real Community

Suzanne: It is such a just community of fine women that do really lift one another up. We all have gifts that complement one another and that’s just awesome. I follow Jamie because I’ve been married for almost forty years. They are doing great stuff for the world! I love that, and so many others that I have followed and grown to love. It’s just a wonderful Community. There are so many Christian women out there who are just craving community, and this is where it’s at! 

Take the Leap

Melissa: I just wanted to say one of the things that Steve and I are very passionate about is stewarding well. Especially with our finances. We prayed long and hard about joining Ruthie’s training. We asked, “was this where God wanted us to spend our money?” I would like to encourage the women out there that this is the one of the best investments that I have made financially. I invested in what God has called me to do. If you’re hesitant about spending money, pray about it. It has been well worth the investment. Steve and I have many conversations in the evening about just how glad we invested in Ruthie! 

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