Authentic Online Marketing

Get on the AOMS Waitlist & Get your Reels personality mini Course >>>

Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
Instagram engagement tip feature image

Ep. 5 Q&A: 3 Tips for optimal Instagram post prep

Optimal Instagram post prep…ever wish someone would tell you the best way for this?  That’s why I’m focusing on this message today – look no further!

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


Listen to Ep. 63: Leveraging 2023 Instagram Trends

Listen to Ep. 61: Combining Instagram and email marketing in 5 smart ways

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

Listen to Ep. 65: 7 Ways to Reach New Followers

Optimal Instagram Post Prep and other Instagram Insider Hacks Podcast Member Questions

What would you say is the ideal length for a Live video segment? 10 minutes?

Honestly it depends on how big your audience is. If you are just starting out and have less than a hundred followers you may not be super engaged with them yet. Start out with 5 minutes. and if you have my GO LIVE! Jumpstart Kit, you know that I advise priming your audience so they’re going to know you’re you’re going to go live and they’ll show up.

If you are delivering value and answering questions, your live may actually end up being longer than you planned. That’s okay because if your audience is interacting with you that means you’re doing something right! So my advice is if you are first starting out with live shoot for 5 or 10 minutes and modify from there. It’s a different time for everyone. My lives do well and usually last third anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes because my audience is very interactive and interested. Sarah@SarahRollandini

Should you use IG filters on your live videos?

I am not super impressed with Instagram filters. Most filters are sort of funny like they’ll have sparkles or flying arrows or you can have a scary flashlight under your face or you can even be in a television. I don’t advise any of these for your lives if you’re trying to get people to take you seriously. 

I say go raw and real let people learn about Michelle –  the real person – and unless you have a comedy spin to your Instagram platform and you’re really trying to get your humor out there, do not use a filter unless you find one that doesn’t detract from your message and really enhances your face. 

Michelle Bowman@more_life_now

I wonder about the intro and outro.  Is there a right way or a beneficial outline for lives?

This will help with optimal Instagram post prep because you can now save lives to IGTV and have a cover photo.  My suggestion is pin your title in the comments so that people know when they pop in what your subject is {NOTE:  LIVE format has changed since this recording.  When setting up lives, you no longer have to “pin” titles – you can now insert title in the left tool bar before going live.}

Be sure to have your face ready –  many times when people start Instagram lives they’re really concentrating hard on if their title is pinned or if they look right –  don’t primp!!!! It’s good to come on and be bubbly and talk about something right away that delivers value while you’re waiting for your audience.

The other thing is you may want to have a prop – hold something up – your favorite coffee mug or something that relates to your subject. As people enter, be sure to greet them and even use the wave emoji beside their name.

For the outro it’s good to sum up what you talked about and have your notes in front of you to sum up the main points. Be sure to say goodbye and thank them for coming.


3 Tips for Optimal Instagram Post Prep

What’s the best way to fit preparing my posts into my day without taking the whole day or several hours per day?
3 tips for Optimal Instagram post prep: 

 Take a day and look at your month at a glance on your calendar and mark the days that you’re going to post – say it’s Monday Wednesday Friday or Monday through Friday. Jot down what topics you’re going to post about each day of course this means that you already have ideas of the topics that you regularly share so if you’ll go back and look at categories that will help so write down in your calendar what you going to talk about each day just do that in one setting it should take you less than an hour maybe 30 minutes. Resource mentioned:  Authentic Instagram Engagement Course 

Gather your photos – from camera roll or your stock photos whatever you use and select the ones you’ll use for the month and put them in a google doc or scheduler. 

In the third setting bang out the captions

These are my 3 best tips for optimal Instagram post prep that will set you on track for success in consistency in posting! Deanna@werebettertogether3.13

5. Does my live automatically save to stories or do I need to do anything?

UPDATE: Your live no longer lives in stories. After you’re done you have the option to save it to IGTV now which is really great because it means that you can keep it for longer than 24 hours. You can select to have a preview in your feed so that counts for another feed post.

This is great because a lot of times I have wished that people could watch my live and see all the questions I answered and many times I’ve had people say, “Hey is your live still up – I wanted to hear what you said about how to schedule on Instagram…?”,  or whatever the topic was that day and I would tell them they only had a couple more hours to view that live. Yes, you do need to be intentional about where your live goes after you’re done. You do have an option to save it to your camera roll as well.

BONUS TIP:  For optimal Instagram post prep, create a feed post cover graphic before you save your live to IGTV!

UPDATE:  You can also download yours or other’s lives straight to desktop now!


Authentic Instagram Engagement


6. Do you have any advice for those of us struggling to narrow down our niche and avatar?

I understand this question and where you’re coming from ! It can be a struggle to narrow down your niche and avatar, but my best advice is first of all to get really clear on who it is look at your audience that’s following you already and ask yourself these questions:

What is their age group? What are they going through in that age group? For instance, are you speaking to young mothers?  If so, then they’re raising young children; subsequently, if it’s Millennials then they’re having the time of their lives somewhere. (lol.)  And in a similar vein, if it’s empty nest moms like mine, I like to post about things that have to do with adult children and grandchildren and funny memes about growing older and having flat arches and wearing readers.

Meanwhile, take a good look at your current audience is because it may not be who you think it is. Look at your Analytics and then go from there. What is resonating with your people?  Go back to your IG insights and determine to post more of that content and see if it points to a certain demographic or age group. 

If you put these practices in motion, it will really help towards optimal Instagram post prep! And if you need more encouragement on this, go back to episode 3: 5 Truths for overcoming Imposter Syndrome (fear of posting)



1 How long should IG live be?

 Start with 5 minutes and go from there

2 Should I use IG filters on live videos?

 Short answer: Not if you want to be taken seriously.

3 Is there a proper intro and outro for live?

Intro: Be happy, greet newcomers, use a prop, and chat about your topic.  Outro:  Wrap up topic points, give a cta, warmly say goodbye (maybe even announce the time of your next live)

4 Best way to schedule posts without taking massive amounts of time

Break it up into 3 settings (making sure to establish categories first) and 

  1. Jot topics in calendar
  2. Select all photos
  3. Write captions

5  Does my live automatically save to stories?

You MUST select what you want to do with your live after it’s over.  UPDATE: Live no longer saves to stories for just 24 hours.  You now have the option to send it to IGTV with a preview in the feed.

6 How does one narrow down niche or select an avatar?

Assess your audience.  For instance, look at insights – what content resonates, what worked before as far as engagement?  Does it seem to fit a certain demographic or age group?  Post that kind of content again and see what happens, and keep going.  Don’t stop, keep posting.  

Be sure to check out my exclusive patron member special by going to

Resources Mentioned:

Authentic Instagram Engagement Course – 7 Strategies for Building Your Tribe

GO LIVE! Jumpstart Kit

GO LIVE! Instagram Jumpstart Kit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *