If you’ve grappled with how to pivot your online business, today’s show is for you! How many times have you pivoted? I’ve done it a bunch. In fact, I just did it again. Not really pivoted my business per se, but renamed the podcast, just to give you a broader view of the inner workings and outer workings of Instagram.
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Reels Crash Course
How to Pivot Your Online Business
So let me start at the beginning. About a million years ago, I started in blogging. Real talk here. Probably about 12 years ago, I sensed that it was time to write and I felt something inside of me, stirring. I’d been writing my whole life!
I used to have a guest column, a parenting book, and in our local newspaper. I’ve done different things with writing through the years, but my kids were leaving home and I was thrust into the caregiving scene, pretty hot and heavy. You may have heard that. So I had all these feelings inside.
I wanted to start putting them on paper– actually PC. I started a blog on Blogspot. My first blog, actually, even before Blogspot, was on wordpress.com and it was my triathlon adventures, then it was my mountain biking adventures, and then it was about running.
I used to be a personal trainer. I’m not that anymore, but I do know the basics. I’m writing now! So the first blog I had was called Live, Laugh, Love. There I’d tell stories about my family, what we did, road trips, things like that. My friends and family, they were amused. It was funny because there was always something going on in our house because I’m married to the guy who does everything. I also have a few kids who do everything.
I have four kids, two grandkids, and three in-laws I call my own. Our family has grown a lot since then. Anyway, I realized that probably if anyone else outside of our family was going to read this, I’d need to write something more relatable. So I started a cooking blog which was fun but a lot of work.
I decided to start a WordPress.org blog called Rear Release Regroup because that was the time of life I was in. I wanted to mentor younger moms to prepare them for the future. I’ve been mentoring moms for years, giving advice on child-rearing and so forth, just from things that I’ve learned along the way.
The Lord has walked me through different parenting seasons, from toddler age to teens and now young adulthood and letting kids go. That is a real passion of mine, still! I wrote on that blog for five or six years really religiously. Then, I started a Facebook group centered around motherhood anger and frustration.
I built that up and I wrote a couple of books which you can still get on Amazon. Count to Nine, Nine Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. Then, I wrote another book about the eight mindsets for the mom who feels like she’s failing. I enjoyed it, but I needed to be paid for the amount of hours that I was spending online.
I also got a big nudge from my husband who said, “It’s okay if you’re paid for your work.” So, I had to do some thinking about this. How could I make this into a business that was still something I enjoyed? I wanted to continue to write and still feel like I was contributing to society in a positive way and more importantly, glorifying Jesus.
Reevaluating to pivot your online business
As I did that, I started to reevaluate what I do and what I do well. Here’s a tip for you: If you’re wondering the same thing, listen to your peers. I’ve mentioned before that my peers were pointing out to me that I was doing a great job on Instagram.
All I was doing was experimenting with what I was good at and I was really growing a community there effortlessly. After that, I decided maybe that was my superpower.
I started running accounts for people and growing their accounts really well. You’ve heard this story if you’ve been with me any length of time.
I started consulting with clients and I built memberships through 2020 and 2021. I read a book by Greg McKeown called Essentialism, which changed the trajectory of my business. I’ll never forget this graphic included in the book of two circles. One circle has arrows coming out from it all around the circle.
The other circle has an arrow going straight up from it. The point is, if you’re trying to do everything, then you’re not going to get. Much done, but if you try to do one thing, well, you can really gain momentum and cover ground. That’s when I decided that I could create a business and help women with Instagram.
That was my pitch. You may say, well, what did you do with your blog? The blog was called RuthieGray.Mom. I just decided to do my content here on this same blog. My tagline before was “Mentoring moms to capture joy in parenting.” Now, the tagline is “mentoring moms to capture joy in home and business. That is where I house my podcast. Now, you may not have the same philosophy as me, but my philosophy is sort of the easy button. What is the most simple thing? The simplest way to get from A to B without thinking so hard or my brain cramping up and doing all these other things myself and having to clean up all this other stuff, what’s the simplest way to get from A to B.
For me, the simplest way was just to do it with the platforms that I already had. I stuck with the blog and I did try to create a new Instagram account when I realized that it just wasn’t working. So, I decided to go into business with Instagram. I wasn’t employed by Instagram by any means, they don’t pay me.
Instagram is in love with Instagram and not anyone else. Just throwing that out there. Personally, I couldn’t do it. I don’t really advise running two accounts. It’s very hard to run two Instagram accounts and do it well if you’re one person and I am just one person– I’m thinking you probably are too.
So, I came back over to Ruthiegray.mom and said, “Okay, everybody, this is what we’re doing now.” I know of a mom mentor, but we’re going to go this direction now. And do you know what? Here’s the thing. Most of my moms stayed with me and the reason that they stayed with me was because they were already invested in my teaching.
I don’t know how you feel about the word Superfans, but it’s the best way I can explain. They’re not my fans because they’re my community. What I’m trying to say is once you earn the trust of your people, even if you take a pivot, they will stick with you because they love you even more than what your message is about.
Because if you think about it, you are your brand, you are your message. Your personality is a message. At least it is on Instagram. Instagram is where you can shine your personality and your message. These gals, they stayed.
What is your superpower?
They’re still in contact with me. Some of them say, I wish I was really building an Instagram account because I could buy even more. I want to ask yourself three questions if you’re either pivoting right now or considering a pivot. Number one, what is my super power?
Like I’ve said before as well as in the trailer for this new season of the Authentic Online Marketing show with Ruthie Gray. My superpower is Instagram. However, if Instagram’s shut down tomorrow, I would not fade into oblivion because I have other plans in place online. One of them is my newsletter. I have newsletter readers that, out of all the newsletters they receive, they save mine.
They sit down, ready with a nice cup of coffee in hand when they have time to read it. I love that because I love wordsmithing. I love crafting words that move people and spur them and incite them to do what God is prompting them to do. So, writing is my superpower. And building community is my superpower.
I teach how to do that in my Instagram Membership and my Insider Intensive, which by the way, is opening in late Augus! So, keep your ears open.
What is the low hanging fruit?
Number two, what is the low hanging fruit for me? When my husband said, look at what you’re creating, what could you charge for that would pay you back? For the work and the tons and amounts of hours that you’re putting, and then pull back from so many, so many hours. What can you do that you would feel like you were serving your audience and yet you could still charge that for them.
I was teaching Instagram and eventually transitioned into coaching clients and opening my memberships. That was it for me. That was the low hanging fruit. What’s the low hanging fruit for you. what’s right in front of you that you might be ignoring. That’s super easy for you, but it’s not easy for everybody.
What is the simplest way to pivot your online business?
Think about it. Come on. You’re smart! And you’re smarter than you think you are. Number three, ask yourself this: What is the simplest way to go about it? Don’t go all around the horn. For me, it was simply transitioning my blog. I changed my Instagram account name so many times.
I can’t even tell you my old username, but I did it and I just stayed the trajectory. Not everybody will encourage you to do that. I’m saying that this is what worked for me. Think about what is the simplest way, because often we get so paralyzed in all the different steps that it is going to take. Then, we do nothing.
1. Don’t do what everyone else does
That’s not good. Right? What’s the simplest way? Okay, so three things to do. I want to give you this parting advice about your pivot. Number one. Don’t do what everyone else does and follow what everyone else says. You are the only person with your personality. So do what feels right between you and God.
Pray, pray, pray. Take it to the Lord, read the word, meditate on it, and then go for it. Go. And not everyone will agree with your decision, but you just have to let that go. Especially if you know, in your heart of hearts, that is the step for you. Let the naysayers go. Just don’t just let it roll off your back.
2. Choose one authority to follow
I had naysayers too. I did, but I knew I was doing when I was supposed to. Number two, choose one authority to follow and move forward in a straight line. One authority, not a whole bunch. If you’re trying to learn Instagram to pivot your online business, just follow me. Everybody is trying to establish themselves as an Instagram Authority.
Choose one, because if you think back to the circle with all the different arrows it doesn’t work, just choose one and purchase coaching in whatever area that is, if needed. I have a coach. I invested, was moving very slowly, like a snail in my business until almost the end of last year, 2020, when I secured personal business coaching.
3. Just Move!
Within four to six weeks, I had made five figures. This is after trying for years to do that. You can do this too, but you probably will need to invest. Number three: just move. A friend of mine always says you can’t steer a parked car. And also, I just heard this brilliant line on Downton Abbey from lady Sybil Crawley.
You may have heard it too. “No one hits the bullseye with the first arrow.” It takes practice. You’re not instantly going to be good at Reels. You’re not instantly going to be good at building a blog. Not instantly going to be good at graphics. You’re not instantly going to be good at newsletters, but you have to take the first step.
Let me review on your pivot, ask yourself three questions. What’s my superpower, the low hanging fruit, the simplest way to go about it. And then do these three things. One: Don’t do what everybody else is doing. Do what is right for you and that is crucial in the journey to pivot your online business. Number two, choose one authority to follow and number three, move move.
You can do this. Reels are coming in hot and heavy. So, get in my free Facebook group, it’s called Authentic Instagram Engagement. You’ll be able to hear the latest chatter, share your Reels with others and get ideas for your own.
I am also now offering a Reels Crash Course! Click to view the course details and sign up if it sounds like something you’d benefit from! You’ll learn step-by-step basics for posting Reels, algorithm hacks, and simple but powerful insights on how to work Reels into your posting schedule.
You’ll have to request to join and you will be asked three questions and then you will be admitted and all your dreams will come true. Well, okay. So that’s kind of a joke, you got to do the work, right? Thanks for listening this week. Join me next week! My special guest, Wren Robbins is going to talk about how she started and grew her coaching Instagram account to a hundred within weeks.