How she secured a book deal from her Instagram platform; client case study from Jamie Bailey from @expeditionmarriage
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7-Day Instagram Story Challenge
Featuring pro-coaching member, Jamie Bailey, from @expeditionmarriage on Instagram.
Episode 4: How changing my Instagram strategy delivered clients (without sale pressure)
Welcome to another episode of the Insta-transformation series, These interview episodes highlight pro-coaching members, sharing their personal triumphs and how they made Instagram work for them.
Jamie Bailey is a Professional Christian Counselor and Marriage Coach. Together, with her husband, they run a private practice and a marriage ministry, Expedition Marriage. You can find Jamie in her office, speaking, leading marriage retreats, or teaching seminars. She’s been a wife for 25 years, and is a mom to three adult daughters and two precious grandkids. Jamie has a passion for helping healthy couples continue to thrive and helping hurting couples find the fullness in Christ that they were meant for.
She secured a book deal on Instagram…but first, the bad news…
Q Let’s talk about your Insta-life before.
The learning curve was huge, but we wanted to cast our net wider and use Instagram as the launching pad. But we had zero idea how. I played around with format and branding and if you view our IG from the beginning, what you’ll find is an entire page of just a bunch of quotes. From the beginning we wanted authentic followers so we were fine with slow and steady, but it was realllyyyy slow.
Q. That’s something I always mention – growth may be slow when you’re building meaningful connections. But what kind of engagement did you have during the days of those golden nugget quotes?
A. We got some likes but it was rare to get comments. I didn’t know at that time it was important to engage with people.
Q. Did you find that discouraging or were you wondering if you were on the wrong platform? What made you decide that maybe you needed help?
A. I wouldn’t call it discouraging, just frustrating putting out great stuff that we know works and it felt like we were spinning wheels. I was constantly creating content and it was a lot of work with little results.
Q. When you put all that time into it and you know your content is good, you wonder what you’re missing. What was the key point or time trigger that made you take action to get help?
A. I listened to podcasts and started being open to new ideas and knew I needed to invest in learning. Instagram was always intimidating to me. But I started watching you and stepped out and took your story challenge. I remember it blew my mind when you taught us how to change our color page. It opened up a whole new world.
Q. What Jamie is talking about is something we referred to in Episode 4 with Cathy Lawdanski – my 7-Day Instagram Story Challenge. There’s a whole new world out there on IG once you add the video aspect and the challenge makes it easy and fun to learn.
A. Yes I was loving all the new things on Instagram with stories. And the thing with Instagram is it’s scary to put your stuff out there so that kept me from doing it for so long but in talking with you saying just do it, those little baby steps taught me it was ok and I was relatable.
Q. You can delete your stories if you want but you can become so anal that you become frozen and don’t take action. I think after that you joined my Instagram pro membership.
A. Yes, I did a couple of your free challenges and knew that I needed to work on my own comfort level. Through the program and training with you one of the biggest things I learned was that people wanted to see ME. I learned that even though I put out great content, they need to learn to know me. I learned how to share myself so now our followers know who is behind our account now.
Q. Yes, I remember that coaching call so well where I encouraged you to share a few aspects of your life with your followers. You said there’s nothing interesting about my life and I said listen it doesn’t have to be groundbreaking and I remember you decided ok
A. I felt like my life was so boring, I’d had several surgeries and wasn’t going anywhere but you encouraged me to start sharing my story about my leg. I took a trip to Seattle and shared my progress and my story and through that people connected and laughed with me and cried with me and it was great for them to see me as a real person and relatable. Because even if they weren’t struggle with a foot issue, they were struggling with something and it became a mutually beneficial relationship we had with our followers. Everyone has a story of hardship and that’s important to share with with people.
Q. I remember encouraging you to share and that when you did it would take you to a whole new level.
Q. So how has all of that helped you be able to relate to your target audience.
A. I remember you encouraged us to decide what is the core of our message and we came up with a message and a scheduled plan. We’re about our faith, truth and wisdom, fun and encouragement, and authenticity. And when we took those foundational concepts we were able to go with a plan of what content. That has been game changing for us and since it was more narrow, it’s attracted the specific audience of who we’re looking for.
Q. So having those categories makes it so much easier when you have a plan right?
A. Oh yes so much easier
Q. After that you became consistent with your plan, sharing live, IGTV and then something excited happened – share that with us!
She secured a book deal on Instagram – here’s how
A. We got an email from a book company and we contacted her. She was looking for an author for a specific type of book on marriage. At the end of the day after interviewing she chose us and how she found us was on Instagram. We don’t have a giant following with 10,000 followers but because she was searching through hashtags (which you taught us all about in the pro membership), she found us.
She read our content, saw the brand and professional look of our account and that our content was good and so was our engagement and they believed that what they found on Instagram. Normally if I were to submit this a company would reject me because I don’t have the right amount of colors. It was very clear to her that people liked what we had. Out of all this just from Instagram and learning how to be authentic and have that clear vision, we had a publisher come to us and we’re having a book come out at the end of this year.
I’ve always wanted to write a book I was always held back by that learning curve again.
To have this drop in our lap is a huge gift from God and also what we’re doing on Instagram and what we’ve learned is WORKING. So that is a huge deal and we’re super excited.
Q I remember that day you shared your news with me and it just goes to show you that it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the connections.
A. Right and I think that’s one of the things they saw – that my numbers weren’t where they typically should be for a book but my people ARE my people and they could see we had true engagement and true followers and that’s the thing that’s mattered to us from the very beginning. And I don’t want to give the impression that it’s not good to have good numbers because you do want to grow your following and reach more people but even if you have a small following, create a plan, maintain consistency, and be authentic and real, your tribe will show up.
And we tried and worked on it and you were a huge part of helping us identify what we’re about because when people come to your page it needs to jump out at them what you stand for – they want to know what they can rely and depend on receiving from you. Before, you wouldn’t have know what we were putting out but now it’s very clear so people know right away I want that or that’s not for me.
From the bio to the feed to stories it all compliments your main message while sharing your true transparency.
Where can people find you?
On Instagram @expedition_marriage and also Facebook and online at expeditionmarriage.org
When is the book being released?
Set for November.
Praise for Ruthie’s Instagram Community:
Being in Ruthie’s Summer Pro Instagram group has provided way more than just all the Instagram how to’s. I have made genuine friendships, gained more support and insight through our close knit community, and I’ve been able to learn so much just through others in the group. When Ruthie helps one of us, she helps us all!