Instagrammmmm. I have a love/hate relationship with it, as I’m sure most of you do. Unless you’re a genie, marketing whiz who genuinely enjoys figuring out the algorithm (then please call me, beep me).
When I first started my business, it seemed like I was struggling with honing in on what I wanted for my brand, and didn’t have enough content to show for my abilities. Fast forward to the second year – with postponed and cancelled weddings, meaning I really had no new content at all. I did a styled shoot, which helped, and then dug deep into the archives for detail shots from the previous wedding work I did, and just posted the same photo of myself a lot on Instagram. HA!
Then I had a baby. In case you were wondering, Instagram was not a priority, and I didn’t post for probably 4-6 months. I don’t even remember, it’s all such a blur. Then after 6 months postpartum, I started to feel like myself again! I had way more time than I normally would have, thanks to COVID, and then I felt way more confident in my brand and the direction I wanted to go. Now I feel so much better about Insta, and I don’t spend much time on it!
So here’s my strategy, you ready for it?
1. First and foremost, I stopped caring so much
If motherhood taught me one thing, it’s that at the end of the day, Instagram truly does. not. matter. I do book clients from Instagram, so I still find it worthwhile for my business (read: MY business) to post, but I don’t get too caught up in it. If I don’t stick to my schedule or go a week or two without posting, I move on (especially during the thick of wedding season).
It’s also important to note that I don’t put all my eggs in one basket, meaning Instagram is one of the many ways I try to reach my target audience. I recently have started an email list, and am focusing on Pinterest (thanks to Tailwind!). I also could care less about Facebook or other platforms. They just aren’t a priority for me right now.
My schedule is literally this: to post once, 3 days a week on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays (usually around 10am but you can see your insights and see when your followers are most active on the ‘gram). I really don’t open Instagram much on Tuesdays/Thursdays or the weekend, and if I do, it’s more passive: like sharing or re-sharing on my stories. I also take about 1-2 hours a month to map out as many posts as I can on Planoly. It is nice to house all my half-written posts and rambling thoughts without taking too much head space. And I love that it auto-posts for me! Set it and forget it!
Consistency is also important, which is why I am able to do it only 3 times a week. Any more, and I would be terrible at keeping up. Any less, and I’d probably never post! Whatever this looks like for you, make it manageable so you can be consistent.
My event assistants love sharing the weddings they help out with and it’s SO nice to have extra opportunities for other people to capture content or behind-the-scenes on wedding days! As wedding planners, we’re usually too swamped running the show and managing the chaos to stop and take photos of our work! During downtime, having other people do this for me has been truly amazing. And quite frankly, they’re way better at it than I am anyway.
One of my event assistants even captured videos of a styled shoot and made it into a reel for me, which is fantastic because I have no energy to edit and make reels even though I know this is the thing you need to do right now – according to everyone on Instagram. You can also google and find a million resources on Instagram prompt ideas, and there are some amazing memberships where you can join in a monthly membership and get photos and pre-written caption copy! No shame in that!
4. Focus on quality, not quantity
Just like all things, don’t get too caught up in your total amount of followers, likes, etc. One thing I am really happy about is I have a lot of really engaged, organic followers who I love getting to know! I interact and talk to a lot of my followers, and also love seeing their work and learning more about them! And I do it out of a place of genuine connection, not trying to sell to them at all. Your popularity on a social media platform does not necessarily translate into booking your ideal clients. It sure helps you reach more people, but I have had no shortage of interested, qualified potential clients, and that is so freeing to me!
I know it can be such a pain to keep up with the constant changes but I do not anticipate changing my strategy anytime soon. I make Instagram work for me, not the other way around! I do think my feed is curated and beautiful, but I spend a minimal amount of time on Instagram in my day-to-day. After all, I’ve got so many other things to do like: survive, cook, clean, be a mom, be a wife, be a great wedding planner for my clients, read books, and go to bed at a reasonable hour!
I am curious to hear how you approach Instagram! What is the biggest pain point for you right now?