Andrew: cool well guys welcome to masters and e-commerce for entrepreneurs I’m your host Andrew Strauss and I’m here with the queen of Instagram, Susie B Zimmerman, she is amazing I mean, if you have not seen her, I don’t know how you would not know her she is known as the Instagram expert. She is a sought-after their business coach, she has over 30 years of business experience, she’s a true entrepreneur at age 22, she made her first million dollars and she runs brands. I don’t know if she still runs Suzy B do and Boxer Rebellion but she does to have Susie B Zimmerman enterprises where she handles you know things for clients and businesses for getting on Instagram and learning about it and just you know basically helping them um she has a concert she was the forehead I think had the first comprehensive online courses on Instagram called instant results and Ready Set gram was that she is not only that she is has that where the highest-rated courses in creative lives on creativeLIVE and social media marketing world she’s known around the world guys and she has a degree in nutrition and and she loves teaching it if you haven’t checked out her Facebook pages or grab ages know that you got to do that so, sue welcome, thanks so, much for coming if I love about anything please.
Sue: It sounds like you were reading an outdated bio there things have changed a lot since you, I don’t know where you got all that information on the internet cause you can find things but yeah so, I have an online course called Ready Set Graham which is a real comprehensive course for beginners on Instagram with under a thousand followers and who are really looking to leverage of the platform to make money and I’ve been teaching Instagram marketing for the past six years, I no longer have my store on Cape Cod which is what’s called scube doo but, that’s where I discovered the power of Instagram so, to all the small business owners out there, I feel you I know how hard it is to get people to purchase from you but I’ve been teaching social media for almost ten years now and I understand a lot, not just Instagram and what I do know is that people want to connect to you they want to hear your stories and authentically connect with you the person behind the business and the brand and Instagram is just a machine and how you can do that now especially because there’s four different neighborhoods I like to call them and we can get into that in a second, where you can show up on a regular basis and stay top of mind and connect with other people and have these real authentic conversations that lead into opportunities and that’s kind of the essence of Who I am I’m all about building relationships and building community and making this world a better place by being kind and nice and helpful to those who really need to understand how to make money doing what they love because I’ve been very fortunate my whole life.
Andrew: That’s awesome yeah because I think what we’re going to do today is we’re going to about leveraging your business you know to grow on Instagram and,pr you know let’s break that down like what you were talking about and let’s go through that like if you are a business owner looking either selling you know locally or online as a you know a fashion brand or whatever it is you know how do you leverage in certain because it’s always changing there’s so, many different people saying different things you know you’re struggling to get followers you’re trying to get act like take us through that sin through that process.
Sue: Well the comment is away. There’s so many people saying different things, I say follow people who say things that feel right to your business and then align with you so, many people are concerned about getting followers and and that’s all they care about is getting followers I care about getting the right followers and more importantly getting people that are interested in what I offer on my email list my Instagram is machine for me 300 new email subscribers every week to get people on my email list where I can nurture them over time and build that relationship and I think so, many people are concerned about the followers and not the comments and not the conversations and so, you can’t talk to everybody on Instagram there’s over a billion monthly active users you need to talk to your customer you need to find out where your ideal customer and client is hanging out and have real conversations with them so, I’m all about the conversations and if you look at my Instagram accounts I have several I have the Instagram expert which is the one that I recommend you all turn notifications on by tapping on the three dots on the top right hand side because every day I share strategies I share tips and I give you insights on how to grow an Instagram account for business I am all about business there and I have over 66,000 followers there but I don’t have great engagement on every single post but I celebrate the engagement that I get with the people who show up and who comment and who message me and that’s the beam that’s neighborhood number one and neighborhood number two which is my favorite his Instagram stories and I get thousands of people watching my stories so, well if you get thousands of people consuming your somewhere then that’s a decision that you should be making to show up there more frequently so, I have active Instagram stories every day on not just my business account but also, on my personal accounts to me Zimmerman and there is where you can get to know me like me and feel connected to me as a successful business owner and so, I have a personal account and I have a business account and I also, have a team account sbz team because I have a team of eight, and I’m all about talking about my team, I would never be here as the person as I am you knew that like a lot of the coordination for this interview has to go through Kate who handles all of my calendar requests so, that I can stay really focused in the zone and teach like a boss every day so, we can dive into any of that but I want the listeners to understand that I am the real deal when I talk about Instagram for business and showing up here as a solopreneur a creative preneur an entrepreneur and growing your business growing your following and ultimately growing the bottom line and having those conversions because I always say that if you’re posting successfully on Instagram you pique someone’s curiosity and when you pique someone’s curiosity they leave a comment, and to me that’s the gold the comment, gives you an opportunity to have a conversation and the conversation leads to building that trust and people behind every Instagram account you guys is a real person it’s not just an avatar so, when you build that trust and you have that conversation you can direct people where you ultimately want them to go so, maybe that’s your YouTube, channel maybe that’s your blog, you know maybe it’s your Facebook group, your VIP group, maybe it’s a webinar signup maybe it’s your live show I have a live show called the social sip on Facebook and I invite you all to head on over there and check that out because like I do a great live show all about lifestyle nice tux I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life pretty much and like you said earlier I had my first million dollar business I was not a millionaire when I was 22, selling silk screen boxer shorts so, on that entrepreneur very similar to Gary Vee who’s been hustling ever since I was a 13 year old doing what I love, I have a potty mouth I haven’t used it yet, yeah the truth is nothing happens overnight Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! I’ve been doing this for like I said for six years so, so, if you want to back up any of those responses to what you said and you want me to go deeper and teaching just really tell me what you need
Andrew: Yeah! Yeah! I do I mean I I think that I think you touched on in so, me of the neighborhood stuff is really a key to this thing right it’s it the everybody’s so, obsessed about followers, if you get a million followers a maybe only hundreds of those are worth anything to you right to your business so, it’s like it’s not about those followers and that’s kind of things I think people have to understand about that and getting those followers the ones that really do enjoy your brand I mean and getting their email addresses that’s where the root the relationship really happens right I mean so, you know how do you find the right followers like how is that process
Sue: Good Question! For those of you that are curious how to use Instagram to grow your email list suebzimmerman.com email class I have a great class for under $25 where I teach you how to do just that like I use Instagram to grow my list every single day and that’s my focus every single day so, first let’s talk about the neighborhoods and then circle back to kind of how do you do that so, like I see earlier we have the feed which is where most people hang out, and that’s where you need to really prove who you are and what you do there has to be proof of concept there your bio, has to really reflect who you are in your feed there has to be a connection to disconnect people are just bouncing you have three to six seconds to make an impression with your bio that takes people to your feed so, I work very hard to have a look a branded look and feel in my feed every day, I have systems in place and tools that I use to help me show up as that digital magazine look and feel I want to be known and remembered as the Instagram educator the leading Instagram educator so, that’s my mission every day, that’s neighborhood number one, neighborhood number two, is Instagram stories as I mentioned where you can have 15-second clips you can have photos and you can string together a story that’s cohesive in a branded way and again it’s really important to be intentional with what you’re sharing and your stories that matches up to your feed into your bio, when there’s a disconnect people are kind of mute your story and if you guys don’t know how to mute a story, you just hold down that person and you can mute their story if you still want to follow them because I’ve needed stories from people, I’m like wait you’re not the person I saw in the feed this doesn’t feel good I don’t want to watch you in your stories this is like not you so, anyone can look perfect and pretty in their Instagram feed but are they really walking the talk are they showing up as the person that they claim they are and, I do that relentlessly every fucking day so, there’s that that’s stories number three, is Instagram live that’s the third neighborhood where I use that as a tool and a platform to condition my audience to tune in every time I drop a new blog post my free content I want people to go to my website, to my YouTube channel and I want them to consume more of what I teach so, I use an Instagram live as a that neighborhood as a place to amplify promote and broadcast what my free content is and I conditioned my audience you show up and tune in and I get about a thousand views over that 24 hour period, in the Instagram live so, that’s a lot of people, I keep doing that’s positive reinforcement people are showing up people comment, people sometimes get invited into the dual broadcast where you can invite guests to add to your live and bring value to your life very similar to this interview you could be doing it in an Instagram live and then finally the latest and newest feature on Instagram is IGTV, and I do have a channel scube IGTV, I have over 14 videos there get a lot of views a lot of comments from people that don’t necessarily follow me in my feet but have discovered me in my Instagram IGTV, and you can put titles you can put hashtags you can put at mentions and you can put links in your IGTV and you don’t have to have 10,000 followers for that to happen so, those are the four neighborhoods the feed, stories, live and IGTV, and I consistently, operative word consistently show up in all the neighborhoods because you never know where people are hanging out some people like to hang out in stories all day, some people are consuming IGTV, some people tuned in to live and so, I’ve made a conscious decision to go all-in on Instagram as my go-to platform to attract those who I want to serve so you might ask who is that it is mostly women 40 and older that want to leave a legacy that want to make money doing what they love and who are creativepreneur entrepreneurs and solopreneurs and I know that that’s my avatar and you need to know your avatar you need to know who you’re talking to or you’re talking to no one so, that’s like step number one with Instagram who the hell are you talking to and more importantly where are they hanging out on Instagram what hashtags are they using what interests do they have do they travel globally do they shop at Target do they shop but Nordstrom’s to think consume coffee at Starbucks or then Dunkin Donuts person like wait what do they dress but you need to know that the values of your audience that their core values their interest the books they read the podcast they listen to and when you know where they hang out you can be a part of that conversation you can show up you want my best tip right now it’s showing up in the common threads of people who are your favorite influencers brands and products and you show up in the conversation you get the attention of the content creator, I notice every comment it is me nothing is automated I heart or leave an emoji or talk to Siri or respond to your questions and I don’t leave any questions behind that’s how you build relationships and this is over the 30 plus years of having 18 different businesses folks, relationships one to one turn to one to many because here’s what you need to know when you do all of this the right way people talk about you, behind your back, at a cocktail party at a wedding, at an event ,at a conference, they talk about you, you don’t even know it and when they talk about you they tell you oh my gosh you got to follow this person they know Instagram, I know listen your audience grows but if you’re not showing up either in a comment thread or if you’re not consistently posting on a regular basis, content that matches up to what you do, you’re not gonna grow your Instagram account you’re gonna get followers and lose followers and those are typically the bots the spam bots that we all hate that Instagram fortunately is getting rid of and I just posted yesterday about three major changes that Instagram has made and for those of you watching listening on the repelling and watching it’s my post with the pink dress and I can and ER you can you can grab that link, do you know how to grab a URL link from every Instagram post? so, go you go to suebzimmerman.com/Instagramexpert tap on the post I just did which is me in the pink dress and at the top in your browser you will get the unique URL to that specific post not my Instagram account but that specific so, you can share that in the comments and in your show notes.
Andrew: Oh wow! Okay, that’s awesome,e, that’s uh that is killer, I had no idea that’s a huge tips, yes, you know everything you had you drive just now it was like amazing lik,e that is the you know just the follower thing and building that relationship and then you know people are on your right on different times at different spots you don’t know where they are it’s really, really important to do this, and what I think stands out the most part about this is the consistency part and that I think is the hardest part for people to do I consistently going on but you got scheduled doing things like how do you keep consistency?
Sue: It is the top priority for me every day, so here’s like we have we have a slack channel we have a channel for every single thing we do in our business and my job as front-facing educator is to educate and so, people typically do social media in a very random way they just check it off their to-do list and they move on to their next task, I go really deep and I am very intentional and when you show up in an intentional way you get great results when you’re random and you’re doing random shit you’re getting random results and so, you can’t be everywhere so, for me Instagram Facebook I’m also, active on Twitter you don’t have a Twitter strategy but I’m very active there and I’m very really on LinkedIn my team members check LinkedIn my team members check Pinterest you can’t be everywhere so, wherever you know that your audience is and I know that my audience is on Instagram that’s where you need to be you don’t need to be everywhere and people have like this world mentality that they have to bounce from here there and I say embrace Instagram if you’re gonna do it do it right if you’re not gonna do it right then don’t be here you’ve got to be committed it takes time it really does
Andrew: Right! Yeah, that’s another really good point that you brought up it’s not like hey you know you’ve got your Instagram pad it will be able to come it’s a slow growth thing just like everything in business is right, it’s it takes time to build a business, and just as you’re taking your followers it takes time for that I mean where you find them how you follow them you know the automated tools don’t work.
Sue: I mean let’s talk about you for a second, Andrew you said you’ve been following me for years, and I have no idea who you are on before, we got on this call like I just you know it’s in my calendar I have this interview and you’re telling me I’ve been following you for a long time and so that so, this is if you’ve been following me for a long time, you should be showing up in my comment thread you should be thanking me for the free content that you’re consuming, and not just lurking and watching and consuming but double-tap liking and commenting it so, that I know that you are essentially a member of my community or at this point a fan of mine that I had no idea existed and so, when you look and when you I always say if you learn something or you’ve been educated or entertained in sucks you know laughing is a form of value it’s your you owe it to the content creator to thank them it’s free content let them know that you appreciate it and that you want more of it and be an active member of the community, I you know so, many people just lurk and consume and they don’t even participate in conversation and that you know it’s definitely a pet peeve of mine.
Andrew: Right! Yeah! I know I agree yeah when you’re giving up Volume II just a like or a comment or something like great stuff or awesome stuff really like use the content creator, I think the feedback that they know that they’re just not talking out to crickets right?
Sue: And the positive reinforcement to do more of the same I know from the way that people comment and answer my questions I know what I need to create for you, for all of these that are listening this is not for me, it’s for you what can I teach you that you don’t know I could talk about Instagram for days and weeks I’ve done it on stage of my busy teaching
Andrew: Yes I like, that I remember tha,t I actually bought that course that way back then so, that was its good and that’s where the intro to like know what you’re doing yeah so, like for on the on the you know creating that content I mean is it just like you use her slack or you can’t be you just a Content calendar and you come up with a anymore?
Sue: Let me give you the system so, we have a Content calendar for sure the whole year is very bland and we have content based on campaigns and launches and what our audience wants to learn so, we have a Trello board and Rachel on my team is my content creator and she creates the titles that I’m going to then build out a description and teach so, we have a weekly Trello board we just do one week at a time Rachel looks at our content calendar and builds out those titles I then create in planly my go-to tool for scheduling my posts on Instagram PLA and Olly if any of you guys invested that teleplay Mele I sent you so, I it’s cheap it’s like seven dollars a month for from a membership and I use planly and then I slack Rachel when I’m done writing that description to get her eyes on it sometimes I spelled words wrong I should have taken first grade over just the same I’m not don’t know everything spelling is not my thing so, Rachel takes one you know she looks it but she edits it we make sure that it’s good to go and then I scheduled to post it and that’s our system and so, it works really well so, when you guys see that post it’s typically scheduled at the time of day that’s the best time of day for that day of the week look at your insights and by the way on my blog soubise remember calm insights slash insights you can find that blog post if you guys need to learn all about your insights on Instagram we just did a blog post for you and so, I know when the best time to post is and that’s what I do and I’m traveling to Europe next week and I’m gonna have limited Wi-Fi and this is the system that I will use so, that I can execute what’s my responsibility and so, that’s the system but what I didn’t talk about is the quality of the photos and the quality of the post and and had a really level there and it’s so, important that your visuals are captivating and intriguing and branded in so, me way mine are colorful and they feel like Instagram and they’re my brand colors and you get an infusion personality and all of that matters and so, it starts with a really good photo or a really good video and so, you have to decide like what is that gonna look like what is your feed gonna look like what it’s gonna feel like how do you make people feel that’s the thing not you know it’s like how do you how do you literally pull someone in emotionally to your feed, does that make sense?
Andrew: Yes, yeah, that I think is is another things because Instagram is such a visual medium you know it looks like you know you have like a photographer following you everywhere, I mean yeah because your pixels are really great I think so, that that’s I think one of the things that you know how you know what is the best way to kind of do those types of photos that really like oh yeah..
Sue: I have another blog post, about the photos how do there’s three categories of photos when they talk about on Instagram how to plan the perfect photo shoot for Instagram and I do a lot of photo shoots I get photographed a lot professionally but I have a great iPhone, I’m the iPhone 10, it’s a kick-ass camera use that for so, me of my photos as well but I don’t post shitty photos I would never post a blurry crappy photo because it just doesn’t align with my brand now on my personal account, it’s not quite as polished you don’t see the same level of detail as you do on the Instagram expert which is my business account that’s the one I care the most about
Andrew: Right! Right!, okay yeah awesome and then and then like when people do comments on your photos like what you know should you talk to them about? you know should there be a deeper conversation no worries just like thanks for that thanks for that like or?
Sue: You know thank people for likes yeah you talk to them like you’re talking to a real person if they ask you a question you can answer it if they write you a comment that was really thought-provoking you thanked them but you don’t you don’t just say thanks I mean you talk to them as if this is a real conversation that’s the problem I mean a lot of people don’t take the time to have these real conversations and so, their business they don’t grow you know I’m all about making money you want to make money I’m your gal, I’m the no bullshit what do you as it is let’s do this.
Andrew: Right, first, for sure and so, then in in that other post did you ever that that course you have then you talk about how you can get the people from Instagram that’s your email list, is that correct?
Sue: Actually it’s a class, so if you go to my website zimmeman.com, I have social media classes for a hashtag, for Instagram stories, and how to get people on your email list and these are really inexpensive those are under $25 if your business you should be able to afford that otherwise you just copy, my course ready that gram is $2.97 and that you know that comes with bonuses it comes with VIP Facebook group and there’s over 1600 people who have invested in that and have been getting great results so, if you’re looking for a beginner of course to do it right from the get-go this is it and you get my support, I go live in that group, I answer questions in that group and it’s been doing well and it’s a little under three hours to consume the whole course.
Andrew: Okay so, by that time you come out of there you’re feeling pretty good I mean you can understand what’s to do how to do it and either a is for your business or if you wanted to go into your own helping out other people you could almost become a coach yourself I guess with the thing with your, I give you learn, the you learn through the course and then you yourself could take your knowledge and if you wanted to become sort of coach.
Sue: Only if you prove that you are that that person and you can do it you can’t you can’t be a coach unless you show up as the coach that you say you are if you’re saying that I conclude to other people to do Instagram but your Instagram sucks, I’m not gonna hire you so, you have to you have to do it if they do the work people
Andrew: Right! Right!, that’s what it comes down to awesome well Sue that was awesome I mean there is so, much knowledge here that like I hope they hit this thing and replay this multiple times I mean is amazing thank you I do have like two questions I do want to ask you are your tools you know make your life I know you went through a bunch of them are the what are your top tools that you would you starting out trying to get yourself organized here I think?
Sue: Tools for Instagram or tools for business for business?
Andrew: Instagram I mean I guess it would be more of the Instagram side of things like if you’re getting ready to do your posting I want to treat your schedules?
Sue: I mentioned organize everything to-do list in Trello it’s a mobile desktop cloud-based app free and planly is those two tools.
Andrew: Cool and then what about like books or websites and things like that that you keep you know abreast effort on top on that you that you were doing?
Sue: Well interesting you ask because on my Facebook show the social sip every single episo, de I talk about all the books of course – organized like a rainbow over here I have a lot of books I read books I love books I listen to books so, we’ve got unfuckology ,okay yourself so, lid being boss, steal the show, saina senex ride, the lean startup, stuff Godin, you are a badass at making money, not the subtle art of giving a fuck , I love that one jobs, he’s just one of my many bookshelves
Andrew: That’s awesome so, like okay that’s awesome I approached up so, now where can people find I know we’ve been talking about that but is there places that they can find you get your information was the best channel?
Sue: There’s a few things I mean when I do interviews like this I’d like you guys to be action takers if you’re listening to me in your ears right now don’t just like do your workout at the gym stop pull over if you’re in the car you’re on a walk and come over and say hi on Instagram say I heard you on Andrews interview and tell me what you appreciate hearing the most and let’s start that conversation so, you feel more connected to me because what I like to do in the DM I think the magic is in the Instagram direct message it sends you a video back, I use video much more than I use text when I communicate with people because you get to see my eyes and and see my smile and hear my voice and either you like my Boston accent or, you don’t um and, I just feel like that’s how you like connect to people so, connect to me on you can also, download my free Instagram guide to get going that link is suebzimmerman.com/guide and, that’s 12 pages of Awesomeness that you will this pro tips people say they wouldn’t pay for it it’s so, good and that’s how again you build trust and you get people to stick around for the next thing like you just you just can’t grow your business and make money without this piece of it which is nurturing and building relationships like I said earlier.
Andrew: Awesome well guys listen it’s been a fun half hour with a suit here it she is giving nothing but knowledge on this stuff check her out follow her don’t do it be a lurker be it be a doer it’s and everything so, sue thanks so, much for your time I appreciate anything and we will chat later
Sue: You’re welcome see you later.