033: The New Rules of Instagram + InstaStories

By October 2, 2018October 3rd, 2018The Simplifiers Podcast

Podcast banner image featuring Mary

Can we talk about Instagram for a bit?  So, I’m willing to bet you’ve got an Instagram account for promoting and marketing your small business. And I’m also willing to bet you spend a lot of time scroll, scroll, scrolling through your feed, every single day… hoping, praying that a prospective client will “like” your post, comment on your photo and (GASP!) reach out to you and put their money on the table to buy your products or services!!?!

So, umm… can I just ask: is that (actually) happening?!

No shame, if it ain’t, my friend. If you wish you could gain a bit more traction with Instagram, then this episode is specifically for you.


My guest, Alice Benham, is a UK Digital Marketing coach who’s making big waves on Instagram with her refreshing ‘real life’ approach to how she uses this platform for her business.

What you’ll notice if you flip to her ‘Gram (@Alice_Benham), everything is beautiful… It’s cohesive, refined but still feels real and authentic.

I mean, REALLY. How does she get it to look so nice!!?! Does she have a massive team? A huge marketing budget? A professional photographer boyfriend? Okay, well, the first two aren’t the case… she’s actually a 1-woman company!

Today, she’s sharing her insider secrets as she simplifies the “New Rules of Instagram + InstaStories.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What she believes is working right now on this platform
  • The exact apps and equipment that she uses to shoot the videos and photos in her InstaStories and for her IG grid
  • What she learned about personal branding and the responsibility we have as content creators to honesty when she ran an airbrushing experiment over the summer
  • What things she posts on her business Instagram account and what things she keeps private
  • Her predictions for how digital marketing is evolving on Instagram and where it’s headed next
  • Why elements of storytelling is everything when posting to Instagram

The most important thing that perked my ears up in our conversation is this… friends, don’t get sucked into the numbers game on Instagram. You’ll see people who have inflated follower numbers (10, 20, 50k followers, wow!) but very little engagement on their posts. 

Your number of followers mean nothing in business. But instead, your number of engaged fans who you’re making TRUE connection with via DM (aka. direct messages) and who are actually converting from being a lurker to being a buyer, is what really, actually counts.

So, don’t get discouraged by your numbers. Throw that vanity plate out the window. And focus on who keeps showing up and start conversations with them.

Let’s #DoTheThing.

My challenge for you this week:

It’s time to try something different with Instagram. Maybe show your followers a little more behind-the-scenes? Try a new planning app? Try going make-up and filter free for 7 days?

Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

App: Unfold – to help with your Instagram feed

Book: Tribes: We need you to lead us – Seth Godin

Challenge: The 5-Week InstaStories Challenge -a free 5 week challenge, empowering businesses to use stories effectively and gain confidence in what they’re sharing. Gain access to emails & Instagram Lives, with weekly prompts and insights to up your InstaStories game, led by Alice Benham

Camera: Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)

Camera lens: Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[04:53] “I think we often do ourselves a disservice as business owners when we spent all of our time creating and doing. And actually, we realize that if a [new] client were to come in, you don’t actually have the space to do it and you have to drop it. I think for me it’s about finding where does that kind of equilibrium sit between effective and sustainable, because I don’t think you can have one without the other without burning out at some point or having to drop something.” – Alice

[10:01] “Instagram is the place where (really) you show up best when you show your face and when you connect as a human.” – Alice

[26:37] “I think the second you can tell that someone’s posting something for the sake of something other than just telling their story, I think we switch off.” – Alice

[30:48] “I felt really uncomfortable knowing that what I was posting could be the object of someone else’s comparison.” – Alice

[35:31] “I also believe that social media is not the end game. It is the vehicle that takes you from point A to point B to actual in-real-life connections, collaborations, and partnerships. I mean you and I met online and now here we are face to face. That’s how you do it.” – Mary

The #DoTheThing Challenge

It’s not too late to join us for our free 5-day sales challenge, starting Monday, October 1st, 2018 that’ll help you:

  • Finish the year STRONG
  • Smash your sales goals
  • Recalibrate your compass (especially if you’ve been feeling a bit off-track lately!)

… and help you shift your money mindset, removing any blocks that might have been in the way so far this year, ultimately, keeping you from achieving your 2018 goals.

It’s a fun, interactive and most importantly, SIMPLE 5-day challenge that’ll only take 45-minutes of laser-focus from you per day, in order to reap big, big results.

Built specifically for business owners in creative industries… so if you’re a:

  • Wedding or Event Planner
  • Photographer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Coach
  • Creative Entrepreneur
  • or Marketer

… and you want to join others just like you all around the world who need a kick in the pants right about now, this is for you!

Do the thing. Reserve your spot in this free 5-day sales challenge.

Sign up today

About Alice:

Alice Benham is a Digital Marketing Coach who empowers entrepreneurs to establish effective & sustainable digital strategies for their businesses.

She is passionate about exploring how we can maintain healthy relationships with what we share online and creating conversation around the ‘real’ sides of running a business.

The host of the podcast, “Starting the Conversation” – she loves having conversations about the often unspoken topics (like money, mental health and failure) of what’s it’s REALLY like to be a business owner.

Alice’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Sapphire Bates – Creator of The Coven Girl Gang

Where Alice hangs out online:

Website: alicebenham.co.uk 

Instagram: @Alice_Benham

Video version of the episode

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