Expert Q&A – All about Instagram

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This week’s Simply Smart Social Expert Q&A was all about learning to us Instagram to find new followers, strengthen your brand and build your business. Hosted by Desha Peacock of Sweet Spot Style, this was a fab session. For 24/7 access to our community of brilliant minds, join us here.

Is there a business benefit to Instagram?

You can totally make money on Instagram. My friend sold out her entire course using just Instagram.

Check out my buddy Stasia – her following isn’t huge, but she filled her style school in 24 hours, and had a £12k launch, using nothing but Instagram:

Can you tell us about your fabulous Instagram results?

It took me 3 years to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram. Mostly I was using it to edit pictures and share on Facebook. I didn’t quite see how it could be used as a business marketing tool.

But then I got smart – I saw my friends making money there. I decided to get serious – in the last two months, I’ve grown by 2,000. It’s not just the number, though. I’ve also gained 1-1 clients and attracted my LUX retreat guests.

What was your strategy?

I learned a branding secret, to come up with 3 words that reflected by brand clearly. Anytime I post I make sure my stuff reflects those words (which are bohemian, vintage and feminine for my brand).

I don’t usually use graphics (as in WORDS) on my Insta feed. I’ve found they don’t work for my brand so keep them to a minimum. I find a lot of my images by searching the top posts of the hashtags that I use and then I repost them (as well as using my own photos of course).

I’ve also researched hashtags and that has led to a lot of growth.

How do you go about researching the most useful hashtags?

Look to your competitors – those people you admire that are offering a similar service. See what hashtags they’re using.

Type that into the search bar and similar hashtags will appear. That will pull you into a rabbit hole of great hashtags. Now you need to start testing them.

Go through those hashtags and LOOK AT THEM. Do you see your stuff there? If so, test it. If not, go to the search bar and type in another.

What would you say are the best first steps?

The first step is to get clear on your brand message. Open an account directed to your ideal client and research your hashtags.

If you have a less visually orientated brand how would suggest reaching new clients/growing followers?

You’ve got to get creative. Here’s a great example of a life + business coach who uses post-it notes with handwritten quotes:

You can also share stuff that’s not yours and that inspires you. I do that all the time. It’s a great way to grow. Think of it as collaboration. Hopefully, someone will share your stuff and you can all grow together.

You do want your brand to be cohesive, though, so you’d have to think about one central brand message and visually depict that in your gallery. Pick one or two visual themes and no more than that.

Do you have a separate business and private profile?

No, I’m a solopreneur and multi-passionate which means I already have a hard time focusing. I only use social media for business.

Do you think Instagram users are more interested in the person rather than the brand?

It really depends on your ideal client. In the beginning, you will have mostly friends and family following so naturally when you post a selfie you get more attention. But yes, overall, Instagram is quite personal. And people like to see the behind the scenes. If it’s working, why not use pics of you? I sprinkle pics of me in my gallery, but try to use mostly professional. You could try that, too.

My aim with all social media is to drive traffic to my website. Any hints on what I sort of things I could post that will help achieve that?

You can drive people to an opt-in just like you would any other social media, just tell them to find your link in your profile. I’ve sold books and built my retreat list through that little URL in my profile. It works!

I change my profile URL all the time and direct people there for blog posts, webinars, opt-ins and clarity calls.

Any final tips?

I’d say focus on no more than two social media platforms at once. I’m really focused on Instagram right now so Facebook is suffering a bit, but I cannot even fathom trying to maintain more than that. Staying focused on one is really the best at first.
Here’s a webinar I did recently with more tips on how to Grow Your Brand on Instagram. It explains exactly what I’ve done to grow:


Desha - all about InstagramDesha Peacock is an Author, Speaker, Retreat Leader and LifeSTYLE Design Coach. She’s helped hundreds of people find their “Sweet Spot”- a self-defined place of success and beauty. Her first book Create the Style you Crave on a Budget you can Afford was listed in the Huff post as “the book to give your girlfriend” and sold out in less than 20 days. It is now in its second printing.

An avid seeker of beauty and culture, she’s explored the bazaars of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Central America.  She’s slept in two-dollar hostels in Guatemala and boarded million dollar yachts in the Mediterranean, all the while gathering inspiration that feeds her own unique personal style.


For those conscious souls ready to step up and serve. Suitable for established or new coaches.