Self-care strategies for small business marketing

Self-care strategies for small business marketing

Welcome to episode 94 of The Whin Big Podcast.

This week Katie is talking about all things marketing and mental health. In today’s episode, Katie opens up about her own mental health story, and gives some insightful and practical advice to keep on top of your marketing – while looking after yourself at the same time.

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Marketing and mental health

If you’re a long time listener of the podcast, you know Katie rarely shies away from having real conversations with her guests and with you – the Whin Big Podcast listeners. Katie often shares her own experiences of the highs and lows of business entrepreneurship and invites guests onto the podcast who will do the same.

One topic that comes up more often than most is that of mental health. Katie’s recent posts have been geared towards helping people overcome problems while struggling with mental health challenges – and there’s been a lot of talk about it on the guest episodes of the podcast, too.

Managing marketing alongside mental health ups and downs

Through conversations with the community, Katie knows her own experiences of mental health challenges is not unusual – so many business owners struggle at times (especially since the global pandemic).

“You are not the only one struggling and having a hard time. We’re here for you.” – Katie

As you know, Katie’s an expert in Instagram marketing – she’s not a medical professional nor claims to be. Today’s podcast is intended to help you come up with some strategies to cope with mental health problems alongside running a business – it’s not a replacement for medical advice and support.

If you’re struggling with mental health, then please do get outside help. Contact your GP, call a helpline, talk to a friend or trusted family member. We’ve included a range of resources at the bottom of the show notes to steer you to the right kind of support for you.

Katie’s mental health experience

Katie has broken down her main mental health challenges into three main areas, and if they resonate with you, you’ll probably find the strategies she uses to cope very helpful.

Executive Dysfunction

This is where people struggle with planning, time management, problem-solving, and organisation.

Low bandwidth

Despite knowing she’s a smart and clever business woman, Katie sometimes finds it almost impossible to take on even the simplest of tasks.

Low motivation

And again, there have been periods of extremely low energy and lack of motivation – feeling like even the simplest of tasks are exhausting and beyond her ability.

Prioritising self care

To balance out these (at times) extreme periods, Katie prioritised taking care of herself. She did this by going to therapy (something she’s now ‘graduated’ from), taking part in mindful activities and crafts and walking in nature.

“For me, struggling with mental health is not a short-term problem that’s going to go away. It’s an ongoing up and down situation.” – Katie

Strategies to combat mental health challenges

The business world we all occupy is busy – and often very public thanks to social media. Marketing can so easily impact your mental health (and vice versa), so how can you balance these two important aspects to reach your goals and look after yourself?

Katie goes much deeper into each strategy in the podcast episode, so don’t forget to listen for even more insight. Here’s an outline of each mindset strategy:

Focus on the sequences or next steps

Instead of getting hung up on deadlines and pressure to complete a schedule, Katie focuses on concentrating on the one next step – with the time, energy and bandwidth she has available.

Positive reinforcement

Find the strategy that works best for motivating you and your efforts. Many productivity and learning apps reward you based on the number of days you show up (Duolingo, for example). When you’re in the right mental place for showing up consistently, this can be highly rewarding, but along comes a down day, and you lose the streak reward.

This can lead to feeling like a failure, and almost certainly having to begin all over again. Something that doesn’t improve Katie’s mental health.

Can you relate to that? If so, then try Katie’s strategy of using a sticker chart. Over the course of a month – decide how many stickers you’ll aim for, and then watch the stickers build up over time. If you miss a day – it’s not an instant fail.

Self Compassion

Katie’s always been a high achieving, top-of-the-class kind of person, so not living up to the expectations she sets for herself can be frustrating. In the past, she’s turned her frustration into a really negative self talk which only makes her feel worse.

If you’re someone who readily gives yourself a big old hard time for not living up to your own (incredibly high) standards, then finding self compassion is vital to your mental health.

Recognise when you’re speaking to yourself in a negative or horrible way and reframe it as though you’re speaking to someone you care about.

“I would never speak to my friends the way I speak to myself sometimes. You don’t have to tell yourself off, beat yourself up or talk negatively to yourself any time you make a mistake, miss a day or whatever you were ‘supposed’ to do.” – Katie

Get realistic about the impact your activities have on your business.

There are so many different ways to market your business and trying to focus on all the platforms, systems, tools, and techniques can feel overwhelming (and exhausting). Often we pile more and more onto our to-do list without recognising whether the activities have a good or bad impact (or non existent) on the business goals.

If you’re realistic about those activities – and their impact – you can get realistic about where to put your energy, time and attention if you are having a tough mental health time at the same time.

Resources in this episode of The Whin Big Podcast

[Podcast] Strengthening mind, body and business, with Chris Gray

[Podcast] Facebook Lives, good habits and keeping going through tough times with Zoe Longford

[Podcast] Banish the post holiday slump in your marketing

[Podcast] Stop it, drop it, roll with it – how to minimise your marketing in times of stress

[Email] Let’s talk about streaking

Sign up for regular Whin Wednesdays emails

Strengthening mind, body and business, with Chris Gray

Strengthening mind, body and business, with Chris Gray

In this week’s episode, Chris and Katie talk about the mindset for success in both fitness and business. And Chris talks about his experiences of combining real-life networking with online marketing.

They also talk about how their mental health has changed over the past 18 months, how mental health challenges affect marketing activities, and how they make it through the challenging times.

There’s a lot of honest talk about the realities of mental health issues, so if this is something you’ve been struggling with, we’ve included some valuable resources in the relevant section of the show notes.

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Gray Mania Fitness – getting started

Chris started his business journey as a freelance personal trainer and now runs his strength gym, running strength coaching sessions in real life and online. As well as coaching clients, he is a strength coach and athlete – competing in strength competitions.

Like many small business owners, the global pandemic affected his business in many ways, so he’s focusing on building his business back up to support his life and lifestyle.

“When Covid hit, I had to close the gym for a few months. I lost a few clients and normal growing pains of people leaving – it’s the nature of the beast. It affected my business and my personal life, but it’s starting to come back – I’m quite happy with that.” – Chris

The game plan for Gray Mania Fitness – on and offline

Chris wants to grow the gym to run sustainably and support him fully in his goals and ambitions. Part of that is to shift into providing strong-man training, but he’s aware of the need to transition out of his current client offering into something new and is – understandably – cautious after the past 18 months.

His other priority is to split his online coaching service away from the gym to offer a range of training options and online packages, which would allow him to have time away from both ventures to continue to train and compete as an athlete.

The similarities between strength fitness and entrepreneurship

Katie and Chris discuss the many different ways in which training as a strength athlete and running your business cross over. Both business owners agree that there’s an element of trial and error, but the most crucial skill of all is patience.  

“A lot of people don’t understand that it’s essential just to show up and do the work. Not everything is going to be amazing – you get the good and the bad. You do it because you need to do it – keeping it ticking over.” – Chris

Authenticity in business

For Chris, the best part of running his business is choosing the environment and atmosphere he creates in the gym. The space he provides for clients must be inclusive and welcoming. He can make decisions and choices that reflect his own beliefs and values.

Business challenges

Chris can find it tricky balancing the different aspects of his business – the blend of real-life and online training can leave him feeling pulled in different directions. Still, he’s confident he’ll find a way through this as both aspects of the business grow.

Another aspect he finds challenging is the potential fall-out between the clients who attend. He is mindful of creating a positive group dynamic in the gym and is very conscious that personal relationships can cause tension at times.

“I’ve only had to ask one person to leave. Honesty is essential in a space like mine; if you’re feeling a certain way, you have to talk about it.” – Chris

Growing an online community through real-life networking

Chris’ main passion is in the competition side of strength lifting. He attends – and competes – competitions as much as possible and has a strong network of fellow athletes and event organisers. Chris is a chatty, engaging person and enjoys meeting new people, so networking comes easily for him.

And through networking, he focuses on creating positive relationships with everybody he meets, which makes a strong network of inspired, loyal and positive networks on social media and beyond.

Podcasting for business – the highs and lows

Podcasting might feel like a natural next step for business owners and marketing, but Chris has a cautionary tale. His podcast is currently dormant – something he is considering reviving again in the future. Coming from a sound engineering background, he enjoyed much of the podcast process but knew he was losing business to some of his guests.

Bringing on inspiring and motivational guests meant that listeners were choosing to train with them instead of booking training with Chris, and it felt counterproductive for Chris when he was trying to grow his bank of clients.

He also found it very hard to interview guests if they were shy or wooden and is considering working with a co-host to ensure a regular, upbeat atmosphere when the podcast is recorded—something Katie has been considering with The Whin Big podcast.

Marketing and managing mental health

Chris and Katie discuss the difficulties of marketing and promoting your business while grappling with mental health challenges – especially after such a tumultuous year. Chris freely admits he’s had an incredibly tough time, and that’s had a significant impact on his marketing activities – he’d go for long periods without posting anything online.

“Sometimes it’s super hard to put in that extra effort. The phone weighs about 100 kilos to pick up and post something. It’s hard to get over that hump.” – Chris

One of the biggest struggles for Chris is balancing out the need to be and feel authentic without being so honest online that all you talk about is how terrible you’re feeling. When Katie’s in this situation, she freely talks about taking a break on her Instagram feed.

She knows that even in the hardest of times, the team that helps her with Whin Big Podcast will be there to support her with her weekly pod – so, at the very least, she knows something is happening each week, no matter how hard everything else feels.

Improving your mental health is key to perform at your job and have a stable life. If you want to learn more about this, emotional intelligence training can provide you with knowledge and tips to apply in real life.

“What helps me avoid feeling like a failure is to find that one thing I can still do – even when I feel like crap.” – Katie

Resources from this episode of The Whin Big Podcast

Follow Chris & Gray Mania Fitness on Instagram

Breathing Space – helpline for people in Scotland 

Mind – information and support services for people in the UK

5 steps to understand your customer’s problems (and how you can help)

5 steps to understand your customer’s problems (and how you can help)

How do you know what information your potential customers need to hear from you so they can get ready to buy from you? In this week’s episode of The Whin Big Podcast, Katie invites you behind-the-scenes to one of our latest marketing workshops: Marketing and Instagram. In this excerpt, Katie guides you through an essential exercise for more robust marketing, and by the end of the podcast, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your customer’s growing awareness of their problems and how you can help them.

The workshop featured in today’s episode is the first part of the new-and-improved Instagram Masterclass workshop series. If you’re interested in getting training on all different aspects of Instagram marketing, check out the series page for more details and to get signed up.

Customer’s Awareness Journey

Everyone who buys from you or one of your competitors goes through these five stages of awareness before making that purchase. When we’re talking about ‘awareness’ in marketing, we mean how aware your potential customer is of the problem they have (that you can help them with).

The five stages of customer awareness

Unaware – something is up, but they haven’t noticed yet. They have some sense of unease, haven’t identified something is wrong.

Problem-aware – they’ve noticed and named the problem. They’re learning more about the problem, and usually, the research leads to them moving onto…

Solution-aware – they understand their problem and have worked out what kind of thing – product or service – might help them solve it. This takes them on to being…

Product-aware – they know of specific products or services they want to purchase. They weigh up the different solutions they think will meet their needs which takes them to…

Most aware – they’ve researched their product options and have decided which is the best fit for them and their needs. They’re looking for how to sign up or pay.

This doesn’t happen on a standard time scale – it depends on the specifics of your customer’s scenario.

Your customer’s awareness journey: an example

Sometimes, Katie leaves the house without her keys. She doesn’t live alone, so most of the time, it’s a minor inconvenience. It doesn’t happen very often, so it’s not enough for her to feel she has a problem. She’s UNAWARE in the sense that something is up, but it doesn’t feel like a problem.

One evening, she went out without her keys. She stayed out late and came home to an empty house. She didn’t have her keys; she had very little phone battery and not many options. This made her PROBLEM AWARE because she didn’t want this to happen again.

It’s a fairly straightforward fix, so Katie’s keeping her eye out for a solution. She uses Instagram and Google to find a quick fix. She’s decided she has three options: 1) try harder not to forget her keys, 2) hide a spare key somewhere near her house, 3) make a designated place to keep her keys, so they’re always where she needs them. This means she’s SOLUTION AWARE.

Katie opts for the last one. She’s after a hook, shelf or bowl where she can keep her keys near the door. She’s using Google to find a product solution she likes and is, therefore, PRODUCT AWARE.

And finally, she spots a small set of hooks on a rail that can screw easily into the back of her door. It will be placed at eye level so that her keys will be right in front of her every time she leaves the house. She’s now at the MOST AWARE stage and ready to buy.

Try this exercise

Thinking about Katie’s key problem, think about a specific problem you solve for your customers with a specific product or service in your business.

1. The problem your customers are facing

Write down the specific problem you solve for your customer. If you have a few services (or products), you’ll want to do this for each one. Right now, pick just one and write it down. The more specific you can be, the better.

2. Go through each of the 5 phases of your customer awareness journey .

Focus on your customer’s specific problem and then break it down into each of the five stages. Think about:

  • What they’re experiencing right now – what’s niggling them or bothering them?
  • What are they thinking? How do they feel? What are they doing to solve the problem?
  • What might they be researching to move forward with this? What are they looking for? What do they want?
  • What’s the point where they MUST take action to phone you / buy from you?
  • Where does Instagram fit in at each of the stages?

The origins of the customer awareness journey

Katie credits Eugene Schwartz as the originator of this theory. He introduced the concept in a book called ‘Breakthrough Advertising’, which first came out in the 60s. That book is now pretty hard to get hold of, but more recently, Katie’s talked this concept through with Kenda Macdonald, who runs Automation Ninjas. Kenda’s book, Hack the Buyer’s Brain, includes a really great explanation.

Want more insight?

If you found the helpful exercise yourself, you should look at the rest of that workshop – it’s called Marketing and Instagram, and it’s the first part of the new Instagram Masterclass. You can sign up for the recorded workshop right now in Teachable and get caught up – and if you’d like to join us for the rest of the workshop series, you can do that too.

The series runs at a nice, manageable pace, and it’s specifically for small business owners like you who want to solve your customer’s problems and get the most out of your Instagram marketing.

Marketing that’s full of energy, with Tanessa Shears

Marketing that’s full of energy, with Tanessa Shears

This week on The Whin Big Podcast, Katie speaks with Tanessa Shears, a biohacking expert who helps business owners like you find more energy for your work.

In this week’s episode, Tanessa shares her strategy for creating content for just five people, as well as her plan for getting more email sign-ups – and sales online. And Katie shares details of how you can market your business just as successfully as Tanessa by joining our free webinar – six steps to selling online.

Katie and Tanessa talk about the importance of unwinding after work and ways to find your optimum sleep rhythm. Tanessa shares resources to help you biohack your brain for better sleep and focus throughout the day. And you’ll discover something truly disgusting about your pillow that you may never, ever forget!

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Getting started in business

Tanessa is based in Vancouver, Canada. She helps entrepreneurs optimise their brains and bodies using biohacking and science. Her primary focus is helping business owners feel better rested. She runs her coaching business from home alongside parenting her 18-month-old daughter.

Tanessa’s passion is to help entrepreneurs maximise their sleep and rest for optimum energy. Having a new baby when the whole world was experiencing great turmoil and challenge has given her even more insight and experience into the importance of sleep for your well being.

“My sleep is so important because I see how much better my brain works when I’ve slept.” – Tanessa

Getting started in biohacking and wellness

Tanessa grew up with an aversion to health and fitness – actively avoiding gym classes and PE at school. Somehow, she stumbled into teaching swimming and fitness instruction. She became fascinated by what she learned as a fitness instructor that she changed her studies at college from communications into biomedical physiology.

It didn’t take long for her interest to turn to passion around health and fitness – and in 2014, she began taking clients on as a personal trainer. The more she learned, the more she taught and her clients saw better and better results. She clicked that her client base were all entrepreneurs, and by working with Tanessa, they not only got fitter but noticed significant improvements to their sleep and energy levels.

In 2017 she started working exclusively with entrepreneurs to help them optimised their brains for energy.

What is biohacking?

When Tanessa first heard the term ‘biohacking’, she thought it sounded really dangerous! She explains that the best way to think of it is as a synonym:

“Biohacking is health optimisation. It’s finding solutions that you can measure your efforts. By doing all these things for our health, we’re not only changing the outside environment but also the internal environment so we can have more longevity and health, so our brain can be at its highest performance.” – Tanessa

The similarities between biohacking and entrepreneurship

The concept of biohacking resonates with Katie. For her, the idea of tracking your efforts and matching them with your goals is remarkably similar to how she sets business goals and tracks her marketing activities against them.

Tanessa agrees – and explains why biohacking for entrepreneurs is such a great combination. Business owners frequently split test their activities, experiment with new tools and resources and look for data-driven evidence to see what’s working – and what isn’t.

The most important areas to focus on as entrepreneurs

Without any doubt, Tanessa recommends business owners pay attention to their sleep – and our internal rhythm (the Circadian Rhythm) to optimise energy and brainpower. Tanessa’s number one tip is to get consistent with your bedtime and waking times. Yes, even on the weekends. This helps you optimise hormones, heart rate and blood pressure, which has a massive impact on how alert you are throughout the day.

Tanessa goes into more detail on other ways to biohack your brain in the episode, so make sure you listen to the full interview.

How Tanessa communicates her passion with potential customers

Tanessa was drawn to FB lives and YouTube as her primary focus. She’d share ‘how-to videos and tutorials around some of the most important messages her clients needed to hear. She would then repurpose the videos into content to use elsewhere.

She’s now switched to podcasting (Becoming Limitless), and she feels it’s a much better fit for her audience because entrepreneurs love podcasts.

She also uses Instagram to post engaging content – both on her grid and in Stories. Katie and Tanessa have both noticed that a different audience engages with Stories versus grid posts.

She compliments her podcasts and Instagram posts with a weekly email that highlights her most recent podcast episode, and she has plans to turn her most engaged Instagram posts into her newsletter.

“I’m trying to look at my IG carousel posts as a mini masterclass. I could take the content and create a 30-minute podcast, a one hour webinar or an email. It has to be save-worthy. That’s the metric I’m focusing on right now.” – Tanessa

How Tanessa builds a sales strategy into marketing

Tanessa keeps direct selling posts to her Stories and tends to use a softer approach to sales elsewhere. For example – she’ll share a masterclass on stress in business, offering lots of free content, but will add in a sentence at the end, offering people a chance to jump on a judgement-free clarity call if stress is affecting your business.

She does this between 10 and 15 times per week across all her platforms – figuring that different audiences will access her content and resonate with her offers in different ways.

“I want people to come to me not just for the value my content offers, but I want them to know what I do. My goal is for people to fall in love with me right away and figure out if they want to work with me real quick.” – Tanessa

A refreshing way to think about content creation

Working with a business coach has helped Tanessa get clarity on messaging and marketing across the board. Making offers as regularly as 10-15 times a week may feel like a lot, but her coach reminded her that individuals would only see the offers 2 or 3 times because of the nature of how they consume her content – and where.

She embedded the notion that five people are consuming Tanessa’s content at any given time – and they’re all ready to work with her. Every time Tanessa creates content, she thinks about these five people, and it gets her so excited to make the content.

“You know that feeling when you engage with someone’s content, and you get excited about the idea of buying from them? I like to think five people at all times are right there. What do these five people need right now?” – Katie

A strategy for capturing email addresses

The most successful place for gaining new subscribers is by guesting on other people’s podcasts. She chooses podcasts with audiences that complement her work, illustrated perfectly by her guesting on the Whin Big podcast. 

As Tanessa explained – our audience of business owners and entrepreneurs will be interested in biohacking to help with their business goals and ambition. And Tanessa’s audience of entrepreneurs and business owners will be interested in what Katie has to offer around marketing for small businesses. The beauty, for Tanessa, is that the audiences and topics complement each other perfectly – without any hint of competition.

Tanessa’s email funnel 

Most people subscribe to Tanessa’s email list from her lead magnet, a PDF that talks about biohacking and raising your energy. On downloading, she has a ten email sequence which is all about adding value, and the final three emails focus on introducing herself and pitching some of her services. 

From here, they move into her evergreen email sequence of a weekly email. Katie’s delighted to hear this as it’s the exact process she teaches in the All-In-Whin marketing course

Tanessa’s most popular (and disgusting) podcast episode 

Tanessa loves that some of her most successful podcast episodes are on topics she had no idea people would be interested in. To date, the most successful episode of Becoming Limitless was called ‘How to bio-hack your pillow’. 

The focus of this episode was around something truly disgusting – you’ll have to tune in to today’s episode to find out the big secret…. Tanessa’s call to action on this episode was for people to DM her on Instagram so she could tell listeners what pillows she bought to replace her old ones. It’s helped her make deeper connections with her audience and has been the most downloaded episode to date. 

Tanessa’s favourite bio-hack to reduce stress

Tanessa dives into the importance of unwinding before bed in more detail in the episode, so don’t miss it! She talks about why the activities you choose to relax is more important than the setting (you can still stress out in a bubble bath!).

She also shares her favourite app: Brain. FM, which she describes as a remote control for the brain. It helps your brain unwind or ramp up to focus mode when you need to get into flow for work. 

Want to market your business the same way Tanessa does – for free? 

You can learn the exact same process Tanessa uses to market her business online by joining in Katie’s FREE training webinar – the six steps you need to sell online.  

Keep the conversation going with Tanessa

Follow Tanessa on Instagram 

Tanessa Shears website

Subscribe to Tanessa’s YouTube channel

Resources from this episode of The Whin Big Podcast 

Tanessa’s free guide: 12 Ways to Biohack Your Energy

Becoming Limitless Podcast

Podcast episode: Biohack your pillow (you won’t believe this!)

Brain FM podcast episode Biohack your brainwaves for super focus

Brain FM: Take the Chronoquiz: Dr Michael Breus

Start seeing results from Instagram Reels

Start seeing results from Instagram Reels

Ready to get real results from Instagram Reels? Then you’re in the right place. This is episode 90 of The Whin Big Podcast, and today, Katie’s taking us under the hood of Instagram Reels. It’s not all-singing, dancing and pointing – there’s so much more to using Reels as part of your Instagram marketing strategy.

In this week’s episode, Katie guides us through some strategies for using Reels for audience growth and some easy do’s and don’ts for getting started. Let’s get started!

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Getting more out of your Reels

It’s been a while since we talked about Instagram Reels on the podcast. Our first Instagram Reels was all about the four easy steps to getting started with Reels, and Katie took you through a quick guide to make your first one. How did you get on with it back then? And more importantly – how are you getting on with them now?

There’s been a lot of talk about Reels since Instagram brought the tool out – and it’s hotting up as the algorithm continues to favour Reel posts over all other types. So we thought it was high time we look at Reels more strategically so you can use them to grow your audience.

Still not sure about using Reels?

Don’t worry if you haven’t fully embraced Instagram Reels or are not confident about making more or using them as part of your marketing strategy! Making videos can feel like a big leap into the unknown, but you’re in safe hands here!

Getting started is not as complicated as you think – and if you go back and listen to episode 56 of the Whin Big Podcast, you’ll have Katie guiding you through the four steps to making your first one.

Instagram Reels: Dos and don’ts

Do: Find a consistent visual style.

Spend time working out a style that is all yours so people can recognise them as yours easily. Think about the background, lighting, ook, the text styles, text colours, and any filters or effects you want to use.

Why it’s important: When people swipe through Reels, they’re likely to see one (or more) of your Reel posts. If they watch them, Instagram will show them more. People will start to recognise your Reels – and you – and are much more likely to hit that all-important follow button to make sure they see more.

Don’t: create Reels in poor lighting or a distracting space.

If it’s gloomy or the room is messy, the video will be unappealing – no matter what your message is. Find a clear spot to record in, and use daylight or invest in a ring light to brighten things up.

Why it’s important: Your posts – Reels or otherwise – do the job of creating an impression of who you are and what you do. A shabby, messy, or poorly lit Reel could give an air of unprofessionalism.

Do: imitate popular Reel videos and use trending audios.

Like it or not, Reels is part of the growing TikTok culture where music and memes are re-used again and again. Young people LOVE memes, and using trending audio in Reels is another version of creating a meme. The idea is that you take an established idea (both video format and audio) and apply your message to it (this usually comes in text overlays, props and settings).

Why it’s important: If a video idea or music grows in popularity, the algorithm shows more Reels with the same audio which means your Reels have a chance of being watched by even more people.

Don’t: copy other people’s Reels.

Yes – get inspired, use trending audio clips – but it’s essential to keep it to that. If you see a business owner in your niche use audio well and you love the Reel they made, resist the urge to copy it exactly.

The challenge is to take some of their Reel and add your spin on it somehow. Make a different joke, have a different message – and make sure it looks on-brand to you. If you value the content of their Reel – share it on your own Stories and talk about why you found it inspiring, rather than taking it and using it as your own.

Why it’s important: so many reasons, but you’ll feel so much better about the way you market your business if it comes from a place of integrity. Supporting others (even competitors) can only lead to good things; stealing from others will not get you where you want to go.

Do: create Reels in batches.

And don’t forget to save them to your device (as well as in drafts). It’s brilliant if you can publish a Reel every day, and even if you can’t, more frequent is better, as long as the quality stays high.

It’s not always possible to create a new Reel every day (changing clothes, tidy backgrounds, shifting angles – you know the drill!). So, making a batch of Reels videos just makes life easier.

Here are a few tips on making things go smoothly:

If you’re using other people’s audio (rather than copyrighted songs), you can save the video to your phone – with the audio included – so you can quickly find the audio.
If you use a song, you might get a message when you save the video that the audio isn’t included. To get around that, Katie turns on the audio icon in Reels and screenshot the page with the name of the song on it. She then saves the downloaded videos, with the screenshots, into a Reels folder in her photos app.

Don’t: have ‘going viral’ expectations right away.

And ignore anyone who says that one viral Reel will bring in a massive number of followers.

It all takes time. Time for the algorithm to work out who will engage with your posts. Time for YOU to learn what kind of videos you can do well and make an impact with. It takes time for people to watch more of your videos, recognise your videos, and follow you to get more of your videos.

Do: make Reels that are useful and relevant to your ideal customer.

Reels are not for selling; they are for creating first impressions and building brand awareness. Katie has talked about identifying who your ideal customers are, what their challenges are, their goals are, and their key daily experiences and frustrations.

If you’ve not taken yourself through this exercise yet (or you need a refresh) – bookmark this episode of the Whin Big Podcast so you can do some easy – and very effective – customer research.

Once you know your customers, it will be much easier to share Reels that they relate to.

Don’t: get distracted by Reel trends.

It’s easy to do – but the trends aren’t always helpful or relevant for your audience.

When you scroll through Reels, you’ll see many videos of people changing outfits with cool transitions. Katie loves these videos – and admires the skill in creating them so seamlessly, but has recognised they are not relevant to her business.

It can be a big time waste if you don’t have something relevant to say to your ideal customers – no matter how popular the audio or style is.

Guides and practical tools for growing your business on Instagram

Recently, Katie’s been sharing lots of in-depth guides and tutorials on using Instagram tools – like insights and stories. She’s still figuring out her use of Reels (see? We told you it takes time!). She’s embracing Reels more and learning as she goes – and while she does that, she wants to help you do the same.

So if you have any questions about making Reels or using them in your Instagram marketing strategy – get in touch! You can email us or send a DM over on Instagram (@thewhinco). We loves hearing from Whin Big Podcast listeners and Instagram followers and we’re committed to giving you as much insight and inspiration as possible.

Accounts to follow

Katie shares some of her favourite Instagrammers who use Reels in an inspirational and informative way.

Follow them to get more advice and inspiration for your Reels, and don’t forget to tag Katie @thewhinco in any Reels you create to get feedback!

Brock Johnson (@brock11johnson)

Brock is really good at making of simple, easy to follow Reels. His Reels feature trending audios, and he regularly posts helpful advice on making Reels and marketing on Instagram.

Pure Gallus Social

Roo from @PureGallusSocial, makes lots of bright, fresh and funny Reels with easy-to-follow tips and ideas for business owners. She’s a great source of inspiration if you’re hoping to share information and advice in your Reels as well (prepare yourself for glasses envy!)

Virginia Kerr (@thisisvirginiakerr)

Virginia is an expert on all things video and shares tips for Reels, IGTVs, and Stories. She creates lots of fun characters and has an engaging style.

Resources

[Podcast] 56: 4 easy steps to Instagram Reels

[Podcast] 68: 5 ways to do market research better and understand your customer

[Podcast] 76: The ultimate guide to Instagram Insights

[Podcast] 86: The complete guide to Instagram Stories