Leveraging Instagram with Heather Steinker


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On this episode of Monetize the Mic, Jess sat down with Interview Connections client Heather Steinker to talk about leveraging Instagram!

Following the crumbs in the chaos is a full-time job. As a busy mom of three, a wife to a traveling hubby, and keeping it weird in Austin, Texas, it’s safe to say that Heather’s life is far from boring. Running a household with three young kids takes strategy and a system to keep things moving, like a well-oiled machine.

After many moms came to her asking “How do you do it? I swear you have more time in the day than anyone else,” Heather wanted to show them the way! She created Chaos n’ Cookies to help busy mompreneurs stress less and save time through helpful tools and systems to increase productivity in their lives. Heather teaches her clients to be more efficient in their homes or running their businesses, working smarter and not harder.

In addition to running her coaching business as CNC’s CEO, Heather is a certified coach for a premier virtual fitness and nutrition program helping others feel better while sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Heather gained 10+ years of experience as a Director of Marketing, building multiple court reporting companies.

Oh, and if she wasn’t busy enough, she maintains her own column called “How-to with Heather'' for a local neighborhood magazine, where she teaches her community fun hacks to be more self-sufficient with common household tasks. You can catch her weekly on her Chaos n’ Cookies Podcast, which ranked #80 in Parenting on the USA charts. Heather is helping mompreneurs chip away, one problem at a time.

Social media and Instagram became a tool that Heather started to use when she became a wellness coach. Heather had a sales and marketing background, but when she went into the online space, she knew she had to start using Instagram. At first, Heather didn’t know anything about it!

She sat down and decided to learn all the ins and outs of Instagram so she could use it well. Eventually, people started asking Heather for help with their own social media, so now Heather teaches mompreneurs and entrepreneurs how to best leverage social media, especially Instagram!

Jess first asks Heather about Instagram reels. Reels are funny, entertaining, and can be of such great value to a business. How can entrepreneurs be using them?

Instagram reels are king right now. When these platforms roll out something new, it’s like their new baby, and the algorithm really favors it. Heather explains that if you’re not using reels, you need to be. Heather knows that a lot of entrepreneurs feel intimidated by reels. She sees a lot of pushback because it can look goofy. Entrepreneurs will say, “That’s not me, I’m not going to do that.” But Heather explains that Instagram reels are getting pigeonholed. You don’t have to do goofy dances to leverage Instagram reels.

As an entrepreneur, you could use reels to show a demo or tutorial that demonstrates your value!

Heather goes on to explain the differences between stories, reels, and IGTV. Stories are 15-second clips that stay on Instagram for 24 hours. Stories are for your nurture sequences. They help nurture people who are already following you.

Reels are between 15 and 30 seconds. Reels are more of a viral strategy to get new followers. Reels tend to convert people to become your followers. If your video is between 30 seconds - 1 minute, it goes on your grid. If it’s over 1 min, it will become an IGTV video. Reels are a strategy for video content between your stories and your grid.

Jess then asks Heather what she can tell us about the algorithm. How do you get more of your followers to see your story?

Heather emphasizes the importance of hashtags! You can use hashtags on both your grid posts as well as your stories. Hashtags will extend reach with your stories because hashtags are basically neon signs saying, “Look at me, check me out over here!” Hashtags don’t create engagement, but it gets people to your content. Content is what will get your followers to engage.

Jess asks Heather, how do you choose what hashtags to use?

Heather recommends searching a hashtag to see who is using it and get inspiration that way. Use ones that are specific to your brand. Then you’ll want to use ones that are specific to your niche. In addition, you’ll want to do a series of relevant hashtags just to the post itself.

You can add hashtags in the comments or in the post. If you have a really long post, you’ll need all that character space. If you don’t have space, add the hashtags to the comments. Other people put it in the comments to make it look cleaner. The other strategy of putting hashtags in the comments is that FB or IG doesn’t know it’s you, but it knows that you’re getting a comment. They see it as engagement. It gives it a little bit of a one-up!

Heather reminds us that we have between 10 to 30 minutes to get some kind of impression or the algorithm is going to see it as boring and not continue to push it. It’s really important to get on and engage right away. Get the algorithm to notice!

Finally, Jess wants to know the dos and don’ts for your Instagram profile!

Heather’s first tip is, if your Instagram handle is your name, don’t put your name as the bolded type underneath the photo. We know it’s you by your handle! Put something else, like what you do, or what you’re known for.

You should answer some important questions in your bio, such as What’s your business? Who are you? What do you do? Who do you help? How do you help them? Heather’s last tip is to make sure that your bio has a great CTA! If you use a linktree or a website in your bio, make sure people know what they’ll get when they click that link!

You can connect with Heather at her website chaosncookies.com or follow her on Instagram @chaosncookies! You can click the link in Heather’s bio for a free Lead & Social Tracker Sheet, among other amazing resources!

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