My average IG feed engagement is up 147% from roughly 60 days ago... ya hearddddd me, sis. ?
Even though that engagement number is still crazy small compared to some, it's important to me because IG is my first touch. It's where I can connect and meet new mamas. Where I can pull in new listeners to my show who I GET to serve at a higher capacity.
Social media isn't where I choose to do business... it's where I choose to mingle. The first date so to speak. It's where my avatar can see if my message is even for her. If I'm her style, if I resonate and relate to her... and vice versa.
Yeah yeah Stef, but HOW did you actually grow your engagement?! Well I'm so glad you ASKED queen! I have been playing with different methods, testing, failing, and trying again for the past 2 years. IG can be a BEAR. And, once you finally gain traction? Something changes.
THIS is exactly why you need to be growing your OWN list and brand vs housing your leads in your DMs... but I digress... ?
Back to upping that engagement girl ?
I revamped my entire IG strategy roughly 60 days ago. I'm talking my layout, how often I used professional photos vs my iphone, the type of content and vunerabilities I was willing and (totally unready) to start sharing... content layout and attention grabbing headlines... Sure, changing up your entire strategy is RISKY, but as with EVERYTHING else this year, I'm all about genuine truth and freakish vunerability, so I went for it. ?
AND IT WORKED ? (at least so far... #DearAlgorithms)
Join me on today's episode of the podcast so I can lay it all out for ya. How I grew my average engagement by 147% and how you can too.
Love and light,
P.S. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to share a screenshot in your IG stories! I will shout you out on my stories! Yeahhh!!!!!
Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
What's up boss. Welcome to episode 69 of the show today. I'm going to share with you how I grew my Instagram feed engagement by 147% in 30 days. Kind of crazy. I'm like, did that really happen? Pretty sweet. I'm pumped. And it's going to be great. Anyways, did you know if you take a screenshot of my podcast while you're listening, go into your Instagram stories, tag me and hashtag the mompreneur mastermind show that I will share it in my stories. How much fun would that be? I want you to do it right now. Sister, if you've ever learned anything on this show, show me some love and show some love to the show, help us spread our mission of getting more mamas to join us, to recognize that they can have it all success and business and be an amazing present mama and have all the things. So take that screenshot, share it up there. And I'm going to
Meet you in the show. What's up. Mama boss. Welcome back to The Mompreneur Mastermind Show. I'm Stefanie Gass, success strategist and passive income queen creator. If you're ready to step into your God, led potential, create profit from your passions and capture the success that is already yours. This podcast was made for you as always. You can find out more and connect with me over at stefaniegass.com. So grab that cup of coffee or fill up that glass of wine and let's dig in to today's show. Y'all
Like I'm flipping out over the incredible podcasts that my students are launching inside a podcast pro university. It's blowing my mind. Like they're having so much fun. They are rocking and rolling launching podcast episodes, starting to create amazing brands and pouring content out into the world. Audibly, which is the number one way of consuming information for the mompreneur community. PS. It's growing over 30% every single year. And they saw the value in getting in before the masses. Here's what a couple of my students have to say. Jess Brown says, Steph will walk you through starting a podcast step-by-step and give you a cute checklist to go with it. I went from feeling like nothing was going to work, and I was so overwhelmed by the idea of starting a show to ordering my microphone and being well on my way. If you're on the fence about this, I get it.
I was too. I thought podcasting was for people who had time to spare girl. I was wrong with podcast pro university. You can become equipped and empowered to get yours up and running. And Jess is rocking and rolling. Now, Candice Horton has to say, I've worked with Steph for five years. She's not just an amazing social media and marketing, but she's also talented, raw and motivating. I trust her wholeheartedly. There are many different people that you could turn to when it comes to business, social media, podcasting, coaching and branding. But Stephanie was my first choice to help me for a multitude of reasons. I'm so glad I chose to invest in her because she always invests in me. Her courses, take any guesswork out and explain things in an easy and understandable way. She's done all the work for you, especially with podcast pro university.
This is gold. It's hours of time that you're saving, not having to do the research yourself. If you're searching for something more or need help getting to the next level, she will get you there. Stephanie does not disappoint. She will help you find your niche. Take your business to a whole new level. I can't thank her enough. And this is from Candice Horton who runs jesus' chaos and coffee podcast. I'm just so grateful for my students. And you guys, if you end up purchasing this course with me, you get to be part of my membership community completely free. And this is a group of empowered, inspiring women, just like Jess and Candice, who are going to work with you along with me to help your podcast become a success story. If you're ready to invest in creating an amazing brand, just like these ladies, I want you to head over and learn more about starting your very own podcast at Bitly slash 10 steps to podcasting Bitly slash the number 10 steps to podcasting.
Save your seat. Let's dig into this crazy easy topic today. And I first want to disclaimer this. Like I was actually really afraid to record this episode because I'm like, what if by the time it airs my engagements back down, but then I figured like, whatever, I'm going to share it. Because as of today, right now, as I record this episode, if you were to take the previous 30 days. So it was from March 15th, ish, April 15th, and compare it to April 16th through May 23rd ish. My engagement has increased just my feed engagement, not my stories. Cause we, we know my stories has gone crazy. Recently the feed itself has increased by 147%. That's nuts. And I feel like this is the focus. If you want to become an influencer, they don't care about your followers. They care about your engagement. If you want to get brands to sponsor you, if you want to get great interviews on your shows, if you want to have an impact on more people, engagement is where you need to be focused, not the number of followers.
Okay. Like it used to be. So here's what I've done to shift up my engagement rate and elevate it like crazy. In the past 30 days. Number one, I have struggled struggle bus with the layout for forever. Like I've never felt like this is my life, the layout, you know, that I went from, I had this really polished layout, the white memes I had borders. I was always changing up the borders or trying to put more means in there. I thought, Ooh, if I post more often, but have captions that are just quick or a quote, I'm going to gain more traction because I'm posting more often. So I kept going back and forth. Finally. I'm like, this just doesn't feel right. So I took a screenshot on my feed, it posted it up in some different groups I asked and pulled my audience. I'm like, what do you guys think? Do you like this feed? Do you like the borders? And it's so funny. Cause I was like inundated with people saying, it's not you like it's so professional and shiny. And like makeupy and like you are so not that girl, you are, you know, quirky and loud and messy with your crazy hair and chasing your kids and you know, just kind of outrageous.
I think somebody actually did say that and they're like, you need to change your feed to match your personality. But I'm like, ah, like I've spent so much time making it so polished and I struggled with it. But then I said, okay, for 30 days, I'm going to test this theory and I'm going to go raw. I'm going to get rid of the fancy polished photos, no borders. I'm nixing the memes. Like if I'm going to go all in on being raw, Stephanie in the feed, like I am in my stories, let's do the dang thing. Like let's actually test it and see what type of impact that this will make. So, and I was like kind of annoyed because I'm like, gosh, nobody likes my feet. I thought everybody liked it. Like the sticking my tongue out at them. I'm like, nah. So roughly 30 days ago I changed out my feet and you guys can go look at this.
The layout is what I'm talking about. I changed the layout and I just started taking pictures with my iPhone on portrait mode of me and my mess, my actual real life. I used some, the professional photos that I'd had in the past, but I made sure I had the same bright, colorful filter on there. That was one thing I refused to do was to have the same white blush background filter that everybody else has a no disrespect. If that's the one that you love, it's just not me. Like I am vivacious and bright and like shiny. And I need all the things like colors. So I was like, I'm just going to do this and see what happens. Like I'm going to use this colorful theme with the same bright, fresh layout across all of these home photos. Okay. I'm getting rid of the memes.
So I first and foremost, number one changed my feed. Number two, I got rid of the memes and this was hard for me because in the past those quotes or memes, as you have whatever you want to call it, those had the highest engagement for me. But most of those, weren't my quote. And you know, set, like I've also gotten really, really clear. I'm like, Oh, if you're going to use someone, else's quote, you've got to cite them. You have to find out who said it, you need to put their name on there. And it just started getting kind of weird for me morally. Cause I'm like, Ooh, like I didn't use to cite people. And now I feel really bad about that. And like, do I still want to use quotes at all? So I started doing my own quotes, pulling quotes out of like my podcast recordings.
It was so much work. And I thought, you know what, let me see if I get rid of the memes completely. And then I put those quotes into the captions, if that will make a big difference. So I fully got rid of the memes and I thought this was going to be a horrible decision because the memes had had great traction for me in the past. So that was number two. But I did it. Number three, I started to get super creative with what my captions were saying. Okay. And not just what they were saying, but also the heading sentence in the caption. All right. So let's dig into this one for a second, right? Like, let's talk about the caption struggle. You got a great photo and now you have to put something with it. Like, what are you going to say? For me?
It was like something fluffy, like go girls like a hashtag like comment. If you're with me boring, boring, or this is what we're doing today. Hope you're all having a great day at this zoo. Like blah yuck. Or it was fluff like a quo. I would just go Google, like, you know what quote can I use for mom? Prenuer like, yeah, fuck. That's what everybody's doing. And so I get the struggle though. Cause it's like, what do I say? So when you're digging into how to create really creative, hard hitting captions that are going to have your avatar coming back for more, you have to figure out what are her triggers? How can you relate? What are the hardest stories, the hardest vulnerabilities that you've ever faced. And you got to share them.
I know I did it. If I can do it, you can do it. Okay. You've got to pour out these relatable situations to your avatar and then give her some advice, tips or the sequence of events that led you to get through that hard moment. Also sharing the wins, like the big moments in your life or the things that you love because she might want that same life. She may want that same lifestyle, but you're speaking directly to her. You're hitting her triggers and you're hitting her dreams, her wishes, her aspirations. And then you've got to sit there. This is where it gets crazy because you have to take the time to do it. You got to draft out the caption. You got to sit there and actually write down this embarrassing moment in your life. You gotta revise it so that it fits into this caption.
Like every time they're like too many letters, I'm like, Oh geez. So I got to cut it down. Which takes time. You got to revise it. And then finally you have to figure out what is the number one situation in this caption or the number one eye-opener or like raunchy sentence or what's the thing that's going to draw their attention because you have two seconds to get them to read that caption. Okay. Two seconds. So even if you have a great photo, but you have a fluffy caption, it's done, you lost. Even if you have a meme with a great caption, most often you lost, okay, you got to have a moderately great photo or at least a photo that's going to capture attention. And then a caption with the first sentence is going to slap that person in the face. Like they're going to keep reading, for example, some of my recent first sentences in my caption, can we talk about perfection?
What does perfect mean to you? Is it attainable? That was one of my highest engagement post. Recently. How about this one? You shouldn't wear shorts. You have cellulite. What? Like they're going to keep reading right? That one is one of my highest engagement posts. How about I was scared. I'd poop on the surgery table. You guys, I can't make this up telling you all right. Let's see what else? Seven weeks since my breast X plant surgery. Now, granted not all of your posts are going to have like this cause hello? Like that's crazy. You know, breast X, plants and pooping on the surgery table, cellulite, like those words and those moments. Those are hard hitting moments, which is exactly why my engagement has gone up. Okay. Now you're not always going to have those captions, but if you can space those out. So for example, I try to space that one out with one that maybe not quite as hard hitting, I don't want all four of my best hard hitting posts in the same sequence.
Right? I knew this cellulite post is going to go crazy. I knew that the one with my mama belly hanging out, talking about perfection, I knew that was going to go crazy. I knew that the one about my podcast hitting 20,000 downloads was going to go crazy. So I spaced them out because if people come and find it and they like it and they follow me, then the next one, you know, doesn't have to be as great. Cause you're not going to come up with like golden first sentences like that every single time. So space it out. So then, you know, you've got this really amazing first sentence. You then going to take them through the caption by storytelling. So let's example dig into that cellulite post of mine. So I first say shouldn't wear shorts. You have cellulite now quick, I got their attention.
What? It's got a photo of me wearing shorts, a crop top. My cellulite is showing, even though I don't really have cellulite, but that's the point of this story is that this crazy guy ruined my shorts, swearing life for decades because of what he said to me. So then I go into a story and I storytell, it was eighth grade. We had a festival at park. It was going to be hot. I mustered up the courage and I put on those new white shorts. I never really wore shorts before that day because well at five, four and 130 pounds, I was obviously fat. I was having fun. When the most popular boy in eighth grade walked up to me and he told me, point blank, you shouldn't be wearing shorts. You have cellulite. I was crushed. I bit my lip to hold back the tears.
And I tried to casually laugh it off little. Did that boy know that one cruel sentence would affect me for next decade of my life. I would often say I can't wear shorts. I hate my legs. Punish my body for never being good enough or worthy enough. Binge eat excessively workout, take diet pills. You probably recognize this cycle, but guess what? Here I am. 34 and baby I'm wearing short shorts. I've released the dumb notion that society gets to define my worth. I say, screw. What other people think of you? I now can proudly scream out. I love my body. Cellulite stretch, marks, scars and all. Oh, and Hey, popular boy. Not only am I 15 pounds heavier than I was in middle school, but I still have cellulite. And I also have scars for my two perfect children's C-sections stretch marks down my stomach and butt and scars where I removed those dumb breast implants from trying to become perfect for people like you friend.
I challenge you to step into your beauty, your imperfections, revel in that amazingly, perfectly imperfect body that God gifted you because baby girl, you got it going on. Who's with me. Okay. So could you guys feel into that story? Like, were you with me at the park when he told me you have cellulite? I was crushed, right? Like how did it affect me? And then I related it back to my avatar. Lola who's listening on the other end of the speaker and Lola's going, I have cellulite. I'm embarrassed of my cellulite. I have stretch marks. I'm embarrassed in my stretch marks. So I'm relating with Lola. Then I'm saying Lola, like, let's rise up. Like let's, let's conquer this. Let's say no more shaming, no more body shaming, no more hate. Let's love our bodies and our imperfection. So I'm rallying Lola. And then I asked her to take action by saying who's with me, right.
I have 102 comments on this post and 731 likes. And that's great for me. That's really, really great for my account. It's super, super high engagement. And so if you can craft your hard hitting posts, let's say every other or every two, they're really hard hitting to have a great photo, realistic photo. You can use portrait mode on your cell phone. You don't got to spend a ton of money here, guys, you have a sentence that's going to grab attention. You storytell, you relate you rally. And then you have a call to action at the end, you're going to your engagement. Okay? And this came from me doing brainstorming on what are the most embarrassing, hardest gut wrenching, dark moments I have ever experienced in my life. And how can I use that story to uplift and inspire? Lola's my avatar because she's probably gone through similar experiences and I can do this in life, in motherhood, in business, in my heart, in my body with our finances, because I know that a mompreneur, who is my avatar is also facing all of those things.
She's also dealing with family and her body and her insecurities struggling for more income, more time you guys, right? Like all the things, all the things so that, yeah, it's number three, get creative with your captions and your heading sentences. Number four, it had to come up with some better call to actions within these captions that weren't just selling. So if you go back and you look at like 60 days ago, it's constantly like, you know, I have a course and do this and work with me and check out my book podcasts. I'm like, wow, those are great. And not all of those are making money. Like go check out my podcast. People get sick of being sold. So space that out. I still am going to say, come listen to my show. Of course, but I actually just want to start driving the engagement if they don't even, I don't want them to click out of the app.
I just want them to comment, to double tap, to tag a friend, get that engagement growing and going. And then I've actually really shifted my clickable call to actions up into the stories. And I'm having a lot more success with that. So for example, I have this one about, Hey superwoman. Yeah. You chasing down that big dream in your heart. And it's like me with a coffee cup. And like I'm a hot mess. My mom Budd the call to action here is let's show them what female empowerment looks like. Tag a mompreneur. So I'm shifting it from go listen to the podcast, which might be about female empowerment that day too. Hey tag a mompreneur because what's that going to do guys? It's going to drive action. They don't have to click out of the app. They are tagging someone else who could potentially follow me or click on my link in my bio, which has the podcast in there.
Okay. So get creative with your call to action. Every time you need a call to action double-click if you agree, tag a mompreneur comment. If you're with me, share a fear that you're facing below you guys like get them to comment. That is, I think the first focus, cause that's driving your algorithm, it's driving your engagement rate and all things. Instagram are beyond our control unless we have, what's still beyond our control, but it's better. If you have good engagement. Last tip number five, I started engaging back to every human being. Everyone I was trying to do this 60 days ago and like I'd comment and put like an emoji, like a heart, like yeah. Okay. I commented by cause it's time-consuming I get it. But here's the thing. If this is a first touch with somebody and I just put a heart, do they care?
No, but what if I reply in a meaningful way or I ask her a question or I encourage her or I motivate her or I inspire her or I take the time to go to her page and leave a loving comment on a, on a post, like really engaging with these people because I reminded myself if somebody takes the time to actually like this post, first of all, that's huge. Cause I don't like every post that I see, but if they comment Holy smokes, like that's probably my Lola right there. Like I need to go and pour into her for a second. Like, cause I want her to come and listen to my show so that I can change her life. Truly I can inspire her and make her happy and further my mission of helping women understand that they can have it all. They can be incredible mothers and insanely successful entrepreneurs.
They can be both without guilt. And so I started to actually comment, like for example, if someone says to me, Oh my gosh, I have cellulite too. And I'm feeling so frustrated with it or I'm embarrassed by it. Like on my cellulite posts instead of just being like, girl, you got this, I would take a minute. And like actually reply. Like I've been there. You know, I didn't wear shorts for years and I know how hard it is to overcome these limiting beliefs. But God made you perfectly imperfect and I hope and pray for you that you can start to love your body just as it is like actually taking the time to try to touch her and change her in some way. They're granted. If they left an emoji on mine, I'll probably just leave an emoji. But the people that took the time to really say something of substance to me, I took the time to say something of substance back.
And I probably went to her page as well and commented on some of her posts or even DMD her, just like, Hey, I saw your comment on my post. I just want to say this. You know, I'm sending you some love and a big hug do that because when you engage, you've now created rapport with someone and you've taken it from, Oh, this was a funny post to, Oh wow, that's a real human, like Stephanie actually cares and I do care and I want them to know that. So those are my five things that I did in the past 30 days. And it grew my engagement rate 147%. So how do you calculate your engagement rate? You guys, you're going to take the last 30 posts let's say. And you're going to add up the total number of likes and comments on those posts. All right.
Divide them by the number of posts and then divide them by your following. Okay. So for example, let's say that you had 137 likes and 10 comments. That's 147. You would then divide that number by your total followers. Let's say you had a hundred followers. That would be a 5.8% engagement. All right. Now, if you're trying to find an average engagement, like by 30, you've got to add up all 30 likes and comments divided by 31st to get your average then divided by your followers. And then you're going to multiply it by 100, which will give you your percentage. Okay. And then do it again. 30 days later after you've implemented, you can try these changes cause they worked for me and I'm going to continue to do this and continue my experiment. I'll let you guys know if for some reason it falls back, but so far so good.
Instagram is constantly evolving and changing. It's a beast man. So we just got to do the best that we can for sure. Anyways, I'm excited that you're here with me. You're part of my sisterhood. I love you. I'm cheering for you. I believe in you. I'm sending you a humongous hug through this microphone. Gosh girl, like just keep going. Just keep pushing. I don't care if you feel like quitting right now, if you're frustrated, if you're overwhelmed, you feel stuck. You have to keep moving forward. I pray that you find it in your heart to continue forward on your mission. I pray that you dig into, what's not working in your life and you release it. You let it go. I pray that you find the right friendships and mentors that can lift you and light you up. I pray that you have enough courage to release the friendships and relationships that are not serving you anymore. It's hard. But I believe that we are who we hang out with. We are what we fuel our mind and heart with and you friend, you're going places. So make sure you're surrounding yourself with people just like that. I pray over you in every sense, your field with patience, kindness, and grace today. And I'll see you soon as always love and light.
Lots of fancy unused education. Podcast Coach, Clarity Coach, & Top #25 Ranked Podcast Host for Christian Entrepreneurs.