Stop Sharing Your Story On Instagram

Everywhere you look these days, marketing gurus are telling you to share your story on social media. Connect with your audience, make yourself vulnerable, open up, etc. What I'm going to say right now will shock you to your very core and you will never be the same again: Your customers don't care about your story. 

What???

Let me be clear. Your customers DO care about your business story, but NOT your personal story. Let's talk about the difference between the two.

Many creative business owners interpret "Share Your Story" to mean they should avoid product photos like the plague and consistently post pictures of their kids, cat, and dimly lit photos of date nights at Olive Garden. This makes customers feel awkward. It is TMI for them. They want to interact with you, the person who makes cool stuff, but they don't want an all-access pass to your life. 

But, Caitlin, I love seeing pictures of other people's cats and kids. 

That's fine and dandy, but we're not talking about what YOU like to see. We're talking about what YOUR CUSTOMER wants to see. This can be a hard pill to swallow. Don't get me wrong I love a good cat picture. It can be really fun when people make their own hashtag for their kitty and add a photo once a week or so. It's just not a good idea to fill your entire feed with cat photos. A little goes a long way. Don't come for me crazy cat ladies, I am one of you.

Fine. Less cats. But wait, I've seen other famous creative entrepreneurs show pics of their kids and they have tons of followers.

Take a closer look at the photos of their children. Most of the time, the photo of their kids are infrequent. You don't feel like you're reading their Christmas Newsletter when you look at their Instagram feed. The people that do regularly show pictures of their kids (and have large followings) do so in a way that is expertly branded and usually used to promote something. For example, imagine a photo of a neutral-super-chic-minimal kid's room with a mom and kid wearing clothes that match the room. The caption might read something like, "Sundays are for snuggles and hot cocoa in our teepee. Read how you can make your own teepee on the blog." This person probably never allows hot cocoa to be sipped in their all-beige home, but it is a beautifully staged ad. Bravo, neutral-super-chic-minimal mom. 

But, Caitlin, I don't want to be too sales-y. I feel weird just showing my products all the time.

I am not suggesting that you only show product pics. That would be horrible advice. If someone only wants to look at your products they can go directly to your website. However, your products should make a regular appearance. If someone were to look at the last five images you posted, could they figure out what you sell? If not, you need to readjust your content strategy. Your business Instagram account is promoting your business. 

Alright, alright. I get it. Share my business story, not my personal story. What is my business story? 

Think about the process that leads to your finished product. The brainstorming, the collaborating, the creating, the packaging, etc. Your job is to craft bite-sized stories from this process for your audience to gobble up. Here are some ideas from Camie Dyess of Fresh Baked Paper Goods. You can follow her on Instagram for more insight into how she shares her business story.

1. Designing: This image shows the design work that happens before the stamp is created. Note the pencil and carving tools that are used as styling props.

2. Hand Tools: Nothing says handmade like a beautiful photograph showing hand tools and a still-in-progress product.

3. Creating: Capture your audience's attention with a visually interesting display of products that are being created.

4. The Finished Product: Make sure to include styled images of your insanely gorgeous finished product. Otherwise, your entire Instagram feed may end up looking like nothing ever comes to fruition.

If you want more help creating a personalized content calendar that shares your business story, sign up for a One-On-One Brainstorming Session today.