Are you making these mistakes on Instagram?

Show notes:

This week I have been taking a look at your wedding business accounts on Instagram and I was shocked at what I saw! Some of you are making the most basic mistakes, which could be costing you wedding bookings!

In today’s episode I am sharing the 7 Instagram mistakes you could be making in your wedding business, and I will tell you how to fix them!

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Want to listen back to Sue B Zimmerman talking about Instagram bios on episode of the podcast?

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Transcript:

[00:00:00] Recently, I’ve been doing some research. I’ve been taking a look at all sorts of your social media accounts. I’ve been taking a look at what people in the industry are doing. To see where they’re going, right, and where maybe they’re making some mistakes. What I found was really interesting. Today I’m gonna share with you seven mistakes you might be making on Instagram and how to fix them.

I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker and blogger. You are listening to The Wedding Pros who are Ready to Grow Podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. Most of us now have our wedding business on Instagram. We know that brides and grooms hang out there. We know that we wanna showcase our work on the platform. However, many of you are still making some really basic [00:01:00] mistakes when it comes to your Instagram profiles.

And I know this because, as I said, I’ve been doing some research. You will not believe some of the things I saw when I was researching wedding businesses. Just like. On Instagram just last week. So I’m gonna share some of those examples today to help you make sure you are not making the same mistakes.

When we are in our businesses, we can’t see the wood from the trees. We’re on our accounts all of the time, and sometimes the most basic mistakes are holding us back and stopping customers getting in touch and booking us. We don’t want anything to get in their way on that customer journey. We wanna make it plain sailing for all our potential couples.

So today I want you to hear these seven mistakes so you can make sure you are not. Any of them. Okay. My first mistake, and as I said, these are all genuine examples, was I sent a message to someone on Instagram. I dropped them a dm, I found their account, I dropped them a DM, and I got an auto response. Now, I don’t love auto responses, but I also understand that if you are really busy, sometimes an auto response is better than no response.[00:02:00]

However, this auto response. Bearing in mind, I sent them a message on Instagram, said the following. Hi, thanks for sending us a message on Facebook. We’ll be in touch soon. Now I know it’s just a simple mistake they probably don’t even realize they’ve made it. So if that’s you, go in and check your auto response, check what it’s saying because for me, I instantly lose the credibility of that business, the trust in that business.

because I think, I’m not even messaging you on Facebook. I’m messaging you on Instagram. You don’t really know what you’re doing now. Like I. All make these basic mistakes, but it’s a reminder to us if we have got these kind of things automated and set up, we need to go back in and check them. Now, if you do come across something like that with a colleague, make sure you tell them about it because obviously they might not know that that’s what their auto response says, and we can hopefully point it out to them if we’ve got a good relationship.

With them. So if you do have an auto response, do go and check what it says because people might not be so forgiving when it says the wrong thing and if that’s you, or go [00:03:00] and check it now and change it. So it doesn’t say, Thanks for contacting me on Facebook. I know it’s a simple thing, but I just don’t want customers to lose that trust in you before you’ve even sent them a single message.

The second mistake that I’ve seen people making on Instagram is not including their location in their bio. Now, I think this is incredibly important because I want to understand where you are based. Now, I also understand many of you are willing to travel to different parts of the country in order to deliver a wedding.

However, lots of people also wanna shop local and use people in their. Area. So it’s really important you tell people where you are based. Even if it’s just the county or the area based in London, covering the UK based in Bedford, covering the whole of the UK and open to destination weddings. You can still expand that area. If you don’t tell people where you are based in the first place, it’s putting them off.

Because if I go to your account, and I’m not even sure whether you are in the [00:04:00] UK or the us, Well, that might be a problem for me. I don’t wanna waste my time and embarrass myself by emailing the wrong person. Now, this came up for me recently because I was contacting wedding professionals in the Birmingham area.

Now, if you don’t know, there’s a Birmingham here in the uk, but there’s also a Birmingham. In the us Birmingham in Alabama. And so when I was searching for supplies in Birmingham, a real mixture was coming up. And so those that had some kind of display of the Union Jack or said Birmingham UK, I was reaching out to.

But if I wasn’t sure whether they were in the US or in the uk, I was bypassing them and ignoring them. So again, if that’s you, if your county, your location is in another place in the world, make it really clear that you are in the uk. That can be by putting that UK flag, you can just write UK covering the whole of the uk.

But if people don’t know, then you may be losing customers before they’ve even got in contact with you. So do make sure you’ve got some kind of location on your Instagram bio [00:05:00] Now, I don’t mind if it’s the location you live, the location you prefer to work in, but make sure you have something and just saying I’ll go anywhere isn’t really good enough.

Because like I said, some people wanna know that the person that they’re booking lives near to them. It might be that they wanna make it easy to have appointments or they wanna know that you know, the local area. Now, if they’re getting married in a different area, they may want someone from that area so that they know that they’re the expert in that place.

So it’s a very simple change to your bio. Make sure you’ve got some kind of location. Ideally, add UK to the end of it if it could be ambiguous and make sure it’s clear for everyone to see. Okay. The third mistake I found when I was searching on people’s Instagrams again, was in the direct messages. When I direct message some people, the thing that comes back is an instant auto response.

Again, don’t love an auto response, but I understand why sometimes you have to do it. Saying, Hi, Thanks for messaging me. Go and fill out this enquiry form. Now, again, I [00:06:00] totally understand this from a business perspective, we are all so busy all of the time, and it feels like the easiest thing is to make everyone fill out that form on our website, but you have to understand that’s frustrating for your customer.

They’ve already gone to the lengths of contacting you and reaching out to you. On Instagram, and now you are giving them a very impersonal hoop to jump through. There’s no, hey, couple of questions and then go out, fill out the form. It’s literally go fill out that form. And so you are probably losing people who just think, Well, no, I’ve already messaged you.

I’m not gonna fill out the form already. Just imagine for a moment that you are shopping online. Perhaps you go to Amazon, perhaps you are shopping from John Lewis, on their. And something goes wrong or you need a question answered, and so you go to their virtual chat, the equivalent of the direct message.

You drop a message in their direct chat asking the question, and then they reply saying, Thanks for messaging us. Fill out this form. It’s really frustrating. You want an answer straightaway, and that’s what [00:07:00] you are doing to these potential couples when you just auto send them another form. Also, chances are there’ll be a percentage of people that now won’t contact you at all, because they don’t wanna fill out the form.

In an ideal world, the best thing you can do is if someone messages you on Instagram to reply to them and have a informal conversation with them on Instagram, answer their questions, and then try and move them maybe onto a call, uh, or onto another different part of your booking process. But by telling them that they’ve just gotta jump through more hoops is going to frustrate some people and may lose you some.

Now, I know you’re gonna say it’s hard to keep track of the messages and it’s hard to know where they are, and I get that, but that’s the world we’re living in today. We are contactable in all different kinds of areas, and to be honest, we need to go out of our way for our customers, or you need to understand that you may be losing a percentage of your potential couples by doing that.

So if you are happy with that, if you’re fully booked, and it doesn’t matter if you lose. Then go ahead and carry on with that method. But [00:08:00] if you want the best conversion rate, a personal response quick, and sure is much better than telling them to go and fill out a form. Okay. The next mistake I may saw people making was a huge one.

So this one was that they had their accounts on private, so they weren’t public accounts. Now, if you are a business, you should have your Instagram accounts set so that everyone can see it. They don’t have to be following you. And one of these accounts I found, and I could see their pictures, but they had their messages, their direct messages turned to private, which meant.

I tried to send them a message about an opportunity, and I got an auto response from Instagram saying, You can’t message this person unless they’re following you. Wow. What a barrier to entry that is. If one of your couples is trying to contact you or someone wants to message you, to book you, and they’re getting a message saying, Sorry, you can’t message this person unless they follow you.

Well, to be honest, you’re gonna move on and you’re gonna find someone else. So, [00:09:00] Go in and check your settings. Make sure your account, if it’s a business account, is visible to everyone. It shouldn’t be a private account, it should be public. And make sure people can send you a message unless you’ve got a business decision why your dms are turned off.

And if that’s the reason you need to put that clearly in your bio because otherwise I’m just gonna bypass you over. To be honest, if I can’t direct message you, I’m probably gonna bypass you over anyway because I don’t have the time to then go into my email or fill, fill out your inquiry form. So just think.

Different customers habits, but don’t make your profile private and definitely don’t have your messages switched onto that setting because it feels like, why can’t I message you? Am I not good enough for you because you’re not following me back? It just doesn’t give the right impression. And again, it’s a simple setting.

You just wanna check that it’s not switched on. Okay. The next mistake that I saw some wedding businesses making, and again, some of you won’t even believe this is possible, but there were a number of businesses out there that when I went to their profiles, they had nothing in their [00:10:00] bio. Nothing at all. No information.

Not just no location, nothing to tell me who they were, where they were based, what they did, what problem they were solving for me, what I should do next. Literally nothing. If this is you, this is a massive, wasted opportunity. Your bio is keyword searchable on Instagram. That’s important. Your bio is a place where you tell people the problem you can solve for them and why they should book you and where to go to find out more information.

If you’re not giving people that information, you might as well not have your Instagram account. Up there. So do go in and have a look in that bio. In a previous episode of the podcast, I interviewed the Instagram expert, Sue B Zimmerman, and she talked a lot about things you should include in your bio. So if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I encourage you to go back and listen to that.

Episode, but please don’t have your Instagram page out there with no bio. Get as much information in that bio as you can. Don’t make it dry and boring. Don’t waste it with talking about your pets and things like that. Make sure you’re telling people what problem you can solve for them, [00:11:00] where you are, what you do, and how you can solve it, and what they need to do next.

Okay. Number six on my list of mistakes I saw on people’s Instagram accounts that you might be making as well, and I see this a lot and it makes me hold my head in my hands. It’s terrible pictures. You may have the best product in the whole wide world, but if your pictures are terrible and you’re just taking them on your phone, you are not marketing and selling yourself to the level you should.

Terrible photos. Stand out a mile on Instagram. Instagram has always been an image led platform. When I go to your profile, I should see a portfolio of the highest quality of your work, just as good as your website. And if you are just taking photos on your phone and popping them on your Instagram grid, you are doing yourself a disservice.

You need to have professional images of your product or service available so you can use them on your Instagram. Now, I know that you might not [00:12:00] have these, so here’s a couple of options for you. First up, get involved in a style shoot locally to you. This is a great way to collaborate with other wedding suppliers, but also a really great way for you to get some really high quality images or some of your products.

Then you can use them on your Instagram feed as long as you’re tagging the other suppliers. The second option is to pay someone to do a brand photography shoot. Lots of photographers, particularly in the winter, move away from weddings and offer their brand photography services. In these sessions, yes, you’re gonna pay for them, but you can have a multiple images of you with different parts of your product or service.

On show. You can change outfits and then you can use these photos again and again and again on your social media pages. The next way to get images is to make friends with the photographers who are working at the weddings where your product or service is being offered. Ask if you can use their photos in return for a credit.

They’ve taken a photo of your flowers or your cake, or your suits, or your dress, [00:13:00] or whatever it is that you do, ask them. Build a relationship with them. Understand it might take them a while before those images are ready for you, but just ask nicely. The better relationship you have with that photographer and making sure that you are crediting them and giving them the glory for their photos, the more likely you are to get them.

The final thing, if you can’t do any of those options, is to invest in some equipment, to take your own photographs, making sure that you know what you’re doing, get it in some kind of blank space or a black box. Get some good lighting, a decent camera, even some phones now have really good quality cameras, but it’s all about the background, how you showcase that product, the way you style it.

There’s so much more to it than just snapping a. Remember, when it comes to your Instagram, your grid is your portfolio. I should be able to go to your grid and see the best of the best of your product or service. It should wow me. It should make me want to spend my money with you and book you. If you wanna show little behind the scenes clips and things like that, put them in your Instagram stories, not on [00:14:00] your grid.

Your Instagram stories can be much more informal. Things you’ve taken on your phone. The things on your grid should be professional looking images. Remember, you need to show the level that you want to be selling at, and that’s where these brand shoots and style shoots can really come into their own.

Because just because you haven’t made a 10 tier cake for a wedding yet doesn’t mean you can’t make a 10 tier cake and have it photographed and start using it all over your social media. And guess what? Maybe someone will then book that 10 tiered cake. The final mistake I’m seeing people making all of the time on their Instagram is that there’s no pictures of them.

Go take a look at your Instagram. Now. When was the last time you posted on your grid a photograph of yourself? Now, I know you’re probably feeling a little bit self-conscious and you’re thinking, I don’t really wanna put myself on the grid, and I totally get that. However, when a consumer or a stranger.

Finding your profile. They wanna know who the face is behind the business. For most of you, [00:15:00] your small business owners is either just you or you and a small team. And people wanna know who they’re booking. Yes, they like seeing your flowers, your cakes, your photographs, or whatever it is that you offer. But they also want to see you.

You should be trying to have your face on your grid, every nine images so that if I go to your profile, I can see who you are immediately. Some profiles I visited didn’t have any photos of themselves at all, even if I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the grid. And if that’s you, then again, you need to get some photos of yourself on there.

If you’re struggling for photos of yourself, get involved in a styled shoot where they do behind the scenes. Or pay a brand photographer to take some incredible photos of you. There’s loads out there post in my group Wedding Pros who are ready to grow. Ask people if anyone is a brand photographer in your area who’d be willing to work with you on some photos.

Yes, it’s gonna cost you a little bit of money. However, it’s well worth the investment and you can use those photos again and again and again, especially if you’re savvy and you change outfit [00:16:00] part way through. Okay. Let’s recap those mistakes you might be making on Instagram so you can make sure you’re not doing any of them.

First up, make sure if you’ve got auto response, that the message makes sense. Secondly, make sure your location is on your Instagram profile. Tell me what country you’re in. Tell me where you cover, but don’t leave it blank. Don’t make people jump through hoops. If you’re telling people to DM you, then they DM you and you tell them to fill out a form.

They’re just gonna give up on the process. Make it as easy as possible for them. Get them to send you one word book if they’re interested in finding out more or prices, and then start a small conversation with them. Make sure you don’t have your settings on Instagram set to private. Make sure people can message and DM you.

If they’re sending you spam, you can just delete them or block them, but the good people need to be able to get through. Make sure you’re making the most of that bio section on your profile. Don’t leave the bio blank. Make sure you’re telling people the problem you solve, the service you offer, [00:17:00] and how they can get in contact with you.

Make sure you’ve got a good quality of photographs. This is got to sell you. It’s got to be a marketing platform. Make sure it’s the best of the best of your images. Make sure it’s showcasing me, whatever you do at the top end and where you want to be, not where you are now. And finally, make sure that somewhere on your grid, ideally every nine posts is a photo of you.

People buy from people and they wanna see who you. Now, before we close off today’s episode, there’s one final thing that I want to talk about, which is incredibly important when it comes to your Instagram account. More and more I’m hearing awful stories about how people’s Instagram accounts are getting hacked.

Recently, inside my wedding Pro member’s lounge, we had a guest expert called Paul Newton. Come in and talk to us all about hacking and how we can keep ourselves safe online. If you’re interested in listening to that video and being part of the members club, Go check out the link in the show notes below.

It’s still online. You can go and watch it. It was an incredible session. He gave us loads [00:18:00] of great tips, but he talked about Instagram hacking and like I said, I’m seeing this more and more where people are coming to me and saying their Instagram account has been hacked or they’ve been locked out of it.

Someone’s stolen it and they’ve lost it. And I know how painful that is for them because they spent hours and hours and hours building that up and overnight it’s. Now, the best way to stop this happening to you is to turn on something called two factor authentication on your Instagram app. It’s super simple.

You just do it in the settings, turn it on, and that means that even if someone gets your password, they still need to get your phone number or your email to get into your account. So set it up so that it sends you a text if someone tries to log into your account. And then if it’s not, You can stop them logging in and you’re protecting your account.

Like I said, super simple. You can do it for Facebook and Instagram. Get two factor authentication turned on, and stop those hackers getting into your account. You’ve worked really hard on that account. The last thing I want is for you to lose it overnight, and that is the best way to protect yourself. So right [00:19:00] now, as we finish this episode, go into your Instagram, go into settings and make sure two factor authentication is switched.

I’d love to know how you found today’s episode. Drop me a message on Instagram, especially if you’ve made any changes based on the things we’ve talked about today. And why not go ahead and leave me a rating on the show or a review. It would be amazing. I’ll see you next week.

Becca xo

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