Knowing the rules — and knowing how to break them — on Instagram can help you fire up a huge following for your brand. In this podcast, “The” Betty Rocker shows you how you can rock your Instagram account.
00:50 – Introducing “The” Betty Rocker
01:30 – James bakes vegetarian cupcakes
02:17 – How Betty started her brand
03:00 – The U.S. food scene
03:52 – Betty vs. bad food
04:58 – Is Instagram your primary platform?
05:54 – Betty’s stats on Instagram and Facebook
07:32 – An awesome way to leverage Instagram followers to Facebook
08:40 – Monetizing your Instagram account
09:59 – What if you lose your Instagram account?
10:49 – Can you make money? Oh yeah.
12:20 – Target your market with what they want to see
13:28 – Use Instagram to motivate and inspire people
14:40 – Getting into Pinterest marketing
15:28 – Using Instagram content across different platforms
17:05 – Have an Instagram targeted account
18:05 – How do you get analytics on Instagram?
19:07 – Top apps to use on Instagram
22:34 – Should you use videos or pictures on Instagram?
24:30 – Engineering captions to engage people
25:01 – How old is Betty Rocker?
27:02 – Using filters to make pics more interesting
27:55 – Is it OK to get controversial on Instagram?
29:12 – Rules on creating captions
31:00 – What’s great about hashtags?
35:37 – Action steps and cool tricks
Is Instagram the Neverland? [Click To Tweet].
Leverage your Instagram followers. [Click To Tweet].
Create the right Instagram account. [Click To Tweet].
Get your stats on Instagram. [Click To Tweet].
How to use hashtags. [Click To Tweet].
James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. In this interview series, I’ve been talking to experts about what they are specializing in, and in very different subjects to some that I’m familiar with. In this case, it’s a topic that I have almost no understanding of and that’s why I’ve brought on my friend, Bree, to talk about Instagram. Welcome to the call, Bree.
Bree: Hey James, hey everybody.
What’s behind “The” Betty Rocker
James: Now, most people call you as The Betty Rocker. I’m really interested in this stage name thing and if that has been an obstacle for you or is it a positive for you when you go out there in the social media platform?
Bree: Actually, I find it to be incredibly useful. I wanted to have a name for the brand that people could sort of rally behind and imagine themselves as.
James: Was it sourced from Betty Crocker?
Bree: I guess, kind of. I mean, I have been kind of an adrenaline junkie for life and I also like to bake and cook so people were calling me punk rock Betty Crocker since I was a kid so I kind of morphed into Betty Rocker.
James: I did some baking yesterday. I actually made some vegetarian cupcakes for some guests. We had some people coming and they don’t eat meat and it was a whole new world so I had to stretch a little bit. I was quite proud of the output. Just had one before, actually.
Bree: What do you normally make a cupcake out of James, do you put bacon in your cupcakes?
James: You know I was really worried about things like eggs and stuff. Because I know, some, maybe vegans, don’t like eggs, for example.
James: So, I think these might have even been vegan cupcakes. It’s like… and then I’m wondering how you know, they have this thing where they can’t have certain things, you know. Like some people really have restrictive diets but I don’t. I’ll eat just about anything. And so I guess putting in constraints adds to the degree of difficulty.
Bree: Yes. Absolutely. That’s actually one of the ways I started, like building the brand was I actually liked to create solutions for people who had different restrictions on their diets. When I first got my start with Betty Rocker, I started teaching classes and whole foods which were alternative diets, cooking classes and that kind of helped me get to see what, that people just have so many needs when it comes to eating.
James: Well, I actually stayed right next to the Whole Foods in San Francisco where you are now. It sounds like it’s raining over there.
Bree: Yeah. Sorry about the noise. It’s some kind of skylight and it’s just banging on the ceiling.
James: What can you do? It’s summer and I can’t at all relate to it but it will be fine. Now, I liked the Whole Foods set up in the United States. It seems to be one of the places you can actually eat because I find, as a tourist, it can be a bit of a struggle to find something that isn’t completely toxic.
Bree: Oh it’s terrible.
James: I don’t know how it gotten about. It’s not the same in Australia and I imagine it’s not the same in other places. You know, for example, when I went to Italy, I noticed that all the roadside Petrol stations had healthy food options. You know, they had fresh tomato, and salads and things. You won’t find a lot of fast food.
I noticed that in the United States, you must have a big audience of people who really want to find out how they can look after themselves.
Bree: Yeah. Definitely, James. And you know, sort of selfishly, I moved to the San Francisco bay area recently just because of, like, the abundance of clean and healthy food that’s here and I mean that I can go to the farmer’s market every day of the week. But, you know, I really want to create and provide solutions for people, so coming up with healthy recipes that almost anyone could make out of, you know, the foods that they can find and really just bringing an emphasis back to eating whole foods is really what I am about these days.
It’s terrible how hard it is, you know, for people to kind of figure out what to eat. There are so much bad information out there and just so many competing brands that are telling you they are healthy and they just really aren’t. It feels like, I guess, in this country more so than almost anywhere else, there’s just so much bad food. Just look at the obesity in this country and it’s spreading unfortunately.
So, I really think, you know, this brand that I have and the other, a lot of my colleagues and friends all over the place that are doing this stuff with healthy food and healthy eating is just so needed, so yeah.
Instagram as traffic driver
James: So, would it be fair to say that Instagram is your primarily platform for sharing your message?
Bree: Absolutely. Well, it is my primary traffic driver. My platform is more like my blog, but Instagram…
James: Good. You’re touching my sweet spot there. I am always talking about earning your own platform so I’m glad made that distinction. So, you’re using Instagram to drive people back to your blog?
Bree: The blog. To get the content actually and that’s really key because of course, Instagram, will only, the content that I post on their platform. You know, that’s cool because I’m just using that as a place to get eyeballs on my content and so it’s just an amazing marketplace of people all over the world who were able to access my content and information. So I absolutely love it.
James: All right. So let’s put some depth into this Instagram discussion. I hope it’s okay if I could share some of your stats with listeners because I want to get a feel of what you’re doing on Instagram.
Bree: Absolutely. Absolutely.
James: Really? You have around 85,000 followers?
Bree: Yeah and it’s kind of fun because today I’ll go over 86,000 and I’m just laughing because I know I sent you that and I just went up to a thousand followers in the last couple of days.
James: Now, you’re just showing off.
Bree: Well, I did it. I don’t lie, that’s normal for me. I did it specifically because I wanted to share with you with I did so I could share that with your listeners.
James: You know I have a similar thing when I did my screenshots for Traffic and Conversions where I talked about podcasting. I was just about to crack a million downloads for my podcast and then when I went to have look at it for my Noah Kagan post, it was like 1 million and a hundred thousand something. It really shoots up. And it’s fun to find a little hypergrowth market where you can strut your stuff.
I like the podcasting medium. I don’t know anything about Instagram. I know my kids are on it, I know that you’re on it. And I would love to be on your journey of discovery.
It also ties in with Facebook and I know that Facebook bought Instagram. I guess I know something about it. You have a fanpage with around 23,000 fans as well.
Bree: I do. And I, it really wasn’t until I came up with a strategy just last year to translate some of my following on Instagram to Facebook. It was really, all those fans that I have on Facebook are straight off of Instagram but it was so cool because, of course you know Instagram doesn’t really have live links, right? That’s one of the issues with it. You got one live link in your profile but not in your captions. And of course, nothing is really clickable on Instagram except for the hashtags.
So, my goal was to leverage that Instagram following to Facebook, as much as possible. And I did that through a series of, sort of a big 30-day fitness challenge promotions which I…. You know, that was just an awesome way to use Instagram which I kind of just organically came up with.
Building an e-mail subscriber list from Instagram
James: So, in simple terms, you use your one link to drive people to the challenge?
Bree: I use my one link to drive them to a squeezepage, basically, which gave them a very compelling thing that they all wanted. And then I used Instagram as a platform for building the community during the challenge and reminding people. I actually used it to train them to open emails and you know, my open rates are through the roof just because they’re engaging with the content on Instagram daily.
And I can say, a little quick note, anybody who can find their email, if you have Gmail, look in promotions tab. If you have this, look in this area. Like, so, it was really awesome because I was able to train my people to open their emails and engage with my stuff. It’s so cool.
James: Well, it does beg the question. You have been able to build an email subscriber list from your Instagram/Facebook efforts?
Bree: Yes. It’s interesting, you know James, I’ve been asked to talk about my Instagram and how I’ve been monetizing it several times and this is actually the first time I’ve talked about it because I remember a while ago is that Instagram has really some interesting rules on how you’re supposed to use it. One of them is you’re not supposed to sell stuff on Instagram. But, I got a little bit worried that they might shut me down because they do arbitrarily shut accounts down right and left, all the time.
It’s totally weird. And no one really knows why. so every once in a while, there will be like a whole bunch of posts, there will be a trend on Instagram where everyone will freak out that they will close their accounts down and they’ll go create these backup accounts and you do see some people who get shut down. But, I stopped worrying about that a while ago because I think it’s really for people who are spammers, that they’re really targeting but…
James: Well, not only that. If you’ve managed to get them to your email list, you’re back in control of that record.
Bree: Yeah. Exactly.
James: I actually have survived with losing my Google advertising account, I’ve lost my Facebook advertising account in the past. I think I might have it back somehow. I’m not quite sure. I’m still trying to establish that. That’s partly why I built a system that relies on building my platform.
If you did lose your Instagram account, would you be able to use some of things that you’ve learned from running successful Instagram campaigns on other platforms?
Bree: Yes and I will not give up. I would actually, I would actually start a new Instagram account, which will be a feature account which I think is an awesome strategy for building an Instagram list very quickly. And I guess, just to backup to address the question you were asking me before about, like how did I build a list using Instagram which is just that simple – driving people to the squeeze page for something that they wanted.
And then, you know, maintaining the engagement with them through the consistent daily Instagram post. And yes, everything that you do on Instagram, it’s almost like, you’re constantly split-testing your content. It’s so easy to immediately tell what people are engaged with and what they won’t because it’s a popularity contest. I mean, they are just, they are looking for stuff that is entertaining and engaging and useful, period.
And if it’s not, they won’t like it, they won’t click on it and they definitely won’t follow you.
Making money through Instagram
James: OK. So, here’s the really important one. Can you make money from this list that you’ve built in this market?
Bree: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yes, you can.
James: That’s cool. So, in short, well, basically, you got this big Instagram front-end to your business that’s driving traffic and running through Facebook and to squeeze pages to your email list and then you’re somehow offering them products and services. What about, if they’re not in the same market you’re on? What if you’re not in the food or the, I don’t know what you call it, forgive me if I use the wrong word, but what if you’re not hot? What if you’re not in the sexy body market?
Bree: No, that’s a good question. You’re right. You’re right.
James: My first interaction with your social media was I, you gave me camera and asked me to take a picture of you which I did, and you happened to be doing a handstand and when I went back to the hotel and I was checking my emails, I logged on to Facebook and I saw the picture and said, “Oh there’s that picture I took” and then, there was like, 1800 likes. I’m like, “Hang on a minute, there’s something seriously going on here.”
Because when I put a picture, if I did the handstand, I’d be lucky to get 40 likes. You know, and probably, if there was a dislike button they would surely click that. Are there different rules for you because of your market and the way you…
Bree: No. No. Honestly, I have 85,000 followers so if I don’t get at least a thousand likes on a picture, I’m doing something wrong. I know I’m going after my market targeting them with exactly what they want to see. They want to see me, and they want to see me motivating them somehow. So, I know exactly what my market wants, I know who they are and I know what kind of content to post.
Now, I have some specific ideas for people who are not in the health, well, health and fitness on Instagram is huge because it’s very easy to take a very motivating picture of a fit body. It’s very easy to take a picture of healthy food and post the recipe. These are great things for Instagramming. I mean, it’s a medium that runs itself very well to photographs, obviously.
Twitter, you got to be clever and I say something in, how many characters or less? I don’t even know because I suck at Twitter. I’m way better with photos. But you can easily find accounts on Instagram and leverage them if you’re an advertiser or a brand. Look for people like me who might be a good fit for your market or brand and ask us if we’d like to do paid advertising for you.
I am personally not doing that but I get approached by brands all the time who would like me to do that. I see other accounts who are doing it.
And, there’s another way. I mean, it’s not just food and fitness on Instagram. Fashion is very hot right now in Instagram and so is quotes and motivation. Anytime you can find a way to use Instagram to inspire people, that’s the way to go. I’ve seen brands on Instagram who are selling something that’s completely not health and fitness related.
However, they have a health and fitness account which motivates and inspires and they, maybe they’re just posting daily videos and that gets people to their squeeze page, gets them into their funnel, gets them doing stuff and it’s very easy to utilize some of the smart, motivated people on Instagram that are already there and then get them to promote your stuff.
About Pinterest marketing
James: OK. So. I got a few questions that you’ve just raised for me there. Firstly, it’s very timely because I was just interviewing Justin Brooke about native advertising and you just mentioned that it’s possible for people to appear in that native environment whether they approach you privately with a secret handshake, behind closed doors or if they’re going, you know, Trojan horsing into the market with the health and fitness account even if they’re in a different industry – that is very interesting thing to me and topical.
But you also said that it lends itself to things that have pictures and very visual. I interviewed Michelle Macphearson about Pinterest marketing and I think from my discussion you said you haven’t been really been into the Pinterest movement yet.
Bree: No. I just don’t have… I need to clone myself. I think that would be the ideal way to get into the Pinterest market because I just don’t have time to do that plus build my lead pages, plus build my website and make content everyday plus train my new assistant. You know, I just don’t have that many… that much time.
James: Yeah. OK. Well, I want to just talk about that for a second because the way that I approach it, maybe it’s wrong because I have my blog and when I do a post, I have the little sharing widgets underneath the post and I go on click on Facebook and then on Twitter and then Pinterest and then Google+. Now, I’m not doing anything with Instagram that all but I found that it’s not that too big of a deal for me to syndicate my core content across different platforms with a different message for each for the audience. Are you saying that it might not work on the Instagram platform?
Bree: No. No. No. No. I’m not, I’m not saying that at all. I actually do the same thing. I will take my content from Instagram and repost it on Twitter with a shorter caption, maybe ask a question. I’ll repost it on Facebook with something different engaging and etc., but I just haven’t got into Pinterest yet and it may just be that I’m resistant to it because it just feels like a lot of work and pinning and just time wasting.
I mean I get a ton, a ton of backlinks to the blog from Pinterest to my site. It’s just… you know, I just have to take a cue from you there, James and start making a priority. I just really haven’t yet got into it because I actually just really enjoyed Instagram personally, it’s fun for me. I think that’s a big part of why I got so good at it from the beginning.
I’m just having fun doing it and then, you know, I started developing some really specific strategies contesting things that, that worked and then worked but yeah, I definitely do use my content on Instagram across my other social media platforms, just happens to not be on Pinterest.
James: Right. But I think there’s a lot of stuff happening on Pinterest. It sounds to me like you’ve got such a following that people are pinning for you. I think you got a pretty good visual person as a highly female demographic from memory.