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Instagram stories

My hate / love affair with Instagram

I go back and forth regarding social media. How much time should I spend on it? Is it worth it? Is it fun? Is it necessary? Which medium is best for me and my peeps? What do I enjoy/despise doing?

I’m so conflicted about it. One minute I think I’ll dive into Instagram Live Stories and then next I don’t want to have anything to do with any of it and just want to sit on my deck and bask in the sun, watch the birds at the feeder, sniff the lavender roses, and read the mysteries I can’t get enough of. (What I love most about them, is the characters say what they really think. No filters. No political correctness. So refreshing!)

But then I snap out of my reverie and remember that I’m creating some new work that I’ll be sharing soon – and how will people hear about it if I’m not in touch? How will I stay connected to….well, you.

I just listened to a podcast, one of my new favorites, called Hidden Brain on the positive impact of deep work.

Cal Newport, a computer scientist who was interviewed, eschewed social media altogether and had a strict schedule so he could accomplish everything he wants to. In the old (and not so old days) Newport noted that influential thinkers had a set of specific habits to get great work done “all seemed to have this drive to, on a regular basis, cut themselves off from their lives of business, and communication and distraction and isolate themselves to think deeply.”

hidden brain podcast

Hidden brain NPR podcast

Carl Jung took himself out to a stone house that didn’t have electricity or water he built by a lake in the countryside to immerse himself in his work. Mark Twain had a cabin he’d retire to on his property to be alone with his thoughts and his family had to blow a horn to call him in for dinner. J.K. Rowling holed up in a hotel near a castle in Edinborough to put her in the mindset to finish her Harry Potter books, specifically, The Deathly Hollow. Each one of these creatives took deep uninterrupted time without distraction so they could produce their important work.

Back to Instagram stories (which has been such a distraction for me!).

I’d like to try hopping on there to answer your questions. Do some casual Q&A on Instagram stories about pitching the media, publicity, confidence, storytelling, the magic of speaking up + more.

What do you think of that? Do you like the idea?

And if so, what time works for you?

Some possibilities.

5pm PT / 8pm ET some evening. Please specify best days.

Saturday at 1pm PT / 4pm ET.

Sunday at 10 or 11 am PT / 1 or 2pm ET.

Since it’s live you would actually be there in the moment with me. So, yes, I can save them to my camera roll and post them later to my website, but the point is to hang out with you in real time — the next closest thing to being in person.

So I’d love to hear back from you on this. Just put: “IG” in the subject line and let me know what time works best for you. Once I get a good sense of that I’ll jet you and email and share some times.

Also, please follow me on Instagram here so we can communicate there as you have to be on Instagram in order to attend the live stories. And I’d love to know if you’d like more photos of me or something else…

If you feel called to Instagram here is a great course from Melissa Camilleri who has also created a supportive community with integrity and spirit that helps you navigate all the changes that happen in social media.

Here are the Instagram people I can’t resist watching or following. (Warning, be prepared for a time sink). 

whiteshantyathome – I was first struck by a photo of her kids all playing musical instruments in the living room like some miniature orchestra. Then I started following her life. She’s like an old fashioned renaissance woman who talks honestly about the challenges of motherhood, creates beauty, talks about God and goodness while raising and homeschooling 5 kids in a converted barn she calls home. How does she do it all?

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom pioneer

chriselleLim – This former stylist rocks clothes and decor and am fascinated by her rise a blogger to an influencer and mommy to CEO of her own company and clothing line.

bloggers_boyfriend – Who is this guy? You never see his eyes or hear his voice. Love the mystery. He satisfies my wanderlust and the street colors are something to lust over. He knows how to style a grunge and glam shot worldwide at places I’ll never be able to go. Plus, I want to inhabit every outfit he wears even though it’s menswear.

lizmariegalvan – Secret desire…OK I admit it I want to live on her farm and have her sheep as my pets, and just collect beautiful things to sell in a shop. (My mom raised me on thrift stores and garage sales so – confession – we collected a garage full of vintage stuff for the farmhouse we never bought) Future dream? Maybe.

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer Interior design

champagneandchanel – Can’t stop watching this tiny gal with big Texan hair (teasing and extensions) who wears an x small. There is something compelling about her even though she only puts on clothes in front of a mirror and talks about them. I feel kinda weird watching this. I mean, why?

casa_colibri – Former pole dancer with dreadlocks, piercings and tats, who does yoga inversions at her Costa Rican home / retreat center. Need I say more?

Instagram influencer

Yoga Instagram influencer

gwennieth – Has 2 kids that can’t walk or talk. The oldest just turned 17. She says, “Scared that I wouldn’t know what to do, how to love her, how to communicate, how to move on with ‘normal life.’…I saw a little girl who knew nothing but love.” People never cease to amaze me. How they can manage hardship, what they can do, hold, love.

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom


4 Ways to Use Instagram Stories To Scale Your Business

By Guest Blogger Alex Slichnyi

The hype about particular social media platforms seems to come and go. A few years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone using Snapchat. Today, it is all about Instagram.

Instagram Stories is gaining popularity by the day as this feature allows users to take a behind the scenes sneak peek at new products, services, and events.

Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories became an instant hit, adored by 300 million daily users.

On average, users under 25 spend around 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while those in older age groups spend more than 24 minutes per day.

Considering these stats, it’s clear that this feature offers an amazing opportunity for businesses to reach a broader range of audience and promote their brand, taking the engagement on a whole new level.

In fact, according to Instagram, 1 in 3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses.

With over 50% of businesses on Instagram already using Instagram Stories, this feature is definitely something to consider for your social media campaigns.

  1. Plan Less And Publish More

If you post content on your feed every day, there is a chance that you will be marked as spam or you could annoy your audience so that they unfollow you.

Stories are different, you can post as many as you like and users have the option whether they want to watch it or not. Really, the more you post, the better.

Plus, because the content will only be around for 24 hours, it doesn’t have to be too perfect or planned. In fact, a non-planned post can help the brand look more human and relatable.

2. Go Live

Live marketing and Instagram Stories go hand in hand. Consumers are becoming increasingly attracted to live streaming, with more people watching live content every year. Instagram Stories gives you the option to stream live, so as a business you could use this to stream events, have a live Q&A session, or capture a spontaneous moment in the office.

3. Drive Engagement

If you have over 10,000 followers on your Instagram account, then some cool new features will become available to you. You can use the swipe up function to lead people to links, which is a great way to help drive traffic to specific web pages.

Other cool features include inserting a poll or a question into the Story, which offers new opportunities for engagement.

4. Boost Organic Reach

Ranking on Instagram can be a confusing process, but you may notice that accounts that have active Stories tend to show up in the search results related to the searched hashtag or location. Plus, as you are able to place hashtags and locations on your Story, it offers more opportunities to appear in related searches.

If you are interested in using Instagram Stories on your own account, you can take a look at the infographic below to find some examples of how other brands use them successfully.

Instagram stories

Alex Slichnyi, community manager at 99firms.com, is an avid learner of all things IT. He is a savvy SEO specialist who loves traveling because it allows him to experience hands-on the many facets of life. This hands-on approach can be seen in his work, which is meticulously crafted with daring vision by an open, yet methodical mind that likes to probe, test and improve. Communicating and learning are Alex’s core values that drive him forward.