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What We Talk About

Social media is not going anywhere soon – even if the landscape looks different than it did before. But that doesn’t mean you need to choose between burning the candle at both ends or running your business.

Social expert Katie Brinkley is here to teach us how to build a presence on social based on QUALITY vs. QUANTITY (and how to choose what you do and where.)


FREE Guide: How to navigate Clubhouse – if you're curious about what Clubhouse is and how you can use it for your business, Katie's guide is your best first step!

Free Video Training: The 3 Biggest Mistakes Small Businesses Make With Social Media (and how to fix them)

Find Katie on Facebook
Follow Katie on Instagram
Connect with Katie on LinkedIn

Katie's Clubhouse handle: @katiebrinkley

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:02
When I think about managing my social media pages or creating content or building my audiences, I immediately think I have to do all the things and I have to do them perfectly. And I have to do them all the time. And I get completely overwhelmed, and I do none of it. And I know I'm not alone in thinking that, which is why we've asked our really good friend Katie Brinkley, social media strategist and founder of next steps, social communications, to come talk to us today about how to make this social thing work for us and for our businesses. Katie, thanks for being here.

Katie Brinkley 0:38
Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to join you guys. Today.

Alyson Lex 0:42
We are going to have so much fun and I would like to actually start with a really kind of harsh truth question. You ready? What is the worst advice you've ever heard given about social?

Katie Brinkley 0:58
Well, one of the worst things I've heard is that you need to be an only one, I can only choose one,

Alyson Lex 1:05
because there's a lot of a couple.

Katie Brinkley 1:06
Okay, because one of the biggest things that I've heard people say is that you need to post like six to 12 times a day. And I don't know about you, but I don't have time for that. I don't have a team of 20 trying to repurpose one form of content 20 different ways. I don't have time for that. And I unfortunately, it's something that someone has put out there. And it overwhelms people, because they think I have to post, you know, nine times a day on Instagram, I don't have you know, I'm trying to sell a house or I'm trying to build, you know, a business here. How am I supposed to, you know, be on social media nine times a day. And that's where it's, it's going to show up in your feed as being inconsistent, inconsistent, and kind of just white noise. And honestly, you're going to be kind of competing with yourself in the algorithm. So that's one of the biggest mistakes that I see is a lot of businesses thinking that they need to post nine to 12 times a day.

Jennie Wright 2:09
Crazy. Another

Katie Brinkley 2:11
day, another big mistake, I see is trying to be on on all the channels, there's there's a lot of social media out there. And people will try to think that they need to be on every single social media channel known to mankind.

Jennie Wright 2:26
What other is that? So those are the two big ones, obviously, you know, and I think we can all sort of guess as to who said to post 20 times a day, they shall remain nameless. But in the interest of Yeah, whatever. But anyways, there's that. And then the other thing that you were saying was trying not to be on all channels, which Allison and I completely understand. When I first started this, I was like, heck no, this is, you know, just managing Facebook, in the beginning was enough for me. And then as I got a little bit better, we added Instagram and stuff like that. I still don't play on Twitter, because my clients aren't on Twitter.

Katie Brinkley 3:04
Why are you a politician? Or?

Jennie Wright 3:07
sportscaster? Yeah, exactly,

Katie Brinkley 3:09
exactly. And I think that that's one of the biggest mistakes too, is that they're not going to where their audience is. So I mean, we can talk about mistakes, mistakes all day. But I'm glad that you brought up you know, you started with Facebook, and then added in Instagram, once you felt more comfortable with it, because you were you were able to manage Facebook. So it's one of those things where as you feel more comfortable on a platform, you can definitely add stuff in. But trying to be on every single social media plan your channel known to mankind is going to wipe you out. And again, it's going to end up as that white noise.

Jennie Wright 3:48
Yeah, it totally got easier when Facebook acquired Instagram, not gonna lie, because now it was easier to post one to the other. So what should we be focused on realistically, when it comes to our social media?

Katie Brinkley 4:02
Go to your audiences. So one of the biggest things I tell my clients when we're getting started is to think about who your ideal client is, and where where would they hang out what type of content would they be interested in consuming? So obviously, if you're like a photographer, Instagram should be your jam. You know, it's a very visual platform, it's a great way to showcase all of your work. But Twitter is probably not going to be the best platform for a photographer, LinkedIn, depending on what type of photographer you are, might not be the best platform for you. Again, like you said, the marriage between Facebook and Instagram has made it a little bit more seamless and easy to post on both of them. But the same time too. If you're trying to share links or share articles or your blog. You can do that easily on Facebook, but not on Instagram. So try and think of it overall strategy of your brand? Are you putting out a lot of that type of content? Are you more visual, if you're, you know, something that's not quite as sexy, like mortgage insurance or something, Instagram might not really be the best platform for you to go all in. So think about the type of audience that you want to speak to, and go all in on that platform and do it the right way. I'm going to stick with Instagram, because it's what I brought up the photographer. But let's say you decide, okay, Instagram is where my ideal client is hanging out, I want to go all in on it. So there's five different ways that you can post on Instagram, there's the the grid, or the feed, there's stories, there's reels, there's HGTV, and there's Instagram Live, that's five different ways that you can try and connect with your audience and give them the content that they want. Not everyone even spends time in the feed anymore. Some people just go on Instagram and only play in stories. Some people don't look at the feed, they just go straight to the Explore button. And now they're looking at you know, reels all day. So I mean, if you want to go all in on a platform, there's a lot of different ways to post on them. So make sure that you are doing that platform effectively before you decide to start adding in LinkedIn, and Facebook and Pinterest or YouTube. So just really think about how much time you have to give to your social media and what the strategy is behind it.

Alyson Lex 6:31
One of the things that we learned from one of our interviews last year, with a Pinterest expert is Pinterest and YouTube, which we know are actually search engines. And so the type of content that you post on there tends to be different than than this social part of social media, if that makes sense. And I really, really liked what you said about think about the kind of content you want to produce and choose the platform where that content is most easily consumed by your people. Right. So I know I think LinkedIn doesn't mind links like Facebook does. If I'm This is my very limited knowledge of social coming through. And, you know, Instagram is photos, but they're bringing in video with all those I got overwhelmed. There's five ways to post on Instagram. Are you kidding me?

Katie Brinkley 7:24

Well, and that's the thing, like you said, like, wait, there's five ways. I mean, I thought I was posting to the, you know, I was creating an amazing graphic. And I had this awesome caption that I wrote, you mean that I have to try and do these other things too. And no, but if you want to really see your growth, and your community get built, and get that kind of tribe around you and your brand, it's going to be when you touch on all those different aspects of the social media platform. I mean, even LinkedIn, there's multiple ways to post on LinkedIn. Now they even have LinkedIn live and, you know, LinkedIn articles, there's the feed, there's business company pages, I mean,

Alyson Lex 8:08
it can no wonder it's completely, like, if I tried to do all that, that would be my full time job, I would just be a full time content producer. And I wouldn't be able to have sales calls or serve or anything like this. So

Katie Brinkley 8:24
there's a reason that I have a job. I mean, it's, it can be

it can be a

Jennie Wright 8:31
reason why you're gainfully employed.

Katie Brinkley 8:36
To I mean, going back to a lot of it also is people think, Okay, well, with a scheduler, I can just use a scheduler so that I can push out the same piece of content on onto all the different social media platforms. But again, like, think about who's following you on each of these platforms? Like is it like on Instagram, you can look at insights? And they'll tell you like, yeah, you have a ton of women that follow your page, and they're in this age range. So okay, well, I'm have soccer moms that follow my page on Instagram, but on LinkedIn, you know, those construction professional, really enjoy the content that I'm pushing out. So I need to write more, you know, home advising blogs, and around social media, you know, so you have to kind of go to the audience that's on each platform. And you can use the same piece of content, but it's all about how you then push it out. And I think that that is where again repurposing it. But for each platform kind of differs and make sense. And that's how you I mean, you'll give people a reason to follow you on all those social media platforms give someone a reason to follow you on Instagram, and then a reason to follow you on LinkedIn too, because you're giving them different information, or they consume it differently on on each platform.

Jennie Wright 9:52
That makes sense. It's also it would feel incredibly overwhelming to me at the same time. Like it makes sense to make those different platforms have different information. But that would mean that if I, if my audience is on Facebook and my audience is on Instagram, and on LinkedIn, then it is that I'm actually creating three different types of three different sorts of content for each platform, which feels, or could feel like a lot, unless you have a strategy in place, which is why you're here. Hence why we have an expert. Tell me what the heck of posting and ghosting is.

Katie Brinkley 10:32
Yeah, posting and ghosting, that is when I mean, so think about when you go on Instagram, you've finally like, Alright, I'm gonna go all in on Instagram, I've got this amazing graphic that I learned how to make or picture that I took. And I thought this great caption, I use the hashtags. I'm posting it. Alright, thank goodness, I am done. But that's not how it should work at all. I mean, after you post something that is the most critical time to be on Instagram, you need to devote 10 minutes after you post something, to engage with the feed, engage with the Explore, feature, engage with your hashtags, and just start commenting on other people's posts. Notice that I didn't say like, start commenting on other people's posts, that one helps the person that you've commented on, helps their posts in the algorithm to it's going to help your post gets seen more because Instagrams like, Oh, this person spending time on our platform, let's keep pushing it out. So more people see it. Oh, look, they're engaging with this hashtag. So this must hashtag must be really important. So they're pushing that out more, the longer that you spend on the platform, they're kind of you pat my back, all pet yours. If you just post something and then walk away, and don't come back for a week, you'll, you could see, like 10 comments on a post, and all those people spent time like commenting on it, and you didn't even answer them. So I mean, they spent their time to give you feedback, and they were talking to no one. So I mean, just consider adding that 10 minutes a day into your schedule to be active on the platform. And it will help your posts in the algorithm into it, you'll help others because you'll be posting commenting on their posts and helping them in the algorithm

Jennie Wright 12:17
that makes so much sense.

Katie Brinkley 12:20
It's called social media for a reason, right? being social on it.

Jennie Wright 12:24
And I and I readily admit to posting and ghosting.

Alyson Lex 12:29
I've done it recently, probably earlier today. I'm just putting it out there. Right. I mean, this is hard, it's hard to juggle, and we were talking before we started the recording, it's really hard to juggle building your business, and serving the people you're serving. And that's really what we're talking about. Like, we don't have time to necessarily do all these posts and all these pieces of content. So how do we how do we do it? How do we create this engagement without burning ourselves out without worrying? Like, there's a lot of people on Instagram, there's a lot of Facebook groups, how do I not let that competition get to me?

Katie Brinkley 13:10
Oh, not not letting it get to you? I think that one you try and just be authentic to yourself. If that was one of the things that was I mean, full transparency, it was hard for me because there is a lot of social media people out there, especially on social media, believe it or not. And when you will start following them, like people, I was following a lot of them because I got to know them at conferences and have you know, connected with them and other avenues. And so I was following a lot of the same people in the same industry. And so I was starting to get imposter syndrome and kind of start to my gosh, well, I need to be posting that much. And these are the time I was just getting I was overwhelming myself. But then when I took a step back, I was like, Okay, well, the people that are going to buy from me aren't these other social media people. They are people in the home industry, and they are the people that are going to learn how to know like, and trust me by showing up authentically, in my feed in video in stories, and it completely changed my business. So I think that kind of answered your question. But going back to it, I think that one of the best ways to not be overwhelmed is to set aside the time. Each week to your social media is just like anything else. You need to set aside time to answering your emails. You need to set aside time to do your sales calls. Social media is no different. Yeah, you can contract it out. But there's a lot of businesses and brands out there, where you are the brand. You're You're the brand and as soon as you realize that and embrace it, that's when you're going to see the social media succeed. Like Like for me, I was hiding behind a logo for the longest time. The second that I put my picture up on my Instagram and started showing up authentically. My followers grew and I was getting the right followers. So showing up authentically and setting aside The time for your social media is extremely important. And I think that that is something that people don't, again, they think of it as Oh, this is just something that I do passively while watching TV. But if you sit down and decide to spend an hour a week, and I'm telling you that's that's all you need is one hour a week, to developing your social media strategy for the week. That's what's going to help you grow and gain more confidence with your with your social media.

Jennie Wright 15:30
Okay, that makes it sound a lot simpler.

Alyson Lex 15:33
And now that ours that's split up into those 10 minute a day increments,

Katie Brinkley 15:38
so the hour, so what I do is, is every Monday, I sit down and I develop my content for the week this and I use the scheduler, like we talked about earlier, the one I wish that they had affiliate links, but they don't. So I do not get anything by endorsing this company. I just really liked them. And I've used a lot of schedulers that have affiliate codes, but loomly l o MLY. That is the scheduler that I use. And it is a complete game changer because they have a very good user interface. I sit down and I there's like a step one, you can choose the date and the time step two is you can choose the social media channels that you want it to go out on. And then on Step three, you can choose the generic content. So let's say I want to talk about my podcast, I'm going to write a generic caption and include a picture for it or a link or whatever. And then in step four, that's where you can custom create your social media content for each platform. So on LinkedIn, I'll change up the formatting and I'll tag the person that joined me on the episode, I can change out the size because I mean, for LinkedIn, the sizing is a little bit different than it is for Instagram. So I mean, you can change all that stuff out in step four. And, again, I sit down, I schedule out a week. And it's done. I have it going out on the different platforms that I post to. And then after that, then they can just sit in bed at night and scroll through the feed and engage or comment or whatever, that 10 minutes can be spent whenever. But you can be social on it at any time. Because you've already set aside that hour to actually be creative and think about your social media.

Alyson Lex 17:25
Okay, that sounds totally doable.

Unknown Speaker 17:27
It does sound a lot more doable

Alyson Lex 17:28
through the phone. I'd be on recliner. But yeah, same idea, right?

Jennie Wright 17:34
What's one thing that we should be doing today or this week, that's really going to make a difference that people can walk away from, and it's going to have a big impact on their social media, what's the first step they should take,

Katie Brinkley 17:45
I would say try to look at using a scheduler. But I also think is to try to be social on the on the platform, don't just go on there and try to sell to someone all the time. Nobody likes I mean, really, nobody likes to be sold to I maybe other sales people, but I know I don't really care to be sold to and that's why we don't answer telemarketing calls. You know, no one wants to just pick up the phone and be sold to no one wants to go into their Instagram feed, and just instantly be sold to all the time. That's a quick way to get people to unfollow you or to just block you or whatever. So if you show up and start trying to be social and let people know a little bit about what you do, and how you can help them and how you serve them and how you solve their problems. And then you can kind of throw in the Hey, by the way, I am now accepting group coaching clients. You know, that's a very soft CTA that you can throw in there. But people will enjoy seeing you show up in their feed because you're always giving them value. So I think that that is one of the first things I'd recommend doing is to stop trying to sell to someone every single time you post on social media, because it's a good way for them to just block you out.

Alyson Lex 19:02
I love that. The and that really is what we're all about here is delivering that value, and then asking for a sale. We're not saying you can't just don't let that be the first thing or the main thing. Right.

Katie Brinkley 19:18
Exactly, exactly. And like I said to it, it's one of those things where it might short you might have a flash sale going on. Or you might be a shoe sales company. But there's other ways that you can show up and try to just give them you know, design tips or hey, these shoes are perfect for in the snow and have a great picture of the shoes in the snow and Oh, now I want to buy it. I had no idea that they were good in the snow, you know so

Alyson Lex 19:48
where can we find out more about you and I know you have a free gift that you want to give away?

Katie Brinkley 19:55
Yeah, yeah. So I am obviously I am on social media, you can find me on Instagram. I'm at next step dot social. I'm on clubhouse at Katie Brinkley, and you can find me on LinkedIn at Katie Brinkley there as well. And then I've been spending a lot of time on clubhouse. I don't know if How many of you guys are. listeners are familiar with it, but it has someone as someone who has a background in radio clubhouse is 100%. My jam and I've really enjoyed spending time there. So I do have a free guide available. So if you are new to the clubhouse, or if you are just waiting for your invitation to join, or if you're an Android user, and you want to be ready to go when it's your turn to join the platform, I do have a free guide to clubhouse. And that's at Katie Brinkley comm slash guide.

Jennie Wright 20:49
That was really easy to find. We're gonna put all of that in our resources section for everybody. You can go check that out and you can connect with Katie, we're so glad that we have been able to connect with Katie for sure. And I know personally that Alison's done some really cool stuff on clubhouse with you. You guys have felt like moderated some groups and stuff. We have so much fun on clubhouse together, it

Alyson Lex 21:10
feels like down all the time.

Jennie Wright 21:14
Yeah, it's fine. And I will admit that I am tentatively playing in the clubhouse, but not at the level that you guys are. It's, it's not as much my jam as it is for you too. And that's okay. But I am enjoying some of the conversations that are happening there. And I'm open to it. I'm open to it, I don't mind being a student. So I just want to take a second and say thanks for taking the time and coming in here and telling us more about this. You've, I've learned a lot today. I'm not going to post and ghost anymore. And try and be more active on the platform for sure. So I can start to create some interaction, I have been seeing some really good stuff because we had a pre-call with you A while back and you said a couple of things then that I was like, Oh, I gotta use these ideas. And they've helped. So you know, people should come and find you because this is your business and you do very, very well. So go and find Katie connect with Katie. She's fantastic. And for those of you who are listening and you're enjoying this podcast, do consider subscribing because we have amazing guests like Katie coming on with great gifts and, you know, things to share with us. As well as making sure that we are going to get in touch with you in terms of the other episodes that we're putting out on a weekly basis. We've got quick tips on Mondays and other great episodes. Just Allison and I sometimes which are also fab as well. So go check those out. Thank you so much for being on with us. Thanks for listening, everybody. We'll be back again soon answering another big question.



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