Lately, it seems as though Instagram Stories have taken the world by storm. Businesses of all kinds have taken advantage of Instagram’s feature to connect with their audience and show behind-the-scenes content that their followers might not otherwise get to see on their grid.
It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Instagram and Instagram Stories here at Bloguettes–we’re going to have an entire session at our Workshop dedicated to IG Stories and how to make the most of it for your biz!
One of our favorite apps to use is Planoly–a visual planner, manager, and scheduler for IG! So, we thought what better way to educate our attendees about the ins and outs of Instagram than to have Planoly founder and CCO Brandy Pham come speak? Read on to get to know Brandy and get a sneak peek at what she’ll be teaching at her Instagram workshop!
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today!
With ten years of experience in the fashion industry, I went off on my own and built my namesake jewelry company out of my 400 square foot NYC apt. The company was bootstrapped with savings, and within the first year, I did six figures in revenue and was carried in stores like Anthropologie and Henri Bendel. I achieved this through pure hard work and hustle – cold calls, trade shows and going to boutiques one by one.
After having my son, I wanted to spend more time at home and decided to slow down my wholesale business while growing my business online. During that time, Instagram was just on the cusp of taking off with influencers tagging brands and sharing their daily #ootd. I saw this and made planning digital content for my Instagram a priority, and it took up the majority of my time. I knew magazines, editors and buyers were looking at my Instagram so I was obsessed with the look of my feed and treated it as my online portfolio.
After showing the tedious process of preparing my Instagram feed and captions to my husband, he thought it was crazy. That was the genesis of Planoly. I took this idea and designed the software the way I wanted. In eight short months, Planoly grew to over 100K organic users. To date, Planoly has over 800K users around the world (and rapidly growing!) and has grown to a team of 12 based in Austin.
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#TBT to my old office from home. 〰️ I’m so excited to be taking over @risingtidesociety's Instagram Stories today! Follow @risingtidesociety's Stories to get a #BTS sneak peek at our new office and see my day in the life as Founder & Creative Director of @Planoly! I do A LOT of things, but I'll show you the fun stuff 😉. . Sent via @planoly #planoly
How important is it for businesses to have a strong presence on Instagram?
Instagram is the most engaged social media channel, so it’s extremely important to have a strong presence on Instagram. Think of Instagram as your digital portfolio, whether you’re a brand, influencer or a student trying to get a job — Instagram is your visual representation. Instagram is so powerful that it can launch a career or even break it!
"Instagram is so powerful that it can launch a career or even break it!"
Who can benefit from using Instagram to build brand awareness? Is it for everyone?
Anyone can benefit from using Instagram to build brand awareness. Businesses of any sizes should utilize and take advantage of the endless opportunities that Instagram has to offer and the thousands and millions of potential followers/customers Instagram can expose their business to. In my opinion, everyone should make Instagram a priority when it comes to marketing. If you’re not on Instagram yet, you need to get on it now!
What would you say is the secret to Instagram success?
There isn’t just one key secret — there are many factors that go into becoming successful on Instagram. The first two most important factors are authenticity and consistency. I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing that, but it’s true. Sharing content that is true to your brand’s voice and personality, as well as posting regularly is essential. The other factors are knowing who your audience is, and defining a “content creating style” that speaks to your audience to get them to engage with you is as equally important.
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🔑 TIP | Take the entire Saturday off to relax, re-group, decompress and spend it doing what you love and with who you love. When Sunday comes along… you have 24 hours to get your life together before your week starts BUT it doesn’t have to be stressful! You can enjoy your weekend while being productive and it’s actually easier than you think. Sleep in a little and start your day off with your favorite cup of coffee or tea, then get your laundry going. Then, all you need is about 2️⃣ hours of your entire Sunday to plan out your week, and you can enjoy the rest of your day! Read more on the steps to take to be productive on Sundays 👉 LINK IN BIO 🤳🏻. . Sent via @planoly #planoly
What are the benefits of using Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories is a fun way to relate to your audience in a more personal and unfiltered way. It’s intriguing to see the raw, behind the scenes of work/life balance of brands and influencers. Your audience will feel more connected with you and in turn, will become more loyal and genuinely want you to see you thrive.
Give us some of your expert tips for making the most out of Stories.
Share sneak peeks of a photo shoot or a project you’re working on. By pulling back the curtains to show your behind the scenes or day in the life, you’ll make your audience feel like they are apart of the process.
When you get direct messages from your Stories, reply right away. By engaging back in this personal space (aka DM’s), you’re showing your audience that you value their comments and their time. It’s important to be engaging but also engage as well! This is Social Media, so be social!
Answer questions and ask for feedback. Start a conversation and involve your audience/followers. When you include your community in the decision-making process, you can gather customer insights and perspective while getting your them more invested in who you are and what you’re doing.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to use Instagram to market their business, but doesn’t know where to start?
First, define what your Instagram account’s purpose is. Is it to showcase your business, services or products? Then, hone into who your customers or followers are. Who are you trying to reach out to? Once you figure out who your target market is… you have to come up with strategies on how to reach them and to get them engaged to follow you or come back for more. Last but most important, use Planoly to plan and visually tell your brand’s story. It’ll make the world of a difference in your strategy!
Give us a sneak peek at what we can expect from your Instagram Workshop!
We’ll be teaching you the ins and outs of Instagram and Instagram Stories, as well as the importance of branding and building your brand voice through Social Media. We have a lot of experience and have gained so much insight in the past few years observing our users as well as creating content of our own, so we have valuable information that you’ll be able to implement to your own strategy.
When you’re not busy running Planoly, what can we find you doing?
When I’m not busy, you can find me in full mommy-mode. I spend much of my time creating playdoh cookies and painting art with my toddler son, researching recipes and lunch ideas to try for his school meals, and searching for books to grow his little library.
Want more Instagram Story tips?
Want to attend Brandy’s Instagram Stories workshop? Be sure to snag your seat to The Workshop–tickets are going fast!