Tips to CRUSH IT on Instagram

Tips to CRUSH IT on Instagram

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: Tips to CRUSH IT on Instagram

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And, uh, this week we're gonna talk about something that, uh, again, I say this all the time, which I guess I'm kind of proud of. Um, we try to cover topics that are broad enough, some specifics within the topic, but that are broad enough that cover a lot of people. Again, most of our listeners and viewers are entrepreneurs, business owners, et cetera. But we have a lot of corporate people. We have a lot of entrepreneurs. And frankly, the topic we're gonna cover this week would cover even a broader audience than that. And that is, we're gonna talk about on social media and specifically on the , Instagram. How can we optimize what we're doing on Instagram? I talk to people all the time, other business owners, people who have personal brands they're trying to build.


And again, they all have their all different algorithms and things like that. But, you know, specifically on Instagram, because it's been so popular lately, uh, specifically even more specifically I should say, with Reels recently has been, they've been a huge push with that. We're gonna talk through some of that, and as always, we don't get just anyone to talk about these topics, right? This isn't just some, you know, person off the street to talk about Instagram. This is the person. Now, how many people out there, raise your hand so I can see you. How many people out there have seen the blank for Dummies books right now? You to be able to write one of those books, you gotta be an absolute guru, right? You gotta be an expert. Expert. Well, guess what? Our guest this week wrote Instagram for Dummies and Instagram for Business for Dummies. So how, how much better can you get than that? Right? Corey Walker is the co-author of Instagram for Dummies and Instagram for Business for Dummies, a How to Guide for using Instagram to Market your Business. She is also the owner of the Marketing Specialist, a digital marketing agency in El Dorado Hills, California. Corey works with several clients to produce social media strategies, including creating graphics and written content, advising on video, scheduling content, buying ads, and tracking analytics. She loves helping businesses achieve success in the online world. Corey, welcome to Mr. Biz Radio.


Thank you for having me, and thanks for that great intro,


<laugh>. Well, look, I, I'm being serious, and this is one of the things, you know, when I first talked with you and I'm like, oh my gosh, I gotta get her on a show that's like instant credibility writing, you know, co-authoring, you know, one of those four dummies books, right? You gotta, you gotta know what the heck you're talking about to do that. And so I thought, and by the way, I, I think I qualify as an Instagram dummy, so I, this is gonna be great for me, <laugh>. Ok. So before we get into all, so she's gonna teach us all sorts of things about Instagram, the algorithm reels, how to use 'em, all that kinda stuff. Of course, she's gonna give us some tips on how to crush it on Instagram. But before we get into all that, Corey, tell us a little bit about your Entrepre journey. How did you come to, to founding the, the marketing specialist, et cetera?


Yeah, so I, um, worked in corporate marketing as a marketing specialist for several years before launching my own business. And it really started because, um, I had a baby at home. My baby is now 18. Oh wow. And yeah, <laugh>. So, um, I had her at home and I wanted to start doing my own thing to just have a little bit more flexibility. Um, so I started the marketing specialist, and back then it wasn't a social media company because it wasn't really social media, it was more, you know, newsletters and print and all of that. And as, um, you know, social media became more popular, I thought, you know, I really need to figure this out. And so I started on Twitter, then got onto Facebook, um, and then eventually Instagram and started using Instagram for my business. Um, and I've been doing that for a long time now, um, building it out.


And then I was approached by one of the co-authors of, um, well, he's written several other dummies books. There hadn't been an Instagram for Dummies or an Instagram for Business for Dummies yet. So he approached me about writing that. And, um, yeah, so the rest is history and started, of course, once you write a dummy's book about Instagram, then you really have to go all in on Instagram <laugh>. So, yeah, so I mean, I was already using it for my business, but then, you know, after you write the book and do all the research and do all of that and take all the screenshots, then you, you're pretty much all in on Instagram, so,


Yeah. Yeah. Well, I was gonna ask you, uh, so when I noticed, when I was doing show prep and, you know, your website,, when I saw that, I'm like, oh my gosh, that is freaking domain name Gold


<laugh>. That's because it's super old <laugh>.


I was just gonna say, you, you, you, so it sounds like you got, you, you, you secured that a long time ago. Cause I was like, oh my gosh, you could probably sell that for a bazillion dollars nowadays. And I thought maybe you had to buy it from someone, but if you, you gotta win long time ago. Yeah, you were way ahead of the game then.


Yeah, I happened to get it literally 17 years ago. Um, and I have held onto that thing. It's, it's part of my, uh, retirement, uh, plan is to sell it someday, I guess. But, um, yeah, I was pretty lucky to get that one.


Yeah. Have you had offers?


You know, surprisingly I haven't, so maybe it's not such a good plan after all, but No, I, yeah, I'm surprisingly, no,


Well, I think it depends too, because it depends how you register your domain name and all that kinda stuff. You wanna stay private and all that stuff. But, um, uh, yeah, I, I, look, I think that's, that that's gotta be just absolute domain named Gold <laugh>. You know, you have a lot of these podcasts where they, that's all they talk about is domain names and what strategies to buy, what names and all this kind of stuff, and Right. I'm sure they would be licking their chops with, with your domain name. Uh, Um, so I guess coming, what, what prompted you? Was it, was it really just when you started the family, was it prompted you to leave sort of the corporate world and kind of start your own thing?


Yeah, I mean, it really was, my daughter was going to daycare every day, and, um, yeah, she was, you know, starting to walk, starting to do all these things. And I felt like I was missing some big milestones, and so I just didn't wanna be chained to that, you know, eight to five kind of thing. And the company that I was working for, I, it was kind of going through some changes and I wasn't doing a lot of work that felt meaningful to me. So kind of the two colliding at once, I'm like, I'm sitting here in my cubicle, my daughter's doing all these things, I could be doing more. Um, so it all came to kind of a, a perfect head. And I said, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go out on my own and see what happens. And luckily I've been able to grow and keep going for, you know, this long. So, um, yeah, it turned out to be a good move, I guess. <laugh>.


Yeah. Yeah. Well, we've only got a couple minutes before, we gotta hit a break here. But I'm curious as well, at what point did you transition from some of the other, the marketing you had been doing? Like you had mentioned with blogs and things like that into the social media world. At what point, what did, were you like, okay, this is like, maybe this is a real thing, not just a fad. I should jump into this.


Yeah, I mean, it was probably about 10 to 11 years ago, I was working with, um, one of the bigger clients that I have now. It's a healthcare organization. And so I was doing a lot of print work, email marketing, and, um, I said, you know, I think we should really look at doing things on Facebook. I'm, I'm seeing people out there for business and this might be something, so let's just <laugh>, let's just take a look. And, and I'll never forget my, you know, the person I was working with there, she's like, okay, we'll just dip our toes in the water and we'll just see what happens. And, you know, and then later, you know, we built so many different Facebook pages for them, um, because they have so many different arms of, you know, medical groups and things like that. So it just got huge. And so we, we kept with that. And then some of my other clients started, you know, asking for it. And, um, I just kind of just kept building and learning and became a resource, um, within that organization. And then also just locally, I'm in, um, the Sacramento, California area, and I started networking more and people started getting to know like, oh, you know, here's somebody that knows about social media, which not everybody knew about yet. So, you know, word got out that way as well.


Yeah. Well, yeah, I'm curious to hear even, you know, even the, the jumps between the, the few. So we'll talk about that in the next segment. So we're gonna come back after the break. We'll give them Mr. BI tip of the week. We'll continue talking with Corey again. You can find out more at her website, the Golden website,,, and obviously follow her on Instagram.


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All right, welcome back to the show. It's time for Mr. Biz tip of the week. And this week's tip is one of my, around one of my three pillars for financial success in the business. And, uh, those three pillars are cash flow, right? These are the three things when I start working with a client, three things we start with and make sure that we have this really strong foundation. Cash flow, the B word, not that B word budgeting, although Mrs. Biz thinks it's just as bad as the, the other B word. Um, she doesn't like that, the budget. Um, and then, uh, and then pricing. So specifically in regards to budget, one of the mistakes I see, first of all, a lot of people, a lot of business owners don't even have a budget. Huge mistake. Huge mistake. And if you do have a budget, make sure that you include two things in that You have two sn r seasonality in reality.


So a budget is not meant to be something that's like, you know, you're supposed to be aspirational, you need to shoot high and all that kind of stuff, for sure. But you can't make it completely unrealistic, right? It's gotta have some, some basis around how you're going to get there. If it becomes too much, too much aspirational in nature, you lose people because they go, oh my gosh, you get three months into the year, and they're like, there's no way we can do this. And then it just becomes completely useless. So you can't do that in seasonality. Very important. Don't just straight line your budget. So again, making the numbers easy. If your budget is 1,000,002 for a year, don't put a hundred thousand dollars across 12 months unless your business is set up that way. Most businesses have some seasonality to, and they have a certain seasons that are, are busier than others.


Make sure you account for that so you don't end up halfway through the year thinking your way ahead when actually you're behind because of seasonality, et cetera. So, very important thing. Um, if budgets aren't realistic and they don't, uh, measure how your business actually runs, again, they become useless because people look at 'em and go, oh my gosh, we're so far off, or we're so far ahead and they take their foot off the gas pedal. So either one, not a good option. So that's Mr. Bi tip of the week. Uh, again, this week we're talking with Mrs. Corey Walker, uh, Uh, so Corey, let's talk. Um, I don't even know where you wanna start. I mean, I don't want you to give away too much cuz you know, I wanna talk about some specific tips in the last, uh, segment, but yeah, you know, reels, I guess let's, let's start with that, with Instagram reels, because that seems to be a, a big hot thing here over the last, I don't know, you know, several months anyway.


Yeah, I mean, reels, they've been around for believe it or not, two years, but Oh, wow, okay. Yeah. But people are really just jumping on them now. And the other thing is Instagram is pushing them harder than ever, um, because they wanna beat TikTok. TikTok so that, you know, the one thing Instagram is famous for is basically taking parts of other, you know, successful platforms and making it their own. So Instagram reels are basically, you know, what was happening on TikTok, they said, we need to do that because they're starting to get, a lot of our people are starting to go over there, so we need to reel 'em back in literally with reels. Yeah. Um, yeah, so over the summer, if you are on Instagram, you may have noticed almost your entire feed was reels. And, um, you know, finally the, the Kardashians spoke <laugh> and they said, Hey, we're getting a little sick of these reels.


We want some photos back. We still like photos. And they were also suggesting a lot of accounts that weren't, um, you know, your friends or the businesses that you wanted to follow. So there was a lot of backlash that Instagram got saying like, it's overly saturated with reels, and it's, um, there's too many of these suggestions. So they pulled back on the suggestions. And then, um, just recently, I noticed about a week ago, they've started filtering in a little bit more of the photos and carousels and other, you know, things that are not reels mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, that remains. Um, the fact, the remains is that reels are not going anywhere. Short form video is not going anywhere. So every platform now is launching or has launched some kind of short form video. You know, you have obviously TikTok, you have, YouTube has YouTube shorts, you have Pinterest even has their idea pins, which are, um, the same size little short video.


Um, Elon Musk is talking about bringing Vine back, that's also a short form video, all vertical video. So if you think, uh, I'm gonna just wait for this trend to pass, I, you're gonna get left in the dust <laugh>. Yeah. So it is important to start looking at this and looking at ways you can do it. Um, one of the things that I suggest to people is if you're going to be doing a real, you may as well just do a short form video that you can put on more than one platform. So maybe create it outside of reels. Um, I, like, I have a lot of restaurant clients, and so I'll go to the restaurant and I'll just film 200 clips of them, you know, making food, people enjoying the food, and then I'll dump it into a file and then to put the clips all together in cap cut and then, um, then they're finished files. I can put them anywhere I want. So, um, so that's one thing. Um, another thing is if you are gonna put them, say you're gonna create them first in TikTok, don't download them from TikTok and put them on reels with that TikTok logo. Um, Instagram has been very clear. They don't like that, and they will downplay that video. So, um, yeah, basically TikTok logos big no-no on Instagram,


And I see it all the time. I see people do it still all the time. And you see the, like you said, the little TikTok logo in the lower right. And it's like, and I, I'm, I'm glad you mentioned, I'm not surprised at all, but, um, that that Instagram would, would downplay those and, you know, practically probably shut 'em down because why would they want to advertise for TikTok? Um, they know it's crazy when, especially, like you said, you can go the other way with it. You can have a, you know, just a short form video that you can share on all of them individually. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, especially with some, you know, we use, um, I know with all of our social media, we use Buffer mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so you can schedule all, all of it totally across those different, the one video right across all and repurpose that same video across all.


And a lot of people when I tell them that, they're like, oh, well no one wants to see it on all these different platforms. I'm like, first of all, this is gonna sound really mean, but get over yourself. Not everyone follows you. Not everyone follows you on every platform, right. Some people are just on one or two of those platforms, so they're not gonna get sick of it. And by the way, if it's a good video, they're probably gonna be like, oh, I saw this before. Let, watch it again. So yeah. Even it's a different platform. Um, but yeah, I agree with you. The video thing, you know, even G'S back, um, was it 2018, I think I committed to do, uh, a hundred videos, um, like on like YouTube and they were, these were all like three or four minute videos mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I did a hundred of them, I did 20 a month for five months. So I did that a hundred over five months, and most of them were, I would just go live mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, that's when Facebook Live was, was really starting to pick up some steam, right? And so I would get a ton of virality out of them because Facebook would help push it because they were trying to get people to do lives. And, um, but the, the video content, I mean, everyone, it seems like everyone nowadays once the video content versus, you know, other forms as well, more and more, so


Yeah. And I mean, people, people have gotten lazier, I hate to say it. Absolutely. And their attention span has gone way down. And I mean, it's kind of like, well, witch camp first, the chicken or the egg. It's like, are people's attention spans nationally going down, or is it because of these videos and if we make more of these videos, is that contributing to the problem? I don't know. But um, but yeah, the attention spans have gone down. That's one of the tips that I act share with reels is keep them short. You can do up to 90 seconds now, but, um, the people don't typically stay on for that long unless you're sharing super good information that they're really, um, or your audience is used to hearing these longer types of things.


Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, guys, again, keep in mind when we're talking this week with, this is Corey Walker, Come back after the break and she's gonna give us some more tips on how to crush it on Instagram.


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All right, welcome back to the show. And it's, I'm sure you guys are all waiting for this. Uh, Corey's already shared tons of insightful information. Again, I've got, as I always do, I got tons of notes. And <laugh>, uh, I warned her before the show started. I said, I'm, I'm telling you this, selfishly, I'm gonna learn a lot from this show myself. So, and I'm sure you guys are as well. So I guess with all of that, Corey, what are some things, some practical tips? Maybe there are tips and or, uh, things that you see that people do and you're like, make you cringe and you're like, that doesn't work, or You shouldn't be doing that. Or I, the algorithm is gonna punish you for that. Like the TikTok logo you had mentioned before, things like that. What are some things that we could be doing to, to optimize our, our, uh, you know, virality, our engagement on Instagram?


Sure. Well, the first thing I like to tell people is to think of Instagram, um, like a sales funnel. So basically you have reels are gonna be at your very top, and that's gonna be shown to, you know, tons of people, not necessarily your followers. So that is a good thing about reels, is they will pop that outside of your, you know, sphere of followers. So reals big at the top, and then it's gonna go down a little bit more on the feed. So I like to put, um, I will do some just one photo, but I like to use carousel. They same, to do a little bit better, um, with the algorithm. Um, the other thing that people don't necessarily know is that, um, if someone sees that carousel, they see the first card in the carousel first. If they stay on Instagram for a while and they haven't gone through it, it's gonna show them the next card in that carousel.


I've noticed that. Yeah, I wondered, I'm, I'm glad you confirmed that. I thought I was going crazy.


<laugh>. No, it's true. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. So it's a good way to kind of get out multiple pieces of content that's going to look different. Um, the other thing with Carousel, it's really good, like if you're sharing tips or if you wanna show the progression of something, um, it's a great way to share information. Um, the next step narrowing down and the funnel is going to be stories. Um, so like on the regular feed, I'm a little bit more businessy. I'm still, you know, I'm still kind of a silly person, so I might, you know, add some of my humor, but I'm not sharing pictures, you know, necessarily of my cat, whatever. On the story side, I will get a little bit more personal. Like if my daughter was in, um, my daughter played in a band, so if she was in her band performance, I might share that on reels.


Just to let you know I am a real person, you know, I'm a mom, I'm a wife, I, you know, all these different things that I like to do. Um, you can share on stories. I do share several stories usually a day. Um, and then lives are a great finishing point for people that are always, that are already very familiar with you. Um, that's where you can kind of seal the deal with your sales process, talk to them, and then your followers also have the opportunity to ask you questions directly either about your product, your service, all of that. So the lives are at the very end of the funnel. Um, so if you, you follow that framework and really think of it that way, um, it could be super helpful, um, to, you know, move people through and actually get them to buy from you.


Yeah. So let me ask, um, um, I love the, the analogy of a sales funnel owner and it makes complete sense to me, especially the way you broke that down. And when you first said that, I'm like, okay, where's she going with this? But it makes perfect sense as, as you explained it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what about, um, they seem to be fairly recently, although maybe I'm behind the times, um, pushing subscriptions, allowing people to offer subscriptions. Where does that sort of fit in all of this?


Yeah, that's an interesting one. Um, and they just rolled that out, I think to most people now in the us I haven't checked on it. Um, I think it's a great one for people that have some kind of a program that they're selling. So like I see people using it, um, where they have kind of a members only type thing. So if you did have, um, some kind of course or program and you wanted exclusive rights, you know, to these set of people, you could do that. Or if you, um, wanted to use the subscription just on its own, like that's where you, you share your top secret, you know, info, you could do it that way. Um, so it's a nice add-on for people that want to share, you know, on a deeper level, but don't wanna give it all away for free <laugh>.


Yeah. And I've struggled with it a little bit because they keep, it keeps popping up. They keep asking me, do you wanna start a subscription? You, and then I'm seeing a lot of people that I know, uh, and that I follow that so and so has started offering subscriptions and I'm like, I need to literally sit down Corey and like figure out and map some of this out. And which I'm glad you mentioned it, like a sales fund and I think about and how to integrate subscriptions into that. Like what do I share between reals feed stories and lives and then what's, what's the next level in subscription? So to make sure I'm providing value for those folks that are, you know, paying for the subscription and not just, you know, the same stuff.


Right, right. Yeah. So it would have to be deeper level, I think, information, um, your best tips, you know, because you don't, when you're on Instagram, you know, for your business you don't necessarily wanna give away everything cuz then it's like, well why does someone have to buy from you or get coached by you or whatever. So that could be where you put some of that subscription information. Um, let's see. Some of the don'ts that I see, um, this is a big one that I see a lot of like b2b, um, people do. And it's sharing these just basic stock photos and that's all they're doing. They're sharing a stock photo and then it has some, you know, really boring caption with it. And then the kicker is they put a URL in the caption, which as most people know, you know, the captions in Instagram are not, not, uh, don't have live links available. So they're leaving this super long url, um, and you know, no one can click on it so they'd have to, you know, copy and paste it somehow in there. So, so those are two big ones that I see and I'm just like, oh, I wanna just reach out to them and say, can I help you please <laugh>. Yeah.


So one thing I wanna ask you too, and I should asked a minute ago, but, and this, this is an outdated, uh, statistic so I'm sure it's new now or been updated, especially reels wasn't as big of a deal when I saw this and this, I probably saw this about a year ago that said, uh, I think it was like 54%, 56% of people, the content that is, that is, um, uh, seen or, or that people see on Instagram is on stories versus the feed.


Yeah. You know, I'm not sure of the exact amount, but, um, but yeah, a lot of people do just watch stories. I have, um, somebody that I'm friends with and she's, she's very heavy stories and she is really like a storyteller. Um, so you see all about her life and you really get to know her and so she, she sprinkles in the business stuff and you can, you know, join her course and things like that. But yeah, don't discount stories. Um, the thing I also like is you can be a little bit more lax about what you're presenting cuz they go away in 24 hours. Right. Um, but they are a really good tool. So, um, I always suggest people use stories and now you can even, um, put links in the stories. You can link directly out to, you know, your blog posts or your website or you know, other, other places.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I will typically share also, if I have a real, I will share it to stories. That's another good tip to get, you know, one more place for your things to be seen. Um, as far as reels go to, I like to also download my, um, videos, my reels videos and put them on LinkedIn because not as many people are doing video on LinkedIn. Oh. And because it's, you know, it's vertical, it's taking up more space. Sure. So, um, so that's kind of a little insider tip that not as many people are using LinkedIn for.


Yeah, no, I love that. And um, I don't know how, how much you've been on LinkedIn. I know we're running out of time here, but, um, LinkedIn tried to launch a video thing a while back. Yeah. And it just kind of fizzled out and they did away with it. Um, and you can still share videos on there, but they're very specific, uh, version of it. But man, I'll tell you, I've got so many notes and there's been so many aha moments for me. I really appreciate you coming on the show, Corey, again, Corey, thanks so much for coming on the show.


Thank you for having me.


Yeah, absolutely guys. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. As always, have a great week. And don't forget Cash Flow is king


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