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Instagram Stories. Those things I rarely shut up about… I know. It’s annoying. BUT just hear me out for a sec…

Instagram Stories can be a hugely effective way to promote your business and boost your brand online. Plus, they’re way less labour-intensive than pretty much any other form of digital content I’ve come across. And I’ve come across them all.

But don’t just take my word for it. Keep reading and I’ll share 15 different ways that YOU can boost your business with Instagram Stories.

Reveal the real personality behind your brand

As I’m sure you know, there are currently eleventy thousand other people or companies currently offering products and services similar to yours. The key point of difference is YOU, and that’s something that can be amped up on Instagram Stories.

They’re perfect for that informal, behind-the-scenes stuff that proudly shows of your quirks and your randomness.

We’re constantly hearing about that know-like-trust factor… well, this is how you create it.

Share real-time wins

Celebrating developments in your business helps your audience feel like they’re involved – like they’re part of the journey. In this world where everyone craves more connection, that stuff is powerful.

Don’t be put off by feeling like sharing wins makes you a humblebragger, it doesn’t. It makes you a high achiever who’s proud of all the things you’ve managed to accomplish, and that’s a good thing.

Encourage dynamic user-generated content

Do you know what’s madly effective when it comes to boosting your biz online? Other people agreeing with all the stuff you say.

If you can get your clients to share their experiences of working with you in their Stories, you can share that to your own with one quick tap.

Other tips for leveraging this idea:

  • Ask your customers to share photos of the products they buy from you
  • Ask podcast listeners to share their favourite moment from your show
  • Ask Facebook group members to share the best thing about your community
  • Ask blog readers to share their favourite tip from your post

And then add each and every one of these to your own Instagram Stories.

Start a community movement

Do you know what everyone loves? A challenge. (And by “everyone” I, of course, mean me.)

Share a challenge you’re participating in (or one you’ve dreamed up yourself) and encourage your people to get involved.

Remind people to tag you in their Stories so you can share them, and think about knocking up a few screenshottable templates to make it even easier for your followers to take part.

Leverage existing content

You know how you put all that effort into writing killer blog posts, recording unbeatable podcast episodes and filming stand-out videos?

Get more eyes on all of that stuff by pimping them in your Insta Stories. If you need a bit of inspiration here, check out this post, stat!

Open the door to sales conversations

I have honestly never met someone who’s said: “Ermagurd don’t you just LOVE sales?!”. Never. That’s not a thing. And reaching out to someone directly to start pitching without permission can feel pretty icky, but Instagram Stories are a fab way to gauge interest.

Use polls to ask if people want to know more about your offer and then reach out directly to those who say yes.

Use questions to address their hesitations.

Sales don’t *always* have to feel gross!

Make your bite-sized tips extra actionable

Dig back through your content archives and whip out some of your best tips and tricks. You may have to edit somewhat to condense them to a 15 second chunk, but if you do, they’ll be much more accessible to those busy scrollers out there.

Don’t forget to round up any of these tips in a highlight so people can come back to them later.

Give your people what they want

Let your followers guide the content you create by monitoring how they interact with your Stories (simply swipe up and you’ll see your Story analytics).

I would also like to encourage you to take full advantage of the new(ish) “questions” sticker. This gives your people the opportunity to submit specific questions to you, which you can then share anonymously and respond to in a Story for the benefit of everyone, or message them directly so they feel a bit of one-on-one love.

You can also be the one to ask the questions. Ask your people what they’d like to see more of, or if there’s anything specific they would like you to address in the coming weeks.

Share informal demos, tutorials and how-tos

Tutorials are a great way to provide maximum value to your people, but if you’re producing and editing a pro video, it can take quite a while to get anything “out there”. Posting more informal demos are a fab way to cut down on production time and show our people the benefit they can get from your products and ideas fast.

Learn about what your people actually need from you

Any business owner knows their niche inside out, right? You know your core values and topics… but sometimes you might not know the specifics that people are looking for.

Use that handy “questions” sticker again, asking people what they want to know about XYZ.

Network creatively

It so easy to engage with others via Instagram Stories. You can easily share other people’s posts and Stories. You can easily tag people (which will send them a notification and a copy of your Story).

Make the most of these features and strengthen that Insta network you’ve got going on.

Supercharge your social proof

Instagram Stories are a brilliantly dynamic place to share all of those great testimonials you’ve been bringing in because you’ve got the chance to be really creative with it. You don’t have to stick to a set website template or format, you can mix it up and make sure people actually pause to read those reviews.

Mine your followers for FAQ’s

Introduce your offers in an informal video and then make a point of asking people what they want to know about it. Then go back and share those questions (and the corresponding answers) in a fresh Story.

Beat your content FOMO and enjoy publishing something without all the production

Sometimes life and business get in the way of publishing regular content – even for someone like me who lives and breathes this stuff. When you have one of those weeks, Instagram Stories is the answer. In just 15 seconds you can make sure you’ve got a little bit of something going out into the world… and everyone has 15 seconds to spare!

Talk informally about client wins and experiences

Chat to your camera about the experience of working with you, and also the achievements you’ve helped people unlock. You don’t need to name names, but you can still share those stories. Don’t forget to finish up with a call-to-action, prompting your followers to reach out if they’d like to get in on the good stuff too!

See what I mean? There are endless ways to boost your business with Instagram Stories. Now go get to work!

>> For more on slaying your Instagram Stories, go here. <<