Episode #102 Why Instagram Stories Are Important for Bookkeepers

Join us for this brand new episode of The Bookkeepers' Voice as Savvy's Angie Martin talks all things Instagram Stories and why they are so important for Bookkeepers!
Tune in and learn the ins and outs of Instagram Stories including what they're about, the features you should be using, why they're so effective as part of your marketing strategy and why YOU should be using them as a bookkeeper!

Did you know that 500 million people post to Instagram stories a day and of those, 62% say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after viewing it in Instagram Stories? Incredible, isn't it? 

Key takeaway: “Instagram Stories have the power to help convert followers into leads. When you create engaging content and use Instagram Stories well, you give your followers a good reason to visit your website or provide their details for you to contact them.”

Podcast Info

Episode: #102

Series: General

Host: Angie Martin

Topic: Why Instagram Stories Are Important for Bookkeepers

Read transcript

Summary Keywords: Instagram stories, Instagram Story Icons, Instagram Story Ideas, Digital Presence, Instagram Engagement


Why your small bookkeeping business needs to utilise Instagram Stories



Angie Martin  0:01 

Hello, everyone, I hope you're all having a fantastic Friday. And once again, just happy 2021 Welcome to the new year, we are super thrilled to be back with you for another year of the bookkeepers voice. We absolutely love doing this. And today I want to start our episode out with doing a shout out to Teresa, who is from a view books. And I was speaking to her last December before we went on break. And we just had a fantastic chat with how about like how she loves Amy's voice so much and how she finds it really calming and really soothing. I actually told Amy, the story, after I spoke with you, and she just made her really happy she did when she first started doing these podcasts, she did want to make sure that she was able to create a calming atmosphere for bookkeepers to be able to come to and just really have that person they can sit with every week and connect with so the fact that you straight out and said that she was calming and that you love listening to her and that you found her very smoothing later very, very happy. So thank you for that that made her day and also just thrilled that you listened to us. I know you mentioned that you've been listening to the bookies voice for a while. So sadly, you're not getting a nice soothing voice today. So you're going to have to deal with my Canadian one. But hopefully it still works really well for you. So today, I'm going to be discussing why Instagram Stories are important for bookkeepers.

How important is it that my small bookkeeping business has a digital presence?


And this has been a specifically requested topic that I know, a lot of bookkeepers have been focusing on the last few months, simply because the need to have a digital presence is so much bigger, so much more since last year. And I've created this kind of to go in combination with all of our free resources I'll have also created. So I'll list those off later on. So what you can do is listen to this episode, and then get our free resources that will further help and support you to be able to get the most out of your Instagram and social media marketing. To start off, I want to just kind of do a bit of an intro into storytelling. It is one of the most effective ways you can connect with your ideal client. And that is via social media, of course. It's a great way to be able to engage with your followers and your clients. build brand awareness and drive sales. And I know a lot of people have a lot of questions about how that can actually be done in regards of stories. So just a little background. Stories are a way of storytelling. So don't just forget all of the technical jargon that happens. Just think about stories. The concept and the reason why stories are called stories is because their way of storytelling. So as I go through this episode, just really keep that in mind. Forget about the concept that it's digital marketing, that it's social media marketing, just stay with the fact that the concept is storytelling. It's a way of connecting and engaging with your clients and your followers.

What are Instagram Stories?


First off from there, I want to go through and actually explain what Instagram Stories are. Because I know that's always the first question bookkeepers asked me because it's confusing. There's a lot of options in social media. And don't worry, you don't have to know all of them. That's why you listen to podcasts. First off, Instagram Stories are a social media feed feature that are in the Instagram app that can also be brought forward into the Facebook app, so you can have Facebook stories and Instagram stories. This is where users are able to users such as yourself on your business account or your personal account. Users can capture and post photos or video content into a slideshow format that appear at the top of the Instagram app. This is the section in your feed where has the Instagram profile and then the little red or pink For whatever colour you want to call it, circle around it. When you click on these profile pictures, it comes up and you're able to see everyone's stories, whether it's for a business, or just the personal account. In this, they stories are able to stay up there for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, they disappear, unless you put them in highlights, but I will explain the concept of highlights a little bit later. But basically, their way to engage on a different level on social media rather than just posting static content. So Instagram Stories are a way of having it look less perfect. Basically, it's a way of letting people in a little bit more about your business yourself, your clients to day to day activities of the business, to help them fall in love with your business even bit more. And also understand I love Instagram stories because they are a great way to understand to help clients understand there's more to bookkeeping than just bookkeepers, wearing bland sweaters, you guys all have amazing personalities, amazing business concepts, and you all have fantastic personalities. So this is a way of actually showing that to them. To help them remember that you aren't a spreadsheet or a calculator or anything you are a human being, and that you are here to support them, it's a really great way of creating that connection, and taking kind of the curtain down for you. Now, the stories themselves have been created off of Snapchat. And I'm not going to go into Snapchat, that's a whole other platform. But as many of you know, Snapchat was a very popular application quite a few years ago. And it skyrocketed a lot of businesses to extreme success. And the reason is, is because of these really more, not personal but more interactive ways of connecting with clients and followers. So today, it is one of the most popular features on Instagram. And it's a great way to let people see the behind the scenes aspect of your business. And it's meant to be looking honest, so you don't have to hire a videographer to do these things for you. The more authentic it looks, the better the connection you are going to have with your followers and viewers, which is fantastic. All you need is a cell phone. You can get a tripod if you want, it's up to you. But most of the time, it's just your cell phone and it's you being you, which is just a little bit refreshing when it comes to social media marketing. That is what Instagram Stories are. You might still be wondering why should bookkeepers care about Instagram stories? Why am I doing this? Isn't Instagram stories just for young kids doing silly things on the internet? No, it is not. So because I love doing facts. When it comes to social media. I've got some facts here for you. Half of Instagrams monthly users use stories. That means 500 million people are posting 1 billion stories every day. And that is the most up to date stuff I could find. They're posting consistently, stories have become more popular than actual posting, a business might post three posts per week, but they will do a minimum of one post per day. And that is a massive difference. And it is a game changer basically in regards to digital marketing and connecting with your community. In fact, 62 of the people on the platform become more interested 62% not just 62 sorry 62% of everyone on Instagram and Facebook. This classifies for Facebook as well become more interested in the brand, business or service after being able to see stories. That's a bit crazy. 62%. So if you think about that 62% of people who are on Instagram, see your stories and connect with you on a different level than any posts you could possibly create. And these stories can be as simple as you showing that you're having a cup of coffee or you office or even just showing them around your office or showing you out of your office going to see a client or something. It helps to build that connection in brand awareness in loyalty so much quicker and deeper on a deeper level than just posting. Now, to keep it simple as well, because I love doing that as much as possible when it comes to social media marketing, Instagram stories have the power to help convert followers into leads. When I say that, I mean, when you create engaging content, you give your followers strong reasons for them to give you their email addresses to contact them further. How do we do that? Well, it's all through call to actions and links. Here are my top advantages of using Instagram stories for digital marketing. It drives traffic to your website, by having your website continually in your profile bio, helps brands build the brand awareness by having continual links in your posts and in your stories to further direct them to your website, and let them in on who you really are. Also, by giving them another way of exploring you and your business, it's a great way for clients to give genuine feedback through engaging. And this is through sharing your posts, commenting, sending through actual live questions if you do a question story, or actually doing a post and taking you in which you can then share it in a story as well. It gives you real live feedback ongoing, and it's ganic. Which is amazing. It's a fantastic way that's the like that's the mega of stories, if people are going to be doing stuff about you. And it's organic, and it's shareable. It's the best kind of social proof you can kind of get right now. When I say it generates leads is that it generates leads 100% the biggest question everyone asked me in the world of bookkeeping, how does does Instagram actually build leads? Yes. And we have clients right now, who are building massive lead portals because of their Instagram accounts and their involvement in doing stories. They're doing a fantastic job at really asking for engagement, and actual getting involved in their stories. And it's a great way of connecting and then following up via Instagram, to really create those leads, it's a great way because it's connecting with them on a different level than an email ever could. Instagram is more personal, it's more connected right away. And so 100% generates leads. It's also a great way to actually promote your services. Now when I mean your services, I don't just mean you're a bookkeeper, you do bookkeeping services. I mean, all of your services, actually what you do for customers, because most of your customers, as I've said multiple times, don't know what you actually do. So Instagram Stories are a great way of actually explaining what your services mean. So what does ongoing bookkeeping mean? What does best mean? What does reconciliation mean? What do you do when you do those? stories are a great way of offering that more face to face and more intimate way of explaining what you do to help them understand your value and worth. This creates better relationships with clients and more ideal clients right off the bat, which is basically the goal when you get new clients. You want them all to be your ideal client and everything to go incredibly smooth and have your onboarding process just perfect. By being able to really explain your services and what you actually do in stories is a great way. Instagram Stories also help you to become discoverable. Now, this is a big one, guys. I don't know how many of you actually use the Discover section on Instagram, but a lot of people get lost for hours in this section of Instagram. And what's really lovely is Instagram stories go up on that discover section. So you're able to really get through and communicate with, with people who aren't even following you, who are just happened to be involved with some of your hashtags or something like that, to discover you and find you and go, Oh, that's right, I needed a bookkeeper. This is amazing. I love what this person is saying. I'll go and chat with her to see if it'll work with her, or him. It's a great way to be discovering. Now, when it comes to all of that, you might be going this is all great Angie. But how do I actually convert these followers into leads with stories? How do I actually make them? Well not make them get them to the next step? Excellent question in a very important question. There's a couple different ways you can do this. And it's all about your actual strategy. So I'm going to give you guys three. And then if you want to chat to me about more options, please feel free to book in that free strategy sessions that we always offer at savvy. So first one is to offer, like do special offers as an exclusive discounts on baths into financial year seasons, or, you know, health checks or anything like that this isn't always perfect for everyone always depends on your ideal client to actually offer specials. This one is great for some businesses, it's not amazing for others. So that's something to think about. It works really, really well for some clients, like some actual business owners, and they'll will actually go in and and be like, Yes, I definitely want to contact you give me the link. All go to it right now. The best way, I think, is to do your lead magnets. Now we've discussed lead magnets a bit in the past Maia and I and we've done it in regards to just the concept of lead magnets, and then how they work with your website, social media, follow ups with sales and everything. lead magnets can actually be done through social media and through stories. And I actually really enjoy them being done in stories. So the way that it works best is you can either do like an actual live video talking about it. And then you can go through and do kind of a breakdown of what they're going to learn in the lead magnets section. For these ones, I would make sure that they are done in highlights. As before I said I would explain what highlights are. highlights are what you see in your own profile with the circles. These are different sections that you can save your stories to in different categories. For bookkeepers, it would be things like services, client reviews about us. And then for this point, I would do resources. This is where you can talk about your blogs. This is where you can talk about your lead magnets, all of that. In those sections with the resources, you can put your lead magnets and put them in touchable stories, where you go through and you can tap through your entire story section, usually lead magnets will be about five to six tabs, so five to six different images of actually going through what your lead magnet is going to be about. At the end of that, since most of you aren't going to have 10,000 followers, you just say link and bio, change your link in bio to the lead magnet link link. And so all they have to do is click there. Then they'll give you their email and contact number to get that lead magnet. You can do the same with your blogs, you can make your blog section actual they have to sign up to see any of the blogs which is a quite normal, it's not unusual just makes them sign up to your newsletter list so that you can get their contact details as well. Those people who do that from Instagram are 100% interested in your services. So those are what I would classify hot leads. It's really important and it's a great way of utilising stories since you They can let you give a bit more information than one image might, or one post might in your actual posting strategy. Another thing you could do, and I know a couple of our clients have done this is giving them a chance to win a free consult, or to win a gun, another version of lead magnet. So there's a heap of different ways you can actually entice them to get their contact details. Another way is actually having some really cool call to actions on, you know, ask me anything about bookkeeping, in your stories, and then they ask the questions and you reply, once you reply, then go to their personal account, like their actual account and message them personally, to follow up with their message. Once you follow up with their message, their question, then say, please feel free to book in a free consultation. So we can go for through this further. This gets them into your follow up sequence your actual lead generation, and takes them off the platform into your own database. So Instagram Stories are actually really great at that. And people are more willing to do that. It's so strange, people are more willing to do that, because it seems easier than doing it through actual posts. So it's a great way to create engagement through there. The next thing that I want to go through is the actual top Instagram features for bookkeepers. I know Instagram story features look terrifying, there's a lot of options out there, there's a lot of things to do, especially now that there's reels available.

How can I use Instagram Story Icons and Stickers?

So I'm wanting to create a bit of a breakdown on the easiest to use built in features that Instagram has to make your stories as inspiring and engaging as possible. The top ones that are really important is making sure that you loot utilise the stickers that they create that include link and bio, things like that, because you aren't going to be able to have an actual link in there unless you set it up as a shop feature. Or if you have over 10,000 followers, which that might take you a while. So what you do is you do Lincoln bio, and then you do the direct link that you're wanting to for your lead magnets or for whatever you're wanting them to do their call to action, and have that consistently in your website. Make sure you do a call to action guys. It's always really important. It's really the purpose of having actual stories in any social media engagement being done. The next thing is highlights which I mentioned before, it's really easy to set up highlights, all you have to do is want to post an Instagram story, it actually comes up with a little section at the bottom to see if you want to add it as a highlight, simply tap the highlight button. And then you can add the highlight you can then go in later and change the main image of the highlight the title of the highlight everything. It's really fantastic. And it's a really good idea for bookkeepers who are really trying to create that brand presence. Because you can do the About Us you can do the services you can do the client reviews, and the resources to show the three main sections I'm always talking about. And that is about the business, about the services and value added content. So it's a really great way of creating those three posting strategies throughout your Instagram stories. The next thing that's really important and that I think a lot of business owners Miss in general, not just even bookkeepers, but business owners, but that is the location take that you can do. Now I know a lot of you might think location doesn't matter so much because I am trying to be a virtual bookkeeper, that's fine, you still need to start growing your business somewhere. So you need to start with a location and then grow it till you can get bigger. Don't just try and throw a pencil in 100 different pencil cases. Just focus on one and then focus on two and then focus on three grow gradually. So if you are trying to first grow your let's say first grow your database basically for Victoria. Do some locations within victims. Korea to really set that ground base that home base, then you can grow gradually into the next suburb that you want to focus on, and then the next suburb and then the next state. It actually works fantastically well, especially for bookkeepers simply because even if you are a virtual bookkeeper, everyone is still looking for bookkeepers near them. So you will come up better if you do location based takes. The next thing is hashtags. Now, I'm pretty sure I need to do a whole separate thing on hashtags for you. I do have it in my list. I haven't done it yet. So I will do an episode on hashtags. But you want to include hashtags, the hashtags that you were specifically following for your business, whatever keywords that are important to you. So maybe it's you know, if you do tradies, you want to do hashtag tradie life for, you know, anything like that, you want to make sure you're including hashtags in your stories to help them to be more discoverable in the Discover section of Instagram. The next thing I kind of already started to mention, but that is stickers. Instagram offers an amazing amount of sticker stickers. And they are, they can be professional, they can be goofy, they can be silly, but they also can be extremely professional and extremely don't want to say bookkeeper. But they can have that clean look that you're looking for to project to your clients. So I would highly suggest if you thinking about what else to put on your Instagram stories, always just check out what's available in stories, whatever you're talking about just right in the keywords, see what's there. Stickers can be a fantastic Instagram automatically promotes stickered stories, more than nothing. So if you don't have a location or a hashtag you want to do for your Instagram story, try and include a sticker so that you can really have that strong engagement in there. It just really helps.

How to increase your Instagram engagement


The final thing that works really well for bookkeepers is using gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, however you want to say it, they are a fantastic way of having a little bit of fun on social media, while also keeping it engaging. And you can there's actually a lot of bookkeeper type ones on the platform that can be really fun in just, again, show your personality a little bit. It helps people just connect with you on a different level again, and it makes them want to actually come and see your stories. I don't know about you guys, but I have specific businesses that I just really enjoy looking at their stories are really enjoy what they do, I find them engaging. And I when I see that they have a story available, I always click on it religiously. So you want to be able to create that feeling with your business online through the use of these different features. So just a big summary of the top features that we suggest for bookkeepers, it is doing kolon call to actions such as Lincoln bio, highlights, location tags, hashtags, stickers, and gifts. Definitely super important. Now, this might be sounding all amazing. I've explained what stories are and why you should use them. But you're probably still wondering how you actually implement them to be included in your business. What I have done is basically broken it down a little bit easier to help you get the most out of your actual story strategy. So uploading you can't the big thing that people don't actually understand is uploading stories is a strategy. People who are having engaging stories that you are wanting to go to that is a strategy just because their stories and they're displayed in a certain way. Don't think that it's not 100% planned and strategize in the modern day of social media marketing stories are actually getting priority office strategy based planning for marketers over posting. And the whole point of stories is that it's supposed to not look planned. So the whole point of it is that Doesn't look planned, but it 100% is planned behind the scenes. So you need to make sure that it's more than just uploading random pictures or videos every once in a while, you need to actually implement an appropriate strategy that matches your businesses and resonates with your ideal clients. This is a must, you have to do this. And as always, with the savvy bookkeeper, it all starts from completing your business plan. Our business plan is a free template and it goes through the actual marketing message for your business. Once you can go through that, you can then create your Start your actual digital marketing strategy, and your SMART goals for your actual Instagram story strategy as well. This needs to be done before you just start posting randomly, because it can turn people off very quickly. If you have poorly done Instagram stories. So you want to make the most out of this a fun way. Just remember, it's fun, fun way of connecting with your people by doing it right, and not just doing it super random. So what we've done is I've created a and we'll include this all in the notes section for you guys for this episode, is we have a whole heap of different training guides that we have made available to help make this strategy actually really, really successful. So what you do first is number one, you do the five step guide to creating your social, your digital presence, this is a free resource, it's available to you all the time from us first go through and do that, then what I would suggest is do our free 30 day Instagram story planner, which is another resource I have created specifically for this episode, just to make the most out of your strategy. Then once you do that one, I would then go through and do our other completely free resource that we have done specifically so that you guys can have the most use of your Instagram and Facebook story strategy. And that is our tools to creating better Instagram stories. Now, this is a basically glorified list of all of the top tools we would suggest you to use to creating amazing spin engaging stories. This includes things like Canva, video editors, everything, it just creates a really good starting point to how you can actually create fun stories. From there, I would then actually suggest for you guys to check out our training resources, which is our Instagram, our savvy Instagram style guide, and our brand new one that I've just created for you guys. I'm really excited for it to be actually available for you. It is the bookkeepers guide to Instagram stories. So this has everything in it. This is a complete guide to what Instagram Stories are, what all the terminology is how you can use it and implement it into your strategy. From there, I would then go to our a air table social media planner, which has a mass amount of video training in a template for you to then implement these strategies for you. So most of these resources are all completely free. They have been created just to make the most out of your social media presence and your digital marketing presence. So I would 100% suggest to go through there. And of course, like I said before, make sure you start with your business plan so you can have a good starting point to everything. I hope this has been a helpful episode for you. I know it's been a lot of questions for you guys. So if you have additional questions about this, please feel free to go through and comment on any of our podcast platforms, social medias, and or email me directly at Angie at savvy bookkeeper.com. Au or at our entire team's email which is savvy at the savvy bookkeeper.com au and we can then go through and answer even more questions that you have. I hope you guys have a great day and as always, Stay Safe, Stay Sane and Stay Savvy. Bye!