A Gen X View of Instagram as a Marketing Channel (Bonus EP11)

The best social sharing snippet from this interview is by far… “You need to be in your content because that is how we are verifying that you are a trustworthy person and that you are competent at what you do. And I know that sounds wild, but it happens in a second, maybe two, and we’re scanning your content to determine what do you talk about? Do you have expertise? Can I trust you?”

Social media expert, Chelsea Peitz, shares insights on using Instagram effectively, stressing the importance of genuine engagement and building trust with a personal brand. She provides tips for getting comfortable with the platform, leveraging conversations over content, and demystifies common fears about social media.


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Raw Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the small business sweet spot. I’m your host Barb Davids, and this show is dedicated to helping small business owners like you get more organic website traffic and also to help create and distribute content and analyzing the numbers so that we can make better informed marketing decisions. It is action oriented, direct, and conversational. And if you’ve been looking for SEO or content marketing help, please stick around to the very end where I share about the group coaching program, small business sweet spot. I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s go.

Welcome back to the sweet spot this episode. I am chatting with Instagram marketer extraordinaire Chelsea Peitz. I have been following Chelsea for a little while somewhat because of her dog, but also because she has some really great Instagram advice and tips and things. So welcome to the sweet spot, Chelsea.

Thank you for having me. I am not at all offended that I am followed for my adorable cute dogs and all of the hijinks that they get into and I’m able to capture and share with the world. So fellow dog lovers, animal lovers of all kinds, you are welcome. And you are, you are our people.

Yes, exactly. Too funny.

I have a dog myself. So I always crack up because I see your dog’s doing something and I’m like, yep, mine’s got a little work here and there as well. So kind of funny. All right. So I am going to read off your bio and then I will have people hear from you directly what your sweet spot is.

Meet Chelsea Peitz, a true powerhouse in the world of real estate, mortgage, and title insurance, social media marketing. Video content creation and personal branding. With over two decades of experience, Chelsea’s expertise is unrivaled. An influential keynote speaker, Chelsea is one of the foremost industry experts in the captivating science of the screen to screen connection.

Her exceptional ability to convey the intricacies of neuroscience and its impact on building trust, affinity, and connections through social media videos is truly remarkable. Within just one session, she leaves a lasting impact, transforming mindsets, and resonating with audiences. With her guidance, you too can harness the power of social media, building a compelling personal brand, and achieve outstanding results.

That is one of the most amazing bios I have ever heard. I got goosebumps from all those wonderful words.

Oh, that’s so kind. Thank you for reading it. And I need you to be my hype woman, every podcast I go on. So thank you so much for, for the invitation to be here. My, my sweet spot, just very simply put is, you know, I help people who are service providers, entrepreneurs, business owners, sales professionals, anybody with a personal.

Brand that is leveraging technology and social media to connect with other human beings that could potentially become their clients. And my sweet spot is making it really simple, because guess what? I didn’t grow up with the internet of things. We didn’t even have social media back in the, in the old days of 2000 when I started my, my career.

And so I understand the fears and the apprehensions that go along with showing up online is very vulnerable. And how do we do that and position ourselves as credible, trusted authorities and not overshare or have to document everything that we’re doing all day or become a full time content creator, because that sounds like a lot of work that most of us probably don’t want to do.

So I’m excited to be here to talk all things, social media, and hopefully de stress and simplify the process. I think that would

be wonderful. So let’s start there. So I think one of the most common questions that I hear are, Do I have to dance for Instagram? So when somebody says that, how do you respond?

That is a very common question. And what I love about social media is that it’s truly just a vehicle, not a destination. I remember when I started my career in 2000, I would walk into the office every day because, you know, we actually went to offices and spent all of our time in them all day long. And my, my boss would ask me the same question.

every single day. And it was how many people did I talk to because it was about getting out and having conversations and how are you marketing yourself. And in 2000, a really busy day was three people because I’d have to drive somewhere to go talk to them and meet with them for coffee and have a lunch and do all of the things and then do my admin work in between.

And so what’s really amazing about social media is that we now have the ability to add scale. not only connect with other human beings without having to drive to go see them or know their phone number or nor know their email, we have the ability to share our story and our personal brand and how we can help people totally for free at scale.

And I can make a one 30 second video that could be seen by 30 or 300 or 30, 000 people. And that absolutely gives me leverage to be able to connect and create more actual relationships with other people. So It’s not anything new. We’ve been doing it since the beginning of time. It’s connecting with other people, talking to them and creating relationships.

We’re just now able to do that at a much faster rate. And I’m a big believer that we can build trust through technology. And I’m really passionate about helping people market with heart and humanity and not hustle. And it’s, it’s not so much that you have to look at it as a place where you have to create content every day.

You have to be dancing in order to go viral. It’s not about going viral. It’s about creating a viable community of other human beings who are going to be on board with your messaging that want to go along the journey with you. And that shouldn’t be. Thousands of people that should be a small narrow group of human beings that you’d like no interest and they reciprocate that and you’re using this as a tool to communicate with them and also share your story so no, you do not have to dance, if it brings you joy, and you love it, and you’re wanting to create content like that go for it, and know that you can also create educational thought leadership content.

Where you are sharing your unique personality and perspective and never do a trend or never do a dance and absolutely convert and build trust

online. I’m happy to hear you say that. I think One of the other things too is like, do you have to follow trends? And I recently told somebody that you will never find a Taylor Swift song on my channel and I have nothing against her.

However, that’s like not my brand. So I think that’s where some people think that they have to do these things, but they don’t really have to. Very good. Yeah, self

awareness is key. You’ve got to be self aware and know what’s on brand for you. And I kind of consider myself a little bit of a social media rebel.

So because of that, and that’s part of my brand and I’m a permission giver to do it your own way. I often don’t do trends because I actually just don’t like to do the same thing that other people are doing. I usually like to do the opposite. That’s just my personality. on brand for me. And every once in a while, I do a trend because it brings me joy and I have fun doing it, but it’s always related back to my specific brand perspective and personality.

That makes sense. So when you started, were you comfortable right away behind the camera and doing Instagram or was that something you had to lean into?

No, I absolutely disliked Instagram strongly. I, as everybody else probably listening, I’m a Gen Xer. And you know, we used Facebook forever. And so we were very comfortable with Facebook and Facebook was all people that we actually knew once upon a time.

It wasn’t people that we didn’t know. Certainly not 50 percent of the stuff that we’re seeing in our home feeds is from people that we don’t even follow. So it’s not unusual for us to to be followed by people we’ve never met that we don’t know. And it was a very different world over on Facebook. So when I started, I absolutely was terrified by the idea of being on camera.

And something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I made videos for five years and never watched them back once. And I don’t recommend that as a strategy unless you really have to do it. I was self aware enough to know that if I watched it back, I wasn’t going to make the next one. And I just white knuckle and sweated it through for years until I got more comfortable.

But had I watched myself and given myself I certainly could have gotten more comfortable faster and better, faster. But yes, the, the, the person who teaches video coaching did not watch herself back for more than five years. And you don’t even have to do video of yourself, right? On Instagram? No, you don’t have to create content.

Well, I’ll say this. He. You don’t have to be in all of your content. It also depends if you are a personal brand or if you are a product or a service. The majority of people that I work with are in fact personal brands. And so if you are a personal brand where you are the product and the service and people are building trust with you online in order to decide to work with you, maybe you are a realtor or you’re a doctor or you’re an attorney.

Those are big trust levels that you are trying to create in an online environment, and it really is imperative to have three P’s. It’s the person, which is you, your face, your voice, your personality, and your perspective. And that’s where it gets really vulnerable. The person and the personality and the perspective is a very vulnerable place for us because there’s a lot of limiting beliefs that we have around.

Digital and physical, and we think that digital is very different than being in the physical world, and probably because we didn’t grow up with it. And so we think, oh, I don’t have to show up online as the same incredible human I am offline, and we do these things online that we would literally be embarrassed and ashamed of if we did in person.

So the idea that we say, well, I hate being on camera, and I hate how I look, and it’s just, ugh, it’s terrible, I can’t stand my voice when I listen to it back. But what would you do in real life? I mean, you and I certainly wouldn’t meet at a Starbucks and you ask me a question about Instagram and all of a sudden I’m, I’m furiously writing on a notepad and I silently slide it across the table and it says something like, Hey, I’d love to answer this question, but I’ve heard my voice.

It’s terrible. So how about you just talk and I’ll write, we would never do that. And so we have this idea that there is a massive difference between it. The digital and the physical, and I’ve talked about this for years, but until 2020, a lot of people were like, Oh, well, for the rest of our lives, we’re going to be using some form of technology to connect with other human beings.

And so we might as well show up in a way that scientifically develops trust because our brain has no idea that I’m, I’m looking at you through a screen right now. Or if you’re one foot in front of me in the same room, the same neurons fire, the same trust accelerates, the same, you know, brain imprints are happening.

And so if you are a personal brand, it is my belief that you do need to be in the content. If you’re selling a product, obviously the product needs to be in that content, but we all know that our brain engages with living things in videos, which is why people and dogs or cats or animals are always going to get more engagement.

The nearly just a product. But even though I am a big believer in being in all of your content or most of it, there are some times where I don’t have my voice in it and it’s just a B roll, but I’m still in it. So yeah, the long and short of it is if you’re a personal brand and you need to build trust online, which is pretty much everybody who has a personal brand that has people that could be connecting with them on social media.

You need to be in your content because that is how we are verifying that you are a trustworthy person and that you are competent at what you do. And I know that sounds wild, but it happens in a second, maybe two, and we’re scanning your content to determine what do you talk about? Do you have expertise?

Can I trust you?

I love that. That makes sense. So if somebody’s thinking about, Hmm, maybe I should get on Instagram and I need to figure out what’s the bare minimum I need to do just to get comfortable with it. What are some of the things that you would recommend?

So first of all, you don’t have to get on Instagram.

Like if you love Facebook and that’s your, your jam and your communities there, I, I always encourage people to do one thing at a time. To try one thing at a time, because it can be very overwhelming. These platforms have platforms within platforms. They have multiple formats, and there’s, oh my gosh, there’s feed posts, and there’s live videos, and there’s stories, and there’s reels, and it just, it can be very overwhelming.

So I like to, again, come back to the basics of social media is a communication channel. It’s literally just like your phone. It’s like your email. So the best place to start before you make any content is to reframe how you think about content and to reframe the idea that content can only be a post or an image or a video.

In my mind, your most important, impactful, influential, and original content are actually the conversations you’re having with the other human beings that are on that platform. And so I always say, how about less? contenting and more commenting as a is initial way to create the foundation of a community that’s engaged, as well as training your algorithm.

And I’ll just tell you a little bit about how the algorithm works so that the listeners can understand. If I were to send you a direct message on Instagram you’re going to get a notification and that notification is going to have my name and my profile picture. And what am I sending in a notification?

Well, I’m probably commenting on your dogs, right? I’m probably talking about a post that you just made that I thought was really helpful, or maybe I’m just saying good morning or happy birthday or whatever it might be. So now you have a generally positive experience with me every time I’m connecting with you in the DMs.

Meanwhile, the algorithms like. Whoa, whoa, whoa, we’ve got these two people that are communicating back and forth in the DMs. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to reshuffle both of their feeds. And every time that Chelsea posts, we’re going to make sure. The Barb sees it higher up in the feed. So because we know that they’re talking and we’re predicting that they want to see more of each other and vice versa, your content is going to go higher up in my feed.

So it’s really not about how much content can I push out every single day. The most important content starts with your conversations. It starts with your engagement and people say, Oh, my engagement is down. And I say, well, how, how much time do you spend engaging? I don’t. Well, if you want to get good engagement, you need to be a good engager.

You need to be a good community member. And so I always tell people start with engaging, double down, triple down on that. And I mean like five minutes, it doesn’t need to be hours. You can go in there and talk to people really quick. I mean, how long does it take to send someone a quick little DM on a story?

Not long, maybe two seconds, maybe. Right. So it’s really about commenting over contenting to. Develop relationships, create the engagement, and to warm up your algorithm. And that’s where I would start. And for those of you who may be already using Instagram and you’re not seeing results, I’d go back to that.

I’d restart over there. And then you can start worrying about posting you know, in the feed and making reels. A lot of people are like, show me how to make reels. I’m like, who are you talking to? What are their pain points? How do they feel right now before they even work with you? And if you can’t answer those questions first, which is not the fun part, it’s not the editing part.

It’s not the trend part. It’s the hard part where you have to be really self aware and figure out who am I talking to? What is my message? Is it totally clear? Do I have a unique perspective and way that I approach this particular topic that probably tens of thousands of other people? Are talking about in my space.

Mm hmm. What do you like about your job specifically? Like, When you work with clients or you’re doing your Instagram, what’s the fun part for you?

The creative part. When I’m creating my own content, I love that part of it. It’s, it’s kind of like a funny sort of love hate relationship because I’ve written a couple of books and after my first book, I swore I’d never write another one.

It was like such an experience. Well, then I did write another one. And then I was like, that’s it. That’s a hundred percent done, done, done, done. And. Now I’m going to write a third one. So I guess it’s kind of like people with multiple kids where they’re like, Oh, I forgot about how those first few years are.

We should do this again. But there’s something about it’s so fulfilling to have this idea and this vision and work to create it and, and watch it come to fruition. While it’s hard. So I love the creative aspect for me of creating content. But what I really found or what found me, quite honestly, is I my purpose is being a teacher.

My purpose is helping people understand really complex, abstract things like strategies and algorithms. And distilling it into doable, approachable systems that can make someone feel empowered and not discouraged. And the reason that I love teaching is because I was that person, I was that kid, that teenager, that college student, that adult who needed more of a description or I’m just not quite grasping it.

Can you help me really understand what you mean by this? Or, you know, people say, just create content that gives value. Okay. Well, like what, like, give me an exact example. So for me I became the teacher that I always wanted. So that’s what brings me joy is being able to help someone have a shift or an aha moment where they’re like, Oh my gosh.

Nobody’s ever explained it like that, and now I, I get it. I have that click, and I feel like I can do that. And that’s what makes me get out of bed every morning.

I love that. Spreading your joy out into the world.

Yeah, it works. Very cool.

All right.

I feel like that was, A really great start to if somebody’s thinking about Instagram, or maybe they’ve been hesitant to that. I feel like they, they would consider trying it now based off of what you’ve talked about. And that’s the whole point. I think in terms of sharing this information, just helping people feel a little bit more comfortable doing the thing that they need to do.

for their business. Is there any particular like main takeaway that you would recommend from this and the things that you’ve talked about? What’s the thing that you would want the listener to walk away with?

I think the most important thing about any social media platform you’re on doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or anything in between, or whatever comes out in the next five to 10 years.

It’s important to remember that this is a Way for us to connect with other actual human beings on the other side. It’s not AI, it’s an actual person. And it is in my opinion, in some ways, a gift for those of us who are creating a brand and, and have a business where we are attracting people and we don’t have a brick and mortar.

It’s a great way to be able to attract those ideal clients who then can increase our, our own personal revenues. So it’s a way to communicate with other people. It’s a way to create relationships with other people. And it’s a way to share your content, your product, your service, your expertise, your knowledge at scale for free.

And so there’s a lot of not great things about social media, but I really choose to focus on using it for good and not evil. And how can I really create the most humanity? By using this technology, that is an opportunity for me to pour into other people to make people feel seen, to give people permission, and to share my perspective that perhaps someone else could find useful.

So I want people to really think about it as it’s not just a copy paste, like we have to do this thing. It can be a really great conduit for you to create it. One or two or twenty or maybe even two hundred connections, real connections with people. I just got something in the mail today from a friend that I’ve met on Snapchat years ago.

Years ago, years ago, years ago. And we still talk. after all these years and they just made a new line of coffee mugs and sent me some and I’m like that is so kind. So, you know, I’ve really had long lasting relationships with the actual human beings that I have cultivated and taken the time to connect with and you know, you just never know when those connections are going to refer you or, you know, buy from you or work with you.

So it’s really a communication tool versus Okay, we’re just going to put stuff up about our, our content and you may never post like maybe you never make a video. That’s okay. But if you’re using it to engage with other people and support them and their content, you can absolutely still create a robust relationship where somebody will refer you, https: otter.

ai commenting on every single one of their posts or you’re sharing it out with your community and that’s where they will remember you. So that’s the, that’s how I like to look at social media versus just sort of this big giant content machine that can feel really overwhelming.

That is a wonderful takeaway.

Thank you. If somebody wants to learn more about you or go follow because of your dogs and see what your dogs are up to, where can people go to find you?

The best place, no surprises, Instagram. You can also find me on my website. And the good news is my website and Instagram is just my first and last name.

It’s Chelsea Peitz and it’s P E I T Z. And I have a whole bunch of resources and downloads and helpful stuff that if you want to take an on demand class to kind of figure out. How to optimize your profile, or if you’re struggling with content ideas, I’ve got a ton of downloads and guides and courses that anyone can take.

And, and if you came from the show, shoot me over a DM and let me know that you listened in. I’d love to personally say thank you and say, hello.

That is great. Thank you so much for your time. I really do appreciate it and sharing all your advice and your great wisdomness. So thank you for your time. All right.

And that wraps up this episode of the sweet spot and using Instagram for your small business. Stay tuned to more episodes to have your business thrive online. We’ll see you in the next sweet spot. Cheers.

Thank you for sticking around. I hope you enjoyed the episode. If you’re looking for SEO and content marketing help, consider joining the small business sweet spot. It’s a group coaching program where you can get answers to your questions about your business directly and clarity around the marketing strategies that you would like to implement in your business.

You can find all kinds of information at compassdigitalstrategies. com. And if you liked the episode, please tell a friend. Cheers.

Barb Davids - SEO Consultant

Barb Davids is an SEO consultant and owner of Compass Digital Strategies. Driven by data and analytics, she works hard to get business-changing results for her clients, such as 256% more website traffic and 22% more leads. Connect with her: Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter
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