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Episode #37 Create Instagram Content that Connects & Converts with Melissa Berrios

Have you ever thought that you just don’t know how to make Instagram work for you? That you can’t seem to make it convert, or how to grow your audience?

You are not alone. Many people struggle to find the right strategy for creating growth and profit via Instagram. This week’s guest is Online Marketing Specialist Melissa Berrios who is giving us her actionable tips to get visible on Instagram.

Melissa has a private consulting company serving online entrepreneurs as well as both an online community and podcast called Virtualmente Libre that helps Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs learn marketing strategies and build and grow their online businesses.

Melissa is going to teach us how to get visible on Instagram (hint: it’s not just “post every day”) and how to take advantage of the algorithm to drive real growth to your account.


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Nicole Laino
Hello and welcome to the limitless entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host Nicole Laino and I’m here with a guest today I am here with Melissa Barrios. She is an online marketing specialists social media guru, and she helps modern and high achieving entrepreneurs elevate their online presence and deliver a world class social experience to their audiences. Melissa, welcome to the show.

Melissa Berrios
Hi, Miko, I’m so I’m so glad to be here.

Nicole Laino
I’m excited to have you here. Tell the listeners a little bit about you.

Melissa Berrios
Well, as you said, I’m a founder of Melissa videos consulting and it’s smaller company with government delivery. With retirement delivery. We help online an online community of Latino entrepreneurs learn online marketing strategies, and we help them build and grow their online businesses. We have a podcast called mutual Tolman deliver the podcast and also we have online programs and courses in Spanish, specifically designed for the Latina intrapreneur market. And with my private consultant, consulting company, we serve online entrepreneurs, we help them with their online marketing, in elevate their brands through social media content creation, and help her use all our online marketing tools to help them grow their businesses.

Nicole Laino
Okay, well, we’re going to talk a little bit about Instagram today, right? We’re gonna have a gram conversation. So I know the question that I always get from people or the response I get from people when they talk when I talk to them about Instagram, unless they’re huge on Instagram already. Most people I know. And the entrepreneurs I encounter, they say, I don’t quite know how to make Instagram work for me how I can really convert on Instagram specifically. And, and how to really how to grow their audience on Instagram seems to be this like kind of elusive thing other than like, I guess I’m just supposed to post every day. That seems to be the answer that that a lot of people get, particularly when they’re starting out. But even some of the really established entrepreneurs that I know, they’ve turned to other platforms, because Instagram just kind of they’re like, I don’t know, it didn’t make sense to me. I like the platform, I enjoy being on it. But I don’t quite know how to grow there. So what do you say to somebody who’s in that space where they’re like, I love the platform, but I don’t know how to grow there?

Melissa Berrios
Well, you bring a great point, because when you said you know, people just think that they have to post every day, that’s just one part of the strategy with Instagram, and with any social media platform, right? Really, when you the strategy with Instagram should be both this have visibility and also, you know, serve you as a as a platform to serve your audience. In order for them to convert. If you don’t have all of the like those pieces together, you’re not gonna you’re gonna be successful on Instagram. Because you really need you really need to be visible before you, you can start converting people. And what I see out there in the market is they create an Instagram account, they start posting, their account is now growing, they think they’re just like if they’re not doing enough or nothing is working. But you know, posting and creating content should be in addition to getting visible out there in Instagram on Instagram. So how do we get visible on Instagram? That’s the question. So first, we need to engage with other accounts on Instagram. So we always forget that social media is meant for us to be social. So the algorithm loves when we interact with other accounts. When we do collaboration with other people, like we go, you know, on Instagram, live with other entrepreneurs or with complementary brands that we mean can be in front if the key is to be in front of other people’s audiences and other accounts audiences in order for you to get visible. And you do that by interacting with other accounts. You know, you can set aside a time of the day or have you know, if you have somebody in your team, do that for you every day. Set aside a time to engage with other accounts, like comment on their on their posts, follow other accounts. That’s how you get visible if you You just start posting. And you’re, you’re just gonna be promoting to the same people over and over. And they’re eventually gonna get bored of the same stuff, and they’re not gonna convert, you need to, you need to have both components, you have to be visible out there. And, and also, you know, with your content provide incredible value to your audience. So that when you have an offer, and when you put that call to action, and that’s the other thing, conversion on, on Instagram, you need to be directly you need to direct people on what to do. And you need to be very specific. So this way we put content out there, it’s very valuable. But at the end of the day, how to how do they work with us? How do they get more, learn more about us, you know, what I mean? Like, you need to have strategically calls to action, so that they get with you in the DMS, you know, go book a consult consultation with you take an action that will take you know, make them into a conversion. So, we need to be strategic about Instagram, and not think, you know, don’t just think about it as I’m just going to post here every day and hope that somebody converts, it just doesn’t work, like doesn’t work like that.

Nicole Laino
Posting and praying. Yeah, is not a great strategy for Instagram, or any platform for that matter. So so so let’s talk a little bit about there’s a lot of strategies out there right now, you know, there’s a lot of features on Instagram, right now, what are you seeing as far as reels Instagram IG Live, which you mentioned, you know, is a great modality for collaborations to get get visible to other people’s audiences by sharing a live stream. But then there’s also IG TV? How do you view IG live and iG TV differently? And how can people use them? And then there’s that separate reels components? So can you break down those three video elements and how you see them being used effectively?

Melissa Berrios
So first of all, I think that Instagram is already telling us what they want, what content they want us to be putting on, out there, or making as a priority for for them. And basically, all the new stuff, the new the new things that they’re creating, they want you to go try it, and they want you to go and use it. So right now, reals, is getting so much attention in the platform. And so much reach out there. If you take a look at I mean, for example, in my account, I can see that if I make an IG TV video, I get, let’s say, I mean, I’m just gonna say a round number. Let’s say I get 100 views. Well, with a real I post a real and I get like 1000 views. No, it means that that, you know, if the algorithm if the platform is already telling me, we want you to do more reels, we want you you know, we’re gonna put this in front of a lot more people so then we need to take advantage of that. And so for me, for example, I’ve been trying to do reels every day, just because that will help you know get more visible out there to other people. And it’s just you know, a way to take advantage of what Instagram has given me. So it used to be that stories was the thing you know, and now is the is the new tool that they’re sharing with us they want us to use so reels is great for visibility. And you don’t have to, you know, get out of your way to make a reel for me I just share tips every day. I just I just talk in front of the camera and I just have like a little like little tagline just 15 seconds it’s not you know, it’s not the end of the world is it you don’t have to dance you don’t have to you know, do any crazy stuff. Just talk just teach that will get you visible and it will help position you you know, with with IG TV is still great and you know, we’ve seen that video gets a lot more read them. They don’t actual posts with with with pictures and stuff, right so I highly recommend and what I do with my clients, we have an IG TV at least once, once a week, but I suppose it but they really serve a different purpose from, in my opinion, an IG TV, you do it more for nurturing purposes, to warm up your audience, position yourself as an expert. That’s what the IG TV is gonna do for you reels, we use it more for visibility. And to get get the get your face out there so that more people can, can see you.

Nicole Laino
Yeah, and we hear all the time that organic reach is dead on Instagram. And that that isn’t true, because we are seeing it with reels we are seeing this, like they are showing it to people that are not part of your following and that are beyond it. And you can get, that’s where hashtags that don’t work for you in an written post will you might get caught in that on you might actually actually rank on an on a hashtag, because you’re in a totally separate bucket. And people aren’t hashtagging that with their reels. So you show up there, the music that you choose the trending music, sometimes you will see that where people, it’ll come up when they’re just scrolling through reels. So there are there is organic reach. It’s just it’s like you said using the using the features that Instagram wants you to use when they want you to use it. carousels I think are another one right now carousel images that the platform is liking, at least at the time of this recording, where if you use those, you’ll probably see those get some more play than your just plain old regular posts.

Melissa Berrios
Yeah, and in my opinion, in my mind, that hierarchy of Instagram content types differ, you know, getting the most amount of reach right now reels, stories, video, and then carousel posts. And then lastly is images. So I usually try to do a, you know, a combination of all of that during the week. And try to do reels very often. So that so that, you know, you increase that visibility.

Nicole Laino
Yeah, and it’s definitely become more part of my strategy. Because I’ve seen the same thing like where something that normally gets 200 views suddenly gets 3000. And you’re like, Whoa, that’s a big difference. But but also using them all in tandem. Because once people are in, it’s not about the reach anymore, it’s about speaking to them and helping them get to know who you are and what you have to offer. So curious if we take like so we’ve talked about like the specifics now, if we kind of backup and we come at this from a higher level view for a moment, and just look at what makes a successful profile, what makes us successful. Just just brand on Instagram, right now, because I think there’s also a misconception about that. You need to be in a bikini, you need to have these fabulously branded photos, you need all of this stuff, which I think stops a lot of people from really, truly stepping out on the platform. So what is your take on, you know, successful branding on on Instagram?

Melissa Berrios
Well, for businesses, I think that your content, yes needs to be visually, it needs to visually match your brand and your message. But that doesn’t mean that you’re you need to have a perfect feed or you know, the perfect photography. Right now, a lot of people are looking for authenticity, and you know, just you showing up as yourself. But that doesn’t mean that you know, you were going to, we still want you to be on brand, because at the end of the day is your business. And you want to you know, have the visual image, your brand, your message in that eye, the ideal client avatar, you know, appeal to that, because it’s not, it’s not about you, at the end of the day, it’s about them. But the successful profile, the first thing that I say to people that ask me about that is somebody that comes across a piece of content, or your profile needs to know in a matter of like 10 seconds, who you are, what you do and how you can help them. And that’s that’s really that’s really the most important part. You need to make sure that when people come across you come across your brand, they really know what you’re about. And hopefully they want to stay right and that’s when we’re it You know, you should have a strong focus on serving, putting out there free meaningful content that will create small transformations for your market. And in that way, it occurs in exchange, right, they, they trust you, they want to move forward working with you or your company. So, you know, it’s a combination of having, having that brand look and feel. But being authentic, and also providing that meaningful and valuable content to your audience.

Nicole Laino
Right, it has to be it has to be about the person that you want to reach, it has to be yes, and not egotistical, which I think when people get stuck on what their picture should look like, or what they should look like, or trying to trying to copy what somebody else is doing. The the thing they’re missing there is that it should be an expression of you. But you putting yourself out there in service to others, and being very focused on how you can serve your audience, while being authentically who you are. And I think that that can sometimes be it’s like the easiest formula and the toughest thing to implement, because there’s so much in the being the authentic you that will you know, there’s a lot of noise that gets us tripped up and, you know, fears about putting ourselves out there and, you know, being us out there in the world. But, but I do find that those and something that I was telling my people to do is go look at the people that you admire online, go look at their profile, and not to copy it. But what is it about it that you are attracted to? Why don’t you follow? Why do you read everything that they post? Why is it whenever they post something, you stop? To see what they had to say? What is it about them? Is it the branding? Is it the vibe is it most of the time for me, it’s always like they are just unapologetically diving in and they they are opening me up to something that I either needed to hear that day, or something I didn’t know. And for everybody, it’s different, but but tuning into that can help you figure out what your North Star is? Absolutely. So, so to close things out to try to kind of wrap this up. What is if somebody is coming to you new, and you’re taking on their count, what are the first things that you’re looking at, so somebody at home can kind of like can can do sort of an audit of what they’re doing and figure out like, what’s the core strategy that if you were taking them on right now, you would implement for them?

Melissa Berrios
Well, first, just like, like I mentioned before, that profile needs to be on point, we need to make sure that it’s optimized. And that, you know, when somebody comes across it, they immediately know who are you about, and how you can help them. And so I will take also look at the overall brand, look and feel, and make sure that everything is a brand, I mean, not necessarily that everything is the same color or you know that you have the perfect pictures. But that you know, your content is consistent. In in your in your message is consistent. And, you know, we don’t see like maybe pictures of your cat one day, and then a picture of you, you know, doing cooking and the other day, and that has nothing to do with like, what you really want to what your avatar really wants to hear. So we will take a look at that, as well. And, and just kind of do an audit of the content itself. And make sure that all those components and all those types of content that we talked about, like the video aspect. You know, we incorporate more dynamic content users, the carousels and make sure that those components are incorporated. Because and stacked right, like you said, so that we make sure that there’s visibility, whether it’s in there’s reach in we can reach more people and then make sure that the messaging is also consistent. Yeah, so what else would I do? I actually I’m big on repurposing, and getting, you know, because right. I will take a look at all the content that my clients have. And I have some systems right now with my access seeing clients, where we take a look at those really good pieces of content that are, that can be repurposed in so many ways. And because Right, right, right now, in social media, apples will like die in 2024 to 48 hours. So this great piece of content that you put out there can be turned into maybe small social posts, maybe inspirational quotes, we can make videos out of it, we can make a blog post out of it, we can create emails with that, you know, we can do so many things. And so, I will also take a look at what content you have that is really, really good. And we can turn and we can, you know, make from one piece of good piece of content, we can create, like eight pieces of content, you know what I mean? So and then create a strategy to, you know, sprinkle that throughout throughout the month, make sure we have enough content and everything.

Nicole Laino
So right, work smarter, not harder. And take that, yeah, take those good pieces of content. Like if you did three tips in a reel, that can easily be a carousel post where each tip is on a different, you know, quote, card kind of image, and they scroll through them. And then you kind of summarize it in a small caption below, you could do an IG TV, where you expand on that, you could take each tip and make a separate post out of it. I know. And this is this is the type of thing that like when people say I’m like, I’m out of content. There’s always something you’ve already done that like, it would be wonderful if everybody saw every piece of content that you that you wrote, and they remembered it. But sadly, that’s not the case.

Melissa Berrios
So yeah, rather than you wouldn’t sailing

Nicole Laino
the baby out with the bathwater. Well, because we talk about that nobody sees our content, and nobody interacts with it. And then, and then we feel like, but I can’t put it out again, because I already put it out. But the thing is, if nobody saw it, then only you care that you put it out already.

Melissa Berrios
Yeah, and people forget. And even if they saw it, people forget to move on. I said in 2048 hours, people will move on people will remember. And sometimes the reason why it wasn’t seen with or didn’t get enough for each was because maybe the the photo that you attached with the graphic that we attached to it wasn’t you know, compelling. And maybe you make it into something different, that cause people’s attention, they will read it. So, you know, sometimes you can you want to try different ways to put out the same content to see what sticks and to see what really attracts people.

Nicole Laino
Yep, no, absolutely. So these were all great tips. And I appreciate you coming on and sharing your view on Instagram and, and these great strategies and ways for people to think about their brand and their their their Instagram strategy, and just all of these different features that we are seeing pop up on Instagram, and everybody’s just like, oh my god, another feature, what do I do? What our guy? I don’t know. But these are all these this was really, really helpful. I appreciate you coming on and sharing all of this with with everyone. Can you please tell everybody where they can keep in touch with you and how they can how they can get more information about you?

Melissa Berrios
Yeah, absolutely they can. They can go to Instagram. My handle is at Melissa M. Barrios. And they can visit me online at Melissa barrios.net for slash English so that they can go there and learn more about me I have a freebie there that they can get is a content planning guy. And yeah, just connect with me on the DNS if you want to learn more about me as well.

Nicole Laino
Beautiful. Well, we will link all of that up in the show notes for you. So if you are listening all the way to the end of this episode. Thank you so much for being part of this conversation. We appreciate you sticking with us to the end. And I’m gonna end this episode as I always do to remind you that you are only limited by the limitations that you accept. And when you stop accepting those limitations, that is when you become limitless. So go out there and be limitless. We’ll see you on the next episode.

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