Keep it Simple: an Instagram Strategist's Best Advice for Your Success
A few weeks ago, I posted on the mindset shifts I've made that help me LOVE logging into Instagram. So many of you resonated with those new perspectives that I knew we needed to keep talking about it.
My friend Annie Rohde came to mind immediately! She's one of the few IG experts I've found that keeps things biblical, optimistic, and practical. Although she focuses on building a business on Instagram, her insights can be just as useful for us writers trying to build a platform to reach readers. (And, like it or not, we are building businesses with books as products!)
I was so jazzed when she agreed to answer a few questions on how to keep a right perspective and healthy momentum on a platform that can easily drain.
Her answers encouraged me and I hope they do for you too!
Hey, Annie! Tell us more about yourself: what you do, how you got into it, and your family.
Hiiiii! I’m Annie Rohde, biblical business strategist! It’s been such a WINDY and fun journey! God first gave me the strategy piece. I was born with a brain for strategy—always finding the most efficient way to do my chores. In middle school, I had planned out when my children would be born (accounting for college & grad school LOL). When I became a Christian, God gave me a love for His Word. I was HUNGRY (and still am) to read, understand, and teach biblical truths. And most recently, God gave me a business. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit (Etsy shops in high school), but they weren’t profitable because they weren’t something I was passionate about. They weren’t what God had designed me to do. But in 2020, I created a profitable income stream and in 2021, I created a second profitable income stream. This has led me to combining my love for strategy, the Bible, and (profitable, passion-led) business into a coaching business—helping Christian women add strategy, faith, and passion into their businesses! On the side of this calling, God also gave me the calling to “stay home and homeschool” (His words) in 2019, and so I do that as well. My boys are 7 (2nd grade) and almost 5 (pre-k). And our littlest, our girl, is almost 3. And I like to call my husband, Philip, our principal.
We hear a lot about the dangers of social media, and there’s a growing trend of people getting off of it. Why do you think Christian women should be on Instagram?
I LOVE this question. And I think the question is less about being on social media or off social media, but HOW you use social media.
You can consume social media or create on social media. And BOTH have negative extremes. You can consume too much—overconsumption—and it’s like binge-eating. . . you end up with a stomachache.
You can also create from an unhealthy place—most often, I see people creating from a place of people pleasing their way to followers, engagement, or sales.
I can tell you that I think God wants to use you for GOOD on social media. That He wants to AMPLIFY your voice for kingdom impact. That Instagram can be a God-given gift for community, encouragement, and love.
Yet, also, God might be calling you to fast from social media temporarily or indefinitely.
This should be a Spirit-led decision.
Try this prayer: “God, I want to do Your will. I want to bring You glory. Will you guide me when it comes to social media? Give me a glimpse of Your vision for my social media. I trust that you are leading and I will follow. Amen"
Instagram has made all of these changes with an emphasis on reels, but they feel kind of overwhelming! Tell us something–anything–that’ll make reels a little less intimidating.
Choose to make ONLY simple for you reels.
If you love sharing quotes, create quote reels where the quote is on a background video—Canva has great templates for this and stock videos.
If you love to teach in stories, start doing that on reels instead with trending audio in the background. Then share your reel to stories.
If you love to paint, write, create, film yourself doing so. Add a voiceover and some trending music.
Also, follow me. I share ONLY simple reels. Ten minutes or less. You’ve got this.
It’s so easy to get paralyzed with all of the opinions and options to grow on Instagram. What are your best tips for analysis paralysis?
Keep the vision at the forefront. What is your end goal? What stepping stones do you need to get there?
Often we go through seasons of sowing, nurturing, and harvesting. Stay in the season God has called you to be in.
Choose 1-2 tactics and stick with them for 30-90 days. Assess. Evaluate. Choose another 1-2 tactics. Remember, your insights are simply data, not reflections of your worth.
What would you say to someone who is just getting started on Instagram?
Get clear on one of the following:
1. Who has God called you to serve?
2. What has God called you to do?
3. Why is God calling you to be on Instagram?
When you have that clarity, go out and take action accordingly.
Have a clear who? Start sharing what THEY need to hear.
Have a clear what? Start sharing what you DO again and again.
Have a clear why? Start sharing about YOUR WHY as often as you can.
Remember: beginners begin.
Do you have any Instagram tips for writers specifically?
YES! Share the process and not just the polished thought. Let people in on your messy middle of crumpled pages, words that just won’t come, your compelling why, your unclear thoughts. Invite your audience into the book. What do they want to know about your topic? What do they already know?
Do you have any courses or coaching coming up that you’d love us to know about?
I have ongoing coaching inside the Megaphone. When you join, you get my signature course the Instagram Strategy Lab, along with 12 weeks of group coaching to help you use Instagram to amplify your God-given mission. Click here to join!
Thank you so much, Annie!
What's your one takeaway from today?
I'm focusing on making simple reels that reflect my personality and the way I want to serve others. And being OK with making mistakes along the way!