Episode #11: Converting Followers into Customers (Social Media Mini-Series, Part 3)

In today’s episode, we’re bringing you the last our 3-part mini series on social media. Today we’re focusing on the  truths (and a few lies) about social media and also how to convert followers into customers!

Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: Today we’re bringing you our last of the three-part miniseries on social media. We’re focusing on the truths and a few lies that we’ve put together about social media. Also, the million-dollar question; how do you convert followers into customers. We’ll finish this show with a weekly actionable tip; I really think you’re going to like it; about what you can do right now.


  1. What’s on my plate [2:32]
  2. Shop Talk: Lies about social media [9:35]
  3. Shop Talk: Truths about social media [14:11]
  4. Shop Talk: What to do [19:48]
  5. Shop Talk: From followers to customers [29:59]
  6. Listener Question: get over rejection [34:39]
  7. Tip of The Week: Social media self-audit [38:35]

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide-range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider colleagues in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February class is now open through January 31st. And seats are already filling up quickly. You can learn more, and save your seat by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:32]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses and in our lives this week. Cassy, what is happening over in San Antonio?

Cassy Joy: You know what? I am halfway thinking; should I tell? I think we’ll have told everybody by the time this episode goes live. We’ll expecting another nugget!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: A little baby.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s big!

Cassy Joy: It is big! It’s little right now. {laughs} But it is big news. So our lives will change big time next spring. We’ll be welcoming in our next hopefully healthy family member.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m crossing my fingers for a birthday that is the same as my birthday.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet. The current due date is April 25th, so it will be really interesting to see. I don’t know. Gray held on for almost 2 full weeks after what the doctors had pegged as her due date. So we’ll see.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, the 28th is my day, so I’m just saying.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} She could… baby could…

Diane Sanfilippo: No pressure.

Cassy Joy: I keep calling it a she. We don’t know the gender yet. Actually by the time this airs we might actually know. But, it’s hard for me to not identify the baby as a girl in my mind, because that’s all I know. And I only had sisters growing up. But we’ll see. We’re just really, really excited. This baby was definitely wanted, but not stressed over.

And then on the work front, which seems like not as big of news, even; it doesn’t even hold a candle to it. But putting more meat on the bones of book 3. Which, funny enough. This is a great Driven Podcast note; it’s all due in the same month. Baby’s due at the end of April, and so is book three. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: You wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cassy Joy: I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t. So of course we’re escalating our book timeline, for those who are curious; how do you know this out? We’re going to actually move our book timeline when I get everything submitted to the publisher; my goal is to have everything submitted mid-March so it gives us a good 6 weeks of wiggle room in case anything happens and we need to rework something, it won’t be stressful, just in case baby does come early. And backed by a team, so I also have that security.

And in the meantime, which we’ll talk about, I’m sure, on a future episode. It might be interesting to talk about how to build a maternity leave for your own business. But we will be working on building out my maternity leave. And now that I’ve been through it once, I’m more confidence going into that knowing exactly how much time I’m going to want to take.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. That’s a cool topic. I wonder; I should ask our friend Ali at Inspiralized if she wants to come talk about that, too. Because I know that’s something she has planned out a couple of times for herself. She’s definitely a content generator, over there on the East Coast. So that is so exciting; really happy for you.

And, you have a photographer that’s coming in on this book; so getting that done by the spring, as folks who have shot photos for our previous books, realizing that doesn’t mean you now have to shoot photos in January and February is, first of all, weight off your shoulders. And also, shooting photos for a cookbook in January and February is pretty much the worst idea ever. I know, because I did this; December through February-ish 2011 to 2012 for Practical Paleo the first time. And the photos were just so difficult to do. And there were a bunch of us working on it. But, oh it was crazy. I’m excited for you.

Cassy Joy: Thank you! And the reason for that, for those who may not know; the days are shorter in the winter, so the amount of natural light that you have to work with is really limited.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it’s not pretty light, either, when you get it.

Cassy Joy: It isn’t. It’s usually pretty drastically filtered, and it’s not quite as crisp as a summertime photo shoot. I actually had; I’ve shot both of my books in the winter myself. Which was lesson learned. We will be doing a lot of the photography over the winter time; but, this photographer, she knows how to add on natural light that obviously is created. So it will be really cool. What have you got going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, some exciting news. I know you talked about the Story Brand Podcast a few episodes ago, and we recommended some books and podcasts that we like. So one thing my team and I have been doing is working through some of the common mistakes that brand makes when creating their whole framework and figuring out how to communicate with their customers.

Admittedly, branding and, I don’t know, creating a mood and connecting with our customers is definitely something that I feel that comes pretty naturally to me. But creating a framework around that and sort of, I don’t know, a beacon or a lighthouse of guidance of; here’s the guiding principle, or here’s a guiding concept for us, and how are we going to translate that into what we know as the hero’s journey, right? Where as a brand, we are not the hero. As a customer, you’re the hero and we’re the guide.

So, really exciting. One of the things we came up with between myself, Niki, who is our marketing manager, Moriah and Candace; we all had been talking and brainstorming and we came up with a two-word phrase of what we are hoping will be our focus and the be known for one thing.

And this could apply to a lot of brands out there. There’s parts of, I’m sure, all of our brands that these two words make sense for a lot of us as food bloggers.

Cassy Joy: I’m on the edge of my seat. I cannot wait to hear. I really am.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well this is where it’s at right now. So if it changes in the future, we’ll get there.

Cassy Joy: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: But it’s simplifying dinnertime.

Cassy Joy: Oooh!

Diane Sanfilippo: Just those two words. Simplifying dinnertime. And the way we do that, we have basically three avenues to do that through. One is the least effort, most financial cost would be meals. Right? You can buy meals, and dinner is done. You don’t have to do anything else. The second avenue is spices. Slightly lower cost, in terms of dollars, but a little bit more time cost. And then the third would be recipes and resources that we offer; the blog, the books, the programs that we offer, as well. And that is the least expensive, potentially free, but involves the most time on your part.

So, we have all kinds of answers for people who are looking to simplify dinnertime. The idea of saying mealtime came up, but I think mealtime sounds more like feeding kids. So most people are trying to plan dinner, and lunch kind of happens, and breakfast kind of happens.

But that’s kind of what we came up with. And we’re redoing the Balanced Bites website. And the team is going to be together here in San Francisco, and we’re going to get our heads together on this and kind of move forward with it. So I’m really excited about that.

Cassy Joy: That’s so exciting! I think it’s so smart. I mean, that’s essentially what we’re building all of these resources on; this dinner is so complicated. And I think it’s so smart to really focus and call that out.

2.  Shop Talk: Lies about social media [9:35]

Diane Sanfilippo: Shop Talk! In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful.

Cassy Joy: Today we are going to talk about some truths and some lies about social media. And then we’re going to close it out with; I guess some really succinct ways to turn followers into customers. And if you are listening to this series because you do know that want to grow something on social media, we’re going to walk you through it today. But I think it’s good to really keep your eye on the end prize. Are you really trying to monetize a business here? Because there are some things. You can get really caught up and swept in the distractions of social media. But if you keep your eye on the fact that, I really am trying to convert this into a true, lasting business, then you’re in a great spot today with us.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so a few things that marketers; and there’s no one person. This is just kind of what’s out there, right? There are marketers out there selling you Instagram programs. Ways to grow your business on Instagram. And what I’ve seen are a few things that I consider lies, or just some myths that people believe about what is going to happen with that.

The first one is that a beautiful account is the key to growth. I think I’ve seen; have you seen people who are like; “I’m just going to give my account a makeover.” There’s nothing wrong with that; right? Especially because not everybody is visually inclined. Not everyone is either a graphic designer, or not everyone has an eye for a beautiful photo. So yes. There is something to having an account that looks appealing. But it is not the answer to converting.

The second one is that a large following is always going to equal a bigger income. I have witnessed firsthand people who start a very similar business, around the same time, one who has a quarter or less of the following than the other is able to convert people at a much higher rate and bring in way more dollars than the other person. So I have seen this happen first hand. It is not always about a larger following.

Cassy Joy: Amen. It really isn’t. It’s not about followers; it’s about loyal readers and customers, and spoiling those ones rotten.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Those people who are truly engaged with you and what you’re talking about.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. And making your place; you’re trying to cultivate those folks. You’re not just here trying to rake in the masses with some super click-baity like bait? {laughs} Type content. Not that it’s bad to have that every once in a while. Which leads me into the next lie/myth, is that a single successful post should dictate your next business move.

This is really tempting; especially, for example, let’s say if you run; let’s focus on a nutrition business, because I know there is a good population of those here. If you have a baby, and you publish a photo of you and your sweet baby and maybe a puppy and it breaks the internet. And it gets 10,000 likes, and 1,000 comments, and it gets shared all over the place. Ellen DeGeneres talks about it on her show.

That doesn’t mean that you need to then take that as a sign that that needs to be your next business pursuit. It doesn’t mean that all you need to do in your business is now post babies and puppy photos. This is not a great example. But just because one thing does really well does not mean that has to be your focus.

Gus is a good example, with my business. I have a Great Pyrenees named Gus who has a very robust personality. {laughs} It just comes out, on stories, and on photos, and it’s very; it’s like, Gus has his own people that watch and follow because they really enjoy his content. But I’ve tried to not slip into the temptation of making my account all about Gus. Even though I know it would be successful. That would have to live in a different space. Because what I’m doing, and my business, and my mission with Fed and Fit is distinct. And I can bring the spirit of these really popular posts in, and sprinkle them in every once in a while. But they don’t have to dictate my business.

And then the last myth, which we touched on on our last episode, but that you either have to have your Instagram account all planned in order for it to be a professional pursuit. Or be that you can’t have it planned in order for it to be an authentic pursuit. Right? There’s no one-size-fits-all.

3.  Shop Talk: Truths about social media [14:11]

Diane Sanfilippo: Agreed. So, a handful of truths then, and then we’ll get into some what to do. A handful of truths; first and foremost, an authentic account that provides value is the key to growth. And I want to reinforce this element very strongly that growth does not mean explosive growth or exponential growth. It just means, week by week, there is something that you can identify that you did a bit better than the last week. Maybe there are a few more likes, or a couple more comments. Or maybe it’s not more comments, it’s a more thoughtful comment. Or maybe someone direct messages you. Or they ask you a question about something you shared last week. Like, that is actual growth. If the previous week, nobody ever DMd you about anything, and then this week someone asked you what was that pan you used last week? That is growth. So I think part of it is being able to identify, and we’ll talk about that in a second.

The second truth is that while the falsehood is that a larger following means bigger income, the truth on that is an engaged following plus authentic connection will equal bigger income. Because, out of every 10 people that are there, if only one is truly connecting with you and maybe will eventually convert to buy something that you’re talking about, then of course that’s not going to be helpful as much as if 5 of them are truly connecting with you.

So, really it is all about that engagement, and having that authentic connection. And this is where I have gone back and forth on the whole idea of leaving direct messages open; leaving story replies open or closing them. And I think that for folks that have a large following, there are always moments of; I’m at my limit and I need to create this boundary where it’s not open. And that’s for folks who; you know. Even at 100-plus thousand followers, most of the time it’s not that big of a deal. But there are moments, right?

That being said, I leave that stuff open as much as possible, because I know the value of messaging someone back. They took the time to message me; and unless I’m in a moment where I’m just feeling overwhelmed; they’ve given me their most precious asset. Their time. So it’s super important.

And then this is the truth bomb of all truth bombs; ok. We talked about this before we started recording, because I was like; let’s sit here and think for a second. Who do we know that this does not apply to? And we’re like, no one. This is literally true across the board. Building a business in real life truly has to happen alongside your online business. And I would say this is accurate for 80-90% of people, if not more. I challenge you to look at anyone who is building, or has built, a successful business that you see online; a following or whatever it is on social media who also doesn’t either host events, speak at live events. Who hasn’t done it as part of their story?

Literally, I can think of 5-10 kind of names; bigger names in the social media and marketing and business space who, I follow their work, they either did events leading up to or they do events now. One or the other or sometimes both. But nobody is living just on the internet to build their business. And I know you had something you want to add to this, about a real business, and what’s sustainable. Because what if Instagram is gone tomorrow?

Cassy Joy: Exactly. I mean, that’s just the gamble. If you’re not converting and trying to leverage Instagram as a way to reach people that are going to connect with what you’re talking about, and the products that you’re developing; if you view it as the place that you live, it’s a huge gamble. And I want you to realize that.

There was a time, I’m sure you’ve heard about it if you’ve been in this online business space, when Facebook, for example, was just this wild frontier and folks were able to grow massive accounts very quickly, and they could reach all of their people; 100% of their people that had clicked like or follow. They could reach them. And they built all of their income streams to funnel through Facebook. And then Facebook algorithm changed, and I know lots of folks whose businesses either crashed entirely, or was reduced to rubble and they had to rebuild elsewhere.

So if you’re not using this as a way to leverage into a sustainable tool; like an email list, channeling folks to a website if you don’t have a website, that’s definitely something to start on. Start collecting email addresses. But if you’re not; that’s ok. That’s ok if you’re like; I really do just want to be able to tell people at a cocktail party in 25 years, “I used to be famous on Instagram.” I mean, if you’re not leveraging outside of Instagram, then that’s what you’ve got coming. I really believe that.

I’m not trying to sound harsh, or alarmist. But if you are not; if you’re really at this to build a business, and you have not leveraged your reach, even if it’s 200 people. But if you’re trying to build a business and you’re not leveraging elsewhere, then there’s a really good chance that that’s what happens at some point. So, now is the time to make sure you’re anchoring your business elsewhere. And live events are a great way to do it. Businesses cannot solely exist; a sustainable business will not solely exist on Instagram.

4.  Shop Talk: What to do [19:48]

Diane Sanfilippo: Here, here. OK, so what to do. And a couple of these I’m going to breeze over, because they’re recaps of some things we’ve talked about in the previous couple of episodes in this series. But I didn’t want to not mention them in case you jumped into today’s episode and you didn’t listen. So if you didn’t listen to the previous two, make sure you go back.

But first and foremost, what to do to have social media followers who convert from followers to customers. You want them to buy a think that you’re talking about somewhere somehow. Whether it’s something you create; something you promote, and affiliate link; what have you.

Absolutely first and foremost you have to be yourself. This is true across everything when it comes to business. Don’t be copying what someone else does. If you want to show up on Instagram stories with makeup on every single time, and that’s how you move through life and you pop out of bed and always put makeup on, and that’s real for you, then that’s real for you. But it likely is not real. So I want to say; don’t let a makeup free face stop you. And that is kind of an analogy for everything, right?

So when your kitchen is a mess, but you wanted to show someone how you do things; I promise you, I get more comments when I show messy things. And I’m like; ok, I just shot this recipe for this book and I pull the camera back, and here’s what my kitchen looks like. I know you do this all the time, right? When you’re like; and we just shot those 5 recipes, and here is the aftermath.

So, you have to show the reality, right?

Cassy Joy: Yes, you do. I think it’s really powerful. I think; if folks, you have your product, your work product, but we talked about this previously. Giving personality and authenticity to your brand is telling the story of you as the brand builder. And I think that’s important. I shoot all of my photos on this teeny, tiny marble baking slab that I ordered off of Amazon for $50. And I like it, because I really like the way the photos turn out. But, I don’t have a marble countertop, and I try to show that as often as possible so that folks don’t think I’m; I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Even if you did have a marble countertop, it wouldn’t work, because you can’t pull it up next to the window! {laughs} That’s what people don’t realize.

Cassy Joy: Yes! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I bought this dining room table back when we lived in New Jersey, and I was like; oh, it will be such a great surface for photos. No it will not! Not when it’s sitting in the middle of the dining room and I can’t just pull it over.

Cassy Joy: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, it’s crazy. So, on that note, too. I have a note here to say; show your face. I know this is uncomfortable, but people are not going to connect with you and build that trust if they don’t ever see your face. And along the lines of what we were just saying about kind of the pullback, and show the messiness. Part of that is also this “show your work.” Like; you’ve got a math problem in front of you and if you just show the answer and you never showed the work, you’re going to be skipping over part of your story that is so valuable for people to see and be a part of.

So, let’s just say you are building a nutrition business. And I’m totally open; if you guys are listening and you’re building different businesses; come tell us so that we can speak to you. We just know that we have lots of folks who are building nutrition businesses or network marketing, etc.

So if you’re building a nutrition business; show what’s happening in the moment when you are creating resources for your clients. Show what’s happening when you’re researching recommendations that you’re going to make for a meal plan that you’re writing. Or you’re grocery shopping to prepare a recipe for the blog you just started. Whatever it is. Show those moments, because that’s how you’re really going to help people connect with who you are.

Honestly; the work that you’re putting in. When you’re rolling up your sleeves and doing the work, that is part of what you want to share. And look; you’re going to be able to create content with that. I think sometimes people feel like they don’t know what content. This kind of goes back to the point we made in an earlier episode where there’s this create versus document. Obviously, you know, I am a documentarian, I am not a content creator. But by virtue of documenting what I do, it does create content.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I think that’s something people can hang onto.

Cassy Joy: To give you another business type example, I was just helping my sister, Samantha, who is starting this floral business called Poppy Florals. And I hired her to build a beautiful arrangement I was sending to Bethany McDaniel, the owner of Primally Pure. And it was the first time she’s shipping across state lines, and it was a whole process.

I was like; Sam, you’ve got to take pictures. Take a picture; because she will actually draw out the floral design with pencil and paper before she does it. Then she goes shopping. And then she clips them. And then she puts them all together and wraps them very specially. I was like; this is a part of the story. This is why I get excited about her business, because I see those steps behind the scenes. And to Diane’s point; think of that as a part of your work product on social.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know who does this extremely well, is Mary Heffernan, from Five Mary’s Farms. I mean, there is so much story to tell every day with that type of business. Because it’s so physical and there’s stuff happening. Sometimes it feels like there’s not stuff happening for us, and we’re sitting at a computer. We’re just in one place. But I think we can challenge ourselves to find that moment of what we can share.

And you know, I’m talking to myself, too. There are days that go by where I’m like; man, I could have brought people into this a little bit more. So, there’s that.

The next thing of what to do is to share about things that you’re interested in. Not what you think other people will be interested in. Oof.

Cassy Joy: Amen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? This is something that is so hard for us to grasp. I know I could sit and think; well, I know people would love to see me go through my pantry and analyze the products in there. That’s valuable content. I’m not saying don’t do that. But I’m currently not that interested in that. And the lack of passion that I’ll have when I do that will be apparent. And I think that when I walk people through my tour de plants, I call it. It’s like a play on words. A tour de France. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I think I’m funny. But when I walk around my house, and I share about my plants, which haven’t done in a hot minute because half of them are dead. But you know, whatever, I’ll do it. But that is something I’m interested in. And I share it. And then you know what; when I ask people what they love to see on my stories, of course 80-90% are wanting to see what I’m known for. But at the same time, so many people are like; I miss seeing your tour of plants.

What you’re excited about, other people will either become excited about or they will become interested in, or it’s just, you know what; connect with that 10% of people who geek out on that thing, and that depth of connection will be there. So, this is true if you’re starting business, especially in a network marketing business. But if you are not passionate and excited about the thing that you’re talking about, other people will feel it.

This is just, I don’t know if I would say it’s emotional intelligence 101, but it’s literally like sales 101. You cannot sell something that you are not passionate about. And everything you’re doing on social media is sales. Every time we communicate, we are selling. Even if the end goal of that post is not to say; “go buy this thing.” You’re constantly creating an environment where you’re communicating what you’re all about to people. And if 80% of what you share about is stuff that you think you should be doing, you will not have the right energy contributing to that.

People can read your energy, and they’ll feel that almost even more than what you’re saying. So if you don’t believe it, I promise you someone else is not going to believe it, either.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. Beautifully said. And that’s when folks; I’ve sent this back in emails countlessly. Now we have this great podcast, I can refer folks to. But when folks were asking for how do I start a blog, what do I write about on my blog, it feels like it’s been talked about; right? Those kinds of topics. I do not think you just jump into Google key words that are lacking. I don’t think that’s the right strategy. I like to tell folks; write about the things. And this is true for social media.

Write about the things that you personally find interesting. And the people who are going to be; to your point, excited about that content to where you get to, 8 years later, I like to say I have the best readers in the whole dang world. They are curious, confident, caring people. We just love food. We’re not too worried about the details. And we’re very curious about certain nutrition things. But we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when we learn something new.

And I think I’ve cultivated that group, because I’ve shared what I was interested in. And then you can SEO on the backend.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So we talked about a couple of these things previously, so I’m just going to touch on them and glaze over them. Using the tools that come in the Instagram app, for example, or whatever app you’re using. Really using them to their full extent is going to help with reach. So, of course, that will help with connection.

Thanking people when you’ve got a small following; somebody likes your photo, head over to their account. Thank them on a post, thank them in a message, “So glad you like that photo.” Whatever you want to do; reach out to people. Every single comment you should be replying to. Every single like, reach out to those people. When it’s in the beginning stages, you need to recognize those people.

We talked about giving, giving, giving. And I’ll add; without expectation. Constantly throwing valuable content out there; tips, recipes, whatever it is that you’re doing, a lot of us who have built followings on social media, we signed up for the Instagram. {laughs} You know, because it was like, ok here’s this new app. But, that is not where we were creating content and giving to people. We didn’t just sign up and say I’m going to be an influencer. It’s not how it happens. You have to be giving people a ton of value, wherever it’s going to be. So if you’re going to give the value there, you can give it there. That’s fine.

5.  Shop Talk: From followers to customers [29:59]

Diane Sanfilippo: So here’s the meat that I really want you guys to take away with being able to convert people from followers into customers. And it’s two points that are not easy for people to do. And this is why. It’s not always easy for people to convert people. But I promise you, you can all do it. You can do this.

Number one is to pay attention to what’s happening in response to the content that you share. Have an analytical cap on. Look at the data without taking it personally. That is so hard for most people. Especially when you’re like; it’s so raw when you’re building a business and it’s like; “ugh, I just want them to like it!” You know? I just want someone to value how much time I spent on that post with that recipe.

Listen, honey. You can repost it in a month. No one; the five people who were following you a month ago, they didn’t even see it. They didn’t comment on it then; guess what? Maybe you realize a month later; let me share it again. Let me share a different crop of the photo. Let me put a different caption. Maybe it’s just different people are here now. But don’t take it personally when the data tells you what’s going on. And that could just mean; the data could be, Instagram didn’t show it to your 100 followers. Sorry. You can’t take that personally. If you’re going to be in the space, you have to sort of play the game the way they want you to play it. And either play it or don’t. But don’t complain about it in the process.

But I don’t want you to operate like a “influencer” or a blogger. Someone’s who’s got a very large following has social proof going for them. And that is something you cannot simply buy. You cannot buy a following and it create social proof. You’re not going to have an engaged follower count. You can’t fake social proof. Social proof comes in through comments. People are like; yeah, I made this recipe. Or I love your recipes. Whatever it’s going to be. That is other people who are real, who are actually engaging there.

But what I want you to do is, as you post, see what works. Do more of what works. And by works I mean; not necessarily you sold a thing from that post, but you engaged people. People liked it, people commented on it, and again, value every single one of those likes and comments. And compare what you’re doing to what you did before. And I know Cassy will have a tip on that later.

The other huge thing I want you to hear, aside from paying attention and being analytical and not taking it personally. That is; I mean, that is it. That’s the meat. Right? Where you’re really looking at what’s happening. I need you to be patient with social media. It takes 10 times as long; this is my estimation. This is not research from anywhere. I’m just going to throw it out there. I think it takes 10 times as long to build trust on social media as it would in real life.

So an hour in a room with somebody is 10 hours online. And what do I mean by that? Maybe you went live 20 times for 30 minutes at a time, once a week, twice a week. And you’re just sharing a story, you’re doing a recipe live. Whatever it is. That person has been able to connect with you live, or in stories, or through blog posts. Whatever amount of time that you’re sharing, it’s 10 hours of their engagement with you versus one in person.

So that’s why we’re going back to that point of; get in person. But you have to know; if you don’t want to leave the house, and you want to connect with people in your sweat pants from the couch, it’s going to take 10 times as long.

Cassy Joy: I agree. Yes. I’m nodding my head. It does. It’s a long, long game. And if you’re looking for a quick injection into your business, and you’re just wanting a little bit more traction, maybe you are a part of a network marketing company, and you’re trying to build this business online, but it’s feeling really slow. It’s slow because it is slow. It is. It’s slow to do that online. So go ahead and have an in-person business if you want to feel that your speed kicked it up a few notches. You have to get in person if you’re craving a faster pace.

But if you’re comfortable, like Diane said; if the sweatpants scenario is all that you’ve got bandwidth for, then that’s fine. But manage your own expectations.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Amen.

6. Listener Question: get over rejection [34:39]

Cassy Joy: Next up is Listener Question. In this segment, we’re answering a question you asked us via Instagram.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so this one is from Mrs. Katie White, and she asks, “How do you get over the fear of rejection as a business owner?”

Cassy Joy: I’m going to jump into this one. I think the answer; you’re not going to like it. {laughs} You’re not going to like it, because you’re going to roll your eyes and be like; well, I guess I knew that. The way that you get over the fear of rejection as a business owner is you do it anyways. And you put yourself out there. And you do the thing; you press publish. You create the work. And you pursue it. And you don’t do it with expectations. You don’t put expectations on the work product to then tell you whether or not your business is successful. And I think; oh yes, exactly.

So I think that’s a really important mindset shift. Keep in mind; things are not going to be immediately successful. And that does not mean that the product was a failure. It does not mean that you were a failure. It doesn’t mean that you were rejected or that your work product was rejected. It just means that it might be time to go back to the drawing board and reedit and rework it.

I put; y’all. My very first product; before a book, before anything came out. I was working with clients one on one, but that was just through word of mouth through personal friends. Clients one on one as a nutrition consultant. But, I put together a Holiday Feast eBook. And I probably; it was almost 60 recipes. Six-zero. It was a robust eBook.

Diane Sanfilippo: I remember this.

Cassy Joy: Do you remember this?

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. Because I have one too, so I remember like; oh, hers looks amazing!

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I was so impressed by it.

Cassy Joy: That’s so sweet. I spent months on that thing. So much time, pouring into it. And the first year I published it, I think; I mean, this is still good, but it was somewhere between 50 and 80 people bought it. Right? And that was great, but I had to promote it constantly in order to get any one of those sales.

And of course, as my career has gone on, I have the luxury of hindsight at this point, and I can see how the trust and the work that I put into that is what helped bring me to the next work product. Which was 10 times more successful. To the next work product, which was 10 times more successful than that. And I think if you realize that your work and what you’re putting out there; it’s not this singular thing that you’re working on, and it’s not do or bust; everybody accepts it and it’s explosively successful or it’s a huge failure. I think if you realize that you’re in it for the long game; you’re in it to learn lessons and to improve your processes and improve your messaging, then it can’t be a failure. It can’t be a lose situation.

So I just say; be yourself. It’s scary. And know that if it helps one person, that’s a huge success. Even if that one person is you. Even if you walk away with some hindsights and some lessons learned, and you think; gosh, I really learned a lot from that. Nobody bought my eBook. Nobody downloaded it. Nobody commented on it. But gosh darn it, I learned a lot from that and I’m going to roll that forward into my next project. You never would have gotten there if you hadn’t pressed publish.

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7. Tip of The Week: Social media self-audit [38:35]

Cassy Joy: Ok, next is Tip of The Week. In this segment, we’re going to give you one time that you can take action on this week that will move your business or life forward. I’m excited about this one. I think it’s a great tip.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, this I kind of touched on just a moment ago. But it’s an Instagram or whatever social platform you’re on; we’re going to say Instagram, self-audit. So look back at the posts that you have in your feed. I’m going to open up my feed right now. But open up your feed. I think doing this in a web browser on your computer is actually the best place to do it, because you can literally; if you’ve never tried this. You can hover over images and see quickly how many likes and how many comments something got.

Now, of course, sometimes historically you’ll see; let’s say there are 6 comments, and you know three of those are yours. Well, if you’re know you’re always answering every post, every comment with a comment back, that’s data that you can kind of keep in mind. But you can look back and see; where was something that really got a ton of people engaged, and then what didn’t?

And then, I actually don’t think that just because something doesn’t get engagement doesn’t mean it’s worth posting. Because I do believe that for a lot of you who are building a business, your Instagram feed is a little bit like a landing page on a website. So if there is something you need to tell them, especially if you’re doing a live event. Especially if there’s just something important that you need to share, however you’re going to do that, at some point, you need to make the announcement and you need it to be there. It doesn’t matter that people didn’t engage with it necessarily. Because you at least know that it was there for someone to find.

But, keep in mind that you can go back and just see. You know what; ok, a post like this did really well. If I try it again, let’s see if it does well again. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Right? To your point, Cassy, not everything that did well once is going to have the same success again. But we can always be a bit more analytical and learn; what was it about that? Did I do something differently? Did I ask them a question? Did I leave it open ended? Or did I just put the picture up there and not saying anything. And I think we can do that very quickly when we just open a web browser and put it in.

And I will tell you guys one thing; if you need to know what is the one thing you can post that will almost always get really good engagement; are you on the edge of your seat? You already know. It’s going to be a selfie. Beyond a well-done professional photo, it’s always going to be a selfie. And I know we’ve talked about this before, but people reward vulnerability. Observe yourself responding to other people’s selfies. You almost always double tap. You can’t help it. You’re like; I see you, girl. I see you. Double tap. You can’t help it.

So, there you go. Do your self-audit. And along with that, if you want to go for extra credit, self-audit your behavior on Instagram and observe how you respond to different posts, which ones you scroll on by, which ones you stop and double tap or comment on. And take that to heart, because that’s the kind of content people are going to engage with.

That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your shows. And hey, leave us a review. We absolutely love seeing your reviews. It truly helps new listeners find the show. Follow us on Instagram @DrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo.

Tune in next week for a full episode of listener Q&A all about social media. We’ll see you next week.