Take Me To Coffee

A Mentorship Podcast for the Digital Age

3 Tips for Crushin' It on Insta with Influencer Amanda McCrossin

5 years ago, Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin started teaching herself about Instagram as a way to demystify wine and bring people to Napa Valley without leaving the comfort of the internet. Fast forward to today, and her account, Sommvivant, has 23k+ followers, brand partnerships and she's getting calls from the heavyweights of wine to collaborate and amplify their projects on her channel.

On Episode 10 of the podcast, Jess & Andrew asked Amanda for her top Insta tips for people who are building amazing things and want to amplify them. Here’s the interview:

Caller who is secretly Jess:
Hi, I host a podcast with a friend, and that friiiiiend keeps bothering me in the evenings, texting me, asking me how to use Instagram to promote the show, how to use the swipe up feature, so... based on what you’ve learned along the way, what are your top three tips for him, so he’ll stop bothering me.

I’ll never stop bothering you.

I just got trolled on my own podcast.

NUMBER 1: It’s all about the tools of the trade

I love Instagram stories and I think that is the place where I can have the most fun and creativity without it being, without it bogging me down and so I use a lot of third-party apps to help me craft some cool stories. One of them is called Unfold and that is really nice for when you want to design... when you have a lot of different pictures and a lot of words and you want it to come out all pretty. I use Unfold a lot.

I use that because of you by the way!

Thank you, oh good I really love it! I also use Later to schedule all of my posts for PRESS. I don't use it so much for my own personal stuff because so much of what I do is kind of on the fly. But if you're someone who wants to schedule things up and you're using Instagram as a professional platform or something that you use to promote your business, your brand or whatever I do think Later is great and it also gives you insight into further analytics so you can iterate and figure out when to post and who's watching and what the performance was.

NUMBER 2: Try long-form on for size

I love the long-form Instagram post. I use every single character. I wish more people did. To me, I treat it like my blog and I treat it like a place to have a conversation.

NUMBER 3: Slide into your DMs. Seriously.

And I guess my last one is the DM's are so powerful. People underutilized the DM's and don’t treat them with the professional respect they deserve. I've gotten more opportunities and had better conversations in the DM's then probably anywhere else to the point where on my business card I don't even put my email anymore. I only have my Instagram and my YouTube channel and so anybody that wants to do any sort of work with me on the Sommvivant side of things, I just say check me out on Instagram. Because also, by the way, I don't really want them emailing me without first checking to see what I do to make sure it falls in line with what some of their strategies are. And so it was sort of forces that.

When you say mistakes with DM's can you give us a couple of examples of things not to do or to do with your DMs ‘cause I actually don't know a whole lot about that?

Yeah I mean I think I love hearing from people and I love getting questions in the DM's so if you make yourself available in the DM's, people -- I think a lot of people feel like they know me via the DM's better than they know me via my actual post. It adds this personal element and it brings a small town business element into it where you're kissing babies and shaking hands. And so I always say it may take me a day or two but I always go back through the DM's and make sure I respond to everyone who asked me a question and wants to get some answers.

Thanks, Amanda! Over here at TM2C, we are already rockin’ Unfold and Later, so we’re making a commitment to add DM communication to our Instagram arsenal. What other Instagram hacks and tips do you love? Let us know, and catch the entire episode to learn more about how Amanda grew her online following!

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