SB EP 75 - Getting Leads Via Instagram

Ismail: [00:00:00] Coming up Super Boothers Have you tried this thing called Instagram? I've messed around with it. I actually got a lead. Ryan and I discuss using Instagram to grow your business. Also not getting caught up chasing vanity metrics? 

Ryan: [00:00:15] Come see me live at the Photo Booth Show Europe October 15th and 16th 2018 in Leicester United Kingdom. Learn from industry experts, shop a range of high quality global providers, and get to meet other photo boothers just like you visit for more information. 

Ryan: [00:00:49] Hello and welcome to Super Boothers My name is Ryan 

Ismail: [00:00:51] and I'm Ismail. 

Ryan: [00:00:53] Good afternoon sir. 

Ismail: [00:00:55] Good day Mate 

Ryan: [00:00:56] Good day. I can't wait to go back to Australia 

Ismail: [00:01:01] Yeah it was a lot of fun. 

Ryan: [00:01:01] I got to and I got a... Well I didn't get to hold a koala because I'm told that it's illegal to do that 

Ismail: [00:01:08] In the zoo that we went to yes you were not allowed to touch the koala 

Ryan: [00:01:10] Yes, we went to the Taronga Zoo. But the woman was like her head was turning and I just wanted a poke it but probably shouldn't poke a koala. Probably a bad idea. 

Ismail: [00:01:20] We were pretty lucky with that though because they sleep for the majority the day and that one woke up for us. 

Ryan: [00:01:24] Yeah. She was like all sorts of. She was pregnant wasn't she? 

Ismail: [00:01:29] I don't know what was going on but she was definitely awake 

Ryan: [00:01:32] She was like moving and stuff and I mean that was exciting. I mean I need koala-time. 

Ismail: [00:01:38] I do miss Australia. That was a very fun trip. 

Ryan: [00:01:40] I get to do it again. ::laughter:: 

Ismail: [00:01:46] I don't know if I will or not. I hope I will but I'm not committed. 

Ryan: [00:01:51] I absolutely loved Australia and we did that dinner across from the Sydney Opera House and we took that amazing photo. It is very Instagrammable. You like how I did that? 

Ismail: [00:02:13] I love what you did there. Guess what we're going to talk about today! 

Ryan: [00:02:13] You see what I did there? Yes! Instagram so I have been kind of getting my act together with Instagram lately. 

Ismail: [00:02:18] I have dipped my toe in the water 

Ryan: [00:02:21] In the Instagram pond. 

Ismail: [00:02:24] Yes. You know before you jump in with what happened you know I think just generally I've heard a lot of people talk about how Instagram is working for them and maybe people can't relate to me but I've just always I don't know I don't really take that seriously. I've been doing well with paid advertising with Google and just posting things on social media. I've seen that and that worked very well in other businesses I'm kind of skeptical about it but I did start posting some photos just kind of thrown it up there and I was blown away and shocked. Today that some random person in my area messaged me on Instagram asking for a quote and I have no idea 

Ryan: [00:03:10] oh I that you're going to say they were asking you for nudes. 

Ismail: [00:03:12] No, no, no that's snapchat 

Ryan: [00:03:14] Sliding into those DMs. 

Ismail: [00:03:16] But yeah someone out of nowhere like an actual lead contacted me for an event and I don't even know how that happened and I'm kind of a little blown away. I assume that people search for those. Hashtags that you possibly get. We can get into the nitty gritty of this stuff but that's kind of why it's been on my mind lately. What about you. 

Ryan: [00:03:34] So we have really been trying to focus on daily content on Instagram and I actually manage five Instagram accounts if you can believe it. And it's really hard keeping up with everything but I've been really trying to hone in on my photo booth businesses Instagram account and you know posting a set up, posting you know people using the booth, posting the output, posting that you know the overall event. And I really have been enjoying it just because a I've been getting leads from it just organically and actually as of today I started promoting specific Instagram posts. But yeah. So I've been really happy with it. 

Ismail: [00:04:20] Can you tell me a little bit about that because again I'm not a big Instagram person in general so how are these leads finding you. Explain to us how exactly that works. 

Ryan: [00:04:30] So what I do is I use hashtags. I use the hashtags on on my like do you like #photobooth #photoboothrental you know stuff that applies to me. I also tag the location of where the event was at. That way if there is like you know someone looking to do an event in that specific venue they can click it and then hopefully find it. 

Ismail: [00:04:54] And when you get when you said you hashtag it doesn't matter. I've heard people say that you can't do that in the first comment but not the actual image description. 

Ryan: [00:05:02] Sure it doesn't matter you can do it an either or it still shows up but you need to do it right whenever it's posted. So typically what will happen is people will put like just their description. And then whenever they're the reason why they're posting it in the first comment is because whenever you post it to Instagram you also have the option to push it to Twitter and to Facebook. So if you don't want all those hashtags in that description you can post it there and then only have the hashtags appear on on the Instagram post in the first comment. 

Ryan: [00:05:39] Just so it looks cleaner whenever you post to Facebook at the same time 

Ismail: [00:05:42] Now when you said that you'd have to do it right when you put it up is that true like you have to immediately post hashtags what if you do later on. 

Ryan: [00:05:52] It won't be as effective because then it'll just show up whenever you post it, so yeah. 

Ismail: [00:05:58] And then people that are you know like planning weddings or planning parties they look for these hashtags 

Ryan: [00:06:08] If anyone has been to Vegas posted anything on Instagram with the #Vegas #VegasClub you know the name of the hotel any of it you will have Vegas promoters sending you messages on Instagram and commenting because what those promoters do is try and get you into clubs. So yes people absolutely look at this stuff and there are some people that will search stuff. If I did work with the photographer and I found him through Instagram just from those hashtags as well. So they're like hashtags and Instagram is almost becoming its own search engine just like Pinterest. Pinterest is not a form of social media. Pinterest is a search engine. You go to Pinterest you don't really poke around you poke around with like something specific in mind. Like oh I want to know what you know a wedding you know a wedding show set up would look like so then you start scrolling. So you go to Pinterest with intent. Instagram is about 50/50. 

Ismail: [00:07:05] So again I'm asking these questions on behalf of people that don't use so much like myself. You're saying that there are actually people searching on Instagram for these hashtag 

Ryan: [00:07:16] Sure 

Ismail: [00:07:17] Or is it you know how does that explore menu. Explore page whatever or that they just go there and they're kind of browsing 

Ryan: [00:07:26] I don't necessarily use the explore button. I think that's probably just me I'm sure a lot of people use it but there's a there there's a lot of scary stuff that could pop up on an explore. That's kind of why I stay away from it. 

Ismail: [00:07:36] So you mentioned the promoters that are looking for people and messaging directly is that something that you can do as a boother. like what would you look for to do that or just recommend not doing 

Ryan: [00:07:45] What do you mean? 

Ismail: [00:07:46] like can I go on Instagram and find people who are planning a wedding 

Ryan: [00:07:51] For flipping sure! Absolutely. I mean a granted 

Ismail: [00:07:54] Tell me more about it. Like do you message them directly 
Ryan: [00:07:57] I don't.. I don't do that. That's a little aggressive. However what it will do is I will go under my business account and let's say if there's a popular wedding venue I will click that wedding venue. And actually we've talked about this plenty of times after there's an event and people are posting our content. This I will say is the one thing that I will do is I will either search for if they have has a hashtag I will I will search that hashtag. Usually a day or two after and then I'll also search the venue of where it was at. If I see someone that posted our content from that particular event I will go in there and I will comment. "Thank you for taking a photo with us!" in there. That is a great way to get followers organically and that was. That is a great way to get interest and you never know who you're going to do that with or. The person that you know you're interacting with. So on there there's one event that I did she was a bridesmaid. She was getting married. Guess what. 

Ismail: [00:08:57] She booked you. 

Ryan: [00:08:58] Absolutely absolutely. Just because like she liked what she saw I was able to reach out to her from the content that she created with us. So wasn't just like I'm stalking her. You know her Instagram and she's posting at this wedding, no she used our photo booth. Yes she experienced it. 

Ismail: [00:09:13] There was a reason. 

Ryan: [00:09:13] You know she was compelled enough to post it. I went in and I commented thank you for taking a photo with us. 

Ismail: [00:09:19] So now, when you do that. Are you just doing that for the person who posted it. Or you don't that's to people that see that post can identify which company the booth was used from. 

Ryan: [00:09:29] I kind of do it just for the for the person just to say thank you. 

Ismail: [00:09:33] OK. And you mention followers right. Who follows a photobooth account honestly? 

Ryan: [00:09:40] If you're a photo boother listening to this then you're probably following my business Instagram and that's pretty much where it comes from. 

Ismail: [00:09:49] But but I actually looked through our Vollrath today and it's mostly other like event companies some photo booth companies are like our leads actually following photobooth company accounts. That doesn't make sense to me. 

Ryan: [00:10:00] I will say that it's helpful with like agencies and it's helpful with just reaching out to people that attended the event because you really never know. So I will say it is an absolute mixture of people. 

Ryan: [00:10:13] But anyways I have a little free giveaway for everyone today. 

Ismail: [00:10:17] Nice do I get an advanced copy? 

Ryan: [00:10:20] No. If you go to click on courses there is a free one month Instagram calendar available so if you need ideas for Instagram content it is there for you to purchase or not purchase it's free just to download sorry. Keep going. 

Ismail: [00:10:38] OK speaking of that one other thing that I want to dig into is how do you politely. 

Ismail: [00:10:43] Obviously you have that for people who want plan their content but what are some general guidelines for how often do you post when you post because there are these tools out there like buffer that allow you to schedule posts. I dont know if they work with Instagram. 

Ryan: [00:10:57] Yes. 

Ismail: [00:10:58] So is that what you do. Do you just kind of sit down and plan out a whole month put it up there and forget about it or I won't necessarily plan a whole month I kind of plan a whole week out because you need have that content so what I will do especially for super boothers is on our Facebook group and all the other Instagram account that I do manage I use buffer a lot just because it kind of saves me the headache. So for example just a kind of a little trick that I do. 

Ryan: [00:11:23] Generally I will work on Super Boothers stuff rather late at night. That's just what I find to be my sweet spot to be able to be the most productive. I will schedule all the Super Boothers stuff at night because I generally work until like 3 or 4 in the morning and I'm kind of sleep in but with super boothers stuff all that stuff has to be posted in the morning for anything to get any traction because if I post in the afternoon nobody sees it. What I do is I have all those scheduled to kind of go out. So I'll wake up you know at noon and everyone will and everyone and everyone already comments on it. 

Ismail: [00:12:02] tell the truth Ryan. It's not noon it's it's way past noon 

Ryan: [00:12:06] Uhhhh today, I woke up at noon. 

Ryan: [00:12:10] Anywhere between noon, one, two is pretty accurate. If I wake up at 2 p.m. that's pretty late. 

Ismail: [00:12:14] And that ladies and gentlemen is why if you comment on Ryan's post right away in the morning he won't respond to you. 

Ryan: [00:12:19] Absolutely not. Not happening. I am. And if any and this was really funny I posted I'd texted Ismail like 7a.m. New York time. I'm sure he looked at his phone and was like who kidnapped Ryan. Because he texted me. What's wrong. Why are you up so early. 

Ismail: [00:12:42] Do you need some help? Do you need me to send help? 

Ryan: [00:12:43] Why have you not gone to bed the night before.

Ryan: [00:12:47] That's usually what happened. 

Ismail: [00:12:50] Usually it's usually you have an early flight. 

Ryan: [00:12:52] Oh yeah. It isn't uncommon and I will be on a plane any time that's happening. However I will say this. So Buffer really allows me to get out the content that I need to get out at the time that I need to get out. And also it helps you with Instagram. So if you wanted to post to your Facebook page if you want to do your Twitter account if you want it whatever and actually have an integration now with Instagram that will post the photos and you don't have to do it so before the way you used to work was Instagram had an API that kind of forbid this, but the way how it previously worked as you could schedule post you would get a notification on your phone. You'd press the notification and you would manually have to still post it. That is gone now. Instagram now will allow a third party to post for you. So I do use that the only thing it won't do is it won't post a video but it will do a photo and buffer has things kind of built in where you know you could say hey I want to post Monday through Friday and it will automatically put in the optimal times in your area for those things to be posted 

Ismail: [00:14:00] Right. I actually used buffer way back when when it first came out and I do remember it didn't work with Instagram and just for those of you listening. It's a great tool to check out we'll have it in our show notes. Basically everyone has said it's overwhelming to post on social media it's too many things to keep track of. The Buffer app, it's Basically a tool where you put your post into this app. And it posts it to your Facebook Twitter Instagram to your LinkedIn or Twitter automatically on a schedule for you so you go to one place and that it distributes it's all your social media accounts for you. It saves you a lot of time and it makes it a lot easier for you to actually use social media. The other thing that I would mention is that I've admitted here that I'm not really a big Instagram poster but one thing that you should take away is a general mindset is that you should experiment with things right. Don't just knock things in. That's one thing I've seen people do often is it just kind of dismiss things that's not going to work it's not how I do it blah blah blah blah blah. You see me online willing to try and experiment with different things. So I threw up some photos on Instagram. I don't understand why people find them. I don't usually look for these hashtags but I threw some up and I got a lead and it kind of boggles my mind so I'm going to do it more. And I think that's something that people should keep in mind when you hear these ideas from us or other people try them. 

Ryan: [00:15:19] There's two... 

Ismail: [00:15:20] It may work. 

Ryan: [00:15:21] ..two People that I believe that are really good at this and that is. His instagram is Amazing_Jimbo and Bradley with The Flash Bar. Those two are really really really good Instagram accounts in our industry. 

Ryan: [00:15:36] I wish mine were better but it's just not. 

Ismail: [00:15:38] Yours is pretty good. I follow yours. 

Ryan: [00:15:43] Another thing that I've been posting lately is actual videos so I'll do videos of the event. Lately I have this little. It's kind of like a Smove but not really. 

Ryan: [00:15:55] It's just like a video stabilizer from my phone. I'll go in I'll record some video. I'll cut it on my phone real quick and post it I'll get great engagement from that stuff. And this is also what I use it for. 

Ryan: [00:16:07] Whenever someone says hey listen you know I want to do a green screen booth what I'll do is I'll go in on my Instagram. 

Ryan: [00:16:15] Find like a really good event that I did that explains what I did well and then I'll send them the Instagram post. To view, so that they can understand what's going on. 

Ryan: [00:16:26] So I have a lot of agency clients that are on my Instagram that do just to kind of keep up with me just to see like if I'm putting out any ideas that they could use to sell later. And this also helps with kind of touching your client. So we talked about not not in the in the Bill Clinton #MeToo kind of touching just as in the touching is in staying top of mind of someone. 

Ismail: [00:16:47] Thank you for clarifying. Didn't know where you were going. 

Ryan: [00:16:49] Yes. No I'm telling you at Aretha's funeral and Arianna is just a big big problems. No no no not in the Matt Lauer sense of the word. So anyway so what I will do is I will kind of engage with those people just to make sure. And actually you can do this with buffer. So if you have no that's a lie. If you have Facebook pages. Facebook pages you can attach your Instagram account to it. And any time someone post a comment on there you can get a notification on your Facebook pages app and make sure that you respond to everyone. And I believe that on certain, I know Facebook will do this with Zendesk. But you can set up integrations like that to make sure that you respond to every single person same thing goes for Twitter. You can take Twitter messages and filter those into your customer service software and should reply just from one dashboard and not have to go into all these apps. So. So those things are just there to make your life easier. 

Ismail: [00:17:50] Here's what I'm worried about and I'm sure people listening are thinking the same thing. It sounds like a lot of stuff you go to reply to all the comments people post. You've got to reply to them say thank you for posting. You have to have a whole planned out content schedule of things that are being posted all the time. 

Ryan: [00:18:06] I'm sorry you're busy doing something else? 

Ismail: [00:18:09] But hear me out here. Well what I am afraid of with social media in general is that people get caught up in this. You know vanity metrics game where it's all about how many lives like it how much engagement that I get the people follow me. That doesn't really lead to money. Right. So you talked about getting leads. Right. The Instagram brings you leads. I want to talk more about how do you do that. How do you kind of change the mindset from get more comments get more followers to getting leads and bookings. 

Ryan: [00:18:37] No, no, no if that's what you took away that you misunderstood me. So what what I'm saying here is I would much rather be engaging with those people because that's really how you monetize this stuff. Be engaging with those people. You know what, yes you are taking the time out. I generally do it when I'm in bed or kind of depending on which thing we're talking about. If I have it set up to go to my Zendesk I'm just doing it in my Zendesk at my convenience. 

Ismail: [00:19:05] When you say engaging with people which people are talking about specifically? 

Ryan: [00:19:08] The people that are engaging with you whether that be on Facebook on your Facebook page on your Instagram you know comments will have. 

Ismail: [00:19:16] But those poeple have already interacted with you. 

Ryan: [00:19:18] Do it again. You have to touch them 50 times a year for you to stay for you to stay top of mind with them. 

Ismail: [00:19:26] But isn't the real thing that you're going for is an new leads finding you through the hashtags to hopefully book you. 

Ryan: [00:19:33] Sure absolutely. But that doesn't mean you still can't nurture the old ones. 

Ismail: [00:19:38] Okay. 

Ryan: [00:19:39] I mean that's that's what is social media is there to be social. Not only are you there to get new stuff but you're also there to keep the current ones. 

Ismail: [00:19:46] OK. So why don't you put more effort into getting the new stuff. 

Ryan: [00:19:50] Because I alreaday have a lot of new stuff. 

Ismail: [00:19:52] How do you how do you go about facilitating that more. I'm just trying to avoid people getting trapped in a time suck of hey like comment like comment that it doesn't bring you in and. 

Ryan: [00:20:01] I'm not saying any to like comment. 

Ryan: [00:20:04] I'm not saying that you need to do that. I'm saying the one thing that I do is after an event I will go in and comment on people that have posted our content. That's all. That's literally all I'm doing. 

Ryan: [00:20:15] I'm not going out you know liking a whole bunch of photos from some random venue hoping that someone will kind of pay attention to me. I'm not I'm not doing that. 

Ismail: [00:20:24] But it's important to talk about this because I know people said buy followers or follow for follow back or what ever else is going on.

Ryan: [00:20:29] No, stupid. 

Ismail: [00:20:33] It's it's not worth your time. 

Ryan: [00:20:36] No they do not focus on the numbers. I would much rather have a hundred people that purchased for me than 10000 people that don't. Don't focus on the numbers. Focus on being engaging with people. 

Ismail: [00:20:52] Yeah and there's a good book called The lean startup for people who are into reading. That discusses how entrepreneurial. 

Ryan: [00:20:59] If they were into reading they wouldn't be listening to us. No, i'm kidding. 

Ismail: [00:21:01] There's audiobooks. 

Ismail: [00:21:05] But yeah they get trapped into this thing called vanity metrics where you're kind of chasing these numbers or these engagement figures that look good but don't really move the needle as well so don't you know that's the only thing I would caution. 

Ryan: [00:21:16] This is another thing that kind of came up in this is not exactly on the topic but still kind of again with the vanity thing so I had a florist friend that did the flowers for a very prominent person very well-known in Texas and they really didn't charge much but they got to say Oh I do flowers for so-and-so and this person generally didn't pay or if anything paid minimally. I said why are you doing that.

Ryan: [00:21:50] Oh well it's "Blah Blah Blah's houst". Well I don't care who are you getting referrals from it. Are you. Well no. Okay so why are you doing it. That's what I don't understand is you. Don't worry about the vanity part of it that some it just doesn't even need to be a consideration. 

Ryan: [00:22:10] For example we had talked about how I had I lost an event that I really really really wanted with a retail client. And I didn't want it for oh I did a photo booth for this for this brand. I liked doing that stuff because that's a foot in the door. I will almost do a straight up event for free like that just to get your foot in the door. I mean if you see the value in that type of brand who knows where that stuff will come from. All of my biggest stuff has come from just that one little good lead. 

Ismail: [00:22:48] Yes. And this is something that I don't think I told you Ryan but I think last week my my wife is a makeup artist and she got offered to do. 

Ryan: [00:23:04] See that's something... 

Ismail: [00:23:04] Yes. But wait wait. We hear all the details so it was Steve Martin and Martin Sheen (Short) we're doing a show they were doing a show. 

Ismail: [00:23:12] Now it was three hours away. 

Ryan: [00:23:14] You need to see their Netflix special. 

Ismail: [00:23:19] Yes they're they're good. I like them. 

Ryan: [00:23:21] It's awesome. Check it on Netflix. 

Ismail: [00:23:23] But what you get tempted because it's a celebrity right. 

Ryan: [00:23:28] Did she not take it. 
Ismail: [00:23:29] She did not take it. 

Ryan: [00:23:32] She is the stupidest person known to man. I will call her immediately after and cuss her out because this is this is the issue with stuff like that that builds a portfolio. 

Ismail: [00:23:47] It's literally three hours plus to get there and back. Secondly it wouldn't have led to any other work. 

Ryan: [00:23:54] You don't know that because we don't know because the venue that they were at you do not know that. 

Ismail: [00:24:00] The venue that they were at they may hire again. 

Ryan: [00:24:02] Right. Absolutely. 

Ismail: [00:24:04] Yes but they're three but they're three hours away. 

Ryan: [00:24:07] So charge it on the next one. How many times. 

Ryan: [00:24:12] I'm getting her on the phone right now. But but.

Ismail: [00:24:15] But here's here's the other thing too is that once you do if you're trying to get your foot in the door and get a reputation yeah you might get all hopped up and excited about this type of stuff. But I know I have a friend that's a barber and he's cut tons of celebrities hair he would be like are you crazy bro. I'm not going to travel all the way over that a cut. Martin Sheen (Short) here. I've already done. I already have a certain leg to stand on. So I think the take away is not to get too caught up in that. 

Ryan: [00:24:43] Well hold on. Hold on. 

Ismail: [00:24:44] And really be thoughtful.

Ryan: [00:24:45] This is the other thing because that is stuff that you can put on your Web site. That is stuff that you can. You can also negotiate this stuff for doing it for free or you know minimal whatever it is they listen can we get a picture. Can I publish it? Because that stuff helps build credibility for the next one. 

Ismail: [00:25:03] If you don't have it already? 

Ryan: [00:25:06] How many celebrities has your wife done? 

Ismail: [00:25:08] She's done some people she's done some people. I think that's my point right. So it's it depends on where you are. Right. So if you really need that first foot in the door the first credibility indicator. Yes. You know you bend over backwards to get it but you have to be understanding of what to expect in return. Like in this example we knew the person that was contacting us and we knew that the venue was very far away and that it likely would not have led to other things. 

Ryan: [00:25:37] Was it Foxwood's? 

Ismail: [00:25:39] No it was it was a different location farther out. That doesn't do a lot of events and the person was very upfront about that. So it kind of alters the calculation right now if it was in New York City and it was a venue that does this stuff all the time obviously that would change the whole you'd go for free right people would pay to do that. But again the whole overarching theme here is to not get caught up in the vanity. Right. Be thoughtful about how you do these things and not just chase what looks good because you hope you'll go broke chasing exposure or what looks good or what might get you more followers or whatever. You have to be thoughtful about the numbers and the business what moves the needle for your business. 

Ryan: [00:26:22] Well I'm thoroughly upset. So we'll see y'all next week. 

Ismail: [00:26:33] Next week on Super Boothers. Do you have. I'm curious for your experience. Do you really have to hunt for not hunt, but do you have to book a lot in events, new events for the holidays because what I found. 

Ismail: [00:26:45] Yeah it's it's not really a stressful time of year because it's all the same people booking events again 

Ryan SalinasInstagram, Buffer, Celebrity