instagram tips shannon mckinstrie

Create Content That Converts With These 3 Messaging Secrets

Instagram Tips

The unofficial poster girl for oat milk lattes, pinot grigio, and long walks down the aisles of Target.  

I’m also a wife, mama, and marketing junkie who turned my love of social media into a 6-figure business from straight-up scratch.
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Let me guess. You’re here because you want to create content that gets conversions instead of crickets.

As a social media mentor and trainer, I’ve coached hundreds of business owners who wonder why they still can’t get sales after using all the “right” tactics.

And when we dig deeper, they realize they’ve prioritized their follower count and virality over connecting with their ideal clients and customers.

That makes sense; there are dozens (and dozens and dozens …) of social media “gurus” who teach account growth – not business growth.

But when you focus too much on your follower count, creating content that resonates with your ideal clients often gets shoved to the back burner.

And those are the people who matter! Not the ones who followed you because you did a trending dance. 

Friend, if you want to create content that converts, your messaging has to make your ideal client and customers – your community – feel understood, capable, and confident that YOU can help them solve their problems. 

So buckle up, buttercup! Because today, I’m teaching you how to create content that converts with these 3 messaging secrets. ⬇️

Text on a blue background that says "create content that converts with these 3 messaging secrets"

Content that Converts Starts with Market Research

Before you market to your audience, you’ve got to know them. And you can’t make assumptions; you need to do the research.

Emily Heyward, branding expert and author of the book, Obsessed,” agrees. In her book, she writes about Airbnb’s journey to success.

Since its founding, the brand assumed it was helping its customers find cheap places to stay.

But you know what happens when you ass-u-me! 

Despite having a relatively large community of loyal users, it took 5 years–and a lot of market research– for the brand to truly understand the problem it was solving for its customers.

“The more they talked to their own community, including nearly 500 interviews their team conducted with people around the world, the more the same word kept coming up: ‘belonging,’” Heyward writes. “The problem that Airbnb solves for people is not offering a cheap place to stay when all the hotels in San Francisco are sold out for a conference. It’s that when people travel, they don’t want to feel like tourists or outsiders. They want to have a deeper experience of the place.” 

The outcome?

“By tapping into a true need, Airbnb has been able to completely redefine a category for people across the world and saw over $1 billion in revenue in just one quarter of 2018,” Heyward said.

But you don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar company to get to know your customers.

Keep reading for a few of my favorite market research tools and tactics.

Market Research Tools and Tactics

One of my favorite ways to get to know my ideal client or customer is through 1:1 Zoom calls.

Tell your Instagram followers (or email list, Facebook group, etc.) that you’re conducting market research and would like to host 5-10 interviews.

You can sweeten the deal by offering Starbucks or Amazon gift cards to the first 5ish people who sign up for the interview. 

During the interview, get their demographics (think: age, location, occupation, income, hobbies, etc.) 

More importantly, dig deep with these questions:

  • What are you struggling with when it comes to ______ [your niche]
  • Why do you believe you have this problem?
  • What have you already tried to solve this problem (and why didn’t it work)?
  • How does this problem make you feel?
  • What would it feel like to have this problem solved? 

I love this method because it not only gives you a clear picture of what your people need to hear, but it also gives you face time with potential clients or customers. 

Here are 3 more (simple!) ways to conduct market research:

  1. Instagram polls
  2. Offboarding client surveys
  3. Email surveys (via Survey Monkey or Typeform)

Once you know your ideal client or customer, you can create content with these 3 messaging secrets. 👇🏻

Messaging Secret #1: Help Them Feel Understood and Safe

For your ideal client or customer to trust that you can help them solve their big problem, they need to feel safe and understood.

So, use your market research to create relatable content that tells them you know what they’re struggling with. 

Storytelling is key here, and be sure to use the words, phrases, and emotions you took note of during your market research in your copywriting.
Note: Often, people don’t even realize they have a problem to solve. Relatable content also allows you to help your ideal client or customer recognize their problems.

Relatable Content Example

Here’s a recent example of relatable content that helped my community feel seen.

I created this simple Reel after a popular podcaster poked fun at “faux-influencers” (her term, not mine) for creating content as if they have a huge following when they don’t (yet).

After conducting market research, I know that many people in my community struggle with imposter syndrome and worry their following is “too” small.

This Reel not only countered the podcaster’s argument but hopefully made my audience feel safe and understood.

The message? “I’m a social media mentor who won’t make you feel less-than or silly for not having a huge following. You’re safe here.”

How to Create The Instagram Content Your Community Craves

Help Them Feel Capable

Frequently, people know they have a problem but don’t believe it’s solveable.

It’s your job to make them feel like it is – with your help.

In his best-selling book “Building the Storybrand,” Donald Miller emphasizes the importance of making your client or customer feel like the hero of their story. 

“The customer is the hero, not your brand,” he writes. “When we position our customers as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges.”

In other words, your content should help your community feel capable of solving their problems with your guidance.

But how? Educational content that offers simple, easy-to-implement tips and tricks is an effective way to help your audience feel capable.

But don’t overwhelm them with too much information or industry jargon.

If you over-complicate it, they won’t feel capable; instead, they’ll feel lost and defeated. 

Note: You might find that educational content isn’t effective. (This is especially true if you’re a service provider.) That’s likely because your ideal clients don’t want to solve the problem themselves and prefer to hand it over to someone else (you!!).

This is why understanding your ideal client or customer is an essential part of the content creation process.

Check out this Instagram post where I share what to do if educational content isn’t working for you.

Educational Content Example

In this post, I offered 3 ways to improve your Instagram CTAs. It was a simple tip and didn’t require much “work” to understand or implement.

The message? “You’re capable of getting sales through effective copywriting. Stick with me; I can help you succeed on social media.”

Help Them Feel Confident in YOU

Once your ideal client or customer believes they can get to the finish line, they’ll need evidence that you are the one to help them get there.

And since you’ve already worked to help them feel seen and capable, this next part is easy. 

Here are a few content ideas to help build confidence.

Social Proof and User-Generated Content

Share client testimonials and reviews. Reshare posts that shout your praises.

Client Success Stories

Tell a client story and emphasize their journey from problem to successful outcome.

Behind the Scenes

Pull back the curtain and show (instead of tell) what you do.

Customer Experience

Share your process or space and showcase what it looks and feels like to do business with you.

Pallet Coffee Roasters does a great job creating Reels that showcase what it feels like to step inside their store.

I especially love this one; it’s simple and gives the cozy coffee shop vibe so many people crave this time of year:

The message? We’re the place to go for the cozy, caffeinated atmosphere you’re looking for this fall.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Hear me out; there’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow your account, but that can’t be your only goal. 

When you connect with your people, you can easily convert your content into sales. Because people are on social media to connect, be social, feel validated, and bond with you. 

And when they feel connected, they’re much more likely to invest.

So, create content that helps your ideal clients and customers feel …

☑️ Seen and understood
☑️ Capable
☑️ Confident in YOU

And now that you’ve got the strategy, you need resources and tools to help you create content and build a brand. 

Check out The Social Squad Society; it gives you the support you need to build a profitable personal brand on social media with unmatched resources and trainings inside a monthly membership that never stops giving.

Looking for more social media tips and tricks? Follow me on Instagram and TikTok!

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hey there!

I'm Shannon! 

The unofficial poster girl for oat milk lattes, pinot grigio, and long walks down the aisles of Target.  

I’m also a wife, mama, and marketing junkie who turned my love of social media into a 6-figure business from straight-up scratch.