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How to Grow Your Business on Instagram with Sue B. Zimmerman

How to Grow Your Business on Instagram with Sue B. Zimmerman

Do you use Instagram? I do, I’d say it’s my favorite social media platform.

As content creators, marketers and business owners, we need to maximize the return we get from the time and effort we put into our content. One very effective way to do this (if you do it right) is by repurposing your content on Instagram. Yep – you don’t have to reinvent the content wheel to be able to create content for Instagram, and you don’t have to be a professional photographer or scantily clad influencer!

So, how can you leverage the power of Instagram to not only repurpose your content but see tangible business results too?

World leading Instagram expert, Sue B. Zimmerman, joined me on the podcast to chat about the true power of Instagram. I first met Sue B. when we both spoke at Youpreneur Summit in London in November 2019, she gave such a great talk on Instagram I knew I had to have her on the show! We dive into reasons why businesses and content creators should focus on Instagram and she shares some of her top tips for repurposing on the platform to help grow your followers and get more conversions.

Sue B. Zimmerman (otherwise known as @theinstagramexpert) is an insightful, energetic, and in-demand online marketing educator, influencer speaker, and a no-BS business coach. 

Whether she’s taking the stage at an industry conference, like Social Media Marketing World, or working one-on-one with her clients, Sue is driven to help business owners leverage the power of Instagram to meet (and exceed) their business goals.

As a lifelong entrepreneur, she has over 30 years of business experience. And, with her extensive knowledge and implementation of social media, it is Sue B.’s mission to teach, mentor, and empower others.

When it comes to marketing on Instagram and using it to drive real business, Sue is the expert. So, if you’re ready to make a name for yourself on Instagram and get more conversions, this is the episode for you.

You can listen to the podcast below, or keep reading…

Exploring the four neighborhoods of Instagram

As content creators, we have a lot on our plate. Why add to that by constantly pressuring yourself to create new content without getting the most from the content you’ve already created?

Repurposing content allows us to work smarter, not harder. And, the process of repurposing content is very creative and fun on Instagram because you’ve got four neighborhoods (the feed, Stories, IGTV, and Live) to amplify, promote and broadcast the content that you’ve spent a lot of time creating.

Sue B. likes to say that Instagram is a village and inside that village are four neighborhoods. Each one is different, and some people prefer to hang out in their favorite neighborhood for the majority of the time that they’re on Instagram. Some people tune into live broadcasts while others could easily spend hours watching long-form videos on IGTV.

It makes sense then, to tailor your content according to each of the four neighborhoods. However, you need to make sure that you’re always consistent. On the podcast Sue B. talked about the importance of consistency and making sure that everything you post on Instagram reflects the promise that you’ve made in your bio.

The promise you make in your bio is like the cover of a magazine and your feed is the pages inside of that magazine. If there is a disconnect from the content that you're sharing in your feed to the promise that you made in your bio, you're going to lose trust. In turn, you may lose followers and you certainly won’t gain many new followers or paying customers!

So, always be consistent with your messaging on each of the four neighborhoods of Instagram in your copy, visuals and video content. Doing this will help you gain more followers and get more conversions on Instagram!

Sue B.’s top tips for repurposing on Instagram

With over 500 million Instagram Stories curated daily, it’s difficult to make yours one to remember. According to Hootsuite, one-third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses. And, 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. Stats like this prove that Instagram Stories can be hugely beneficial for business growth and yet, so many people get it all wrong!

Sue B. talked about some of her top tips for repurposing content for Instagram Stories. One of which is to create shorter videos (such as teasers) from your podcast and/or video content. If you have a YouTube account and you want more subscribers, more thumbs up and more views, you should take a short clip from the main video and share it – consistently.

Sue B. and her team drop a new YouTube video every Monday. From that video, they create a short trailer that she shares on her main Instagram feed the same day. The purpose of the trailer is to tease the release of her latest YouTube video and to generate more engagement on YouTube.

Sue B. also uses Stories to remind people that her latest YouTube video is out and to alert her audience that she is going live. Her live broadcasts usually last from 30 to 45 minutes and during her live videos, she reveals strategies, interviews special guests and shares a new lesson at the end of the video.

If you have a guest on your video, make sure that you ask them to share it with their audience. This is an easy way to get more eyeballs on your video content. After all, it’s our job as content creators to tell people what we want them to do, we can’t depend on them to figure it out on their own.

Another great tip that Sue B. shared was to make the most out of your bloopers and to celebrate other people’s achievements - “the more you shine the light on others, the more the light shines on you.”

At the end of each YouTube video, Sue B. asks viewers to leave a comment and to include their Instagram handle so that they can follow each other. She also takes screenshots of her favorite comments and saves them, many of which become great testimonials for her and her services.

How to use hashtags within Stories

You can use up to 11 hashtags in your Stories. Instead of going super niche with your hashtags, like you should when you post in the main feed, you need to choose broader hashtags. This will help your story get picked up in a story reel.

Many people will follow hashtag Stories, so you want to take full advantage of this by using broad hashtags in your Stories.

How to Grow Your Business on Instagram with Sue B. Zimmerman

However, when it comes to posting on the main feed, it’s important to use very niche hashtags that are relevant to your business. A lot of people on Instagram will ‘crash tag’ popular hashtags, even if they are completely irrelevant to the post being shared. So, it’s advised to stay away from popular hashtags, or you will never get seen by the right people.

Top tips for IGTV 

Sue B. does not share her YouTube content on IGTV because she wants people on YouTube. So, her IGTV strategy is different than her strategies for the other Instagram neighborhoods. She takes on a more personal and intimate strategy for IGTV that helps her followers to feel more connected with her and vice versa.

One of Sue B.’s top tips for IGTV is to always have your videos transcribed with subtitles.


Well, 80% of people don’t listen to IGTV videos because they’re in a public place at the time. This is why your videos need to have subtitles so that people can watch and read along. If your video doesn’t have subtitles and someone is trying to watch it in a public place, they’re more likely to skip past your video.

If you’re just starting on Instagram and you want to focus on growing an audience, Sue suggests that you focus on market research - research hashtags, research your industry and think about how you can stand out from everyone else.

Connect with Sue

If you want to find out more about Sue and her incredible work, you can follow her on Instagram @theinstagramexpert and drop a comment on any of her posts. Let her know what your biggest takeaway from the episode was and feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

You can also find out more about how Sue B. can help your business establish and grow an engaged Instagram following that converts by heading over to her website.

If you’re new to Instagram and want to learn how to start using it strategically for business growth, you can check out Sue B.’s course, Ready Set Gram, that was specifically designed for Instagram™ newbies and for those who need to get back to the basics.


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  1. Hello, Glad to read your article. You covered all the interesting topics related to Instagram which are helpful in making Instagram Marketing Strategies. I am waiting for your suggestion regarding Instagram For Beginner’s marketing strategies.

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