When Deanna Seymour tried out the static nine-grid format for her Instagram account, she never expected it to completely revolutionize her business. Not only did it save her time, but it also helped her stand out from the crowd and gain clarity in her brand messaging. But what other unexpected opportunities did the grid open up for Deanna?
In this episode, you will learn how to:
- Enhance brand clarity with the strategic use of a static nine-grid format on Instagram.
- Establish a timeless Instagram presence by focusing on evergreen content.
- Free up valuable time for other crucial tasks by leveraging the advantages of a static grid.
- Communicate your brand’s message effectively with a well-curated Instagram grid.
- Forge authentic relationships with your audience through transparent marketing techniques.
My special guest is Deanna Seymour
As a Graphic Designer and Content Marketing Strategist, and host of the podcast, Eff That: Breaking the Rules of Online Business, Deanna Seymour knows the power of creativity, fun, and lettin’ your freak flag fly when it comes to growing your business. Whether she’s hosting an online coworking sesh or helping a client get over their fear of being on camera, Deanna uses humor and empathy to build a community that helps people feel seen, heard, and ultimately more comfortable in their own skin so they can have more fun getting in front of their perfect-fit clients. Her mastery of Instagram’s static nine-grid format has empowered countless entrepreneurs to find brand clarity and create a cohesive and enticing online presence.
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- 00:01:26 – The Static Nine Grid
- 00:05:28 – Pressure from Social Media Platforms
- 00:07:38 – The Benefits of the Static Nine Grid
- 00:11:16 – Using the Nine Grid on Other Platforms
- 00:13:20 – The Opening Idea
- 00:14:18 – Prioritizing and Pitching
- 00:16:08 – Firming Up the Message
- 00:18:14 – The Mixtape Idea
- 00:22:10 – Archiving Old Posts
- 00:25:39 – Considering New Ideas
- 00:25:51 – Series Wrap-Up
If your Instagram game needs a boost AND you’re ready to say goodbye to the Instagram hustle, it’s time to consider a static 9-grid strategy. Not only is it visually stunning, but it can also increase engagement and drive traffic to your brand since you’re no longer posting regularly to the Instagram feed, but to an area like Stories or Reels where you may shine more. Our blog will guide you through designing a cohesive and memorable layout, along with best practices for maintaining consistent Instagram content that tells your brand’s story. Plus, we’ll answer your frequently asked questions so that you can nail this marketing tactic like a pro. Don’t miss out on the power of a 9-grid Instagram strategy!
The Power of a 9-Grid Instagram Strategy
You can’t deny the power of a well-executed 9-grid Instagram strategy. With a visually stunning profile embodying your brand’s essence, you’ll have no trouble attracting followers, boosting engagement, and driving your business to new heights, especially if you’re someone who shines on more off-the-cuff material like stories.
Grids Are Not New, But Static Grids Are
Your 9-grid layout is an opportunity to showcase the unique personality of your brand through a visual storytelling approach. Puzzle grid templates are nothing new, but the big detractor in the past was as soon as you created a new feed post, the puzzle fell apart. The fixed nature of the static 9-grid means you’re no longer posting to your main feed, so the aesthetic look stays in place, and you’re no longer a slave to feed posting algorithms.
With a mix of post types such as carousels, videos, and graphics in your Instagram photo grid, you can create a dynamic and engaging profile that draws in your audience and acts as a long-form content piece. The big picture idea here: your Instagram profile now acts like a guided mini website.
Escaping the Social Media Hustle
Implementing a static 9-grid Instagram strategy can also help you escape the constant hustle of social media. This also allows you to better connect with your audience by serving up content that aligns with their interests and values–when it’s good for you, rather than the corporate Facebook or Instagram thinking of the moment.
A few caveats:
- Don’t use the static grid as a way to stop engaging completely! You’re going to lose your audience that way.
- You’ve got a beautiful guided feed, but there’s other Instagram content you can use to direct potential clients to that feed on your Instagram page.
- Instagram reels or stories can be added anytime without landing on your feed, and you can use them for more timely content as well.
Designing Your 9-Grid Instagram Layout
Want to attract followers and showcase your brand’s personality on Instagram? Designing a killer 9-grid layout is the way to go for a fantastic first impression. You’ll want to know the overall size of the 9-grid Instagram post (3240×3240). Choose a graphic template that blends with your brand visuals. Consistency is key when it comes to colors, fonts, and graphics. Incorporating negative space and balancing images will also help create a harmonious layout. Read on for more ideas!
Understanding the Puzzle Grid Layout
The Puzzle Grid Layout is an innovative Instagram strategy that has revolutionized how brands can showcase their products and services. By dividing your feed into a grid design, you can create a visually appealing and unified look that captures viewers’ attention. Instead of using consistent branding elements such as filters or fonts to tie your grid together as you did in the past, you’ll create one overall graphic with nine key areas that later get divided into posts. Don’t forget to mix it up with carousel posts and video content to keep things dynamic and engaging–the first post of the carousel or the cover of the video clip will fall into the grid slot nicely.
Unleashing the Potential of Visual Storytelling
The visuals of your nine (or twelve like Deanna, why limit yourself?!) posts lead right into the written storytelling. Like all pieces of content, you want your posts to hook in the viewer with stunning visuals, lead them through the copy, and sink them into your CTA with a killer close.
The nine posts will cover various aspects of your business, but storytelling about you, what you stand for, and what your brand delivers are key throughout.
Building a Cohesive and Memorable Brand Aesthetic
Your brand’s color palette, filters, fonts, and graphics should be consistent throughout your 9-grid layout–showing a foundation upon which your brand is built. However, that doesn’t mean your content needs to be dull or repetitive. Mixing up your content types (videos, reels, carousels) while still maintaining a consistent aesthetic can make your feed more engaging and visually appealing.
Moreover, it is essential to consider the order in which you post your content on the grid to ensure an overall harmonious layout. By maintaining consistency and creativity simultaneously, you can use the posts that are part of a bigger picture to build up your brand’s visuals.
Steps to Create a Stunning Static 9-Grid Design
The first question isn’t “how to post 9 grid pictures on Instagram?” No, the first thing you want to do is map out what you want to say and what you need to cover in your nine posts! We suggest you include the following:
- An introduction post. Who are you? Who do you serve? You can draw these from your Brandscaping work.
- Why are you different than the next designer/writer/coach up the internet block? What will you always deliver on? Draw this from your core value work and personality.
- The hill you’ll die on. The thing that pisses you off. The flag you’ll plant.
- Intro your framework–and touch on how this is the culmination of everything already mentioned if you want! Make a soft pitch here
- Social proof
- Do you have a strong content arm off Instagram, like a podcast or a video channel? Talk about it here!
- Now’s a great time to include more social proof in a different way.
- Revisit the symptoms they’re experiencing right now NOT using the solution you offer.
- Ask them to join your email list with an enticing offer, where you can use their inbox to communicate more.
After you map out what you want to say, tie a visual element to that copy and start collaging them onto your grid. Once the visual is complete, you’ll want to split images into the nine posts so you can upload them to Instagram. You can either post them manually or use a scheduler app.
If you don’t know how to do this well–hire a graphic designer for this. It’s not any ol’ Instagram post that will die on the feed in a few short days. This is your brand.
9-Grid Instagram Strategy Best Practices
When it comes to creating a 9-grid Instagram strategy, there are several best practices to keep in mind. To start, introduce your brand story and showcase the solutions you provide for your ideal clients. Then, guide your audience on a journey to get to know, like, and trust you through engaging posts that showcase your unique personality and style. Don’t forget to include clear calls-to-action that encourage viewers to take action and engage with your brand. By following these steps, you’ll create a cohesive and memorable 9-grid layout that attracts and retains followers, drives traffic to your brand, and takes your online presence to the next level!
Tools to Elevate Your 9-Grid Instagram Strategy
If you want to level up your 9-grid Instagram game, don’t sleep on the additional tools available to you. Instagram Stories and Reels provide extra flexibility to diversify the type of content you’re serving up to your followers. With these features, you can mix it up with behind-the-scenes glimpses, shareable memes, and more. So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you and your audience!
Canva – A User-Friendly Design Platform
If you want to take your Instagram game from zero to hero, Canva is your new BFF. It’s not as pricy as Photoshop and for Instagram usage, offers all the same benefits. This tool is a total game-changer for anyone who wants to elevate their Insta content without spending hours on design. With Canva’s user-friendly interface, you can create stunning graphics that look like they were made by a pro designer. From customizing Canva templates to adding your brand’s colors and fonts, Canva has everything you need to level up your Insta game. Plus, their library of stock photos and illustrations is so lit, it’ll make your posts stand out from the crowd. So, if you’re tired of scrolling through your Insta feed and feeling a wee bit less-than, it’s time to make Canva your secret weapon.
Note: this will all be easier on your desktop rather than your phone. This might be an adjustment but well worth it to elevate your IG presence!
Planning and Scheduling Made Easy
Planning and scheduling your Instagram posts in advance can be a game-changer for your brand, and apps like the Preview App, Planoly, Later, or Metricool make this process a breeze. Some of these even have a grid maker option to aid your design!
You can use these apps to post your static 9-grid layout sequentially, but more so, I’d recommend using them to ensure you have consistent stories or reels going out since you’re no longer engaging the feed post algorithm.
Using Your Static 9-Grid Instagram Strategy to Showcase Your Brand
If you’re looking to give your brand’s online presence a boost, it’s time to start planning and utilizing a killer 9-grid Instagram strategy. By crafting a visually stunning grid of images and videos that perfectly represent your brand’s personality and values, you can draw in potential customers like a moth to a flame. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some captivating captions and strategic hashtags to really connect with your audience and make them feel like a part of your brand family. And don’t just set it and forget it – monitoring engagement metrics is key to making data-driven tweaks and optimizations to keep your Insta game strong.
Leveraging Your Grid for Product Launches and Campaigns
Leveraging your Instagram grid can take your brand to new heights during product launches and campaigns. You’ll want to post a new row, or three posts, at the same time, one after the next, to maintain your puzzle look on the grid. Timing is crucial, so make sure to plan each post in advance to maximize its impact. You may want to set apart this new, temporary grid in slightly different visual way than your regular static grid–but even if you don’t, the new three posts can walk your audience through your next big promotion in a storytelling manner like the rest of your grid.
Whether you’re debuting a new product or running a promotional campaign, the sky’s the limit when it comes to showcasing your brand’s unique story through your 9-grid layout.
Frequently Asked Questions about Static 9-Grid Instagram Strategies
What is the 9 Grid Instagram strategy and how does it work?
The 9 Grid Instagram strategy is a method of organizing your first nine Instagram posts into a mini-website or sales funnel–with the benefit of no longer being a slave to the Instagram “feed me” algorithm. It involves using a grid of nine photos to create a larger image or theme when viewed as a whole. This strategy works by engaging followers with a unique and creative approach, increasing engagement and attracting new followers to your page through Stories or non-feed Reels. By carefully planning and curating your posts, you can create an eye-catching and memorable brand identity on Instagram.
What is the Instagram 9-grid post size?
Let’s talk about size – Instagram’s regular post size is 1080px, square. But when it comes to a 9×9 Instagram grid layout, we’re talking 3240×3240! That’s a whole lotta pixels! To create this dreamy aesthetic, you’ll want to curate a branded, collaged image and then split it up into nine individual posts, posting them in order. If you have the artistic talent of a drunk toddler, don’t worry – tools like Canva and Affinity Photo (a much more affordable photo editing app) have got you covered with built-in sizing help. So go ahead, take that grid to the next level and watch those followers roll in!
To wrap it up, a carefully crafted 9-grid Instagram strategy can take your brand to new heights and facilitate a stronger connection with your followers. By creating a visually cohesive and engaging grid, you can focus on quality content rather than a constant stream of posts. It’s a journey that allows you to showcase your brand’s unique story and messaging, which often gets lost in the fast-paced world of Instagram feeds. While it may not be for everyone, it’s definitely an option for many sophisticated businesses who desire an Instagram presence.
Don’t forget to share your progress with us on social media!
More on DEANNA SEYMOUR:
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn
00:00:06 - Britney Gardner
This is a show about content marketing for established sophisticated online businesses. Unlike other shows about marketing, we focus on sustainable, measurable content creation. How to authentically automate your marketing to build up your know, like and trust factor with a nurtured, engaged audience between launches and get back to actually living your life instead of working to live.
00:00:36 - Deanna Seymour
00:00:36 - Britney Gardner
Hello friends. How are you all doing? I am interested to see the response from this episode because this one's a little bit different. I know. We're in the shiny happy tactics series. This is actually our last episode of that series. I know, Sad Panda. We can all just kind of take a breath and say I'm no longer going to be poking holes at everybody so much. But I was really enjoying this entire flow of just saying you don't have to do business like everyone else. You don't have to do marketing like everyone else. Yes, there are some rules. I suggest highly knowing what they are before you try and break them. But I think today's episode is going to be kind of a perfect close and a perfect example of knowing what to move and how to test as you're moving. So with that we're going to be talking specifically about Instagram today. I'm having Deanna Seymour on to talk about that and we're talking about how feed posts don't have to be the only way you gain business on Instagram. We're going to be talking about the static nine grid or as Deanna does herself, twelve grid. And we're going to talk about how she kind of came to do this and what it has done for her business and where the creativity she has felt since then has kind of come out of it. As a graphic designer and content marketing strategist and the host of the podcast F that breaking the rules of online business, Deanna Seymour knows the power of creativity, fun, and letting your freak flag fly when it comes to growing your business. Whether she's hosting an online coworking sesh or helping a client get over their fear of being on camera, Deanna uses humor and empathy to build a community that helps people feel seen, heard, and ultimately more comfortable in their own skin so they can have more fun getting in front of their perfect fit clients. With that, I'm going to hop in. It's a really great conversation. Enjoy. Hey Deanna, I am so excited for our chat.
00:02:27 - Deanna Seymour
Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited too.
00:02:30 - Britney Gardner
Yeah. Against hustle, against things we don't want to do. Against doing something because some social media guru and or person who doesn't actually do their own social media anymore anyway, said you have to do it a certain way, right? Yeah, that's how we're going to frame this. And with that I'm going to let you kind of take it away here.
00:02:50 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, this is a static nine grid or twelve grid or fixed grid or whatever different names people are calling it, it's like the set it and forget it of Instagram grids.
00:03:02 - Britney Gardner
I am going to start by saying the first time I heard this, I was like, no, how dare you. And I'm going to give the caveat here because I came to Instagram initially as an actual photographer, visuals were my love language. I created photographs. One of my core values is just like beauty, but not like glamour beauty, just like making things look pretty. I have a high value of aesthetic beauty. I often get very distracted by pretty clouds while I'm driving. It's totally safe. We're fine. But this is something I really enjoy in life. I enjoy things that look pretty. And I am absolutely a packaging sucker. So when I say that I was against it from the outset, it was kind of like almost a nail in Instagram's coffin for me because one of the things I liked about Instagram, which Instagram themselves have been moving away from, of course, is I like things that look good. I like the grid, I like balancing it. And all of that kind of stuff was one of the reasons that drew me to Instagram in the first place. And again, I already said it, instagram has been moving away from that aesthetic mode for a while. But I kind of felt like when I saw people starting to do this, I was like, let's kind of go haven faster. Now what am I going to do? So with that set up, I would love to hear your take on it. I think I know what it is. But when I first started looking into this, I just wanted to understand why.
00:04:38 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, well, okay, so for me, I was leaning more into reels and doing graphics and also am like you were saying, I don't have a team. Like, I'm a solopreneur. I got work to do for my clients. I got stuff to do. And sometimes your content can just keep getting pushed down to the bottom of your list or it's like hanging over your head and you're just like, oh, my gosh, this is, like in the way. What am I going to do? And so when I first saw it, I was like, Freedom. I can put this up and take a break. And I was like, Maybe it won't be for forever. But I like the idea of not feeling the pressure to constantly churn out stuff. Meanwhile, I feel like everyone was like, oh, reels. We got to do reels to get in front of people. But now they're also changing that, which is also why you should never, I feel like, base your plan on what they want you to do, like you were saying at the beginning of this. Because I feel like even since I got hype about the static nine grid, now they're like, okay, I feel like they got pressure from the Kardashians or something and they're like, okay, we want pictures. Again, like pictures matter, graphics matter. So now I'm like, oh gosh, is nobody going to want the static nine grid? So again, if you like it, you like it and you should lean into it. And if it's not your thing, like I have friends who hate reels, don't do them and have posted this entire time. Even though Instagram was like, do reels, don't do posts, they were like, no, I don't want to do reels. I like posts. And they've just been posting this whole time because that's their thing. But for me, I was like, okay, this feels like a lot less stress. Also, me being a graphic designer, I was putting a lot of perfectionism into my post because I was like, this is what I do, so I don't want to put out sloppy stuff. And then people are like, well, I'm not going to hire her to do my stuff. So I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. So I was like, I can do one grid, and whom I jets for a while. But what I didn't realize was that creating my nine grid, which mine is a twelve grid, and I always joke that it's just because I'm extra, but I couldn't get it down to nine. But I also like, twelve fits. You and I are the same. I think with the aesthetics I'm like, twelve fits the frame of my phone a little better too. So I got super clear, a lot more clear on my messaging and what was important to me in my business when I had to figure out what I wanted to put in just twelve squares. Because before that, I was having to come up with ideas all the time. And honestly, it was like muddling my message a little bit. Because even though people thought it was funny, if I posted a Real Housewife gift with talking smack about online business, it didn't really tell anybody what I was there for, like how I could help them, what I was going to make for them, what I could do. So creating the nine grid for me was almost like a baby website where I was like, oh, now people can land on here and know that I do graphic design and they can swipe through some examples and some testimonials and it feels really clear to me what I do now. So that's the thing that was like the hidden gem that I was like, oh, I got clarity. Okay, this is cool.
00:07:36 - Britney Gardner
All right, so there's a lot to unpack there. I'm going to circle back to a couple of things. We'll get to the messaging kind of solidifying, if you want to say it in that way, in a bit. But one of the things that you touched on is Instagram keeps changing their mind. And I introduced this whole shiny happy tactics series because of that particular problem, not Instagram themselves, but big tech does not have our best interests at heart. They are only interested in what keeps people on the platform longer. And that's inherently diametrically opposed to what we, as small or solo or micro businesses want. We want people to see our, in this case, Instagram content and then go to our website and engage further. Right? So the reason I introduced this whole tactic series is because what somebody says may or may not have anything to do with your business. And when it comes to our social media programs, I think we can all agree they don't have our best interests at heart. But the same kind of applies for anyone teaching anything, right? I can teach people an evergreen content strategy, and it might not be a good fit for their business. It doesn't matter that I think it's the best thing in the world, right? Your individual business has its own needs. You as a person and living your life have your own needs. I think you did such a good job of touching on that. You were saying, right? Like, as a graphic designer, I'm a perfectionist. I'm spending a lot of time making sure that my content looks good and resonates. And I was still even so, falling into some of those algorithm fodder traps, if you will. So that was the first thing I wanted to unpack. And the reason I started seeing nine grids and didn't run for the hills, if you want to say. And the reason I'm still kind of considering doing it at some point, I haven't quite gotten over that hump myself, but is that it allows you to separate from what you think you should be doing to what, you know works. Because that's it. That's what we should be doing, right? We should be hanging out in the land of what works rather than chasing some new idea.
00:09:50 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, if it's okay. I have clients who are on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn is their jam, but they still feel pressure. Like, oh, I should be on Instagram, or people feel like they should be everywhere. And again, that's like the pressure of the companies making us feel like we should. And also feel like the whole time I've been in business, there's so many people saying, you don't have to be on every platform, but the people who are saying that are literally on every platform and posting every day on every platform. So I was always like, but you are. Wait, what? So I think it's great also for people who don't want to do Instagram but still want to have a presence there so that if someone finds them, they can because people are on LinkedIn and Instagram, they might be scrolling Instagram and come across you and then find out that you're also like in your nine grade. It could say, like, hey, I really love hanging out on LinkedIn. And then they're like, oh, me too. Now we can be LinkedIn friends. I think it's a good way to just sort of put something there so that people know where you want to connect with them further, which, like you said, is like the opposite of what Instagram wants us. This is the rebel in me. I'm like, that's what we should be doing. But yeah, it gives people permission to do what they want, I think.
00:10:59 - Britney Gardner
And they also to your point, right, being on every platform is exhausting. And yet you're a podcaster. I'm a podcaster, right. And we often will connect with guests in both directions who this person might have a really heavy Twitter presence and I don't. My Twitter feed is basically a couple of podcast quotes here and there, like when I remember. So I don't have a good presence there. And if something like the Nine Grid existed for Twitter, I would be all about it because I don't want to be that person who hasn't posted since 2019.
00:11:33 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, and also, like I was saying too, it's super clear because the people that I've helped, like, clients I've helped, kind of have that look like what you're saying you have on Twitter. And it just makes people be like, wait, are they still in business? Like, what is happening? They just get a little confused. And I feel like we all work so hard to build up consistency on whatever platform and trust and all that. And then when they go to sort of like a ghost town, there's some dust and cobwebs, they're like, wait, what? Is she still doing this? So just putting up something to be like, I am just not here, come find me, is nice, I think.
00:12:08 - Britney Gardner
No, it's awesome. The people I've seen doing in Nine Grid really well, and the first person I saw that actually made me take notice is actually a colleague of mine. Her name is Becca Rich, and she was in the Mastermind that I was in. And she's no longer in there, but we still follow each other, right? And I saw her doing it, and then from her I saw where she learned about it. And then I started within a month, I saw four or five people I respect doing this. And I was like, okay, maybe I should pay attention. And that kind of led me to thinking, okay, if I were to do this, how would I do it? Right? Because right now, my entire Instagram side of my content strategy is predicated on me extrapolating some of the content from each week's podcast episode into one or two, whether it's a feed post or a carousel or a reel or whatever, onto Instagram. So how would I change that? What would that actually affect? And then I started thinking, okay, well, right now I'm using already created content, which is my entire evergreen strategy, obviously, right? I'm already creating it and I'm just moving it into a carousel format. So if I didn't have to do that, what could I do with that time instead? And that right there was like the opening of the idea because I don't feel, I guess weighed down. I don't feel weighed down by creating content for Instagram. I still enjoy it, but if I didn't spend the amount of time I spend each week doing that for me or from the clients that I serve, what could I do with that time instead? And I think that's like something that you touched on earlier, right? You were getting more into reels, but then you were doing feed posts and reels and they were both taking a while and you had the opportunity to say, I'm going to spend more time over here instead of over there.
00:14:05 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, exactly. And honestly too, I want to be on more podcasts. But being thoughtful about asking people to be on their podcast takes a lot of time. Like, I'm not just randomly emailing people, so I'm like, I want to spend more time. Your question of what would you do for me? I wanted to spend more time researching podcasts, listening to podcasts, and reaching out to hosts that I thought would be a good fit for me. And I was like, I just think I'll be in front of new people. That was like the path I wanted to go. But again, if you're just by yourself and you have no one else, like, not that much help or no other help, there's only so many hours in the day and hopefully you have business work to do too. So it's like, okay, I can't do everything and prioritizing. Definitely. The static grid opened up time for me to pitch to podcast and to do video content. And now I love video content. I didn't know I really liked that, but now I also do that for clients. So I'm like, wow, that did actually open up a lot of space to check out some new avenues for me.
00:15:00 - Britney Gardner
I love that. Okay, so the final thing I wanted to unpack that you so wonderfully touched on was just having your message really firm up in your own mind and then obviously as a consequence in the outward display of all the graphics and the content that you were creating for Instagram. And I'd love to hear your take on how that process felt to you at the time.
00:15:24 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, well, it's funny because also I want to make myself a new one. So I'm like having to itch to go back and update what I have because now that I've worked with clients on theirs, we started adding carousel posts and little secret doors or like a video could be here. You could put a reel in your grid and have it have a cover and then that's a whole video. And I'm like, whoa, now it feels like one of those little advent calendars. Like, you have this grid that has all these different sort of portals and it was just a really good way for me to also think, like, what do people need to know to work with me? Well, they need to know what I do, which honestly, sometimes I think we're so caught up in making content, we forget to talk about what we actually do for people. So that was sort of a light bulb moment for me. When I was creating it. I was like, okay, let me definitely tell people what I do, but also kind of brag about myself, which is another thing I was sort of shying away from. I didn't post that many testimonials as my normal content plan. I just kind of shied away from that. But when I only had a certain number, I was like, yeah, I should definitely have a carousel post of this. Or I've been on some cool podcasts. Like, I should tell the people. It's just stuff that I didn't feel like was part of my normal content plan. And so now I feel like it's almost like a resume, but not in a weird way. I still think it's engaging and it's fun, and I think it's still fun for them to read. It's not just like straight up selling and bragging, but it does give people a clear sense of what I do. And my process was really just like opening a Google Doc, starting a table, and being like, what do I offer? I feel like I always start by introducing myself or my clients in the top left, and then from there we're like, okay, what's your lead magnet? We want to get people on email lists, obviously, because we own those. So what's your lead magnet? What are your main offers? What are the main things you believe in? Or what's your system? Obviously, you have your cool evergreen system. What makes you different? Like all the things you kind of figure out when you're doing a website, but then you get sort of wrapped up in just churning out content that you just start trying to be funny or trying to be sassy, and then you start to just say stuff and you're like, wait, how does this relate to what am I doing? I'm just making stuff to make stuff. So I think just a Google Doc with a table and your greatest hits. I've also kind of compared it to, like, a mixed tape when you have a crush on someone and you're like, okay, we're going to do like a slow song here, but then we're going to do a fun song. Maybe you sell little in this one, but then you give all your free stuff away. Remind people you have a blog. If you have a blog, just tell people where to go for more and all the things you have to offer, whether it's paid or free.
00:18:09 - Britney Gardner
I love that. I like two things in particular that you said. One is that you were like, oh, yeah, I haven't been showing testimonials. I haven't been displaying some of my podcast appearances and this gave you a really easy opportunity to give that kind of social proof that clout that you one know what you're doing and you don't just show up on Instagram for funsies, right. But also people have worked with you and they were happy and this is why, right? It gives you a really good opportunity for that. But then I know we talked the last time we spoke about the mixtape idea and I really loved that. It resonated so well with me that I went back to my website and actually created some podcast playlists for different types of people that I work with. And I'm at like 200 something podcast episodes, right? So it can be overwhelming to be presented with that. Like, where do I go? And for any of our listeners and obviously, Deanna, if you're looking for podcasts and you're researching as well, that's something I've faced a ton. When I'm researching places that I'd like to have a conversation with, I go to their list of podcast episodes and you scroll like the first ten and you're like, is this one for me? I don't know. And I feel like having these really clear cut squares, if you will, from Instagram. Like, I'm going to share this particular thing here. I'm going to share this particular thing there. Gives you a really good way to make sure you're not forgetting the people that you serve. Like, you're showing them how to connect with you in this manner if they're a podcast listener or in this manner, if they're more of a reader, they can look at your blog or in this manner, oh, that program could work for me. And I had not previously thought about it that way. Right? Yeah.
00:19:56 - Deanna Seymour
Well, I have a membership that only opens sometimes and it's almost like I was forgetting to talk about it unless I was getting ready to open it or opened it. And so now there's a square on my grid that's like, hey, and if you want, you can join the waitlist. Like, you can know when I'm opening the doors again, which grows my email list and also shows me that people are interested in this thing. And I feel like when you're also starting out in business, you're experimenting with different things and you're kind of tossing different things out. So I think even leaving it up for a few months, see how many people are interested and maybe that can also help you get I know you're like a data person, so I'm like, I don't know, I guess that can be data, right? Maybe I am too.
00:20:36 - Britney Gardner
00:20:38 - Deanna Seymour
But yeah, like giving things a chance too to get in front of people's eyes because everything moves so fast, I think, too. It just made me feel like, okay, slow it down. Here it is. Let me cool my jets.
00:20:50 - Britney Gardner
Well, yeah, evergreen Content is one of my passionate things, right? Because I don't think we should be creating new content all the time. And ultimately I had to look at my own biases against this. I like creating visual things, but does everybody? Right? And what you've done is essentially created an evergreen content system for Instagram that allows you the freedom to show up with new stuff when you want and you can completely replace your twelve grid with a new one whenever you want. You have that opportunity. Which brings me, this is like the one pre planned question I had for you. How much did it hurt to archive all your other posts?
00:21:29 - Deanna Seymour
Great question. Well, okay, well, first of all, I had my own Instagram from back when I first got on Instagram. Like my niece and nephew, I was still art teacher, whatever. That kind of became my business Instagram. And then I started a second Instagram for my podcast. So when I was already getting overwhelmed this is way before the static nine grad, I was like, why do I have two Instagrams? This is way too much. And they were both about business and it was like so I turned the other one to private, which means basically I never go on. And again, I think it's like my pregnancy announcement. My kids like three now, so that kind of went away. My point is I didn't have huge archive because it was only about three years old and it did take some time. I mean, it would have been a lot more to archive the other one is what I'm trying to say. So I feel you if you've had Instagram for like ten years and you're like what the heck? But also I just did it while I watched TV one night, you just go through and hit the button. So the action task of doing it wasn't that hard. And for me personally it wasn't that bad because I didn't have that many. But I did see my whole evolution, which could also be confusing to a viewer. And I'm constantly evolving. Even I didn't have to go that far before I was like, oh, here's stuff I don't offer anymore. Or like here's stuff my podcast changed names and it's like that's right there. So if someone does scroll back, I sort of like the idea of archiving the post. If you have really great posts that you really feel strongly about keeping. I mean, I'm a proponent of everybody doing whatever they want, so I say keep them. But for me it was a great way to just clear the clutter and be like, here's what I'm doing right now and how you can work with me, if that makes sense.
00:23:14 - Britney Gardner
Well, and they have seen people who don't actually archive everything in the past. They put like three blank white posts up that basically just say new content ends here, or something like that. I understand why they do that. No judgment. Like do what you need to do, right?
00:23:31 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah. And like I said, mine wasn't that old and mine was very I feel like I kind of went all into my business about a year and a half ago, so that was like hot and heavy. Experimenting. New offer, new offer. I'm going to do this, I'm going to do gifts, I'm going to do this. There was very quickly a lot of things changing. So for me personally, I was like, okay, get all that out of there. But I can understand. I would recommend I feel like people have done the solid bars, which is totally fine also. But if you're about to make one, I would say something like, check out our archives. Or I think it's kind of nice to tell people, this is our archives. And maybe even just scroll through it for yourself and kind of be like, let's take that one out. Make that even, like, your best of. Because I understand we all spend a lot of time if you've hired someone, you spend a lot of money to create all this content. You don't just want to throw it out, archive it and not make use of it. So maybe at least comb through it and just make it like a best of, I think because some people do have really good content. I was not one of I mean it was funny content, it was good content, but it was not I don't think what would have been below mine would have been helping anyone. It would have been confusing people is what Mine would have been doing. So kind of check in on yourself on that.
00:24:44 - Britney Gardner
I like that. And yes, I have definitely done what you said, where I've gone, scrolling back for various reasons and I'm like, I'm just going to go ahead and archive that post right now. That's no longer relevant. Right. So we have that opportunity anytime, whether we do a static nine or twelve grid or have you this has been great. Deanna, like awesome. Seriously, do you have any closing thoughts? And also, even if you don't have closing thoughts, can you tell people where they might contact you if they do want help creating one of these epic nine grids?
00:25:13 - Deanna Seymour
Yeah, they can find me on Instagram at the Deannaseymore. That's my favorite place to hang out and my website's, Deannaseymore.com. But yeah, this was so fun. I love it. I could talk for hours and hours about the static nine grid.
00:25:26 - Britney Gardner
Oh, I think we could each probably go for quite some time here. So yeah, we'll do everyone a favor and give them the highlights with just what we have.
00:25:35 - Deanna Seymour
00:25:37 - Britney Gardner
All right, Deanna, once again, thank you so, so much. I very much appreciate this. We're going to see, we're going to see if I decide to embrace this idea or not. My curiosity is still peaked and things change all the time. We'll see what happens with. That. As I said at the beginning, shiny happy tactics is over. For now at least. I would love to hear feedback, not just about this episode, but about the entire series. Did you enjoy it? Is there anything you wish I had covered that I did not cover? Is there anything else I can do to make this better for you guys next time? Or is there a new series you'd like me to kind of embrace and bring into the know like and trust world? Let me know. You can always email me. As always, we love to hear your feedback, and you know where to find me. If you found value from this episode, there are two things you can do to thank me. The first is share it with a friend. If you enjoyed this episode, you learned something from it. Odds are you know somebody who needs to hear this message. I do truly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and if you help that friend with something that they need to do, we're going to have less crappy marketers out there, which means less scams, and we get to help more people in those ways that we uniquely are meant to help them. The second thing you can do is leave a rating on whichever podcast app you are listening to the show on right now. Doing that helps me reach more people, getting again this same great information out there, and we all make a better, happier, effective and ethical world as a result. Thanks so much. See you next week.
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Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!