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Want to know how one homeschool mom gets top blog traffic from Instagram? Featuring pro-coaching member, Pat Fenner, from @breakthroughhomeschooling on Instagram. These interview episodes highlight pro-coaching members, sharing their personal triumphs and how they made Instagram work for them.
(Click below for show notes)
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After almost 25 years of home-educating her five children, Pat Fenner is making the most of her “retired homeschool mom” status (even though she’s back in the saddle with her last one). She encourages and inspires others as they continue the journey through the high school years at her blog BreakthroughHomeschooling, and helps moms find meaning and purpose in the “post-homeschooling” stage of life through the Empty Homeschool Nest Blueprint program and podcast. And Pat and I have known each other several years, she’s such a gracious friend.
Before she developed a strategy
R: Pat tell us a little bit about your Insta-life before you had a strategy.
P: I was really on Instagram to follow my granddaughter, and I shared bits and pieces of my life, but I realized my people were there. But I’d get a freebie here or there, but as I watched you rock this I thought well if Ruthie can do this I can.
But what was missing was strategy. I tried and dropped things without really a strategy. If I really want to reach my people, I need intentionality.
R: Throwing things out – I did that for a while too and while you do have to start somewhere, you realize you can’t just throw something up and people will come but that’s not how it works, is it?
P: Nothing is like that now because the internet today – if you just build it nobody’s gonna know about it. My struggle was trying to be authentic and realizing I had something to offer but I needed to actually TELL them about my product and ask people if they needed my product. Like nobody cares what I had for breakfast unless it’s part of my strategy.
The importance of transparency on Instagram
R:There has to be a balance and as I was talking with Melanie Redd, she learned it was ok to be transparent and share herself – you didn’t have a problem sharing yourself, you had the problem of sharing your actual message and products.
P: I come from the infomercial age where salesy approach is sleazy. Now we’re in the story branding age where people talk about themselves to make themselves relatable because we know people don’t buy products, they buy results. But if you have a business you have to share it but with a balance that makes you authentic and also builds comfort for our people.
The breakthrough that helped her get top blog traffic from Instagram
R: Along those lines, why don’t you describe the breakthrough and direction you took after you realized you needed to share your message and what did you start implementing?
P: My breakthrough was realizing from my Analytics, Instagram is one of my top 10 referrers back to my blog. I’m still a writer at heart so it’s all gonna lead back to my blog but I realized I needed to take this thing seriously. So I took a free video challenge because I knew I needed to get comfortable on video. Once I got over that hassle and became comfortable on video and on Instagram (and of course Facebook), I realized I needed to develop an Instagram strategy too.
R: There are all different pieces of the social media puzzle – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. How did you figure out Instagram was a top 10 referrer to your blog?
P: I had a link in my bio that consistently pointed it to my blog. I used a “pretty link” that was tracking that blog traffic.
The opt-in resource that’s driving top blog traffic from Instagram
R: So what kind of resource were you offering that was affecting that click over to your blog?
P: Homeschool mom’s resume toolkit – moms when they get to the stage of ending homeschool they’re wondering what am I going to do next? Because we homeschool moms pour everything into that and we’re not necessarily planning for life after homeschooling. So this kit for homeschool moms helps them translate to a resume for their next step in life. This helped me to pivot a bit too.
R: I think it’s important to figure out your target audience and you and I have both pivoted over the past years as we’ve matured. Oftentimes your audience is just a few years younger than you. And you cannot argue with the fact that people are clicking on that link in bio and I think it’s gold that you narrowed that down and found something to resonate with your people.
The strategy that’s helping her get top blog traffic from Instagram
R: What are some things that are really working for you here on Instagram?
P: I have to say that I’m so excited about doing lives and interviews. I’m not totally over the hump because there’s a lot to learn but I took your “go live” challenge and even though I didn’t know what I was doing (during COVID19), and I’m still learning, it’s really resonating and I’m learning to make it a tool to give value. Jumping in with conversations with parents was so much fun.
R: I think women our age have trouble going live because we’re not as tech savvy as our children but I think these things come with time and consistency.
P: Try from a different aspect. I tell my kids this all their lives in homeschooling when we came up against troubles so we’ve taken different routes – just like there are so many opportunities to just quit and not do lives. But I’ve gotta overcome that if for no other reason that I wanna make my kids proud. I’ve invested in being a parent, a mom, a homeschooler for so many years. I feel like God has put that on my heart so who am I to just quit on that.
R: And by the way, Pat is a fantastic writer! So we get on social media but second guess ourselves because we’re scared of being seen and heard but honestly if you are in that space you. Doing it scared is how you get over it – by doing the hard things. Pat referred to my GO LIVE! Jumpstart Kit which you can work through in 2-3 hours.
Where can people find you?
Author site: PatFenner.me
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