How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Tell a story in a different way” With Charlie Whyman and Candice Georgiadis
Tell a story in a different way — people learn and consume information in different ways, sometimes a photograph can clarify a message more than repeating the same words.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Charlie Whyman, a Business Development Strategist and Marketing Trainer with a passion for tech through relationship driven marketing. Charlie began her career as the Director and Founder of an olive oil production company in Italy before becoming the Global Head of Sales and Marketing for a 3D Laser Mapping Company in the UK. Charlie is now using her 7 years of experience and logistical way of thinking to specialise in LinkedIn training for SMEs, via workshops, coaching, training and digital support so businesses can excel in social selling.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My career has always been driven by my curiosity; I’ve worked across many industries and sectors over the years. After 8 years in technical sales, marketing and leadership roles I decided to take the jump into the world of self-employment.
I was burnt out and unhappy doing what I was doing and knew I wanted something more. A lot of friends kept asking me to teach them how to improve their sales and marketing in order to grow their business. They asked me to help them use LinkedIn — they had seen the results I was gaining from the platform and wanted to know how to do it for themselves.
After doing a bit of research I learned that more people wanted help with this and I was in a great position to be able to help them. In January 2018, I developed an online and offline learning experience and have been running this ever since.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I have been actively using social media for over 12 years in business to gain visibility, credibility and influence in over 10 different markets. I would say my “ninja skill” is more around effective communication — especially in technical industries which are more traditional and feature focussed rather than benefit focused.
I’ve used social media to win new clients, launch a business, gain speaking and media opportunities, attract investors, manage agents and distributors and develop communities. LinkedIn has always been my go-to platform as I’m a natural networker and I have a large network — Twitter is my second favourite because I’ve always used it at events.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Before July 2017 I’d never done an online course before and decided in November that I was going to put together my own online course to serve my international network and enable me to keep working with people around the world. In January, I launched my first online course and have been developing it since. In November this year, I was shortlisted to the top 3 of a ‘move on up’ contest and was invited to speak in front of over 700 people at a marketing conference in Orlando, Florida to try and win $25,000. I didn’t win but it was an incredible experience and I felt like I was winning all weekend.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was hosting a LinkedIn challenge webinar but I was running late and couldn’t make it home in time so had to host it from my in-law’s house. I had to run it in their guest room that was pink with a crushed velvet bed with diamonde trim — completely the opposite look and style for what I’m known for so a lot of people on my webinar found it funny. The internet connection was also unstable so I was unable to share my slides for the webinar which in fact ended up improving the experience of all involved. I now try to run most of my webinars without slides to create more interaction and remove any risk of a death by PowerPoint webinar.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
LinkedIn every time. When I quit my job as head of marketing I had no plan and no savings to fall back on. I needed to find some clients and fast. So I approached some people in my network I wanted to help and knew I could add value to and secured my first two retained clients in my first week. When you have a nurtured network it will work for you — it will support you, advise you, recommend you to others and much more. I used LinkedIn to gain clients without a website in my first 12 months of business — it’s that effective.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
- Invite Instagram users to be interviewed on a podcast — I’ve managed to gain a client some interviewees through Instagram
- Use stories to engage your network and keep them posted about what’s going on — I did a story about an upcoming webinar I did which reminded a few people it was happening who messaged me to tell me they forgot.
- Tell a story in a different way — people learn and consume information in different ways, sometimes a photograph can clarify a message more than repeating the same words
- Get to know people in your tribe a bit better. I’ve been getting to know a few peers of mine better by following their activities on Instagram
- Learn about new products, services and places — Instagram is a great way to discover new things. I travel a lot and I’ve used Instagram to find local places of interest and things I want to prioritise and see on short trips.
- Be inspired. There is always at least one great quote a day you can gain inspiration from and sometimes you can learn things you didn’t expect to that lift your day, pique your curiosity or do more.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would love to see more people embrace and use their inner curiosity to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. Be more curious to ask more questions and not settle for the status quo.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Where do I start?! Dave Brailsford, Clive Woodward, Alex Ferguson, Robin Sharma, Mel Robbins, Marie Foreleo to name a few!
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!