Judith’s been suggesting to Nicola for some time that she share with the Own It! audience her top Instagram tips and today’s the day! Twelve top tips and two warnings.

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In the Show…

It’s been a disorientating week for Nicola, just back from Greece, not least because the place she had hoped to be staying didn’t have good enough broadband for her purposes. Nevertheless, she’s upbeat about the solution she’s negotiated with her ex, and happy with her sales of Be Everywhere Online and delighted to have been podcast by someone on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Judith’s also had a good business week also with lots of coaching/mentoring work and client sessions, a big PWYW month for April, and four exciting, interesting and juicy new clients working their way through her induction process including one complete stranger who can only have found her via Google. Her clients have enjoyed some very nice wins too in the areas of opportunity and clarity.

  • What’s Fuelled Their Fire?

Judith’s spent the week dealing with clients’ emotions: confusion, frustration, overwhelm, exhaustion, sadness, disappointment, anger, fear and flux. This makes her work even more interesting. She’s adopted a new saying for those riding the emotional rollercoaster whether by accident or design: “Let’s just do what’s in front of us” today/right now.

Nicola’s been inspired by a new book: From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin.

  • Client Challenge of the Week

Instagram – the challenges and the opportunities. Nicola shares her top twelve tips and two warnings (automation and shadow-banning). How to use your profile, where to post links and hashtags, how many people to follow and let follow you, using Grum.co so you can post to Instagram from your desktop, what and how to share and more.

12 Instagram Tips

  1. Choose great pics or take great pics (unusual angles work well)
  2. Mix it up, share business & personal content
  3. Add word content in the caption section – Grum.co helps when working on desktop but DON’T use it for pre-scheduling, Instagram hates pre-scheduling.
  4. Use 1 x hashtag in caption section & use location flag too
  5. Research best/obscure hashtags for your content at https://top-hashtags.com/instagram/
  6. Add up to 30 more hashtags in first comment (other people’s comments will hide this eventually)
  7. Create 4 – 5 sets of 25 x hashtags for your business
  8. Use them plus 5 that are very specific to picture content
  9. Create Memes at Canva.com (desktop & mobile app)
  10. Keep your following/follower count at ratio of 1:2 or even better 1:3
  11. Reply to all real looking comments, build relationships
  12. Get creative, create an Insty post to promote all your other stuff & keep some in Photos on your phone, to rotate regularly for your product, webinar, book etc.
  13. BONUS TIP 1:  Download the Repost app and share other peoples content too
  14. BONUS TIP 2: Automate all your other sharing but do Insty manually, get away from computer & sit in the sun to do it!
  15. BONUS TIP 3: Experiment with Insty Live and Insty Stories and save the best ones to your phone to use elsewhere


  1. Over-used / abused hashtags get “broken”, check your hashtag list regularly by searching it in Instagram and if you see just one page of images and a notice, stop using it.
  2. Don’t be tempted to use Automation Software OR any kind of pre-scheduling tool.  If you use Hootsuite you can get it to remind you to post manually.
  3. Check you’re account is not Shadowbanned (or see if any particular post is banned) at http://shadowban.azurewebsites.net/

Follow Nicola on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicolacairnx/  

Follow Phoebe on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phoebesoremekun/

  • Words of the Week

Judith chooses Invitation and Nicola picks Adjustment.

  • Project Updates – all about the Podcast

Nicola’s picked up on a rumour that the iTunes charts have not been updated for months which news disappoints Judith. And Libsyn stats don’t do anything to redress the balance this week either. So J&N appeal for shares and reviews which it is still believed DO help the podcast until evidence appears to suggest otherwise.

  • Who or What’s Impressed?

Judith is impressed by good people who turn up and cheerfully do their somewhat menial work whether it be the MoT, gardener, cleaner, handyman, carpet man, BT man etc. No fuss, no bother, just efficiency and cheerful graft. Job done!

Nicola has been catching up with her children and their friends since her return to Shoreham and is delighted to discover the huge variety of opportunities they are pursuing. Phoebe’s been making a film behind the scenes of her Auntie Heather’s latest music album in a proper studio and Nelson has fearlessly published his first rap tune. Here’s a link to his new rap channel on Soundcloud.

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Discover more…

Nicola Cairncross  NicolaCairncross.com

Judith Morgan  JudithMorgan.com