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CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
Does creating Instagram content that consistently tells your audience what you do feel impossible? In today’s episode, Deanna Seymour joins us to share why a static Instagram 9-grid might be the right fit for you! Listen in as she shares what a 9-grid is, what you should include in it, and how you can customize your 9-grid strategy to work for you!
The Business-First Creatives Podcast is brought to you by CRM and Dubsado expert Colie James. Join Colie each week as she discusses how to build a business that brings you joy and a paycheck! From business advice with fellow entrepreneurs to sharing automation tips and tricks, Colie and her guests are sharing industry trends and resources, along with a little bit of sarcasm.
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As the host of the podcast Big Fun Content, Deanna Seymour understands the power of creativity, fun, and lettin’ your freak flag fly when it comes to marketing your business. She’s your right hand ma’am when it comes to bold graphic design and lively content creation.
With a mix of humor, empathy, and real talk, Deanna helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin so you can actually have fun with your content and connect with your perfect-fit clients.
When she’s not recording a new podcast episode or working with clients, she’s probably making GIFs, hangin’ with her fam, or sneaking in some Real Housewives!
Today’s episode is brought to you by my Love Your Leads private audio training! Are you providing an experience for your leads that sets an expectation on when they’ll hear from you, provides them with tools that will help them easily say yes and book you, while also making them feel seen and heard? In my private audio training, you’ll learn how to love your leads and get more booked clients through an automated booking process.
Here are the highlights…
[:17] Love/Hate Relationships with Instagram
[3:19] Meet Deanna
[6:23] What is a Static 9-Grid?
[11:01] Defining Your Goal for Your 9-Grid
[13:20] What to Put In Your 9-Grid
[17:18] The Lifetime of Your 9-Grid
[21:55] Temporary Posts on Your Profile Grid
[24:11] Using Reels in Your 9-Grid
[29:22] Stats for Static 9-Grid
[31:09] How to Use Your 9-Grid
[34:00] The Design of a 9-Grid
[38:02] When You Don’t Want to Archive Old Posts
[43:54] Biggest Fuck Up
Mentioned in this Episode
Connect with Andréa
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello, hello, and welcome back to the Business First Creatives podcast. Today I am chatting with Deanna Seymour, the host of the Big Fun Content Podcast, and I am thrilled that we are gonna be talking about Instagram. You guys know how much I love-hate Instagram. So Deanna, good morning and welcome to my podcast.
Deanna: morning. Also, I feel exactly the same way. I’m like, should I be talking smack about something I actually help people with, like, I think I have a little mixed message going on here, but.
Colie: I mean, it’s a hard choice, but I’m one of those people who, I mean, I’m not anti Instagram. I just hate the algorithm. Let’s be honest. It isn’t that I hate making content. It isn’t that I hate posting it, it’s that I post it and I get really angry when less than 1% of people who have raised their hand and said, I want your content actually see my content.
So it drives me insane. And so I like, because like right now, technically I have haven’t been on Instagram in my stories, like me on video in months and people notice some people drop in my dms and they’re like, Cooley, are you okay? I haven’t seen you on Instagram in a while. I mean, not that my Instagram is not getting content cuz it’s definitely getting content from this podcast.
It’s getting content from like other kinds of graphics. But like in terms of seeing me and my face, In the stories I’ve been off for a few months cuz I’m just angry, like I want people to actually see my content.
Deanna: Yeah, I feel you a hundred percent. My business coach just had her second account shut down and it’s like, oh my gosh, what a warning to people. Cuz you know, like, you know that in the back of your head that it’s not yours, but it’s like, oh my gosh. So whatever she teaches about, psychedelics too, and microdosing and stuff.
So I guess they like get mad at her every once in a while. But it’s also like with all the other crazy stuff that’s on Instagram, like, Seriously this, this coach who, whatever. But that got shut down. And funny enough, she had a static nine grid. So I feel like the second time, like the first time it got shut down was before we did a static nine grid.
But with the static nine grid, it feels a little bit more like, well, whatever, Instagram, I still have all nine of those. I still have all my captions, like if she wants to rebuild, which I think she might be too mad to try again. Like she’s like two strengths, you’re out. But she’s loving life over on Substack so I feel like you just have to find like.
Where you fit in, where
Colie: A new place. I mean, cuz I will say, I think that people’s Instagram accounts getting shut down is like the best thing since sliced bread for email marketers because all the email marketers come out and they’re like, well no, but you own your email list and no one can take that away from you. And then I wanna say something like, yeah, that’s not really true cuz like if Flodesk decides that you are spamming people, they can just shut down your account with, you know, So guys, just in case I need to tell you this, your email list is yours, but you do have to periodically download it.
So if you have not done that recently, please go into your email marketing program and download your list immediately.
Deanna: Yeah. Like have a backup. Yes, exactly. So smart. I’ve thought of that too before cuz they just act like, I’m like, I don’t know. I still feel a little bit at the mercy of Convert Kit. Like, I don’t think it’s mine, but it is yours if you download it and then you have it, you have your little spreadsheet, you got your emails, you
Colie: Yeah, and then you can take it anywhere that you want. All right, Deanna, I feel like we like skipped over a part, so why don’t you tell my listening audience who you are and what you do, so that they get an idea before we jump into today’s
Deanna: Oh yeah. Sorry. I just get excited. I’m like a little chihuahua. I’m Deanna Seymour and I help people with the visual side of content. So I think I am naturally a storyteller and I’m chatty and whatever, so I still like writing for people and that sort of shows up as captions or storytelling emails for people or, Reels scripts, which is like really a fun thing that I do that I never talk about.
So I, I just did it. People, you heard it here. I just really like finding people’s content and then like helping them map out like a fun little script that they can just read and then I edit it four minutes. I actually really like doing that. So, but again, it’s all has to do with visuals. So whether it’s like me adding gifts to the emails and like images or social media posts, Or video, it has to do with like, you know, you said big fun content, but like upping the fun in your content and showing up in a really fun visual way that attracts people.
But also I’m like, you know about it, girl, you know about it. You got a fun brand going on.
Colie: I will say, guys, I mean, I have had gifts in my emails. You guys know how much I love them. I’ve been doing it for a lot longer than I’ve known about Deanna, but that is one of the ways that I got to know her was she has a mini course on adding gifts into your emails. And so I will definitely link that in the show notes because I mean, I think that that’s one of the ways that you can add a pop of personality to like anything, a sales page or emails.
And I love making gifts of myself because it’s one thing to like use David. Of, you know, shits creek. I, I love a good shits creek gift. You guys all know this, but like, every once in a while, I want people to see me, me and my personality. Oh my gosh, Deanna, you would be so proud. I wrote an email recently for the anniversary of this podcast, and it was a gift of me singing Happy Podcast anniversary to me
Colie: in the email.
And I was like, guys, you guys should be really thankful that I didn’t include the audio because I am tone deaf. But the gift was still fun. It was still
Deanna: Yeah. Yeah. I love that you said that because I think it’s fun too. Like you were saying, shits Creek one, like sometimes you can connect with people on like a, oh my gosh, you like that too. We should be friends. But then also when you sneak in with you, they’re like, oh my God, you, and also it kind of puts you like.
Now you’re a celebrity too. Like everybody talks about authority building, but I feel like having your own gifts makes you sort of celebrity status and it’s really easy to do, so it’s a little trick. I like it.
Colie: All right guys, so that was Deanna and i’s intro. Today we are gonna be talking about a static nine grid, and for those that don’t know what it is, let’s start with the very, very basics. Deanna, what is a static nine grid for Instagram?
Deanna: Okay, so a static nine grid is, It is just like nine little squares on your Instagram as your grid, right? So when someone clicks on your profile, they see those nine squares. Now there’s a few different schools of thought. You can archive everything else. So it’s just those nine. And also we’re saying nine cuz I feel like that’s what most people have.
Like gravitated towards the nine. I personally have a 1212 grid cuz I always joke that I’m extra like needed. I needed three extra but I think it’s like more rectangular, it’s more like my phone. And I wanted to fill up my space cuz I did archive everything. So I didn’t like feeling like people were like, where’s the rest of it?
You know, like it fills up that first, that first screen. Um, and I did have a lot to say cuz clearly you guys already know I like to talk. So it’s a set however many you want, usually nine. Static posts and then you just don’t post to your grid anymore. So you strategically pick what you wanna talk about and how you wanna show up in your grid.
And then it’s sort of like a landing page right there when people come to your page and they know exactly who you are and what you do. And you know, we can get into like some more details, but that is what it is, so that you can either focus on reels and stories. Or like I was saying, my coach is over on ck like some people just piece out altogether.
And I always tell my clients to be really like, clear about that on there. So people aren’t like following you and then like, Hey, where’d she go? Well, she ghosted me. So you’re just like, Hey, I’m over here, so maybe you don’t even get a follow. But if you’re just like a freelancer or a service provider, we’re not really that.
Like, we just want people to know where you are so they can go engage with you there. But I was surprised. A lot of people still follow me. I’m like, hmm. But I do reels, so that makes sense too. I am creating content. It’s just not on my grid.
Colie: Yeah, so I do feel like that’s maybe one of the. Misunderstood parts of having a static nine grid is Some people think, oh, that’s just for people who don’t actually post regular content to Instagram, and it’s like, no, no, no. They can still post regular content. It’s just not to their feed, because a lot of people don’t see the value in the feed, especially if you’re just doing reel after reel, after reel.
I mean, you know, you have an entire reels list that people can look at. But then the other part is I think it’s really valuable for those people who don’t want to hang out on Instagram, but that it’s kind of just like they’re. You know, it’s like their map, their Google map location, if you will. Like if you happen to come find me on Instagram, here’s some information about me.
But also if you wanna have a conversation, this is where you should go to find me. So that you’re just kind of giving people directions into where to go. But like you don’t want someone to be looking for you specifically on Instagram and just not find an account period. I think that’s weird when I go search for people and I’m like, Oh, you’re not on Instagram.
Maybe I’m searching the wrong name. And then of course, I waste my time like, well, did I spell Deanna correctly? Like, what’s going on
Deanna: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think it’s a great way to sort of plant, plant a little flag and be like, I exist. I’m here. Cuz people, I think, I don’t have any stats to back it up, but I do feel like people check Instagram and a lot of times I just think everyone thinks like me. Let me just say I check Instagram. I’m like, so obviously everyone must check Instagram just like me.
But yeah. And if you go there and it’s like mixed messages or it’s like, you know, their kids and I’m not saying you can’t put your kids on your ninth grade, but if it’s just like random stuff, then you’re like, Is this a business? Or you go and you see, oh, 22 weeks ago is the last time they posted.
You’re like, are they still doing? Maybe they’re done. Like, and if you don’t wanna hang out on Instagram, I’m totally for that. But let’s like get your stuff looking tight so you can go away and people will still be like, oh my gosh, who is this? What? Let me read more. Where is she? Okay, lemme go find her.
Okay. Awesome. it’s a nice way
Colie: I mean, so you used the word tight. You said, let’s get your Instagram tight. I heard the word cohesive because you’re like, don’t just be throwing up stuff and trashing and like, you know, not have it be cohesive. So, If someone was say, gonna have this nine, and I know that you do this as a service, I mean, as a service, you are willing to help people strategize about what goes in each of the nine grids.
Help them make the graphics, potentially write the captions. So guys, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, okay, this sounds really good, but I have no freaking idea what to put, I mean, Deanna’s your girl. But for those people who are like the DIYs, the people who wanna maybe think about it a little longer, Like, what’s the first step that you should do to getting a static nine grid?
Deanna: Well, what I do, I’m very simple, is I just open up a blank Google Doc and I create a table, however, like three by three, three by four, however many squares you’re gonna make, and just start typing in. What do I think I need to cover? So I’ve heard people talk about it as like a landing page or sort of like they want it to read like a landing page.
I am from a baby, baby from the eighties and I like to think of it as like a mixed tape or greatest hits. Right? Hello? So like each square, you know, when you make a mix tape, there’s either people listening that are like, what are you talking about? You old lady, you boomer,
Colie: what’s a mixed tape? I know what a mixtape is. I don’t need to age myself, but I have many mixed tapes.
Deanna: and you know, you like kind of put on a fast one. You put on a slow when you got like a flow going to it. We’re all like putting on our DJ hats when we made mix tapes. So I like to brainstorm what do we want? Like what is the purpose of your nine grid? So if you’re sticking around Instagram, like I was, my purpose was definitely to let them know.
I’m not gonna post on this grid anymore, but like check out my stories. Check me out on the reels tab. So visually on your grid, the top center picture is right below the reels tab. So I just wanna make sure, like I was a teacher and I know people don’t always just intuitively know what to do. So my designs, if people are gonna show up on the reels, have a little arrow, and that square is about saying, don’t worry, I’m still here and I’m gonna work on reels.
So, Don’t forget to click on this tab and go over there. That’s a really important one. If you wanna do reels, if you don’t wanna do reels, we don’t make that square, you know? The first one is always like, I feel like, makes sense to be a picture of you and introduce yourself and kind of let people know what’s going on.
So for some of my clients that has been like, I own a Pilate studio and I’m not gonna hang out here, but like, here’s my website, click the link in my bio and come to a class. Because if you’re running a Pilate studio, odds are you don’t need to. Like she was fine with her. Pilate studio is doing great and she was like, this is sucking the life ahead of me.
I just need people to like go to Instagram, see I’m there and like know what to do next. Just like you were saying. So the first one is just telling people like, what’s up? If you love LinkedIn but you want it to look good while you’re gone, you just say like, Hey, I am over on LinkedIn. I would love to connect with you, blah, blah, blah.
So, The other thing I’m gonna interrupt myself is what I do that I find really liberating about the nine grid is that you only have so many squares. So I just like cut through the noise. I’m like, here’s what we’re doing, here’s where I am, here’s what we can do. And I know we’re supposed to serve our audiences and like just give, give, give, give, give.
But. The idea is that you’re giving somewhere else, like I’m giving more on my reels and my stories. Some people might be giving over on CK or LinkedIn. So like in here, I just need you to tell people very clearly and quickly because people don’t, they’re not gonna read a whole bunch, like, what are you doing?
What do you want them to do? Because then if they’re into you, they’re gonna go do it and that’s what you need them to do. So I try to keep it pretty fluff free and just like, here’s me. Here’s my reels. I always suggest like I in the intakes, like I’m always like, do you have an opt-in? Like what’s your favorite opt-in?
Or if you have a few that you really like, could we make that a carousel post so people know like, oh wow, she has these cool things I love, I call ’em like a hidden door. Like I love a carousel post in a nine grid. Cuz you’re like, here’s more stuff behind here. I ask if people have a podcast, obviously you’re gonna wanna like promote your podcast.
Then you can do reels or audio like as audiogram reels. If you wanna like do each thing like I’m talking the queen of that. So like obviously, but on a static nine grid would be some like graphics to be like, here’s my thing, what else do we talk about? Oh yeah. If you’ve been featured different places, like let’s make a carousel to like show people how cool you are and like all the places you’ve been, if you haven’t been featured, but you’ve been on a lot of podcasts.
I love helping people brainstorm. Like where’s some like authority building podcasts you’ve been on and like let’s highlight that. Oh, I’m trying to think. It’s really different for everybody because everybody’s journey’s a little different and everybody’s where they’re going or what the point is of their, Grid is a little different.
I love having one for testimonials for sure. So for me, since I’m a visual person, like I create graphics and lead magnets, I sort of double dipped in that, where I would like have a photo of a lead magnet that I made, but also the quote from the client who’s like, oh my God, I love my thing, da da da. Then you swipe and you’re like, oh wow.
In a static nine grid, and that person’s talking about how awesome I am. So I try to like jam pack as much concise information as I can. It’s like, I’m just making this up now, so we’ll try it out. It’s like you’re on Shark Tank, right? And you only have this amount of time to like convince somebody to take the next step with you.
You’re like, here’s all this social proof. Here’s my cool podcast. Like here’s all this cool stuff I’m doing, and then they can take the next step that feels right for them. They don’t listen to podcasts. It’s not gonna be that one, you know.
Colie: I mean, all of that sounds amazing, and I’m thinking of like two schools of thoughts in my head. Number one, it’s like having a visual elevator pitch, like that’s what you said about Shark Tank. Like it’s quick, it’s concise, it doesn’t have fluff. You shouldn’t feel bad about selling because you wanna make sure that they understand immediately what it is that you do and what offers you have.
And then on the flip side, do you know what it was reminding me of? Like your website, like if you think about the menu bar on your website, you haven’t about me. You have a services page, you probably have a testimonials or a case studies page. You probably have a resources page, I mean, So if someone is stuck, it’s like, go to your website and basically get the best information that you can and do your first static nine grid.
Because I, I mean, another thing is, how long are static grids like valid until they get stale?
Colie: I mean, is it gonna be like bananas? You know, after four days they get brown and mushy and are only good for banana bread? Like, like realistically. You spend a lot of time, hopefully in making the static nine grid, but how often should you revisit what’s included in that static nine To like update it and make sure that it is as accurate as possible?
Deanna: Oof. That’s a great question. So mine has been up for nine months, but I will
Deanna: that I was super ready. I was like really clear like. Which is another reason why I archived a lot of stuff cuz I just, you know, that’s how you figure things out in business, right? You experiment and you’re like, now I’m doing this, now I’m doing this, but wait, now I’m doing this.
So all of that was in the past in my feed. So I archived everything that made sense for me to get rid of all the, like me figuring it out. Like I feel like we all talk about a growth mindset, but like doing your growth mindset and figuring out all your stuff in front of everyone on social can get. A little confusing after a
Colie: little dicey.
Deanna: Yeah. They’re like, okay, we, we see you figuring it out. So for me, I had done a lot of that and I feel really good about my Static nine grid. I also help people design their static nine grid so they can change the caption. You can always go back and edit a caption if the name of the offer changes or something like that.
So for the visuals, I try not to get so, so, so, particular about it because I think like, okay, well if they need to change this later, could they just edit it in the caption? So I wouldn’t put like a price on anything. I wouldn’t put anything too specific. If it’s like your lead magnet, you’re probably gonna wanna show what it looks like.
So hopefully you don’t change the name, but, and we all, if, if you’re like, oh God, I’ve done that a million times. Me too, me too. But I’m just saying, I narrowed it down. I had my stuff like pretty on lock, but I am working on a new one. Because little things have changed. Like I don’t call my offer a v i p day anymore.
Um, which I don’t even know if it says v i p day. That might have just been in the caption. I think I just said graphic design and like listed what I do, and I still do that. So it probably said v i p day in the caption. And it might still, but I feel like I checked that off my list. I was like, static nine grids up here.
I come reels and stories like, actually I should go look now that we’re talking. I’m like, Hmm, I should go check on that.
Colie: Well, I mean cuz we all are trying, I think most of us are trying to limit the amount of time that we’re spending on social media. And so if you think about the fact that Instagram has so many surfaces, you know, reels, stories, your feed, if you can limit how much you are spending on one of those surfaces, it gives you the motivation and the time to spend on the other surfaces.
And I mean, you know, like reels are great, especially if they get shared. If they get liked. If the algorithm is forever in your favor, it will get shared to, you know, more and more people. And so I do think that you do have to put the emphasis and the time on where you want to spend, but you also have to think about like your return on investment.
And I know a lot of people. Who were spending a lot of time on their feeds and they just weren’t seeing that much of a return on their investment versus, you know, they post a reel and like it gets a thousand views in like an hour and it’s like, Ooh, that’s great. Like your feed post might get, well, your feed post might not ever get a thousand views.
Let’s be honest. I mean, so I think that all of that’s good. And that was a really great strategic tip in terms of. If you sit down and you plan this well and you aren’t super specific in like, okay, book my dto v i p day today. If instead I say something like, set up your dsa, or if I just have something that’s like what I offer, I can always change the captions later.
I’m gonna remember that I don’t think I’m ever gonna be in a place where I will do a static nine. I will say though, Deanna, I finally created a new Instagram account just for the podcast. So. If I eventually start posting more of the podcast content there, maybe that would give me the flexibility to not have to constantly post to my main account Coley James, because I think that’s also where I get lost.
Like it’s not that I don’t. It’s not that I wanna get away from posting the feed, but I almost feel like I can’t because every week I have two different podcast episodes, a guest episode, and myself, and I wouldn’t wanna not post my guest information because that just seems really shitty to me. But I mean, that also means that I can’t really have a static nine Now what if you want? Okay. I know a few people. Who will actually like, make a really great reel and they let it be in their profile grid for like a day, and then they remove it from the profile grid so that it’ll be back to their, their static nine. So do you have any advice in terms of if you are going to have a static nine and you are going to be focusing more on reels, should you be adding them to your profile grid for, you know, any amount of time before you take it off?
Um, or not? What’s your
Deanna: Well, actually this is fun. I was working with Hello Audio for a little while on their reels and Lindsay Padilla is, A doctor, so let’s be honest. She like wants some data. She’s like an experimenter and she was like, I think I’m gonna try this. So I was like, uh, okay, well put leave three up at a time.
Because I’m like, don’t mess up your grid. So you put three across the top, which with my system of putting an arrow up, I feel like gets, people like to know if it’s right at the top, it points to the tab. But if you put three across the top, it’s like here’s my three latest reels. Those are up there. And then.
When I post my fourth one, it like bumps it down and so then I remove the first one. This is like hard to do without visuals, but you know what I’m saying, like you post 1, 2, 3, then you post four, so you have
Colie: And then you unpin that fourth one? Mm-hmm.
Deanna: and you don’t even have to pin ’em. You just share ’em to your grid, and then you unshare
Colie: Oh, that’s true because you won’t be posting other stuff that are Okay. I’m
Deanna: So, okay, but now you brought up pinned post. So, uh, there’s like so many layers to this. I could geek out forever, so you have to be like, Deanna, stop talking. The podcast is over when you’re ready. So pinned posts I think are cool in a static nine grid because if you have something that happens like a summit or I do a podcast series, sometimes in the summertime, but also at, at Christmas, I do an anti hustle holiday countdown.
So I have three that go across the top for that. That’s like, this is open these days, like sign up and that can go up like a little billboard and then you can unpin it and you can have one for like, you know, even if you open your membership every quarter, like membership’s open, unpin, it, membership’s not open.
So that’s like a little signage you can pop at the top too and keep your grid. There. So I think, I think it’s just nice, you, you kind of touched on this early too, like we’re always trying to cram so much into our bio of like, ugh, how can we say exactly what we do, who we are, and what we do and how we serve there.
Like we do so much and it’s so hard to cram it in that tiny space that you can just like breathe a little and your whole nine grid can become, like you were saying, like your website. Like, this is who I am, this is what I do, this is how I can help you. This is who I’ve helped before. And it’s like, ah, amazing.
Can you tell? I love it.
Colie: And I didn’t even think about this technically. Okay, so have you ever had anybody who did a static nine in reels? Because I just realized you can actually change the static image in front of a reel. So technically you could change your entire static nine, but all of the underlying reels could stay there and you could just change the images.
Has anybody ever done that?
Deanna: Hold on. Wait. Okay, wait, I think I lost you for a second. You can change the cover of your reel later. Is
Colie: can change the cover of your reels. So have you ever had anybody who kept the same nine reels but only changed the cover to like update the content? I mean, cuz then you could technically update the caption and update the cover, but the actual reel itself would stay. I mean, I don’t know why you would wanna do that, but now I’m a little fascinated by that.
Deanna: But you would wanna make sure the reel had something to do with what you’re
Colie: but if it was a general, like one was about
Colie: and like, what? Like that would be an a way to refresh your entire static nine. But leave the basics of this is who I am, this is something about my offers, this is, you know, where I’m located and these are my client testimonials. Because technically if it’s a really juicy testimonial, like unless you get like a whole bunch more really juicy testimonials, you might wanna just leave those alone.
And so I think I might find myself refreshing my static nine, but then including some of the same information every single time I refreshed it.
Deanna: Yeah, mine’s definitely, like I was saying, I’m working on a new one, but it’s very similar. I mean, there’s a lot of the design elements are the same, obviously, like my colors and my branding’s the same. But even so, I’m like, well, I like this little, you know, dinosaur guy I put on my grid. He’s staying like, he’s super cool.
He is got pink ooze on his head, you know? So I feel like, but I haven’t done it in nine months, so I’m not gonna like, annoy anybody by re by reposting some similar things. and
Colie: I mean, yeah, that is a long time. I don’t think I could sit for nine months. I’m,
Deanna: Well also I
Colie: don’t let grass grow like that.
Deanna: I post every day in my stories, so I’m like busy. I’m just like, I kind of like checked it off, like I said and forgot.
And the thing I love about stories is I feel like people are much more willing to like re-share. If you tag somebody in stories, usually they instantly, like, basically Instagram is like, add this to your story. Like it’s hard not to do it. Like they have to actively not share it to their stories. Does that make
Colie: there’s also urgency. Like think about it. If it’s a story like, cuz I know I feel bad sometimes people will like tag me in their stories and I can’t do it cuz I mean, I’m cooking dinner or I’m doing something right and then by the time I go back I’m like, well damn, it’s been more than 24 hours and now that story is gone and so I missed my opportunity to share it.
So I do feel like people do have that sense of urgency because stories don’t stay.
Deanna: Yes. So I think, yeah, for me, I’ve just sort of like, I. I mean, it is sort of wild that mine has been up for nine months. Like my ADHD is strong with me, so it’s like a little weird that I haven’t reun it already. but to be honest, this like is a testament to it working. Cause I’ve been really busy too.
I’m like really busy with client work, so I just don’t have time to like make a new nine grid. And also if I’m busy with client work, it means. Instagram is doing its job. So like I’m only on Instagram, I’m in, I’m on LinkedIn and I’m on TikTok. Cuz you know, everybody acts like, repurposing is like magic.
I’m like, it doesn’t do it still like I still have to do. So like, I still have to go there and do it. So it just, uh, like in my mind I’m like, oh, my reels
Colie: actually Deanna, you don’t,
Deanna: I, well, that’s
Colie: so let’s talk about that for just a second. I use metrical, well, I use metrical in in that respect. You can schedule it and you can just choose all the different platforms. And then very quickly, so like for example, what I am really working on this year is I love repurposing, don’t get me wrong, but like the way, first of all, the specific podcasts that I share on LinkedIn, I usually only share them if I know the guest is on LinkedIn as well.
Otherwise, there’s not really a purpose and I will be the first to admit, a lot of photographers are not on LinkedIn. Like we don’t get clients there, we don’t network there. So I mean, I’m definitely not on LinkedIn for like the photography side of my business, but. You have the ability to post it on every single platform the exact same way, or you can modify it per platform.
So if you wanted to have a slightly different caption for LinkedIn or U2 shorts or Pinterest, You can totally do that. I mean, I love metrical. Now the video itself is the same cuz the video content is, you know, it is what it is. It’s, you know, my guest said this amazing thing about a static nine grid. Let me come put it on all the platforms.
But your captions can be customized in like less than a minute to go out on all of the platforms, and then you are not visiting every single platform in order to do it. You’re just going into metrical to do it all at once.
Deanna: Okay. You just blew my mind. All right, I’m gonna look
Colie: I mean, Deanna, I’m sorry, that sounded like a metric, uh, commercial and they are definitely not sponsoring this podcast episode.
But I mean, I really do love it. I also love it because they give you a lot of the analytics and so like for you, One of the things that I was gonna ask you, and this is a perfect segue, is how are you looking at the data for your static nine? Cuz you said, you know, Lindsay Padilla, she wanted the data. I mean, I can do that in metrical, like looking at every post and seeing, you know, interactions saved, like blah, blah blah.
But are you doing that inside of Instagram? Like how are you determining whether or not your static nine grid is effective? And maybe which places or which of the nine are not doing their job? Like they’re not carrying the weight.
Deanna: I hear you. I hear you. Well. Let me just say that. Me and data, data, whatever, I’m like, it’s the guy from Goonies. I don’t care about data and I’m gonna tell you why. And I know you’re gonna be like, what a lots of people are like, what? This girl’s wild. Because I’m busy, like I have clients. I have, I wouldn’t say I’m like booked out, but I’m like pretty close to like I’m happy.
So in my mind it’s sort of for me, like diet culture. I don’t own a scale cuz I. I’m not like, I used to be entrenched in diet culture and you would get on the scale and be like, okay, I’m really good. It’s down. I’m doing great. I’m a great person. Or like, it’s up. I’m terrible. I was awful. I did terrible stuff and I deserve to be punished.
So for me, I. Data and analytics. I don’t even know how to say data. That’s how much I don’t care about data. It’s like I feel like I’ve had principals back when I was a teacher. I think I’m like getting triggered right now by like, cuz I was a teacher. I’m like, please don’t talk about data. Maybe that’s why I don’t like it anyways.
I find that sometimes I get too into it. I like, in my head and then I’m like, it’s not good. It’s not doing well. And so for me, I’m busy and so I’m like, it’s working. I click on it sometimes. And this is my thing. Usually the followers are always green. Like, I don’t know by how much percentage.
Could be one, 1%, 2%, but I’m like green, we’re going in the right direction. Slow and steady wins the race. And then sometimes I’ll log in and all three of them are green. But I’m doing reels, like I said. So I would say for me it’s like the purpose of the nine grid is, was really just to free up my time and to like, I like stories, like when I look at Instagram, I sort of go.
Left to right. I go through stories. I don’t really scroll up and down very much. I don’t even really watch that many reels. And I just like stories and I like to respond to stories and I like to swipe the little things that’s like a fire. And I like to answer people’s polls. I do. It’s just like
Colie: I knew that was coming.
Deanna: I like it.
I like to make my voice heard. Just kidding. And I found that like I am connecting more with people on Instagram, in, in the dms, in my stories. As response to what I do. And I also share my client work a lot, which I think has more of a pla like feels like a better place to share it in stories. So like for a photographer, I think it’d be fun to like focus the family you just did and like tag them and they’d probably re-share it and you make a highlight.
I also work with people when I do a static ninth grade, we get really strategic about what are your highlights and like, you know, the first four or five are probably like, Let’s not even count on people scrolling over. Let’s just like focus in on these and if we need to make a few extra we can, but like get super serious.
So for me as a graphic designer, I wanna keep showing people what I’m working on, but I also like shouting out my clients. Like it’s fun to say I made this cool lead magnet and also you should totally get it cuz. I just like when I make, every time I make a lead magnet, I’m like, oh my God, this is so good.
Like I feel like I have a behi behind the scenes. I’m like, everyone needs this, you know, calendar or this like planner. I’m like, oh my gosh. So, yeah, it’s fun to share my clients and it’s easy for them to share me in the stories.
Colie: I mean, speaking of lead magnet, so I recently redid one of my previous webinars and I recorded it at a, as a video training as a new lead magnet. And then I was like, but you know what? It would be really cool to make a private podcast version of it and like, because I. The way that I thought about it was if people are already listening to my podcast, they probably prefer to listen rather than watch.
So I like slightly redid it and put it on Hello Audio, and that’s the version that you get at like the beginning of some of my episodes. But I also love a good lead magnet. Like that’s why when you said if you do a static nine, like you can do a carousel post, I was like, I think I’m gonna do a pinned carousel post by tomorrow, even though I don’t have a static nine of like my lead magnets.
Because it always feels weird to like just share the lead magnets individually inside of the feed because my feed goes down. I mean, I’m probably posting. Like 10 to 15 things in my feet a week. And so I mean, you know, it goes down really quickly, but having it be a pin post is kind of interesting. Okay. I wanna get back to the design part because this is where I suck and I know that there are like two schools of thought.
Some people have the static nine or even the static 12, where it’s literally like a poster and it’s gotten cut and so, you know, everything like goes together and it, it’s like a puzzle piece. And then you’ve got the people who are, they’re creating each of their, each of their images separately, but together they just look cohesive.
So how do you find, or what’s your preference, first of all, do you like the one that gets cut up like a poster or do you like to have them individual?
Deanna: I love the one that gets cut up like a poster, but also like I’m me and I’m extra, and that’s really fun. But let me say why. This is my theory. This is only a theory. I think it’s sort of like an interrupter to people. I know that back in the day, I feel like a while ago, the people would do the grids that were like inter, you know, like sort of the puzzle piece thing.
That was like a thing a while ago. But I just think, and not trying to be like a commercial for myself, cuz you know you can do it too. But when I make these as a former art teacher of over a decade and like an artist my whole life, I treat it like a work of art. Like, that sounds cheesy to say, but like yeah, it’s like my canvas.
But I think that helps people. Like, you know, if they’re in their stories and then they click on my name and they get to my page, they’re like, whoa, what is this? Like, it’s like, what is this? And I think that’s step one to making them look, look at it. So I kind of feel like if it’s just looks like posts that still look really nice together and cohesive and on brand, it still just things you’re just going to a feed.
And so they might look through it, but they might not. But I think if you have something that’s like super over the top, and if you go to the ones I’ve made, I feel like. I always tell my clients, I’m just gonna go all in and then we’ll take stuff out. Like I’m just gonna do it as much as I wanna do it.
And then you can be like, girl,
Colie: Let me be extra and then I’ll tone it down.
Deanna: be super extra because I always am like, that’s why you hired me, like you hired me cuz I’m a little extra and you still like me. And you went ahead and we chatted and I’m doing it. So I go all in. And then sometimes we pull it back and then sometimes they’re like, Oh my gosh, yes.
This is wild. But I wanna show up like this. But I think it is like an interrupter to people who are on Instagram and then it makes them start reading. And I feel like if we’re concise and we kind of keep it moving and there’s some carousels. It’s that mixtape thing again, right? Like, you don’t want someone to be, you can’t put like three slow songs at the beginning of a mixed tape.
No one’s gonna keep listening. You gotta like, take ’em on that little journey and like speed it up and slow it down. And you gotta do the subliminal messages if it’s someone you have a crush on, you know, like, like you gotta work those in. So yeah, I feel like it’s just, I geek out about it, like, uh, obviously not the numbers part of it, but just trying to make it as interactive and fun and.
Like, no apologies. Like you were saying, you got nine squares. Like what do you want people to do? And I honestly think that people are ready for that. Like sometimes it’s hard, you go somewhere and you’re like, what are you, what do you do? I don’t know. You seem cool. Yeah, like you seem cool, but I just am not really sure what you could do for me.
So it’s like, I think it’s refreshing to go and see something that looks like nothing else and then you start reading and you’re like, oh my God, this is totally clear. I need this. Or they don’t, and then they can like go on their merry way and it’s fine.
Colie: No, I said this in a recent podcast episode. I’m pretty sure it was a solo episode, but right now, now that I’m talking to you, I’m actually not sure, but I said someone dropped into my dms recently and was like, oh, I had no idea you had a course on Dubsado for photographers. And I was just like, what? Like I have a podcast, I post on Instagram every single day.
I send out email newsletters and you didn’t know that I had a Dubsado course for photographers. And the way that I was, you know, getting that message out was, I was like, guys, if you guys think that I’m doing the most, if I am constantly posting and I still have people in my audience that don’t know what I do, I promise.
I promise you do, because I feel like I’m constantly talking about, you know, the different offers that I have, and so I do really think that having a static nine grid would like take the pressure off, I think. If I was to try it, I think I couldn’t archive all my old stuff. Like I just don’t have the time for that, and I wouldn’t wanna pay my virtual assistant how much she charges me per hour to go in there and archive them for me.
I mean, maybe I could have my 12 year old do it. I mean, you know that that’s a possibility, but I think I would be more likely to like do a static nine or 12 at the top and then just not post
Deanna: Well, here’s what I think. This is what I think for the people who don’t wanna do the archive. Like if you don’t wanna archive, I’ll old post, do three across that explains what’s below. Like, check out my archives or like click, you know, go dig deeper for more resources or like make it look cute. Make it that last row that works with your nine grids so that people know what to do and maybe.
Just skim it and take out anything that’s like, you’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I forgot. I did that experiment where I offered this type of session that no way do I wanna do that ever again.
Colie: I archive on a regular basis. I mean, literally this morning, so, When I do the weekly podcast and guys listening, if you didn’t know I did this, now you do. So like for example, Deanna, when this episode airs, I’m gonna have at least two to three videos of you or me talking about this episode. I’m gonna have two to three quote cards, but I do not leave all six of them in my grid, like.
Sometimes I leave the ones that are the best performing. Sometimes I leave the ones that I think are the most interesting, but like I’m gonna narrow it down to either one or two from this episode because I have so much stuff in my feed. I don’t want someone to like be scrolling and you know, like, Three rows are from this one guest on this one podcast episode.
So I’m really good about archiving. I mean, and technically with the reels, if I’m adding the videos as reels, they’re not even getting archived. They’re still in the reels
Deanna: Mm-hmm. Yeah,
Colie: just not on my profile grid anymore. But Right now I’ve got three pinned across. One is about my done for you setups, one is about my course, and I literally can’t remember what the third one is.
It needs to be client testimonials. I’m just putting this out there. I don’t know what it is right now, but it needs to be client testimonials. But I think what I’m missing is that. You know, I didn’t really think about it being a grid together. So if I designed something that was like one by three and then I chopped it up and I pinned it, I think that would be even more awesome.
I think that’s my experiment, Deanna. That’s what I’m gonna do. And we stop recording this
Deanna: Yeah. Well, that’s what I tell people to do too. If you’re like, okay, this sounds good, but I’m a little scared. Like dip your toe in the pool by just doing the three across the top that are pinned that just give you more space. Like I was saying from your bio, like what do you really want people to know?
What do you really want people to do? And you were talking about stuff getting pushed down. I think the other beautiful thing about a static nine grid is no matter when people land on your feed, they get what they need. Like back when I was posting all the time, it’s like, You know, a funny meme that has to do with online business and it still like made sense as content for me to post.
Nobody was like thrown off by it and it was still on brand, but there could have been, depending on when people found me, like they might not have known I had a podcast or known that. You know? I mean, I don’t know. Like it just,
Colie: Or you, I mean, there was that whole movement where they were like, you should appear in at least one of every nine so that when someone you know clicks to your profile grid, one of them should be a picture of you. And I mean, that shit is hard to track. But if it’s a static nine, I mean the pressure’s gone.
You are automatically in one of those nine.
Deanna: Yeah, and that’s great too for, um, like taking off for the summer or you know, if you’re gonna take December off or something. Like putting, or at least like maybe just planning your last night. It doesn’t have to be a static nine, but thinking ahead, like, okay, if I’m gonna take some time away from this, like let’s make sure we’re stacking some stuff that people, it would really help people understand who you are and what you do instead of like, Just stopping when you feel like it, you know?
Colie: Yes, I do know. Okay. Deanna, I got two more questions for you. Number one, and actually I guess they’re tied together. What’s the biggest mistake that you see people making when they try to do a static nine?
Deanna: Well again, this is gonna sound like a commercial, but I think there are definitely templates out there and I know templates save people time and money, and I know I. Budgets are a thing, like I’m not, like, if you invest in yourself, whatever, I’m not saying that budgets are a thing, so if you need a ca a template, get a template.
But if you’re just thinking, I’m just gonna get a template because who cares? I would really say, try to find, like, work with a designer. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not me. But really I do think, like we all judge books by their cover, like the design matters, like, and the copy matters too. But I think design is the first thing that’s gonna catch their eye and what’s gonna get them going in.
So I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t just, if a template’s all you can do, then I say, and you wanna do it, like go for it, do it. Make sure it’s your brand colors and stuff. But if you have the time to look a little, work a little harder or the resources to hire it out. I would say design people underestimate the power of design and they work so hard on their copy and then their design falls flat and I’m like, guess what?
I don’t think people are sticking around to read your co copy, Christine.
Colie: No ma’am. Photographers have the exact opposite. Like I feel like photographers spend thousands of dollars on their website, like the design and then the photos, and then when they get to the crm, it’s complete crap. Like I don’t understand that. But you know, everybody’s got their
Deanna: Well, and
Colie: Some people value the design.
Colie: Everything needs to be cohesive. Yes.
Deanna: So that’s
Colie: All right, Deanna, last question is something that I ask every single guest, and that is, what was the biggest fuck up in your business? What did you learn from it, and how did you grow?
Deanna: Oh my gosh, I have to pick just one. Honestly, for me it was spending a bunch of money on courses that I didn’t need in hindsight, from a place of fear and trying to hurry and like, I don’t know, I just thought, oh, if I buy these things then I’m gonna be just like these millionaires who are. Who are selling it to me and then I’m gonna, it’s gonna happen in so fast.
I mean, the reason I thought that is cuz that’s what usually the sales page say. Right? Like,
Deanna: that’s why I bought it, that’s why I bought into it. Um, so that was my biggest thing. I bought a course, my husband was in the hospital and the cart was closing and I bought a $2,000 course without, talking to him first, which is, Not our style.
And at the time I was a teacher and he’s a line cook, so like $2,000 was a
Colie: There’s a lot of money.
Deanna: our family. So that was like, like even now I’m like, ugh. Like I think I’ve worked through a lot of that shame and guilt, but I’m like, Ugh, what was that? But anyways, actually made a course about it, not
Colie: I know I was about to ask
Deanna: Okay. I’m like, I’m like, is this weird? What? It’s not weird. I’m selling. Well, I’m, I’m letting you steal my course actually. It’s called Steal Discourse. It’s a funny little cheeky. Audio course that I made that is $9. Or you have the option to push a button to steal it if you’ve already been burned and spent too much money on courses.
But it’s a really funny, fun course. Um, and I had a bunch of people come together on Zoom and talk about their experiences and sort of like, I called it the Online Business Shame Show. And we all just like released our shame of the things we’ve like fallen for and what we’ve spent money on that we’re like, what were we thinking?
But then there’s like some spreadsheets and some like interactive stuff for you to. Slow down and like think through if you need a course. Because as a former teacher, I love a course. I, I’m a lifelong, lifelong learner, but it can get a little dicey in these online business streets and you think you need every course.
So I always joke, I’m like, it’s, you don’t, I’m not saying don’t buy any courses. I’m saying don’t buy any courses you don’t need. And I think my course kind of helps you slow down so you can think about it. But yeah.
Colie: And one of the things that’s been, and we’re gonna have that linked in the show notes, and I just realized I meant to get that last time we chatted and I forgot. So I’m gonna go get it for myself today. But I will say one of the things that’s really helped me is I finally created like an air table.
Inventory of all the things that I’ve bought, and a couple of times I have found myself saying, oh, that course would be nice. Okay, no, I should go back to my inventory and see what else I have that’s already from the same subject and just go through it again. Or go through it for the first time. If I didn’t do it, the, you know, when I bought it, um, But like I feel like we’re all guilty of having what I call digital clutter.
Like you buy a bunch of stuff, it sits in your email, some of it you never look at. And then, you know, instead of really looking at the things that you’ve already invested your money on, you just go buy the next shiny thing. So definitely being strategic about what courses and people you choose to invest in is solid business advice.
Deanna: Yes, that, and that is a question on the, it’s like a magical spreadsheet with little formulas and stuff. It’s actually really fun. But that’s one of the questions, do I already have a course on this? Because I
Colie: Yes. See?
Deanna: than you think. Like I know I, and like you join a bundle, say yes to a bunch of ’em.
You probably have a course that already covers whatever you need. So I’m with you.
Colie: Deanna, this is so lovely. If the listening audience is intrigued by this idea of a static nine and they’re like, help me. Where do they find you? On the internet?
Deanna: They find me at deannaseymour.com or on Instagram at the Deanna Seymour. That’s the two places I’m hanging out.
Colie: And remember guys, her feet is gonna be a static nine, but you can catch her in those stories.
Deanna: Yes. Aesthetic 12. It might be a 15 by the time I’m done with this Next one y’all. So be ready. Who knows.
Colie: Ooh, I can’t wait to see it. I’ll write everyone. That’s it for this episode. See you next time.