• I maybe listen to the audio of 1% to 5% of Insta stories, so if you're speaking to camera, there is almost no chance that I'm listening. Now, I caveat that by saying I love you all, but when you go through your morning skincare routines and you're talking through how you're putting on moisturizer or what you're doing with your makeup, I'm not listening to that because obviously, it's not interesting to me. I don't need to learn how to do a cat eye better. I'm already fucking great at it. In general, I personally find myself never listening to the audio on Instagram. Do you?

    Tim: Never.

    James: Tim doesn't either. Does the language matter? Do the captions matter? Absolutely. I think that you need to be telling a story without audio because I just have no faith that anyone is listening to the audio. A lot of times, you're at work. You're in a meeting. You're in a cab. You're in the subway. You're in the line for coffee. Maybe if your headphone's in but you're probably listening to music and you don't want to hear someone talking or the beeping or the wind or this.
    Tell the story without using your voice unless you're doing a walk through or tutorial or something that was very much like people are like, "Okay, I'm going to listen to this". That's different, obviously. Even still, as you're talking, I would think about how you are using captions to tell the story as well because there's just absolutely fucking no way a 100% of people are going to listen to it.

    If you're just talking to camera, I have to assume 75% minimum of people aren't going to listen to it so very important to use captions and use text creatively to tell a story. Also, go back to what we're just talking about with the end of the year stories. Insta stories have become a enormous part of Instagram, bigger in a lot of ways than the feed, and there is still not a lot of thought put behind these things. You need to spend the time to make sure that what you're doing is interesting.

    Look, there's slice-of-life stuff that is totally interesting and doesn't need to be super editorial. I follow a lot of influencers that are very casual and just talking to camera. I'll give a few examples. Grace Atwood, Helena from Brooklyn Blonde; Sai, Scout the City, three influencers that almost never are uploading professional photos, almost never building stories ahead of time. They're very off-the-cuff, and I think they do a great job. That said, they also are usually showing something that I think their audience would find interesting.

    I think that Helena and Sai do a lot of their kids because people are very interested in their children, so there's a lot of that content that's just not really thought out. It's just like, "Here my kids doing something cute", or 'Here, I'm trying to get a jacket on, and they're throwing a tantrum". I think that that totally works for them. Grace Atwood as well, she does a little more that's maybe thought out beforehand, but I don't find myself skipping the stories that often because it does feel a little more intentional and less like "I'm bored, so I'm going to post a story". On the flip side, I've been talking a lot about my friend Aaron. He's been doing these stories that are very pre-- What do I want to say? He's doing these stories that are essentially short films. Tim will play it here, but he's shooting video, not posting it, and then going back in Final Cut Pro and creating these little short films, and then overlaying photos really quickly at the end. I think they're fantastic. I think they're great for people that have the technical, creative skills to do things like that. Again, that story what Aaron is doing would never make sense on Helena or Sai's accounts because that's just not who they are.

    I go back to a point again we talk about a lot is that I think Helen, Sai and Grace Atwood all know who they are, and they've very comfortable with who they are. They're really authentic, and they're not trying to be someone else. It just comes off as interesting, and you're like, "This is this person, so I'm interested in it". Christina does exactly what I'm saying- from [unintelligible 00:21:19] -does exactly what I'm saying you shouldn't do. She's just like, "I'm walking to the gym. I'm eating Cheetos", all those things. We've talked about it before, but it works because it's her. You see young influencers sometimes they're trying to emulate other people, and it just comes off as inauthentic, and it comes off as boring for me.

    I think the first step in all of this, and it's 2019, it's a new year, is really figuring out who you are. Write it down. Write down what your beliefs are. Write down what your values are. Write down what you care about and what you don't. Write down the things that you don't talk about or you do. Write down the brands that you care about and the brands you wouldn't work with. Try and have some guiding principles in your life.

    I think again, if we go back to question one about what's coming on in 2019, it's just going to get more competitive, and you have to carve out your own niche, and you have to be able to do something interesting. It's so competitive now that there is definitely someone out there doing what you're doing better than you're doing it. You have to be yourself and really lean into that this year. I think that's going to be very important.
    Episode #130
    - Influencer Marketing in 2019, Instagram Story Content, Boosting