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How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Connect and collaborate” With Brie Shelly & Candice Georgiadis

Connect and collaborate. Similar to Linkedin, Instagram allows you to quickly find and connect with people in your industry. You can easily go through their feed to learn more about the message they are sharing and see if your philosophies align. For those who are more timid about cold calling other professionals, you can start […]


Connect and collaborate. Similar to Linkedin, Instagram allows you to quickly find and connect with people in your industry. You can easily go through their feed to learn more about the message they are sharing and see if your philosophies align. For those who are more timid about cold calling other professionals, you can start by commenting and liking the person’s posts, and then eventually make direct contact when you’re comfortable.


I had the pleasure to interview Brie Shelly. Brie is an avid traveler, wellness enthusiast, and positive social media advocate. She is determined to help others embrace self-love and discover the power of traveling. As a therapist and coach, she specializes in working with fitness and healthcare professionals and social media viewers and influencers as well as young adults and adults navigating life transitions, career development, and body image concerns. Brie also runs Adventures with Wellness, a wellness and travel oriented social media platform that encourages individuals to seek wellness opportunities and adventures both near and far.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up, I was always mesmerized by television and marketing campaigns, and my mom and I created new marketing tag lines for fun. During college, I learned that Osama bin Laden was killed via Twitter, and I thought to myself, “So this is my ‘how you learned JFK died’ moment… interesting”. This was also around the same time that the iPhone, other social media sites like Facebook, and Google were all booming, and I quickly became fascinated with how a new wave of media was infiltrating into our daily lives.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

During my years as a therapist and coach, I have yet to work with a client who is not impacted by social media. As a result, I have supported countless individuals in learning the ins and outs of the marketing industry, techniques and strategies that influencers and brands use to sell you, and processing how social media use and comparison is negatively impacting individuals’ overall well-being.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

While I work with a wide range of ages, I find it particularly entertaining when I work with young adults around social media because they do not know a world without social media. Not only are they constantly ahead of the curve with new features and very opinionated about “what’s lit”, today’s young adults are our first generation to be inundated with an entirely new level of marketing. I find our work around social media to be the most challenging and rewarding, especially as they learn how to build an identity outside of their social media feed.

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?

When I first started using Instagram regularly, I thought I could use endless hashtags and couldn’t understand why my posts kept being deleted. There is actually a limit to the number of hashtags that you can use and sometimes Instagram’s algorithm will prevent you from regularly using the same series of hashtags. I have since created a note on my phone with a running list of hashtags combinations that have proven to be successful and tweak them to fit the content.

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?

Instagram is my favorite and most effective social media platform because you can share your brand through videos, pictures, and short or long-winded messages. My favorite moment is when a message I post inspires an individual to plan a trip or reach out for support for the first time.

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.

1. Share your message

a. Every business has something (announcements, ideas, recommendations, etc.) to share, and Instagram allows you to efficiently do this.

b. If I want to quickly post a favorite quote, travel tip, or promote my services, I find a photo that matches the theme, type a few words, identify hashtags and boom — my message is out there.

2. Target your audience

a. Hashtags are your best friend on social media and allow you to “instantly” showcase your content to individuals who are interested in these topics. If you have a business page, you’re also able to pay to promote your content and can choose the age, location, keywords, interests, and where you want to direct the person to learn more about you, like your Instagram profile or website.

b. I have “paid to play” before and seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who come to my page. I recommend using the promotion feature if you have a major topic or announcement that you are making and want to increase the volume of people who see it.

3. Sell your brand

a. Branding is key for any business, and you can always tell when people have put thought and time into their brand versus not. On Instagram, your brand is displayed as you post content and in your bio at the top of your feed.

b. On my Instagram, I wanted to quickly share why I exist and what you’ll find in my bio: “Travel, wellness, and positive social media enthusiast. Therapist and Yogi. Wellness, travel, and social media coach.” Direct, simple, and to the point!

4. Cultivate a following

a. For any business to be successful, you need individuals who regularly support you and that plays out as followers on Instagram. The more people you have interested and coming to your page, the more likely they are to eventually walk into your store, restaurant, or contact you for your services.

b. For me, I have clients who found my Instagram, liked my message, and realized they could benefit from my services!

5. Gather fresh ideas

a. Our creative juices go through cycles, and I find it helpful in my own idea generation to see what others are doing. While I don’t like to do exactly what everyone else is doing, I’m able to take what I see and craft it into my own idea.

i. After my own engagement, I noticed a lot of influencers regularly discussing their wedding plans but didn’t see enough content that openly discussed the highs and lows or negative messages thrown at women during wedding planning. Therefore, in effort of further starting the conversation, I created a series of posts that are relationship, wedding, and positive body image oriented.

6. Connect and collaborate

a. Similar to Linkedin, Instagram allows you to quickly find and connect with people in your industry. You can easily go through their feed to learn more about the message they are sharing and see if your philosophies align. For those who are more timid about cold calling other professionals, you can start by commenting and liking the person’s posts, and then eventually make direct contact when you’re comfortable.

i. I did the slow connection game with a highly sought after colleague and now we get lunch monthly!

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 be a force behind two movements:

1. I genuinely believe that seeing the world can improve your overall mental health, shift your life perspective, and allow you to grow interpersonally from each experience. Therefore, I would love to find ways for people to understand how they can travel both near and far. I hope to start hosting webinars and workshops in 2019 called “What’s Your Next Adventure?” where people can learn how to save, plan, explore, and overcome any other barriers preventing them from traveling.

2. Social media is a powerful tool, and I want to help ensure that it is being used in a positive way. Since it took off, social media has been linked to increased cyberbullying, depression, comparison, and several additional concerns related to our mental health. My hope is to work with healthcare professional, fitness professionals, marketing professionals, and social media influencers to educate them on how to promote positive mental health and body-related content on social media platforms. Similar to the travel idea, I plan to roll out webinars and workshops in 2019 that spread these important messages.

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 🙂

Growing up, I watched Oprah with my mom and always called my big ideas “Aha moments”. While walking along the road that Oprah happens to own in Maui, I formed my business plan for Adventures with Wellness. Not only has she inspired me, I appreciate her endless work to improve and inspire other individuals’ lives around the world. Today, Michelle Obama is my current female crush thanks to her endless efforts to also inspire women to speak up and focus on health.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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