Routine Talks to Tyler J. McCall
I had the pleasure of chatting with my good friend Tyler of follower to fan society. Tyler is a power-house when it's comes to social media. You have questions for him and he always has answers. Read to learn more about his journey, social media and his new home.
To kick things off would you mind introducing yourself and your business to all of us?
Hey there, my name is Tyler! I am an Instagram and social media marketer, strategist, and coach for creative entrepreneurs. I teach creatives how to use social media with intention to grow their community online, grow their list, and grow their business.
So I know that you and I certainly aren’t afraid to try new things. Would you mind sharing a summary of all the things you have tried along your creative journey and where you see your business moving in the future?
Oh my lord...there are so many. I have had so many businesses and side hustles along the way. I’ve been a wedding and event planner, I manufactured and sold a room and linen spray, I had a grocery delivery business, I ran a home decor blog, I was an amateur recipe writer, I pretended I was a graphic and web designer for a little bit, and I started and ran a non-profit organization.
So, just a few different endeavors. In this “lifetime” of my business I’ve focused on social media, starting out as a content creator and social media manager before fully transitioning to a strategist and educator at the beginning of 2017. I see the education and teaching side of my business continuing to grow. That’s what I love doing the most and it’s where I’m putting all of my effort and energy.
You have become the go-to guy for Instagram Stories and how to use it. Tell us when you realized Instagram Stories was a great tool for your business?
Well thank you! I’m glad someone is paying attention. So, I actually HATED Instagram Stories when they first came out. Mainly because I was trying to be a Snapchatter. But, within the first month I realized they were something pretty special - mainly because soooo many people started using them. And it wasn’t like a “jumping on the bandwagon” kind of thing. People were genuinely interested in what was happening in each other’s lives and they loved creating Instagram Stories.
From there, I started having conversations with my followers and I knew I was onto something. I could get dozens of direct messages from my followers with just a few minutes of effort on Instagram Stories. That meant real conversations with real people that I could turn into something more.
What are three quick tips you could give us for Instagram Stories that people should be doing right now for their business?
Keep It Focused - try to stick to one topic or storyline during your story for a 24 hour period.
Pay Attention To Your Time - people tune out really quickly - keep your Instagram Story short and sweet (10-12 photos and videos at the most).
Use a Call to Action - you’ve gotta keep the conversations moving, so get your followers to DM you or check out your latest Instagram
So I have “known” you through Instagram (we finally got to meet in person yay!) for quite some time now. I have always admired your ability to genuinely connect with other creatives. What’s your secret? Are you just really good with remembering names?
HA! I actually feel TERRIBLE at names - I’m always worried that I’m going to forget someone’s name or say the wrong name when I meet them or write something to them. For me, it’s really just about paying attention and remembering that there are real people behind those screens. It’s easy for us to forget that when we’re in the grind and the hustle for more followers, more customers, more bookings, and more growth in our business. But, at the end of the day, there are real people running those Instagram accounts. Real people with real hopes, wishes, dreams, desires, fears, and hang-ups. I just remember that and remember that I’m having conversations with those people - not an Instagram account.
I know that you are big on focusing just as much if not more attention to your captions than your photos on Instagram. Mind sharing more about this with us?
YES! It think this is part of my life work now - my calling, you could say. I think of the photos we’re using on Instagram as the hook. Your main goal through your photography is to stop the scroll. You want your followers - or some rando who found you in a hashtag - to quit what they’re doing and give your post all of their attention.
But, what do you want them to do with that attention? Just like your photo? That’s boring. That won’t do much of anything for your business. Do you want them to follow you? Okay, that’s cool; but, again, what is that going to do for your brand?
"I know I want my posts on Instagram to start a dialogue. I want them to open up the opportunity for conversations and community - remember, we’re dealing with real people here."
That’s what really well written captions can do for your on Instagram. Once you stop the scroll with your photos or the well-designed quote graphic you’ve posted, you can get them talking through your caption. Your captions on Instagram should always do something for your followers or your business. They can provide value, tell stories, share information, build brand recognition, take the reader behind the scenes, give them a peek inside your business, give them an actionable piece of advice - whatever they do, they have to have a purpose and you can’t half-ass it.
Okay, enough about Instagram. From someone who seems to be on top of all the social media trends. What do you think is the next Instagram or does nothing out there even compare at this point?
I don’t think Instagram is going anywhere anytime soon. I think the changes and updates we’ve seen to the app over the past 12 months - Instagram Stories, Instagram Albums, Instagram Live, more ads, even the updated algorithm - are proof that Instagram is working as hard as they can to add features and functionality to the app so it stays relevant.
I think the biggest changes we’ll see on Instagram (and Facebook, in particular) over the rest of this year and into 2018 are all around video, audio, and virtual content. A text post on Facebook isn’t enough. A plain photo with a bunch of hashtags on Instagram needs more. That’s why live video continues to grow as a really powerful tool for expanding your reach and impact. That’s why apps like Anchor have become so popular and why people are trying to join in the podcasting community.
Consumers and our audiences online are looking for more. They want a more meaningful relationships. They want to see and hear people and not just read their words on a screen (he writes on a screen for people to read on a screen…).
On a more personal note, tell us a little about your happy little family and some things you love about Chicago.
Aww thanks for asking! I’ve been with my dream fella for nearly nine years now. Eric (@itsmeericc) and I met in college through a mutual friend and, after a drunken night of college partying, have been together ever since. He’s kind, funny, caring, giving, and realllly supportive (which is so important when it comes to being in a relationship with an entrepreneur). We live with our tiny dog Douglass who runs our house (and who is secretly a jerk). And we JUST moved to Chicago from Asheville, NC.
We were ready for the big city experience and Chicago provides such a great place to live with amazing sights, friendly people, and incredible springs, summers, and falls (I’m really scared for winter).
LAST BUT MOST CERTAINLY NOT LEAST. I have to ASK EVERYONE WHO AGREES TO THESE INTERVIEWS, IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE SONG TO REPRESENT Tyler J. Mccall, WHAT SONG WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
This was the hardest question of the whole interview. Eric said it would be something quiet and slow. I think “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson would be more like...that could just be because that’s my go-to drunk karaoke song.
Of course, a huge thank you to Tyler for chatting with me. You can find him on his website and Instagram. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Tyler. Don't forget to give him a shout down in the comments below!