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High Profile Magazine

Paula Tebett

The Brazilian Queen of Social Media

Paula Tebett is a Brazilian digital marketing professional, journalist, public speaker, and content creator. She also runs a course “Instagram for Women” which helps women to understand how to use Instagram to promote their businesses. Follow her on Instagram at @paulatebett and subscribe to her YouTube.

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What made you decide to start a YouTube channel?

Two things! The first was that I just loved to record videos. For me, it’s always been very easy to speak to a camera and post a video of it online. I love to write, I'm a journalist, but the ease of creating video content is something that I've always loved. So I decided to create a channel, and I love creating content for it.

The second thing is that I was aware that YouTube is one of the biggest search engines, in fact it’s probably the biggest after Google. I knew if I wanted to be found when someone searches “digital marketing” or “social media marketing”, I needed to have a YouTube channel. So, from that point onwards I began regularly creating content and now, in less than two years, YouTube have started paying me because of the number of views that my videos get. And it’s a platform that just keeps growing!

What are the most important things a person should do if they want to be successful on Instagram?

The first thing is that you have to post regularly and consistently. If you’re just going to post once a week and then disappear before coming back a week later to post again, it’s not going to work. After all, he who isn’t seen cannot be remembered, so you need to make sure you’re always there, posting content, so that people think of you when they think of whatever your niche is. Also, Instagram rewards consistency; the more you post, the better reach your posts will get, and the more your audience will grow. There isn’t a way of becoming an authority in your field if you don’t post regularly and consistently. So that’s the first step.

The second step is that you have to find your niche. If you work with technology, that’s great, but it’s hard to reach your target audience because the following for that area is so enormous that it’s a struggle to target content. If you find a niche within your wider area, for example, if you work with Apple products and nothing else, then you’ll be able to target your content much more easily, and it becomes easier to become an authority in your field because there are less people doing the same thing.

The next thing is the question of authenticity. You have to accept who you are, and rather than copying someone else, rather than saying to yourself, “oh, but they're doing it like that, and they’re the leader in my field, so surely I should do it like that to”, you should be thinking, “right, are they successful because of how they do this, or because they’ve made a name for themselves by being their authentic selves?”. Accepting who you are and using it to your advantage is key, because people love authenticity.

My fourth tip would be to use Instagram Stories as much as possible. Stories are viewed more than feed posts! So you need to use them well. Show people your day-to-day life, give them a behind-the-scenes of you and your business. People want to know who is behind the account, they love it when you give them insights into your life. You can even show parts of your personal life, but of course use your common sense here with what you should and shouldn’t show! Using Stories also allows you to direct people to your new post on your feed so that you can gain more traction there, too. The best thing about Stories is that they allow your audience to relate to you, which drives them to put their trust in you, in turn making it easier for you to sell your products or services to them.

Finally, make sure to use Instagram adverts. With over a billion active users on Instagram worldwide, it’s pretty much impossible to reach your target audience and get a quick return on your work without investing money in advertising. See it as an investment! You can refine your ads so they reach exactly the kind of people you want them to, and that way you can start to bring in your target audience. So set aside a budget for ads – this is a business platform, after all!

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What is your favourite social media platform, and why?

My favourite has to be Instagram, because there are so many things you can do on there to connect with your audience. You've got Stories, feed posts, Reels, IGTVs, Lives... Lives are absolutely great to be able to communicate more with your followers, and you can invite people to join them too to boost visibility! I love Instagram.

I also love YouTube! It’s the only platform that pays me purely to create content. On Instagram, I do a lot of branded content, but on YouTube I get paid just for creating a video and posting it there, which is great. I really like YouTube, I like TikTok too, that’s one that’s really growing at the moment. LinkedIn as well! They're my four favourites I think, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn.

How does your course, Instagram For Women, help female entrepreneurs to become successful on Instagram?

My course is perfect for all women, whether they’re entrepreneurs, businesswomen, or they just want to use Instagram to promote their work. It's a step-by-step course to help them gain visibility, or win clients, or promote their products, whatever it is they want to do.

I started the course two years ago, and in January I totally refreshed it, and it’s being relaunched in March on International Women’s Day. When you sign up to the course you get one year of access to all of the content, and every time Instagram launches a new feature, I add information about how to use it to the course. Participants can chat to me about any doubts they have, too.
The course is pre-recorded, but it’s all completely up to date with the current trends. It's as much a course for people who know nothing about Instagram as it is for people who already know bits about the platform. If you’re starting from scratch there’s information on every step right from creating an account, and if you already know how to set up an account, then you can skip the early modules and go straight to the strategy section. I've got a lot of great testimonials of people who have gained a following from my course, won clients, and so much more. It's a great course, and there’s information on everything on there, even on how to create ads on Stories.

You do a lot of public speaking, what topics do you cover in your talks?

So my niche is social media for businesses. I've done a lot of talks on how to sell on LinkedIn, on Instagram marketing, and on how you can get results on social media platforms. I also talk about female entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship. Sometimes the company or event that’s hosting me will ask me to discuss a specific social media, or they’ll want me to talk about common mistakes that people make on a particular platform. I've also done a lot of talks on the importance of authenticity in content creation, and on how you can make yourself stand out in the world of social media.

As well as your presence on social media, you’re also a digital marketing professional. What is it that makes you different from other digital marketing professionals?

I've worked in digital marketing for over 13 years now. After I graduate in journalism in 2002, I did an MBA in marketing and fell in love, and eventually I ended up in digital marketing. Now I use my many years of training to help businesses and professionals with their digital marketing, as well as giving talks and creating content.

Initially, I couldn’t see what differentiated me from other marketing professionals. But then I realised that I work in a different way to other professionals. My way of teaching is a lot easier for people to understand. I try and make sure I give practical advice to people, and that I do so in a fun and playful manner. When I started doing things in my own way, that’s when I started to get more attention, and I even had Brazilian celebrities getting in touch with me. I want to make sure that my work is accessible for everyone, even if they know nothing about marketing. So that’s what makes me different from other professionals - I make sure to present information in a simple and well-explained manner.

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What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

There have been a few great moments! One of those was that a year and a half ago, mLabs, which is a social media management platform here in South America, commented on one of my posts saying it was sensational. After that they got in touch with me to arrange a meeting, and now I am contracted by them to create content for their social media channels. Working with them opened up a lot of doors for me, so I'm very grateful for that opportunity.

Another proud moment was when I reported on Latin America’s biggest sales and marketing event which takes place in Florianopolis here in Brazil. There were speakers from all across the world, from companies like Google and Facebook, and I had the chance to interview speakers and be jokey with them, which was absolutely great.

I also worked on a project called Ameizing, which combines “amei” from the Brazilian word “amar” with the English word “amazing”. It's a Disney experience, and I got to take entrepreneurs from here in Brazil to Disney World Florida for a week for this event. We did a week’s worth of training there and had loads of amazing speakers, so that way pretty cool.

What’s the greatest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

My greatest challenge was finding my purpose. I spent 8 years working for the government of the state of Rio de Janeiro in the marketing and events department. I was earning well, I got to travel a lot, but when I got pregnant, I realised that it wasn’t a sustainable career for me, I couldn’t travel so much when I had a kid at home. After that, I managed a hostel in Rio, and it went well for a while, but I wasn’t happy there because tourism just wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was something that helped me bring in money, but that experience made me realise that money is a consequence, what’s really important is finding your true purpose.

It was in that moment that I decided I was going to make a career out of social media. I'd always worked with social media, but I never thought it could be my real job, because there weren’t even adverts on social media at that time! But I committed myself to making a career out of it, and from then onwards things really changed for the better, and I realised I had a real business in it! Now I'm doing what I love, and it doesn’t matter that in the beginning I had to start from scratch to do it.

How has the pandemic affected your work, if it has at all?

The pandemic has been awful for everyone in different ways. There has been a lot of sadness and loss. However, in terms of business, I'll be honest, it brought me the best year I've had for earning money. Everyone was searching for digital marketing – it was actually the most searched term on Google in Brazil last year! So business-wise, it was a good year for me.
There were a lot of things I had to turn down though, because of the logistics of having my daughter at home and having to home school her. I had less than half the day free all of a sudden, so there were a lot of opportunities I had to say no to. Of course a lot of events I was scheduled to do were also postponed, but all in all I can’t complain, because I gained a lot of visibility online.