A hot topic since day one of Instagram has been “how do I grow my account?”. And while you can find a million resources giving you tips like “post stories every day” or “use hashtags”, I wanted to share with you some things I’ve learned over the last few years about growing your Instagram, in ways that truly matter (so, as business owners, in ways that help our businesses grow).
As a business owner, you don’t need 100k followers, or even 10k, to have a successful and thriving business. If Instagram is the tool you’re using to grow your business, instead of focusing solely on your follower count, I want you to focus on authentic engagement. Or, the relationships you make with those in your community, and those you want to have in your community. But before we jump into specific tips, let’s first define authenticity.
In the scope of Instagram, showing up authentically means sticking to your values, being genuine (not fake or forced) in your approaches, and allowing your true self to shine through the content you post. So, now that we know what we’re working towards, what are some practical ways to start applying it today?
Clearly defining your “why” for being on Instagram will help keep you on an authentic track. Why? Because without a clear reason for being on there, it is way too easy to be swayed by trends or by what someone else is doing, instead of staying true to you and your business.
Remember, this is your “why” for being on Instagram, not necessarily the “why” for your business. Is your purpose to reach and nurture new clients? To educate them on new techniques in your industry? To inspire them to pursue their best life and hire you as a coach to help keep them accountable while they do it? Your “why” will be unique to you, so take some time to think about it! Before you begin posting anything, define your “why”, write it down, and keep it somewhere easily accessible for you to refer to any time you post.
If you’re dedicating time to Instagram each day in hopes of growing an authentic community, don’t forget to also be nurturing the community you already have, too. I’ve seen many business owners get caught up in finding new people to engage with, that they forget to continue to build relationships (and trust) with those who already follow them.
The people who currently follow you followed you for a reason! Don’t leave them out in the cold in your quest for growth! I like to think of each and every follower as an important block in the greater wall of my business. For the wall to remain strong and intact, I need to be caring for the foundation that’s already there as I continue to build!
Investing in relationships will look different based on the type of business you own and the size of your community. Maybe it means responding to the stories of a potential dream client or commenting on their latest post to let them know you can relate to it. Maybe it means scheduling a casual coffee chat with someone you’ve been DMing with for months. You never know where a connection could lead, and we can’t get anywhere in this online business world all on our own.
We hear all the time how important it is to engage with others and your community on Instagram. While engaging with other accounts is definitely a crucial place to start, how you engage is even more important.
Part of my engagement strategy is always taking the time to leave genuine comments and messages. This means, responding to their question or commenting on the subject matter of the photo, caption, or video. The days of just posting two emojis in the comments are long gone, and the same can be said for comment/engagement pods! (Run from these tactics like your life depends on it because on IG, it kinda does!)
We all are familiar with how long it takes to create content, so taking the time to leave a genuine comment on another person’s post is not only friendly, but also shows that you value them and the content they are producing.
You know when you get on someone’s profile, and you just want to binge all of their content because it just feels so relatable? This is a byproduct of someone incorporating their true colors in how they show up on Instagram. By giving your audience something to relate to, you’re showing them that there’s a human behind the posts and Reels! We all want to feel connected and understood, so by showing up as the true version of yourself, you’re making it possible for people to really connect with you.
If you’re the kind of person to dance around your house in the afternoon, then dance and be goofy in a Reel! If you make yourself a beautifully hand-crafted latte every morning, post it to your stories to share a personal moment from your day. If you have a different point of view on something popular in your industry, share it and don’t hide it away for fear of being different.
By being yourself, you’ll be giving yourself the chance to connect with the people currently in your audience. It is well-known that people buy from people they like, and if they don’t know you, they can’t like you! While this means you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you’ll also still be able to attract and connect with the people who do truly belong to your tribe.
Now that you’ve got some actionable steps to take, are you ready to start showing up as your most authentic self?! If the answer is a confident YES, then please make sure we are connected on Instagram, so that I can watch you shine!
If the confidence isn’t quite there yet, or maybe you just don’t have the time to show up as much as you’d like to, fill out this form to learn more about how I can guide and support you in your social media strategy! My business is founded on helping creative entrepreneurs like you to grow and nurture your community. There’s no reason you can’t authentically shine on Instagram in 2021!