I’m not gonna lie. When I woke up one day this week to see that my Instagram account had tipped over the 10k mark overnight, I was pretty damn happy and yes, I may have done a tiny victory dance.
Here is the deal though: In the world of social media, its so easy to get hung up on the numbers when actually, all those numbers are simply an ego boost. If you are using Instagram for business purposes, whilst having 10k followers on instagram is great and everything, it means nada if it you aren’t converting followers into paying customers/clients.
The Way of How To Get 10k Followers On Instagram
Luckily, I’ve been able to do just that and Instagram has been an incredibly powerful tool for building my business. I don’t however believe that this is because I’ve achieved a reasonably high following, but instead because I engage with my followers. I’ve built a relationship with them that hopefully isn’t going to be dying out any time soon.
If you are using Instagram for your business, engagement is the big daddy.
Engagement is something I wax lyrical about with my clients. It’s something I drill into them over and over again as it’s a really simple strategy yet it works incredibly well. The problem is, many people just attack Instagram without much of a game plan, throwing anything and everything onto their feed with little strategy and praying that something will stick.
If this is your approach, you will find it will be a huge suck of your time with very little impact. You need to be more strategic in what you post and how you engage with others. Your Instagram feed should tell a story that reflects your business and your brand values, so make sure it’s a story worth listening to.
Here are my top tips for growing followers on Instagram that will help you connect with your audience and drive profits for your business:
#1 Your Aesthetics NEED to be on point.
This first tip is a no brainer.
Instagram is a visual platform so it seems mental that some people think they can shove up any old picture and hope people will take notice.
If you want to capture your audience’s attention and turn them from a casual follower into a true fan (one that will buy whatever you are selling) you need to start posting pictures that will make them stop scrolling. You want your images to encourage them to go and check out your entire feed and actually take notes of what it is you are saying, what your business is and what it is you are selling.
Another reason why aesthetics are so important is because most of us work in a saturated market with a huge amount of competition, particularly on Instagram. Posting the same old pictures as everyone else in your niche isn’t really going to get heads turning. Chances are, they will just keep scrolling. They’ve seen it all before. Think about ways you can make your feed different.
This could be by doing something as simple as sticking with a certain theme (colours, fonts, graphics etc) or you could try something a little more unusual like using an app such as Giant square to make larger Instagram images that take up the width of your feed.
VSCO is also worth a mention as it’s a great app for photo editing and is the go to app for fashion bloggers.
Word swag is another favourite of mine as it allows you to easily add graphics over your images.
#2 Your Feed needs to reflect your brand
Branding is ultimately what locks most people into buying. Whether you offer a service or a product, people tend to buy after they have got sucked in to the brand itself and what that brand represents.
Branding is one of the first things you think about when you are building a website (or at least it should be) so why wouldn’t you give it thought when building your presence on Instagram?
And how is a brand built on Instagram? By having a clear brand message and a consistent theme. When people see you feed, you want them to pretty much instantly recognize it as yours.
There are some Instagram accounts that have this locked down incredibly well. Alex, founder of @bossbabe has totally nailed it when it comes to branding. The brand message is always crystal clear and her graphics, fonts and colour scheme make the feed easily distinguishable.
Other than creating consistency with your images (via fonts, colour schemes, filters etc) also think about branding your images with a watermark (eg your logo or your web address) so that you identity is stamped throughout your feed.
#3 Be personal but not too personal
I fell into this trap early on in the Instagram game of posting content without ever revealing very much about who I was and what I did. This is a huge error when you are in a service based industry because you are a big part of the brand.
One of my first really personal Instagram images was of me and my boyfriend at Christmas and in the caption, I thanked him for his support so far whilst I’d been building my business. That is one of my most liked images to date as it showed that there was an actual human behind the account and that I wasn’t just posting on Instagram for the sake of it, but I was also working hard behind the scenes too. Posting personal pictures every now and then helps me to connect with those who may then go onto work with me. It helps build a deeper relationship with followers and makes them more likely to stick around.
At the same time, you need to know when to draw the line when it comes to posting personal stuff. We don’t need to see what you had for lunch, breakfast and dinner, nor do we need to see a gazillion pictures of your dog dressed up as an elf. Don’t let the personal stuff distract from your main brand message and theme.
#4 Ask questions
Questions, by nature, generate responses. You ask something and they will answer. This creates conversation and therefore produces a highly engaged audience. People want to join in, feeling like they are a part of the discussion which gets more eyes on your brand.
Rather than asking any old question however, you have to think about what your audience will respond to. What is going to get them commenting?
The question doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your niche. Think about what else excites your customer/client base. By asking questions, it shows you care about your audience and aren’t treating them as just another number. It shows that you are a business that is both interesting and interested.
#5 Ask for feedback
Engage your audience by asking for feedback about your business so far. Ask them what they like, what you could improve upon, what they would love to see more of. Give them options and make them feel that they are involved in how your business develops.
Feedback allows you to figure out what is working for your business and where you should be focusing your efforts.
Instagram is an amazing platform through which to build relationships with other people in your niche. Rather than seeing them as the competition, think of them as a potential alley and come up with ways in which you could work together. Supporting and promoting each other is a great way to grow your audience.
Reach out to someone you admire on Instagram and discover ways in which you could work together. Perhaps it could be guest blogging on each other’s site, doing a webinar together or it could just be as simple as re-gramming each others images. Share your audience and in return, watch your audience grow.
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Dani is founder of The Clique (www.wearetheclique.com) and a business strategist who coaches women to build their empires and bring their A-game. She likes social media marketing, French Bulldogs and coffee, although on Fridays, she prefers her espresso in a Martini. For a daily hit of inspiration, follow her on Instagram (@we_are_the_clique)