Building a presence online and growing your instagram following is the fastest way to gain authority and be recognised as a leader in your space of expertise, industry or niche. Growing a successful Instagram whether for your brand, or to build a career as an influencer requires perseverance and effort, gone are the days when you can post once in a while, be featured on a large account and gain thousands of followers instantly.
But here’s the good news: the algorithm is there actually to help YOU find your ideal audience. After being actively using instagram for the last 6 years, growing my Instagram to over 750 000 followers, I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and how to set yourself up for success in the Instagram landscape today. I’m going to break down my 5 step formula for you to set up your account for success and start just building a community.
You do not need hundreds of thousands of followers to be successful on instagram. Having engaged and good quality audience is what matters more. Get my free guide how you can start monetising your personal instagram – I give you 9 different ways people make money on instagram here.
Step 1: Define your Brand
Your brand is how someone interprets it without you saying anything, and we guide them to that feeling through the style, the aesthetic, and the tone of voice.
- Why – the motivation to create content for your brand or business, why you are sharing it and why you are creating it. Ask yourself why do you want to build a following? What are you looking to do with your audience? What are your goals? What is your bigger mission?
- Your Values – You can figure out a lot about your brand why by looking at what you values. This can be anything from family, freedom, health or courage. Think about why you value these things based on what you believe about them. Why are they important to you?
- Your Story – The last piece of the puzzle is identifying your story. This doesn’t need to be grand and big or life changing. Generally there has been some sort of turning point, what helped you to refine these values and beliefs, and what you did to change and prioritise your values.
For me, a big turning point was when I left my corporate job in the pharmaceutical industry. I had small children and my husband travelled often for work so we had to have lots of external childcare to manage. One time I was folding laundry after work whilst our au pair was playing with my children and I realised this is not how I want my children to grow up. I gave up my job and started my own business in order to get more control of my schedule and freedom to spend more time with my children
As you can see, it doesn’t need to be big or something traumatic, but simply just a change you’ve made in your life to prioritise something that became important to you.
2. Create a compelling Instagram profile
What do people see when they visit your account? Growing your instagram audience is a lot easier if it isclear from you bio what you offer, and why they’d want to follow you? When someone visits your profile, they’ll decide in seconds whether or not to follow your account.
If your business name isn’t well-known like IKEA, add a few keywords to your name to clarify your niche. You only have limited characters available to create a memorable bio! I recommend bullet points that communicate at a glance.
3. Your niche and content categories
So now that you have a solid foundation, next you need to map out what our niche is to communicate our brand, and then break that down into the specific content pieces we share.
My own instagram is not the best example here as my niche is too widespread. I like to share home decor, fashion, beauty and renovation projects. My account is a lifestyle account, but I would highly recommend sticking to a well refined niche if you are looking to grow your account. I am not that focussed on growing, and I recognise that covering so many different areas will probably lead overall lower engagement rate too, but I like sharing more than one thing so happy to accept the consequences. Sharing one type of content is definitely better for growing your instagram as it’s more attractive for people they know what to expect – and us humans do like that! In general, people want to know that they will consistently receive that type of content from you. The more clear you are about your niche, the faster you can grow your audience and your authority in that area.
Choose your niche
I know it can feel tricky to choose, but narrowing down will actually help you growing your instagram audience. Creating content is easier when you have clearly defined boundaries rather than covering everything under the sun.
Questions to ask if you have trouble deciding your niche:
- What do I enjoy talking about?
- What do other people come to me for advice on?
- What is something that comes naturally to me that I enjoy doing?
You also need to be realistic – a lot of us love travelling but it might not be possible for you to just pack your bags and go traveling all the time. What’s the type of content you could create every week? You can have things in your life you are passionate about, but don’t want to be sharing. What are niches that are realistic for you now? Is that something you would be happy to share about, even if you never make any money from it? Would you like to work in that industry in the future?
Your Content Categories
Once you have decided what your niche is, you’ll want to pick 3-6 categories of content to share about within that niche. Think about the person you are aiming your content for, how can you help them? This again will help you get direction of what to share, as well as make you unique in your niche.
The content you create is usually the number one way for growing your instagram account. You build your authority in your space through the content you share. Valuable content and consistent posting is what will help your your ideal followers to find your account and business. There is no one specific type of content that performs “best”. You need to be prepared to try out different formats to find out what works on your niche, and what your audience is looking for.
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If you’re ready to transform your social media presence and take your business to new heights, gain followers, generate leads, and increase sales, sign up for the waitlist today and be the first one to know when we go live!— Social Milk Academy —
How to find ideas for successful content?
Instagram is a visually-driven platform, which means that creating compelling content is essential to building a successful presence and growing audience. However, coming up with new and interesting content ideas can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you find Instagram content ideas:
- Keep an eye on what other people in your niche are doing well – maybe you can find inspiration from their content. Getting inspired is totally fine, direct copying is not, always put your own unique spin on things. People will want to follow accounts that have something special and unique, not accounts that just copy what someone else in their niche is already doing. Save ideas on instagram and arrange them in relevant folders so you can access them easily.
- Follow relevant hashtags – Following relevant hashtags can help you discover new content ideas. Check out the ‘top posts’ tab especially, you can see what other people are posting and get inspired.
- Look for inspiration outside of Instagram – A lot of the reel trends, including audio are coming from Tiktok so keeping an eye on content that does well in there is a good idea.
Batch creation is the best way
Batch creating content for Instagram can save you time and streamline your social media marketing efforts. Here are some tips on how to efficiently create and schedule content for Instagram:
- Plan your content in advance: Before you start creating content, plan out a content calendar to decide what types of posts you want to create and when you want to post them. This will help you create a cohesive theme for your profile and ensure you have a consistent posting schedule.
- Create templates: Create templates for your posts using design software like Canva or Adobe Spark. This will help you maintain a consistent visual aesthetic for your profile and make it easier to create new content quickly.
- Batch-create your posts: Set aside a block of time to create multiple posts at once. This will help you get into a rhythm and make the process more efficient. For example, you could film content for several reels in one sitting by taking all the video clips needed first and then editing them in one go too.
- Use scheduling tools: Use scheduling tools like Tailwind to plan and schedule your posts in advance. This will save you time and ensure your content is posted consistently, even when you’re busy.
- Repurpose content: Repurpose old content by updating it with new information or tweaking the design. This can save you time and still provide valuable content to your followers.
By following these tips, you can batch-create content for Instagram efficiently and save time while maintaining a consistent and engaging social media presence.
5. Build community
Instagram is not only a social media platform but also a place where people can connect with like-minded individuals and build a community. Building a community on Instagram takes time and effort but a strong community can help you reach new followers, grow your brand, and establish a loyal fan base. Remember to be authentic, engage with your followers, and provide value to your audience.
Community building tips:
Engage with your followers: Engage with your followers by responding to their comments and DM’s & liking their posts. This shows your followers that you appreciate their support and value their engagement. Additionally, by engaging with your followers, you can build relationships with them and create a sense of community. Get to know your followers by asking questions in your captions and replies to their comments
Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and attract new followers. Use relevant hashtags that are specific to your niche, and include them in your posts and stories. Additionally, you can search for popular hashtags in your niche and engage with other users who are using them.
Collaborate with other creators: Collaborating with other creators in your niche can help you reach a new audience and build relationships with other members of your community. You can collaborate on posts, stories, or even live streams.
Share user-generated content: Sharing user-generated content is a great way to build a sense of community and show your followers that you value their content. You can encourage your followers to tag you in their posts, and then share those posts on your own profile.
Host giveaways and contests: Hosting giveaways and contests can help you generate engagement and attract new followers. You can ask your followers to tag their friends, like your post, or share your post to enter the giveaway or contest.
Be authentic and transparent: Being authentic and transparent is key to building a community on Instagram. Share your personal experiences, and show your followers the behind-the-scenes of your content creation process. Additionally, be transparent about your intentions and values as a creator.
Provide value to your followers: Providing value to your followers is essential to building a community on Instagram. Create content that educates, entertains, or inspires your audience. Additionally, you can share tips, resources, or other helpful information with your followers.
Host live streams and Q&As: Hosting live streams and Q&As is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time and answer their questions. Additionally, live streams and Q&As can help you build a sense of community by providing a platform for your followers to connect with one another.
It can feel overwhelming to try and focus on growing your audience while also building a connection with your current audience. Ultimately, the quality of your followers is more important than the quantity. It’s better to have a smaller, engaged and loyal following than a large, disengaged following that adds no real value to your brand or business.