Now before we dive into this topic, remember that everyone starts somewhere – and everyone’s journey looks different. Even the most successful content creators built their accounts little by little to what it is today. Your own creator journey will be equally unique and you shouldn’t compare yourself to someone who’s been at this for the past decade.
There has been two big turning points on my own content creation journey. First was when I started focussing on Instagram content creation with zero knowledge and about 250 followers in 2016. I had given up my corporate career for family reasons and wanted to have project I could throw myself into but have the flexibility my previous job lacked. Second big turning point happened in early 2021, after Instagram had introduced Reels the previous year. I hated the idea of reels at first, my Instagram was built on beautiful, carefully styled photos and I didn’t know the first thing of video creation. Despite resisting it, my 2021 New Year’s goal was to learn how to make videos. It was another steep learning curve as I had to teach myself everything from scratch!
What’s your content creator focus?
My coaching customers have been from two general groups. People who start with a focus in creating content — blogging, social media content creator, and beyond. Content is their focus and how they make money. I’ve also coached some entrepreneurs who’ve started their business and content creation is another task on their list rather than any kind of passion.
Regardless of your feelings, the fact is that content creation is an important, powerful, often profitable tool in your business when done with consistency and strategy. This post is more aimed for the aspiring social media content creators, but they work for the service/product based business owners too!
1. Perfect your bio
This is where the first impressions are made. When people come over to your home page after liking your post but can’t understand what your page is about (even after reading your bio), it’s going to be very tricky to convince them why they should follow you. Chances are they already follow several other accounts who have posts that are just as beautiful as yours. So, use your bio to tell your potential follower WHY they should follow you.
Space is super limited, so focus on what matters. My top tip is to remove any unnecessary words and get straight to the point. This area is personal, and what you add or don’t add will depend on your genre, style and general approach to storytelling. Maybe it’s through sharing your mission, highlighting your core values and what you believe in or stand for as a person. No matter how you convey that message, it is the prime place to put it in writing and convince a viewer to follow along.
What information is key for viewers to see when they first hit your profile? Why would they want to follow you? Ask yourself If someone went to my profile right now, would they know:
- Who I am
- What I do
- What I have to offer
If you’re a personal brand and you have space, include information that allows them to connect with you outside your services. If you have something quirky about you, hobby or an obsession— included that!
2. It’s not your personal photo album aka content matters
So many people treat their Instagram page like a personal photo diary. And by all means, if you are there just for fun and sharing memories with your nearest and dearest, keep going. But if you are looking to grow your account, become a content creator and make social media your income source, it’s incredibly hard to entice people to follow you (unless you happen to be a celebrity). Instead of treating your Instagram like a personal photo album, it needs to show that you are sharing something valuable.
If you’re serious about growing, you really have to ask yourself what makes you unique and what value are you providing to a potential follower? Please note that the value can be all sorts of things, rather than strictly sticking to educational content – funny, inspiring, relaxing content can add as much value as the latest Ikea hack or mortgage advice.
3. Engage with your audience
Engagement breeds engagement, the more you post fun, quirky stories or posts with value, the more likely your audience will be to feed back to you again. Use CTA’s (Call to actions), ask questions, share personal stories to create a connection with your audience.
The general idea is that if a user interacts with lots of your content, they are even more likely to see what you post in the future. Consistent content from you, plus consistent engagement on your posts (and Instagram stories) could help you rank better in instagram’s elusive algorithm, so that more people will see your posts, and it will snowball.
Comment fellow content creators post with meaningful comment (rather than just an emoji), reply to their stories, make friends – that’s the best part of it!
5. Use Insights
Instagram Insights provides a breakdown of your performance on the platform, including new followers, profile views, impressions, number of posts, reach, website clicks, and also email clicks.
Once you’ve been posting for a while, you’ll also be able to see the makeup of your regular audience, including their age, gender and where they’re from. Keeping a close eye on your content performance will help you to focus on what works and do less what doesn’t!
6. Post regularly
If you want to take Instagram seriously, you need to be prepared to stay consistent. While that doesn’t mean you have to post every single day, it’ll help if you post consistently each week (whether that’s once, or 5 times) and show up in stories a few times each week. Consistency is key because it lets people know when to expect something from you.
Instagram algorithm favours accounts that are active on the platform. That means frequently using all of their functions whether that’s engaging with others, watching other people’s stories, posting or browsing the explore page. The easiest way of doing this is creating and sticking to a content calendar that provides you with a long-term strategy as well as pre-planned content. My essential Insta toolkit contains the content planner I use – It’s a simple but brilliant tool to help you stay consistent. The toolkit is a great asset for any aspiring content creator; your shortcut for taking your instagram to the next level and contains everything you need to achieve your goals; from media kit template to customisable reel cover templates and story templates.
7. Connect with stories
Stories is one of the best places to build a connection with your followers because it allows you to showcase your personality and interests, all in a casual setting. This ultimately gives people a reason to keep checking back and get to know you. They’ll also remember your face, voice, and page as you show up more frequently.
Don’t forget the story highlights either! As they only live for 24h, it’s useful to save and group your stories under relevant highlights. This way, you can choose your favourite moments, or show all the sides of you to people whenever they visit. You can add more media to a highlight at any time, so don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time.
Next steps on becoming a content creator
I help online entrepreneurs and creators to build profitable businesses and leverage social media. Ditch the overwhelm and let me help you build an online business that supports the life you desire, find out more here!