A month ago I was feeling really down on myself about my Instagram followers (or lack there of) and I wanted to do something to change that. What I found not only changed my attitude, but my entire mindset on the world of social media and I picked up some tips that helped me get what I really wanted.
I participated in Ria from Craftsposure’s free webinar and this is what I learned.
3 The Main Things I Picked Up From the Webinar
“Experiment constantly and find what works for you”
This piece of advice is invaluable because it reminds us that we’re all different people and what works for some may not work for others. There’s some steadfast rules like good photography and consistent engagement but for the most part your posts and thoughts should be unique to you. If the community doesn’t respond to them maybe you should try something different, however if you feel your posts really represent you then keep pushing through – you’ll find your way.
“Add value to the community”
For this part Ria went over some examples like featuring others work, participating and hosting a Follow Friday, creating engaging content, and asking questions. All of these things will help you to get more engaged with your followers and with the people who you follow. It creates a fun little connection where you really can get to know people.
“Put your passion before your goals – you don’t have to be perfect”
THIS. IS. HUGE. It’s so difficult to see everyone around you have thousands of followers and nearly perfect feeds. You feel inadequate. You feel like sometimes you should give up.
But you know what? Those people are comparing themselves to others with more followers and sometimes they don’t like their posts either. We all play the same head games with ourselves. But the people who are truly happy and confident are the ones that showcase their best works and their mistakes, their retouched perfectly lit photos and their works in progress, the people who are human. We’re all human.
Tips I’m Actively Engaging In
Get Involved in the Comment Section
I’m more involved now than I ever have been and it’s not actually any more time-consuming. I’ve switched my mindset from constantly checking hashtags, scrolling, and liking, to genuinely commenting on the few posts that I really connect with. This creates a stronger bond between me and that person and it’s much more fulfilling for both of us. (Of course there are days I love to just scroll and double tap pretty pictures but those days are much more infrequent)
For me this meant showing my real self (literally) I changed my profile photo from a picture of my logo to a recent photo of me. I also started putting more photos of myself, my dog, and my family in my Instagram feed. So what if they get the least likes? This is my human side and it let’s people see who I really am.
Start a Follow Friday
This was an uplifting experience because when you think of Follow Fridays you usually see it coming from people with big accounts. Now my account had less than 300 people so I honestly never thought people would engage with it. I was SO wrong. The post had 20 comments and only one of them was my response. 19 unique accounts all wanted to share what they were doing or complement and share other makers. I felt like I had created a little community gathering center. (I don’t know how many followers I gained from this, though it was probably small, but the point was that out of those followers they were all genuine people. They were makers and creators and not people just random companies or promotional salespeople.)
My One Extra Piece of Advice
Ria provided an awesome downloadable calendar for anyone who attended the webinar to use. This has been super helpful in organizing my thoughts and seeing when holidays are or big events so I can create things in advance.
To add to this helpful tool I wanted to share that in addition to planning out the type of posts I want, I also put those photos into a collage. This helps me see what my Instagram feed is actually going to look like and calms my artistic OCD. (Raise your hand if you suffer too, no one is judging)
There are some apps online that will help create collages but I use PicMonkey Collage and play with the photo arrangement there.
I started this webinar on June 8th with 288 followers.
It’s now July 4th as I’m writing this and i have 309 followers.
A 21 follower difference.
Taking a webinar, joining classes, and making small changes isn’t going to grow your Instagram account 1,000 followers in a month. But it will get you 21 real people on the internet who care about what you post. Overtime this number will grow and you’ll have not only the numbers you want but real connections with people. I would rather have 21 people who really care than 1,000 who don’t.
So build slowly, figure out what you like and what works, and you’ll find a community and eventually a platform to promote your products or services. (If that’s what your goals are)
Do you have a lot of followers? Less than a hundred followers? Do you have tips for all of us out here treading in the Instagram water? Please let me know in the comments.