How To Attract An Authentic Following on Instagram
Okay so you’ve started your side hustle and you’ve been posting endlessly about the product you sell, but all you hear are crickets. Sounds familiar? Then read on sister, because today I am going to teach you not only why it’s important to attract your ideal client or team member, but HOW to do that!! If you are using social media to help propel your business forward then you must know that what matters MORE than the numbers under your name is how engaged your audience is with your content. You can have 30,000 Instagram followers, but if none of them are engaging with you then they definitely aren’t going to buy from you girl! In 4 weeks I have made 10 sales in my Safer Beauty Business from Instagram and in 15 months I have attracted 15 women to my team to start advocating for safer beauty laws along side me. I think that’s pretty darn exciting!! I expect these numbers to grow as I continue to grow and serve my audience in different ways!
So how do you build an audience online that is going to really get to know, like and trust you? How are you going to attract a authentic and supportive community where you rise together? I know you’re dying to know, so I will spill the beans now!
I know the fact that my first tip “be patient” is going to drive some of you bananas! You were probably expecting something a little more mind blowing or magical, but here’s the truth: if you’re going to use the online space to grow your business or sell an opportunity then you MUST be patient. This is going to take you time babe. In fact if you are involved in some sort of direct sales company then I would recommend starting with the people who already know, like ,and trust you! Like your mom friends, family members, church groups, workout buddies, co-workers, neighbors etc, while you build your online presence on the side. While this all takes time it’s SO WORTH it!! Just stick with this!!!
Growing an authentic and engaged following on Instagram has grown my personal connections too! Many of my clients are women whom I’ve never sat in real life to have coffee, but we pray for each other, pick each others brains about life and business, and support each other’s side hustles in any way we can. Do friendships like this just happen over night though? Not usually right? So while you implement some more of the tips I am going to share with you, be sure to be patient in this process and enjoy the journey of creativity and connection! I didn’t really see a lot of fruit from my Instagram efforts until about a year in! Yes girl, an ENTIRE YEAR of showing up almost every single day online.
Engage Engage and Engage Some More
The BEST way to gain an authentic following is to engage with them! It’s called social media for a reason!! It’s a social app so start posting consistently and getting into those Instagram stories girl! (More on Instagram stories in a sec) When I first decided that I was going to grow my account for business purposes I went ALL in. I sacrificed TV for 6 months. Yes SIX MONTHS. Every single night for 6 months I went on Instagram. I would make a post and then go find accounts to engage with. I would find accounts to engage with by engaging with people I already knew, using hashtags to find people and scrolling other social media influencers comments and find people who were already engaging. I would then go engage with those people and follow them! I did this almost every night for 2-4 hours a night for SIX months! Eventually people started coming back to my account to follow me and comment. I would always respond to every single comment AND go back to their account and comment on their latest post. Actually I still do this and really enjoy engaging with my community! The first hour of posting is the most crucial for engagement, so I will engage with people 15 minutes before posting and about 20 minutes after to get some traction on my posts. Leave authentic nice comments too!! Don’t just drop lame emoji’s or comment “so cute”, or “adorable.” This person could be your next bestie or teammate! Treat everyone with so much love, respect and kindness! Also FOLLOW people!! And don’t just follow and then unfollow. That’s shady girl. Just follow people because you truly want to get to know them!
Video is so in!!! If you haven’t hopped onto video yet then you must do this now!! Especially if you want to attract the right people!! Videos are great, because they give the opportunity for your audience to hear how you speak, understand your humor, your passion and your heart. It’s so personal and a great way for potential clients and friends to get to know you! Stories are also a fun way to share other accounts you love!! Be sure to do shout outs to accounts you love every week! This helps expand your reach, because many times the other account will give you a shout out or follow back. If they don’t you can always message some other influencer accounts with a similar following and see if they want to do a shout out for shout out in your stories! If you sell a product be sure to show this in your stories from time to time! How much do you love it and how do you use it? I work as an Advocate for Safer Beauty with Beautycounter. Many people don’t realize that ingredients aren’t legally required to be tested for safety before being formulated into face cream, make up, baby wash and so much more! This has left us with a 63 billion dollar industry that is completely unsafe and under regulated! It’s my job to educate about this issue and also provide a safer solution to my audience who cares deeply about their families well being and their own for that matter! But how is my audience going to know how the makeup applies if I don’t show them a tutorial? Or how well the sunscreen blends in comparison to other healthy brands if I don’t record a quick side by side application of both products on my legs for them to see. It’s important for me to be able to share why Beautycounter is safer and show HOW high performing the products really are! Also watch other peoples stories!! A relationship goes two ways, so get to know people who are following you or who you want to follow!
Doing a shout out for shout out is one way to collaborate with other influencers. You can also create a hashtag loop with a photo challenge or anything creative. I’ve done this with lots of accounts and it really opened myself up to more people! I can do a separate article on hashtags and hashtag loops! If you’re selling a product then try doing a collab with another entrepreneur in a similar niche. I’ve collaborated with entrepreneurs who sell organizational programs for the home. This works well with my niche as I have many moms following me who want to live a better life and get more organized, but this is a unique products I don’t offer. I promoted her course for a week and then she promoted Beautycounter for me. I’ve also teamed up with different Norwex Consultants! They can offer green cleaning solutions! Since my audience loves Beautycounter, they are likely going to be interested in green cleaning as well!
Build A Brand
This is a beast on it own. Building a brand takes time, grit and dedication!! But again it’s SO rewarding. I will do a separate article on this too! I want you to understand something: people don’t buy from the company you sell, they buy from YOU. So if you’re trying to build an authentic audience for business purposes then people need to find consistency in you and start to really get to know you. Choose 3-5 things you love and then make those your main topics that you speak about. This is most likely going to change and morph as you go!! Do you love hiking and the outdoors? Start posting about that consistently! What about baking? Post one new dish a week! You will slowly start to attract people with similar interests who will start to love your posts and look forward to the next one. I have three things I focus on now on my blog and other social media platforms: Motivation, Make Up and Online Marketing. These are three things I am passionate about!! From these three interests I can create oodles of content from educational posts about the cosmetics industry, to photo editing tutorials and hacks on how to get your mindset right and live an inspired life!
Create Great Content And Serve Your Audience Well
Every single time you make a post I want you to think about how you are SERVING your audience. Don’t look at followers as dollar bills! They are REAL people with REAL needs, so how are you going to solve a problem for them or add value to their life? How can you truly show love and serve your audience well? Make it your goal to inspire, educate or entertain every single time you hit “post”. If you’re solving someones problem, giving them a good laugh or teaching them something new then you’ve just added VALUE to their life!! They will for sure come back again!
For instance I know that 78% of my audience suffers from some form of breakouts. I know this. because I use the poll feature regularly in my stories to get to know my audience better. Since I know this about my audience and I have a solution for them that I 100% know is better than anything else on the market, I speak about that a lot!! I also suffered from acne for 12 years. I used proactiv that entire time and was left feeling frustrated constantly with my skin as I had dry patches everywhere and I would still breakout even when using a full regimen. The Proactiv solutions would also bleach my sheets and clothes which I hated. Now I use Counter Control. Yes, I sell this product, but I sell it because I BELIEVE in it and I use it everyday!! It works and my skin is proof of that. It’s also made with ingredients are incredibly safe, gentle and won’t bleach sheets! I want everyone with breakouts to use it, because it will change their life and confidence! I can relate to my audience, address their pain point and offer them a solution. That’s incredible!! You have something to offer your audience too, so dig in and figure out what that is!
Instagram is a visual creative space, so I also think it’s important to create visually appealing photos! You may love some of my photo editing blog posts to help you get a crisp, clean and fun photo! Getting creative with my photography has been one of my faves things about Instagram!! You are attracting your ideal person right now, so the first thing that will capture their eye on the gram is that photo you post girl! Next the caption you write is either going to have them double tapping on your post or running for the hills. Remember to add value in your caption! Also give your audience an action to take on your post whether that’s double tapping if they love a good glass of wine or asking them a question to create more conversation and engagement. This helps you get to know your audience better too! I felt weird when I first started doing this with 600 followers! Often no one would even comment, but now I get great engagement every time after being consistent with this!
Do you swear when you talk? Do you like to make jokes? Are you a book worm? What do YOU love and what are you’re pet peeves? What are your core values? In order to attract your ideal audience, you must be YOU!!! Don’t hold back!! Some people won’t like you and THAT’S okay!! I’ve had strangers, family and friends unfollow me for being me. As a natural born people pleaser this was hard for me at first, but then I had to just let that go! Don’t take it personally. Not everyone will love your message, but the RIGHT people will and that’s the whole point of attracting your ideal audience!
Girl when it comes to Instagram I could probably write a book!! I think this is a good start though! If you found this post helpful then consider sharing it to Pinterest so it’s saved for later! This will also help get my content out and help more people! Also subscribe to my newsletter! I promise I will NOT bombard your email box! There’s nothing more annoying then getting random emails EVERYDAY. I will just pop into your inbox about once a month to say hey, share any new online marketing tips and of course leave you feeling uplifted and ready to live your BEST life!!! Thanks for popping in!
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