If I had done this episode a year ago my advice would have been very different!
Part of my strategy would have been based on hashtags to reach the right people and consistently creating content of value ( which are still as important but something has come in and leapfrogged those… for now).
Whilst I haven’t personally started from zero using these tips I know accounts that have, however, I have used these tips to grow from 30k to 90k in 3 months.
And that my friends are stories and reels but we will get to those in a second because I truly believe this is a big one but let’s talk about some of the other important aspects that all combine to create your personal brand!
Pick a niche and stick to it.
I have spoken about it before and I am sure it will continue to come up. But what are you passionate about. What can you talk and post about for days on end without getting bored. What makes you happy?
The reason a niche works well is it is clear to new potential followers what type of content they are going to get to consume from you and you will be inspiring or educational to them. So it is easier to get followers.
It also means it is easier to identify and be identified by potential brands who want to work with you.
Little tip – in the section where you can add your name – not username. Actual name add your niche.
If you look at my profile you will see mine says ‘Abi Hugo | DIY and interiors’ that is so people who search for DIY will potentially find my account because the name section is a search term.
Have a clear aesthetic.
This is something I did straight off the bat 3 years ago! I didn’t have a clue how to really use Instagram or edit photos nut what I did know is I really didn’t like any of the filters Instagram offered #mayfair anyone?
I used Pinterest to look up Instagram filters found an app called VSCO and looked up VSCO recipes and then literally copied the suggested settings onto my images.
It meant some photos were overexposed some looked too sharp but they were all very consistent so people could recognize the photos were my style.
I have evolved since then, I now use lightroom, I purchased a pack of presets, and then I worked out how to make my own.
But having a preset and aesthetic will make your brand recognizable.
Try and carry that brand into your stories and video content if you can. Use consistent colours and text fonts to help your content stand out.
Tag brands and inspiration accounts to get reshares.
Tagging brands that feature in your content is a great way to get your content reshared. And the aim of this is to have them either reshare your content on either their stories or feed to share it with their audience.
Imagine if you tag a brand that has a million followers and they use the content that exposes you to a new audience of potential followers who are also interested in that brand so will probably like your content too.
There are also inspiration accounts, accounts set up purely to reshare other people’s content as a source of inspiration to others.
The great thing about these accounts is that they are constantly on the lookout for the content they can share. By tagging them you are making it easier for them to choose you.
For this tip to really work make sure your content is relevant to theirs. There is no point in tagging again using the interiors niche Rustic Homes if your style is very minimalistic grey. Because they will never repost.
If you don’t know where to start looking for these accounts just try searching #niche inspo and you’ll start to be able to dig into what kind of accounts you should be looking for.
Hashtags!! Learn to understand hashtags and use them well!
Hashtags always seem to stump people. But they are essentially a way of categorizing content for people so that potential followers can find you.
A fancy term you may hear bounced around for bloggers and Pinterest is SEO search engine optimization.
If you think about Instagram being a search engine like google. When you type something in to google it brings you the content it thinks is most relevant to your search term.
And that is sort of what hashtags do.
When you search for a hashtag on Instagram it has two feeds the Top posts which are Instagram’s most engaged and relevant content for that hashtag and the recent which is very much like Instagrams original chronological timeline.
Now when doing hashtag research take a look at those top posts and see if your content would fit comfortably in there. For example, if you use a hashtag eclectic interior but you are very scandi boho you are very unlikely to rank.
So use relevant hashtags that relate to your content.
Think about what your ideal audience will be searching for.
You can start by typing in a word – like interiors and then see what Instagram recommends.
Another great place to look for inspiration is to see what hashtags slightly bigger accounts are using.
And finally whilst this is a paid tool at the moment you can get a week’s free trial but www.flick.tech is a great place as they will recommend hashtags based on size and how likely your account will rank in those hashtags.
Show up for the people who follow you and future potential followers, this is so important, the accounts that continue to grow, show up almost daily sharing content that is relevant and interesting to their followers.
Interesting could be cleaning your house or folding your clothes so don’t think it needs to be super fancy.
The other reason this is important is brands will want to see you are showing up regularly and engaging and responding to your followers. As that is an indication of how you will show up when it’s time to share their products.
Think about if your favourite TV show just forgot to air an episode, or a podcaster or blogger didn’t have any new content for you to consume you would notice. The same goes for Instagram.
Listen to your followers/analytics
This is a big big one!!! If you have created an account to monetize it you need to stop thinking about what you like and start thinking about what your followers want to see.
If you are adamant you just want to do what you want to do that is fine but just know that it could slow your growth as essentially you are more of a personal account.
The best-paid influencers know this is a job and they create the content based on what their analytics and followers are telling them (not literally) but you will see it in the data.
Ok so now the really good stuff.
Get ready to be pushed out of your comfort zone if video freaks you out and go back and listen to episode two where I set you a little challenge to start pushing that fear aside.
So video isn’t going anywhere, so if you haven’t jumped on the train yet this is your sign too!
Reels are trying to compete with TikTok which is Instagrams biggest competitor.
Reels is a new Instagram feature that lets users create and share short-form video content. Reels, like TikTok, lets you record and edit 60 second videos, add sounds and effects.
You may also be wondering what the difference is between Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories. The honest answer is ‘not much’.Both give you the chance to create short-form video content that you can share with your audience. However, the differences are small but important.
First, Instagram Reels includes a wider range of video editing tools, effects, and speed controls than Instagram Stories.
The algorithm is so easy right now – it has never been easier to grow!!
Stories are for the people who already follow you and only last 24 hours but reels can reach new people weeks even months later!
When someone new watches your video they are watching from a selfish mindset so when creating content remember to create it for your audience like so…
- My morning routine – ‘selfish’ content
- Morning routine to help you have an epic day – audience driven content.
It is ok to use other people for inspiration and even remake a reel with that person’s sound as long as you correctly credit them as that is what makes a trend.
Make sure you have text explaining what your reel is about in the first few seconds.
Try it all – you need to test and try – analyse your data.
For example, pretty aesthetically pleasing reels which I love making don’t perform as well as timelapse ones and surprisingly slightly comedic ones do work but I wouldn’t know unless I tried to give everything a go.