How do I grow my Instagram followers? That is the number one question I get from my clients. My answer is always the same. Why? Most entrepreneurs think that growing their number of Instagram followers will solve their monetization struggles. But unless those followers are turned into customers, it’s never going to matter how many followers they have.
The right question is, How do I grow my business on Instagram? Not, How do I get more followers?
The secret to growing your business on Instagram is to stop growing.
We need to go deep, not wide.
Whoever is following you, is following for a reason. You need to get to know them so that when you do grow, you understand them. You need to talk to them and respond to them!
Are you speaking their language?
Are you answering their questions?
Are you showing up consistently?
When you make them feel known, seen and heard, you become the only option.
Get Them to Your Website
As an entrepreneur, you need to provide content with value and benefits. This will build your brand. Sales happen on your website. So the key is to get them from Instagram to your website. But before you do that, you have to get your consumer (not everyone) to know, like and trust you.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works
When you first post, that post will be shown to a small number of your followers first. If your post gets a good response from those few, it will be shown to more. If you have a bunch of creepers, your post is going to flop. Let me explain.
Every single one of my clients who is trying to grow their Instagram business, has asked me at one point or another if they should invest in those accounts that contact them telling them they can get them thousands of followers in a week for $100. If you have been an entrepreneur on Instagram for even a couple of months, you may have already had this proposition made to you. Here’s the thing. The way the algorithm works, when your post gets shown to a small number of followers first, and those followers were acquired in this fashion, they aren’t going to respond to your post. It will be a flop and Instagram won’t show the post to more followers.
When you have a small number of loyal followers, who are organically there to hear what you have to say, they will respond. They will be interested in your products and services. Instagram will show your post to more of your followers because those first few that see it will respond to it. So don’t waste your money buying your followers. It will hurt you in the not so long run anyways.
Engagement Matters Most
Instagram is the most engaging and relevant platform.
Number of followers don’t matter. Photos matter. Captions matter. Engagement matters most.
Your audience wants to see aesthetically pleasing photos with relevant captions. Become relevant to a small group of people who will invest in your business. “Likes” don’t pay the bills, clients do.
Organic growth will happen naturally. Start conversations with your audience because these will lead to conversions.
The 3 Steps That Will Get You Results on Instagram
- Find your customers hashtags, not the hashtags that will find your competitors.
Find some of your ideal customers on Instagram and take a look at the hashtags they’re using. Take a look at who else is using those. Go down that rabbit hole for a bit and you will come across more relevant hashtags. Come up with your hashtag word bank. I like to create 2 or 3 sets of 25 to 30 hashtags for each account I manage.
UPDATE: As of 6/1/19, an Instagram employee informed me this is no longer the case; 2 to 3 key hashtags per post is what is recommended.
- Leave more than 4 words in your comments. Leave the type of comment you would love to receive.
Keep an eye on who watches your stories and polls. Comment on their posts….remember 4 or more words in your comments.
- If they comment back, you can then send them a DM.
This is where the sales happen! Find DMs that will work for your business. Here are some ideas.a) Conversation starter
Take a look at their account and what they recently posted.
For a generic conversation starter: Hi. I love your work…so inspiring. Welcome home. Your Thailand trip looks fantastic!Or, if you are a healer, masseuse therapist or meditation instructor, your message can say something like: I love that you posted pictures from your Machu Picchu hike. How do you re-center and continue your spiritual journey at home? The point is making your conversation relevant to what you do. b) Introduce yourself
Acknowledge them and welcome them to your account. Hi, thanks for following me. I share information on numerology and try to make it more digestible and easy to understand. I’m glad you’re here. c) Try to comment / follow / like them first and them express your appreciation.
Hi, thanks for following me. I hope you are finding the information I am sharing on ancestral trauma helpful. Would love to hear about your experience some time. d) Collaboration
Don’t pitch. Start setting the foundation for a collaboration opportunity in the event this is someone working in your same space. e) Give
Give and add value without expectation. I see you are going to the Yoga and Meditation Training this summer in San Diego. There is the cutest boho-chic vegan restaurant in downtown I think you would love. Perfect Instagram photo opportunity!
These are the 3 tips that will get you results on Instagram. Once these conversations take place, your audience will organically land on your website where they will become a customer. Try these steps and let me know how it goes.