I used to be a fashion blogger for four years, a fashion blogger that didn’t believe in the power + wonder that Instagram could provide. I lived a sad fashion blogging life without the incredible Instagram platform as my go-to for social media. But then I had this crazy idea that I should follow my dreams, blog about something that I legitimately enjoy.. which is blogging about topics that small business owners can learn + relate to! With this shift came a realization that I need to start utilizing a social media tool that could truly allow me to connect with my audience. I heard a lot about Instagram and had a strong feeling that this was the tool I needed to be using. My personal Instagram account shifted into a more business-like one and slowly, over time, it became my sole business account.
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I set a goal for myself because goals always give me a swift kick in the booty. My goal was to gain 1,000 followers in 2 months. I went from 800 to 2,300 in 1.5 months just by doing a simple method during my free time throughout my day. The great thing about the method I used is not only the significant increase in followers but the fact that my followers fall under the category of my “target audience,” which includes female entrepreneurs! Someone on Instagram may have 30k followers but if those 30k followers aren’t people that are interested in their “niche” then those 30k followers aren’t really that important.
An Instagram account that has an active, engaged following that runs around 1,000 has significant more value than the other Instagram account with 30k followers. So this method that I found has proven to be insanely fantastic and teaches you how to get an engaged following on Instagram instead of a following that is uninterested in any of your posts or product listings.
Before I get into the method itself, answering two to three questions before hand that I have explained in points 1-3 will help you get the most of this method and Instagram case study. Let’s get to increasing YOUR Instagram account by 187.5% in 1.5 months now!
1 | WHAT’S YOUR NICHE?
In other words, what do you post about on Instagram? Do you enjoy fitness because you coach people on increasing their overall health? Are you a fashion blogger that alerts your followers on flash sales through affiliate links? Or do you have a service based businesses that help out small business owners with brick + mortar stores? Your niche is your area of expertise, which I’m sure you already have a good idea of what your niche is since you spend all day or half your day gathering information in that field!
2 | DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
So your a coach, fashion blogger, or service based business owner. Now take a hard look at your clients or customers and define the audience specifically. Who are you wanting to attract? Who typically purchases what you provide? For me, I am a web designer + graphic designer and love branding businesses for female entrepreneurs. So my target audience is 20-40 year old women business owners that are super boss at what they do. I have no trouble finding all these awesome women because I defined WHO I was trying to search out. Once you know who you are targeting, it is easier to make a strategic plan on how to put your services or products in front of these people so they can benefit from them!
3 | SEARCH OUT HASHTAGS
You have probably heard of this method before, but I thought I would mention it in this point just in case someone hasn’t! But searching out hashtags within your niche that your target audience would be using is a hashtag worth looking through! For me, I typically searched out #femalebusinessowner and went through each account, making sure that I liked at least 7 to 8 images of theirs and leaving a genuine comment. Leaving a genuine comment is more than just a few hearts or “love this!” a genuine comment is typically a few sentences long and relates to the person that posted the picture. I have created so many biz friends through this and have been involved in several fun collabs!
4 | THE METHOD
Searching out hashtags can be quite time consuming. I started out searching hash tags the first week before I had this idea (that my friend and I discovered while talking about Instagram marketing methods) and once the light bulb went off I knew my followers would increase rapidly. So we already defined your target audience and niche. Now one more question before we start on this fantastic method of increasing followers.. who is someone in your niche that has similar services or products? If you’re a fashion blogger, who in the fashion blogging Instagram world has an account similar to yours? If you run a children’s boutique, search out some Instagram accounts that are owned by people running a children’s boutique themselves. Make a list of two or three accounts that are similar within your niche that already have a substantial following (over 10k at least).
You know everyone that is following this account is generally interested in what this person is talking about all day on their Instagram. THIS is where your target audience is! I start from the top or bottom or just choose a spot on the list of followers and give each person a follow, 8 likes, and a genuine comment (if I want them to connect or truly want them to follow me back!) Even searching out hash tags can be a guessing game on who truly is interested in your services/products.
But with this method, it is simple + easy! If you are standing in a line.. go to Instagram and get in a follow/like/comment zone! I can go through five in a minute or so. Once you get in a routine it doesn’t take too long and you can always go back and unfollow the accounts if you didn’t make a connection.
Instagram is such a fantastic platform. If you are a business owner or blogger or someone that could use free stock photography images for their beautiful website.. then head on over to this page because I’m giving away around 100 free stock images that I have taken for people like you!