During a car ride last summer, my husband asked, “So, how’s your business going?” It was an innocent enough question, but it was one that I always hated when he asked it. “Oh, it’s fine. The usual. I’m planning some new things, thinking about some stuff, but it’s going okay.” I answered, but then quickly changed the subject. If I’m being completely transparent, things weren’t totally fine. I felt a little like I was spinning my wheels with my creative business.
I knew that I wanted more from my business – more fulfillment, more growth, more opportunities to make a difference in other’s lives, and more money. But, the problem was I just didn’t know exactly how to get there. It seemed like all around me, other creatives were succeeding, but I just didn’t know how to make that success happen. At that time, my Instagram had been hovering between 5-6K followers for around 6 months. I really hadn’t seen any drastic growth, just adding a few followers every day. The people that were there were engaged, but I didn’t really see any substantial growth on my numbers. If over 100 people liked one of my posts, it seemed like it was doing okay.
Fast Forward to a Year Later
It’s been less than a year later from that car ride. But, now Instagram is the number one referral to my creative business! My account grew by over 50,000 in just a few month. I’m adding around 1000 new followers each week. And, that has transformed by business too. According to my Esty statistics, visits to my Shop have increased 1836% compared to the same period last year, which has also led to an increase in my revenue, even during the pandemic.
Why Did I Want to Grow My Account?
But it was more than just the slow growth of my Instagram that was bothering me in the summer of 2019. I wanted to create something that people would find joy in. A place that would help people to create a better life for themselves and the people around them. I didn’t just want to sell some tees and mugs on Instagram, I truly wanted to leave a legacy of good. Instagram seemed like the perfect way to help make the world a brighter place, if I could just figure out how to harness that desire into real action. I knew it could be done, but was just at a loss for how.
Why Did My Account Grow?
It wasn’t an overnight explosion or some type of viral moment, but a subtle shift, in addition to an intentional strategy, that lead to this growth. Basically, it boiled down to increased engagement. Engagement is king on Instagram. The more engagement a post gets, the more the Instagram algorithm will push your post out to more people. More views leads to more likes, comments, and followers you’ll eventually receive.
So, what’s my top tip for getting more engagement? Give people something they want! My instagram account starting really taking off when I started thinking about giving my audience something useful. It wasn’t enough to just post a pretty picture. I wanted my posts to actually be doing something for the person reading it. For example, my Enneagram themed posts give my followers useful information that with insights into their personality and relationships.
Want an example of how you can use this strategy? If you are a hand letterer, it’s not enough to just post a picture of a beautiful hand lettered piece you’ve created. Instead, think about how the post could help the reader. If you want to reach others who are learning to hand letter, give them an educational tidbit that they can use on their next piece. If you are a fashion blogger, not only do readers want to see you in a pretty outfit, they want know where to shop to get those same pieces. Or maybe they would like to see different ways they can style one piece of clothing for different occasions. Get the readers/followers of your Instagram account a reason to want to follow you.
Using this strategy of looking outward by giving something of value to your followers, you will see a transformation in your account. But don’t stop there. My FREE Instagram Growth Guide will give you 5 Must Haves for your Instagram Account so you will be set up to start growing!
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