Not all of us can afford to make sponsored IG posts, at least until we have a solid product to sell.
So what can you do to grow your Instagram profile? Want more likes, follows and a better tribe?
Great, the following are a few crisp ideas that have a profound thought behind it.
It comes from personal experiences, understanding the different target audiences, researching other successful IG accounts, listening to most successful IG profile managers and my creative twist to it.
In no particular order, to let your creativity spark; here are the IG success golden rules:
Post at least 5 times but optimally 7 times a week
Why? You need to raise your standards.
You need to do something not all others are doing. To get uncommon results, you will have to perceive a raised standard the norm.
Being consistent is desired. If you are anything like me who wants to schedule posts before-hand.
Consider purchasing Later, I’ve used it to schedule posts. It works like a charm.
The monthly price is pretty affordable. You get to see amazing insights, along with engagement rates, to have a birds-eye view of what’s working best for you.
Okay, so we agree to have 5-7 posts a week. But isn’t that a lot of work?
Where and how do we start? I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, but when you’re just starting. You need to have some quantity of posts too.
Motivational quotes targetted for your niche could be the best starting point. It’s even better if your niche is fashion, fitness, travel or writing-related.
To plan 2 posts each week using motivational quote images.
Use Canva for free to easily create exciting posts in minutes, literally.
Your Picture Text Overlays
Instagram is all visual. At the end of the day, you’re the brand.
Make your images shine out, with a small text message. Highlighting self-talk, inner thinking or any kind of text explaining the image via overlay text.
Short but effective content works the best.
Create a Bordered Design
Are you having problems creating effective looking visuals?
No problem, choose a color scheme (2-3 colors) you like.
Go to Canva and make a border template for use with your visuals.
A color scheme adds aesthetics to the page and makes it look professional.
Making a Monthly Content Calendar
Let’s say you want to create 5-7 posts a week. But the problem isn’t execution rather coming up with post ideas.
Besides, you may be planning a vacation, a few meetings to attend or just busy with something else.
The content calendar comes in handy at these times. It lets you foresee, plan your content and stay disciplined to make posts accordingly.
Don’t go fancy. Just a Google Sheets page would do to make the plan work.
Create List of questions
Questions are inquisitive, don’t you think so?
You can engage the audience by asking industry-relevant or general questions.
For example, Cheese or Chocolate?
Something that drives the conversation forward.
You can make it more interesting by asking industry-related questions.
So if you’re in to travel, you can ask “Los Angles or New York?”.
You could be more specific and long-tail. Just think of challenges and turn them into questions.
Your Advise Posts
Aren’t you knowledgeable in your field?
People need suggestions from knowledgeable people, like you. Advise them for what’s right and why it’s right.
One liner advice over one-word topics relevant to your niche would work wonders.
Your swag photography
Remember, you’re the brand. People will eventually think of yourself as to how you think of you.
So love your aura, your abilities and help people in bringing trust to like your brand.
Now that you have unique confidence in you. Let’s shoot!
Capture a variety of photos, show your swag.
Let the world see your resilience, your style, story, mindset, passion, dreams, and maybe just your unique smile.
You might want to keep an eye over the holidays.
To plan out your message, events and service promotions as per the holiday beforehand.
Something simple but elegant.
Do Speed Videos
As part of raising your standards, most people don’t do speed videos.
Do you know video editing? Well, you don’t?
No issues, there are plenty of free online video editors. Just google it.
Some as easy as uploading the file, choosing speeds, amending a few settings and you’re done.
Here’s a free software https://ezgif.com/video-speed for doing speed videos.
By the way, have your logo?
If you can design it yourself or have it designed from your friend. That’d be a great addition to your brand.
People would instantly recognize your brand.
And since Instagram is all visual, using it on your quote images, advice posts and all such images would help your followers instantly recognize you.
Must improve lightning
Okay, I get it! Most people do not know Adobe Photoshop as I do.
See the skills marketing there 😛 I tell you that am a born marketer. 😉 I do this all the time and later came to know it’s known as marketing 😀
Please go to Services if you’re interested in hiring my services.
Back to the point. You don’t need to be an expert to be able to improve the lighting of images.
Use this tool https://pixlr.com/x/ – it’s free and does pretty awesome stuff in the blink of an eye.
I’ve written about a few great free design tools too. A must read!
More of Before / After Shots
Are you into health, weight loss, tech, transformation or even travel niche?
Whichever niche you’re into, you will always have an opportunity for before/after shots.
Maybe your transformation pictures? Maybe those people whom you’ve trained? Before a workout, after workout pics?
Picture of your rooms before visiting a place, at the time of leaving or staying. Countries that you have been to, their comparison; differences in your native country foods and theirs. You get the idea.
Creativity is a must. To get more done, you will have to do more first.
There are two things people like most, humor and other’s mistakes. Mistakes? Well, that again is humor most of the times for others 😛
Don’t we all think the best for ourselves? Yes, we should! But along the way, just as we laugh at others.
We must give others a chance to laugh at you. Show your imperfect shots, where you’re just being yourself.
People will be able to relate. Such a post can become your most engaging post, trust me!
By the way, did you know Google was initially a women’s name? That’s why the search engine doesn’t let you finish a sentence without suggesting other ideas! 😀
Humor, remember! :p It was a joke. LOL!
At least, I tried. It might have not worked for some but over time I will know and improve my craft.
That’s what we all do. So why not do it with confidence the next time around. 🙂
Have Instagram Stories
Instagram’s gold discovered. Use Insta Stories to highlight your best stuff.
Maybe if you’re worried to decrease your engagement rates with quotes. Use quotes and other short basic videos at your IG stories.
These last for 24 hours and are a pretty good way to keep connected with your audience.
Learn more about Highlight Instagram Stories and tell me in comments, what are they?
Create your brand hashtag
By the way, Where’s the post consistency?
So let’s create a unique hashtag true to what you do, something that you can own. And add that to your bio.
Mine is #goodblogging
How about you?
Creating a spectacular bio
Give this due time. Put your skills, location, and keywords in bio.
The bio is your card, it needs to be just perfect.
Test out Collage
I’ve have heard collage works well for teenagers related niche.
You will have to try it for yourself.
And again, depending on what sort of images you use will make all the difference.
Where’s Your Story?
How do they know who are you?
Help them know by using images of
- who you were
- why you were who you were
- why you are what you are today
- where will you be tomorrow (aspirations)
- who inspires you
- what do you read, dress, do, feel,
- what’s your smile like
If you could answer them with your images. Whatever stories you are comfortable sharing with the public.
You will differentiate yourself from most of the Instagram crowd.
Are you working on a secret upcoming project? Maybe launching a new service/product? Thinking to start in such directions?
Let them know and ask for opinions. It’s especially interesting if you have an established account with a few thousand followers.
It helps to naturally hype and create attention towards your offerings in this crowded market.
You know your niche better than most Tom, Dick, and Harry out there.
If you have valid advice, people would want to hear. Marketing and bringing people to hear is a different game altogether.
We need to strive if someone sees our content. They must engage with us.
Quoting what other niche experts have to say and providing crisp solutions based on researches crux can be valuable.
Tag the location of your photos
Connect Facebook to Instagram
If you have a Facebook page, it’s a good idea to connect them.
Participate in Facebook Groups
I don’t believe in a limited scope.
As people create their scope with whatever they do through their beliefs, ethics and pure work.
Having said that, Instagram is becoming quite popular and has attracted millions in competition. So to get started with it, one might have to do something different to expect better results.
One of which is to join niche-relevant and Instagram-related Facebook groups. A good number of people will follow, support and share your content with other people.
Just have no expectations, do your best and see how well you do.
Best Post Days
I’ve used Later, it tells you on which days does your post performs better. On which hours are your users most engaging with your posts. Also, which of your hashtags are performing best.
These details are valuable to tweak your account in a better direction. You can use any other Instagram tool. Later is a paid tool though and just an example.
If you can’t afford a paid platform just as yet. No problem.
You can always search the internet for the best Instagram posting time. You’ll get bifurcation of target audiences based on industries.
It will help you to get a decent idea about your niche.
You don’t need to follow all the cats and mouses of every niche.
Rather focus on following a few niche relevant influencers or people who resonate with you at a personal level too.
There are two mindsets:
1) Follow a few hundred followers, unfollow them when they follow, follow new ones again. Rinse and repeat.
By the way, do you think Instagram wouldn’t notice it? You will sooner or later get some sort of basic penalties initially.
2) Follow a few, interact with them, build a tribe, DM a few more for collaboration of some sort, engage and like other’s genuine stuff
That’s the best you can do to organically grow your Instagram account.
A few selfies
If you’re a trainer, athlete, dietician or have any other service-based personalized service.
A few selfies now and then would help. As your face is unique even amongst millions of other Instagrammers.
Just show your USP 🙂
Time to Praise Competition
Do you have any Instagram competitor, someone you admire?
If you don’t, find one.
Learning from your competition is praising them. See what are they doing and understand their success methods.
Get in touch with them. Let them know the tactics you’ve learned and are implementing to see how it works for you.
Here’s a simple competition philosophy:
If they admire you back, know they are the right kind of competition to follow. If they get angry, know you’ve found the wrong competition. If they never respond, consider them average competition (not suitable for you at your experience level).
It helps you to raise your standards and stay focused.
Do you want to figure out the right hashtags for your Instagram?
It seems like the hashtags are all over the place. Everyone uses it but how do you know they’re any good.
Your hashtags shouldn’t be too competitive, meaning it shouldn’t have millions of followers to it. Why?
The more competitive the hashtag the more no. of images/shares there. The lesser the time it stays there, within a few milliseconds other images get stacked on top of them.
So you never get the right exposure. Choose hashtags above 20,000 but within 100,000 followings as you’re beginning.
Instagram itself is a great tool to find a hashtag and find other hashtags relevant to it.
But you can also use these free tools to find a few great hashtags
Why don’t you run a small contest and give something valuable for free?
- 7 days of free training
- A high-priced product or service free.
- A free invitation to your network
To offer anything for free that the contestant would likely pay for. That would create some buzz word.
Run paid ads
When you have the budget for running paid ads. Do it for the best performing stuff and learn first-hand by losing some money.
In the process, you will exactly know what works best for your niche and account. Do it again but you will do it better this time. Then, simply rinse and repeat.
Cherish the little success. It all starts small. It’s been that way, always!
A few people believed in me, then I found ways to believe in myself….and so I could blog decently well today. You can do it, I believe in you.
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