You’ve put yourself out there and announced your new venture to your friends [or maybe not yet], and you know they will show their support whether they like it or not, but growing your reach outside of your friends & family is one of the first big hurdles you face as a new online brand.
I am the type of person who holds their cards close to their chest. I don’t like to announce anything until all my ducks are lined up in a row and I can answer every single question that may get throw my way. But I had to prove to myself [and my clients] that I have the goods to build a successful online brand. It was time to take my own advice and create my brand, find my niche and yell it from the rooftops.
How do I intend to get my first 500 followers? [**NB this was written at the beginning of my journey but never shared until now]
Well, considering I am my own worse critic, I will tell myself what I would tell the brands I coach;
Tell people about it.
Self-promotion can be hard, but you need to tell people what you want them to know. Post on your personal pages about your new venture - include a little bit about what you’ll be sharing on your page so people can tag friends/relatives that might be interested. Include a link to your new profile so following is easy.
Create shareable content.
First and foremost, if you don’t have anything interesting to say, if YOU/YOUR BRAND, doesn’t have anything unique to offer, then what is going to make people want to follow your account? Find your voice and get creative.
Grow your network – reach out.
Remember, the interweb is just that - a web. The first few weeks/months will seem daunting, you will hang out, check your instagram account a few million times, jump from one ledge to the next, latching onto likes and comments like they are gold, sure that you will fall at any point. But it will get easier and once your foundations are secure, you not only catch items [followers] within your immediate reach but anything that lands in the surrounding web you've created. Interest generates interest - you will continue to make new connections over and over until your web is rock solid and not even a squeeling girl and a broom can knock you down.
Gain initial momentum.
Write a hitlist. You live and breath you brand, and we all know that means we cyber stalk those who have gone before us. We look to them for inspiration, for guidance. So connect with them! Introduce yourself. Not necessarily in a “hi I’m bec” kind of way, but more-so by making your presence known. Engage with their content, like and comment where appropriate [don’t go overboard], but ask them questions, try and gain insight into how they’ve got where you want to be. Personally I’d find it flattering if people wanted to use me as a muse. People don’t get anywhere if they don’t have admirers, so don’t be afraid to admit it – without you, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
Seek out your students.
If you’re a foodie – you’re looking for people trying to stay healthy. Find people engaging with conversations about health. But don’t just join conversation that you want to be a part of, find conversations of those you want to reach before they even know the want your help. Tap into their psyche. Ok so say I’m not healthy right now, I’m not searching #healthfood #cacaw #vegan #superblender. I’m looking at inspiration quotes that say “tomorrow is the day you become a happier you”. “just because you break your diet on a Monday doesn’t mean it’s a free for all until next Monday”. “create the life you imagine”. “ You get my drift? Find THOSE conversations, those people, and CONNECT. Which takes me to my next point – make meaningful connections.
Make meaningful connections.
Throw the 5-3-1 rule out the window. What is that!? For those of you like me, who like to maintain that instagram accounts are managed by real people and not computers [the ones we care about anyway], then the 5-3-1 technique is rigid and impersonal. It suggests you find a user, like 5 of their photos, comment on 3 and then you’ll have 1 new follower.
Gain new followers by interacting with other users. But remember you really only want quality followers who are going to interact with your content. So interact and hashtag accordingly.
Want a customized social media strategy to help grow your instagram and ultimately your business? I offer one-on-one coaching; get in touch here.
If you want to print this out to refer to; hit the download button below. You'll also find other helpful how-to's on my resources page.