what's the secret??

The polls are in, everyone wants to know! How in the world do you grow an Instagram account without it being fake? Why is Karen bringing in loads of new followers but whenever I gain 5, I lose 10?

Oof. Chances are, Karen is spending money on having someone manage her account-- and the followers are most likely all bots or fake accounts that won't actually get her any real engaging accounts or potential clients.

Okay so let's get into this, there's a lot to unpack.

UTILIZE your time + resources properly.

A lot of times, we can go to Instagram and literally spend so much wasted time just scrolling and not make a single gain. So it's very important to have a game plan when using Instagram + take advantage of the Insights + other apps that can play a huge role in stepping up your account and the success it can lead to. I have 3 main tips for you guys that I want to break down just a little bit for you.

#1. COntent

When you think of Instagram, you think of visuals. Your first impression of someone is their feed. Does it flow well or does it look cluttered and messy? Is it aesthetically pleasing to the eye or are the colors all over the place?

Because of this, it's SO important to plan out what you're going to post ahead of time. It will really help make sure your feed stays clean and consistent, as well as the time you'll saves in the process. I use an app called UNUM for doing this.

Have a theme and similar editing style for your account. People should be able to take one look at your feed and know what your account is for, and having similar tones and colors will really help make your photos stand out to viewers and followers. For editing all of my photos, I use Lightroom (there's both a desktop + mobile app version) and you can start with just the free version! A few other apps I used when just starting out that give you a great head start are Snapseed and/or VSCO.

Basically, just put some thought into what you'll be posting! Make sure you have purpose behind each post so it shows to other people.

#2. Engagement

In order to have active + engaging followers, YOU need to be active + engaging on other accounts.

First, start off by following a whole bunch of accounts that are similar to what you're doing. Like + save their photos and leave genuine comments that will encourage and help them out. They will likely return the favor.

Giveaways/ contests are so much fun and will always bring more people to your page! If you need help figuring out more about how to create a successful giveaway, I would love to chat or answer any questions! Maybe later on I can write a whole blog post dedicated to that :)

Really utilize your stories. Stories are a number one way to gain new followers, because a good story leads to checking out your profile or website. Instagram has really helped us out with this over the past couple years. You can ask questions, make polls, quizzes + so much more. A few apps I use to make my stories look put together and professional are Story Art and Unfold. Just be personal with your audience. Make sure they know who you are and want to follow your journey for more than the photos you post. You want people to feel like they really know you + believe in what you're doing + who you are as a person.

Lastly-- anytime someone leaves a comment on your post, make sure to comment back to them, or check out their profile and return the favor. If someone follows you, send them a message thanking them or give their page some love.

#3. target your audience.

This one is super important. If you have an Instagram business account, you should be checking out your Insights at least weekly (yes. this is within the Instagram app). While Instagram has made it difficult for us to grow with the new algorithm, they really did step it up by providing us with Insights to our page.

Here you'll find graphics and charts of the average age range of your followers, where they're from, what time of day they're active on Instagram, which of your posts is doing the best, how many people viewed your story, how many people your recent posts reached, etc.

Something you also may or may not know of is the important role that Hashtags play. They really get your page out to thousands of people if you use the right ones. I suggest looking at what other accounts use and coming up with your own sets as well!

By knowing your demographics, you also know how to gear your posts + stories. For instance. If I knew most of my followers were 11 year old girls, I wouldn't be posting captions that have to do with more serious topics that they would find uninteresting or wouldn't understand. I would target what I put out based on their age group. Likewise, I would also make sure if I knew they really liked one type of post, to keep giving them more of what they like so they remain active and want to come back/ stay.

If for some reason you don't want to become a business account on IG, you can download an app to see some insights and analytics for your page. Just search for "Instagram insights" on your app store!

Above all of this...

Just be yourself! People don't want just another cookie cutter of someone else they follow. They want different and unique. I don't know about you but when someone sees my photo on their home page, I want them to be able to realize it's mine before even seeing who posted it. I want to be someone who has something different to offer people on this platform. Like, come on. How many orange girls did you see on IG this summer? It got old, and now there are meme's going around about them. We want to get your talent out there so people want to follow you for you. :)

Thanks for following ME. Your support means the world.

✘ Maggie