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Over the last month or so, Instagram has created a lot of updates. And creators and consumers alike are feeling the effects of the constant updates by Instagram. That is what brings up today’s episode. Because it got me thinking about myself, and those of us who have been on the app for 5+ years.
Today’s episode is not a feel good one. But I do hope that you can be real with yourself and objectively question whether any of these apply to you. Because in reality, you have the potential, rather the opposite of these have the potential to let you enjoy your time on the app, and to grow on the app.
Which is technically why you are there from a business standpoint. Yes we want an interactive audience, and we need to generate income from the audience we have on Instagram, but growth will always be needed to some extent.
So let’s get into six reasons why you may not be successful on Instagram or feel like you are being successful on Instagram.
I am viewing success in this episode as being able to generate new followers even if people unfollowing. So when you look at your insights, and you go to audience. You’ll see followers and followers and net new followers. I am far less concerned with your net new followers as I am with just the fact that you’re getting 70 to 100 new people in per month or more. That’s a big deal. That’s 100 people you didn’t have last month, who are learning about your brand, who don’t know who you are, and who might be a good client for you. So we need to focus on those people. Success is having an audience who DM‘s you from your stories, asks you questions, comments on your posts, tags you in their stories. This is in my eyes what success on Instagram is from a social standpoint. And then yes of course, generating actual clients from the app.
In FitsPRO Foundations we talk about what social platforms you should be on, and one of the criteria is that you have to actually enjoy the app itself, and creating content for that app. You’ll end up resentful even getting on the app, let alone having to create content for an app that you have distaste for.
It’s just like health and fitness, or anything that you’re attempting to do, and adhere to. If you don’t enjoy it, it gets exponentially harder to stick with the process.
Posting every day on Instagram, being in your stories, answering DM‘s, doing market research to create new content, being in this continual cycle is going to require you to do all of those things when you do not feel like it. So the more that you actually enjoy it, the easier it’s going to be.
Even with the annoyances of the algorithm, and the changes that are made to Instagram so frequently these days, I try to make a point that it is still my favorite social media app. When I take a week off of Instagram, which I recently did, I genuinely miss interacting with my audience, and also taking a contact from a consumer standpoint. I follow people that entertain me, and that I get value from, and that I may not have access to outside of the app. So you don’t have to absolutely love Instagram, but how do you think it will be who’ve you to enjoy it, or curate your own experience as a consumer on the app in order to enjoy it more And learned about it from an organic standpoint.
I do want to be clear, because I’ve said before, that it wouldn’t be on Instagram if I didn’t have a business. And I do think that’s mostly true. But it still stands that of the social media platforms available, it is my favorite app.
This piggybacks off of my last kind of statement under reason 1.
A couple of my one on one business clients took a break from posting about their areas of expertise for a week or so, and just posted about life, and whatever came up. It was far more entertaining for their audience, and they give them a mental break of trying to check all of the Instagram boxes. It also reminded all of us what Instagram is from an organic standpoint. It’s a social media app for people to share their lives and connect with others. That is what it is in the simplest sense. So I just want to encourage you to tap into that if you feel like you are kind of getting stuck in the grind of checking those Instagram boxes. Trying to do all of the right things, have a hook, have a call to action, use quick transitions in your reel, use all the gifs and features in your stories. It can be a lot. And sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and remember what app we are on and how we can tap into that.
In a very applicable sense, this is thinking about how daily humor, more relatability, and storytelling can be re-inserted into your brand. Whether it be in stories, reels, or posting. I know another coach right now who is creating reels just for fun and those are going in his reel feed versus on his main feed. That’s another exercise you could absolutely do in order to just reconnect with the purpose of the app itself, and it’s organic form.
This is really important. Especially when viewing things from a business standpoint, we have to remember that social media is for building para social relationships. Which can be strange, but more than on any other thing we use in business, Instagram especially has the ability to expedite trust, knowledge, and likability. Which are all needed for sales.
Relationships take effort, and in this relationship, you are the initiator. You are leading your audience. So step into that role, and think about how maybe you can lead that relationship better.
Take a step back, and really observe yourself and how you view the app and what supposed to happen on Instagram for you. That leads right into number four.
Back to the relationship piece. First off, identifying your ideal client can be helpful with this. I do have a free download for that – right here! But this is about genuinely being curious about the people who have chosen to follow you. Like I mentioned earlier, you could have 70 to 100 new people joining your audience every month. Now I realize that not all of those people are going to engage, and see every post, and see every story. But if I stuck 70 people in front of you right now, it would feel like a big deal. 70 people who chose to follow you. So that’s just a little bit of perspective to never let go off in this journey on Instagram.
Get curious about those people. Both from a personal and from a business standpoint. Because business is personal. You’re working with human beings. And yes, from an objective standpoint, the more we can learn about these people, the past experiences within our field, what motivates them, will help us to better understand what content we can create to help them, and also what offers they need in order to make whatever changes they are trying to make.
Curiosity is where you are going to create some of your best content. In my opinion. Have fun with this, poll your audience, make it easy for them. Start with play for fun stuff, like what are you doing this weekend, or what did you do last weekend, and then over time, people will be more open to asking you more business related questions. You can also give them some bumpers. Maybe tell them to ask questions about meal prep, or to fill in their struggles with meal prep. And then you can give them direct coaching for free in stories.
At the end of the day yes businesses make money. But hopefully the motivation for that money is to help people and share your passion. That is my view of business, and so that is the lens which I see the things through.
This applies to so many areas of business, but it’s going to but who’ve you to look up to someone with maybe a larger or more interactive following and you have, but what got them to that number is not what will get you to the number that you are hoping for. At the end of the day relatable, shareable and applicable content is what’s going to get growth. End of story, no matter what changes Instagram makes. It is forever an app that thrives off of audience engagement. So everything we’ve talked about this far is what’s going to help you grow.
And maybe those people that have those 250,000 followers did focus on relatable content and shareable content, but the content itself might not currently work. So just be wary of your own kind of observations on the app and who or what you are trying to replicate.
I’ve talked briefly before in an Instagram post about what you can afford at different stages of growth on Instagram as well as in business. Someone who has 250,000 followers does not need to post every day. They do not need to probably create reels, they do not need to abide by a lot of the same tactics that you do need to abide by if you are currently under 10,000 followers and want to grow. That’s the point I’m getting at.
Now more than ever, quick results are not to be expected. But certainly to be celebrated if they happen.
Results I’ve never been quick on Instagram from my experience, but even more so now. On the flipside, you also have more opportunity than ever to experiment with different types of content, and to capitalize on some of the features that Instagram now has to get in front of more people.
Be in this for the long-haul, be eager to learn about your audience and the app and attempt to curate it so that you enjoy it from a consumer standpoint. Remember that you are on a social app that was designed for connection, and to build para social relationships, and see what some of those mental shifts can do for you.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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