10 Common Business Mistakes on IG.
If you are trying to grow an online brand or business, especially in the health and fitness field, it is likely that you are using Instagram to help with that process.
Last week, I posted a few photos from my Instagram back in 2014. And that got me thinking about how much the platform has changed in almost 7 years.
When I started in 2014, you could post a single photo, and a limited space caption. That was literally it. If you wanted to post multiple photos it had to be in a grid.
Singular 15 second long videos came about later on.
And then, I believe it was in 2017 when Facebook bought Instagram, don’t quote me on that, that the platform would change at an exponential rate.
Now in 2020, we basically have Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, blogging, and Instagram all on one platform, being Instagram.
I am lucky enough to have been building my business and adapting with the app as each new feature rolled out. Whether you’ve been here since 2014 or you’re just getting on Instagram, it can be a lot to handle and to navigate.
So my hope with today’s episode is to reveal 10 mistakes that I see quite often with professionals attempting to build a recognizable and sustainable business with the help of Instagram.
And do keep in mind that I am coming from the perspective of a health and fitness professional. But I do think that most if not all of these apply to any industry.
Now, I encourage my fits pros to follow colleagues and friends in the business. The purpose of that is to gain content ideas, and to build relationships in network with these people.
Let me make very clear that it is not to copy or steal content, rather to just be in the know.
But something that can happen when we follow a lot of other professionals in the industry is that we start creating content that we and our colleagues need or want versus creating content that our clients need.
This is why no matter how advanced you get in your own learning experience, it’s so important that you understand who your ideal client is and where they are at in their journey. Because this is what we need to be constantly creating content for.
So if you’re ending up with a lot of fellow coaches and colleagues following you and commenting on your posts, it might be time to reevaluate your content and messaging.
Again, this is super duper common in the health and fitness industry and I think almost everyone ends up going down that road at some point it has to redirect.
If you are like, oh my gosh that’s me. Feel free to download my Free Ideal Client Avatar Creator in order to better identify who your ideal client is in who it is that you want and need to be creating content for.
What I mean by not pushing for interaction is that I don’t see coaches and professionals leading their audience in an aggressive enough manner.
The fact is that you are the leader of your audience. We are all creating expectations and culture in our corner of the Internet whether we realize it or not. Whether intentional or not.
So I want you to take in that mindset shift of no one is commenting on my post, or my post never gets shared, to getting in your stories and encouraging your audience to comment on and share your posts to their stories. I want you to look at how much time you spend on communicating to your audience what it is that you would like them to do with the content that you create.
If people are still not commenting and sharing your posts, then focus in on your Instagram stories, and encouraging people to direct message you from there, or you can do polls and quizzes and things like that. This is all interaction, and it all conditions your audience to be more engaged with your content.
You are the leader of your Instagram, never forget that.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that people trying to build a profitable and engaged audience on Instagram are consistent.
Unless you are creating viral content with every post, the algorithm does not favor accounts who have 72 hour plus gaps in their posting.
The more people interact with your content, whether it be Instagram stories or a feed post, the better chance you have of continuing to be in their feed. I am sure you have experienced this with accounts that you follow and you no longer see any of their content, yet you still follow them.
That is why it is imperative that you encourage your audience to interact with accounts that they would like to continue seeing, and that you do the same with accounts that you want to continue seeing in your feed, and stories.
The less consistent you are in that process, the harder it is going to be for you to build an audience, let alone an engaged one. When we are consistent with our free and valuable content, it builds trust, dependability, and a recognizable brand with our audience.
End of story. If your health and fitness client came to you and wasn’t getting results, I guarantee one of the questions you would ask them is how consistent they’ve been with the protocol. I ask the same of those trying to build a business on Instagram.
Numbers give us context and illuminate emotion tied to performance on the app. They allow us to take better educated and intentional actions with our content.
This is some thing that I teach in an entire module inside Instagram 101, my signature Instagram course.
Metrics on Instagram include likes, comments, shares, saves, follows, reach, profile visits, and more.
Get in the habit of looking at your metrics. you want people to comment, share, save and DM you from your content. Yes, likes do drive reach and getting on the explore page, but if you’re looking for an engaged audience, those more intimate interactions on the app are what you should be focusing on.
You have to be a business account to see your insights. But you should be able to see everything if you click on your insights inside the app.
If you have an established brand, you can likely get away with posting and getting off the app.
But if you are attempting to build a network and a younger audience, I do suggest spending an hour per day or three days a week where you can interact with other accounts so that you get in front of more eyes.
Remember that at it’s organic core, Instagram is a social app.
When I go to your Instagram bio, I should know who you are, what you do, who you help, and how I can get more information from you.
You are running a business. And even if it is a personal brand, you need to use those 150 limited characters to clearly communicate what the heck your business does. And what people can expect on your page.
Again, this is some thing we completely overhaul inside Instagram 101.
I know it’s annoying, but it is true. The app and algorithms favor accounts who are using the new features as they roll out. We saw this with Instagram Stories, we saw it again with Reels, and now we are seeing it with Instagram Guides.
This is not to say that you have to continuously be using these features all the time. By all means determine what makes the most sense for you, and what makes the most sense for your audience in the way of digesting your content.
If a new feature comes out, make an effort to use it a few times, and then move on.
Sweet baby Jesus in a manger, this is so bad in my opinion in the health and fitness industry in 2020.
Sometimes this can tie into creating content for professionals rather than your clients. But either way, I want you to work on continuously breaking down your content and concepts more and more.
If you make a post and it could be broken up into two or three posts, and then do that. The goal here is to make your content as digestible and easily processed for your audience.
I have a huge hatred for content and swipe graphics that are laden with tiny words. I’m not on Instagram to read a book.
I realize that is my bias, but you also might have an easier time being consistent with your content if you got better at breaking down concepts and dispersing your content.
Keep it simple. And when you think it is simple, make it even more simple.
Hello, I understand that you do need to grow an audience. If you have no one to sell to, you can’t make money. Truly, I get that.
But, you probably have a few hundred followers now. And if you serve them, and focus on honing in on your message and your brand, that audience will grow.
I’ve said this before. Focusing on growing your following is very similar to focusing on the number on the scale. It’s the process that you need to focus on in order to see that number change. It can’t be the primary focus.
And last but certainly not least…
Especially now with the algorithm this is going to take TIME, and everything else I’ve mentioned in this episode.
Zoom out, and then zoom in. Focus on your current audience and shifting your message in a manner that truly feels authentic to you, and is in line with your audience.
It is highly likely that you currently have at least 1-2 people in your audience who will pay to work with you. And that’s enough.
Have realistic expectations on the app. Work with the algorithm. Encourage your audience to interact with your content. Build relationships with other professionals who you want to be in relationship with. And keep whittling down those concepts to spread out your content, and embrace the long-haul.
As a little bonus, I will include a huge mistake that I thought of just now.
So, number 11 is, not selling, and/or mentioning your offers/coaching philosophy often enough in posts and in your stories.
Think of other brands that you buy from. I get that service brands aren’t the same as selling clothing or coffee mugs, but you will not have a profitable business if you aren’t willing to talk about your offers in front of your audience.
That sums it up friends.
Review of the week comes from c.malo and says,
“I found Annie recently on IG maybe two months ago? I did not hop on the podcast train until last week and am already 14 episodes in and that is for a reason. They are short, they are straight to the point and EVERY single episode has ACTUAL take-aways, ACTUAL tips, REAL and HONEST ideas that can be easily implemented as a coach, as a business owner, or as someone who wants to be one or both of those things. As someone who has been in the fitness industry for a hot minute, almost 8 years now, I rarely like what “Fitspros” have to say. Annie is NOT your average “influencer.” A genuine, passionate, EDUCATED coach who does not sugar coat things, who gives you tough love to the point that you actually DO things and LEARN things without the bs that this industry has. Seriously, one of the handful on social media who I genuinely respect. Thank you Annie for this podcast, I truly hope to get to work with you in the future. If your podcast has THIS much information for FREE I can only imagine what having you as a coach would be like.”
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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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