Growing on Instagram is like walking on eggshells right now - one day it goes great, the next day you lose 10 followers. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, normally Instagram does 5 updates/year, however in the last 9 weeks Instagram has done 8 updates! This has been making for some late nights and no days off for my team.

The good news about this is it’s weeded out a ton of those spammy bot companies and people who are selling fake followers. Last I saw there’s been over 2500 companies shut down due to these practices. The other thing that’s great about this is that it’s weeding out the agencies & social media managers that aren’t willing to put in the time & effort to figure out how to best serve their clients. The ones that make it through this will be the tried and true companies that can really help you when it comes to growing your social.

Due to the changing terrain right now, I would suggest holding off on growing your Instagram if you’re just an individual who wants to gain followers for the sake of having a big following (i.e. paying to be popular). There’s too much change happening right now and it’s not worth the effort until this settles down.

However, if you’re a personal brand, blogger or business that has a product or service that genuinely helps people it’s a different story. Right now is actually a great time to start prioritizing your Instagram growth, but before you hire anyone to help you with that make sure to correct these 5 mistakes I’m seeing on Instagram right now;

Mistake #1

No Niche

Once again, if you’re just starting to grow your following on Instagram and transitioning from being an individual to a blogger, personal brand or business this doesn’t totally apply to you. However, if you already have one of those 3 and a consistent way you add value to peoples lives now is the time to really niche down.

What do I mean by niche down? Really focus on the way you add value to people’s lives using your blog, personal brand or business. If you’re a personal trainer focus your content on exactly how you help people achieve their goals when it comes to fitness. If you’re a skin care clinic cater your content to exactly how you help people clear up their skin and walk out of your clinic with more confidence,

If you have a sub-niche with your niche - even better! What do I mean by this? If you’re a skin care clinic (your niche) that specializes in clearing up acne (your sub-niche) focus directly on producing content around that.

One ninja tip here:

Focus your content on where your ideal client actually is, not where you want them to be, definitely not where they will be once they work with you and lay off of where you are now (that you’ve become an expert in your field).

I see this issue with personal trainers all the time - it’s almost like they built their account to attract other personal trainers or fitness fanatics that don’t actually need their services. The content they’re positing is all about them doing super complex exercises and talking about the anatomy of the body in a way people who aren’t into fitness don’t understand (i.e. “once you engage your piriformis it will allow your anterior tilt to subside”, etc).

Here’s the thing- anyone who actually needs your services has no idea what that means - that’s WHY they need your services! Who is your ideal client right now? What are they struggling with? Maybe it’s figuring out how to eat healthy without feeling deprived or find a way to actually enjoy the gym. Speak to them where they are, not where they will be once they work with you. A great example of this done is right is Adam’s Instagram account.

Mistake #2

Only engaging with your page & your content

Instagram wants to make it’s platform a community. If you only focus on replying to comments on your page or counting your likes you’re not treating it like one. Find other people that you like & follow and engage in their stuff by commenting, liking, following, etc. Spending 15 min/day doing this can achieve wonders for your account growth & visibility.

Mistake #3

Not caring about your captions

One of the ways to get your posts more visibility is to spend some time creating a caption or posting a video to encourage people to engage & stay on your post a bit longer than usual. Anything that gets people to spend more time on your post or comment on your post is key because when there’s more time spent on your post, even if it’s 10 seconds longer than normal, the algorithm recognizes this as a post people are interested in that they should show to more people. So don’t just use emoji’s for your caption, write something that adds value and encourage people to comment, tag a friend, etc.

Mistake #4

Caring about numbers instead of engagement

I see this ALL the time and it’s so backwards.

When you care more about the number of followers rather than the people engaging in your content it will ultimately lead to stagnation of your account. This is especially relevant if you have a product or service - personally I don’t care if you have 2000 or 25,000 followers, if you’re converting more followers into clients at the 2000 mark that’s the goal! You’re killing it!

If you want to work with brands this is more important than ever - I work with a few influencer marketing agencies and they’ll take the person with 10k followers and high engagement over the person with 50k followers and low engagement any day of the week!

How do you create engagement? You need to cater your content so it adds value to your ideal audience. create posts & captions that are interesting so people spend time on them and interact with other accounts. No matter how many followers you have this should be a top priority right now - resting on your laurels because you already have 10k followers will lead to a decline of sales, brand deals and you’ll start to lose followers.

Mistake #5

Get your mindset right

We’re in an instant gratification world right now and especially with a platform like Instagram people are expecting to have quick & easy success.

This just isn’t the case, and has never been the case, not because of algorithm changes but because building a community doesn’t happen overnight. I was focusing in Instagram and doing all the right things to grow and it still took 9 months before I got my first brand deal!

If you want to grow on Instagram but you’re going to be bummed after a month because you only gained 150 followers, don’t put in the effort to grow until you’re ready to give it a solid year of effort. Despite how it looks from the outside, this is not an overnight success platform.

What should you do now?

If you want to really catapult your Instagram growth check out my eBook that teaches you the things that actually grow an account with none of the fluff!

Tell me what’s happening with you!

Is there anything I missed? Comment below with your tips! And as always feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions.