Our special guest today is Krista. Her feed captivated our attention, and so did her intentions. Krista is all about organic growth, in all aspects of life. She will tell you in details how to grow organically on Instagram and how to attract the right followers, by following what she calls “the 7 C’s”.
Over to you Krista.
I’ll just start by saying that Instagram is my favourite social platform! For starters, it’s a great place to discover new brands and for people to discover my online business organically as well.
But here’s the thing, it’s hella hard work. It requires a lot of time and effort to build an organic Instagram following and a successful feed that reflects your brand and business well.
This past year I’ve more than tripled my Instagram following but if you look at my feed (@happylittlehummingbird_) you’ll see that I have a pretty humble following. In fact, it’s pretty small compared to others who’ve started where I was this time last year, but for me, this isn’t a race…and it shouldn’t be for you either.
The trick is to not get caught up in the numbers but to focus on being intentional. However, the problem is that most people want to rush their following, but by doing so, you’ll waste your efforts by focusing on strategies that can hurt you in the long run (i.e. rocking an account of thousands of highly disengaged followers) and what’s the point of that, right?
In this post, you’ll learn how to get organic Instagram followers (and grow your engagement) without buying your audience or participating in giveaway loops that result in a mass exodus once the giveaway is over. *sigh*
Alright, let’s dive in!
One of the keys to growing organically on Instagram is to post consistently. In my experience, I’ve noticed that my engagement and following significantly increase when I post once per day or more — the less I post, the slower my growth and the greater decrease in engagement. But here’s the deal, as a full-time Mom building my business I don’t have oodles of time to spend on social media which is why I love using my Preview App to plan my feed and write captions in advance.
We’ve all heard the expression that ‘content is king’ but I’d like to add that captivating content is even better for organic Instagram growth. It’s not enough to post just visually appealing images (although that’s important), but remember to include captivating captions that inspire, educate or entertain your followers and give them what they want to see. Before posting, ask yourself: is this a worthwhile post or am I posting just for the sake of posting something? If it’s the latter, I’d recommend waiting until you have something authentic and interesting to share that is relevant to your brand.
Sticking to a theme helps grow your following. I definitely saw an increase in followers when I started to craft a clear & consistent visual aesthetic. However, you don’t need to be a professional photographer, live in an “insta-worthy” home or stick to white-washed ev.ry.thing to have a cohesive Instagram theme. Just make sure the theme you choose is relevant to your brand and that your photos are clear and good quality. Seriously, one of the easiest ways to create cohesiveness is to apply a filter to your photos and use the same edits (I use B2 on Preview App). This gives an instant consistent vibe to every image and creates a cohesive look throughout!
PS: Sticking to a theme doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. I’ve changed my aesthetic several times and as I scroll through my feed I can see various transitions from light to dark, minimal to busy to more balanced vibes. Start with one then change it as you evolve or grow tired of it.
If you want a good ROI on anything in life then adopt the motto “give more than you get”. In this case, contribute and give back by responding to comments and commenting on the work of others, too. When I think about “contribution” I immediately think: how can I help? Try helping others by leaving genuine comments that answer a question, solves a problem or provides some kind of inspiration and encouragement. Focus on creating meaningful content that gives back to your followers by asking: what’s in it for them?
Hashtag communities are a great place to connect with your ideal clients or influencers in your niche. Participating in hashtag communities is probably my favourite way to grow my Instagram following and I’ve had a ton of success by doing so. Some of my favourites have been #TheGramGang, #TheImperfectBoss and although I wasn’t the first to use #MoreHeartLessHustle, I was an early adopter and it’s a hashtag I use to connect posts for people who want to do what they love without sacrificing everything they love to get there. If it’s not clear by now, use hashtags on every post that are relevant to your brand, then like and comment on posts from people who are using the same hashtag — it’s essential if you want to grow your following.
First and foremost, if you’re not trustworthy or your content feels disingenuous in any way, no one will want to follow you or they’ll unfollow you fast. The best way to build your know, like and trust factor is to be authentic and transparent. I unfollow people after a while if their content is too perfect or overly staged because I want to follow and connect with real life people. Showing the messy sides of life and keeping it real will not only attract people who want to follow you but will also encourage them to buy. Let your personality shine in every post and never compromise who you are to appeal to the masses. Let your followers see the quirky or not so glamorous side of life and they’ll appreciate your sincerity and want to tell their friends about you, too.
I think the biggest telltale sign between an authentic following and a “bought” one is the level of genuine connection you get from their feed. I’m a big fan of making real connections (even though it requires more time and effort) it’s worth it because it helps you get to know your followers and learn about their wants and needs (bonus! you meet some pretty cool people, too). When you make authentic connections with people they are more likely to help you when you ask. It should go without saying that “nice post” or “love this” isn’t connecting in a deep or meaningful way so make it a goal to leave thoughtful comments that encourage people to check out your feed or create discussion.
Krista Bauer is a clarity coach, virtual freelancer and creator of SPARK, a 52-week digital intention card deck that sends weekly wisdom to your inbox to support, inspire and guide you to take action and turn your heart-fueled vision into something concrete and tangible. She also offers a free workbook to help budding and busy heart-based business owners make the shift from confusion to clarity so they can stop stalling and start creating their ideal life or biz right now.
Find Krista on Instagram and on her website.