“Kayse,” she asked, “How do you grow your Instagram audience, authentically?”
Many teacherpreneurs have asked me this question so many times. I love Instagram because I get to connect with my people every day. But I also know running an Instagram as a platform for your business is hard work. Here are some of my favorite tips for how to grow your Instagram community that work for me and will work for you.
Grow Your Instagram By Being Authentic
Merriam-Webster defines the word “authentic” as “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”. Authenticity in an online space isn’t always natural, as we get to pick and choose what we say, post, and share. But if you want to know how to grow your Instagram community, choose authenticity.
Think about your FAVORITE influencer. Why do you love following him/her on Instagram? It may be because of his/her curated feed, awesome suggestions, or posts that go along with his/her niche. But I’m also guessing you’re drawn to his/her personality. I LOVE Instagram Stories for this reason! We get a glimpse into real-life – the good, the bad, and the messy.
In my opinion, I would rather follow those who are authentic – who own their personality and quirks, whose spirits radiate off of the screen, and who I could see being my BFF. When you’re creating your social media marketing plan, make sure you aren’t just posting beautiful things. We want to see YOU. That’s how you will grow your Instagram following.
Grow Your Community By Engaging with Others
I believe that when you give generously, you will receive generously. One of the most natural ways for how to grow your Instagram audience is to engage with other accounts! I recommend commenting on at least 20 posts each day and finding teachers in your niche with whom you can develop relationships!
When we value connection and relationships, followers will come. Instagram’s algorithm can seem confusing at times. But, it’s optimized to show people what they want to see! And if they aren’t engaging with you, they may not see you! So a great way to change that is to take initiative and start the conversation!
Instagram Stories are another great way to connect! Answer other people’s polls, respond to their Stories, and when you put a question or poll in your Stories, respond to those who answered you! Those little things add up to make an impact on Instagram.
Grow Your Instagram By Targeting your Ideal Customer Avatar
Another of my tips on how to grow your Instagram organically is to know your ideal customer avatar and serve them on the platform. Your ideal customer avatar is who you serve in your business. It’s not an actual person, although it could be. But you put together a profile of someone and give them a name and life details. For example, my first ideal customer avatar’s name was Kelsey Smith. I know how old she is, what she does for a living, where she lives, how much money she makes, personal details, what she loves, and her pain points and needs.
With every decision in my business, including what I share on Instagram, I ask myself, “Would Kelsey like this? Would she find value in this? Would this help her? If the answers to those are yes, I do it! If they’re no, I skip it.
We build our Instagram communities for a purpose, right? The goal is to have TRUE FANS who become customers. When we focus in on one person we want to serve, we will draw the right crowd! Don’t forget to use hashtags also to target that ideal customer!
Grow Your Instagram By Branding Yourself
If you’re struggling with how to grow your Instagram brand and community, I would recommend starting with my free workbook on The First 10 Steps to Get Started Selling Your Teaching Resources Online. It’ll help you work through those first steps to jumping into the teacherpreneur world! I also have an episode of The CEO Teacher Podcast called Branding You that I think you’ll love!
Once you’ve decided on your brand – colors, style, and what you want to be known for, it’s time to let that permeate everything in your business. If you look at my Instagram profile, you’ll see that my brand is evident. My brand colors run throughout my posts, I have two fonts that I use, and I've edited all of my photos with similar presets.
When you use your branding to create templates and images, you will grow your Instagram platform because people will start to recognize you. When you use the same colors, fonts, and image styles consistently, they’ll see your posts and instantly know who they’re from without a second glance. So if you’re interested in how to grow your Instagram for business, this is the way to go!
Grow Your Community By Being Consistent
This tip for how to grow your Instagram account isn’t easy, but it sure is worth it! Consistency is critical in every area of life, including Instagram! Not only does the algorithm like it when you post consistently, but when you show up every day on Instagram, your community takes notice.
Being consistent on Instagram doesn’t just mean auto-scheduling your posts to go out every day. Actually, that’s pretty much the opposite of what we should be doing. If you want to know how to grow your Instagram engagement and community, it boils down to consistency.
Be consistent in responding to direct messages.
Be consistent in sharing your life, tips, and content in your Stories.
Be consistent in engaging with those who comment on your posts.
Be consistent in engaging with other teachers and commenting on their posts.
Be consistent in SHOWING UP.
If you struggle with this, schedule it into your day. Spend 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening showing up. This is how to really grow your Instagram.
Being there for your people will let them know that you respect and care for them, not just a business. Show them the real person behind your curated images and profile picture.
Connection and consistency are how we are going to build a loyal community. When we focus on these things, the followers will come. But let’s not get so caught up in wanting to know how to grow your Instagram followers that we miss out on the beauty of personal connection.
So, tell me, how are you going to grow your Instagram community?