Having a business with less to no engagement? Finding difficulty in letting people know about you? Having a brain full of ideas and innovations yet no one is there to listen to them? Want to say so much and make people understand the things they don’t? Full of potential yet no one has work to offer you? Want to expand the horizons of your business? Well, the answer to all of these questions is just a single word, INSTAGRAM! Yes, you heard it.
Instagram is one of the most powerful tool proven thousand of times by countless businesses. It’s a widely used app among people, whether you’re wanting to become a influencer or want to grow as a freelancer. Everyone shares what they are doing, thinking, even eating, which makes it more interesting and a fun app to use.
However, with the continuous Instagram algorithm updates, it’s now harder than ever to get your brand seen in front of the right audience along with keeping/growing your engagement on your content. Engagement has a huge impact on building relationships with your customers and remember Instagram should be used to build a community and strengthen those connections rather than a tool you rely on to gain conversions.
To help grow your Instagram engagement, below you can find 7 ways to attract and grow your Instagram engagement and start building long term relationships with potential customers.
- Know your audience:
You have to know who your audience is to create a successful business. What type of content they like? The hashtags your audience are using? Know what to post, know what people like to see. Want to make sense and get followed by people? Make sure your posts portray what your audience are interested in. For example, if I’m a wedding makeup artist, I know my audience are those getting married. So targeting women who are getting married to try and get some wedding makeup jobs, then the work I would be posting would be ideally themed around wedding. Such as 70% of my content I would be posting would be wedding makeup looks (before and afters, popular lipstick shades when getting married, etc), 20% maybe wedding dresses inspiration posts and 10% wedding decor inspiration posts. Using hashtags that are relevant and what my ideal customer would be using such as #weddingmakeup or #weddinginspiration.
A very big reason behind the success of people is that they attract people by their work and by their words, so talking in the Instagram language, post the most appropriate work with the best caption no matter how long or short. People like to read captions which start with catchy lines, this makes it interesting and people start to take the interest. Then they will go through all of your posts. And most of all make it relevant by knowing your audiences. Share your experience, share your knowledge. Ask questions to start receiving comments to start building relationships and engagement.
- Search for the similar account within your niche:
Similar to what you could be doing to potential clients. Start searching and interacting with accounts within your niche that you enjoy their content, follow them, re-post their stuff, tag them and start authentically building relationships by actively engaging with their content and showing up. This is a great way to start growing friendships but also allows you to stay in the loop easier with current trends appearing, topics that people are having and overall content inspiration.
- Be an active user:
I think i’ve already basically conveyed this point but…Spare some time from your busy schedule and remind yourself that enough is enough, I’m doing something about it now and post the stuff you did in the past, tell people how honest and loyal you are towards your work and them. Interaction is very necessary, tell them about upcoming projects, because if they liked your previous stuff, they will definitely wait for the new ones that are yet to come. The story in Instagram is a great way to tell people what you are doing, if it’s a project, make a short film and upload it and if it’s something new coming, just make small teasers, people love suspense. Showing up as yourself is always the best way, people are drawn to people so don’t forget to show your personality through your brand.
- Be interactive:
People mostly just post stuff and go to sleep. I call this ‘ghost posting’, where you simply show up on Instagram, upload your content and that’s it. After posting that is when you want to try and spend some time committing on others work, to try and get your post as much exposure as possible, and actively replying to those comments which are being found on your post. It’s so important to reply to the comments you get on your posts. If someone has taken time out of their day to reply to your question then acknowledge it – use it as an opening to start connecting and growing a relationship.
Reply to their comments, if someone is facing a problem in their work, try to help them out by solving their problem, if you don’t want a hustle in the comments, DM them. Actively messaging people is a scary thought or might feel weird at first (who even messages a stranger in the first place) but you will realise so many people find a private DM flattering and might even start a conversation!
- Get creative:
Use you deepest imagination to know what your followers want to see. If you want to attract people to your posts, post pictures that just blow their minds away. If you have a business, you can post pictures of your products which are of high quality and others like freelancers can post a picture with a related caption so amazing that people will read and appreciate it. Captions which are either comical or relatable will always do well on Instagram, so try and make your captions humanised. Instagram is a place where you can win by attracting people towards your posts, now it’s up to you that you do it through pictures, stories, videos or attractive captions. Think outside the box. Mix up your content so people stay engaged and keep coming back.
6. Be Patient:
Spreading the word across about your freelancing business isn’t as easy as it might sound, so all you need to do is to be consistent with all the above points and just don’t give up. The audience is everything, so take care of them. Just keep working and building authentic relationships, there is now quick fix in gaining someones trust. It’s all about showing up and being involved within your niche.