I’ve been stuck at 2500 followers for a few weeks now and that’s really bothering me.
I love creating content for Instagram but the time when I don’t see growth I get a little frustrated.
Part of me wishes I could wake up and have 10k followers.. but that’s not reality.
I could blame the algorithm.. but the truth is.. I just need to step my Instagram game up!
I took sometime last week to scale back and kind of look for inspiration for my blog and instagram.
I found this podcast called “The secret life of bloggers”
The guest was Delaney Childs. A Southern California style blogger who grew her instagram audience to 175k in about 3.5 years.
That’s pretty impressive! I became obsessed with Delaney! She has this section on her blog called “Industry Talk” where she gives advice about everything from starting you blog to pitching brand collaborations.
The blog post that struck me was the post about how Delaney grew her social media presence.
I was having a moment where growth was slow and I needed to reevaluate my approach to the gram!
I’ve come along from where I started from.I used to only post vegan food. I was honestly to shy to be in front of the camera even though that’s what I longed to do.
Once I started my blogging journey that changed.
I stepped out in front of the camera but I was very unorganized. I didn’t have a niche, I was new to blogging and learning as I went along.
Six months ago everything changed when I decided to step in front of the camera.
My audience started to grow! Brands started to reach out, work with me and even use my content.
My feed also started to look a lot more cohesive.
I started to plan out my photo shoots and try new things.
I grew from 2000 to 2500 pretty quickly from narrowing down and focusing on thrifted style, mom life and cannabis.
I’ve always wanted to share personal style and talk about thrifting so the fact that my audience was responding positively to the content made me want to create more..
Some how my growth stalled and I know I’m to blame.
Style Bloggers/influencers like Delaney post daily!
When I read that.. I realized I honestly only post 3 times a week.
That’s why I’m not growing.
If I want to be serious about this and grow at the rate I want I need to put in the leg work!
I checked out another creative @simplyshannah
I was studying the hashtag “blackgirlswhoblog” and I found this amazing human!
She’s been blogging and on Instagram for 18 months and she’s already at 12.k!
I went to her blog and saw that she had a post with tips on how to grow your Instagram.
I devoured them! and stalked her Ig feed a while longer.
I loved every post.
I took in what I learned from each of these creatives and I made a plan of action on how I plan to grow my instagram to 3k and beyond!
Post to Instagram 1-2 times daily
I call this plan the “Delaney challenge” Delaney post 1-2 times a day with short captions and hashtags in the comments.
It sounds like a lot of work.. and honestly it is but I’m up for the challenge. I really want to grow my audience. I want to be able to work with more brands.
No, you don’t need millions of followers to work with brands but growth is progress.
I’ve been at this now for almost 2 years.
The first year was spent learning and I grew to 1k followers.
This second year I’ve grown to 2500 and I’ve made about 4 figures in brand deals but I want more.
I want to work from home as a creative and in order to do so I have to grow my audiences.
With growth comes opportunity.
In my mind is like to reach 2020 with 3k followers and a brand deal.
I know it’s not going to fall into my lap I know it’s hard work and I’m willing to do it.
In fact I’m excited about it.
I’m going to try a different style of posting. Typically I write longer captions and have hashtags in the post itself.
This next few months I’m doing the opposite. It can’t hurt.
That way I can gauge what my audience really likes as well.
(I don’t know if the placement of hashtags makes a difference. I think it’s just a matter of aesthetics to be honest. I’ve had post perform well both ways.)
I plan to use this strategy for about a month and see what my result are.
I took the time to plan out my content for the week in order to meet the post requirements.
Delaney suggest only posting 1-2 times a day. Any more than that can clog up the feed.
I’m a little scared about this challenge because I haven’t posted that frequently in a long time. I’m more organized than when I started so it really may help me out!
Take photo using my DSLR camera only
I earned enough money freelance writing and content creating last year to purchase a Canon T6 Rebel. My husband and I have been practicing with the camera now since March.
After I was hesitant to let anyone other than me use the camera. It’s my baby! I actually landed my first photography job a couple weeks ago.
It was great.. Chris assisted me so he could get used to the camera as well and he did a great job.
Chris shoots all my photos for iG with my iPhone currently.
We’ve had great post. We’ve had tremendous opportunities and Chris has an amazing eye for photography. He also takes direction well (I’m very pushy 😅) Chris has been taking photography classes at the community college for the future and I mean why not get more practice in right?
I asked Chris if he would mind practicing photography by shooting me on weekends. He was up for it!
I want to level my Ig and he wants to level up in photography. I think it could be really great for both of us.. plus we get use the camera.. that’s always a plus!
I plan to post more angles, more positions, more creative poses
I’m still pretty new to being in front of the camera but I need to do more poses, positions and angles… like these ladies
I love the energy and the way these feed change up the angles.
I love @Delaneychilds use of angles to break up the same outfit.
There are so many ways to spruce up a feed to make it exciting for your audience and I can’t wait to try out new poses!
Tag more brands
The way to build relationships with brands in the future is to tag them.
Tagging brands puts you on their radar and often times opens a line of communication. That’s how the goodwill started using my content. I tagged them just about weekly in post.
It’s hard to get the attention of large brands when you’re a creative with a smaller audience.
I’m small now but I’m planning to grow and hopefully tagging brands in photos will increase my chances of a relationship with the brands I use daily.
Tagging really does work.
I noticed a lot of the creatives I love tag brands and some even create entire campaigns for brands just get the attention of the brand.
It’s worth a shot.
Take pics in more locations in my photos than just my backyard
I kind of got in the habit of posing outside to get the shot of my outfit and then interacting through out the day.
I’m going to try something different for me.
I’m going to bring 3-4 outfits to a few locations and shoot.
I noticed the creatives I admire have such gorgeous backgrounds.
I’m not planning to hop a plane to Dubai, but I’m definitely going to cruise my town and use the backgrounds available to me to achieve the looks I want.
I want to give my audience something to be excited about when I post.
That makes me excited. I use Instagram to showcase my lifestyle through photos.. I need more excitement than my front yard.
That was one of Delaney’s biggest tips. “switch it up! You locations, you captions, you color palette all of it”
I want to have more interesting backgrounds and experiences to show and talk about so Chris and I are going to explore the city for places that look nice and practice photography on the weekends.
Get comfortable reaching out to restaurants and venues
Since I want to take photos in cool locations I figured I might as well try and reach out to the owners of buildings and restaurants around town to see if perhaps they’d like to collaborate and to ask permission to photograph in the establishment and in front of their establishment. I don’t want to be rude.
Giveaway at 3k
I’ve done several giveaways. I did a Sephora giveaway when I hit 1k and I huge gift basket at 2k I did a giveaway for Mother’s Day. It time again for me to do another giveaway so I have to brainstorm and reach out to some brands and see if they’d like to collaborate on a giveaway basket.. if not I’ll just fill a basket with all the goodies I’m into at the moment.
I used to be really really good with engagement prior to posting and after I post. Lately I’ve fallen of and I see that my followers have stalled. I’m going to get back out into the community! Comment on others content! Immerse myself in the content of others. I really want to reach out with creatives in my area and create content with them.
Engage in Ig stories more!
I’ve been really good about posting in stories but I need to turn that camera around and speak to my audience more.
I need to make more videos specifically for my Instagram stories.. there’s actually a lot of eyes there!
I even get clicks to my blog from Ig stories.
I get more clicks from posting in stories than I do in my main feed at times. I think I’m going to start creating more content specifically for stories.
Let go of wanting to make money quickly…
I think I fell victim of wanting to be successful RIGHT NOW!
I took time this week and really studied the Ig creators I want to be like and I realized they make the “big bucks” and land the brand deals because they put in the time and they create content worth paying for.
If I’m being completely honest.. I’m just not at that level.
Does that mean I won’t get there. No! Of course not! I’m going to keep working and keep creating until I reach the goals I want to.
I think once I started making money I wanted that money all the time.
I wanted to be able to make enough this year to quit my job.. that kind of urgency put unrealistic pressure on me.
I gave myself 5 years to make it as a creative and honestly it may take me longer.. it may take me less. I don’t know. What I do know is I need to realize its work.. and as time goes on and my work gets better. I’ll make more for my work.
Everything takes time and I’m aware of that.
I think we here these stories of instant fame and vitality and we wonder “why not us?” Or we feel like or moment right around the corner so we’re secretly bracing for the impact of success and missing life.
I want to be successful. I do have dreams of this being my full time career but I have to be real.. it’s going to take me kicking into gear.
I have to put in the work a little hard and see what happens.
I gave myself $500 and one year to make progress in the blogging world and I’ve done pretty well.
It’s time to buckle down and make even more progress with my Instagram.
If you want to make blogging/content creation/ influencing (whatever you want to call it) you career you have to be willing to do the work and change it up when necessary.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this thing.
Instagram growth isn’t the same for everyone. I take tips from everyone and apply them all and see which ones work.
I’m going to try these strategies for the next month and I’ll check in and show you the results.
I’m actually excited to shoot new content!
I can’t wait to show you what we shoot this weekend!
Have you heard or the instagrammers I mentioned above? Have you ever switched up your Instagram game?
Let’s chat in the comments 😎😋🤓