I started my @INFJWoman Instagram account on December 28, 2018 at 8:30pm. I had been on a journey of discovery about my personality type, a journey that changed my life. I thought that maybe I could help just one person with the information I had learned. As it turns out there were a lot more people interested.
When I first started it was just a hobby. I had a bunch of graphics about my personality, INFJ, saved on Pinterest so I threw them up on Instagram when I was thinking about it or bored or had an extra minute.
Then I got bored and forgot about it altogether. This was sometime in January. By February I remembered it was there and went back to take a look. Over 100 people were following me! I knew I had something there!
After that, I started to take it more seriously, like a business. I started keeping track of what I was doing and what worked.
This is the exact strategy I used to grow my Instagram following from 0 to over 52K in a year. I've built my business off of Instagram and you can too! Get it now for just $7!
Somewhere in April – May 2019 I hit 10,000 followers. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of it. But I promise you it happened. I couldn’t believe it actually happened!! As I’m writing this blog post, in April 2020, I have over 52K followers.
Something really important happens when you get 10,000 followers: you get a new feature in your Instagram Stories: the swipe up link. This means that you can post a story with a direct link to your website or YouTube channel or affiliate link or anywhere you want.
Instagram is known for only being able to have 1 link in your bio. There is no way to get around it. You only get that 1 link. But when you hit 10K followers, you get that coveted swipe up link feature. Now you have options.
There are a few things that you can do to get to that coveted 10K mark. Here are a few things that worked well for me:
Use hashtags on every post. Don’t use 100 like you see a lot of people doing. You don’t need that many. Pick 5 – 8 of the ones most relevant to your content. Also – this is REALLY important – when you start typing a hashtag Instagram will tell you how many posts have that tag. Like this:
Shorten your learning curve to starting your business as an introvert.
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here!
See the numbers underneath the suggested hashtags? Make sure you pick hashtags with less than 25k posts on them.
I know – you think that a hashtag with 20 million posts on it would be better right? I did too at first. But here’s what happens. You add one more post to 20 million and you get lost in all that mess.
When you pick a hashtag with a lower number you’re more likely to be found and noticed.
When you’re starting a brand new account it’s hard to get people to follow you at first. They look at a blank account and have no idea what you are about or why they should care about you. It’s easy to get discouraged at this stage just like I did. You post for a while and nothing happens, so you think nothing will happen. But don’t give up just yet…
It’s important for you to start posting content consistently. Don’t get obsessed with how many people are following or not following your page. Stay away from the analytics at this point. Don’t look at your lack of followers and give up. Just post.
Set up a schedule to post things consistently. You can set a reminder on your phone to post every so many hours or at certain times a day. An even better way to go is to set up an account with a scheduling platform so you can schedule a whole week’s worth of content at once. I recommend using Later. It’s a great platform that I use for all of my accounts!
Not only does Later save all of your graphics and videos, so you can use them over and over again, but it saves hashtags too! It also lets you schedule everything at once, which is a great timesaving feature.
The best feature that Later offers is called Linkin.bio. It’s a website that acts as a host for the links of your posts. So you can have links connected to every one of your posts if you want and they could all go to different places. This makes sharing links so much easier!!
You can check out everything Later has to offer right here: Later.
The last thing that really helped me grow my Instagram following is empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s the ability to connect with people, for them to say, “OMG ME TOO!!!” That’s really what people want. It’s to feel seen and heard and understood. When you can do that, you’re golden.
The best way to have empathy, radical empathy, is to think about your audience, your ideal customer, and what problem you are trying to solve for them. What is their pain point?
“But I sell accounting software. That’s my thing. It’s not fun or exciting and it doesn’t make people feel seen or understood,” you might say.
I hear you, but I bet you can still have empathy and make people feel seen and understood. Even if you sell hand lotion or yoga classes or do people’s taxes. You can still make them feel seen and understood. Let’s go back to the first example. How do you make someone feel seen if you make accounting software?
Start with a message like this:
“Tired of spending all day tracking down timesheets for payroll? Automate it with Payroll Buddy App!”
Do you see it? We hit their pain point right off the bat. Their major problem or pain point is that they spend 12 hours every week tracking down timesheets to run payroll. When someone does this and they see you speaking to them they automatically have that “Me too!” moment. Your message says, “Tired of spending all day tracking down timesheets for payroll?” And in their head, they say, “YES, actually I am!!” They keep reading because you have a solution for them right away.
I’ll give you another example… what if you’re writing a blog, say about personality types. How do you get people to follow an Instagram account connected to that?
I started by thinking about my ideal customer, which was a past version of me. It was the me who had just learned about my personality type and was looking for some good, down to earth, easy to understand, practical information about my type. I made a list of her problems:
I decided to tackle these problems with the content I shared on my Instagram account. I only shared information that was relevant to her and that made sense to her.
The more I stick to this strategy, the more my audience grows and grows. I’m sure it can work for you too!
Sarah Kuhn is the founder of INFJ Woman and The Quiet Ones podcast. When she’s not serving her clients, writing or recording podcasts, she geeks out on reading books, listening to podcasts about business and New Kids on the Block. She calls Boston, MA home.
© Sarah Kuhn 2020 All Rights Reserved