Do you feel like everyone on Instagram is hanging out without you?
Sometimes it seems like everyone on Instagram is hanging out with each other making new friends, networking, making connections and you are in your own little bubble with no way to reach out to new people. You’re posting and posting and posting and doing all the right things but barely anyone is noticing or responding.
So let’s talk about a few ways to get out there, get people to notice you and not just stop by your profile, but actually click that button to follow you.
1 ➜ Podcasts / clubhouse
One of the best ways to attract new people to your audience is to get in front of someone else’s audience. That’s right, you don’t have to start from scratch and find every new follower on your own. One way to do this is by being a guest on someone’s podcast. There are podcasts on literally every topic, big podcasts, small podcasts so you can hop into apps like iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher and type in keywords related to your expertise.
If I was doing this I would type in keywords like business, marketing, solopreneur, Instagram, and then contact those podcasts to be a guest. Or literally type the word podcast into the search on Instagram and you’ll find all the IG pages for podcasts.
Most podcasts have info on their website or you can send them a DM or email to pitch yourself. Now let me reiterate that – you do need to pitch yourself. And this could be a whole episode, but I’ll give you a couple quick hints. Tell them why THEIR audience would benefit from hearing from you and send a couple of topic ideas. And actually listen to an episode to double-check that you’ll be a good fit. I can’t tell you how many pitches I get for people wanting to be guests on my podcast when one listen or even a look through my episodes would tell them I don’t take guests, so don’t waste their or your time – do a little research before reaching out.
And remember – even if you’re just getting started, there are people just starting their podcasts in need of guests.
Clubhouse has also made it easy to connect with new people. You can join communities so again hopping into the app and searching for topics related to your niche and your expertise. They have a list of keywords to search through right on the main page so that’s a good place to start.
You can use Clubhouse a couple of ways – you can create your own room, whether that is within a community or not. Literally just open the app and click Start a Room. Or you can be a guest in someone else’s room. Or have them as a guest in your room. Again sharing your audiences with each other.
During the discussion, you can then ask listeners to connect with you on Instagram or DM you for something specific like a free worksheet, guide, training or even to buy a product or enroll in a program. Your Instagram link is right in your Clubhouse bio and it’s clickable, so remember to use it to help listeners connect with you further.
You can also join a room where a conversation is already happening and join in the discussion. Think of Clubhouse like a radio show or a live podcast where people are teaching things, discussing things and you can be a moderator of the conversation or a participant. One thing Clubhouse does a little better than Instagram is allow you to click any person in the room, that could be the moderator, participant who’s speaking, or the people that are just listening, and see their profile without leaving the convo. This makes it easy to find and follow new people.
This might not be the most comfortable strategy if you’re an introvert, but if you’re extroverted I would definitely give it a shot.
2 ➜ Be specific in your Instagram bio
When you look at someone’s profile what do you do first? Probably read their bio and then scan through their feed to see their vibe, what they share, and figure out if it’s something you’re interested in. This means your bio can be a big help in turning those new visitors into followers. But you only have space for one short sentence so it needs to be clear, concise, and catch the attention of your ideal client or customer.
The mistake most people make is to generalize what they do – I’m a graphic designer, I’m a health coach, I’m a meditation expert. This doesn’t identify who you help or what you help them do which makes you just another coach or expert on the ‘Gram. Instead be specific so when someone looks at your profile they either feel excited or repelled. This is why a bio like: I help ____ to _____ so they can ______ works well. You’re identifying the person, their problem, and the result they’re looking for.
Mine is I help solopreneurs simplify their marketing and show up with confidence to grow their online business. I’m specifically calling out online business owners, who need to simplify what they’re doing and want to feel confident and show up more often. Those are the things that my students and clients say are their biggest issues – fitting in all the things and being able to show up consistently. So start with that sentence and then you can adjust from there. I’ve rewritten my bio a hundred times so fill in the blanks, post it in your profile, and see how it feels. You can always edit!
One other thing to add to your profile – a call to action to point your audience toward the next step. If you do sleep training for babies, maybe your CTA says “Hey mama click below for better sleep in one week.” You’re giving them a specific outcome and the action to get help. And it helps share a little more about what you do.
Your profile needs to speak to the transformation, result, or solution that you are able to create. Don’t waste character space by adding things like I enjoy hiking, biking, I’m vegetarian, I’m a dog mom – those things take up character space and don’t help attract followers that will become customers or clients.
You can put photos of those things in your feed. A quick scroll and people should see in the first nine squares a photo of your face, a video of you talking so they can get a feel for your personality, and photos of anything that makes you stand out. Maybe it’s a photo of you with your kids, maybe it’s a photo of you climbing a rock wall at a gym, maybe it’s you wearing an outfit that shows off your style. Put your personality in your photos not in the text in your bio.
3 ➜ Start posting Reels
This is probably one you don’t want to hear but you should start making Reels. I just did a Reels challenge in The Essentials and a bunch of the women who joined in said they actually like making Reels now. This tends to happen with most things I con you all into doing! You’re like, “Oh it wasn’t that bad, I’m gonna keep doing this now.”
By putting the Reels button at the bottom of the app Instagram is telling us that they are making that type of content a priority. And you don’t have to dance, lip-synch, or point at things. Two things work on Reels – being entertaining and sharing information but you can do that in whatever way feels good to you.
I like to do a combination of informational Reels, like 5 tips for boosting Instagram engagement or The apps I use for creating Instagram content. And then I toss in a few trending Reels, like the hair flip to go from no makeup to makeup, but make it for my niche. So my version of that was what I look like most days working from home and what I look like to record video – with my makeup and hair done. You can find me on IG @xosarahmorgan to see more examples on my profile.
If you need some stats to convince you. (I like to see data before I invest time into things) There are no insights for Reels within Instagram right now, but you can see the views, and out of all of my Instagram content – posts, stories, IGTV – Reels get the most views. Whether that’s because it’s the best content I’ve created or because Instagram is just making it easier for people to find those Reels – it doesn’t really matter. Generally, my IGTVs get 300 to 500 views, but my Reels get 2000 to 3000 views. So the question is, is feeling a little awkward for like a minute worth getting thousands of views?
Yes, the answer is yes.
Also if you’re a member of The Essentials I have a full tech training plus lots of examples for other types of Reels to make if you don’t want to sing and dance. If you’re not already enrolled, head over to xosarah.com/essentials to become a member and get access to that immediately. It’s in the Instagram course!
4 ➜ Use hashtags
I keep hearing people say things about hashtags not working, but I’m still getting views from my hashtags. If I use hashtags on a post, 20 to 30% of the total views are from people who don’t follow me already. So if I get 100 views on a post 20-30 of those people don’t follow me already. Plus it literally takes me 5 seconds to add hashtags to my post so it’s totally worth testing.
My strategy for this is to create 3 to 5 blocks of 30 hashtags and then rotate through them. If you use Planoly you can add your hashtags in the post editor and then it will publish your post automatically AND add your hashtag block as a comment automatically. You do want to keep an eye on your insights and make sure those hashtags are working. A few days ago I was checking my stats and noticed that I was no longer getting many views from one of my hashtag blocks so that one is going to get replaced shortly.
The other benefit of using hashtags that most people don’t talk about is that people can follow hashtags. If you go into any hashtag you will see a button to follow for that hashtag at the top. Following a hashtag allows posts from that hashtag to show up in your main feed with all the content from the accounts you follow.
This means if you use a hashtag, your post could show up in someone’s feed as they’re scrolling even if they don’t follow you. They don’t need to go into a hashtag or search a hashtag if they’re already following it. So this can get you in front of people who are already interested in your niche and what you share. They’ve followed that hashtag because they’re interested in seeing more posts on that topic, which means they might just follow you and even if they don’t follow you they might repost or share your content on Stories. I know it works because I follow people and repost content from the hashtags I’m following all the time.
5 ➜ Pay to promote your posts to similar audiences
While I do my best to make my organic content attract the majority of my audience and sell the majority of my products, boosting a post by hitting that promote button in Instagram is a great way to get in front of other audiences. And it doesn’t have to cost you hundreds of dollars – sometimes I spend $10 a day for 2 or 3 days just to put it in front of Instagrammers who wouldn’t see it otherwise.
Now, the biggest mistake people make when boosting posts is not checking their insights first. You want to make sure that you are choosing a post that has already done well with your followers. Don’t just pick a random post. If something has not gotten engagement – it’s not getting shares, saves, comments, clicks – do not pay to promote or advertise that post. Because if your audience wasn’t into it, random people who have never met you probably won’t be into it either.
But if you have a post that IS getting engagement, it may be worthwhile to pay to promote that post.
If you would a full training on how to properly promote your Instagram posts and the other mistakes people tend to make, hop into The Essentials. You can find it with all of the other Instagram trainings!
OK now that I’ve given you five different fantastic ways to get your content in front of and attract new followers on Instagram I want you to screenshot this episode, post it to your stories, tag me at @xosarahmorgan and tell me which one you are trying first.
And as always if you learned something new from hanging out with me today or had an ah-ha or an oh shit! moment make sure you rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast Platform, share it with a friend, and come back and hang out with me again next week!