• Christina Mendelson

From Invisible to Visible- How to be seen on Instagram

When I first started Lady ChangeMakers I was terrified of putting myself out there. I didn’t want to be the face of my brand, I just wanted my brand to speak for itself.

Well, your brand can’t speak for itself because it’s a brand. So I had to quickly learn how to get noticed on Instagram. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned to help you quickly take action and increase your brand awareness on Instagram.

Lesson #1 - Post about you for THEM

When you post about yourself it’s not about you. Every post should actually not be about you, but especially posts about you shouldn’t be about you follow?

It’s about the people you serve. When you post on Instagram you’re there to serve your community not yourself. Once I started realizing it wasn’t about me and that it was about what I could bring to the table, it was so much easier to post and press the record button.

Anytime I see that I’m struggling to post on Instagram it’s because I’m making it about myself. I reconnect to my why and suddenly it’s easier to make that post.

So stop stressing so much and go back to your WHY.

Lesson #2 - Date in the DMs

Instagram DMs is where you can really build strong relationships with your community. Listen, no matter how cool you think you are, you will, and never will be too cool to respond to your community.

It again goes back to serving your community. If you are not engaging with the people who are most interested in connecting with you then you will never see your community grow.

This works both ways. If you want an account to notice you, you need to start dating them in the DMs. Start engaging with them and have normal conversations. Never start a conversation with an ask or a sell. That will never get you authentic engagement.

Flatter them and let them know what you appreciate about their content. Then, think about what value you can provide to them. You might not be able to make a real ask from them for a month. Just remember, relationships take time and you need to nurture them, but once you develop a real relationship with someone you will gain a new friend and supporter!

Lesson #3 - Engage & Follow

Real engagement is so important no matter what platform you’re on. Instagram rewards those who authentically engage in each other’s content.

DON’T leave inauthentic, bot-like comments i.e. - “cool pic,” “nice content,” “love this”

DO use at least three words when commenting on someone’s post (not including an emoji)

DO leave open-ended comments or questions - this encourages engagement

DON’T blindly follow people

DO find accounts that align with your mission. Then, follow and engage with them. When you find an account that aligns with your mission and you follow them, make sure to engage in both DMs and their three latest posts.

Lesson #4 - Use Video

Many of us have a fear of showing up on video. But when it comes to Instagram we need to move past that fear because Instagram rewards users for using their video over still images. You will see accelerated growth when you start to show your face to your followers. Make sure to include relevant hashtags, tag accounts, and locations.

This includes:

  • Stories

  • IGTV

  • Feed

  • Reels

Lesson #5 - Think Outside of Instagram

There are many other places you can look to drive people to your Instagram:

Facebook Groups

Whether you like Facebook or not their groups are a great place to drive traffic to your Instagram.

Find like-minded groups where either your customer is hanging out or businesses you can collaborate with. Many groups will do promotional posting once a month or follow back posts (where you follow them and they follow you). These are great places to increase your following while also meeting like-minded people.

Webinars & Events

Since everything is virtual these days go out and find all the virtual events you can, especially the lives ones. I have especially found success in smaller calls that take place on a weekly basis.

For bigger events that have you sign up with a profile instead of using your full name use your First Name followed by your Instagram handle. That way when you’re chatting with other participants you’re Instagram will be constantly top of mind.

The key is to show up early. I cannot count the times where I have been the only person on with a few key people on a webinar while the host waited for the webinar to start. No one likes to stare awkwardly at each other on a virtual call so you can count on the host engaging with you while they wait for others to attend. I recommend showing up 5-7 minutes early. I have met 7 figure CEOs this way!

Always have your short introduction to yourself and your business (and Instagram handle) ready to post when the host starts asking where everyone is from. You don’t want yours to get lost in the middle of the pack. Do research ahead of time on what the topic or host will be speaking about and have questions ready. That way you can do a quick copy & paste instead of feverishly trying to type something out before the host moves on.

The more that you engage in webinars through chats and questions the more likely you will be called out during an event/webinar which will drive people to look at your name and your Instagram.

I have connected with so many female entrepreneurs through a weekly connection call that I participate in.

Lesson #6 - Take action

If all of the above seems overwhelming just choose one that you know you can conquer. If you’re not afraid of video then start there. If you’re more introverted like me, then start dating in the DMs first. Don’t try to do everything all at once, you will just get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all.

I started by just dating in the DMs. I would find accounts that I would really admire and at first, I would just re-post their posts and shout them out nonstop. I would comment on how much I loved their content and ask where they got the necklace they were wearing. Eventually, I created a dialogue and a few weeks later they’d become one of my followers.

In the end, we all just want to be seen and know that we’re being seen. Think about what excites you when someone reaches out and then emulate that to other accounts. Instagram is all about relationship building. When you build authentic connections you will see real growth and will build a strong and loyal community.

- Written By: Jessica Bargenquast- Founder of Lady ChangeMakers

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