Do you enjoy checking out people’s photos on Instagram? I know I do! Looking at gorgeous photos shared by people I follow and admire can be inspiring. But it can also make you wonder how they got so many followers and such a perfect feed.
When I first started my Insta account, I was blown away by the profiles out there with thousands of followers. How the hell did they get there, I wondered, as my own account sat stagnant with only a few hundred followers.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not an expert on this stuff BUT I have been able to quickly grow my Insta account (especially over the last 5 months or so). I thought it’d be fun to spill the beans on the community building tactics that are working for me now, so you can apply them in your own coaching business too. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not building up your following on Instagram will benefit your coaching business, let me share my personal results: At the moment I’m regularly generating 10X more engagement on Insta than my Facebook page. Instagram is consistently in the top 3 sites driving traffic to my blog. Not too shabby, right?
I love Insta! I’ve read that there are more than 400 million Instagram users out there right now, and Insta reports that they have a 42% penetration rate across millennials. Seriously, the brand and community building possibility for your coaching business on Insta are no joke!
In today’s post, I’m breaking down the exact 10 practical tactics I’m using to grow my following and presence on Instagram. Read on! I have a feeling you’re able to discover how, with a few tweaks to what you’re already doing, you can not only get more followers easily, but also meaningfully engage with them on Instagram, all while growing your list and getting more clients.
I’ve also created a special Instagram Strategy Workbook for Coaches. I specifically designed this bad boy to take coaches step-by-step through the process of planning out their own brand and community building strategy for Instagram. Inspired to take action and quickly get started taking advantage of Insta? This Workbook is your must do next step. Click the button below to grab your workbook now… it’s FREE!
1. Promote Your Lead Magnet
You’ve probably heard me bag on about the importance of building a list of engaged potential clients before. Hopefully, you already know that, at the end of the day, building our email subscriber list MUST BE a priority, right? While Instagram doesn’t allow us to create hyperlinks in post descriptions, we can still grow our list on this platform by doing a few things.
For starters, you can link to a registration landing page for your opt-in gift/ lead magnet by putting a link to it in your Instagram bio profile. This is a great way to direct new followers right on over to where they can subscribe. You can even entice them in your profile description by adding some copy telling them exactly what they’ll get when they subscribe to the link below. (For example, your Instagram bio could include a sentence like: ‘Get your free vegan recipes ebook in the link below!)
You can also create an image that promotes your opt-in gift/ lead magnet, and periodically share that image in your account. When I created my free Done For You Script Pack, I shared an image on Instagram and mentioned in the caption to head on over to the link in my bio to download it.
Pro Tip: Anytime you promote your opt-in gift, be sure to emphasise the benefits for your ideal clients. The more enticing and helpful it sounds, the more successful you’ll be at converting followers into subscribers, and then (hopefully, down the track…) clients.
2. Share Extra Tips Aligned To A Free Challenge/Program/Promotion
If you’ve ever considered running a free challenge on your site or for subscribers, incorporating Instagram can help increase engagement. You can grow your following and share extra value to participants by releasing extra tips or prompts for participants over on your Instagram account. By sharing a special image you’ve created just for the challenge and by using a unique hashtag for participants to use, you’ll help increase engagement on your account, grow your followers, and also help convert new and existing Instagram followers into email subscribers.
I did just that when I created the Soul-Fuelled Selling Spree challenge by creating and sharing Instagram posts (like this one) that gave participants extra tips every day. I made sure to always include action steps to help people get even more out of the challenge.
3. Shoutout People You Admire
I’ve had great success growing my community on Insta by showcasing followers and friends by shouting them out and mentioning them in a post. This is done by adding an @ in front of their username, which creates a link to their profile.
This approach is also a wonderful way to get on the radar of influencers you’re following. You could give it a go by writing a heartfelt post that perhaps lets your community know how much you enjoyed their book, program, or latest blog post. You could even consider resharing one of their Instagram posts – but if you do please PLEASE credit them (Apps such as Repost allow you to do just that).
As an example, when I interviewed Cassie Mendoza-Jones on the blog, I also created an Instagram post that highlighted the interview and mentioned her in the comments so that my followers could head on over and check out her Instagram profile.
4. Engage Influencers By Leaving Meaningful Comments
Leaving thoughtful comments on a favourite influencer’s Insta posts is yet another great way to not only get on their radar, but help you grow your following and connect with ideal clients too.
I discovered this strategy by accident when I began consistently writing meaningful comments on posts from friends and other coaches/influencers I’m crushing on. Low and behold, I noticed that I’d see new followers anytime I did.
Perhaps like me, you’ve read comments on someone’s post and ended up clicking on the commenter’s profile to learn more about them? This is exactly what happens when you start to comment regularly on images, and another reason why Instagram is all about community and brand building.
The key is to make sure that when you leave comments that they are personal and thoughtful. Never automate your comments using a software or scheduling app. Eugh! You WON’T get the results you’re hoping for. Plus it’s a seriously shady practice. As always, authenticity wins.
5. Follow Hashtags Your Ideal Clients Use
Do you know which hashtags your ideal clients use and search on Insta? I work with creatives, coaches and freelancers, and I’ve found a great way to find and connect with potential clients on Instagram is to follow hashtags that they use. This is a powerful and (my friends in the know tell me) often ignored step that can help you get more followers, subscribers, and clients.
Say for example you’re a health coach that helps women who have adrenal fatigue. By searching for ‘adrenal fatigue’ on Instagram, you’ll find thousands of people using that hashtag. You can engage with those that seem to meet some of the key characteristics of your ideal clients by leaving meaningful comments and liking their photos. When you do, you’ll show up in their feed and perhaps they’ll follow you or want to find out more about your coaching services.
6. Create An On Brand Feed
I bet you know by now that how you portray yourself and your work online matters. No doubt about it, your brand vibe helps you attract the right people to your community. The same goes for any content you post on Instagram: the more on brand and appealing it is to the people you want to serve, the more subscribers and followers you’ll get.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a pro photographer to have a great feed (I know I’m not!) But you can start getting intentional with what you post by taking a look at your feed (photos on your main profile) and thinking through which colours, styles, and fonts would look best.
I personally love to post uplifting quotes that have a similar look and feel. And I love to make sure that the content I share on Insta has a consistent look and feel.
7. Let Your Followers Get To Know You
News flash: We work with people we know, like and trust. And while many people in your community may never get to meet you in person, they would probably love to know what a day in your life is like!
Coaches can use Instagram to post behind-the-scenes photos from their daily life and showcase their personality. This is something I’m not so good at, but a great example of this is Leonie Dawson, who shares photos of funny faces that show how warm-hearted and hilarious she is, as well as pics of her family and staff. Someone else who does an awesome good job is Denise Duffield-Thomas. She shares a mix of personal pics as well as affirmations.
At the end of the day, what you share online is up to you. No matter what I say, don’t feel you need to expose elements of your private life if you don’t want to. Share what feels right!
8. Use Hashtags In Your Posts
Using relevant hashtags in your Instagram posts – by adding them to the image caption or comments – will help you get your photos in front of even more people (through people using Insta’s search function). This can be a great way to build your following and connect with ideal clients.
If you decide to give this tactic a go, it’s important to make sure you’re using hashtags that 1) your ideal client likes and uses, and 2) that aren’t too broad. Images connected to hashtags that have many people using them are super fast moving when searched and will tend to get posts buried quickly, and thus they go unseen sooner by people searching those hashtags. I like to use a mix of hashtags that my community is using and that also best represent my brand, such as #womeninbusiness #girlboss and #lifecoach.
You can also post additional hashtags in a comment below your post, like what I did here.
9. Promote Your Work
Yep, you can promote your latest class, coaching package, or blog posts on Instagram without being spammy! As with most things, it’s all about how you do it. Your followers are following you because they’re interested in what you do. There’s a good chance they’d love to know about your latest offering.
I’ve learnt the quality of your images and meaningful comments are a big part of this tactic going well. Have your designer or VA whip up an image that’s Instagram-sized for your latest blog post, podcast, or even Youtube video. Leave a compelling description under the image that will pique your follower’s interests and prompt them to head on over to where they can read/watch it. And anytime you’re promoting something specific, be sure to update the live URL link in your Instagram bio to point to the next action step you’d like someone to take.
The same goes for when you’ve got a brand-new coaching package or service: create an image that’s on brand and let followers know why they should find out more about working with you. I did just that when I launched Priceless.
The key to promoting on Instagram is to keep it relevant and to a minimum. The vast majority of your content should be non-promotional that helps your followers get to know you and your brand, or that inspires them. But when done well, sharing your latest offerings can help you get even more clients.
10. Showcase Client Testimonials
Has a client left you a brilliant testimonial? I bet they have! A great way to help build your coaching brand on Insta is to share it along with a photo of your client in your feed. Testimonials help showcase your approach, expertise, and ideal clients. This tactic can give potential clients the extra reassurance they may need to take the leap and invest in working with you.
I hope you’ve found today’s post helpful and that I’ve inspired you to think about how you could use Instagram to help build your coaching business!
Don’t forget to grab your free Instagram Strategy Workbook for Coaches. Use it to quickly plan out the best strategy and priority action items to build your brand and kill it on Instagram now!
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