A Personal Journey, A Professional Decision
My Instagram journey began as a purely personal account, a digital space to connect with friends and family. However, over the years, this space organically evolved into a mix of personal acquaintances and business associates, making it an eclectic community. When I decided to part ways with my business partner and launch my own boutique marketing agency, I faced a unique predicament. I was unsure who among my diverse array of followers would be interested in my business insights and updates. After much consideration, I decided to separate the two worlds, creating a dedicated space to share my professional journey and business acumen without hesitation or constraint. This turned out to be a pivotal decision that contributed significantly to growing my new Instagram business account followers by an impressive 4000%, or 400 people, in the first 6 months of 2023.
The Power of Engagement: The Buck 80 Strategy
I've always taught that engagement is what turns followers into customers. That's why Gary Vee's "Buck 80" Strategy appealed to me. His strategy suggests that business owners should leave their "2 cents" on 90 different posts from 90 different Instagram accounts every day. However, I customized this approach to suit my business needs and resources.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant: Outsourcing Engagement
Knowing that I couldn't dedicate the time necessary for the full 'Buck 80' strategy, I decided to hire a Virtual Assistant. The VA spends two hours per day, amounting to 10 hours per week, liking and commenting on posts from potential customers on my behalf. She typically interacts with approximately 40 posts daily. She compliments the account holder on their shared content, asks clarifying questions, and generally fosters positive engagement. This is a scaled-down version of the Buck 80 strategy, but it's effective nonetheless.
The VA finds potential accounts by using hashtags that my prospective customers are likely to use. This smart strategy not only increases my visibility but also ensures that I'm interacting with the right audience.
Providing Awesome Content: The Power of Reels and a Stellar Content Team
Engagement was just one piece of the puzzle. The second key to growing my Instagram community was providing awesome content. Initially, I focused on creating Instagram Reels. I committed to posting five one-minute reels each week, created from a single, 90-minute interview that generated 30 individual reels.
With the help of Margaux Gill from Systems Saved Me, I developed 30 questions that she would ask during our interview. I would then respond to each question on video, which the team at Systems Saved Me would edit into 30 one-minute reels. They would add captions and post them on Instagram via Later.
While working with Systems Saved Me was fantastic, I wanted to diversify my content, so I took my reel creation in-house, and hired Workplaybranding to create an even wider range of content. Their well-priced package, included a comprehensive 8-hour photoshoot every three months. I would follow a content plan they created detailing locations and suggested attire, based on my brand colors and brand guide, to capture a range of photos and "b-roll" videos for my social media content.
Workplaybranding would then create graphics to complement the images and my business objectives and ay out my feed in Google Docs. Then I would write the captions and any wording on the graphics. Once everything was prepared, they would load the content onto Later and schedule it for posting.
Conclusion: Crafting a Successful Instagram Strategy
My Instagram growth journey shows that sometimes, success lies in breaking the rules and creating your own path. In my case, that meant not only separating my personal and professional Instagram accounts but also adopting a combination of strategic engagement and quality content provision.
The 'Buck 80' strategy, coupled with top-notch content, has the potential to significantly grow your Instagram community. Remember, it's not just about the follower count, but about creating a community of raving fans who will either become a customer or refer a customer.
So, fellow women entrepreneurs, it's time to take the plunge. Leverage the power of strategic engagement and awesome content to explode your Instagram growth. I can't wait to see how you grow!
If you need help with your digital ad strategy or growth consulting, don't hesitate to reach out. Let's create a community that helps women-led businesses grow and thrive together!