I could literally write about this for days, and if I had all the time in the world, I could grow faster so tip #1-BE PATIENT! You don't have all the time in the world so you aren't going to grow overnight and it just simply takes consistency throughout time to really do this. But just this week I've realized how passionate I am about helping others to figure out all these "secrets" that I have had to learn the hard way in coaching online as well as blogging and how to be successful in that. I hope to bring you information in this blog series that is informative and USEFUL not the typical "I just provide valuable content and millions flock to me" which is genuinely what I heard ALL the time when trying to grow.
I remember the first day that I made my instagram page and I came across some fitness pages and I never had the thought "Man I want to be fit like them" but rather "Man I want to be successful like them" which is totally my personality (admitably flawed part of it). The one tip that I will say that is valuable but isn't actionable is just to be genuine. People are going to pick up on things IMMEDIATELY if you aren't genuine about it and yourself. It's so hard to continue over the life time of your brand to keep up some show of who you really aren't, so you just need to be who you are. So, now that I've given you 2 tips, let's start with some actionable tips:
PICK YOUR PRIMARY CHANNEL
So, obviously mine started on instagram but then I built this blog. I tried so hard back in the beginning of this year to be apart of the cool kids club and do youtube. It's just not me. If I'm going to put up a youtube video, I want it to have sustenance and something useful that you guys can take away from. I just simply cannot have a camera following me day to day and Vlog.
You have to recognize that about yourself and what channels are going to be best for your personality and go with that. I actually guess I start originally on facebook but recognized the fast pace that you can grow on instagram and shifted my efforts towards that. Growing an instagram, blog and facebook is work enough much less if you are also trying to grow youtube, twitter, pinterest, snapchat, and all these other channels.
You are going to spread yourself too thin, and people don't want to follow across that many platforms so you just need to focus on one or two and using the others to redirect them to your primary (pinterest is great for that).
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
This is actually a really huge one that should be at the top of the list. Connection with others is actually the only way that you are going to grow. Relationships and connections with people and companies! But, how do you do that? GREAT QUESTION! haha! There are so many ways, but the primary one that people use is just commenting.
I want to be 100% honest in these blogs and give you valuable information. Yes, there are those that don't have to do these things and that is wonderful but sometimes when you are starting from the ground up, people don't know how awesome you are yet and you need to get them to your page. So, when you comment on their stuff consistently, they start to take notice. They may click on your page. People will start to see your name in the comment section of other big names, and they will click on your stuff. People will start to see that the person posting the photo actively engages with you because you have a friendship and connection and they think "Oh this person knows this person. Who are they?"
When they come to your page, you want them to trust that this is something that they want to follow. Here are just some quick tips on that:
- Your instagram is your art project and I do a terrible job at this. I do better on @_katieamelia so look to that. Em_dunc is a great example of a perfectly artistic masterpiece of an instagram, so when anyone comes to that page they value the beautifulness and want to follow.
- Followers=trust (as sad as that is-the more that you get the more people will trust that you are someone worth following because 10k, 20k, 30k people before you have done so)
- Keep your theme consistent (this deserves its own)
KEEP YOUR THEME CONSISTENT
This could be included in the "things katiesfitscript should have learned from day 1." I have learned many lessons along the journey and I have changed ALOT! But the one piece of advice that I have is just that whatever content that you decide that you are going to share, you need to be willing to stick with that. In fitness, I obviously started as fitfam and have transitioned into a runner so while I have a lot of followers on instagram, I have low engagement. Many people think that low engagement comes from bought followers, which I guess could be the case for some, but for me it's a clear indication of my switch. I have followers from my fitfam days but they are not interested in running and triathlon. Even the runners aren't interested in biking and swimming and the number of likes on pictures shows that. It's really not a big deal but it's a measure of things and something that as a business owner, you need to be aware of.
The pictures that you are sharing should have the same type look to them and same filters. It cracks me up the pages that have the most engagement on instagram. They literally just basically share the same photo over and over and over and over again, and people just love it. They follow you for a specific reason and when they hit that follow button they are expecting for you to produce that kind of image.
They do not care about your home life. They do not care about your dogs. The people reading my blog right now will tell me that they care about that with me, and I love you guys...so much. Those are the true "ride or die" people that you want on your #squad but just being honest, most are not like that and especially not on instagram where things are so visual.
EXPECT AWKWARDNESS FROM IN PERSON FRIENDS
The things that I share on instagram and all of this might not be the exact way that I would say something in person. I'm not going to talk about my passions and dreams and deepest thoughts to someone's face, but yet they have read it on my blog. Sooooo, that's awkward right? Yep, it sure is. As you grow, people in your real life are even going to be a bit rude. I'm not even saying this is because of jealousy as so many would like to say (although sometimes it could be that). Most of mine was due to the fact that I was sharing pictures of my body to be honest and I think my friends didn't approve of that on the world wide web. I'm not saying that I disagree or agree with that, but it simply caused rifts in friendships but that's all better now so it's cool. ;) Friendships built on love through faith are a beautiful thing!
There will also be friends that read your blog and social media stuff and support you and that's a beautiful thing that I appreciate so much. There were also (MANY MANY) friends that became my friend and then nonchalantly wanted to use what they could get from the following to increase their efforts online. AH...that's the worst and so hurtful. But, just know that it's going to happen in some way or another. Don't feel awkward. Try to keep personal and business as separate as you can but the two are mixed when you are in this world so be cognizant of that.
DO NOT MIMIC OTHERS
First of all, moving back to the first thing is that you need to be truthful and genuine about who you are. But sometimes, maybe you associate with who that person is. Copying them exactly is the last thing that you want to do, and it's also just really unfair to the person who has worked really hard to build what they have to just turn around and copy them. You can use them as something to look up to and move towards but you need to create your own path. The world wide web is HUGE. There is space for all of us, but really... don't do this. I've had it happen which I think is why it's so hard to find information about all of this because people get greedy and stop sharing details when everyone just steals from them.
This is going to be a continued series and there has actually been emails/posts about people wanting me to do a workshop which I could totally work towards arranging. I'll have a little section on my blog for bloggers and how to get started with that coming soon! I tell people I meet all the time in person that they can do this too and that I'd love to teach them so I thought "well Katie, why don't you teach the people?" so here's efforts for that! :) If you want to subscribe, then I'll be posting a lot more of these. I'm prayfully considering doing income reports. I LOVE LOVE LOVE viewing them online but that's a huge step for me to take of course and I think thats why others love them because you are able to actually see where income comes from, where to concentrate your efforts, but it takes a lot of bravery to do that because people get hot and bothered ;)
Patience and integrity are two of the biggest adjectives in this game with many more actionable steps to help you get there.
If you'd like to see how to start a blog, click HERE.