Recently, I was asked to provide my game-changing tips for growing an organic following and increasing your engagement for the Blog-Doo Secret Tips Ebook by Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential and Erica from Fashion Lush (see below for Chapter 7!).
But first, what is Style Collective? SC is the largest international network for community & education for female fashion and lifestyle bloggers. We have educational content, e-courses, webinars, forums and an entire #GIRLBOSS community of women who cheer each other on! After overcoming an abusive work situation with a woman who bullied me, I made it my mission to create a safe space for women to connect and help each other achieve success. I launched Style Collective in February of 2016 and it’s been amazing to see the message and positivity spread through the online world!
As the hub of Style Collective, I speak to hundreds of bloggers, brands and industry experts about what’s going on in this industry. I use this knowledge to create e-courses, blog posts and videos about blogging and social media.
Your blog content is considered a service and you are the product. Market your blog accordingly.
- Sell yourself just as much as you are selling your content.
- Understand your reader’s needs.
- Focus on how you can help your readers.
- Make an emotional connection.
- Tell a good story or share some testimonials.
- Build a unique brand that starts with WHY.
Prioritizing + Tips for Growing Your Instagram
When building your brand, start with 2 or 3 social channels. Don’t try to do it all, otherwise, you will burn out. Learn one social channel at a time and really own it.
As we all know, Instagram is the fastest growing social platform right now, meaning that it is where bloggers need to be if they want to grow their social presence and get exposure among brands. Due to all of the updates that Instagram keeps rolling out, the platform is truly becoming the hub for all of the blogging action. I would recommend starting with Instagram.
Quality Content: don’t post random shit. Remember that it’s not your personal account, it’s your branded account. Make sure that your content is high quality and that it flows. Think of Instagram as your portfolio, and always put your best self forward.
Collaboration: remember in Mean Girls when Regina tried to alienate everyone? People banded together against her and she ended up losing that battle. Why would you want to jump into the blogging world and try to do everything alone or in a competitive manner? People are meant to work together, and most find that they thrive when they are part of a supportive community. Find other bloggers to partner with: think guest posting, joint brand collabs (together you have a higher reach!), an in-store shopping event or even Follow Friday! Promote each other and help each other grow – your readers will think that’s really cool that you’re a supportive #girlboss because it means that you’re a girl’s girl who has your reader’s back as well!
Be Professional: if you receive a nasty comment from someone, don’t go off on them or start social media bullying. You need to be self-aware; maybe what you wrote or posted miscommunicated something to your readers. Think about it from their perspective and try to clear up any misunderstandings. Be accommodating. If you really are upset about it, just say “thank you for your feedback” and move on. The same goes for working with brands: treat them like clients and be professional with your brand work, especially if there is compensation involved. I hear from a lot of brands about influencers being unorganized, unprofessional, and sometimes rude. Don’t be that girl.
Leverage Trends: video and live posts are huge right now because people crave authenticity. As Instagram rolls out new changes, think about how to leverage them to your advantage. The bookmark feature, for example, indicates that people will be saving content that inspires them, kind of like Pinterest. This means you really need to put your BEST content on your feed. Sorry girl, but no one is going to save your poorly lit and pixelated photo for inspo!
Engagement: hashtags are your best friend. Use all 30 in your comment when posting a photo to Instagram. You can also use them to search for readers. Does your ideal reader shop at Forever 21? Stalk their hashtag and leave genuine comments on photos posted to the hashtag. This is manual and often time-consuming, but effective.
Community: you can use social media to find your tribe – people that love you, love what you stand for, and are your biggest fans. Have you heard of the concept of “1,000 true fans”? Anyone can make a decent living with 1,000 true fans that will purchase products from you when you launch them. Find your superfans and really, truly get to know them. They will have your back 100% and share what you’re doing with their network if you ask them to. Forming this type of community is a very organic yet effective way to grow.
Growing your brand & social media following takes time. Be patient. Start with your end goal in mind & take the necesarry steps to reach that goal… every single day. You’ve got this!
For additional tips on growth, make sure you join SC so that you get access to our exclusive community group on Facebook.