[402] The surprising reason your Instagram account isn't growing (and how to fix it)

Are you feeling frustrated with your Instagram growth?

In this episode, I share the surprising reason your account isn’t growing (even though you’re posting consistently, using relevant hashtags and/or spending time engaging on other peoples’ accounts). and show you how to fix it. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

If you’re struggling to attract new followers to your Instagram content, you may think it’s because you haven’t nailed your strategy. You need to post more often/consistently. You need to find the right time of day to post. You need to find the right hashtags to attract your ideal/clients.

But while honing these strategies can help, there is one fundamental thing you have to be able to do to grow your following. If you can’t do this, you’ll struggle to grow your audience - regardless of any strategies you try.

So what is this magic thing you must be able to do?

You have to be able to connect emotionally with your audience.

Your content needs to make people stop in their feed,

And it needs to make them feel something. For example:

  • Empathy (because they’ve had a similar experience)
  • Amusement (because you’ve made them laugh)
  • Anger/frustration (because they disagree with you)

If you want people to take the time to stop and read your post. If you want people to hit ‘save’ or ‘share’ - or leave you a comment - it has to hit them right in the heart.

It if doesn’t, they’ll just keep on scrolling.

So how do you know your content is hitting the spot? More people will be liking, commenting on and sharing your content for sure. But what will really show your content is hitting the spot is when people leave comments like:

‘This really resonates with me.’ 

‘I feel like you’re inside my head.’

‘I was just thinking this earlier.' 

So how do you create this kind of content? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

1.Study your competitors’ content

Take a look at the account of some key competitors that are getting good engagement and growth on their account.

How are they engaging their audience emotionally?

Natalie Lue - everything we do is about making us feel better. So if we can make our audience feel better about themselves they’ll love us for it.

Lifestyle envy (personal/work)Hannah Otto, The Annaedit, Brand Stylist

Humour:  Alyssa Limperis, Simon Holland, Glitterbeards, Paul Flaart

Empathy: Matt Haig, Jamie Tworkowski (Jamie T), Helen Marie

Reassurance/encouragement: Boss Babe, me

Challenge: polarising content - don’t see so much on Instagram

People need to SEE themselves in your story - even if they haven’t had that exact experience.

2. Look at what’s worked really well for you (and do more of it) 

For example, I have a recent post, which has been shared 1, 106 times.

The image says: don’t take criticism from people you wouldn’t take advice from.

The caption is about how I get emails telling me I’m doing my email marketing ‘wrong’ - from people who don’t have an email list and/or have not successfully sold hundreds of thousands pounds worth of product/services using email marketing, as I have. Which is generally why I take their ‘feedback’ with a pinch of salt.

So why did people resonate so strongly with this post?

Because they could see themselves in my story.

Even if you haven’t had the exact experience I describe in the caption, you DO know what it’s like to have some know-it-all who knows nothing about you/your business give you advice you didn’t ask for. And you know how annoying and/or upsetting it can be.

Which means you can connect emotionally with my post.

What have YOU posted that has got an unusual amount of engagement? Take a look at those posts, analyse what worked (just as I've done here) and do more of it.

3. Curate content 

My best performing Instagram post to date has:

  • 2,663 likes
  • 5,920 shares
  • 28,933 impressions

PLUS it’s been saved 2,495 times, landed me 912 new followers and 90% of people who saw the post weren’t even following me in the first place.

Pretty mind-blowing, right?

Well here’s the interesting thing. That post wasn't created by me. It was a post I re-shared from someone else's account. In fact, only ONE of my ten best-performing Instagram

posts was actually created by ME (number 10 as it happens). The rest of the posts (including this one) were originally created by other people. I was simply re-sharing them.

In the last six months I’ve added 10k new Instagram followers and content curation (sharing other peoples’ content) has been a big part of my strategy.

The way I see it, there is so much great content out there already - created by people who are more eloquent, funny and/or talented than I could ever be.

So instead of dishing up my rather mediocre content, why not introduce my audience to the best of the best?

That way I can focus on giving them exactly what they need: funny, inspiring, poignant, polarising...whatever it is they need to hear at any given time.

Without having to come up with a single idea myself.

And in doing so, I’m not just growing my own Instagram account. I’m helping to grow other peoples’ too.

Which is a win-win all round, right?

Of course there is an art to content curation (including how to credit those whose content you share). Which is why I’ve devoted a whole section

to it in my new Instagram course, which starts in May. But not only can content curation save you tons of time...it can also help you improve the quality of your content. Which is why I’d love you to give it a try (tip: it doesn’t just work on Instagram)

Podcast shownotes

  • About my Instagram Success Academy (01:54)
  • Why you have to hit people emotionally with your content on Instagram (4:08)
  • Why your Instagram content needs to make people feel something to stop them scrolling (6:11)
  • Why your Instagram feed needs to look visually appealing (8:55)
  • Questions to ask yourself about your Instagram feed (9:50)
  • What your Instagram content needs to make people feel (10:56)
  • Why engagement is more important than a large following on Instagram (11:55)
  • When you’ll know that your Instagram posts are hitting the mark (12:20)
  • How to research the right content by looking at your competitors (13:47)
  • Why making your audience feel better will make them want to follow you (15:45)
  • Five ways you can engage your Instagram audience emotionally (16:40)
  • How to use aspirational lifestyle posts to make people stop and look (16:42)
  • How to use humour to connect with your audience (19:03)
  • Examples of how to use empathy to reassure and encourage people (21:54)
  • How to think about the content from your audience's point of view (24:31)
  • Why you need to be flexible in your Instagram content (25:27)
  • Why you might need to be careful with challenging content or content that shames (26:07)
  • Why people need to be able to see themselves in your content (29:40)
  • Why you should have a look through your content and see what has done well (30:04)
  • Why using other people’s content will grow your followers (and save you time) (34:53)
  • Why your content and emotional connection is at the heart of everything you do (37:09)

Resources

Join my Instagram Academy Course here

 Natalie Lue Instagram

Janetmurray.co.uk/podcastfinder

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Other podcast episodes

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[362] How to grow your Instagram following to 27K fast (podcast)
[374] How to create a year's worth of content in one morning (podcast)
[378] How to use hashtags to build your online audience (podcast)
[379] How to grow your Instagram posts by 1K in 30 days (podcast)
[386] The four types of content to create that will help you make more sales in 2020 (podcast)
[390] How to stop overthinking your content (podcast)
[391] How to write better social media captions (podcast)
[392] How to get more engagement on Instagram (podcast)
[398] What sort of content should you create during a global crisis (podcast)
[399] How to build your online audience during a global crisis (podcast)
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[Bonus] How to turn your in person services into online offerings (podcast)
[Bonus] How to generate income fast by creating a power hour for your business (podcast)

How to create an editorial calendar for your business (blog post)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass)

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