It takes guts to quit your day job and start your own company and Melissa Camilleri is one gutsy lady. Founder and Creative Director of Compliment– a gift company that believes “We rise by lifting others”- we discovered her work originally through her dynamic 21- Day Insta-Course. As a high school teacher turned successful business owner, her course was both easy to understand and so jam packed with value, it’s really no wonder it’s literally helped tens of thousands of people on their path to master this important phone-based social medium.
With a new class starting on January 11th, we asked Melissa to share some of her most important take-aways from building an Instagram following of over 34,000 people. Her world changing, heart filled following grows daily and here’s why…
You probably already know that Instagram should be a key component to your online marketing strategy, especially as a soul-powered business owner, where what we do is so based on connection! Instagram is a hugely influential social media platform that is mobile-focused. With more than half of all web purchases coming from mobile since 2014, it behooves us as marketers to show up where our people already are– their phones!
If you’re anything like me when I first started using Instagram, your growth has been slow going and your reach not quite multiplying in the way you see it happening for other businesses. It’s frustrating to be in this space. In fact, I know it well.
It took me ONE FULL YEAR of daily effort to grow my following on Instagram to 1000. But I was determined and focused. I observed and took action. I put in place some key strategies that took my Instagram (@shopcompliment) from 1000 to 17,000 the following year.
I’m adding an average of 1500 new followers per month and get 70% of my website traffic and conversions from Instagram.
But here’s the kicker– numbers don’t mean anything if you’re not actually selling. Profitability is what we want, way more than popularity.
You can have both, though…my following is up to over 30K and I’m selling multiple five-figures of my handmade products month after month.
“Yes,” you may be saying… “but I don’t sell products. I sell services. Instagram doesn’t work for me.”
To that, I shake my head. Instagram is about CONNECTION.
If I can do this with no special tech or photography training, I assure you, you can too, no matter your business.
Here are four things you can start doing today to give you the foundation to start actually making an impact on Instagram:
- Show up consistently.
It is essential that if you have an Instagram account, you are posting at least once a day to maintain a part of the conversation. Posting consistently will keep you top of mind in your customer’s heads. Did you know that studies show that a potential customer has to interact with a brand a minimum of 7 times before ever taking action? The more you post, the quicker this will happen. I do suggest posting no more than 3 times per day, with your posts at least 3-4 hours between posts. Anything more frequent will just clog your followers’ feeds and get annoying.
- Get social.
Interact with the people who comment on your photos. @Mention them back. Ask them questions. Share your gratitude. And don’t be afraid to leave comments on other people’s pictures, too. Be generous with your likes. Follow back people who are consistently interacting with you. It’s called a social network for a reason! Let people get to know you, and seek ways to get to know your followers.
- Post with your ideal customer in mind.
What does she like about your what you’re doing? What is on her mind at the time of the day you’re posting? What does she talk about with her friends? Where is she when she buys from you? What are her dreams? What are her problems and how does your product solve them? When you write the captions of your photos, keep her in mind. Write directly to her. You’ll find that your engagement will grow authentically with people who are excited about what you’re putting out into the world.
- Understand that your numbers are less important than engagement.
The number of followers you have is definitely important. Followers act like little votes of confidence and give your brand credibility. And because people do what they see other people do, the more followers you have, the more followers you will get.
But, what good is a bunch of followers who don’t ever buy your stuff? (I’ll give you a hint: NO GOOD AT ALL.) Numbers aren’t everything. Engagement is what matters most. Like I mentioned earlier… profitability is way more important than popularity.
By putting some key strategies into place (like the ones listed above) you can make sure that you are building trust and turning the followers you do have into raving fans and customers.
To check out Melissa in action (and get the lowdown on why her online course rocks so very much) check out her 21-day Insta-Course page or say hello to her on Instagram @shopcompliment. She lives and loves in Northern Cali and we can confirm she is, in fact, the real deal.