How to Grow on Instagram for Makers
As makers we have a tremendous opportunity to grow on Instagram. Having a larger presence can open doors that we never dreamed possible, but only if we are willing to work for it. At Blissdom I learned what to do and how to do it, and I’m sharing it all with you!
I underestimated the influence of Instagram for quite some time. I viewed it as a place to share what I was creating and to connect with other makers. While that is a noble use of that platform, I severely underestimated its potential. When a few unsolicited opportunities came my way unexpectedly, my eyes were opened. Instagram isn’t just a fluffy place to share photos of my cat (of course I do that too), it is a powerful vehicle to connect you to the world and all that it has to offer.
When I purchased my ticket to Blissdom, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew that it was a conference for women who were interested in blogging, but that was about it.
Blissdom is one of the premier conferences for experienced women’s lifestyle content creators, entrepreneurs, and social media influencers.Blissdom
My husband ended up purchasing a ticket as well because social media is becoming an important piece of his job as well. We also thought it would be a good reason to get away for a few days and enjoy Music City (aka Nashville, TN)
What I wasn’t expecting was to be blown away. My husband and I both came away from the conference with new knowledge and a little fire in our bellies. If I tried to share everything we learned this would turn into a book so I will just share my big take aways. I really believe that there are opportunities out there for makers who want to grow their Instagram presence and are willing to work for it.
How to Grow on Instagram
I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. How about you? Do you ever find yourself frustrated with the algorithm? Meeeeeee toooooo!! But guess what? There are tips and tricks that the experts know about and I learned them this week. Booyah!!
I attended sessions with two successful Instagramers, My Nguyen from My Healthy Dish and Jordan Lee Dooley. These two women have a combined following of almost 1.2 million followers. They know what they’re talking about, folks.
Treat IG like a jealous girlfriend
My Nguyen had a funny analogy to share with her roundtable attendees. She said to think of Instagram like a jealous girlfriend. This jealous woman doesn’t want you hanging out on different social media platforms. She likes posts that require users to hang around for as long as possible. She will reward those who create content that engages her users.
Stop Using so Many Hashtags
Now this surprised me. I come from the school of “the more hashtags, the better”. Instagram allows users to post up to thirty hashtags, but according to My Nguyen it looks spammy and could hurt your reach. Aim to use no more than 10 hashtags. I’m a recovering hashtag user so this will be a work in progress for me. I have to retrain my brain that more isn’t better.
Use More Carousel Posts
I didn’t know what a carousel post was before Blissdom, but now you are going to see them a lot more on my feed. Basically it is just adding more than one photo in a singular post. The reasoning behind this is that Instagram wants users to stay on their platform longer. When your followers have to scroll through more than one photo they are spending more time on the app, which IG likes.
Jordan Lee Dooley was one of my favorite speakers and she highly recommended providing value for your Instagram followers. To grow on social media means taking the focus off of yourself and serving those who follow you. She has an incredible free resource that I highly recommend getting. Her Cringe-worthy to Binge worthy: Create Content that Connects pdf is chock full of helpful information.
Jordan listed seven different types of content for your IG feed: educational, conversational, inspirational, transformational, aspirational, relatable, promotional and personal. In her pdf she shares in detail how to do this and provides examples of each type. She even shows how you can combine these different types to create compelling posts.
Call to Action
Every workshop we attended stressed this concept. Give your followers a call to action. Tell them what you want them to do. Gaining a large following might be your only goal, but don’t sell yourself short, think bigger. Social media is a powerful online marketing tool and it drives quite a bit of traffic to my blog. Through my blog I have inspired my readers and helped them to achieve their crafting goals. That makes my heart so happy.
By providing my Instagram followers a call to action, opportunities and even a little money have come my way. Although not a speaker at the Blissdom Conference, Lisa Bass’s Create Your Blog Dream Course has changed my blog for the better, the waaaaaaay better. You need a guide on this blogging journey. Please invest in yourself and find a blog course, whether it is Lisa’s or another one.
This post contains affiliates links and at no cost to you I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase them. Please know that I only recommend products I use and love! Thank you for supporting Le Petit Saint Crochet!
Create a magnetic Bio
Jordan recommended creating a bio that is magnetic. Show people who visit your bio how you can help them, not just who you are. Give them a call to action. Do you want them to head to your website, tell them. Want them to click on your Link Tree, tell them.
She also recommended having no more than three links in your Link Tree account. I had the mentality that more was better, but Jordan taught that it just creates confusion. Give your followers a clear picture of who you are, how you can help them and where they can go for more info.
Check out my rules for growing my Instagram account:
12 Simple Rules for Growing a Handmade Business Instagram Account.
I know you don’t like how you look on video, neither do I. You don’t like how your voice sounds, well neither do I. But you know what I do like? I like being a resource for other makers. I like helping other people who love knitting and crocheting too. Our world is changing and according to one prediction, video will be the main type of content we consume by the year 2024. Folks, that’s only four years from now.
Video takes practice but there are strategies that can help us along the way. One of the most important things we should be doing in Instagram stories is getting our viewers to interact with them. Create polls, questions, and sliders so that they actually touch the screen. That’s a clue to the IG algorithm that our content is engaging and (remember the jealous girlfriend) that what we posted is keeping them on the platform.
You Can Do It!
Because of Instagram I have made connections with makers around the world. I have gained so much confidence and am finding my way during this weird transition in life. (To read more about that, click here.) I’ve even connected with a few major companies and had opportunities to partner with them.
Now is a great time to grow on Instagram. With over one billion monthly users and growing, there are opportunities galore. Whether you want to grow your hobby, promote a business, or just have more fun, Instagram is the perfect tool.
Blog goals, Instagram goals, YouTube goals, FRIEND goals… you are my goals! Thanks so much for this very educational blog post and video. You inspire me every time you post. I took so much away from this!
Lol!!! Thank you so much, Janelle! I’m so glad you liked it! I seriously learned sooooo much at Blissdom, especially about IG! 😘😘😘
Elise! Thank you so much for sharing! Such an informative post.Y truly have the heart of a teacher. Keep up the amazing work you do!
Thank you so much, Jen! I hope it was a helpful post!! 😘😘😘
Very informative, I still partly want to throw IG out the window though! Ha! I will definitely take this all to heart though! Great job putting it all together in order to help us!😊
Thanks so much, Jenn! I definitely know what you mean! IG can be so very frustrating!! 🤓🤓🤓
This was so helpful! I need to focus more on Instagram. Can’t wait to apply these strategies!
Thanks so much, Brittany! I’m so glad it was helpful! 🦊🦊🦊
Great post , Elise! I had no idea about the hashtags. Thank you for sharing your takeaways!
Thanks so much, Sylvia! I had no idea either!! 😘😘😘
Well-written article! Thank you for sharing those ideas which I’ll try to implement ASAP <3
I’m so glad you found it helpful, Anja!! 😘😘😘
thank you so much for sharing this! i haven’t been to a blog conference yet but maybe I’ll go next year! so many useful tips. hope i can remember them next time I’m on IG!
Thanks so much, Susan! I’m glad you found it helpful!! 😊😊😊
Not quite a maker, but I’m struggling in Instagram at the moment. Great Tips! Do you post via your phone or is there a way to do so from your computer? My phone is a hot mess and it constantly makes me re-download apps. Considering getting a “dumb” phone, as in not smart, but then I don’t feel I could successfully accomplish what I want with Instagram.
Instagram really is a tool for a phone. I’m not even sure if you could upload photos from a computer, but you could look into it! 😊😊😊
Thank you for sharing what you learned there! Also, I love your blog colors. It makes me feel like I’m entering a cozy home. 🥰
Thank you so very much! That’s such a kind compliment! 😘😘😘
I love Instagram and I am so glad to hear this hashtag news because I can never think of good ones! Thanks for a great post!
Thanks so much, Katie. I’m glad it was helpful!