How to grow your business on Instagram

 
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As a business mentor and social media consultant, I understand how Instagram can be a challenge for most of you, that's why I'm sharing my secrets to building your business on Instagram. It's time you received the helped all you fashion and beauty businesses require. 

As a small business selling your products or services is key to the survival of your business and of course, keeping your dream alive. Social media can seem a chore, it's overwhelming and disheartening when you post an image on Instagram but you don't get much interest or engagement. You see other brands, bloggers or event organisers doing well but you're left wondering what you're doing wrong with an uphill battle.

With 90% of UK Instagram being females and under the age of 35 the platform embraces the selfie generation browsing, passing time and wanting to be inspired. Instagram is ideal for fashion and beauty businesses and it's highly luckily the platform is for you too. To get started or improve your account to attract your potential consumers, here are my golden rules for Instagram success.

1. GREATNESS COMES WITH GOALS

It may seem obvious but without being patronising many businesses don't set themselves social media plan or platform goals.

To begin with, you need to start thinking about three goals you'd like to achieve for your fashion business Instagram account. I always advise my clients to avoid goals such as, 'increase followers', as in the online marketing industry followers are not seen as a credible measurement of success. Yes, many uninformed businesses, bloggers, PR agencies and so-called social media experts go with followers but from experience, they don't succeed as well as the one's that apply authentic online marketing approach. For instance, imagine you're a jewellery brand that's target young urban teenagers but your followers could be the gentleman who loves your images of the female models. They aren't your ideal buyer/consumer (also known as the target audience in the industry).

You should be trying to attract comments, likes, reposts, messages and followers from your ideal consumer, the urban teenagers. Instead one of your goals maybe 'create awesome Instagram posts, that attract our ideal consumer'. 

2.   CRAFT WITH PERSONALITY

One of the biggest downfalls of small businesses is their mentally of trying to sell and not think about their consumers. The best way to overcome this is think of a person, maybe a friend who would be your ideal consumer. With them in mind pretend your sharing with them about your day through your posts. Bare in mind not to sound like your boosting but just sharing your activities with a loved one through your post captions and profile as a whole.

3. CREATE FOR YOUR CONSUMER

That leads me on nicely too, creating the post content e.g. images and videos, create posts that will intrigue your ideal consumer. It may seem obvious to you but truth is many don't get this one right! It's one thing thinking it and a whole different story putting it into action and your target audience loving it.

You're probably thinking, Sarah but where to start? I always advise my clients to do their research e.g. pick one of your competitors or bloggers doing well on Instagram and see what kinds of posts do well or don't. It's worth experimenting, testing and creating three different types of posts, one with maybe a customer wearing your clothing and doesn't mind you posting the image or a snapshot video of your new collection being prepared to sell. As what works for others may not work for you, it's not a one size fits all.

4. BEYOND BEHIND THE SCENES

The secret to Instagram is your potential consumers love exclusives, share insights to you and your life as a business woman. Go above and beyond to share behind the business or brand secrets that your target audience would love to see or watch. 

The foundations should be inspire, empower and help people rather than trying to sell to them e.g. likeable personalities do extremely well on Instagram. One of your main aims should be to practise building a friendly relationship! After all, we trust friends and not faceless businesses. Once they trust you and regular fans of your Instagram they will think of you when they need a product or service you offer and eventually they will buy from you. Trust me, it's marketing principles that have worked for many years and helped companies like Mercedes-Benz, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Coke Cola, McDonalds, Mulberry, H&M, BWM and Zara and many more succeed on being the powerful brands they are today.

5. CONSISTENCY, HARD WORK & PATIENCE PAYS OFF!

Many businesses expect overnight success if something doesn't worry they get frustrated and give up. The truth is the difference between successful brands and bloggers on Instagram is they are dedicated and consistently make an effort to grow their accounts. And you've taken the right step by reading this blog post, many don't want to learn but you have to have an open mind and not be the too proud to learn. I'm learning every day from even speaking to you.

So my final golden nugget is hard work, consistency and patience pay off.

There are other factors but give these tips a go and see how you get on!