Feeling like you constantly need to keep up with Instagram’s ever-changing algorithms? Frustrated by the lack of results you’re getting despite your constant efforts? I’ve been there, friend. And so have many of my clients. You’re definitely not alone in the struggle to grow your business on Instagram.
Many of us have fallen into the same traps on IG that hold us back from reaching our true potential.
In this blog post, we’re going to shine a spotlight on those pesky missteps you might be making, and how to turn the tables so you can unlock your full potential on the platform and help your business grow.
So grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and prepare to transform your Instagram strategy into a money-making machine.
Mistake #1: Neglecting to develop a solid strategy
I’m just going to come out and say it – Instagram can be overwhelming. The algorithm changes every day, you’re being told to show up on the platform 24/7, and the jury is perpetually out on whether or not you should use hashtags (I think you should, for what it’s worth).
But approaching IG without a clear strategy is only making the struggle worse. If you want to grow your business on Instagram, you need a game plan, my friend! It’s time to lay down some strategic groundwork.
Define your goals: Start by getting clear on what you want to achieve with your Instagram presence. Is it to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or increase sales? Set specific and measurable goals to guide your efforts.
Understand your target audience: Take the time to get to know your ideal customer inside out. What are their pain points, desires, and interests?
Your content needs to be the bridge between where your audience is (struggling with this problem that your product or service can help solve) and where you want them to be (a happy customer who has had their problem solved with your product or service). Tailor your content to resonate with them and speak their language.
Craft a compelling brand story: Your brand is not just about what you sell—it’s about the values, personality, and unique story behind it. Share your journey, your mission, and what sets you apart from the competition. Authenticity is key! People love buying from people, my friend. And that is where you have a unique advantage!
Having a well-thought-out strategy will help you navigate the vast Instagram sea with confidence. So if you want to drastically simplify things for yourself, begin with your strategy.
Mistake #2: Focusing on the algorithm instead of on your audience
Do you find yourself obsessing over the latest algorithm updates, desperately trying to decode the secrets of Instagram’s black box so you can go viral and get loads more followers?
Let me drop a small business truth bomb – you are not on Instagram to beat an algorithm. You’re on Instagram to grow your business. And one does not necessarily lead to the other. I know loads of business owners who have focused on creating content designed to beat an algorithm. And they get tons of followers – but they’re the wrong followers.
The success of your business on Instagram begins and ends with your ability to win over your AUDIENCE. Not the algorithm. I also know business owners who have achieved massive success with a tiny IG audience (myself included) because they know the value of your followers is NOT in the quantity. It’s in the quality.
Having thousands of followers who don’t really care about what you do isn’t nearly as helpful for your business as having a couple hundred followers who are extremely interested and engaged. Okay?
So invest time in your audience. Dive into your analytics to gain insights into their preferences, pain points, and behaviors. Use this information to continually improve what you share. Craft captions that address their needs, share stories that inspire and entertain them, and provide valuable content that they can’t resist. When you notice something doing really well, create more content like that.
And always remember to engage. Be responsive, genuine, and interactive. Respond to comments, DMs, and mentions promptly. Show your audience that you value their engagement and build relationships that go beyond the double-tap.
When you connect authentically with your audience, the algorithm will follow suit. Trust me. So, focus on building meaningful connections rather than chasing algorithm trends.
Mistake #3: Fixating on the wrong metrics
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game, tracking likes and followers like they’re the ultimate measure of success. But here’s the deal: vanity metrics won’t pay your bills. If you want to grow your business on Instagram, you need to shift your attention to the metrics that actually matter—the ones that have a direct impact on your business.
Look at the number of comments, shares, and saves your posts receive. High engagement indicates that your content is resonating with your audience and sparking conversations. Engaged followers are more likely to convert into customers.
Also, pay attention to your website traffic. Use tools like Google Analytics to track the number of visitors coming from Instagram to your website. This metric gives you insights into the effectiveness of your Instagram strategy in driving traffic to your website or online store, which is usually where the real conversions happen.
Remember, as a business, it’s not about the quantity of likes or followers; it’s about the quality of engagement and the impact on your bottom line. So, focus on what truly counts!
Mistake #4: Forgetting to design your content for the results you want to achieve
Small business owner PSA – stop sharing nothing but pretty pictures and coordinated dance routines. As a business, your content should be a strategic tool designed to drive results and move your audience towards action. Aesthetics are definitely important, don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day, it’s what you actually say and the strategy behind it that are going to grow your business.
Here are some ways to deliver content that is designed to drive business results:
Share valuable tips and insights: Position yourself as an expert in your niche by providing valuable and actionable content. Show your audience that you understand their pain points and how what you have to offer is the solution they desperately need.
Give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse: People love authenticity and getting a sneak peek into your business. Share behind-the-scenes stories, showcase your team, and let them experience the human side of your brand. Again, people love buying from people!
Tell compelling stories: Stories have the power to captivate and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Craft narratives that resonate with their emotions, aspirations, and values. A well-told story can leave a lasting impact.
Create interactive content: Host contests, polls, or quizzes to encourage engagement and gather valuable insights. Interactive content is a great way to involve your audience and make them feel like part of your brand community.
Encourage them to visit your website: Social media is great for getting in front of new people. But what’s your plan for getting people further down your marketing funnel? Make sure you’re sharing plenty of ways people can dive deeper with your business, like reading blog posts, listening to podcast episodes, or downloading a freebie.
Remember, content is the fuel that powers your Instagram success engine. So, put on your creative hat and start crafting content that drives real results!
Mistake #5: Forgetting to sell (and sell often)
You’ve got an amazing product or service, right? So, why shy away from selling it on Instagram? Embrace your inner sales superstar and show off what you’ve got! If you want to get more business from IG, then you need act accordingly. And that means selling and selling often on the platform.
Your captions are a fantastic opportunity to highlight the value and benefits of your offerings. Write compelling copy that grabs attention, addresses objections, and urges your audience to take action.
You can also share testimonials and success stories (social proof is a powerful persuasion tool) and/or create a sense of urgency by offering special deals that are only available for a limited time or exclusively to your Instagram followers. This motivates them to act quickly and make a purchase.
My biggest piece of advice? Don’t hesitate to ask for the sale! Sometimes, all it takes is a simple call-to-action to boost your results. Encourage your audience to visit your website, shop now, or sign up for your newsletter. Be direct, confident, and unapologetic about promoting your offerings.
Remember, you’re in business to make money, and Instagram is a powerful tool to help you achieve that. So, don’t hold back—sell, sell, sell!
BONUS Mistake #6: Treating social media like the end destination
This is something I continually reiterate to all of my students and clients because it’s so easy to get caught up in the IG mayhem. Remember that Instagram is just a means to an end in your business, NOT the end itself.
Don’t get so caught up in perfecting your Instagram feed that you forget the bigger picture. Use Instagram as a vehicle to achieve your business goals. That, my friend, is how you really grow your business on Instagram.
Instead, prioritize driving traffic to your website, lead magnet, or online store. Make sure you have a clear link in your bio with a call to action that leads your audience to your website. Use clickable links in your captions or stories to direct them to specific product pages or landing pages.
Remember, social media is just one piece of the puzzle. Use Instagram strategically to drive traffic, capture leads, and build a community that goes beyond the confines of the platform.
By avoiding these common Instagram mistakes, you’re well on your way to dominating the social media game. Remember to develop a solid strategy, focus on your ideal audience, track meaningful metrics, create content that drives results, embrace your inner sales ninja, and use social media as a vehicle to achieve your business goals.
To supercharge your Instagram success even further, I’ve got a little something for you. Download my 1-hour Money-Making Marketing Strategy guide. It’s packed with actionable tips that will empower you to crush your marketing goals. Get ready to level up and achieve that business success you so deserve!