Growing the right audience for your business on Instagram

Having bespoke products for sale and a stop-you-in-the-tracks Instagram feed is great. But you still need to find the watering holes of your audience. For sure, they are on Instagram (hello, there’s 1 billion users), but how do we find the right ones for you?

Simply growing your audience with a bunch of followers is not enough nor is it sustainable if it’s not yielding profits. There’s a massive difference between popularity versus profits. To illustrate this point further, let me introduce you to two makers.

Hannah knits merino blankets for the modern home. She has a following of 2,000 followers on Instagram. She makes an average of $1000/day.

Jane knits merino blankets for the modern home. She has a following of 34,000 followers on Instagram. She makes an average of $20/day.

If you had to pick, which of the maker would you rather be - Hannah or Jane? Now, of course these two makers live entirely in my imagination *insert laughing face emoji here *. But imagine for a second how many people exist who share these scenarios? Maybe you can relate…

Jane has a lot of followers, but they aren’t engaged and as targeted as Hannah’s following. Maybe Jane’s followers aren’t clicking when she shares a link to her latest sale or newest collection. Perhaps Jane’s followers don’t attend the market she mentioned she’ll be at, selling her products. Maybe each week only 1 person clicks on Jane’s online shop link.

Getting the right audience for your Instagram account is worth putting efforts into. But first, how do you know who’s the right audience for you? Let’s take a deeper look at this.

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What is the right audience for you?

The right audience is made up of people who will love not only your products and your brand, but what they represent, and the values you share. Chances are, they’ll share similar values. They will want to support you and your business because on some level, they share the same beliefs you do. E.g sustainable fashion for a sustainable planet OR plus-size models on your Instagram who aren’t photoshopped because they believe every person is beautiful just the way they are.

  1. The right audience will cheer you on when you hit a low (if you’re a solopreneur, you know what I’m referring to). They’ll understand that not everything will be absolutely perfect. They’ll overlook the technical glitch at check-out when they add to cart. They won’t judge that you used Canva to make your quotes for Instagram (shout out to my own followers here!). They will be patient as you slowly grow, slowly market, slowly produce.

  2. The right audience will be captivated by what you say on Stories. They’ll respond to your call-to-actions, your polls, your questions within your captions. They’ll go read your blog when you ask them to. They’ll check the samples you made and vote for which one they prefer. They’ll give you honest feedback and be glad to write a review after they’ve purchased your product.

  3. The right audience will be actively keeping a lookout for your posts (just like that, rise above the whole Instagram algorithm debacle). If you go MIA, they might message you and ask you what’s up (oh trust me! #beenthere).

  4. The right audience will not only be delighted and charmed by what you post, but they’ll be your brand ambassadors as well on social media. They’ll give you shout-outs, tag you, chat to you like they’re your friends - that’s how much they’ll develop trust in you (plus a little crush on your brand!).

If you haven’t experienced this for yourself yet, I know, it can seem a bit too good to be true. But I can share plenty of stories with you, from clients I worked for back in my social media manager days, and also in my own life. I have this kind of relationship with people I’ve bought courses from, used services from, or provided services to. You get what you put out there - if you want to live in a world where you celebrate creativity and genuine connections, then show up and build those relationships with your audience.

How to grow the right audience on Instagram?

  • Share your values. Ensure you inject your personal values or your brand’s values in your social media posts, and communicate these through everything you do on Instagram. It doesn’t always have to be right in your face, but subtlety works too. Your values can be communicated in the types of raw materials you use, how ethical your production is, how you treat your clients but also your colleagues.

  • Visual storytelling. Pictures can tell a thousand words and that’s SO true with Instagram! Within a few seconds of someone viewing your Instagram feed, they can make an impression of you and what they think your brand is about. Be clear and intentional about the types of stories you’re sharing when you post images on Instagram or on your Stories. From the choice of images, to the colours, and the overall look and filters you apply, all of this helps tell a story and also set the mood and scene.

  • Have a conversation. Friends have long, soulful conversations, but also silly ones. Engage in conversations with your audience. By letting people get to know you a bit better, you’re going to attract those that love how you speak/write. Obviously the ones who don’t resonate with your message might not follow back, or will stop following (that’s OK!).

  • Connect with the right people. When you follow accounts or engage in commenting with other accounts on Instagram, ensure that there’s some kind of synergy going on. For example, it makes sense that if you’re a calligraphist for weddings, you’ll be engaging more with bridal companies, or providers to bride and grooms, as well as newly engaged people about to tie the knot.

I hope this post has given you more clarity on what the right audience can mean for you and your business, and also that you need to be actively growing this. If you’re unsure if you’re communicating your values and growing the right audience, you might want to have a social media audit of your Instagram. That’s something I can help you with.