• Austin Cooper - Sober Evolution

10 Steps on How to Build a Personal Brand on Instagram Organically

In this Sober Evolution Blog post, I will list the simple, but key steps that helped me build a following of over 60,000 amazing people on Instagram.

Why am I doing this?

Because I know how important it is for people to get their positive message in front of those who need it most. The greatest feeling is knowing I have helped at least one person in this world we live in. My goal here is to help you help someone!

  • Find your niche. Who is your target audience? Mine for example are those who are either looking to start their recovery or who are currently in recovery from addiction. Having a specified niche will help you organize your entire IG profile and allow you to retain your followers.

  • Have a clean IG name without all of the underscores, dashes, numbers or dots and have your IG name appeal to your targeted audience. i.e. "Sober" in @SoberEvolution stands out to those who are, well...sober or interested in becoming sober.

  • Follow those who you want to follow you. This may be the most tedious of tasks when it comes to building a personal brand, but it's what I did to reach my first 10,000 followers. I simply followed people who were following related accounts and liked/commented on some of their content. IG may have their limits as to how many people you can follow in one day, but this is a great method when getting started. This can also help you build relationships for the long run.

  • Share other peoples content and make sure to tag them. I like to share other peoples content in my Instagram stories and tag their page so my followers can easily follow those accounts. Not only does it give me easy content to post, but it grabs those pages attention/gratitude and you increase the likelihood of them posting your stuff without having to ask them. The more people sharing your stuff, the better!

  • Share a mix of content. Social media users don't want to see the same stuff from you over and over again. Plus, motivational content may only interest one type of person. What I think I do well is post things that make people laugh, make people think, make people ask questions/give answers, make people cry (in a good way of course) and make people feel grateful. 

  • Share clear/easily readable content. People for the most part scroll through IG quickly. If there is a long quote, they are going to be less likely to pause in order to read it. If it is a short quote in bold letters, they will be more likely to stop and take a look. And if the quote is captivating enough, they will be more likely to read your caption which can go more into detail on who you are and what your services are. As for building your personal brand, having a short quote next to a picture of you will help the viewer see YOU as the industry expert.

  • Engage with your followers. When people comment on my posts, I will either like their comment or give a comment back. People like to know that a human is behind the social media page and feel important when they are engaged with.

  • Make sure they know who you are. This may be uncomfortable for some. Maybe you are a business with many different people, but I think an important aspect to growing a following is when people can put a face to your content. They are going to be much more likely to continue following you and share your stuff when they know you're not a robot.

  • Watermark some of YOUR stuff. I always see brands watermark everything they post with their logo, even if it's someone else's quote. People are going to lose respect pretty quickly and think you are just trying to sell them something. I don't even put my logo on anything anymore. In a subtle way, I put "@SoberEvolution" on MY quotes or memes. I don't want it to be too big otherwise people will think I have a big head. It also takes away from the content. And yeah, people will save my images on their phone, cover over my watermark and put their own. I could be mad about that, but for the most part, people share my stuff normally and I am still seeing my posts circulate around the internet today from all the way back in 2016 when I started Sober Evolution. 

  • Reply to messages. When people send you a message and it is genuine, make sure to always reply to them. With that said, there are a lot of spammy messages that I simply delete.

All in all, I think the most important part is that people know there is a human behind your IG page and that they can rely on you to engage with them. There are plenty of other aspects to Instagram that I will gladly go over with you too if you are interested. Whether it be setting up a pretty looking IG profile page or linking it to your Facebook account, or even linking it to your business pages, blogs, websites, etc.

If you own a business that sells products or services, I would also recommend following the Stodzy blog to see out how to bring more customers to your website organically.

Whether you are looking to build your website presence through search engines such as Google or build your social media presence through Instagram or Facebook, I will always recommend focusing time and effort on the organic factor. You can always do paid Ads for your website, but Google has a way of changing their algorithms, occasionally draining the ability to find new clients. This may cause your business to pay a lot of money for next to nothing. And you may be interested in paying an App or software that will give you fake followers, but I would be weary due to the fact that people will recognize that and be less likely to follow you because of it. Another downside is that the social media companies can delete all of the fake accounts. I have seen this happen time and time again where someone has 50,000 IG followers and in the blink of an eye, go down to 0. It may look cool to have 50k, but if they are fake followers you are just wasting your money.

I hope this can help direct you towards making a difference in this world!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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