Authentic Online Marketing

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Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
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Ep 23 How to get real followers on Instagram (that don’t unfollow)

Do you wonder how to get real followers?  You know – the ones that stick around instead of doing the follow for follow thing? And then…they unfollow?

*This episode contains either affiliate links or links to my products. Should you choose to purchase, the show will go on! Woo hoo!


Listen to Ep. 89: Building Authentic Connections with Kim Stewart

Listen to Ep. 88: How to know what your audience wants (and give it to them)

Listen to Ep. 61: Combining Instagram and email marketing in 5 smart ways

Listen to Ep. 67: Top 5 Instagram Features For Marketers In 2023

Listen to Ep. 58: 7 tips for repurposing Instagram stories

In today’s podcast I’m pulling back the curtain to share a bit of my own Instagram strategy. I’m transparently showing how I use Instagram to connect with my target audience.  As you may know, I’m a wife, mom of 4 adults, Gigi, and caregiver.  I share bits and pieces of my life especially in stories, and if you’re a regular follower you know this. My followers are dedicated.  They’re invested in my content, they share my content, and, they’re not flakey. I have a feeling that’s what you want too, right?  There’s a way to go about this.

The thing is, we each have a unique spin on life, and we can use that to our advantage on Instagram.  It’s what makes you different from everyone else.  It’s what makes you unique and only for some (and not all) people – and this is how you narrow your niche and target your message.

Get real followers on Instagram through the Instagram Insider Intensive or personal coaching
I’ve figured out how to do this, and if you need strategies beyond this podcast, I would love to help you either through personalized coaching or, stay tuned for an exciting announcement in an upcoming podcast about the opening of my Insider Intensive.  It will deliver my exact processes for building an authentic audience that translates into paying clients, with specific trainings and more, keep an eye out for my Black Friday special because slots will go fast.  In fact, make sure you’re on my mailing list, the IG Insider (you’ll get a free Instagram Caption Blueprint with signup) so you won’t miss any details!

So first, I’m sharing life lessons that can be applied to Instagram, based on principles my dad taught me. It’s how I cultivate invested and “real” followers.  Next, you’ll learn 3 targeted tips for staying steady and succeeding on the Instagram platform. These tips will keep you steadily growing and collecting your Insta-Tribe.

If you believe in your Instagram message, you can be consistent on the platform, even through the roughest of times.  Often, this is what determines real followers from the flakes.

To get real followers, be a real person

Real followers are dedicated followers.  They’re the ones that stick around.  They’ve come to appreciate what you have to offer.  They like you – they REALLY like you!  Real followers stick around for the long haul – no matter what, because they’re invested.  

Be with the people in front of you – this means your literal people but also your existing followers!  Serve them well, recognize them, visit their posts and leave encouraging comments!  If you have 100 followers, give them the honor of recognition and validation.

Serve those right in front of you whether they’re 100 or 1,000 and be patient with the process, because getting real followers takes time, just like relationships in real life!

How to get real followers: Instagram life lessons

1) You have the same 24 hours as everyone else.

My dad told me this years ago when I was a young mother and. So busy, you know, like I acted like my agenda was just like, I was busier than everyone else.

You can have that attitude in any stage of your life. And so what he was trying to tell me is take it down a notch, receive humility and realize you have the same 24 hours as everyone else. So use it wisely and be humble about it. Just do what you can and stop complaining about how much you have to do the way that this applies to Instagram is everyone has to start somewhere on Instagram.

Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

So you have to start somewhere so start and be faithful and consistent, but don’t worry about it. If you’re not as far along as someone else.

So use your time wisely. Stay in your lane, stay steady and don’t freak out. Don’t be like trying to buy people or do follow for follows. Don’t worry that you don’t have the amount of followers that someone else does slow and steady wins the race so stay in your lane. S

How to get real followers on Instagram

Get clear before you get loud

2) Often words are not needed

Sometimes we don’t need to say anything. We just need to put our arms around people and let them know that we love them. This can be applied to right now. What’s going on in our country. We don’t have to have all the words we can reach out privately to our brothers and sisters send them encouraging messages, but even just tell them.

That we care and we’re listening in another way, you can do this.  And sometimes people just need to see the real, less, they just need to know we’re there and words aren’t necessary. We just need to share. Our lives and ourselves and be available.

Don’t add to the noise.  When experiencing times of unrest and dissension, almost everyone is speaking out.  I’m not saying don’t speak, I’m saying put your spin on this and get clear what VALUE you can add instead of jumping on the bandwagon.  You either are your own brand or you represent a brand.  Figure out how you can be a contribution to society in this noisy world – and sometimes that means getting quiet and waiting (and if you’re a believer you know the verse, be still and know I am God – do that.) and maybe this is one of those opportunities when we need to reset and see if God has something or someone else in mind for us to be present with (possibly someone with skin on).

3) Be present for whomever is in front of you (including your real followers)

In other words, wherever you are be all there. So this is especially important for Instagrammers because we’re afraid we have a lot of FOMO and when we’re afraid we’re missing out and we should maybe post Monday, Wednesday, Friday at noon. And, if we’re not on there all the time, or if we’re not on stories all the time, or if we’re not doing enough GTVs or lives, we’re missing out, but.

We still have people in front of us. We still have the real people that aren’t in the phone they’re at home.

That’s important, especially for young moms who your kids need lots of attention and lots of help. But they’re only there for a short time. Real life. So social media should only be a teeny part of that.

How to get real followers on Instagram


Share your life in stories

You teach something, you have a message. The importance of sharing the person behind the account is invaluable because people need to learn how to know, like, and trust you first.

If you’re still looking for ways to connect with your followers, remember to share behind-the-scenes.  Your life, your business, what can you share that will present you as more approachable, likeable and relatable? This is what endears you and your brand to your target followers.  This is what creates die-hard followers and eventual clients.  

Stop gathering information

Try to just do one thing. Well, and listen to one to three people just narrow it down.

There’s any number of information out there that we can access. Podcasts courses, Facebook lives, Instagram lives. You’ve got to determine where are you going to draw the line because of learning has to stop sometime so that you can implement what you need to do.

And if you’re always learning and always gathering information, then you’re not gonna, you know, ever really put it to good use. So be sure to just narrow that down.

Just pick one to three people to follow to learn Instagram and then just do that.

Don’t try to be everywhere. Don’t try to learn everything I’m telling you from one who knows from one who tried to do all the platforms and do everything and all the blog posts, you don’t do yourself any favors. If you’re trying to be everywhere at once, and you’re not doing your people that are right in front of you at home, any favors either.

Maintain Consistency

Bloom where you’re planted, this goes with what I said earlier, you know, you can’t be everywhere and you have the same 24 hours as everybody else. And finally, pick one-3 people and follow them.  I hope you pick me pick me!  I want to be your Insta-guru!  Stop gathering information, hunker down, and hone in on Instagram.  You got this.  The key to success is consistency and if you waffle back and forth because you’re not getting followers fast enough and then they leave and you let that discourage you, it will take a LOT longer to grow your platform!!  Our minds can only process so much information.  Choose a guide and get busy.

how to get real followers on Instagram

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