Authentic Online Marketing

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Authentic Online Marketing with Ruthie Gray
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Episode 15: Get real Instagram Followers with these 6 tips!

Today’s podcast is all about how to get real Instagram followers! This is installment three of four in our series about the four evergreen key components that don’t change on Instagram.

If you missed Episodes 1 and 2 of our series, you can go back to season 2, Episode 13, “Does Your Instagram Bio Attract or Repel Potential Clients?”, and then Episode 14, “Rate Your Instagram Content with These Proven Techniques?” These can be found in the links below, but those are the first two key components; a solid bio and a solid content strategy to draw in followers and convert to clients. 

So today we’re talking about gaining real Instagram followers. I wanted to add some fresh tactics from our recent research. My team and I are always researching trends and changes on the platform to keep you and my membership in the loop.

Be sure to follow or subscribe to the podcast to get episodes when they drop! 

Before I share today’s episode, if you’re listening the week of November 22nd, the very day this drops, I want to invite you to my Instagram Live today on Instagram at 1:00 PM. On my @authenticmarketingpod Instagram account, I’m going to share the very next evergreen component to a solid account right there.

It’s all about how to drive traffic off the platform and onto your podcast, website, blog product, wherever you really need followers to go. It works, so set a reminder right now to meet me at the Live so you can ask questions! We’ll discuss component number four for developing a solid Instagram strategy. So check out my Live if you’re listening today November 22nd at 1:00 PM on my Instagram, Eastern standard time.

I’ll give number four there and I’m going to spill the beans on my early Black Friday sale that starts today. You don’t want to miss it! The early bird bonuses are out of this world. They’re only around until midnight, the 24th of November, 2021. Think: Instagram meets email list building for a brilliant marketing plan to create solid followers, readers, and conversions for your marketing. 

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

Click below for show notes!

Episode 13

Episode 14

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Click below to purchase the Authentic Online Marketing School!

We’ve discussed component number one of the four Evergreen components on Instagram– a solid bio. Number two is a valued content strategy. In this series, I took a walk down memory lane about our local cafe we frequented each Sunday after church, when our kids were growing up, it was a whole experience.

I liken that to your bio and how people look at that to see the kind of the vibe you’re putting out and what you offer. The choices behind the counter, the food served that day that I liken to your content. 

Today our topic of gaining real Instagram followers falls along the lines of community.

You must build community in order to gain followers, it’s simply essential. You can’t gain followers without establishing community. I always say community grows opportunity. 

I teach this a lot inside my community and in every new program I release, including the one released just today. There’s always a community team building aspect to it because that is so important for growth. And so the cafe grew community through committed frequenters like us going there and then telling others how much we loved it. Some Sundays after church we’d invite friends to join us for the experience. And they told their friends and they told their friends and so on and that built their following. Word of mouth is spectacular for building your brand and business.

When people become committed followers, they share your content. That, my friends, is just invaluable to growing a solid platform and gaining real Instagram followers. For instance, whenever they share your content as stories and tag you. When they share it in DMs to other people, that shows that your content is really resonating and you can build a solid following.

Think of it this way, getting real Instagram followers transitions into potential clients, but you must make your message clear. Like we talked about in the previous episodes on bio and content, we’re going to discuss the following six steps to building followers that don’t just come to sample and then don’t return. They stay, then they tell others to come!

Number 1: Spruce up your account

Number one. Spruce up your Instagram accounts initial vibe. In other words, maybe it’s a little old or tired or not quite relevant or even up to speed for your industry. One thing you can do is spend some time in the explore tab in the search bar and look at what others are doing in your same industry. 

Study their graphics, Reels, the feed visuals they give and then look at yours and think, is this visually cohesive? Is it appealing? I don’t want you to put pressure on yourself for the perfect feed. Because that’s one thing I encourage my people to do is just get started and, and don’t try to be perfect and get all in your head about it.

Because when we do that, often, it just holds us back from posting. So, that’s not what I’m talking about, but maybe pick three main colors that you want to use and incorporate them in the clothing you wear, the graphics that you create, even the landscaping, or other pictures you choose to use.

If you’ll look at my Instagram account, you’ll see a lot of turquoise and a lot of blue. It kind of goes with my whole beach theme because we live part time near the beach. You know, there’s always blue-green waters and all that kind of thing. My desk there in Florida is blue-green.

My office is blue-green in West Virginia. The Barnwood wall behind my desk, if you’ve seen those pictures, has got all the blues and greens. I wear those colors whenever I go Live, or whenever I show pictures of myself or I do video, those are the colors that I use. Then when my daughter creates my graphics, we use all of those colors that blend and go together.

Don’t overthink it, but try to see if maybe you could come up with more tutorial graphics and things like that. That is pretty hot right now, to offer a few steps to take and use Canva to build them. It’s so easy to go in there and just use the tools that they have and blend that with your colors and your brand.

Thinking about sprucing up your account and how that looks is number 1. 

Number 2: Cross-platform

Number two for getting real Instagram followers, showcase your Instagram by cross-platforming. What I mean by that is you can easily post from Instagram onto Facebook. If you have a business account, which you should, if you really trying to grow your Instagram platform, you have to link your Facebook pay.

Business page to your Instagram account. So you can easily toggle a button there that makes it easy to cross pollinate, go across both platforms. You can do this in software like I’ve talked about that before. It’s a scheduling software and they have other social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and so forth.

Honestly, I always tell people to really capitalize on that if you’re building an Instagram account. Be present there, but also kind of try to double and triple duty and cross pollinate. That kind of develops awareness on the other platforms. What an easy thing to do if you’re already on Facebook personally is to start talking about what you do on your personal account every once in a while.

Kind of feel it out there so that your friends know, because your friends really should be the ones invested, right? They should be your solid followers. 

Cross pollinate, cross platform to help get more real Instagram followers.

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Number 3: Start a conversation with your posts

Number three, start a conversation with your post. Make it an open-ended true or false question. If you ask for opinions, let it be open-ended instead of always pushing your agenda.

We do have an agenda. We have a business, we have the services that we want to promote, but if we’re always doing that, it deadens our audience. So, you really have to get your audience involved. Start a conversation, ask them where they’re from. Talk about your state, ask them about their business, ask them about their podcast.

Ask them to tag a friend in whatever your industry is to open the conversation. Because if you get people talking on your instagram, the algorithm sees that that post is blowing up and gaining traction in it’ll show it to more people and more people will comment. This is a great follower generator and community builder. So start a conversation with your posts. 

Number 4: Collaborate

Number 4: I am always encouraging this. Collaborations! Go live with a friend who compliments your industry or do a giveaway together. I mentioned last week in the last episode about content, do a challenge and do it with someone else at the same time. This is so helpful in marketing to get real Instagram followers. An email challenge or some kind of Instagram challenge, or just any kind of challenge that goes along with your brand, but collaboration can go even farther with sales or, podcasts, podcasting, anything that you can think of that you can do with someone else.

This helps spread the word because you’re sharing audiences and I always come back to Lives because when you go Live, your friends get notified that you’re live. When the person you collaborate with goes live, all her friends get notified. And so it turns into a broader community. I always get more followers when I go Live.

All right, number 5 to getting real Instagram followers is to have keywords in your bio.

They should be searchable and marketable for Google and on Instagram. So whatever your industry is, go to Google! I don’t know if you’re big into SEO, but you should be, especially if you have a blog or a podcast, a website, anything like that.

At, we’re always, always researching for SEO to put a keyword and topics in that go along with our podcast. We research titles and keywords and we sprinkled those throughout the transcript. You can, by the way, read the full transcript of every podcast over on So, take your key words for your industry, make sure those are in your bio and then sprinkle those throughout your content to even down to your username.

It’s super important to use keywords. For instance, people search Instagram followers all the time. So you better believe Instagram followers is going to be in our title and sprinkled throughout this! So when people are searching for those kinds of topics that they are interested in, or that they need value for information on that they want to learn about whether it’s recipes, whether it’s hair care, whether it’s life, coaching, those kind of keywords and related keywords need to be in your bio.

Finally, number 6, if you’ve been resistant to Reels, I’m going to encourage you again, be consistent about Reels. Your posting should be consistent and your content should be consistent as far as posting. Post your Reels at the same time that you post on a regular basis. Monday, Wednesday, Friday at noon for example.

Try posting one of those times and let your Reels in. And by the way, don’t just stop because you didn’t blow up that time! Keep going because they gain traction. I promise you it works. Even on the low end of the viewership, you’ll get more views.

Then you will get regular post views. That’s just out works right now because Instagram wants you to use Reels.

As far as content for Reels, it needs to be branded. It needs to be closely related to your bio and your regular content. 

If potential followers like your Reel and the content that you’re putting out there, they will want to visit your profile and see if you got more of that kind of content. So then that creates more followers! 

So to recap what I just said, the six steps are number 1, spruce up your account, number 2, showcase your Instagram by cross platforming. Number 3, start a conversation with your post. Number 4, collaborate. It’s a big one. Number five, have keywords in your bio. Be searchable and marketable.

Number six, be consistent with Reels. And by the way, if you need ideas for reals, take our Reels personality quiz! It’s in my Link in bio, but it’ll also be linked in the shownotes. It’s on my website at, you get 40 free Reels ideas and you’ll be in the loop for my special black Friday sale.

Thank you for reading!

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