Instagram for Beginners the low down from experts

Instagram for Beginners the low down from experts

Instagram for beginners can feel very daunting. There are 800 million Instagram users out there so how on earth do you even start to gain traction?

If you can’t be bothered to read the rest of this here are the key takeaways:

A four point quick summary of Instagram for beginners

  1. People follow personality not pictures
  2. However, the quality of images and how much you post matters more than anything
  3. Take it seriously. Post on Instagram at least once a day the more the better
  4. Grow in one vertical but focus your form of expression. Express who you are what kind of company you are and what you do for people and how that makes them feel…

Now read the details and watch your Instagram account go wild!

We decided to ask the guys who know all about the platform and put together a smart guide to help with Instagram for beginners. If you are looking for information about Instagram for beginners then you’ll find some great tips and thoughts right here. Read on…

Jaimin Shukla from The Notorious Hustlers gave up his precious time to be interviewed by VKN Digital last week. First we asked him what were his key observations that beginners should remember when making a start on Instagram.

Jai: “Think about what it is you are looking to achieve. It’s important to understand there is more to Instagram than just promoting an ‘awareness of brand’ It has to be more creative than that.”

I asked him what drove him to that conclusion.

Jai: “We have received an influx of clients who think it’s enough to just post pictures over and over again about their product. Instagram is much more than that. We need to consider just how we all help others. What does your product, brand or service do for others to improve their lives? How does seeing that picture make them feel?

Generally we see two typical types of client:

The first has been trying for ages to gain traction on Instagram but what they are doing doesn’t seem to be working. They feel very lost usually.

Others have been trying for years and they are just not growing as fast as they would like. Honestly? They just don’t understand why. They have done their research, nothing seems to work and they really have no idea what to do next.”

I wondered if there were any horror stories out there.

Of course there are!  Some people arrive with sad tales. They have tried other companies and found they haemorrhaged 10K followers in 3 days! Imagine that. They are almost in tears. They say:

“I can’t believe my situation. Suddenly my account has been blocked. I’ve spent ages building up an 80k following for a make-up brand. I thought I could do with some help and brought in a company to help me grow further. Within a week we’d added another 10K followers. How can this be I asked? Basically I called them out. Guess what? All 10k followers dropped off as soon as they left.”

Inevitably the account flagged and she had real issues when it came to building trust. Who wants to follow an account with fake followers?

This is an extreme case but people are very skeptical and afraid of growing Instagram. This is where reputable companies really can help.

So, what do you suggest for beginners to Instagram I asked Jai?

Jai: “For me the number 1 thing is that people don’t follow pictures but they do follow personalities. Yes ok if you have a travel brand it’s different, or maybe a celeb but for mere mortals it’s not only about images it’s about personality. We tell everyone it’s about what you are bringing to the Instagram party.”

Are you saying you need to be different?

Jai: “Yes. Too often I see businesses like estate agents simply post pictures of houses. It’s not exciting. They don’t explain who they are or demonstrate the key reasons why anyone should choose them. You need to say: ‘Hey, here’s what I do.’ Many neglect to mention the experience they create or how comfortable they make clients feel. Where’s the credibility and social proof to back up what you are saying? Without either of those you are going nowhere as an Instagram beginner.

So you mean that it’s dead easy to tell people you are great without giving anyone any evidence or someone else’s opinion?

Jai: “Exactly. For example Coke is a historic brand. We all know about it, know how it tastes. Coke doesn’t focus on the drink itself. By association it’s focusing on how happy people FEEL when they drink the product. Also people love to find their tribe and Coke drinkers want to associate with youth, spirit, good times etc. Imagine if they only posted pictures of coke cans and bottles? The problem is that’s EXACTLY what some businesses do, day in day out. Here is a picture of our face cream and here’s another and another… can see why they fail to get traction.”

So do you feel a key element is missing from a lot of Instagram accounts?

Jai: “Yes, does your Instagram say ‘why you?’ or can you demonstrate just how you make people feel? It’s not hard really.  But it does take thought. You simply need to find interesting ways to show a review, credibility, review, trends or just be entertaining. Craft your story, hone your narrative and show how you can bring something positive to people’s lives. Show the before and after pictures, demonstrate the results, showcase the change your product or service created. It’s not just the cream it’s the lack of wrinkles or soft skin or whatever.”

You are saying there are lots of brands, products and services in the same niche but there’s no one quite like you as we are all different people.

Jai: “Yes. Take a Tattoo studio we don’t need to just see tattoos we need to see needles, drawings, hygiene, how you go about your work, how you deal with the unexpected etc. What you are highlighting is how it is to really work with me. This is how you will be treated; this is how you will feel when you choose us.”

Suddenly you can see the opportunities to create a story.

I asked Jai whether he thought that was enough for success.

Jai: “No. You have to demonstrate your value. There needs to be a certain level of commitment and level of value. For example we clarify and expect a certain level of commitment from our clients. After all, no matter how good we are at our job if clients are not posting pics of a certain calibre and quality they will not create a following. That is the base level understanding what we require and we think all businesses should feel the same way.”

So really every small detail needs to be taken care of at all times.

Jai: “Yes, we say take care of everything. Of course, we can offer consultation on how to improve bios and hashtags but business needs to be aware that captions have a massive impact too. People lose potential customers all the time when people don’t know something is for sale or the image is a specific photographers’ image for example. So ensure you also look at your section hashtags too. Make sure there are ways to DM or contact and also calls to action too.”

Do you think educating users in every respect is key?

Jai: “Yes, it’s about refining what you do all the time. See it as an iterative approach. Gradually and organically followers will arrive when they become more engaged with your brand. But remember that may be happening elsewhere too. Real customers obviously then have an interest and pay genuine attention.”

I asked whether Jai had seen many changes since he started his consultancy.

Jai: “Over 18 months or so we have seen Instagram go crazy. Right now there are so many people on-boarding and everyone is trying ‘to make it’. What I have to say is that ‘just posting’ is never going to bring the results business is looking for. It’s time to refine and experiment all the time. If something isn’t work it then change it. You can quickly see what’s happening so don’t just keep doing the same old thing if you are not getting the results. It really isn’t enough to keep posting about you.

Also we find people keep getting bogged down with what they see as massive problems. People ask us: ‘should I use three or four hashtags or write five or six lines?’ This isn’t the only thing you should be losing sleep over. Obviously having a brand outside of Instagram is part of the mix. You need to work on that too. Be credible, have social proof, create a vibe, create stories, make what you do clean, simple and creative.

People don’t want a novel on an Instagram post. Show a quick version of what you need to show them. Hashtags, stickers help to create playful content that accentuates what you are posting. It doesn’t have to be amazing high quality video when people feel they can really engage with you. You need them to think, ‘Hey, there’s a person behind this page and relate to you.’ Remember CTAs are very important when you are really established on Instagram.

Instagram is also naturally exponential. After all, that’s inherent human behaviour. If there’s a line outside the restaurant we’re curious. If we see a queue we wonder what the fuss is about. It’s the same principle at work on social. If you have a nice theme and brand people often just follow for the sake of it, another example of FOMO.”

So what are your key tips on Instagram for beginners?

  1. Ensure that you keep posting what is effective and not for the sake of it.
  2. Use some great tools like Snapseed or, Hootsuite, Minted or
  3. Be aware it really does take time and commitment and isn’t a quick fix.
  4. Make sure Instagram is the platform for you. If you like making videos instead – go to YouTube.
  5. Be aware you are competing with big brands that have whole teams of people dedicated to the job of posting on Instagram! These are who you are up against; don’t forget.
  6. Ratio matters – so stop Follow 4 Follow. Inherently it doesn’t work getting people to follow you for the sake of looking better. If you are following everyone and have no followers you really can look like ‘Billy no mates’ and that’s not attractive. It’s not helpful for you when you are not being true to yourself and others. It becomes a cycle of no one really winning and so is a complete waste of time.
  7. Reach out to journalists, magazines or putting out content to attract the right kind of people.
  8. Grow on one platform or one vertical instead of trying to grow on every platform. After all you have to reach a calibre of good quality content. If you are better with blogs then focus on text instead!

So can we have a four point summary for Instagram beginners if they haven’t got the energy to study this article carefully?

  1. People follow personality not pictures
  2. However, the quality of images and how much you post matters more than anything
  3. Take it seriously. Post on Instagram at least once a day the more the better
  4. Grow in one vertical but focus your form of expression. Express who you are what kind of company you are and what you do for people and how that would make them feel if they chose you…

So finally, I asked Jai why employ an Instagram professional to help develop an Instagram account?

Jai: “We provide a free guide and offer a 30-minute consultation where you will learn masses. Our prices are bespoke and it depends whether you need a Graphic designer or Virtual assistants. Our services vary depending on what you want. People think that joining groups where people follow one another back is key to success. This is another myth we have busted. We ask clients, ‘really, what is the point of hundreds of followers who are really not interested in your brand?’ No one wants to grow with people who don’t care. Why would they? Sometimes that’s a very hard lesson for clients.”

There you have it. If you an Instagram beginner then hopefully you will have food for thought about what you are going to do next. We’d love to hear some top tips for anyone gaining traction on Instagram. Let us know things that work in the comments page or simply comment on what you’ve read here. If you want to know more, why not check out our previous blog on getting started on Instagram for small businesses to help you swat up on your Insta knowledge? Or contact the Notorious Hustlers direct for a free 30 minute consultation then start really nailing Instagram for your business.

If you need help on any aspect of your digital marketing from web maintenance to web development, social media marketing and beyond then why not chat to us?

Further Information

7 free Instagram tools for businesses 2018

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