When you’re running your own business, online presence is absolutely essential to success.
This is particularly true for those who are entrepreneurs, self-employed, or working in a creative field. If you are running a business, you have to be developing a following that will convert into buyers, clients, readers, and so on.
There are some basic guidelines for building a successful Instagram following:
- Post consistently.
- Post high quality content.
- Connect with others through hashtags.
- Respond to comments.
- Post quality stories.
- Brand yourself simply, but clearly.
But even if you’ve done this as well as possible, there will likely come a point in your growth trajectory in which you plateau. This is a normal part of the process, but it does signal a need for a pivot.
If your following has stopped growing — especially after a period of rapid growth — there is almost always a reason, and it is not always that the algorithm is no longer working in your favor. Here are some other reasons you might find yourself at a standstill, and what you can do next.
1. You’re trying to target an over-saturated niche.
Let’s say you’re a photographer, or yoga teacher. You might have incredible content, but if you’re only posting basic photos — like so many other accounts are — yours is probably getting lost among the noise. You need to either find a more niche market to target, or do something unique with your content that sets it apart.
2. Your content needs to be upgraded.
There’s a certain quality that can attract 5K followers. There’s another that will attract 25K. Then there’s another required to get 100K, and so on. If you’re stuck at one number or another, it probably means that your content as a whole needs a makeover, or under. Something needs to change.
3. Your account isn’t thorough.
Maybe you post professional photos, but unprofessional stories all the time. Maybe your bio isn’t clear, or you’re trying to bridge your personal life with your work account. Every aspect of your account needs to be consistent, from your stories to your comments to your images.
4. You’re not providing value.
Different from just needing a content upgrade, when you’re not providing value, it means you’re not giving your audience a why. You’re not offering something that makes them think: “yes, I need to see this every day.” Perhaps you’re focusing too much on yourself, and not enough on offering them something that makes them feel empowered, inspired, or more self-aware.
5. You’re missing the human element.
Maybe you’ve been neglecting your comment section, or using vague hashtags instead of targeting a community of followers who would be most interested in your work. Either way, remember that your social media accounts are living, breathing entities, and require human interaction to thrive.
6. You’ve been doing the same thing for too long.
Maybe you’ve been posting at the same time, sticking to the same images, and haven’t grown at all. If you’re at a plateau, you need to think about ways you can quickly change it up. If something isn’t adding up, there’s part of the equation that you’re missing. Maybe it’s quality, maybe it’s consistency, or maybe it’s that you’ve simply outgrown your old strategy, and it’s time to level up.