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EXECUTION Growing & Monetizing Instagram in a crowded niche

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Kyle Thumm, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    About 4-months ago, I started growing my Instagram network.

    I am using the network to build my personal brand within the fitness niche and my ultimate goal is to use it as a marketing tool for future fitness businesses.

    I am a few years late to the IG party, but I believe this is a good starting platform for me to play and experiment with marketing strategies and to meet potential customers.

    In the last 5-months, I have grown to 9,500 followers using Infographics. I am really not too concerned with the number of followers but I am definitely excited to cross 10,000 followers for the Instagram story swipe up feature.

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 1778
    - Website Clicks: 67
    - Reach: 109,097
    - Impressions: 200,879
    - Followers: +293

    Looking forward to learning and updating you all with future progress!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  2. GWan
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    I don't know anything about Instagram but 10000 in 5 months seems pretty impressive, especially with mostly infographics. What do you think contributed to your growth?
     
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    Nice, man. Foundr has some excellent resources on growing IG (helped me cross 100k followers in less than a year when I was focused hard on it).

    I also know a guy named Josue Pena who runs the FB group “Collective Entrepreneurs Online”. He is a whiz at this stuff and produces great content as well.

    Best of luck on your journey!
     
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  4. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thank you for the kind words! I will look into those things that you mentioned.
     
  5. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Honestly, there were periods where I was pumping out content and averaging 800+ followers per week. The key to my success has been just finding the specific topics that resonate with followers.

    For example, I noticed that there has been a huge trend of people who are posting and loving posts on intermittent fasting. I went out and wanted to create the best post in Intermittent Fasting. The resulting graphic was simple but clean and to the point.

    Link to see an example of the graphic.

    This graphic was liked over 3500 times and seen by 200,000+. When I create graphics like this that go "viral" they get shared by a ton of accounts that have hundreds of thousands of followers.

    This post alone is responsible for 10% of my followers.

    Based on the success of this post, I created a lead magnet on the same topic and used it to gain 200+ email subscribers.

    Finding more posts that will go viral is the challenge!

    In the last month, my growth has slowed and my enthusiasm for creating new content has disappeared. In that same time, my engagement has seemed to drop significantly. It is definitely a grind.
     
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  6. Neng Her
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    The only followers I get, have the word Entrepreneurs (Gurus) under majority of them. Also they all follow my page then un-follow as soon as I follow back. I want to attract regular people who just loves to read. I am thinking it must be the hashtags I am using.
     
  7. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I'm am by no way an expert at Instagram yet, but a ton of people out there are using follow/unfollow bots that are responsible for that.

    Instagram is all about engagement. Successful posts need to inspire the audience to like, comment, save, and share with friends.

    I use that same mindset with hashtags. Think about the people who are searching or following specific hashtags and ask yourself, "Will the people that are looking at this category engage with my post?" If it doesn't grab there attention then you are gonna struggle.
     
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  8. Neng Her
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    Ah. Thanks. I will keep that in mind as I continue to post.
     
  9. RazorCut
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    I have two IG accounts totalling 10k followers combined. It's a bit of a love/hate relationship with IG. I built the accounts as a kind of experiment and during busy periods I've not had much time to post (one is an inspirational account, the other beverage, and both take time and effort sourcing material and then combining/editing in Photoshop). It doesn't help when I am working away so have no access to my PC. I have recently started posting daily to one account again.

    Likes and comments ratio's are pretty similar to yours.

    Looking at your stats the work vs reward sucks and it is what I find unattractive with IG. If you compare reach to visits you are getting a 0.06% click through rate. I can't compare mine as at the moment I don't have a URL in my profile but I would expect something comparable if posting regularly.

    Yes I know it's a numbers game with IG and if you have a 100k account then 0.06% is a good few hundred visitors but it takes quite some time to build a 100k account and maybe the time would be spent more productively elsewhere?

    Just some thoughts.

    As @Kyle Thumm says it's bot activity from programs like FollowLiker.
     
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  10. RazorCut
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    Thanks for the like @Andy Black, I was actually kinda thinking Adwords when I wrote it and anything Google advertising related always brings you to mind mate.

    Just seems IG is a lot of effort when a good Adwords campaign would bring in a lot more visitors pretty much overnight. Yes it would cost hard currency but what price do you put on your time?

    I will continue the IG experiment but when the time is right on my new venture then paid advertising will be my main focus.
     
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  11. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    When you put it into that perspective it does seem like the grind might not be worth it or maybe I’m just doing something wrong! I am not sure.

    My thought process is that Instagram is where my desired audience (women age 20-38) are spending their time but the space is just too crowded to drive traffic anywhere.

    Friendly reminder to not follow your passion! One of these days I will find a unsexy business idea and take off running! Hopefully whatever I learn from the fitness space will translate and help me in the future.
     
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  12. Kyle Thumm
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    Weekly Update Week 2
    Current # of followers: 10,236

    Overall it was a pretty great week. Only created two new posts and they both have done very well. This week I didn't attempt to drive any traffic to my site as I am in the process of overhauling the whole thing.

    Creating one post at a time is really wearing me down. Mentally I just don't enjoy it and the process of finding a topic, creating a graphic and then writing the caption is really slowing me down.

    I am going to smooth out this process by doing the following
    • Hiring a Virtual Assistant to Bulk Produce my graphics
    • Planning a 3-hour block in my schedule to accomplish 3 things
      • Research Post Topics to send to VA
      • Write captions for the new graphics.
      • Use Buffer to schedule a week at a time
    My ultimate goal is to produce 7 new posts a week in less than 2 hours of my time. Once I do that I should see substantial growth and then I will have more time to focus on more important tasks.

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 2430
    - Website Clicks: 32
    - Reach: 358,700
    - Impressions: 519,133
    - Followers: +705
     
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  13. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 3
    Current # of followers: 11,043

    Overall good week. Growth seems to be easy and I am converting my followers to an email subscription. A single CTA usually gets me 50+ new email signups.

    I tested out a couple VA's to mass produce some infographics at a small cost but have yet to find someone that can replicate at a high enough quality.

    Once I figure out a process for streamlining my self-produced content, I see my growth rate increasing significantly.

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 3462
    - Website Clicks: 134
    - Reach: 330,566
    - Impressions: 469,833
    - Followers: +778
    - Engagement Rate: 6.63%
    - Avg Likes: 693.16
    - Avg Comments: 24.88
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  14. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 4
    Current # of followers: 11,043

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 3856
    - Website Clicks: 87
    - Reach: 339,409
    - Impressions: 509,690
    - Followers: +608
    - Engagement Rate: 7.95%
    - Avg Likes: 898.48
    - Avg Comments: 28.56

    Still producing my own content but I am batch producing now. A week's worth of graphics is only taking me about 5 hours to create. Much better than what I have been doing in the past but I am still hoping to either cut that time down more or find a way to outsource the content.

    Still content with the current growth.
     
  15. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 5
    Current # of followers: 12,214

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 3014
    - Website Clicks: 48
    - Reach: 165,140
    - Impressions: 313,155
    - Followers: +518
    - Engagement Rate: 6.31 %
    - Avg Likes: 737
    - Avg Comments: 31.48

    • Joined an engagement pod and my numbers have actually decreased. Keeping up with IG's algorithm is tough work and Instagram is a fickle beast.
    • By the end of this week, my goal is to have my first sale directly from Instagram. I have used my audience to grow an email list of a few hundred and I will be sending out an email campaign over the course of the next week. My goal is to get ONE SINGLE SALE to prove to myself that 5 hours per week on Instagram marketing isn't a waste of time.
     
  16. Visionary96
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    Sweet progress man! I'm heavily into fitness and instagram is something I have dabbled in but not taken full advantage of for sure. Online coaching packages is the road I want to go down but a large following is required. Any tips to get the ball rolling?

    Infographics has interested me but I feel I would have to post high quality pictures of myself and my surroundings to engage and reel followers who would be genuinely interested in my content and start gaining a good reputation. (aspiring Personal trainer.) Perhaps purely for numbers, it wouldn't be a bad way to start.
     
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  17. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    When starting out it's all about consistently posting, engaging with followers and commenting on the profiles of others (people who you aspire to be like.)

    I think that the last one is the most underutilized and the one that I slack on the most too. Every time you comment on another person's image, it has the ability to result in a few new people clicking on your profile and following you.

    Once you have the audience, then Instagram Stories would be the best way to get more people genuinely interested in your life and what you do. The nature of 'Stories' makes it much more useful for selling and personal brand content. Stories provide you with the opportunity to create content for 'VIP' followers that are already familiar with you and then you are able to form more personal relationships.
     
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  18. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 6
    Current # of followers: 12,877

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 2647
    - Website Clicks: 117
    - Reach: 194,388
    - Impressions: 309,596
    - Followers: +562
    - Engagement Rate: 5.96 %
    - Avg Likes: 731
    - Avg Comments: 28.88

    So I failed to get a client from my Instagram campaign. Pretty disappointing but I take the L and move on towards the next opportunity.

    The funnel is evergreen (in the structure at least) so I will hopefully make a few updates and passively get a few customers for my online coaching.

    Positives from the past week
    • Stepped up my copy quite a bit. Although it wasn't successful in getting a client, I have the framework of a decent funnel and I can refine it and replicate. I am currently reading "Cashvertising" and that book has been gold for me.
    • Overall it was a solid week of growth and I put in less than an hour of effort on the social media side of things. Growing without effort is progress in itself.
    Two mistakes that I will correct in future
    • More Social Proof. Need to hammer my leads with client success stories. Not only in my emails, but on IG and my landing pages as well.
    • Lead Magnet + Product Disconnect. This seems to have been my biggest error. There is a disconnect between the free resource, that I am offering to attain email addresses, and my actual product. I think that I will need to create another valuable incentive that warms leads up a bit more so that I can improve my conversion rate.
     
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  19. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Update: Got my first sale from Instagram!

    2-days past my self-imposed deadline but I am glad that it came through.

    The best part was that I got it while I slept. I can't express how good it feels to be able to make a little money without it being directly tied to my time.

    Definitely gave me a morale boost and I am excited to build some momentum from it. Now onto the next one!
     
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  20. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 7
    Current # of followers: 13,958

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 4755
    - Website Clicks: 525
    - Reach: 293,160
    - Impressions: 421,878
    - Followers: +1,107
    - Engagement Rate: 7.46 %
    - Avg Likes: 1,001
    - Avg Comments: 37


    If you compare the statistics to previous weeks then this was an INSANELY successful week. I gained over 1,000 followers for the first time and gained hundreds of emails through website clicks directed toward my lead magnet.


    This success was primarily from a single post. I am spending less time and getting better results because I am now focusing on quality rather than quantity.


    Feels good! Instagram keeps dropping farther & farther on my priority list but I will still update consistently with my findings.
     
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  21. Varun
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    Interesting, I'll be reading your posts consistently. I just started my own fitness-based affiliate marketing website. Great to see your execution!
     
  22. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Weekly Update Week 8
    Current # of followers: 15,232

    Statistics from the last week:
    - Profile Visits: 3651
    - Website Clicks: 94
    - Reach: 359234
    - Impressions: 499,313
    - Followers: +1,079
    - Engagement Rate: 9.12 %
    - Avg Likes: 1,345
    - Avg Comments: 43

    I created ZERO new content this week and still gained over 1,000 new followers. Just taking a few minutes to do reposts was enough to maintain some growth.

    I used zero CTA (towards my website) and that is responsible for the significant drop in website clicks.

    Overall my engagement rates are through the roof compared to many of my competitors. With regards to the current Instagram algorithm, I am now confident enough to confirm that Quality > Quantity.

    In addition, it would appear that there the algorithm has some sort of momentum component. Meaning that once you have a post go viral, your next posts get an added boost.

    Also means that once I post a dud, my next few posts usually struggle regardless of the quality, because of the Algo is suppressing the reach. It creates a roller coaster effect that is resulting in a wide range of weekly growth (300-1000 new followers)
     
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  23. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thank you for the comment! Appreciate the support.
     
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    Daltinomy New Contributor

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    I see that we’re in the same niche on IG. I’ve grown my page to over 11k since February.

    Do you promote your posts pretty often?
     
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  25. Kyle Thumm
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    Kyle Thumm Aspiring Super Hero Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    I have promoted a post once and I wasn't very satisfied with the results so I canceled it and have never gone back!

    Instagram is much better than Facebook in organic reach & growth and my current growth is 100% organic.
     

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