I had this crazy idea to start a blog back in early February. When I started, I walked in with a lot of uncertainties(How do I start, Who am I going to be talking to, is anyone going to read what I post?, etc..) but above all, I had confidence. There have been times in my life where I’d doubt myself or overthink myself into not doing an idea I thought would be a good idea; thankfully this wasn’t one of those times.
Since the launch of my blog and the rebranding of my Instagram in February, I’ve gained 400 followers in 4 months(so roughly 100 followers a month). I’ve noticed a tremendous amount of growth since I’ve started. The response has been surprising and very humbling and it’s given me confirmation that I did the right thing. But if I’m honest, I wasn’t always sure if I did the right thing.
The last branding I had for my Instagram before the current one was related to comedy. I was mixing in a combination of comedic videos and posts as well as my photography and video projects. There wasn’t a lot of structure and the content was everywhere, and I wanted things to change.
So within this rebranding and this new online identity, there are a few things that I began to do regularly and I noticed things started to change. Here are a few things I did with my personal brand that took it from barely noticeable to working with brands in the course of 4 months...
Identify Your Audience
The biggest issue I ran into in the past would be posting the right content to the wrong audience. Back when I wanted my audience to be comedy based, my content worked when I was able to reach that audience but the problem was I wasn’t always able to reach them consistently. Whenever I promoted a post, I’d always get great comments and good feedback, but that audience would never stay long. The comedic audience required quality content every day that I wasn’t able to provide regularly. Not because the ideas weren’t there, but the manpower needed for what I was doing I couldn’t have everyday so I had to figure out what I wanted to define my audience by.
I found the audience I have currently accidently funny enough. My first fashion based photo I posted on my Instagram was meant to be a one time, look at me I’m in NY going to NYFW shows, type of post. Before this post, my average photos would get about 40-60 likes. This photo hit 150+ in 24 hours and I was kinda blown away. I tested the theory a bit more and the people enjoyed and wanted more, thus the birth of “ImNotJustinTune”.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different things. Take risks, be creative, but be authentic and the people you want to see it, will find you.
Become Apart of/Create a Community
One of the key things I’ve learned within my time so far is that community is very key for growth. Of course you’ll gain the occasional random followers daily or you’ll have your bot accounts that are out there but they don’t last. They pad the stats for you(make your follower numbers look good), but they hurt your engagement. When you become apart of a community, not only do you gain followers, but you gain genuine supporters.
Since joining the fashion world of Instagram, I’ve encountered and have made connections with people I’ve never met in person before just off of genuine interactions. Commenting on a photo, being tagged for a challenge, complimenting someone’s look, the list goes on. Once you join a community, you gain people who support you and who have the potential to care about you outside of your content. Most influencers create their own community of supporters where they can interact with their supporters in a different setting.
Takeaway: Find a way to consistently be engaged with your audience. Allow those “followers” to become supporters and watch how meaningful your content becomes.
One of the best things you can do for your content and for your audience is to be yourself. Within social media, at times we can catch ourselves doing what’s popular, not necessarily what’s us. The thing I began to realize is that people appreciate authenticity. With the internet and social media, if someone wanted to follow someone who’s into Men’s Fashion they don’t have to come to me to do it.There’s thousands of people who have content based off of Men’s Fashion.
My audience has grown the way it has because people like me(^_^) and the way my content is, not because I’m the only one who does it. And that’s not a humble brag or anything, it’s just an example of how people choose to follow me and my content, they can decide one day they don’t want to anymore and unfollow. So be yourself, your authentic self and don’t focus on the follower count. One day you can be at 30k, next thing you know you can be at 300, as long as your content is good you’ll always have an audience.
Takeaway: Focus more on producing good content and be yourself and less on how many people follow you and you’ll be amazed at where your brand can go.
Wrap It Up Coach:
When I began this process of rebranding, I had no idea that I would grow so fast. I just wanted to give the big and tall community another voice and to help spread the word about the benefits of shopping secondhand. What was a hobby has turned into a bit more and now it’s more than I’d ever imagined. Whatever idea you have or goal you want to go after, the best thing you can do is start. You’ll be surprised at how a few dedicated months of hard work can place you.
What do you think? How do you see your brand growing? Is any of this information helpful? Let’s chat in the comments!