You are listening to episode 17 of the Level Up Your Wedding Film Business Podcast. I very intentionally grew my following on Instagram by 100 people per week. How did I do it? You’ll have to keep listening to find out.
I’m your host, Taylor Petrinovich, and at the core of this show I want you to feel inspired to take your business to the next level, and I want to give you tools and practical advice to help you along the way. Let’s Level-Up together.
Hey guys, I just wanted to tell you really quick – listen to the end of the episode for an exciting announcement.
I want to start this episode with a disclaimer: you do not need a certain amount of followers in order to book clients. And having a certain number of followers does not mean you aren’t as good as someone with more followers than you. And the opposite is also true: having more followers than someone else does not mean you are better at your craft than them. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to explain why I chose to go down the rabbit hole of gaining followers. And it actually all has to do with my ideal client.
After filming all sorts of weddings with many different types of clients, I’ve been able pinpoint my favorite weddings and my favorite clients. And they all pretty much have one thing in common: the brides of those weddings are very similar to myself.
For some context: I’m a 28 year old female, I am active on social media (specifically instagram), even though it’s sort of embarrassing and lame to admit: I somewhat enjoy showing off my life or events in my life.
When I got married 5 years ago, I spent 4 times as much on florals as I did my photographer. They were pretty extravagant, at least for my social circle.
And I’ve found that some of my favorite clients to work with have a lot of things in common with me: they choose more show-ey wedding details like expensive florals or beautiful decor, they are really active on Instagram, and they are around the same age as myself.
So, I came to the realization that if I were booking my wedding vendors right now, in this moment, the popularity of those vendors might have an impact on my decisions. I would see a higher amount of followers on Instagram as social proof that this vendor does a good job, and would be a good choice. Like I said in the disclaimer a few minutes ago: this is not necessarily the truth, but it is a perception that some people may have. Whether it’s true or not.
Now, your ideal client may not care at all about your Instagram following. They might not care about expensive details, and they may be more focused on the emotion and sentimental moments of the day. There are so many different types of people and clients. This is just my experience.
So, I decided I wanted to start to build up my following. When I started actively trying to get more followers, I started with 436 followers. Yep, I’m a total nerd and kept track of my follower count.
I decided that my goal was going to be 1000 followers. And I landed on that number for a few reasons: first, it was attainable. That seemed like a number that wouldn’t take forever to get to, and it was in reach. Unlike trying to get to 50,000 followers. That would be an extremely long and frustrating process.
Secondly, I saw hitting 4 digits as a milestone that would be just enough to give me that social proof or that social standing of having a semi-large or decent sized-following. I know that’s nowhere near what a lot of people have, but it was enough to serve my purposes.
So once that goal was set, it was time to start actively trying to get followers. I tried attracting several types of people: young people who could potentially be clients in the future, fellow vendors (both in my own area and around the world), photographers, and other videographers. Through experimenting, I found that videographers were the easiest people to target, and they tended to be the most likely to follow me.
So, what tactics did I use to get followers?
I tried several different methods. I tried commenting on people’s posts in specific hashtags, I tried going in to the followers lists of accounts similar to mine and commenting on those people’s posts, and I just tried mass-liking tons of posts from specific hashtags.
That last tactic – the mass-liking, is what ended up gaining the most traction. I am a pretty transparent and open person, so I’m going to literally walk you through my exact mindset with this, and my exact strategy.
So here’s a bit about this strategy. I would go into specific hashtags – they are really broad ones like #weddingfilm or things like that. And I would just scroll through the recent posts in that hashtags and like every single post. And this is the way I see it: simply liking a single post on someone’s account is like a little tap on the shoulder. Worst case scenario, all you did was give that person a little bit of happiness seeing that another person liked their post. Best case scenario, that person doesn’t recognize your account name, goes and looks at your profile, and decides for whatever reason (whether that be them feeling inspired by you, enjoying your work, or whatever), they decide to follow you.
It’s, in my opinion, it’s the least spammy way to get someone’s attention. Leaving generic comments on people’s posts can come across as spammy or insincere, and scrolling through and liking 10 posts on 1 person’s page also seems pretty spammy. It’s trying too hard to get their attention. So the sweet spot is simply liking a single post on their profile. That’s it.
So, back to my narrative. This is literally what I did every single morning for 6 weeks. I’m not joking, and I’m not exaggerating. This is super duper NOT glamorous, but it’s the truth.
Each morning, I would wake up, make a cup of coffee, and sit on the couch scrolling through hashtags and liking every single post in that hashtag within the last 24 hours. So that means if you posted something and used one of the 4-5 hashtags I chose to target, I definitely liked that post. It’s important to note: if you decide to do this too, don’t go too fast. If you scroll and double tap extremely fast, you can get blocked from taking any action on Instagram for up to a few weeks. It’s the way instagram tries to protect it’s users from spammers and bots. So go sort of slowly, watch parts of some of the video posts, and take your time. It’s not worth the risk of getting blocked.
I spent a few days counting how many posts I was liking, and it usually was around 300-400 posts per day, and it took me about an hour each morning. And that translated to somewhere between 10-15 followers per day, and on average 100 followers per week.
Like I said, I spent 6 weeks going through this, every single morning. Then, once I reached my goal of 1000, I stopped.
It might be seen as a bit of a waste of time, and I would agree to an extent. If I just did this 1 time, and gained 10 followers, then yeah, that would be a complete waste of an hour. But the way that life works, is that you see real results when they start to compound.
Working out for 1 hour one time is kind of a waste, because you won’t see any results. But if you do this each day for 3 months, you’ll get in shape. And it’s the same with this.
So, if you decide you want to get to a certain number of instagram followers, I want to encourage you to stick with it. Put in the effort every single day until you arrive at your goal. Otherwise, it’s kind of a waste of time.
And I will say this: those people will need a reason to follow you. I’m not the best filmmaker in the world. I’m not the best editor in the world. But I would say I’m pretty good. So there are a lot of people, especially those who are newer to videography, who found my account to be inspiring.
If you don’t have many posts, or if you’re just starting out and you’re still working on getting your skills to a level that you’re happy with them, I would suggest focusing on getting your business to that specific point first, then focusing on this vanity metric later. Because it’s truly not necessary. I just know that it’s something a lot of people are curious about, so I thought I’d share some insight and my own experience with it.
And, like I said at the beginning of the episode: you absolutely don’t need a certain amount of followers to book clients. I was booking clients on Instagram long before I chose to increase my following. It just takes strategy and follow-through.
And that leads me to the announcement I want to make today. This is something I’ve been working on for a few months now, and I’m finally ready to share it: I created a mini-course all about booking clients on Instagram.
This mini course is called the Instagram Masterclass, and in it, I teach my 5 step process to book clients using Instagram.
If you are already getting results on Instagram and already booking clients by using Instagram as a marketing tool, this course is not for you. But if you are on instagram and not getting many, if any, inquiries, or if you’re new to the instagram game and don’t want to spend months or years figuring out a way to get it to work for you as a marketing tool, then this course might be for you.
I 100% am not going to give you a hard sale here, guys. All I’m going to say, is that if you’re interested in learning about my exact step-by-step blueprint on how I personally book clients on Instagram, you might want to check it out.
So, check out the link in the shownotes, or visit thelevelupco.com, click the courses option in the menu, and it will take you to that course where you can check out the details. And if you decide it’s something you’re interested in, you can use the code IG50 – that’s IG50 to get 50% off. That code will expire at 11:59pm on Friday March 13th, 2020.
So that’s it, that’s the episode. That’s exactly how I gained 100 Instagram followers per week to reach that 1000 follower milestone.
I hope you enjoyed the episode! I’d love to connect with you on Instagram – you can follow me @thelevelupco.
Thanks for listing, and I will talk to you guys soon!