Instagram to Gain Subs?
The Why, the How, The FOLLOW ME ALREADY.
Do it for the gram.
Every week, we break down the best hacks to scale your newsletter, in real time and reporting on our fails and wins. Come along…
A couple weeks ago Codie did a few Instagram live Q & A’s on Grow-Getters and here’s what it delivered: 80 new subs just from answering your awesome questions? We’ll take it (although is it too greedy to wish we could add a 0 on there?).
It got us thinking about how we can leverage this magical world of #nofilter #Iwokeuplikethis selfies to tap into a new audience pool and grow our subscribers. In typical Grow-Getters fashion, we guessed we’re probably not the only ones wondering, so let’s get straight to it.
Instagram? You Mean the Land of Teenagers & Selfies?
If LinkedIn is Facebook’s Boring Cousin, then Instagram is its savvy, charming, and much better looking sibling. Now you might be asking “What on earth can Instagram do for me that these other platforms can’t?”. Considering it has the 2nd most daily logins out of any other social media site, the answer is A LOT, and chances are, there’s a huge audience here that you’ve been neglecting…for now.
If that’s not enough to convince you, then we hope your imagination’s healthy enough to hear Codie shouting DIVERSIFY into your ears at the top of her lungs. ALL these platforms are moving towards monetization, we’re already seeing this in Facebook and Instagram where if you want to reach your target audience with your content, you better turn those pockets inside out and pay up. Diversification isn’t just important in terms of income, people and ideas, but also to build a killer newsletter base that sticks with you long after the algorithms are tweaked and accounts are shut down on what seems like someone elses whim. At this point in time (and we’re guessing well into the future too), email is the only way to interact with your audience AND remain in control of what content reaches them and when. With 80% of future profits coming from just 20 percent of your existing customer base, retention is key. And that’s exactly why 80% of brands depend on email marketing to hit their retention goals.
Some words of wisdom for ya: if you really want to grow your audience base, you better be opening every gate you’ve got.
Lucky for you, hacking Instagram for sign-ups isn’t any harder than with the other platforms we’ve previously covered at Grow Getters.
Give Once, Give Twice, aaand Repeat
Your job is to make signing-up a “don’t even have to think about it” decision for potential subscribers. And to do that, you have got to give.
Your value proposition, anything that benefits your audience in some way, can take the form of a discount code, access to content like a pdf guide or a previous newsletter, awesome prizes, whatever. ALWAYS give people *a reason* to be on your email list.
Let’s see how Codie puts this to work here:
The most important part of this is knowing who your audience is and what makes them tick. Providing access to content that shows people how to solve a specific problem or that fills in a knowledge gap, anything that would resonate directly with your target audience and their goals, is ✨gold✨.
If you’re just starting off, it’s especially useful to SHOW what you can do first, then tell.
Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself
With the rise of Instagram stories, the platform has become a content sharing powerhouse (it’s not a coincidence that Spotify’s Wrapped is perfectly Instagram compatible) and we’ve got three words for ya: CAPITALIZE. ON. THIS.
Here’s how it goes:
Create Shareable Content
Gift your followers with content that is useful, that resonates, something that pulls at their heart strings and cuts through all the other newsfeed and story clutter they’ve probably scrolled through to get there.
Your followers share and save this content on their own stories and profiles
As a result, your content now reaches the eyes of hundreds of other people who likely have similar interests as your followers.
This shareable content can take many different forms, you can pull from your twitter posts, screenshot quotes you’ve found elsewhere that resonated with you (with credit where it’s due), heck, just jot down your shower thoughts and biggest fears in your notes app and put those beauties up. You’re human and good things come to those who aren’t afraid to show it.
Use Other People's Content
I mean that’s why they’ve been posting in the first place right?
Sharing other people’s content, especially from people you admire who are operating in the same space (and therefore same target audience) is one of the best ways to organically grow your reach and and start to build some digital alliances. So share other people’s content on your stories and posts and make sure you tag/mention and give them credit in it. Let them know that you and your equally awesome content exist and they might just return the favour one day.
On the flip side, when someone shares your content on their story or page. Match their move and share their share, re-post their post. Let them know you see them -- build your army on trust and mutual respect.
Calls to Action
To minimize spamming, Instagram has annoyingly (and probably rightly) disabled links in posts captions. You know where you can place a fully functioning link though? Your profile header (and if you have a professional account, either with >10,000 followers or a verified profile, you will be able to add links to your stories too). At the very least, you should utilize that profile link space otherwise Codie will be coming after you with a pitchfork. Links are not only easy to add, they’re easy for your target audience to interact with.
So for the love of god put the one link Instagram allows on your page to good use. There’s no point in driving traffic to your profile if the gates going out are closed.
Our challenge for you this week? Go and plug a url in your profile. It can be your website, blog, substack, whatever. And if you don’t have one of these yet, get to work and make one. For all our multi-talented, multi-linked (or otherwise indecisive) Grow-Getters out there, fear not. There are plenty of free link landing pages like linktree that have you covered. But keep in mind that adding a landing page for all your links requires an extra click and therefore an extra decision weighing on someone’s mind, which without any sugar-coating is just another barrier to getting those conversions. For some of you, that extra required tap might be the best way to go though so go ahead and slap that linktree url in there.
Links are essentially a call to action, and what we just did there was put out an indirect call to action. A lil nudge that points your audience in the right direction. While nudges are great, we want to see you believing in yourself and whatever you have to offer to the world with such ferocity that you’re climbing on rooftops to shout about it. We want to see you picking your audience up in a tesla and dropping them off at the gate with a million dollar smile and friendly wave. And that’s where direct calls to action come in.
So make that post about your newsletter with a caption that includes a capitalized “LINK IN BIO” (sparkly star emojis optional). Next time you host a live or post some tips on your story, recognize that you have (1) already provided value and (2) have also produced shareable content. Just like Codie did with the Grow Getters Q & A, make sure you include those calls to action at the end. Ask your audience to subscribe directly, ask them to share what they’ve learned from you and to tag you in anything they decide to post that’s related or part of their own ventures. Even better, give them prompts in-session, in the post, or in the comments and ask them for their key takeaways and opinions.
Remember, being vocal applies just as much to in-person success as it does over social media.
Let us know in the comments what hacks have worked for you using IG.
If you know someone that will find this post useful, please share the love!