In honor of celebrating the 20,000 follower milestone on Instagram, I’m pulling together 6 tips to help you grow your online presence. Whether you’re an aspiring YouTuber or fitness guru building a following on Instagram, this blog post is for you!
Build an Online Presence Tip #1: Stop caring about what people think
When I first started posting outfits during college, I was worried what my friends and family might think. Did they think I was being extra? Did they think I was being silly for talking about my clothes? I quickly got over that fear as my friends and family had overwhelmingly positive responses to even my early blog posts and Instagram posts.
I’ve realized this past year that the fear of what others might think of you actually affects a ton of people out there – especially those trying to create an online presence. I’ve had girls ask if they think it would be annoying to their followers to post twice a day. I’ve also had girls express that they’re worried about what they’re friends might say if they start talking into their Instagram Stories. And I’ve even had girls from my audience express that they’re worried what others might think as they take photos in public.
My advice to all these incredible women out there would be to NOT CARE what other people think. If you want to post twice a day, you go ahead and post twice a day. If you want to talk into your Instagram Stories, you go ahead and talk into your Instagram Stories. You can’t let other people’s opinions dictate what you do and don’t do, especially if you’re trying to build your online presence. Your dreams and aspirations are NOT worth than other people’s opinions. And you have to remember that the most important person’s opinion is YOURSELF. If you feel called or inspired to try new things or share personal stories, do it girl.
Build an Online Presence Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to fail
Failure is inevitably a part of life. The earlier you realize that it’s okay to failure, the more risks you’ll take and the more opportunities you’ll open for yourself. More than anything, I advocate to not fear failure because whether you succeed or fail, you learn what works or what doesn’t work for you and your business.
When you’re building an online presence like a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel, you have to be open to trying new things.
If you want to dive into the failure conversation, here are 5 compelling reasons to not fear failure in life.
Build an Online Presence Tip #3: Develop a clear point of view
In fall of 2016, I published my first career related post around time management. I was TERRIFIED at what other people might say. But unexpectedly my audience responded well and engaged with the blog post. I realized that for the first two years of blogging, I had cut out a huge part of identity which was being a career focused/business woman. I had always been enthusiastic about career development and even helped my friends land internships and jobs, but had failed to talk about it on my blog.
By including career related content on my blog, I developed a clear point of view. I was a working professional with a love of fashion, career, and life tips. I represented the modern woman. I worked, I made the decision to go back for my masters, and I pursued my creative career.
While all three things may first seem unrelated, I tied these three topics seamlessly into my blog and my audience has responded and I’ve driven more and more traffic to my blog.
My advice for anyone building an online presence is figure out your clear point of view. It gives your audience a clear idea of who you are and what content they’ll expect from you.
Build an Online Presence Tip #4: Figure out how to add value to your audience
If you’re in the business of creating content online, you have to make sure you’re adding value to your audience. We are exposed to thousands of pieces of content (photos, videos, newsfeeds, etc.) on a daily basis. If you truly want people to stop, read your caption, and engage with your photo, you have to give them value.
For example, one of my most successful blog post in 2017 was: 5 Pieces of Financial Advice for New Graduates. At first I was so confused why this blog post did so well. I wasn’t a finance expert and was just sharing what financial tips I learned out of college. But as I reflect on this blog post, I realize that managing finances is a huge mystery and probably stressful point for many college graduates – especially if they graduated with college loans.
Advice: Look back at your previous blog posts and see if your advice, tips, or stories help add value to your audience. What future blog posts or videos could you create to help your audience?
Build an Online Presence Tip #5: Become an expert in whatever field you’re in
Four years of taking photos for my blog somehow made me an expert in taking photos. I didn’t seek out to be an expert but I truly love taking photos and feel confident in front of the camera. I’ve taken probably tens of thousands of photos and have shared my lessons taking photos on the blog and on social media.
To become an expert you either do the research or practice over and over again. Four years of taking photos has led me to create and share:
What to do with Your Hands in Photos
6 Tips to Help You Get Comfortable Taking Photos in Public Places
How to Pose like a Fashion Blogger: 12 Ideas You Should Try
I also got to collaborate with my friend Monica Church and we created: How to Pose for Photos! 5 Easy INSTAGRAM Pose Ideas.
Advice: What can you become an expert in? Is there a field or passion you develop an expertise on?
Build an Online Presence Tip #6: Invest and develop your skills
In order to develop your online presence, you can’t do the same thing you’ve been doing over and over again – especially if you aren’t seeing growth or engagement. If you’re creating photos for your website or Instagram, you have to improve your photography skills or outsource photography. If you’re writing for your blog, you have to improve your writing skills and learn how to make your blog more reader friendly.
I think the biggest mistake you can make is not investing in your skills and your craft. If you truly want to become an expert or elevate your personal brand, you have to put in the work to develop your online presence.
I was so surprised when I initially had people question why in the world I would go back for my master’s degree in digital media communications. I’m getting my master’s degree because I’m developing my skills as a digital media marketer. My master’s degree is going to open up opportunities both at the Boeing Company and in my creative career as a blogger. Personally, I wanted to develop a specific skillsets around marketing copywriting, content strategy, and UX psychology and design. While I could have explored other forms of education or spend hours researching online, I decided to get a formal degree because that’s what works best for me.
Advice: What skillsets can you improve in your business? What courses or classes can help you improve those skills?
What are your tips for building an online presence?
Thank you to Confete Party Box for gifting these incredible balloons for my 20K photo shoot! If you need balloons or help with your next party, Confete Party Box is amazing. You can check out their website and Instagram!
Thank you for reading!
For more tips around building your blog and Instagram, you can also check out:
10 Everyday Tips To Grow Your Instagram Following
Branding Through Instagram Part 1: Defining Your Brand
Branding Through Instagram Part 2: 7 Tips to Help You Determine Your Instagram Aesthetic
Photos: Karya Schanilec