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The ultimate “job” in life is to identify something you enjoy that utilizes your strengths and provides enough income to become financially stable. For me, I love hanging out with my dog, traveling the world, and helping others. Social media has created a platform for people like me to make this lifestyle a lucrative career. After getting our previous Instagram account hacked and deleted back in May after creating a viral video, we had to once again start over from zero back in August. In 5 months, we have gained over 50k organically engaged followers, gotten signed by the number one pet influencer agency, and been able to stay true to ourselves and what we love to do. Here are my 5 tips to mastering social media marketing and growing your audience.

Find Your Passion

If you’re passionate about something, it will show. It all begins with the simple question of what you enjoy, which for more people than you think, is a difficult question to answer. Start by identifying what you love to do, or what you care about, and surround yourself with those things to live a more fulfilled life. I think we can all agree that when we are happy, we are our best selves, thus most effective in whatever you’re doing. If we truly only live once, then do we really want to spend our lives doing something we hate? Hell no! Determine what you enjoy and understand your purpose, and the rest will follow.

Be Different

It is, and always will be, about differentiating yourself from your competition and then outperforming them. For us, almost everyone has an Instagram for their dog, so this market is overly saturated, but what we were able to do is BE DIFFERENT. When I first got on Instagram to start our account, I noticed most accounts only showed their dogs. Their pics were cute, but usually there wasn’t much variety, nor value to the consumer. I chose to make our account about the human/dog bond, our crazy adventures all over the world and show what dogs are truly capable of. To put simply, identify what others in your field are good at and what the consumer enjoys, but make it better, more expansive and get creative.

Understand Your Insights

Instagram and Facebook have done a great job of providing business and creative accounts copious amounts of beneficial data. Understand your insights to comprehend your audience and what they enjoy and make this a regular habit. Utilize this information to create more content that you know they will appreciate and engage with. Remember, the more your own audience engages with your content, the more likely the algorithm will classify this as quality content and place it on the “top posts” of hashtags that you used, as well as the explorer page, hence more reach! When we had to restart our account, a positive I found was that I was able to reuse some old pics and vids, and by routinely checking my insights, I knew which posts were best received. Identify what your audience likes and make more of it.

Make Friends & Build Your Network

As you can imagine, I was crushed after losing my first account. The anxiety of having to start over was overwhelming at times, but with the support of others, I was able to pull myself out of my pity party and move on. What I was able to do prior to losing my page was make friends with other accounts. This was simply done by responding to comments and dm’s, liking and commenting on their posts and telling them that I appreciated them for sharing my content. You may notice that a lot of major accounts on Instagram are actually run by the same people, so if you’re able to align yourself with these powerhouses, they will likely repost your content and expose your work to their entire audience, which could be huge! But I will say, don’t go treating people differently just based upon their followings, because you never know who is actually on the other side of that screen and being mean or judgmental is never acceptable.

Be Consistent, Stay Positive & SEND IT

As with life, there are good days, and there are not so good days, but those not so good days are the ones where you may learn the most that help you break through the barriers of growth and success. Be consistent, stay positive and believe in yourself that what you’re doing will work, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that your mindset is everything and you are your biggest advocate and critic, and when negativity creeps in, doubt will take over, and your content will suffer. The algorithm also likes it when you’re posting on a consistent basis and we want to make the algorithm happy. And finally, SEND IT! No one ever became the best at something by doing it half ass regardless of how talented they were or how cute their dog was (in my case). So, believe in yourself, live strategically and be the best at what you do, every day.

I really do hope these five tips can propel you to that next level of self-appreciation, fulfillment and success. Should you have any other questions or would like to dig deeper on any of these topics, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via our Instagram, @lilmanlife

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