‘Serving your audience’ is SAUX American Insta guru and can sound a little wanky at times but there’s a lot to be said for looking at ‘serving’ over ‘creating’ when it comes to creating an Instagram audience.
I’ll talk you through what it means to serve and how to start doing it, practically, TODAY.
Does this sound like you?
You started your Instagram as a way to document your daily life or as a tool to help grow your blog or biz. Then you noticed more followers = more opportunities, bigger hits of the ol’ dopamine, some kind of validation and or more traffic/customers.
So you thought, ‘hmm maybe I need to get more strategic with this.’ And you started creating content. You craved shout outs. You wanted to know the secret to getting on the explore page. The algorithm become something to master. How could you use the app to get MORE?
More engagement. More followers. More traffic. More customers. More.
It definitely sounds like me!
And do you know what I realised that got lost along the way?
What happens when you don’t ‘serve’
Whilst I was trying to work out what to do next, how to stay on top, ways to keep things moving, I forgot about something.
I forgot about those who’d been there the entire time.
My focus went completely away from those I’d already convinced to follow me and turned towards those shiny new people who could be that ‘more’ I was looking for.
And I stagnated. My growth stopped. Those ride or dies suddenly died. Rightly so. I’d forgotten them.
Those who replied to every story. Commented on every picture. Shouted me out to their followers. I ignored them in the pursuit of more and I actually wound up with less.
So this is why I urge you to serve over create.
What do I mean by ‘serve’?
The difference to me is simple.
‘Creating content’ has become synonymous with ‘taking pictures or making videos that I think people who don’t yet follow me will stumble upon, like and then decide to follow me.’
Whereas ‘service’ is, ‘I have a strong niche or message that I am using this platform to share about, the people who follow me follow me because I am an expert in this subject and I am solving their problems (etc) so I will create content that they want to see.’
To me, ‘serving your audience’, is about understanding why they follow you in the first place. Do they get outfit inspiration? DIY recommendations? Recipes to try for tonight? Education on a topic? Comedic relief?
It’s then about creating content that fulfils those purposes.
Serving, to me, is also about giving back. It’s replying to comments and DMs. It’s taking the opportunity to go onto THEIR profiles and encouraging what they do in gratitude for how much they support you.
The ‘100 True Fans’ Theory
I first heard the 1000 True Fans Theory when listening to an American marketing guru’s podcast. They explained that to make monetary success online, all you needed was 1000 fans spending ¢100 with you per year to make a very generous living.
The podcast did a good job at breaking this down to Instagram/blog follower terms and basically said, if you serve 100 of your most loyal ‘fans’ (continuous commenters, DMers, likers) then you’ll reap so many rewards for doing so.
I created a spreadsheet, that’s in the Grow & Glow hub so that you can keep track of those followers who are constantly ‘serving’ you – so that you can make sure you reciprocate.
What are some practical ways to ‘serve’?
- Use the Grow & Glow training to decide on your account niche or content pillars.
- Understand WHY people follow you and create content that serves up ‘more of the same’ – keep solving problems, providing inspo, making them laugh, creating a safe space, whatever it is the majority come to you for.
- Be consistent and build trust.
- Identify your 100 True Fans (resource available in the hub) – those who regularly comment, DM, like and support you – and turn on their post notifications for a while so you can support them back.
- Use your Stories to talk to your followers as if you’re talking to your best mates – your niche or pillars are your common ground.
Are you guilty of serving over creating? How will you serve your audience from today?