Consistency Is More Important Than Quality On Insta. Here’s Why.
Many of my clients find they are striving so hard for perfection on the grid that they suffer ‘posting paralysis’. But it’s important to remember that Instagram in 2020 is a different place to the picture perfect platform it was in the past. It is now a highly interactive media channel favouring authenticity and showing up over beautiful photos and slick captions. Certainly aim for quality, but it’s consistency that is critical. Let me explain!
Your Audience Just Wants To Get To Know You
Audiences like to get to hear from real people with flaws and quirks and some humanity. If you show up regularly, warts and all, you are allowing your audience to get to know and like you. If you post perfect looking posts with very corporate style captions, it’s hard for your audience to warm to you. Whereas if there’s some honesty and maybe even some typos, it’s just more inviting.
My friend and Instagram expert Lou Chudley, wrote an Instagram post about how she is the queen of embarassing typos. She asked her audience to share their embarrassing typo stories in the comments. It really struck a chord with her community and the post received 114 comments. Forget about being glossy and instead, focus on resonating with your audience and starting conversations.
Just Get Started
If you’re trying to improve your Instagram content, you won’t get better at it by hardly ever posting. The way you hone a skill is by doing it a lot and regularly. You need to humbly accept that in six months time your posts will be better than your posts right now.
I learnt this lesson recently with Reels. In August Reels were one big scary blank canvas for me. I felt under pressure as an Instagram expert that my Reels needed to be good. Unfortunately with a new feature, that’s just not possible. I had to grit my teeth and publicly go through the learning process until my Reels got better. Now I’m 18 Reels in and, guess what? They are loads better than my original ones, and there’s been a few clangers on the journey. My consistency has paid off. But how would I have learnt to do the better ones, if I hadn’t done some rubbish ones?
Being A Work In Progress Is Actually Cool
This is something you can play on now. It’s actually fashionable. The amount of people on social media I see involving their audience in their learning process is fantastic. Fleur Emery, a start-up expert, built her Instagram account from scratch last year and was very open about being new to the platform. She shared the techniques she was trying and also told her audience what didn’t work for her. It was a joy to watch and enhanced her credibility rather than diminished it. She has now amassed over 6k devoted followers.
Typos and Errors Are Totally Acceptable
This has taken me a long time to get my head around. I worked at the BBC for ten years. Spelling mistakes and typos in my professional work back then were a no no. However Instagram is a fast paced and informal platform and what you posted yesterday is unlikely to be seen again. So why agonise about the typos? I’m not actively encouraging you to make mistakes. I’m just trying to give you context. Instagram is a bit like a pub. There are a lot of conversations going on and it’s more important that you both join in and start conversations. Even if you slur your words, it’s better than waiting quietly until you can give the performance of a lifetime. Chances are people might not even notice when you do.
No One Is Getting It 100% Right On Instagram
There is no right or wrong on Instagram. It’s not like an exam where there’s set answers. It’s a make it up as you go along, suck and see type of place. And the people who fair best are willing to keep showing up and try different approaches. I’ve seen influencial Instagrammers spout expertise that is wrong and I’ve seen big high prestige accounts post poor quality content. But it’s balanced out by other good content that they share and no one holds it against them. There’s is no ‘right way’ on Instagram, there’s just showing up and figuring it out.
Consistency And The Algorithm
Did you know that posting frequently on the grid is good for your algorithm? Amanda Perry grew her Instagram account from 2k followers to 11k followers in 8 mths. A big part of her strategy was to post loads. Amanda recommends posting 3-4 times a day. Showing up once a week with a stunning post is not going to help your algorithm. Amanda Perry is proof that persistent posting and consistency win the day.
You Should Be More Bothered About Being Useful Than What You Look Like
This is where Instagram is a gift. If you’re not very confident and you don’t have beautiful pictures to share, it honestly doesn’t matter. A great way to succeed is focus on being useful. Think about how you can help your audience. Ideally this ‘help’ you’re offering will be relevant to the service or product you are selling.
In my case, I listen to my audience and I work out what areas of Instagram they are struggling with. I make myself useful by deliberately demystifying the bits of Instagram that they are finding difficult.
My friend, marketing expert Karen Webber has a similar approach. Her posts are unrelentingly helpful and supportive. Whether that’s offering guidance on blogging and SEO or broader motivational support for small businesses. Her audience love it.
And for a product based example, imagine you are a florist. You could offer a range of advice relating to flowers. And if you’re short on good images, find a simple Canva template to pop your tips in to make them look pretty . If you consistently show up offering valuable content, your audience will keep coming back for more.
I Dare You To Give It A Go
It’s hard being brave and showing up and posting regularly. It’s difficult to not care about the performance of posts. Believe me, I still get upset when a post doesn’t do very well. But I encourage you to focus on the bigger picture of what you’re trying to acheive. I challenge you to commit to a month of posting more often. During that month don’t look closely at how those posts ‘perform’ individually. Instead take an overview at the end of the month of how your account is performing. I bet you will see an uplift in followers and interaction. Go on, I dare you!
Did you enjoy reading this? If you did, you might like to try Do You Need Some REEL Inspiration?
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