Practice session – Rajpal Rekhi – Personal Instagram
To kickstart our “practice sessions” here at The Republic by Rajpal, I thought it would be interesting to go through some of the steps I took to build up my personal Instagram account organically from the ground up, without any advertising spend.
If you would like to view the Instagram account used in this session, then please feel free to click on the link below.
I was able to generate hundreds of thousands of views across my content as well as receiving celebrity recognition and follows throughout my journey.
The journey was not an easy one and required some patience, consistency and strategic thinking. It also goes to show that the correct plan and delivery can produce amazing results.
The need to be different
This was not my first social media account that I had created. I was able to always generate over 500 + followers but I always noticed that I hardly received many likes, and comments were often stagnant. I also noticed that I wasn’t really achieving many sales and it seemed like my account was more for show rather than a viable sales funnel.
After a lot of trail and error, I decided to take a step back from creating social media content for the sake of it. I quickly realised just be analysing some of the pieces that I had created pieces that each of these lacked complete originality. I was simply creating pieces based on trends and other successful accounts. Now there is nothing wrong with looking at successful social media influencers and taking some inspiration for what they have made successful, but it is equally important to take what they have done and to flip it. It’s important to only take inspiration and not the creative aspects of their work. I thought about the topics that I am passionate about, from retro gaming, the music industry and philosophy. I took these raw concepts and created a design framework where I was able to showcase content through my own virtual world. Doing this I was able to develop a rather unique way of presenting content to my audience. The more content I produced, the better skilled I became at creation and the greater traction I received in terms of responses and feedback.
Quality over quantity
I have only posted 46 times on this account yet I have managed to achieve over 4000 + followers. That is rough 100 new REAL followers per post. Now look at other accounts and work out the conversion percentages. You will see that this account has significant ROI in terms of creative content creation and follower growth. I have seen people who post daily yet have merely got 100 followers. The reason is simple. It is all about the quality of the content and not the quantity. No one is interested in reading the same quotes, being presented with the same recipes and the same regurgitated opinions. Remember social media is meant to be social. It is designed as a place for leisure not sales. Treat people behind their phones as people not a statistic and understand that as with any person, to fully capture someone’s attention you have to be producing quality content that is not only entertaining but actively stands out from the crowd. I have spent many years analysing what works and what doesn’t and believe me, creating content for the sake of it and posting daily when you have nothing of value to offer is more detrimental to your overall brand goal.
Picking the correct channels
If you haven’t guessed it already, different social media channels have different audiences and what works on one platform will not work another. You have to understand that with different audiences and platforms, the content you produce and the strategies that you implement need to be continuously dynamic. Before you decide to open all social media platforms up for your brand and come up with a posting schedule, ask yourself, why are you using the platform itself and will you have the capacity to produce high quality, scalable content to help promote your brand. If you can’t then it may be a better solution to pick a smaller number of social media accounts to target and gradually expand into other channels as you become comfortable with your growth.
Creating a community
I truly believe in the power of relationships and giving back to those who support you and your mission. In this day and age, having no advertising budgets is no excuse for not being able to get your name out to the world. If you haven’t the money, use your time. Make free graphics, free animations, write a free blog and get others to share your content. Even if you write for a website which only gets 100 views a week, that is still 100 more potential customers you could be reaching out to. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to collaborate with you if you just send them a message. The math is simple. Ask 10 people with 1000 followers to collaborate with and you suddenly have a concentrated audience of 10,000 followers that may be open to following your content. There is also higher chances of smaller accounts responding to you. My point being that there are many opportunities available online if you simply believe and search for them. Be someone who gives and is focused on creating a real community and you will achieve the results you are looking for.
This goes back to content creation which is truly at the heart of everything you should be doing but truly focus on creating an emotional connection with your followers, whether it’s through your interactions with them or the pieces you create. I make an extra effort to personally message my followers and even having real conversations with them to build a rapport with them which is long lasting. Creating emotional connections in business is becoming increasingly important especially when we live in a day and age where everyone is demanding attention. Remember grabbing someone’s attention is easy, it is keeping their attention which requires patience, hard work and consistency.
Just remember throughout the process of building a social media account that the key to your success will highly depend on the content you produce and how you treat your followers. If you treat your followers as robots and statistics, then you will most likely attract that kind of a following. A following that is not completely engaged with what you have to say. If you focus on creating valuable content which is unique, entertains and adds value then you will stand out from above the rest and you will have a loyal following that will be there to support your brand.