This week I reached a new milestone involving my online community on Instagram. I surpassed 1,000 followers after over a year starting my account from scratch. In this post I’m going to share some of my journey with starting this account and I’ll also give you a few tips if you’re looking to start your own venture on social media.
I first want to note that this is only the beginning. I feel like I’m just getting started with the big goals and dreams I have. However, I believe in celebrating wins big or small and this is one I’ve been anticipating for a while. That’s why I’m dedicating a blog to this milestone of reaching 1,000 followers on Instagram. I care deeply about my online community. They are not just a number. I care about the souls behind the devices. So growing my community to this extent feels significant and really special to me.
When I initially started thinking about starting my business I began with this blog. The reason for that was because I didn’t want to show my face. I wanted to remain as anonymous as possible because I was not used to being in the spotlight. I come from a family that has always kept to themselves not wanting to be the center of attention in any way.
After much thought, I decided it was time to create a social media account for this blog so it could help build my online community. I had personal social media accounts that were always private so I chose to create a brand new public Instagram account in June of 2022, only a month after deciding to post consistent weekly blogs.
In the beginning, I chose a very structured plan to post content on that IG account. I had a schedule of posts in a specific order that would make my grid look aesthetically pleasing. This worked for a little while until I began feeling restricted. I realized it was blocking my creativity so eventually I ended that rigid schedule and began posting whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
It won’t be surprising to mention that it felt extremely uncomfortable when I began showing up on social media. I’ll always remember recording and posting my first IG story from my car parked in my parents’ driveway during one of my visits. I was tired of postponing it so I went outside and began talking to my small audience consisting of friends, acquaintances and family members. I introduced myself and my intention for my IG account.
Shortly after, I was surprised yet relieved when I began getting encouraging messages in my inbox cheering me on. I still felt super nervous to put myself out there but something in me knew I had to do it. My intention was to share everything I’ve learned during my decade-long personal development journey so that my online community could evolve with me.
Challenges I faced
Once I began getting the hang of showing up consistently, it began feeling a little easier. Talking to my online community in my IG stories was something I began looking forward to. I also allowed myself to tap into my creativity when creating reels.
All of this was happening while I was getting ready to end my long term relationship and engagement. So just a couple months after creating my Instagram account, I struggled to show up while healing and transitioning post breakup. I did the best I could though. In hindsight, I had no business showing up live on my birthday (In November) to give some birthday thoughts. This was less than 2 weeks after the breakup and it’s a little cringe when I try watching that IG live now lol.
During the time building my online community I definitely struggled with comparison as well. Feeling like other people in my niche were growing faster than me. I also struggled with impostor syndrome at times. Feeling like I wasn’t qualified enough to teach my audience certain things. Finally, I struggled with perfectionism. Hence, the rigid structured posting schedule in the beginning of my journey.
Tips for you
If you’re looking to build your own online community, I have a few tips for you. The first part involves going within, preferably journaling out your thoughts and feelings.
Answer the following questions as honestly as you can:
- Why do you want to do this? What is your intention behind this project?
- Who is your ideal online community member? (Be as descriptive as possible so you can speak to this person when it gets challenging to post).
- What do you want your audience to gain/learn from your content?
My next tip is to be as consistent as you can. Start with posting once a week until you feel fully comfortable with that. This creates a new habit and builds self-trust. Once you feel used to this, increase the number of days overtime. Another tip is to start with the phone you have. You don’t need fancy equipment to start. The only thing I’d recommend you get is a tripod with a ring light attached to it. You can find affordable ones on Amazon.
Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. They could be hiring help or have all the time in the world for all you know. Always go back to your “why” in order to keep you focused. Remember that you’re in this for the long run so there is no rush or deadlines. And my last tip is to have fun! This is your opportunity to be creative, share your gifts with the world and make a positive impact in others’ lives!
One final thought I have about building my online community is that it has been a process. I want to inspire you to take up space and share your voice with the world too. In the beginning it’s going to feel super uncomfortable and straight up hard at times (if you’re not used to it) but trust me when I tell you it’s worth it. Soon enough you’ll get messages from strangers thanking you for your content. You’ll help others feel seen by your work. So go ahead and start that new endeavor today. People are waiting to be impacted by YOU.
If you’re looking for support with any of this, I have space for 2 private coaching clients so book your consultation call here. Feel free to DM me on Instagram at any time with questions or feedback. And finally, make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a blog post or other things I’m up to! Thank you for reading!
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