6 LESSONS I'VE LEARNT AFTER TAKING MEANINGFUL MARKETINGS INSTAGRAM MASTERCLASS.

3.9.20

INSTAGRAM MASTERCLASS COURSE WAS 
GIFTED IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS REVIEW. 

Want to know a secret? I've been pulling my hair out over the years trying to pursue a career in marketing and still, no such luck. 

Truth be told it's been extremely disheartening to think that you're not good enough - and with recent events has made the job market an even tougher place to be, it's really hit home that my dream job is a little further out of reach.  

lessons i've learnt after taking meaningful marketings instagram masterclass - sarahlaublogs

If you've been following me on instagram (especially over the last few months); you'll know that trying to get a job has been, erm, let's just call it an odd experience. One company wouldn't hire me for an apprenticeship due to *lack of experience* and another told me I was too qualified. 

It's frustrating and it's really had an effect on my mental wellbeing and knowing my own self-worth, so you can imagine the battle it's been to feel 'okay' over the last few weeks - and whilst I know I've still got a long way from feeling better; I've reached a point of *fuck it* and if I'm being honest I've never felt more determined. 

Fortunately for me I'm lucky enough to still be working, so waiting for another company to take that chance on me can wait. Instead I'm going to use all those hours previously wasted applying for jobs where I'm not even given a 'no thank you' email - I'm figuring it all out for myself... 

...Okay, let's not get too hasty and say I'm going freelance *just yet* but if teaching myself how to get my dream career is the only way forward - I guess that's the path I'm now taking... 

I'm currently working my way through as many articles, youtube videos and any free online courses but when Grace from meaningful marketing reached out about me taking part in the instagram masterclass I knew it would be a great place to start my learning. After years of building up my platform I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea on how instagram works but working through this course gave me a chance to recognised the areas where I'm doing well and where I was going seriously wrong - and I know you're dying to know the results, so here's some lessons I learnt from taking meaningful marketing's instagram masterclass. 

FOCUS ON YOUR PROFILE. 

I've always made sure I had an *eye-catching* profile, but I didn't quite understand the importance of it. Just from the first lesson in this course I've realised how having a clear, timeless and 'on brand' profile picture will instantly make a difference to my social media identity.  

I've always tried to have all the appropriate information on my profile too including: what type of blogger I am, my location (for any local brand work) and my email address - anything else I include I just make sure flows nicely and fits my 'niche'...I mean, you only have so many words to use so it doesn't need too much thinking. 

KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE. 

Personally I think this step is definitely more important for social media pages that have a specific selling point or even a brand and whilst we're being honest; I haven't always paid too much attention to 'discover' my audience - I've always enjoyed creating my content and just hoped that the appropriate audience would follow suit and for the most part, that's worked for me but in the coming months I want to make an effort with knowing my target audience. 

That being said, whilst I don't specifically scope out for my audience I try and focus my attentions on what my audience enjoys; during the summer I dipped my toes into creating IGTV's and found that they were greatly received - so i'm hoping to create more in the future. I know my flatlay photography is vastly recognised as one of my successful forms of photography - so I always make the effort when creating and planning my content to keep those consistently in my feed. 

lessons i've learnt after taking meaningful marketings instagram masterclass - sarahlaublogs
lessons i've learnt after taking meaningful marketings instagram masterclass - sarahlaublogs

PLANNING IS IMPORTANT.

I was having a discussion with a couple of other creators in the last few weeks and have recognised how important (and fun!) planning can be for us, you'll know I've been blogging for several years now but this year has been the first in a while where I've managed to be consistent [actually I want to delve into this further in a future post so look out for that]. One aspect of making sure I can continue to post as regularly as I have been has been to *plan ahead* - whether it's just for the upcoming week, the next month or even months in advance; having an idea of what content you want to share is so vital. 

AND SO ARE HASHTAGS. 

Okay, let's not beat around the bush... hashtags are the bane of my life. I understand how important they for my content to get seen and for my posts to reach the target audience, but damn are they annoying. Hashtags are important to your grown, reach and engagement more than anything else, whilst we can't control the instagram algorithm, we can certainly work on getting seen via hashtags; and whilst doing the instagram masterclass, discovered that just using one hashtag will increase your engagement by 12.6% - woah!  

Whilst it's commonly known to use all 30 hashtags on your post, it's also known that you've got to switch them up regularly too - don't use the same 30 for every post and hope for the best. Mix it up. Focus on finding hashtags with less than 300K posts for a better reach but make sure you add in a couple with up to 1M posts too - if you're using too many that are above 300K+ you're risking having your account shadow banned; which will basically give you zero chance of reach & growth on that post. 

Yep, I know. Who knew hashtags could be so complicated - I'll happily create a post in more detail about this if it's something you're be interested in? 

APPS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR CONTENT...

I'm going to take us back to planning for a quick moment; because having downloaded a handful of apps, they've been absolute life savers for my content this year, especially when it comes to instagram and wanting to make the most of your photography and sharing it within a *theme* - having apps like unumm, planoly and plann have given me the chance to plan ahead of time, organise my content into an order that flows and structure it all perfectly. 

The apps available aren't just for planning but also for creating too, editing images and creating graphics if you're a page that wants everything branded together - I've shared a post all about the best apps when it comes to creating graphics for your blog if you want to discover more about that too... 

TAKE TIME TO RECOGNISE YOUR ANALYTICS 

My biggest downfall when it comes to my content is tracking my analytics, I know, don't judge me. In the coming months I want to focus at least one hour a week to track my analytics and focus on my content strategy this way...so I'll keep you posted on that. 

So I'm writing this here to help us both out... once you've created a plan for what you want to share online, checking back on your analytics will help you discover what's working for you and what's attracting your audience. One of the modules within the masterclass mentioned a strategy called S.M.A.R.T 

S = specific 
M = measurable 
A = attainable 
R = realistic 
T = time bound. 

Which I want to use more regularly when tracking my numbers and planning out my strategy for future content. 

At times I often feel like an oldie in the blogging world and know that much younger and more successful accounts are making a name for themselves but being able to review courses like this one have given me the confidence boost I've needed to continue developing my weird corner of the internet. 

I've used my time working on the course to recognised the part of content creating where I'm being successful and the point where I need to work a little harder - but the best part is, I've been given steps and a helping hand into figuring out how to improve myself going forward. 

If you're interested in investing into an online course, this one is specific for instragram however I've been able to develop some of my goals and my future strategies for this to work on my other social media accounts too, and will be using it moving forward with my freelance marketing work too. 

You can get your hands on this instagram masterclass with my discount code: 𝐒𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐇𝟏𝟎

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