If you’re subscribed to my email list, you know that Instagram started beta testing Instagram Subscriptions in January 2022. Once it is launched to the public, creators will be able to set a monthly price of their choice and provide a subscribe button on their profile. If you didn’t know that yet, well don’t worry! In this post, I will share more details about Subscriptions, what it is and its features, and five actionable ways to grow your relationship with your audience so that you can easily grow your Instagram subscribers.
What are Subscriptions and Instagram Subscribers?
Think Patreon, but directly on Instagram, as the goal is to keep users in one app for as long as possible. It is currently only released to a handful of creators, so for some reason this update seemed to cause panic amongst creators. I’m here to tell you not to worry. This is a g o o d thing. A great thing actually, as it aims to create a more stable and consistent income for creators. Let’s just hope that the monetization is worth the time and effort 😉 Followers and Subscribers will be able to access exclusive features such as:
Instagram Subscriber Lives
Host an Instagram live for subscribers only, allowing them to engage more deeply. Answer questions, teach a mini course, have a story time.
Instagram Subscriber Stories
Stories just for subscribers, share content just for subscribers and to use interactive story stickers with your most engaged followers. Think exclusive sneak peaks, maybe a recipe before it’s launched or behind the scenes of a cool shoot. You can do polls where they get to decide your next outfit / location / post of the day.
Instagram Subscriber Badges
Subscriber badges that will appear next to comments and messages so creators can easily identify their subscribers.
If you are worried that your relationship with your followers isn’t up to the task of upcoming Subscriptions, here are:
Five Actionable Ways To Grow Your Relationship With Your Followers to Get Instagram Subscribers
Stop Posting and Ghosting
It can be tempting, after planning a shoot, taking a photo, editing, writing the caption and posting to sign off and take a break. While I totally encourage self care, the first hour after posting is still the most crucial. So post, go get a snack, and start replying to comments 15 minutes after posting. Really reply, avoid answering with emojis, be genuine, start conversations. Not only is this good for engagement, but it helps to create bonds with people taking time to leave comments and encourages them to do it again. It helps, knowing there’s a real person behind the photo.
Reply To DMs
Comments are a great way to get the conversation started, but DMs are where the relationships are truly formed. I’m not saying you have to give away all your trade secrets to everyone asking, but for those taking the time to reply to stories, for those taking the time to get to know you, let them. You’re sharing glimpses into your life through pictures and videos, putting up polls and questions boxes; make sure you don’t leave people on read. At least like their message so you acknowledge that you read their story reply. Make internet friends. These will be the people first in line when Subscriptions are launched!
Visit Follower’s Profiles
Not everyone has a public profile, but usually the people that do are happy to have pieces of their life visible to the public. Once you start getting to know your followers, give their profile a visit. See what they look like, let them feel like fully formed humans that you’re talking and engaging to. Give their pictures a like and comment and let them know the relationship isn’t one sided. It never hurts to leave some love on their page.
Find Like Minded Creators
Creators in your niche aren’t your competition, they are your allies. Think of them as your co-workers. Whether you’re sharing advice on brand partnerships, photography hacks, negotiation tips and tricks, these are the people who will keep you creating when you want to give up, and engage with your content even when you post during a non prime time. They’ll share your content to their stories, hype you up and make this job that much more fun.
This can look like a Call To Action at the end of your post caption (ie: tell me the craziest place you’ve changed a diaper) or asking them to duet your reel with the most bizarre ask from a brand collaboration. You can even tell them to DM you a certain word or phrase, and you offer them a resource / advice that you are promoting. (I actually met my best friend on Instagram, and I was the one who slid into her DM’s ;)) Get your followers engaged, get like minded creators engaged, start your own hashtag for DIYs / reel trends, make an audio for others to use.
Our parents used to say, don’t make friends on the internet and I’m here to say, they were wrong. Make those friends, now before Subscriptions launch.
Now, tell me, are you confident in your relationship with your followers?