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Growing up, I always loved writing. Writing allowed me to express my thoughts and ideas. It was also a great avenue to vent my frustrations. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve always kept a private journal. I struggle with journaling on a daily basis, so I would always update my private journal every six months. It wasn’t until I started my software company, Trend Watchers, that I decided to hop on the #buildinginpublic trend.
Building in public is where you document yourself starting a company from scratch. When documenting your journey, you are supposed to showcase the good, bad and ugly days.
Most people build in public on Twitter, but I decided to do it on Instagram. To start, I decided to delete my account and start from scratch.
How journaling online grew my Instagram following
At first, I documented my journey through Instagram posts only. I would create a minimalistic graphic on Canva and would max out my Instagram caption, sharing whatever lesson I learned that week.
The thing that makes my Instagram posts so unique is my wide variety of topics.
One week, I’ll write about a lesson I learned from conducting business, another week I’ll write about a lesson I learned from dating, and so forth. There is no way to predict what I will write next. Even I have no idea what topic I’m going to be writing about beforehand.
My posts are 100% based on inspiration. This makes my posts even more unique to where people want to share and read my posts. I started seeing growth on my page after I started posting pictures of myself to go along with the maxed-out caption.
Growing up, I never took photos of myself. When I try to look back, I can only find the photos my parents took of me. I never took any of myself. To change this, I decided to post high-quality pictures of myself with each post that goes up. After doing this for over a year, I’m able to look back at my life with gratitude and can tell you exactly what was going on based on the photo I’m looking at.
Instagram also likes it when you show your face. It makes you appear more human. I noticed my engagement jump up by 50% when I started adding photos of myself. This organic engagement boost combined with sharing my story with the Trend Watchers customer list helped me make my way to 10,000+ followers. When I first started the page, I had no idea it would make it this far, but by building in public, I have earned the following:
1. Networking opportunities
To get the most out of networking online, it is important to have your profile well put together. Once it is well optimized, start following key people within your industry.
One of my favorite tactics is to follow professionals I meet in person and have them follow me back. I also keep my Instagram stories up showcasing my life, and usually by doing this, they will remember me. Some of these relationships go nowhere, but now and then, an opportunity will come through.
2. Dating opportunities
About 2-3 times a month, someone will slide in my DMs. Most of the time, I’ll take these girls out on a first get-to-know-you date, and the conversations are just amazing. Most of the time, they have the same energy as me, and it’s refreshing to be around someone that has a growth mindset. Whether your intention is dating or not, building an Instagram following the way that I have can help you meet new people and build meaningful relationships.
3. Customer acquisition channels
My Instagram page also serves as a way for me to acquire new customers. If I’m selling high-ticket, I’ll have them follow me on Instagram to further build trust. They can scroll through my posts, learn more about me and see that I am authentic and credible. This often makes closing the sale a breeze.
4. Amazing friendships
Women are not the only ones sliding in my DMS. Every once in a while, guys will as well. Most of these people are not serious, but now and then I’ll come across someone who is. We’ll end up talking, and before you know it, we are great friends talking about issues both in our business and personal life. This is probably one of my favorite benefits of documenting my journey online.
When I decided to start documenting my journey on Instagram, I did it for fun. I love having my own personal databases/journals that I can always look back on and go through. Little did I know, my public journal would gain momentum and start touching lives all over the world. Not only is it touching lives, but it is starting to open up doors in all directions that I could have never imagined.
If you are passionate about writing or keeping a journal, I’d highly recommend documenting your journey online. You’d be surprised by the people you’ll touch and the opportunities that will come your way.