BossLady Hair Coach

I found BossLady-owner Jess posting on an Instagram Mastermind group that she’d seen a massive drop in engagement from her followers, and that she couldn’t work out why. Other members of the group quickly jumped on board complaining about algorithms and pay-to-play, but these are all cop-outs. We decided to give some real, honest advice.

Would anyone be willing to give me some constructive criticism/feedback on my instagram?

I don’t think I have a shadow ban but my likes are down from 80-100 per post to like mid 20s lately!

I’ve also been upping my hashtag game, I’ve been asking questions, asking followers to tag friends… and like poop for engagement!

I’m trying not to get discouraged but I get 10-30 new followers a day and they must be follow/unfollowing because my number NEVER GOES UP!

Been stuck at 1660ish for over a month.

I’d love any advice or feedback

Thanks so much! ♥️♥️♥️

Instagram.com/jesswillburn

It’s Not the Algorithm’s Fault, You Just Suck

I see people complaining about Instagram and its algorithms all the time, instead of taking responsibility. The reality is that if you were doing things right, then your account would do a lot better than it is – but most people try to take lazy shortcuts and so are unhappy with their results. We warned Jess that she may not wish to continue reading if she didn’t like tough love.

General Instagram Advice

  • At ~1700 followers, your focus really should be more on growing the account than worrying about whether you’re getting 20 or 100 likes. At this point it’s not really important, because your next 1000 followers might be WAY more engaging.
  • Lots of your followers seem to be business accounts or other influencers… these people will never be good engagers, or customers. Focus on getting the interest of people who are likely to love your photos
  • Your branding is a bit all over the place. Think about whether you want to make this an account about your business or your personal life. If it’s ‘both’, then you need to learn how to brand and show more aspects of your life rather than just “Here’s some hair, here’s a kid/dog, here’s some hair, here’s a kid/dog”.
  • Your profile description is boring. It should be some cool description about you and your account, then a CTA for the facebook group.

Instagram Posting Strategy

  • The whole dots thing, to bump your hashtags down, is dumb. Don’t do this. Write a long caption, throw hashtags on the end. Instagram culture accepts hashtags, the only time people will see them at the end of your caption is when they tap through to your photo, and by then they’re already interested in the story/photo
  • Don’t tag so many other accounts in your posts.
  • Don’t repost anything from anyone. Post only your own, original content. If you like the saying, create the image yourself and overlay it on your own photo.
  • Quit re-posting crap to win. If you grow your instagram account you’ll get sent it for free.
  • Hashtags – I’m not down with hairdressing tags, but make sure you’re using tags that have a broad appeal. Like, is balayage a frequently used term or is it a smarty pants elitest term for people in the biz? You may want to widen your niche a bit.
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Instagram Content Mix:

  • Your photos are a bit boring (brutally honest, remember?). It’s basically just hair from behind, hair covering face, and the odd baby/dog thrown in.
  • Throw in action shots of customers looking amazing with their hair (wedding day, graduation, out to dinner) so that it’s not just all photos of you and how your hair looks
  • If I look at your profile, it looks like you never leave the house or your studio (is your studio attached to your house?). Find interesting places in your town and go take photos there. Find the local influencer account (eg @perthisok for me) and go copy all their cool photo locations, as much as you can.
  • The photos where you were pregnant got a lot of likes… so, short of getting pregnant again, it makes sense you’re going to lose the audience that love double-tapping photos of pregnant women after you have the baby. Think about the aspects of your life/business that are interesting to people, that you can use to grab their attention. If your life isn’t interesting, figure out how to make it more interesting.
  • Get someone with a camera to take some photos. These all look like very close-up photos (seflies?). Use a DSLR if you have one.
  • Generally speaking, I think you need to stage your photos a bit better. There’s something nice about organic, in-the-moment photos, but yours are a bit rough. If you’re online complaining about engagement, then take some time to set your photos up a bit better.

Using Instagram Stories & Videos Effectively

  • Why haven’t you posted a story in the last 24 hours? Instagram prioritises that stuff.
  • Stories should feature lots of behind the scenes / doing my day content
  • No videos in your last 18 posts… why not?

Improving Instagram Engagement by Engaging With Others

  • Heart and reply to every comment on your photos.
  • Write non-bot-sounding comments on every post you can find by every single person who engages with a hashtag you’ve posted on.
  • To re-iterate that… go to a hashtag you’ve used on a photo, go to a top or recent post, go to the profile of someone who commented on that post, go write a natural comment on 2 of their photos. Repeat.
  • Do the same for anyone who has ever liked or commented on one of your photos. They obviously like your stuff, get them to come back.
  • Focus more on engaging with other people’s accounts, and the engagement will naturally come to your account. People get super excited when people comment on their stuff. They’ll come and check you out.

The Response

THIS 🙌🏼 thank you so much for taking the time to look into my page and give me all this feedback! I really appreciate it and your effort will not go to waste! Thank you!

The Aftermath

Seems like Jess began implementing the Instagram feedback she was given straight away. She’s already deleted some of the photos that she had re-posted, as well as the “I want to win some makeup” photos, and has begun creating more on-brand original content for her profile. She’s still doing the stupid dot thing with her hashtags, because some brilliant social media guru a few years back said that it “hides your hashtags”, and everybody has copied it ever since, but other than that it looks like she’s well on her way to building a genuinely engaged audience.

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