Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop

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How to Build your Brand and Grow your Influence on Instagram

As @Couturenotebook I built an Instagram feed from 0 to 500,000 in four years.

It's been a constant learning journey! 




Instagram has quickly become the dominant player in social media engagement, and there are currently over 800 million users, 90% of them under the age of 35, and while the average per-follower interaction rate has fallen to 2.3%, it still compares very favorably with Facebook (0.216%), LinkedIn (0.055%) and Twitter (0.027%), according to a 2015 Forrester report.


Beyond the numbers, the potential in Instagram lies in its users’ behavior — Instagrammers love to connect with brands:

·        80% of Instagram users report following a business account (source: Instagram). Two-thirds of profile visits to businesses come from people who aren’t following that business.” – Instagram data, Nov 2017

·        62% of users follow a brand on Instagram (source: Iconosquare)

This behavior is expected to increase as Instagram rolls out improvements to the service that will help users shop directly from its feed. Yet, only 36% of marketers use Instagram, compared to 93% using Facebook (source: Selfstartr).

Are you missing a great opportunity to build your brand,

connect with your customers, or improve your influence?

Success on instagram

Your business has the potential to reach and engage with a massive community on Instagram, but it will not happen overnight and it will take effort and understanding.

With millions of photos and videos shared every day it can be a daunting prospect. I understand, I was in that position when I started @couturenotebook in January 2015.


My first photo got about 20 likes (all friends). A couple of weeks later I was attending Paris Couture Week and started posted some photos of the gowns and the number of followers slowly increased.

It took about four to five months to build a base of 5,000 followers and another six months to reach 20,000. At that stage, I was still treating my feed like a hobby.

I wasn’t particularly strategic with hashtags and wasn’t engaging with my followers. But I was consistent with what I posted and extremely regular. Slowly but surely the number of new followers started to accelerate. By March 2016, I had about 100,000 and today I have over 400,000 and still growing.

All of this was achieved without ever buying followers or doing a “like for like” - So how did I do it?

First, there is no overnight miracle lesson, you have to be patient and persevere.

But there are best practices that can be applied, little tricks that I’ve learned along the way that will help you shorten the time taken to grow your influence.

Follow my journey and what I’ve learned along the way: from using the right tools to monitor your account to discovering the best hashtags and collaborating with like-minded Instagrammers.

Ready to Build and Grow Your Instagram Influence?

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