3 Practices That Grew My Social Media Following to 1M!

May 2, 2023

We believe we should all love where we live.

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When I started Chris Loves Julia 14 years ago, Instagram wasn’t around. There wasn’t a social media handbook, and the term “influencer” was still in its infancy. Yet, here we are, 1 million Instagram followers later, and we’ve been able to turn our love of DIY and renovating into a full-time business with a team of creatives at the backbone. For the most part, I keep my content geared to you homebodies who, like me, love making your time at home the best part of your day, but today I’m pulling back the curtain a bit. So if growing a following or monetizing a business on social media isn’t your thing, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. But if you’ve ever thought about making content creation a lucrative business, keep scrolling.

I recently had the complete honor of sitting among experts in the home design industry on a panel at High Point. The auditorium was packed with 900+ creatives in the home design industry, and we answered questions in regard to “Designing a Business You Love.” There was something so surreal about being surrounded by your role models in front of an audience of other design creatives, looking to us all for inspiration. What a stomach flipper. But the whole panel really got me thinking about how I’ve been able to grow Chris Loves Julia into a profitable business, and the answer is simple–creating consistent, quality content that connects people to a story.

In the beginning, I didn’t have much of a strategy for what I was doing and what I was sharing online. I just knew that I loved making our home a place that we loved to live in, and I loved the storytelling aspect of it. Again, the blogging days were early, and social media marketing was a wee baby. But I kept on telling our story, and somewhere along the way, people became invested in us and our home, and content creation became our full-time job. And in 2019, we decided to take everything we’ve learned and launch an online community to empower influencers to find their niche, grow their following, and make an impact. Good Influence(r) was born out of our desire to create and cultivate a group of influencers who are interested in best practices for their audiences and partners.

We’re getting ready to host our second “Race to 10k Challenge” in our Good Influence(r) Mastermind, and in anticipation, I wanted to share three practices that helped me gain followers and grow into a recognizable brand.

1. Consistency is everything

Social media changes every day, which is why becoming a social media “expert” is easier said than done. As technology evolves, there are constantly new platforms, trends, and content formats coming out, and the best way to stay on top of it is to stay consistent! The mindset that we’ve tried our best to adopt is to find ways to connect with our audience and potential followers every day. Consistent posting helps to keep your followers engaged with your brand, plus the algorithm tends to favor consistency. And the more you’re spending intentional time on social media, the more likely you’ll learn a thing or two about your audience.

2. Establish a strong brand presence

One of the first lessons we teach to our Good Influencers is to land on a niche. You need a niche in which to grow. In a world of aesthetics and strong visuals, your branding needs to take the lead. With time, I’ve settled into the home renovation niche with a focus on authenticity and transparency in home projects. I made decisions on brand colors and fonts and put my personality front and center. No matter which platform you’re seeing CLJ on, the branding is consistent. Recognition is such an underrated part of growth. For someone to recognize a photo or videos of yours from the explore feed- that’s the goal! Whether you’re a business, an influencer, a creator, or maybe somewhere in the middle- find your branding and hold to it. When new platforms and trends come along, apply your branding. Remember, branding should come through in your colors, fonts, tone, photo editing, and even music. Put your personal touch on everything.

3. Keep your audience front of mind 

When I think about why I started Chris Loves Julia, it goes back to my passion and desire to create a home I love and inspire others to do the same. Your passion or your “why” is the foundation of your brand. However, none of this would be profitable without a loyal audience. Growing a loyal social media following takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run, as it can help increase engagement and drive sales. Over the last 14 years, we have put in the work to establish trust with our audience by consistently showing up and providing value. All the content we make is grounded in authenticity with the intention to entertain, teach, provide resources, or inspire–every affiliate link, sponsored content, partnership, newsletter, and blog post.

As I mentioned, when I started, there was no rulebook for being an influencer. There was no hand-holding, and there has been a continual process of trying new things and pivoting. This is exactly why Chris and I created Good Influencer 3 years ago. We wanted to provide a resource and be a standard for creators in this industry.

On Monday, May 8th Good Influencer is starting our second Race to 10K Challenge, where we provide a focused mentorship on organically building your Instagram presence over the course of 6 weeks. If you’re serious about building your business using social media, join us for the Race to 10K. Let’s work together on building your platforms, creating brand recognition, and monetizing along the way.

During the six weeks, we’ll be touching on optimizing your page, posting frequency, posting niche-specific content, what to share in stories, how to organize your content, how to implement trends in an on-brand way, and even monetizing.

The Race to 10k will be happening in our Creator Mastermind Facebook group, which is included with a Good Influencer subscription.

Subscription options are monthly at $24.99/mo or $250/yr.

Also included in the subscription is:

Daily texts throughout the challenge
Access to the entire Good Influencer Course Library below

  • Working with Brands
  • Growing your Audience
  • Earning with Affiliates
  • Image Usage Strategy
  • Good Influencer Glossary
  • Media Kit Workshop
  • How to Start, Grow, and Monetize an Email List
  • And tons of other bonus workshops centering around content creation.

The subscription includes everything you need in order to organically grow your presence on social media. Whether you’re an influencer trying to grow their platform, a business owner trying to build brand awareness, or maybe you’re an artist using social media to sell your product- we have all the tools you need to build a solid platform on social media.

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What do you think?

  1. Joan Young says:

    Don’t forget about transparency…you’re really good about being open about costs. Not many influencers are (some maybe, but not many). I for one appreciate that as it gives a benchmark for our own home improvements, although I’m sure you get a little flack sometimes, I think the majority of us really appreciate the candor.

    • Susan Marie says:

      I agree, I love hearing about the cost of things. Thank you for that transparency. It distinguishes your content, a lot.

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