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December 7, 2017

#14 | 4 Simple Steps to Growing an Engaged Instagram Account with Allie Smith of

Ever been Instagram depressed? You know, the times when you can’t stop scrolling through accounts with gorgeous photo grids with super engaging captions… The accounts that seem to have it all figured out and their amount of followers is simply growing minute by minute… How the hell do they do that?!

So many of us are struggling with trying to understand how to build a beautiful Instagram account with a genuine following. There is a way out! Allie Smith gives us a step by step plan on how to start building an Instagram account strategically so that we grow a genuine following that converts.

Discover how to start asking the right questions, what photos to post and what captions to write, and most importantly, how to start a conversation with your followers and what to focus on. Find out why your number of followers doesn’t really matter and what is the one metric that matters most.

Why the size of your account doesn’t matter and why even 600 followers are enough to start making money with your account! If they trust you and engage with what you post, you’ll grow. Promise.

“It’s all about your audience. They all want to talk… Give them something to talk about…Engage me and ask me a question…Everyone wants to be seen and heard, and connect.”

Allie has grown in a family of artists and on the stage of the San Francisco Opera house and was surrounded by performers. She helps female entrepreneurs find their voice and get their businesses going.

“I cut off my hair as a child, because I didn’t want to be perceived as feminine, because it felt vulnerable and unsafe.”

Join us for a practical discussion on how to grow an engaged Instagram account, what strategic steps you need to take to feel good about your account and start seeing income from this social media channel.

“The success impostor syndrome is something that every single human has to grapple with, particularly women. You’re not successful until you acknowledge it.”

Tools & Resources Mentioned



  • Plann – Visual Planner, Scheduler and Analytics app for Instagram.
    Google play
  • Unsplash.comBeautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.
  • VSCO – Create, shoot and edit your images with our superior mobile presets, film-inspired presets, and advanced camera controls.
    Google play
  • Snapseed – Snapseed is a complete and professional photo editor, that lets users adjust photos with an impressive arsenal of tools and settngs.
    Google play
  • LightroomCreate incredible photos anywhere with the all-new Lightroom CC. Use any browser to access your photos uploaded from Lightroom CC on your computer, mobile phone, or tablet, and edit them in full-resolu9on. Find and organize your photos with searchable keywords that are automatically applied without the hassle of tagging. Also, easily share and showcase your photos in fun ways.
  • PhotoshopCreate and enhance photographs, illustrations, and 3D artwork. Design websites and mobile apps. Edit videos simulate real-life paintings and more. It’s everything you need to make any idea real.
  • DropboxKeeps your files and your team in sync. Anything you save in Dropbox can be easily accessed from all of your devices.
  • Google DriveGet access to files anywhere through secure cloud storage and file backup for your photos, videos, files and more.
  • PlanolyManage, plan, and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer and mobile phones. Create a cohesive Instagram feed and manage multiple Instagram accounts.
  • LaterUpload and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer or mobile phone. Search and repost other Instagram posts and manage multiple Instagram accounts.
  • Tip: The Microphone on Your Phone’s Keyboard – Use the microphone on the keyboard to reply to comments easier and faster, on the go.

People/Blogs to Follow

  • Jenna Kutcher – Award-winning Midwest and destination wedding photographer and watercolor artist, blog contributor, Instagram personality, public speaker, and marketing instructor.
  • Jasmin Star – International wedding photographer based in Orange County, California.

Recommended Business Books

  • “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” by Seth Godin – What do Apple, Starbucks, Dyson and Pret a Manger have in common? How do they achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and-true brands to gasp their last? The old checklist of P’s used by marketers – Pricing, Promotion, Publicity – aren’t working anymore. The golden age of advertising is over. It’s time to add a new P – the Purple Cow. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. In his new bestseller, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for anyone who wants to help create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.
  • “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen SinceroIn this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want. Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.
  • “Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds” by Carmine GalloNow public speaking coach and bestselling author Carmine Gallo explores what makes a great presentation by examining the widely acclaimed TED Talks, which have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking. TED, which stands for technology, entertainment, and design, brings together the world’s leading thinkers. These are the presentations that set the world on fire, and the techniques that top TED speakers use will make any presentation more dynamic, fire up any team, and give anyone the confidence to overcome their fear of public speaking.
  • “Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice For Creatives” by Adam J. KurtzExpanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display the most crucial reminders or to pass a bit of advice on to someone who needs it.

Recommended Fiction Books

  • “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth GilbertNow this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
  • “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” by Jenny LawsonLawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.


4 Steps to Growing an Engaged Instagram Account:

Step 1: What’s the Goal of Your Account? Personal? Personal Brand? Business?
Step 2: What are the 5 Things You’re All About That You Can Build in Your Personal Brand? Tell a Story About You/Your Brand With Those 5 Things – Same Topic.
Step 3: Plan Yout Visual Strategy.
Step 4: Always Focus on Starting a Conversation and Engaging. Ask a Question. Threat It Seriously.


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