Trending Reels on Instagram: How to Find Them + 9 of the Best From 2024

How to find Instagram reel trends while they’re still hot enough to make an impact, along with some of the best we’ve seen on the platform this year. The Exact Strategy I Used to Gain 70,000 Followers on Instagram and Facebook From Scratch — and Turn Them Into Sales

There are plenty of ways to grow a strong social following, but many small business owners rely on good content and luck, overlooking approaches that could help them reach larger audiences more quickly. 

By integrating other marketing tactics, specifically paid advertising, SEO (search engine optimization), and community building, into my social media strategy, I was able to grow my audience on Facebook and Instagram to 70,000.

And, by thoughtfully nurturing those followers with valuable content and a human touch, I’ve been able to turn these social platforms into a strong sales channel, helping me scale my business coaching company from $20,000 in debt to seven figures.

The best part? My approach is not all that complex — these are best practices that any small business owner or service provider can easily implement. Read on to learn exactly how my team and I do it so you can start growing your following (and your bottom line) ASAP.

We use ads and SEO to bring people into our orbit (not to sell to them)

I could easily spend this entire article giving you best practices for running social media ads: verifying your offer before you pour money into promoting it and constantly testing to see if new ads have better returns, for example.

But I think the root reason our ads have been so successful is that we’re not using them to drive a direct sale. Instead, we approach ads from a top-of-funnel perspective. 

The bulk of our ads encourage people to join our Facebook Group to watch a free three-part training that's driven notable results for past participants.

Starting a community like this is a common practice for high-ticket service providers like myself — it allows my target users to feel part of something, to build a relationship with me before committing to buying, and to get a sense of the value I can offer so they want more. Just joining the free group is a low ask, so our ads tend to have a 6-10x ROAS (return on ad spend). 

While paying for marketing a non-revenue-generating product can be scary, if we can nurture even one percent of those free users into paid customers, the return on ad spend is worth it. We have generated over $1,000,000 in revenue from members of our Facebook Group converting to paid customers.

The Exact Strategy I Used to Gain 70,000 Followers on Instagram and Facebook From Scratch — and Turn Them Into Sales

That’s not to say there aren’t free ways to grow your top-of-the-funnel followers. In fact, we saw some of the biggest follower growth when we thought about the SEO of our profiles.

At the time, the Facebook Group was called “Purpose Driven Female Entrepreneurs.” While it may seem like a broad name like that would appeal to more people, it actually made it harder for the right people to find the group. 

After thinking hard about who we were really trying to serve and polling our audience about the terms they use to describe themselves, we changed the name of the Facebook Group to “Female Social Media Managers & Agency Owners” and made sure the description included other audiences we target: digital marketers, graphic designers, and service-based entrepreneurs. 

Now, when folks search for these terms in Facebook Groups, my group shows up toward the top. 

The Exact Strategy I Used to Gain 70,000 Followers on Instagram and Facebook From Scratch — and Turn Them Into Sales

The group grew by thousands overnight after implementing that change. We added similar keywords to my Instagram profile (instead of just having my name) to improve discoverability there.

The Exact Strategy I Used to Gain 70,000 Followers on Instagram and Facebook From Scratch — and Turn Them Into Sales

Ultimately, we still do paid ads too, because we turned $156,000 into $1.095 million in revenue generated, and $659,458 in cash collected last year. Anytime I can multiply $1 invested like that, it’s a strategy I stick with. 

We use content to give followers a taste of working with us

Many business owners believe that if they’re investing in ads, they don’t have to put in any other work, and that’s simply not the case. Our ads have always had 7 to 10x return on ad spend, and that’s because we’re simultaneously creating organic content to engage and build trust with new followers. 

The guiding philosophy behind all of the content we create — from posts to Facebook and Instagram Reels to lead magnets — is that the faster we can give followers a taste of the types of wins we could get them, the faster they’ll opt into our paid offerings. 

To understand what will resonate with my target audience, I like finding ways to quickly test content ideas, and then doubling down on what resonates. If I have an idea for advice my audience might be excited about, I’ll write up a quick post to throw in the Facebook Group or do a 30-second story. If it gets some traction, I may develop it further into a reel or story post. 

The topics that are driving the most sales get built out into lead magnets, like our free upsell training. Plenty of people go through that training, get massive value — like turning a $1,000 client into a $3,000 client — and never pay me a dime. But plenty of other people go through that training, get some wins but want more support, and reach out to work together because we’ve built that trust and connection. Wanting everybody to win ends up being a win for us. 

While I love supporting my audience for free, I’m also not afraid to sell — I like to balance adding value and also giving people opportunities to raise their hand to work with me. When you have a healthy mix of both types of content, it guides people down the funnel. 

For example, we do monthly testimonial posts and while they don’t often get as much engagement on our social platforms as my value-based content, customers will bring them up on sales calls and say that’s what ultimately converted them. It’s critical that sales and marketing always be communicating so you can understand what’s working based on your ultimate conversion goals instead of vanity social metrics. 

We always make sure we have a human touch

Something unique about the way we run our Facebook Group (and even our Instagram) is how relationship-oriented we try to be. We have team members who are dedicated to reaching out to new community members, thanking them for following us, and asking a little bit more about their business and goals so we can point them to the right free resources to get them a win quickly. 

From there, our community managers continue to build relationships and support our group members in accomplishing their goals, whether that means as our clients or not.

Yes, having this human touch takes more work and resources, but it’s been so important to the success of our funnel. In fact, last year, I tried to implement an AI tool to manage this community for us. Two weeks and several thousand dollars later, I could already tell it was the wrong decision, so I cut my losses and removed the tool.

It felt impossible to sound like we cared about treating our community as individuals rather than a revenue driver when a bot was responding to them. When I think about how I want to be treated as a customer, I want to feel a connection with the people I’m buying from, and to feel seen and understood, and special throughout the process. 

I think we were able to 2x our business last year because, while so many businesses were leaning harder into AI, we decided to focus on nurturing real connections. The more we honor human relationships in marketing, the more our business grows.

Ultimately, that’s what building my successful funnel on social media has come down to: A dedication to truly connecting with my target customer and serving them to the best of my ability every step of the journey. 

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