Get Instagram Ready: Distribution Practices for the Rising MUA on Instagram

If content is king, then the distribution strategy is the kingdom.

This is how I USED to distribute my work work online.

  1. I create a beautiful image.

  2. I post it on Instagram

  3. I might post it on my Facebook page

  4. I post it in Reddit groups

The end.

Ahem…
That was weak.

Now that I have a good content marketing foundation and have done distribution work for agencies that’s helped bring in more than 3000+ views to an article in less than 72 hrs., let me give you a sneak peek on how I’d do it on Instagram.

But before we get started, the only tools you’re going to need are - a google spreadsheet and an internet connection.

There’s another tool, but it’s completely optional.
I’ll mention that down below.

Got it?
Good, because we’re about to get REAL METHODICAL about this.

THE GOOGLE SPREADSHEET

You’re going to make a spreadsheet that consists of feature pages for makeup artists.

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 6.17.55 PM.png

The spreadsheet should consist of these columns:

 Not a real Instagram feature page
  1. Name of the Feature Page or Group

  2. The URL of that Group

  3. Where are they located (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Reddit)

  4. Followers. How many are following them.

  5. Notes. What are the rules of the page and what do you have to do to get featured (I’ll go a little more into this, later).

  6. Last posted (e.g., the last time that you used their hashtag or tagged them in a photo)

  7. (Optional) Featured column. Where you note if you were ever featured on the page and on what date.

THE RESEARCH

So, you’ve created the spreadsheet and columns - where do you find these feature pages?

The quickest route I have found was to:

STEP 1: Find ONE feature page
STEP 2: Hit the arrow to the right of the ‘Follow’ Button
STEP 3: And then it’ll reveal some other profiles that are similar to that one, some of which, are other feature pages.

Start adding them to your list and repeat the process until you have 10-15 feature pages on your list.

NOTE: Sometimes this work and other times, you make only get (1) relevant feature page out of the lot. Be patient and plug away at it.

And yes, you can do more - or less - it’s completely up to you.
And no, I wouldn’t go for THEE most popular pages because EVERYONE is trying to get those admins attention.

Go to where there’s opportunity and attention, but with a little less competition.

THE SHORTCUT

If you want to bypass the research phase (it can take between 1-3 hours to accomplish depending on how long your list is), you can hand this task off to a virtual research assistant on Fiverr for $5.

 The results I got when I typed in ‘Virtual Assistant’ with a price range max of $5

The results I got when I typed in ‘Virtual Assistant’ with a price range max of $5

From my experience, using the platform to find a virtual assistant to do 1-hr of research, I:

  • Look at how many jobs they’ve had in the past. The higher the better.

  • I look at their star ratings. 4.5 stars and better is my range of someone I’ll consider.

  • And then I’ll message them with the project details

The message would go something like this:

Hey [person]. I’m looking for a virtual assistant to do 1-hrs worth of research work on Instagram for me. Are you available to do this?

If they say ‘yes’, book the deal, and when they ask for specifics on what the task is, you can use this script.

Hi! Thanks for taking this on.

I need you to create a Google spreadsheet filling it with Feature Pages for Makeup Artists on Instagram.

An example of one of these feature pages is Undiscovered MUAs.
Their link here: https://www.instagram.com/undiscovered_muas/)

And in case you didn’t know, MUA = Makeup Artist

Here’s a screenshot of how I want the spreadsheet to be organized.
[attach a screenshot of a Google spreadsheet you’ve already pre-filled with 2 rows]

Please make sure to fill in all the information in each row as you’re making the list.
Also make sure that the urls are hyperlinked.

In the “Notes” column, give their instructions on what a person needs to do to be featured on their profile (e.g. like, comment, and tag them / use their hashtag / videos only / etc.)

I’m looking for at least 25 feature Instagram accounts for a makeup artist.
And make sure the profiles have over 5,000 followers.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Cheers,

[Your Name]

NOTE: You can do all of this, being as specific as possible in what you need, and it can still get completely screwed up. So be wary of this small risk.

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS & INFLUENCE PEOPLE

 
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So you’ve created a beautiful piece of content for your Instagram page.
You’ve used all your hashtags and tagged the feature pages.

You’re job is done, right?
Yeah right.

Now is the time to stand out to the MODERATORS & ADMINS of the feature page!

Whether they feature you or not, now you will be an active member of that feature page.

Go in there and lay down The TwoPlus Strategy - sprinkling your comments all throughout their profile generously.

And because the featured artist doesn’t get notified that someone commented on their image in a featured profile - go down the rabbit hole and jump over to that artists profile and leave a comment as well.

 
 

With all that you’re doing, you’re building a relationship with the people within your tribe.
An unspoken name of the game.

And when you’re continuously commenting on a feature page, passing out lovely comments, don’t you think they’ll take notice?

When you leave 2 or more juicy comments on an artists page, is it possible that they might return the favor? Perhaps even follow you?

You spread the love to others and sometimes, they just might share some back at you.

Do you go into this expecting anything in return?
HELL NO!

Again, you do it because it’s a nice thing to do to support your fellow MUAs in their journey to be creative and express themselves.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

I was on my phone commenting on some artists images and kept getting distracted by my ‘Discover’ feed.

What should’ve been a 15-minute task, turned into over 2-HOURS (!!!) on Instagram - all because I kept getting distracted by my flippin’ feed!

There has to be a better way…

So, because we’re putting systems in place to make sure that we accomplish our set goals, I now do all my Instagram work on my laptop vs. my phone.

 
Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 2.39.14 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 2.39.56 AM.png
 

Look at these (2) images above.

On the left, what I see when I open up my Instagram on my phone.
On my right, what I see when I open up my Instagram on my laptop.

(7) cool distractions vs. (1) cool distraction.

 
 

When you say this out loud even, which one seems less likely for you to get distracted?

Another benefit for using your laptop vs. your phone…

Remember those hyperlinks that you, or your VA, collected for your Google sheet?

You’ll have that open on your laptop.
You can open all those hyperlinks up AT ONCE in different tabs.
Plow through them one by one and close the tab when you’re finished.

This leaves a LOT less room for getting distracted and wasting too many hours on the platform when you have other work to get done.

BONUS

Question:

“You’re using all these hashtags, but which one is getting you seen, getting engagement, etc.? How effective are the hashtags I’m using”?

Iconosquare, the analytics tool for Instagram, has a section called “Hashtag Performance” under “Engagement” that will let you see the average - engagement, likes, comments, love, etc. - across the hashtags you’ve used on your posts.

 Average Number of Likes

Average Number of Likes

And if you’re wondering, “What’s the difference between “The Engagement Rate” vs. “The Love” & “Comment Rate?”— Iconosquare explains it here.

And as you might imagine, I personally like to pay attention to the “Engagement Rate”.

I would suggest testing out your hashtags from 2 weeks to 1 month - consistently - to see it’s effectiveness in getting engagement.

THE RECAP:

That was a lot of information.
Let’s do a quick recap.

STEP 1: Create a spreadsheet.
Use Google Sheets or any other type of excel spreadsheet.

STEP 2: Research 15-20 MUA feature pages.
You can do this yourself or you can hire a virtual assistant to do it for you.

STEP 3: Comment. Comment. Comment.
Leave comments on the feature page, and if you’re feeling generous, lead over to the original MUAs page - and leave a comment on their page as well.

STEP 4: Use your laptop vs. your phone for this task.
It’ll help you get your work done faster.

STEP 5: Test your hashtags
Test your hashtags from 2 weeks to 1 month consistently to see which ones are getting the most engagement.

I hope you found this article helpful and it helps you develop one of your first small wins for your Instagram brand.

To springboard you into your first win, I want to give something to you: 22 MUA Feature Pages for Instagram.

This spreadsheet is a little something to get you started on your journey - saving you at least $5 or 1-hour of your time.
Just enter your name and email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox for FREE.

Save yourself $5 or 1+ hours of your time.
Download it here.