How to Build An Instagram Empire

Spoiler alert: Strong content strategy is key.

By Raquel Guarino

Female empowerment amongst entrepreneurs is on the uptick, and blossoming companies like BossBabe are just one of the many that have benefited. According to their website:

BossBabe is a community that was created by women for women to come together as they work to start and scale businesses. At BossBabe we champion collaboration over competition, firm believers that there’s room for everyone and that every single one of us can succeed if we slay in our own lane.

The company, which is home to one of the largest online communities in the world for female entrepreneurs, has partnered with Fortune 500 companies, advised thousands of business owners, and has more than a million followers on Instagram. As the term "BossBabe" continues to grow as a household name for ambitious women across the globe, a whopping 10.8 million users have included the #BossBabe tag on their Instagram posts. In addition, the account reaches 4 million unique users every month on the photo-sharing app.

Natalie Ellis, the CEO and co-founder of BossBabe, says the secret to her success has nothing to do with paid ads or buying followers. The 27 year-old UK native came from humble beginnings and moved out of her mother's home at 13 years old. Using free publicity from social media, BossBabe grew in revenue by 900% in 2018 alone through purely organic social media marketing.

When it comes to her success, Ellis says growth and monetization were equally important in building her brand, explaining that the company made $1 million way before they hit a million Instagram followers. The key to building both relies on three key elements:

  • Traffic: What drives people to your Instagram page
  • Impressions: What people see when they land on the page and how they feel when they get there
  • Conversions: When people convert to follow you and then convert to buy from you.

According to her, all three have to work together in order to build the groundwork and momentum necessary for a successful business. One of the best ways to reinforce these elements is content strategy. According to Ellis, each piece of content your business publishes should have a specific purpose. She categorizes meaningful content into three types:

  • Content to Grow: This will help you gain followers and increase traffic
  • Content to Sell: This is to familiarize others with your product and create impressions
  • Content to Build Your Brand: This is a longterm strategy to social proof your brand and convert customers.


Read NowHow Brands Pranked Customers on April Fools' Day 2019


Ellis is also a strong believer in writing content that sticks to a series of storytelling narratives she calls value pillars. Each value pillar falls in one or more of the content categories mentioned earlier (Sell, Brand, Grow).


BossBabe's 9 Value Pillars

  1. Transparency: This is where you tell one of your three foundational stories that relate to your ideal audience. Talk about something you or your business has gone through and be vulnerable. The more vulnerable you are, the more people will trust you and want to buy your product.
  2. Beliefs: Share the beliefs you hold and explain why your business believes in or does something in a specific way. Beliefs should be polarizing. If you lose followers, that's okay. They weren't your ideal followers anyway.
  3. Value: This is where you offer high value content that shows off your company's expertise and skill set. This content establishes you as trustworthy so that people continue to follow you.
  4. Results: Here is where you highlight how you helped one of your clients. Consider having them record a video talking about the impact your company had on them. Be sure to share all of your wins, screenshots, and rave reviews.
  5. Lifestyle: This type of content is meant to be aspirational. Share your company's routine's and mindset, and elements of your company's lifestyle and brand that make you aspirational to your ideal customer.
  6. Ask: Invite your audience to do something in order to create engagement and develop a relationship with your audience. Ask them to take action or make a micro-commitment so you can send them more value in the future.
  7. Authority: This kind of content is where you establish yourself as an authority and prove how your methodology has helped others. You can also promote things you've done in the media (such as interviews or guest articles) here.
  8. Solution: Whatever you're selling is the solution. Highlight an obstacle your audience has dealt with and link it to how they can take action to resolve it. This includes a strong call to action for how people can get in contact with you for help.
  9. Traction: This is the content you know will not only attract your ideal client, but will go viral to thousands more potentially ideal clients. Here's BossBabe's formula for going viral:
    • Post content that reaffirms how people behave and gives them permission to be themselves.
    • Share content which gives followers a way to share easy love with others (ie. "Tag a friend who never gives up on their goals").
    • Quotes and memes work because they make the reader feel like you understand them
    • Repurpose content in your own way from places that do what you like really well
    • Make sure people wouldn't feel or look stupid sharing your post.


What do you think of Ellis's content strategy? Do you think it would work well with your business?

Let us know in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply