Instagram and me! by Alex aka Mamma Hinch
When I first followed MIBA on Facebook, I was clueless about Instagram. If I’m honest I didn’t even know it was an app! I watched every live for months, silent, no comment, no reaction, purely soaking in the information. I knew there was a market out there, I just wasn’t sure where to start.
I made the plunge into the world of Instagram and set up my business account. I had a plan to post, interact and hopefully gain a following. I remember hitting 100 followers and looking back hitting the first milestone it felt as good then as it does now.
I hovered at 200 followers for what felt like an eternity. How was I going to make this work? This is where MIBA came in. After watching the lives and reading endless comments of others that had been successful, it was time for me.
On the 31st December 2018, I said to my husband 2019 is going to be my year and I’m going to make this business work!
As a stay at home mum of 3, all age 4 years and below, the workplace was the last place I wanted to be, when I can be a business owner and mum at home!
I signed up for the first IG challenge with my business page @janehooperuk at 203 followers with an aim to gain 500. On day 6 of the challenge, I hit 2000 followers, orders coming in and pinching myself that this was a dream. I had my first glimpse that sales on Instagram were not a myth and this really is going to be sustainable.
I started using Instagram live and stories, hashtags and interacting, the followers kept on coming. I then wondered, does this really work, or is it the hype of the challenge on IG? What would happen if I set up an account from scratch? Would I be able to gain the same following and sustain the page? You might be thinking why? My thoughts were, if my account is been followed by members of MIBA and I am following the #’s, I already have a presence on a large platform to work from to gain the followers. So, take away MIBA, the challenge and the security of a few followers to begin with, start with zero.
I set rules for myself –
Do not follow anyone you know; family and friends were out!
Do not follow anyone from MIBA
Do not interact with any MIBA posts!
Do not tell anyone
I started the account on the 22nd January 2019, by March I had hit 5000 followers from following the hints and tips from the live.
One of my first posts was the girl’s nursery and I tagged @obabyuk which is where the furniture was from. A notification came through “@obabyuk liked your post” then another “@obabyuk commented on your post” followed by “@obabyuk started following you”. It may sound strange, but I genuinely felt star struck. The mentions continued including @mrshinchhome and I couldn’t believe the engagement and growth the account was getting.
It was time to let MIBA in on my secret, after all the tips really did work. I put a post on the Facebook group with what I had started. It’s often the same with any business that doubters will be amongst the group whether silent or fully vocal with no filter! My review just so happened to come at a perfect time, as I was unaware of the negativity MIBA was receiving. Little did I know this review was going to help in so many ways for so many people. So, the cat was half out of the bag, I purposely didn’t mention the name of the Instagram page. I still had more to achieve.
With my company Jane Hooper UK, twice a year I take a trip to trade shows. The show in the spring was where I met @scrubdaddyuk and where the Mamma Hinch Subscription Box began! It was my first business venture as Mamma Hinch and today is 60% of my business income!
My page was going from strength to strength. I continued following the posting schedule, hashtags and stories. Interacting with my favourite accounts and even running a giveaway for a new account to gain interaction. This account is also not only one I class as an Instagram friend but @mamajuleshinches also agreed after trying my Jane Hooper products to be a brand rep.
The merge of the two accounts was happening, I had a viable business through Mamma Hinch, a community and audience who were staying around and interaction on my videos and posts I could only dream of! My next goal was to hit 10,000 followers.
Having a strong interaction rate on the page meant when I announced I was so close to 10K, pages shared my page to their stories with “Get mamma hinch to 10K”. All the initial interaction was now playing a major part in hitting my next target. When the account started, it was never about the numbers, it was always about interaction and making a page sustainable using the MIBA hints and tips. The numbers of course are part of this but, having 5000 followers and only 10 likes on a post is not the aim if 4990 people are not seeing you.
As I entered the 7th month of the account, I hit 10,000 followers. I had an amazing view rate on videos with over 67,000 views. IGTV was hitting 30,000 views and stories and grid posts been viewed hundreds of times.
Then along came @astonishcleaners . You may have seen Astonish cleaning products in Asda, The Range and Home Bargains. I use these products throughout my entire home and still have my original 10-year-old window cleaner bottle. I had always interacted with the page, replying to stories, commenting and even using their products tagging them in my stories. I entered to win a golden ticket for a VIP tour of the factory, and I won!
A Charlie Bucket moment in all its glory. So, on the 1st August 2019 I went to Astonish Bradford, along with 2 other instagramers @hall_at_home and @mrstc.reviews . A VIP tour of the factory, meeting the team, getting to see behind the scenes, an amazing lunch and a supermarket sweep of products to take home. This really was the best day, not only did I see how a huge company works, but also made friends and I was made to feel so welcome.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I was asked by an amazing candle and wax melt company @mr_pinks_candles, whom I had purchased from and loved their products, to be a brand rep for them! I couldn’t believe my luck and naturally accepted without hesitation.
From zero to 10K in 7 months, it was time to share my story with MIBA and finally release the page name. This brings me to today, where I can share with you my little journey, to hopefully inspire you and invite you to follow the rest of my story.
With love Alex aka Mamma Hinch x