📣 How Elizabeth Earnshaw got 200K Instagram followers
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I’m excited to share an interview this week with Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, also known as @lizlistens on Instagram where she has more than 200,000 followers.
Liz is a Certified Gottman Therapist, which means she’s one of only a few hundred therapists in the world certified by The Gottman Institute in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. She's also the owner of A Better Life Therapy, a Pennsylvania-based group practice that specializes in relationships.
I spoke to Liz about how she got her first 1,000 Instagram followers, how she grew her following to over 200,000, and what she’s learned along the way. Enjoy!
How did you get your first 1,000 Instagram followers?
My first 1,000 followers took the MOST work. I remember having to post consistently, network with other therapists online, and use a good hashtag strategy. So much of the beginning stages were trial and error—learning what worked and didn’t work and going from there.
How did you grow to over 200,000?
I think this has been a mix of both luck, consistency, paying attention, and being myself. I certainly have been lucky in terms of certain people sharing my posts that had big followings. This, of course, helps more people find me and know about me. I’ve also been mostly consistent. Even during weeks or months where it feels there is no growth, I still stick to the plan of being a part of the Instagram community. I don’t disappear.
Another important factor has been paying attention. What is it that my community is teaching me? Do I have more to learn to help people? What is important to my community right now? Which types of posts seem to help the most? I find that the people who follow me prefer longer text in image and so I do a lot of carousels, whereas other people’s communities prefer Reels.
Lastly, it’s been important to be myself. When I’ve tried to imitate, it never works! I use my own voice, my own style, and share parts of who I am. And I am myself when relating with other people in the online space. I truly connect with people rather than only trying to “get them” to share my stuff. I think that makes me real and trustworthy.
What didn’t work along the way?
Trying to emulate anyone else and speaking on topics that were separate from my online niche. For instance, I have a ton of grief and trauma training as well as relational training but people don’t follow me for my grief training (unless I share it in a relational format).
I’ve also found that doing any of the “get followers quick” things don’t work - like starting follow trains, etc. it’s always worked best for me to just authentically connect and I find those types of connections help growth the most
What tools do you use?
Canva to design posts (sometimes Twitter screenshots if I’m being lazy!), Later to schedule posts, and my virtual assistant is amazing at helping me use things like Asana and Airtable to organize!
I also think it’s important to be transparent that at this point I have A LOT of help. If anyone is wondering how I do it all, I don’t. I have a lot of tools and amazing people helping me! They help me to create and design my posts, to upload things, and manage my courses.
Just know that you can start without all of that and get to somewhere where you have all of that.
How do you decide what to post about?
There are several categories that always do well so I consistently create content around those topics. I will also make posts inspired by commenter’s questions or by current events.
Has your Instagram directly led to revenue?
Absolutely. My practice has been positively impacted and I have a membership site, so I generate income from that (the only way people find me to join it is via Instagram) and I sell courses. I was also found on Instagram by my book agent and have gotten a book deal!
In one sentence, why should people follow you on Instagram?
Because relationships matter, a lot. I provide a no shame zone for exploring why they are hard, how to make them easier, and what makes them beautiful.
Is there a therapist you’d like to see profiled in an upcoming Therapy Marketer? Hit reply. I read every email.
Until next week,