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One thing that I’ve found some success with, but it requires some manual work: remind people that they can subscribe to your newsletter on a Story post, and use the “Questions” sticker to prompt them to “add your email here.”

You can then manually add them into the Substack backend.

It ain’t pretty. But I get a fair few signups everytime.

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As a new member of the substack community I really appreciate this post. Instagram for us (we have over 127k) followers has been a land mine of censorship and shadow banning. We spotlight queer artists, writers and photographers. Sometimes (gasp) we might feature an image with a hint of bare skin. We are constantly on shaky ground with Instagram. They seem to have one standard for bikini clad “influencers” and celebrities and another for everyone else. And don’t even get me started on FB where spammers have locked us out of our account on two occasions. The only reason we got back in is because we knew someone at the company. Good luck if you don’t. All this is to say it’s super refreshing to be on a platform where these issues are so casually discussed. Love to see it!

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This is great. I’ve also tried to focus on focusing on the “why” and value proposition of joining Substack which is something like “get all the things I can’t post on social, In depth material”. The addition of Substack to IG is not a replacement to social but a tool in my funnel to get them different content forms.

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These are some good tips. I can provide a similar anecdote. I had an art Instagram that was about six years old, with around 1200 followers. I knew that I was going to be leaving Instagram entirely, cold turkey, because they indicated they were moving toward a business strategy matching TikTok, and I wanted to start writing again. I took one month to inform my followers of my intention, gave a description of what my newsletter would be about, and waited until I had sent at least two out to the mailing list so they could provide feedback. Then I gave a week's notice for anyone else to join after advertising it thoroughly, and pulled the plug. Initially, I moved over to Mailchimp, and a total of 30 followers came with me. When I moved to Substack a few month's later, all of them came with me, and none unsubscribed. Eventually, I stopped focusing on art altogether and now all I do is write speculative short stories and provide custom illustrations for each story (https://brianreindel.substack.com). Those followers from Instagram are still around because they are a great bunch that support me personally and what I'm trying to achieve. If you have an Instagram account, and you can get very few of them to join you on your Substack journey, then you have to question why they follow you in the first place. Don't be afraid to take a risk once you've established your goals!

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Appreciate these tips! As Instagram moves further away from being a community and photo sharing space, I’m hopeful that more people will migrate over to Substack and take in their content more intentionally. It’s exhausting to always hear “post more often” “post reels” “quantity quantity quantity” and then still have your content’s reach be at the mercy of an algo. Much happier publishing a longer form projects a couple times a month instead ☺️

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Thanks for sharing these tips. Interestingly, I've found that even though before I joined Substack my biggest audience was on Instagram, the click through rate and subscribers from Instagram are definitely nowhere near the top of the way people have found their way to me here.

Additionally, like many others I moved here to get away from social media - so I only ever really pop in to promote what I'm sharing on Substack now, as opposed to it being a stream of content in and of itself anymore!

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Instagram is responsible for most of the subscribers on my new Substack. The content kind of works one both platforms.

I have found links in stories to work best, but using language they understand in a story that isn't too busy with graphics and text is important. Many of my followers don't know what a "substack" is so I now say "subscribe to my e-newsletter" or "newsletter" instead of "subscribe to my Substack."

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I'd love for these tips to work for us.

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Has anyone tried using a QR code on Instagram to send users to their Substack site?

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-I have 1.8M on TikTok, 150K on IG and 600 on Substack. It has been a real challenge to pull my TikTokers and Instagramers over to Substack. At times, I have given up with the thought that my IG demographic (16-24 year old men) doesn't want to read 1500 words... even though I think they'd love it.

- I love IG stories and I especially love the link feature in stories. I find it to be a fun little distraction from my day to create an IG story. There are so many creative ways to approach it.

- Since Instagram is all about reels these days, I've been making 15 second reels with a voice over of the Substack text. My reels get lots of views but very little turn over in Subs.

- DM's are another great way to get a message across. It's just occurring to me now, but I could send a DM with a link to every person in my messages. I think I'll go do that now. Thanks for listening. :) H

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As for me, I tried several techniques but just got two "Good luck" messages from my Instagram followers and that was it...

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Already do do and so traffic is coming this way

I do stories

Posts and reels x 3 a week to remind people of the weekly newsletter

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For the moment it's more the other way around for me. People started to read Small Ears and then followed the corresponding account on Twitter and Instagram. In case people want to follow the account you can find them by searching @TheSmallEars.

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Love all this information from everyone! I am new to Substack and so happy to find such resourceful info! Cheers!

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Good idea re: story archive related to my posts. I’m increasingly tired with self-promo on Instagram and started using the BeReal app to keep in touch with my closest friends.

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