Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Instagram Game Changer: Helene Sula's Instagram for Success

In the last year or so, I’ve talked a lot about how Instagram is my ‘place’. The bookstagram community especially feels like my home online. I love talking to like-minded people who share my love of books and often many of my other interests too. I’ve made friends from all over the world, and I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to meet new people every day and make new friends and connections. I also have a ‘personal’ account where I talk about writing, blogging, travel, and basically anything else that takes my fancy.

One of my favourite Instagrammers is Helene Sula aka heleneinbetween. I was first attracted to her account by her beautiful, crisp photos and her witty, engaging captions. I liked that she was honest, open, and could always make me laugh. She has a pretty cool life - she lives abroad with her husband and two dogs, and travels regularly throughout Europe - and while she shares pictures and stories of her incredible adventures, she’s also honest about it not always being sunshine and roses, which I appreciate so much.

Something else I love about Helene is how much she wants to help other Instagrammers and bloggers. On her blog Helene in Between you’ll find a wealth of information about social media, along with posts on a variety of other topics. Last year when she offered her free Instagram for Success workshop, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I loved getting tips from her on her blog and Insta, and I knew she’d go in depth with the workshop, which she did. At the end of the workshop, she had an offer for her paid Instagram course, Instagram for Success. My initial reaction was basically, ‘That’s cool, but she already gave all these great free tips and I can’t afford to pay for the course’ and I closed it out. Over the next few days, between reading testimonials and hearing Helene talk about it on Instagram, plus getting those ‘time is running out to sign up’ emails (which I usually just delete but kept opening each time), I started to see this was something I should invest in.

I went back and forth wondering if I was making the right decision. I wasn’t sure if the course was right for me, as an author, so I contacted Helene, told her about my Instagram accounts, and asked her straight up if she thought this would benefit me. After emailing back and forth a few times, I was inspired by Helene’s passion and commitment, and I purchased the course. I’ll admit, I wanted to vomit; as someone who rarely invests in herself (not to mention the cringe-worthy US-Canada conversion rate), I was nervous but also confident I’d made the right choice.

My followers as of July 26th, 2017 when I signed up:
sweetmarie_83: 1347
rambling_daydreamer: 113

My followers as of January 31st, 2018:
sweetmarie_83: 1714 (+367)
rambling_daydreamer: 254 (+141)

I know some people gain dozens or hundreds of followers by the day, so my numbers might not seem huge, but they’re huge to me. My followers hadn’t grown for weeks before signing up for Helene’s course, and I started to see a slow but steady growth after applying the methods I learned. Beyond the numbers, my engagement has increased, and I’ve made friends through the course I likely wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’ve built a community, and that’s worth more than all the followers in the world.

Is Instagram for Success right for you?
-Do you have a business, product, or course to promote?
-Do you have a blog you want to promote because your blog is a source of income and you want more traffic?
-Are you hoping to monetize your Instagram? Make money through affiliate sales, sponsorships, or brand partnerships?
-Do you simply want to build an online community of like-minded people and have no idea how to go about it?

If you fit into any of those categories, you will likely benefit from Instagram for Success. Part of my hesitation was wondering if it would benefit my author platform. Until this past November, I hadn’t published a book in two years, and I was worried people had forgotten about me or I’d become irrelevant. While I talked a bit about my writing and my new release Mistletoe Kiss here on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter, most of my promotional efforts went into Instagram. I used links to track where my book sales came from, and the majority of sales came from Instagram.

What you can expect from the course + how it's benefited me:
-Helene’s lessons come in the form of videos, PDFs, worksheets, and checklists.
-I’ve learned how to write more engaging captions. I used to get next to no comments on my pictures and now there are days when I have trouble keeping up with responses.

-You get access to Helene’s Instagram Unlocked ebook; this normally sells for $37 on her website. Related: Check out the Instagram Unlock ebook
-Once you pay, you get instant access and you have access to the course forever. You can binge-watch the videos Netflix style, or you can take the course at a slower pace. Any time Helene updates the course, you get all the new information (so for instance, last year’s course was just updated with all the videos that are new for this year’s course).
-The Facebook group. This members-only group is a place where you can ask questions, share your successes, and where Helene posts updated information, as well as threads where you can share your posts and gain engagement from members within the group (I’ve made several friends from these threads).
-Ways to beat the algorithm. How to rock Instagram stories. Help with hashtags.

-This is probably the biggest thing: I’ve learned to take better photos. I’ve discovered lighting and composition tricks, plus what I consider my Instagram game changer: Lightroom. Helene uses Lightroom to edit all her photos, and that’s how she’s created an instantly recognizable theme for her Instagram. The course includes her Lightroom presets, which she normally sells for $59 on her website. I currently only have the phone app so I haven’t used Helene’s presets yet (although I hope to get the full version for my computer eventually), but she’s done step-by-step tutorials that show you how to use Lightroom and make it work for you and your style. While all of Helene’s methods are phenomenal, and my numbers all around have risen, I attribute a lot of that to my photos being better quality because of Lightroom and her instruction on how to use it. I thought my photos were good before, but now I take a huge amount of pride in my feed. Related: Check out Helene's Lightroom presets

Helene is killing it on Instagram with 122K followers, so she clearly knows what she’s talking about. So many people covet their secrets to success, but not Helene; she wants to help others succeed the way she has. I’ve read tons of articles and blog posts by so-called experts and most of them say the same things, and they’re not all that helpful. Take great pics! Write great captions! Well, no shit Sherlock. *facepalm* ‘Tips’ like that are not even remotely helpful. Helene goes in depth with a wealth of knowledge based on research and proven methods.

If you’re ready to take the leap, invest in yourself, and build your Instagram empire, sign up for Instagram for Success now. Helene only offers this course once a year and the window to sign up is very small. 2017 was a strange year for me with a lot of ups and downs, but I can tell you one thing I’m glad I did was sign up for Instagram for Success.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. If you have specific questions for Helene, she’s easy to reach. Like I said, before I committed to the course, she answered my questions via email and just yesterday she answered a question I had. I hope to see you in the Instagram for Success Facebook group soon!

You might also like:
Instagram for Authors: Everything Authors Need to Know About Using Instagram
6 Mistakes Authors Make and How to Avoid Them
7 Things Every Author Should Have on Their Website 

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Any potential commission I make does not affect my opinions in any way.


  1. Glowing praise for Helene. I’m going to check her out on instagram. Sadly, I’m not looking to promote anything and am fine with my pithy numbers for now.

    1. Thanks for reading, Jenny! And you should definitely check out Helene's Instagram and blog. Her pics are so beautiful and she's a riot. As for the course, I think it's largely entrepreneurs and 'influencers' who would benefit most; people hoping to make money, sell/promote something, that type of thing. I love your book and kitty pics! ;-)


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