I'm Handing You My Ultimate Instagram Guide For FREE!
I know how to gain Instagram followers. In fact, I average over a thousand a month by utilizing only a handful of key strategies.
* This post may contain affiliate links, read my disclosure for more.
These followers are:
Interested in what I'm doing
These followers have allowed me to gain sponsorships, meet incredible individuals, and gain confidence in my social media game. They are real, targeted followers.
We are all aware that you can buy followers and buy engagement. Let me make this clear:
Those are the wrong followers.
They won't help your brand, your image, or your purpose. For social media to actually be beneficial, you need an organic, niche specific following.
However, receiving this type of fan base will require tremendous time and engagement by you.
The next thing you may be wondering is:
“Why you should invest all of this effort into Instagram, especially when there are so many other social media platforms out there”?
There are definitely benefits to all of the platforms; however, Instagram is a rapidly growing, visually based, platform with a ton of potential for massive brand awareness.
Although its yearly # of users may not exceed that of Facebook ... its organic engagement and reach (on average) do.
Therefore, due to the high demand of people asking how I do it, I've decided to give everyone my FREE guide to gaining authentic followers fast.
You can read about my 4 favorite tools in my Instagram Cheat Sheet article as well (these two articles go well together).
You can thank me later.
1. CREATE A STUNNING INSTAGRAM FEED
The number one thing you need to do is to build an appealing feed. This means having enough 'engage worthy' photos that people will find appealing and want to return to.
One of the most important parts of having an astonishing feed is having a quality profile picture. Make sure it is relevant, attractive, and representative of your niche. For example, if your photos are "fitness" related, then have your photo of you and something fitness related - so people know what your feed is about (pretty basic right?). Below is an example of Jasmine Star. Her content is fabulous, and she has built quite the following.
My own Instagram account is outdoor related and my profile photo is of me holding up a massive fish. Why? Because people that I am targeting will be drawn to this photo, interested in what I'm catching, and possibly looking tips or reports. It tells them what I'm about and makes sure it interests them.
You can check out my Instagram account here.
Below are the four points to remember when creating a stunning feed:
Post within a niche (AKA a theme)
Post ONLY high-quality photos
Have a "screen full" of photos before reaching out to people
Have a high-quality profile image
You can read more about my social media posting strategy here.
2. SWITCH TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Do you see that "Public Figure" status? Get one. You need a business account, not only for recognition purposes but also for analytics.
With business analytics you get to know:
The gender of your audience
The age of your audience
Locations that most of your audience resides
The most active times of your audience
Your most popular posts
Your most popular stories
Understanding these parameters are essential for your growth. I have an entire post on it that you can read HERE.
Not to mention, the business account will give you the "swipe up" feature. This feature will allow you to link directly to any website of your choosing.
However, keep in mind that to access this feature you will need 10,000 followers and be converted to a business account.
3. PROVIDE VALUE
What will make people follow you? Providing them with value. If you can provide people with something that will benefit them, they will come back time and time again, recommend you to their friends and engage with you actively. How can you do this? By providing inspiration, information, and/or entertainment.
For example, the first thing I do when I check my phone in the morning is scroll through my favorite influencers.
I see what beneficial content they might have posted. For fitness, this my be their latest workout routine, tip, or motivational photo. This keeps me coming back every morning.
Below are some things to think about when providing value to your audience:
Post photos and captions providing inspiration
Add "how to" videos or a picture with a "how to" caption.
For example, "how to do this shoulder exercise" or "how to make this recipe"
Include news, information, and engaging photo and video to keep your audience checking back for more
4. UNDERSTAND AND USE THE HASHTAG
This is a bit of a no brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people don't capitalize on the reach that hashtags provide. Make sure to tag relevant hashtags to your posts and add enough of them (ten or so is a good number).
The more hashtags, the more reach. You can hashtag 30 directly in your post, but you can add another 30 to every comment if you really want. Here is what you should do:
Do a search for relevant hashtags and see which ones are trending.
Add a large variety of these relevant hashtags ranging from ones with a large reach and ones with a moderate reach.
I recommend using between 5 and 20 hashtags depending on the type of content and the generality of the niche.
Don't forget you can hashtag in your comments as well.
You may also be interested in my articles:
Pick hashtags by popularity. You want popular hashtags, but you don't want all of them to have a million or more posts. If you do, you will find that your posts get buried immediately, and therefore no one can see the awesome content you are trying to share.
If you are providing high-quality and valuable content, people will want to follow you. For example, I was looking through the bodybuilding hashtag (#bodybuilding) the other night when I found an Instagram influencer who had posted on her Olympic lifts... being that I was interested in learning these movements I instantly followed her. I didn't follow her for a "return follow". I followed her for my own benefit. I wasn't the only one who felt this way, as she had 300,000 followers and counting.
5. USE MILOTREE
MiloTree allows you to build an audience from your already existent website traffic. This is HUGE for bloggers and businesses that already have some source of traffic from their website.
It works by enabling an attractive popup to your site that allows your visitors to follow you on the spot. For example, if you are getting tens of thousands of viewers from Pinterest, you can redirect them to follow you on Instagram. This is a great way to continuously grow your account.
An example of what it looks like is below:
6. TARGET FOLLOWERS
Engaging and interacting with someone else's followers (that are in your niche) is a huge way to gain Instagram followers for yourself.
Here is what you need to do first:
Find an influencer with a moderate reach 1,000 - 20,000 + followers IN YOUR SAME NICHE.
Meaning if you are doing "fitness" make sure they are all about fitness and nothing else.
Make sure they are authentic
Target their follower's posts and/or follow their followers
OPTION 1: Follow Their Followers
This means go to the profile of that influencer you found and start following the people that follow them.
You can literally add hundreds an hour, but I don't recommend going over five hundred a day. Do this for a few days, then start evaluating who have added you back and who hasn't. Remember this only works on influencers who are in your niche.
Once you have done this, you can start unfollowing those who don't follow you back. You can do it manually, OR by downloading any 3rd party app (there are literally tons of apps that let you unfollow people in mass amounts). For this reason, I avoid doing this.
You will gain followers incredibly fast
If you are a business, your competition is doing this
People become rapidly aware of you and your brand
Fastest way to gain followers in your niche
You get an inflated "following" number
You can look desperate
No guarantee of the engagement rate
OPTION 2: Only Interact With The Influencers Followers (But Don't Follow Them)
My preferred method. I do follow the accounts I love, but when I am browsing, I only like and comment. I like and comment on their photos, resulting in them getting notifications, checking out my profile, and following me. I will also like the influencer's followers comments.
Authentic engagement, true followers, and no inflated following count.
You meet and interact with so many awesome people - you will make friends.
You will gain quality followers at a moderate pace who will love interacting with you
Not as fast as following
Takes more effort on your part
Remember, you need to be finding your ideal audience through hashtags and targeted accounts, and you need to be corresponding with them...every. single. day.
OPTION 3: Like The Other Influencer's Comments
Go to that account you followed, click on a photo, then like the comments on that photo. Simple, fast, and productive! Do it while you watch TV, do it before bed, and do it when you are bored and browsing. It adds up.
7. FEATURE AND BE FEATURED
Have high-quality images (your own) be featured on someone else's feed (usually with a similar or higher account).
Ask for DM's of people's photos who want to be featured and hashtag it (on your feed).
Shoutout to each other to help push followers from one account to another.
Being featured to other people's audience can be incredibly beneficial if:
They have a large & engaging following
You are in the same niche
Share similarities with them
If those three fit, you can usually pick up numerous followers from their account. By featuring people like you, you tend to get followers who are asking to be featured, which can give you a moderate boost in following.
8. RUN A GIVEAWAY
Find a product related to your niche as a reward
Advertise it to your followers asking them to tag their friends to enter
Hashtag it and allow new followers to enter the giveaway by also tagging their friends
If you want to get technical - do a "following loop" with bigger accounts.
This is another weekly task that can equate to bursts of followers. Giveaways are super common, especially with people who are part of brands/ambassadors. However, even if you aren't an ambassador or sponsored by a brand, you can still do a giveaway by purchasing something related to your niche and advertising it. Make sure to add relevant hashtags and have high-quality images if you are targeting your followers. Usually asking them to tag their friends, or offering a reward to new followers, will give you bursts of activity. Using some of Instagram's new features, such as going "Live" can really advertise your giveaway to your followers, giving you a greater opportunity to reach people.
If you don't have time for all of these things, then I highly recommend focusing your efforts on targeting followers of people in your niche (after you have a high-quality profile/feed of course). Make sure these influencers (the person who has the followers you are going to target) has a modest but realistic amount of them. For example, if you have 5,000 followers, target someone who has between 1,000 and 20,000 followers - but stays away from someone who has hundreds of thousands (because you'll end up with a lot of spam and less focused followers).
If you have any questions, anytime.. please don't hesitate to shoot me a message.
Also check out:
Also, if you have Instagram, I would love to follow you! So please either share it in the comment section or direct message me.