I'm Handing You My Ultimate Instagram Guide For FREE
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I know how to gain Instagram followers. I average over a thousand a month, and that is by utilizing only half of this guide.
These followers? Niche specific, interested in what I'm doing, valuable followers. These followers have allowed me to get sponsorships, meet incredible individuals, and gain confidence in my social media game.
However finding the right audience is key, and growing it can seem extremely difficult at times. Most importantly, it takes time and effort.
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. You need an organic, niche specific reach. However, this is going to require tremendous time and engagement by you.
So why should you invest all of this effort into Instagram and not any other platform?
Because it is the most rapidly growing social media platform there is, with the largest engagement rate of any other. Although its yearly # of users may not exceed that of Facebook or Twitter ... its engagement and reach do.
Here is your free INCREDIBLY BENEFICIAL guide... you can thank me later.
1. Create a Stunning Instagram 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
Obvious - Maybe. Essential - YES.
You need to build an appealing feed. This means having enough 'engage worthy' photos that people will find appealing and want to return to. This is non-negotiable.
One of the most important parts of having an astonishing feed is by 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 for an outdoor report which may lead them to engage with me. You can check out my Instagram account here.
2. SWITCH TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
See that "Public Figure" status? Get one. You need a business account, not only for recognition purposes but also for analytics. Analytics is huge and knowing your audience is essential in your growth. I have an entire post on it HERE:
3. Provide Value
- Post photos and captions providing inspiration
- Add "how to" videos or a picture with a "how-to" caption. For example, "how to do "blank" shoulder exercise" or "how to make this recipe"
- Include news, information, and engaging photo and video
The first thing I do when I check my phone (before my workout) is to check my favorite Instagram fitness influencers and see what beneficial content they might have posted. Their fit bodies and active lifestyles also provide incentives to help push me to workout every morning; therefore, providing valuable content that I return to time and time again.
4. Understand and Use the Hashtag (#)
- 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.
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 to add as many of them as you can. The more hashtags, the more reach. You can hashtag 30 directly in your post, but you can add another 30 to every comment.
You may also be interested in my articles:
- I Gave up Facebook for 6 Months, Here is What Happened
- The One Trick That Tripled My Website Traffic
- How I Quit My Career to Pursue a Dream
I recommend 2 - 3 in the post (to keep it from looking like spam) and 15 or so in the comments.
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.
IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH POSTING AT THE PERFECT TIMES AND USING THE RIGHT HASHTAGS THAN I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TAILWIND. It will manage all of that for you and really helps you get control of your account. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AND LEARN MORE. I'm a Tailwind user for Instagram and Pinterest. It's a great tool if you can afford it.
5. Target Users
- Search through hashtags
- 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 the followers and especially their follower's posts
Once you have a quality feed and profile in place... this ONE TIP ALONE will benefit you more than any others ever will. At this point, you have two options.
6. Follow their followers OR Interact with their followers.
I will go through the pros and cons of both.
Follow their followers:
That user you targeted? Start following their followers (THE ONES THAT YOU LIKE). You can literally add hundreds an hour, but I don't recommend going over 500 a day. Do this for a few days, then start evaluating who have added you back and who hasn't. REMEMBER THIS ONLY WORKS WITH ACCOUNTS THAT ARE IN YOUR NICHE AND ARE ENGAGING. Also, as mentioned, make sure to target them through someone else's account.
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
Only interact with their followers (I recommend this):
My preferred method. I do follow the accounts I love, but when I am browsing, I only like and comment. As I am trying to emphasize, it is only on accounts in my niche that I targeted. I believe you can only like 60 photos an hour, MAX OUT EVERY HOUR, and leave comments whenever you can. Your account will literally sky rocket with engagin followers.
- 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.
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).
- Make sure to hashtag EVERYTHING.
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. Compose a Giveaway
- Find a product related to your niche as a reward
- Advertise it to your followers asking them to tag their friends
- Hashtag it and allow new followers to enter the giveaway
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.
Remember, to check out Tailwind by clicking HERE or by clicking the banner below. It is a great tool, but it definitely isn't necessary.
Also, if you have Instagram, I would love to follow you! So please either share it in the comment section or direct message me.