I'm Handing You My Ultimate Instagram Guide For FREE!
Everyone is looking to gain more Instagram followers faster. Instagram has become such a powerful platform. It can help you build a business, make sales, gain sponsorships, and simply get paid to post.
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder everyone is looking for a quick fix on gaining followers. So exactly how can you gain an engaged and authentic following quicker? As someone who specializes in social media strategy, I go through each and every step you need to know for developing an audience that actually converts.
* This post may contain affiliate links, read my disclosure for more.
THE FOLLOWERS YOU NEED
Everybody wants a “quick fix” in social media. However, most of the time this quick solution results in a waste of time and effort.
Instead, you need to focus on finding the right followers. These are followers that will believe in your brand, are interested in your character and involved in your niche. These people will build up your business, grow your popularity and make you an income. This means they are:
Real/Authentic - NEVER buy followers
Niche Specific - Health? Beauty? Lifestyle?
Engaged in Your Brand - Real people interested in what YOU are doing
Able to Purchase Whatever it is You are Selling (whether that be an idea or a product)
Quality followers with these characteristics have allowed me to gain sponsorships, meet incredible individuals, and gain confidence in my social media game. They are real, targeted followers.
THE FOLLOWERS TO AVOID
We are all aware that you can buy followers and buy engagement. Let me make this clear:
Those are the wrong followers. They will do NOTHING for you.
They won't help your brand, your image, or your purpose.
You need real, authentic followers. So yes, it will take time; but with a few of the strategies I mention below, you can boost your following in no time at all (and the right way).
Also check out my Ultimate Instagram Cheat Sheet for a few extra tools to help you along the way.
GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM THE RIGHT WAY
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.
Developing an appealing feed has a few specific characteristics that you really should follow if you want to succeed. These include
A niche: Every Instagram account should be niche specific.
Quality profile picture
High quality images: No grainy, dark photos. Quality only.
A subject: Photos of nothing will perform poorly
Consistency: (when something works keep going)
Value: What can you give your audience?
Don’t just post for the sake of posting! Quality is EVERYTHING.
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.
My profile below is niche specific. My images are of me and a fish. I keep myself and the fish as a subject because Instagram recognizes people like that. It then cues Instagram’s photo recognition to show those photos to more people. This also results in higher engagement and therefore more followers.
You can check out my Instagram account here.
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.
I firmly believe analytics can help you determine what your audience wants and therefore what you should give them.
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
If hashtags are working
If you are on the explorer page
When you are on the explorer/hashtags page
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 (you will need 10,000 followers for this).
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. They will also recommend you to their friends and engage with you actively. How can you do this? By providing inspiration, information, and/or entertainment. Make your post count.
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
I also recommend you check out how to post quality content and understand the algorithm here.
4. UNDERSTAND AND USE THE HASHTAG
Hashtags are incredibly important for gaining new followers. Once you start trending on hashtags, more people who don’t follow you will see your content. This will then lead to more followers. You can see I started trending for hashtags in the image above.
However, you can’t just any hashtags. They need to be niche specific and have a certain popularity.
I recommend adding up to thirty.
When finding hashtags, 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.
You can add hashtags to comments as well.
Below I have an example of how to find the right hashtags.
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. You essentially will never go viral.
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. You want to be like her. Earn your followers.
However, I understand that finding the right hashtags can be frustrating for the the new influencer. If this is you, then try Tailwind’s Instagram tools. It’s a great way to find the perfect hashtags for your post (which gives you plenty of ideas). Below is an example of using Tailwind to improve your Instagram game.
You can grab 30 days of FREE of Tailwind right here!
You may also be interested in my articles:
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.
You can also use it to grow your Pinterest account, Facebook account, or email list!
An example of what it looks like is below:
6. TARGET FOLLOWERS
If you have the time, this can really expedite the process. 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
Comment and like these posts and like their comments on other posts
I do not believe in the follow/unfollow method. It’s a quick way to gain enemies in your niche. Instead, interact with them.
If I have time, I will often 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. It’s simple and will result in authentic followers.
Doing this will help you:
Gain an authentic following
Meet and interact with so many awesome people - you will make friends
Gain quality followers at a moderate pace who will love interacting with you
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. Social media is about being social; therefore interact!
7. FEATURE AND BE FEATURED
Using broad feature accounts to promote your content can be very beneficial. For example, in the fishing niche - when a larger account shares my photos to their audience I receive their followers. Therefore, catching the eye of these repost accounts can be incredibly beneficial to growing your following. To do this, consider the following:
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 and engaging following.
You are in the same niche.
Share similarities with them.
If those three fit, you can usually pick up numerous followers from this method. 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
This is another weekly task that can equate to bursts of followers. Giveaways are super common, especially with people who are partnered with other brands.
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.
I have an entire post dedicated to running the RIGHT Instagram giveaway, that I recommend you check out.
In essence, you need to:
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.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The most important part of growing a feed is consistency. You need to try to do all of the things mentioned above, consistently, to gain followers as fast as possible.
Post quality content consistently.
Interact with followers consistently.
Do giveaways, consistently.
It’s really going above and beyond with quality content that will help your account grow quickly overtime.
Finally, remember that Instagram has image recognition. This means that if something ranks well, keep using photos similar to it. The higher the engagement the more people get to see your content. Don’t stop doing something that works.
Post quality content, use proper hashtags, engage with your audience, and stay consistent with what works and you’ll be growing before you know it!
Also, to help you on your way, I also recommend you check out:
If you have Instagram, I would love to follow you! So please either share it in the comment section or direct message me.