How to Grow your Instagram: Tips and Tricks
EDIT: Since I wrote this post, I have now grown to 10k followers, that’s another 3k in 3 months! I’ve been consistently implementing these tactics, and they are continuing to work well for me!
Ok, this post has been a long time coming, I am constantly getting questions from you all about how to grow your Instagram and while I don't feel like I am an expert on the subject, I do feel that I've tried enough to know what really works and I want to share those successes with you! All of this has been trial and error, and out of everything that I've tried (much of which hasn't worked) these tips are the practices I have found to work well for growing an engaged and authentic following on Instagram!
If you're not already following me on Instagram make sure to check out my feed and see my tips in action!
Ok, here we go!
1. Batch shoot and PLAN your feed
Shoot multiple looks in one day so you can plan ahead and have content to post on days you may feel uninspired or don't have time to snap a quality photo. Use a planning app such as UNUM or Preview. Both of these apps let you plan out in advance how your feed will look so you don't have to worry about a photo looking out of place after it's already uploaded. Some of these apps even allow you to schedule posts for automatic upload if you're really busy (although I don't use this feature).
2. Post Quality Photos
Quality photos are so important. Arguably the most important item on this list! When someone comes to your page their first impression usually determines whether on not they stay and follow or move on. Sometimes you have to make this impression with just one single photo so make sure each and every pic you post is quality and looks great on its own as well as with your whole feed aesthetic. Make sure to edit each of your photos with a similar style. I use Lightroom for the bulk of my editing and Facetune to whiten, add more detail and sometimes remove a pesky zit. I also make sure to take photos with consistent lighting and similar colored backgrounds (You'll see on my feed that I prefer a neutral background).
3. Be Consistent
Post daily. I've tried it all when it comes to my posting schedule but nothing has worked better for my growth than when I started posting every single day. I honestly don't know why, but I can just assume that people really enjoy getting updates/inspiration that they can expect around the same time every single day. I try not to post more than three times though. Between one and three seems to be the perfect amount.
4. Engage, Engage, Engage!
I did a whole blog post about my tips for Instagram engagement, but this is really such an important topic. You have to find your target market and give them some love. I usually do this by going to a blogger friend’s page who posts similar content and I engage with their followers by liking a couple photos and leaving genuine comments (make sure to read the captions so you can comment accordingly). I love having a network of blogger friends on my follower list but I also want non-bloggers to be able to find me who are looking to be inspired by my fashion posts, or maybe on the hunt for some product recommendations. With the Instagram algorithm making it extra tricky to be discovered organically these days, it is up to you to put in that elbow grease (such a weird saying) to be seen by your target audience. Another slightly controversial way to be seen by more people is to participate in giveaways. You may only gain a handful of permanent followers as many people will unfollow you after the giveaway has ended, but the great part is those that stay are choosing to stay and they may not have seen your page otherwise! Just DO NOT do fall into the international giveaway trap. You will gain a high volume of followers very fast but it will tank your engagement.
Also, it is VERY important to engage with your following as well. Always answer comments, be gracious and thankful, answer questions and DMs. I spend a couple hours each day on Instagram engagement. You'll grow MORE by keeping followers (aka not losing them) than you will by gaining new followers, if that makes any sense. Watch this episode of "A Drink With James Fohr" for more info on this.
5. Network and Collaborate
Get to know bloggers local to you and meet up with them! Reach out to photographers and other creatives in your area. Get your name out there and network with local brands and boutiques. You can grow so much these days locally just by word of mouth and a re-post, or an Instagram stories shout out. Also network with other bloggers who aren't local to you. You can gain followers by getting to know other people in your same blogging niche by reaching out via DM or genuinely engaging with their content. Which leads to my next tip...
6. Tag Your Posts
As a new blogger you may not be working with brands yet. Thats okay! Focus on creating fantastic content and solidifying your reach before you worry on getting those collaborations, they'll come with time, I promise! Tag the brands you are wearing, using, and showing in all of your photos. Not only does this show them that you are genuine fan of their products/clothing, but it will add you to their tagged photos to be discovered by curious people. I always try to post pictures that fit into a brands feed aesthetic because they are more likely to be re-posted by the brand. This can be HUGE exposure for you if a brand has a large following.
7. Be Authentic
When you're starting out it can be easy to fall into the trap of posting similar content to your favorite bloggers. Being different is easier said than done because there are a lot of very inspiring influencers out there who's job it is to influence you and they're GOOD at it. Fight the urge to post generic content and post your own authentic, creative, different content. You are trying to stand out from the crowd and you definitely won't be able to do that if your feed looks just like the next bloggers feed. This could be how you edit your photos, what style of clothing you wear, or what kind of lifestyle you have. Everyone is different, find your edge!
I hope you all enjoyed this post and it answered all of the questions about growth that you all have asked me recently. Never hesitate to shoot me an email or DM if you have other questions or just want to chat, I love hearing from you all! It's the best part of my job!
Before you leave, Pin these images!