I get questions all the time about Instagram growth. I so badly wish I had a magic secret to share with you but unfortunately there isn’t one simple answer I can give you. I have been doing this Instagram thing for about a year and a half now and I have learned SO much. It is so important that you become a student of Instagram and study what works and what doesn’t. Keep up with trends and fully immerse yourself to learn all that you can.
I Promise You Will Grow If You Do These Things:
1. Dive in With Both Feet & Hustle
I can’t stress this point enough. Instagram is something that you get out what you put in. That means a lot of time and effort behind the scenes. Become a master of your craft. Instagrammers have to wear many hats. Photographers, content writers, creators, designers… the list goes on. A lot of people don’t anticipate the amount of work and hustle it takes to be successful on this platform. You have to treat it like a business and work at it every day. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works for you. I know it can be intimating when you are first starting out but I promise if you jump in and fully immerse yourself you will go farther, faster. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll never know if you don’t try! Give yourself a fair shot and when you decide the time is right… go for it, girlfriend!
2. Be Authentic & Genuine
THIS IS EVERYTHING. Instagram has turned away from the “picture perfect” life and people just want to see something real. It’s so important that your followers get to know your heart and feel like they know you. Don’t be something you are not. Everyone is unique in their own way and has something to share and offer on this platform. Be genuine and authentic in your own way and you will build your tribe… I promise. The second that I let go of what I thought people wanted me to be on Instagram and started being who I am, is when I saw the most growth.
3. Build Community
Building your tribe is essential. I know this can feel intimidating and I am sure you find yourself saying, “HOW?!” But I promise it will come with time. As your account grows and people get to know you, your followers will be loyal to you. It is also SO important to engage with other accounts within your niche. Find other accounts similar to you and reach out to them. I have made SO many new friends on Instagram just through DM’s and engaging on their posts and the community is essential to building a successful account. There is room for everyone on here and we should always be building each other up and rooting for our sisters out there.
4. Be Patient
This is something that takes time to understand and realize. I know we all want it to happen overnight… but it takes time, hard work and dedication. There is so much to be said for the journey. I remember when I first started my account, I wanted to grow so quickly. I knew I had something to offer and was trying to rush to the finish line… now that I am further down the line I can look back and see how much I had to learn. I am SO much better at photography now, so much better at content creating and I completely understand the process now. Try not to get sucked into the comparison game, I know it can be hard and sometimes people grow faster than others. Focus on putting out your best content and the rest will fall into place.
5. Be a Student of Instagram
Instagram is ALWAYS changing so it is very important that you keep up with what is going on. I am always researching hashtags, the algorithm and being a student of Instagram. The other thing I HIGHLY suggest is investing in your new business by taking a masterclass to learn some tips of the trade. One that I took early on in my Instagram journey can be found here. I highly recommend investing and learning like I did from the start to help set yourself up for success. You can also find webinars, podcasts and articles all over the internet (some are even free!) so that you can brush up on things. One other thing I encourage, find accounts that you love and aspire to be like and study their patterns. See what they do in their stories, posts, etc. I am not saying to copy them but find out what YOU enjoy watching on Instagram as a viewer and try to incorporate some of that into the content you create.
Engage. Engage. Engage. With your followers, with other accounts, in your DMs. I do my best to respond to all of my DM’s so that my followers feel connected to me. I set aside time each day to get through as many as I can. When you make a post, make sure that you stick around after and engage with people who comment on your post. Instagram ideally wants people spending as much time on their app as possible so it’s important that you don’t post and ghost. If you don’t have time to engage with your followers, wait to post until you do. This is also how you build community with other accounts in your niche. Comment on their photos, share their pictures, this helps get your account seem by others in their comment section and supports those around you. WIN WIN!
7. Be Consistent
This one is KEY to growth. With the algorithm, it is hard to build momentum if you aren’t consistent. Use your insights to determine when your best posting time is and start getting on a schedule. One thing I like to do is clean my whole house, or a room, and snap a bunch of photos. I edit them all so they are ready to go and I use the Plann app to visualize what my feed will look like (helps me stay organized) Then you aren’t scrambling each day to try and figure out what to post. When you are first starting, I recommend posting every single day around the same time (experiment to see what works best for you)
Stories are everything. People want to know who is behind the squares. Show your real life in your stories, it doesn’t have to be “all business.” People want to get to know you and see your personality. When I started being in my stories a lot, is when I saw the most growth and loyalty begin. I was SO afraid of stories in the beginning and I hated being on camera but I promise it gets easier. Just pretend like you are talking to your friend.
8. Tailor Your Feed
Your feed is like your storefront. You want to make a good impression when people land and convert to following. Here are some tips to getting good conversion:
- Your Bio
- This should grab them and make them decide to follow. Instead of just saying “home decor” or “DIY” explain a little more specifically about what you can offer them. There are SO many people in all of these different niches so you have to explain why you are different and quickly tell them what you can offer them. If you just say “home decor”… does that mean tutorials, shopping trips, decor tips, just inspiration? If they have to guess, they probably will move along without following.
- Profile Picture
- Try to snap a good photo of yourself in good lighting. I wouldn’t just use a selfie or a photo that has someone else in it with you. This photo will be the face of your brand when people see your page in comments and stuff so you want something appealing that makes you look professional
- Highlight Bubbles
- Use these to your advantage! Showcase your best projects… this will also help people to understand what you page is about and an example of what they are in for if they follow along
- Your Photos
- Become a master of photography. Look online at tutorials, do your research, take a masterclass. This is so important. You want to show brands that you can showcase their product well. Try to shoot in natural light and get your lines straight.
- Show your face every 9 photos (even if you are just in the shot somehow, it doesn’t have to be a selfie or solo picture of yourself) People want to know the person behind the squares
- Invest in a good lightroom preset. This ensures that all of your photos will look the same/have the same lighting style to create a cohesive look on your feed. Keep the pretty pictures for your feed and the real life in your stories.
9. “Niche” Down
This is key for growth. Pick a niche and stick with it! I heard it once explained like this… imagine yourself trying to build a bridge from your page to your community. If you decide to share food, home stuff, motherhood, fashion… you are essentially building 4 bridges from your platform to your people. Every time you post in each niche is adds a little bit to each bridge. Instead pick ONE niche and stick to it. Build that bridge and gain momentum in one thing. You will reach your audience much faster. Then down the road when you have a direct route from your platform to your people you can share more things and expand your niche to include more things.
I highly recommend you check out The Design Twins blog. They have a ton of content on this topic if you want to learn more!
You got this, sister!