The number one question everyone has been asking “How do I grow my Instagram account?”. I’m about to JAM PACK this blog post with actionable and valuable tips so make sure to grab a coffee, pen and paper, or be ready to pin this to Pinterest to read later.
Instagram has opened up a whole new world of opportunities, and careers, and it’s no wonder why people want to build their businesses and blogs on Instagram to eventually reach the ultimate goal of a freedom lifestyle. Instagram allowed me to go full-time in my business in just under 12 months and I’ve definitely learned a thing or two on how to make it work for YOU.
Warning though! Instagram takes WORK! It is not a set it and forget it platform. You need to want it bad enough, you need to be willing to show up consistently, create high quality content and most importantly, GET SOCIAL.
So, let’s dive in on 24 ways to grow your Instagram account to build a business or blog.
1. Know your why and your purpose
Ugh, not this tip AGAIN!
HEAR ME OUT GIRL! If you don’t have a purpose on Instagram, if it’s just to be insta famous, growing your account will be incredibly difficult. You need to understand WHY you’re on this platform and who you dream of serving so you can show up authentically for them. But, I want you to get DEEPER into your why!
For example, my why is to build my photography business BUT, it goes deeper than that. I want lifestyle freedom, I want to work with brands who epitomise my own brand’s values, I want to inspire as many other women as possible to chase their dreams. And Instagram is the PERFECT platform for me to do this on.
2. Present High Quality Photos on Your Instagram Feed
By high quality I mean crisp imagery (not blurry), edited photos, that TELL your brand’s story. You don’t need a professional camera to take high quality images (although it does help and there is a difference).
Having beautiful photos that ATTRACTS your dream client can go a long way into getting them to follow you. NEWSFLASH! Your Instagram account is NOT about you. It’s about your dream customer and what THEY want to see!
In all honesty, if your Instagram feed is not telling a story, it features images that are not edited and are low quality, you’re using every colour under the rainbow, it can give the impression that you’re not serious about your business or blog, that it’s just a hobby.
There ARE exceptions to this however. There are accounts where it doesn’t look cohesive, where photos have not been edited etc. The things these accounts have in common are two things…either: 1) they have a STRONG brand personality or 2) they have a huge following over on another platform.
3. Have Consistent Edits to Develop A Cohesive Instagram Feed
One of the BEST and EASIEST things you can do to help make your Instagram feed look beautiful, attract more followers and look cohesive is having consistent photos edits! This has been a huge factor in helping my grow my Instagram account.
The number one editing app I recommend is Lightroom. You have the option to download the FREE version of Lightroom on mobile or buy a subscription for around $15 per month which also gives you Photoshop. The subscription will give you a lot more editing options however, if you cannot afford it the mobile app will do just fine.
This is the number one way I keep my own Instagram feed looking cohesive is with my Warm Lifestyle Preset.
4. Optimise Your Instagram Bio
The first thing people read when they land on your Instagram account is your bio! It needs to tell people exactly who you are and how you can help them. Make sure you use each character wisely and don’t be afraid to change it up to test out different things.
5. ACTUALLY engage and be active on Instagram
If you don’t put any effort into your Instagram account, it will not work for you. One of the BEST ways to grow your account and following, is to go out there and engage with those people who you believe may want to interact with you on a consistent basis and actually be INTERESTED in what you have to offer.
REMEMBER! It’s not about just having a high following anymore. It’s about having a QUALITY following who will PURCHASE from you, read your blog posts, watch your videos, get onto your email list etc.
If we have a business or blog, our number one goal should be to make money. Which means we need to create a tight knit community of fans who will buy from us.
I recommend engaging for at least 15-30 minutes each day both with your current followers and getting outside of your community to bring in new people.
6. Use all 30 hashtags and use RELEVANT hashtags
For those who say to only use 5 hashtags because using 30 is spammy…STOP believing this! Firstly, why would Instagram give you the opportunity to use 30 if they were just going to flag your account?!
By using 30 hashtags, this gives you 30 opportunities to reach your target market…as long as they’re relevant.
Yes, you CAN be reported if your post is not relevant to a specific hashtag. For example, if you post a selfie photo and you tag #dogsofinstagram, is it not relevant and people may report the post being irrelevant to this hashtag, which is something we want to avoid.
I would recommend to review your hashtags every couple of months or so.
7. Stay Consistent with your posting and showing up
If you’re a business and you’re taking a couple of weeks off Instagram after posting 4-5 times per week, it kind of looks strange to people. People want to know that you’re active on the gram and often Instagram is the first place people will look if they are wanting to buy a product or service.
It’s important you stay up to date with your posting and showing up on stories to let people know you’re actually still running as a business. Social media should not be an after thought. It should be one cornerstone of your marketing strategy and it NEEDS to be consistent.
Sure, you can take a week off here and there, but an extended period of time is a no go if you’re serious about making sales and building a community.
Being consistent will allow you to show up on people’s radar more often. You’ll consistently be at the forefront of their minds ALL the time. Showing up consistently for my audience and providing value is a key contributing factor to why I’ve been able to take my business full-time.
8. Switch To an Instagram Business Account
Why? Because it gives you analytics and insights. If you’re a blog or business trying to make money, you NEED a business account! Which leads me to my next point…
9. Read and Analyse Your Instagram Analytics
It’s important to know which posts did well, what hashtags are working, whether your audience is male or female, where they’re from, how many people are saving your posts or sharing it etc.
Make sure you spend time each month to review your analytics so you can create better and more tailored content for your audience,
This means adding in a location to each post you put up.
Now, you don’t always have to use your local area. If your business or blog caters to a national or international audience, geo-tag different places on each post! This is a great way to reach a new audience!
11. Actually respond to comments (even emojis)
The amount of brands and blogs I see who DON’T respond to their comments is astounding!
People are taking time out of their own day to leave comments on your post, and we need to show our dream customers we CARE about them by responding.
This can go a really long way in building a relationship with our potential customers and they’ll be more inclined to stay engaged with us.
This is an AMAZING way to grow your Instagram account – collaborating with other brands, bloggers and influencers to reach a new audience.
Make sure you partner strategically and ensure all parties involved get what they want out of it. This will make for a successful collab.
Some collab ideas could be a giveaway, digital products, photoshoots, shout outs, promotions etc.
13. Start doing videos
Videos help to increase that connection between you and your audience. If you’re a service based business or blogger, make sure you’re showing your face and talking to your audience via video on both your feed and Insta stories. This helps to build that know, like and trust factor with them and ultimately grow your Instagram account.
If you’re a product based business, it’s time to invest in a video for your product that shows the LIFESTYLE of it being used. One of the most powerful ways to sell a product is to show your customer how THEY can picture it in their own life.
14. Do more Live Videos
When you go live, it will alert your audience. Lives are a great way to interact and build a deeper connection with your following.
AND when you go live with someone else, this alerts THEIR followers! It can be a great strategy to have guest people on with you when you go live to reach a wider audience,
15. Post at optimal times of the day
Why is this important? Because the Instagram algorithm favours posts that do well and will bump this up into the timeline. You need to know when your audience is most likely going to be on Instagram.
For example, I’ve found the best time for me to be in the morning around 8am. But for my product based biz Aera Bottle, the best time is at night after 8pm.
16. Tag brands
Brands LOVE it when you tag them and if they repost your photo, EVEN BETTER! Whether you’re posting outfits, products, you’re out and about for coffee, take a little extra time to tag whoever you can.
17. Plan your feed in advance
How does this help you grow your Instagram account? The first 9 squares of your account are VERY important. It’s basically the first impression someone is going to have when they land on your account.
To help you ensure those first 9 squares are always on point, I highly recommend to use a planner app, my favourite one being Plann. Plann is incredibly user friendly, you’re able to curate hashtags sets which makes it very easy to copy and paste over to Instagram, and they also have their own in-built analytics.
18. Do NOT take shortcuts
Buying followers, likes, comments etc will HURT your account. Instagram themselves are getting wiser on who is using third party apps to cheat the system.
Firstly, buying followers does NOTHING. It does not increase your engagement, it does not bring you more sales and is a complete waste of money.
19. Provide VALUE and do Market Research
It’s important that you know your audience like the back of your hand so you can keep showing up and providing the value they WANT to see and hear.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your audience to get to know them better. Some great ways to do this are to use the poll and question stickers in Instagram Stories (just don’t forget to actually look at the results); ask questions on your Instagram posts; or simply DM people to ask them questions.
People follow you for a reason. It might be because you give great tips on a certain topic, you inspire them to do better and chase their dreams…Make sure you’re listening to them so you can cater your content to THEM!
20. Promote your Instagram outside of Instagram
Instagram should not be your only source of marketing, and if it is, it’s time to change that!
For example, I utilise Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, and email marketing to point more people towards my Instagram account. I’ve had people who’ve told me they found me on Pinterest, watched my youtube video, and then came over to my Instagram.
21. Engage with the RIGHT people
Don’t engage for engagement’s sake. Targeted engagement is SO important on Instagram. This means engaging with those people who are either your past, present or potential customers, and those people who both support and inspire you, That’s it! If someone does not fall into one of those categories, you shouldn’t be engaging with them because ultimately, it’s just a waste of time.
If you want to improve your engagement strategy, make sure to head on over to my ebook ‘The Instagram Engagement Strategy Formula” that will give you the resource and strategy I use to build an ENGAGED following.
22. Change Your Profile Picture
Did you know this can ACTUALLY help!? If you’re a service based business with your name and face at the forefront, I’d highly recommend to use a photo of your gorgeous face. One that is professional and high quality.
23. Share other people’s posts to your Instagram Stories and Tag them
This is an amazing way to share the love all while inspiring and giving value to your own audience!
You never know where a simple share will lead. The account you share the post from may repost it on their stories and therefore, opening you up to their audience!
24. Do an Instagram Giveaway
For maximum exposure and an amazing way to grow your Instagram account, team up with a couple of other businesses so you can tap into each others’ audiences. Choose your collaborations wisely. You might want to ensure there is one or two other businesses in the mix who have a larger following than you to make the giveaway and the prize worth it for your business.
OR, run a giveaway by yourself! If you’ve got a digital product or service you’d love to give away as the prize, have the entrants tag a couple of people as an entry, get them to share the giveaway post to their stories as a bonus entry, and you’d be surprised how much extra traffic this can bring into your page.
Your goal shouldn’t be solely to grow your Instagram account. You need a deeper meaning behind the WHY you want to grow it. What would growing it mean to you? What would it give you?
There are no shortcuts to Instagram but there IS strategy. Do you have any questions on the above? Pop them into the comments below and I’ll be more than happy to answer!