Today we’re talking about how to grow your Instagram.
Let me just start this post by saying that I have a small account on Instagram. (around 5000 followers at the moment). So, you may hear different advice from people with bigger accounts and you may have strong opinions about what I say in today’s post, but this is my personal opinion and it’s what’s worked for me and for my team. It’s what I see missing from the conversation from the “influencers” and the advice they give on social media about how to grow your Instagram following.
Going into this I’m making the assumption that you are being consistent in your content and that you’re making quality content. If you need more tips on this, you can listen to my earlier podcast episodes, like The Power of Consistency and Magnetize your Instagram Profile.
I am also making an assumption that you are producing quality content regularly and that your account still isn’t growing in a way that you’d like. You’ve listened to everything that social media experts have said, from doing reels every day to being in your stories all that time, but there is still no change.
I want to give you tips to organically and authentically grow your Instagram, step by step over time. While it is great to have a reel go viral and grab some followers, the authentic relationships are what are going to convert into conversations. And conversations are what lead to customers, partners, and clients. So, this post is for the smaller Instagram account that’s looking to build in an authentic way.
Before we dive straight into tips, let’s go over some of the don’ts.
Number 1. Stop worrying about your following count. I know this is hard to say but now that we have the link feature inside Instagram, there’s no reason why you have to have “10,000 followers” anymore. The way you’re going to grow an authentic following is by conversation by conversation, creating meaningful relationships.
Number 2. Do not buy followers. I have such strong opinions about this. I really dislike the fact that people reach out to me regularly and use a scarcity mindset to try to make me feel like what I’m doing is not enough, and if I just bought some followers, I’d actually be more important.
What I’ve heard from my friends who have bought followers is that they ended up feeling like a fraud. The minute you do that you feel inauthentic and it’s just not worth it. Keep in mind, people can tell if someone has bought followers because usually the number of followers is way higher than the number of comments and most of the followers have private accounts that have no comments and no posts.
Fake followers, don’t buy your products. Fake followers don’t become your friends. You cannot build connections with fake followers. So, don’t do it.
5 Tips to Grow Your Gram
Now onto the good stuff! Here are my 5 tips on how to grow your Instagram.
- Reach out. I feel like this is the biggest thing people are missing. They are not reaching out to the people who are engaging with their content or following their accounts. It is the biggest missed opportunity. Spend time reaching out to anybody who’s commented on your posts, anyone who’s liked your reels, anyone who started following you. Reach out and simply say hi. At this point, you are still strangers so don’t go into any deep conversations. Keep it simple, ask questions that would lead to a fun conversation, and build the relationships with the people that are there to connect with.
- Comment and follow. We’re all looking for followers. Go create meaningful relationships with people you like, go comment on their stuff, follow their accounts, and answer their stories. Make a relationship. If someone is trying to build an authentic relationship with me, and I am not following them already, odds are I’m going to press the “follow” button. Here is a ninja tip for you: dedicate time each day looking for accounts you would like to follow and go follow them first. Go build a relationship with them. You can make all the rules you want and sit around and wait for your account to blow up or you can go make some friends.
- Show up in a genuine way. As social sellers building a brand online, the temptation to present yourself in a way that’s not fully realistic or a full representation of where you are right now in your business is real. People can sometimes sell this idea of a dream that is not actually authentically where they are at. Can you share your dream of where you think you’re going? Yeah. Can you talk about why you love the industry? Of course. But don’t try to sell people the image that you think they want to see. When you get incongruent with the message you’re putting out with where you really are, it just creates a disconnect. Show up in an authentic and genuine way. You are enough where you are right now, you don’t have to pretend to be someone else.
- Stop waiting for people to find you. Stop waiting for people to find you and really cultivate any conversations and networks you have on the platform. I call it the “post and prey” strategy. If you want more people to find you, do more. Spend some time finding people you admire. Spend more time commenting on stories. Spend more time genuinely looking for people like you’re looking for your target. Go find your niche.
- Do not rant. Don’t rant on social media, unless you want a bunch of fellow ranters to follow you back. You’re running a business on social media. When you decide to become a social seller, you’re no longer just a mom sharing her thoughts, you are a businesswoman now. Making a decision about what you do or do not say on social media is really important. When you start to rant, you can create a lot of comments, but they’re not the right kinds of conversations you need if you’re trying to grow your business. So, be really cautious about things you decide to let loose on social media.
Finally, here is my ninja tip: use the $1.80 Strategy. The $1.80 Strategy was introduced by Gary Vee, and it’s pretty straightforward. The idea is that you find social media accounts that you like and you positively comment on a bunch of them. By doing this, you’re putting more out, you’re contributing to the platform and it will convert back into people following you.
If you are interested in trying this out, you can visit Dollar Eighty and you can set-up your account (that connects with your Instagram) to look for a bunch of hashtags or specific people. The best part is that it allows you to hop onto one platform and then you can click through a number of hashtags and you can positively comment on different accounts.
The way I like to use this is by using my hashtags and going to the most recent posts. I set aside 30 minutes each day to spread some love into the world and leave positive comments on other people’s accounts. This gets me in front of more people, it puts some love and positivity into the world. When they see my account, they might follow me and I can follow them back, we can start a conversation and we can connect.
Hopefully, this has sparked some curiosity in you and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.
In the meantime, remember, you are magnetic and people are waiting to hear what you have to say.