So I bet some of you have wondered (I’ve definitely been asked plenty of times), how did I get all those Instagram followers? Well if you’ve known me long enough, you would have seen my baby account grow really, really, REALLY slowly.
So did I buy them?
I BOUGHT myself a camera! It was the game changer.
(Plus who would waste money on that when they’re a shopping addict like me? HELLO! New wardrobe pieces!)
I’ve been a designer for years and I understand the basics of photography. I have a $4000 work camera but there was no way I was lugging something like that around and setting it up every time I wanted a shot. Plus how embarrassing!
So a couple years ago, I purchased from Kogan.com an Olympus Pen E-PL7 and an extra lens – 45mm. I had seen many bloggers using them and it looked simple but effective. (BTW the 45mm is the one that gives me that bokeh look – the blurred background)
So that’s where the $1000 went.
And it is the BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT. I love my camera. I love it sick. Still 2 years later I couldn’t think of upgrading. It’s all I need. And so cute!
So how did I grow those Instagram followers you ask?
Well as I touched on in my blog – Presentation – Effective Use of Social Media for Microbusiness, I started Instagram in January 2014. I had 100 followers at best – friends and possibly a few randoms.
I started (like all designers do) getting a liiiiiitttttllllle obsessive over the overall aesthetic and image quality on my feed. It was time to do something about it! That’s when I upped the anti. I spent more time styling my shots and thinking about the layout and what I wanted my feed to look like.
And while I’ve never been one for wasting time watching tv, I had a friend who loved it, so instead, while we hung out, I would spend hours engaging with people online. Liking, commenting on images I liked, following some of them back. And slowly but surely, my followers grew. The first 10k was definitely the slowest or “hardest”.
The next 20k came soooo much quicker. Ive worked with/had my images shared by so many brands now. Combined they have millions of followers so of course my audience grew. The collaborations kept coming, more and more frequently – now multiple daily, but I’m still really picky who I work with. I don’t have the time, or want to associate my brand with anything I don’t believe in, or approve of.
Not too long ago, Instagram changed it’s algorithm so my growth is once again slower and less of my followers, let alone as many new people, see my content. Simple reason, Instagram wants to make money. They want us to pay to advertise. Simple really.
Luckily though, Pretty Little Thing recently reposted one of my photos to their 1M followers and I joined a bunch of lovely women to offer a loop giveaway. These are the things that will give you a quick boost!
- Take extra time
Whether it’s taking a photo of your favourite new outfit, or your breakfast. Take some extra time and get the subject, lighting and the angle right.
Do you like that dress you see someone wearing on Instagram? Tell them! What can it hurt? You spread goodness with a compliment and they may even tell you where they found it. Or they may even look at your profile, like, comment and follow.
- Get serious
If you really want this that bad. Which if I was at 100 followers now, I don’t know if Id bother personally haha. You can find people similar to you and go on their followers and like and comment on their feed so they notice you. If they follow them, they may just like your feed and follow you too.
Figure out what you want your feed to look like and what story you want to tell. Stick with that. Keep in mind what you would be interested in following.
Whatever you do, have patience. Do NOT go and buy followers or likes etc. It will only hurt your account. It will ruin your engagement and just make your account look spammy. It’s hard enough to get your enthused and active followers to engage… you definitely wont get anything from paid spam.
So I’m sorry there’s no easy road to growing your followers. It’s about quality, time, determination and a bit of luck!
Click here to check out my FREE downloadables for some extra help.
And always feel free to contact me about any questions you may have!