So, you’ve started an Instagram account. You have zero followers, zero posts and you’re following zero people. We’ll help you get started and teach you how to get followers on Instagram organically.
Even if you already have an active Instagram, we’ll help you get even more followers!
Tip #1: Have A Complete Profile To Get Followers On Instagram
When someone discovers your Instagram profile, they will probably decide in less than a minute if they’ll follow you.
Ultimately, you have 60 seconds to impress. Let’s talk about what you can do to entice people to follow you.
- Have a theme across the whole page. Not just your photos, but your Instagram story highlights, profile photo and your bio. Your Instagram page needs to look like a whole brand. Take @stefiereads for example. Her profile is cozy and authentic as soon as you discover her. All her photos complement each other; the story highlights match the color palette of her page; her bio is clear on what she and her account are about; her profile picture uses the same filter as her main photos. Make sure you plan out how your feed will look to new visitors so they are more excited to follow you.
- Be active in stories. People will likely click on your Instagram stories when they first discover your feed. Make sure you always have something going on in your stories. That content should be exciting for anyone who comes across it, clear, aesthetic and creative. Don’t post low-quality images of your breakfast. Post stuff that is relevant to your account!
- Focus on the photos. Even though we said that your whole brand needs to be consistent, photos, of course, are the most important thing. So make sure that when you look at your Instagram feed, it’s consistent, quality and creative.
Tip #2: Learn How To Photograph And Edit
If you really want to get new followers on Instagram, then you need to step up your photography and editing game! Using a phone camera and Instagram filters will only get you so far. While they are great for beginners, it’s time to get professional.
Invest in a good quality camera whether that’s a more up-market phone or a DSLR camera. If you have the money, definitely get a DSLR camera. There are some really great affordable ones for beginners! You can just update your lens when you feel it’s time to improve your photography again.
As for editing, it’s time to retire from Instagram’s own filters and invest in some great editing apps.
- Lightroom. This is what the professionals are using. Thankfully, the Lightroom mobile app is free! If you get the PC version though, you get a lot more options and it’s easier to use. If you’re just trying it out though, get the mobile version. From there, you can purchase Instagram presets from influencers and Etsy shops. Instagrammers like Phil Chester create their own Lightroom mobile presets for affordable prices. Filters like this can take your photos to a whole new level and help you get a consistent theme.
- Another great app that a lot of professionals use is VSCO. It’s free to download and some of the filters are free. But if you invest in the yearly membership ($19.99) then you’re in for a treat! You’ll get over 100 filters and great advanced editing tools. You can change the hue, saturation and lightness of each individual color in your photo.
- Color Story is a new editing app with great filters! It has a yearly membership cost which is similar to VSCO. It comes with over 100 editing filters, too. You can also use this app to plan out your Instagram feed so you know what your photos look like side by side.
- Once you find the app you like for general filters, why not experiment with special effects? Apps like Afterlight, Prequel, A Design Kit, and Photofox all have special effects that you can add to your photos like stickers, backdrops and dust effects!
Stick to one filter and a few different special effects so as not to confuse your followers and over saturate your profile with too much unpredictability.
Tip #3: Use Instagram Stories To Get Followers On Instagram
Your Instagram stories should be as planned out as your feed. Sticking to a consistent theme within your stories is super important, too. While it’s good to experiment from time to time, have a general theme to your stories. Maybe choose a few different filters you’ll use and stick with them.
Instagram stories have it’s own special filters when you go to record. You can save them and they will come up first when choosing your Instagram story filter! Plus, they are all free.
However, if you have a VSCO membership, you can actually add filters to videos, too. It’s a great idea to add your normal filter to your Instagram stories so that followers make the connection between you and your story.
Another great tip is to use Instagram story templates from brands like Unfold or StoryLuxe. They are totally free apps with lots of great options! It’s a good way to make collages or fit your landscape photo into Instagram story dimensions.
Once your Instagram stories are aesthetic and interesting to your audience, more people will see them. Continue working hard on your Instagram stories to get new followers on Instagram and eventually, grow your audience!
Tip #4: Hashtags And Location Tagging
Now for a more specific tip! Try using hashtags and location tagging in your main posts and Instagram stories to get new followers. Yes, that’s right. Instagram stories, too.
It’s hard to get your Instagram stories seen by anyone else but your followers. However, if you use locations and hashtags, your stories could easily show up when a user searches that place or hashtag.
In the above photo, there are hashtags or location tags in each photo! This will help you reach people who have never discovered you before. You can even make the location tag and hashtags really small and hide them in your photo if you don’t want them to clutter up your image.
Tip #5: Be In Your Instagram Photos
It can be daunting to include yourself in your Instagram photo! Especially if your Instagram is dedicated to something specific like plants or books. However, because of the social side of Instagram, people like seeing faces on their feeds and there’s proof that a photo with a face in it will actually get more likes.
More likes equal more followers!
For example, when @taramilktea includes her face in her photos, she gets a lot more response than when she posts a photo of a landscape or home decor. Try this out the next time you post on Instagram! It might give you a huge confidence boost, too.
Tip #6: Think Business Like And Promote Your Instagram On Other Platforms
It’s true that a lot of the most successful Instagrammers have a following elsewhere! Maybe you have a busy Twitter or an active YouTube channel. Or perhaps you network a lot in real life and could tell people there! Whatever it is, definitely try and promote your Instagram page on other platforms to get new followers.
If you don’t have any other channels, try and make some. Making a blog, website or YouTube channel to accompany your Instagram page is an awesome idea! Even using IGTV can really help you!
This works especially well for brands. Maybe your Facebook followers are really active. Tell them about your Instagram and entice them with a cool sale or something to get them to follow you.
Tip #7: Create Something For Your Followers
The best way to attract new followers on Instagram is to create something for them. This could be absolutely anything so don’t limit your creativity. Some good ideas include:
- Blog posts. Think about the main reason people follow your account (ask them if you want) and create blog posts surrounding that topic. For example, if people follow you for your vegan recipes, then share a series of blog posts about your vegan journey, favorite vegan alternatives and five reasons why someone else could try going vegan. Play on the topics that people love to hear about!
- Presets. If you have learned how to use Lightroom and created your own presets, then sell them to your followers! You could even do a giveaway for them to have more hype surrounding them.
- A hashtag. A lot of successful Instagrammers use hashtags to get new followers. For example, @frombeewithlove has a hashtag called #beemademedoit where she encourages her followers to create photos based on certain prompts every month.
- A newsletter. Perhaps you have enough to say that you could do a weekly or monthly newsletter with updates. Of course, make this relevant to your account so you know you’re targeting the right audience. If you have an Instagram account about books, maybe do a monthly newsletter with all the books you read and great new releases that came out!
- Podcast. Start a podcast on the topic you’re an expert about and share it with your followers!
Tip #8: Build Authentic Relationships
Above all, it’s important that you use your Instagram account to build lasting and authentic relationships with your followers, customers and other brands. This is your online place to shine and make an influence in a specific community.
Make sure you’re always kind, approachable, smart and creative. It’s not hard to build an audience on Instagram if you follow these steps, but maintaining that audience is the tricky part!
Every time you post, you want it to be as awesome as possible. Kindness and laughter is the greatest way to do that above everything else. Project yourself into your Instagram captions, ask questions, reply to comments and DMs, and don’t buy your followers.
For more tips on how to get Instagram followers, sign up for a free trial with Upleap today. With Upleap, you will be paired with a dedicated account manager who will help you grow your brand, build an audience and create amazing content.