Ok so if you had told me that I’d have 10,000+ followers on Instagram less than a year ago in July when I was hovering at 2,000 I would have laughed at you. But here I am... less than a year later... and I’ve surpassed it! Let’s first state the obvious: it wasn’t easy. It was long, frustrating, and at times very annoying. I honestly wanted to give up for the longest time, but enabling the “swipe up” feature Instagram gives you after 10k followers kept me motivated! It’s the little things, right?! Haha!
I wanted to share you my tips and tricks because honestly, I’ve learned ALOT along the way! I’ve learned how community over competition trumps all, how instagram following analytic apps can go haywire and unfollow everyone important to you, and how you can tell who is buying followers versus who’s legit. Hopefully by the end of this blog post, you’ll feel a little better about the whole Instagram situation if you’re on the road to hitting 10k+ followers!
1) Community Over Competition
This is truly the number one most important factor in growing your instagram followers. If you have 25,000 followers but none of those are women who you can reach out to, bounce ideas off of, grab happy hour with, or plan out trips to NYFW with together, what's the point?! We are all here to support each other and see each other grow, it's not necessarily a competition. So treat it as such! Reach out to people in your niche, say "hello" at blogging events in your area, make sure to engage with others, and most importantly while doing it all: BE GENUINE. Nobody likes a fake follower, so why would you want a fake blogging friend? Genuinely take the time to nourish these relationships and I promise you they will grow into friendships! I can tell you that's what I cherish the most about blogging - the community it's brought into my life and the friendships I've gained while reaching for common goals with like-minded women!
2) Apps I Use For Analytics Can Be Helpful... And Harmful!
I had the MOST EMBARRASSING 3 DAYS OF MY LIFE... well... "instagram life" a couple months ago! I have an app that I absolutely love called Followers+! I really love it because it allows me to see new people who have followed me, new people who have unfollowed me, people that block you (who needs them anyway!), and so much more about the analytics behind the growth of your instagram account! However, I'm not sure if it was this app or a different app that had "third party access" to my instagram, but it unfollowed a TON of people I genuinely loved following! Alot of them were women who were part of my local blogging community I had just kindled relationships with and it was extremely embarrassing having to refollow then DM an explanation as to why I was refollowing them! Just know that it *DOES* happen, so be conscious of who you love following because you want to make sure that an accidental unfollow doesn't ruin any relationships you've taken the time to build!
Edit: This app since has been disabled by Instagram updates, so it's irrelevant now. However, I would still check who you are following manually as I've found that Instagram has unfollowed a few choice people I love and I have to continuously re-follow! Still embarrassing, but not quite as bad as previous with Followers+ App incident!
3) NEVER Buy Followers and Be Hesitant of Giveaways
Just don't do it. I've seen people jump from 8k to 25k in a couple days, and let me tell you, it just doesn't naturally happen. The only time I've genuinely gained alot of followers overnight like that was a big giveaway I participated in where I gained about 1,500-2000 followers. Would I do it again? No. It's not worth it because the majority of these people aren't genuinely engaging with your content, they are simply in it for the short term. This is the same with people who buy followers, you can tell when they get desperate again and start dipping into their wallets to buy because all of a sudden their slowly dwindling 25k that have turned into 20k due to lack of engagement and the fact that they were never real followers to begin with get to them, and they buy followers again. Does that sound like the kind of community you want to bring to your page? Not me! So just keep in mind you can always tell, whether your a blogger or not, who is buying. And guess who else can tell? BRANDS! It's just not worth it guys!
5) Be Cautious When Playing The Follow/Unfollow Game
I admit it, this is the only way I have genuinely been able to grow my account and grow it quickly. If you have a better to do this, please let me know! Everyone who has grown their account that I have asked advice from has said this simple trick. You follow accounts that your interested in and then somehow it boosts you in the algorithm and people end up following you. I hate it, but it's true! Now, I don't do this to hundreds of people at a time. I try to limit it, because you want to be careful not to violate anything that instagram doesn't want you to. However, this method genuinely works. But it does take a long time, patience, and know that sometimes it does make people upset. I will say though, if you follow someone and you genuinely LOVE their feed, don't unfollow! That seems obvious, but I just want to put that out there. Overall, I do recommend it for growing your instagram though.
6) Don’t Get Discouraged!
There are going to be days where you lose more followers than you gain. There are going to be days where people you look up to unfollow you. And there will be days where people who have followed you for years (even people you've known since high school in my case!) will unfollow you... and you'll want to reach out, get pissed off, or be upset about it, but ask yourself why? Maybe they had their reasons for all of the above. Just let it run off your back, because at the end of the day instagram is supposed to be fun! You can use instagram as a tool to leverage your business, blog, and personal brand, but it's meant to connect people to each other so don't forget to have fun while using it!
Now put your lipstick on, tighten those heels, and flip that hair girl because you’re well on your way to 10k! 😘