I receive messages regularly about these subjects: “Why am I not gaining new Instagram followers?”, “How do I gain new followers?”, ”Why aren’t my pictures good enough?”, “Why am I not as good as everyone else?”
I’m not huge on Instagram but have a reasonable amount of followers and was once a beginner just like many of you are now. I’m not here to share the secrets to big success as I’m not there myself nor will I talk about Instagram’s algorithms - there’s surely plenty of those articles out there.
I rather offer something to think about if you wish to start something (like business) on Instagram or gain more followers to your current account. You asked, and I try my best to offer you some tools that I really do believe will help you.
Before we can even get to the part where I start giving any advice to anyone on how to work on your photos or your feed (which I will not be adressing on this article) I want to ask few questions that should be important to you or at least something not to be ignored- if you wish to grow your following. To me, these are somewhat more important than the photos you put out and should be the core of anything you do.
Feel free to disagree, but use any tips that you think could be helpful to you!
Let’s start this (so you can get started!)
1. Why am I here?
What do I represent/want to represent and why? You should be able to name at least one thing you want to represent but you don’t have to narrow it down to just one. Think about the things that matter to you, things that interests you, and what you are good at. If you’re not into fashion don’t start a fashion account. If you’re not into training don’t start a fitness account. Focus on your strenghts so that your content has the possibility to be good. That is one of goals, right?
2. What are my goals here and how am i going to achieve them?
What is it that I hope to gain and achieve? And most importantly, Why? If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing it will a) start to show as you won’t be consistent and b) you won’t find the motivation to keep going as the game in Instagram is truly hard and a slow process.
When it comes to the “how” part you can think of your account as a business and make an actual business plan for it. You can also take a look at the people you admire who are doing what you want to be doing and study their steps. When did they start to grow? What changed at that time? What are their most popular posts`and why? Are they doing something special that I could also do? And the list goes on and on. The more you make the effort on this task the more you’ll have the chances to stay consistent and produce the kind of content you want.
3. Do I bring value to the people who are currently following me?
What seperates me from other grammers out there? Do I even need to offer something different or somewhat copy what someone else is doing? Feel free to be inspired by others and do what feels right to you. And further on, what can my followers expect from me? Am I fulfilling their expectations? Am I offering them the kind of content that got them to start following me in the first place? Feel free to make changes any time if you want to or need to, just know that this will start a new chapter for you - you will lose some of your current followers but will find new ones that are interested in what you are now offering. Again, if you’re content is any good.
4. Do I value my current followers?
There are sooooo many grammers out there who never reply to any comments left to their posts or DM’s they receive. They are your “customer base” and you show them no respect while they make time for You. To me that is insanity. If you don’t interact on Instagram, trust me, there will be only few interacting with you. This directly affects the traffic you draw to your account and the less traffic you draw the less people will ever going to find you. And this is why many grammers have started to interact - not because they care about their followers but because they care about gaining more followers. To me, I think you are already many steps ahead if you truly care about the people already following you.
5. Am I consistent with my content?
To me, this is not the easiest part. Hell to the no. This is what I can name to be one of the most cruzial part why I am not gaining more followers more quickly. (And you need to be real with yourself, you can’t blame it all on Instagram algorithm homie.)
Consistency requires you to be active and have a certain style/look in your content. If you’re like me you have many interests and may want to try out new styles on your posts and that kinda kills the consistency. This is an easy way to lose followers but then again, your account should also be about you and the frames to your work shouldn’t be too narrow. Again, if you are like me!
Moving on to the being active part. Sometimes it’s simply too hard to find the time to create content to your account. But do your best, with the time you got, and with the equipment you got. Plan your schedules if you can and try your best to stick to them. But don’t post shit just to post something.
Now to the last part - which is really important.
6. Am I willing to put in the hours?
If you still want to grow your account but find it too hard to answer those questions above trust me, you’ll find it too hard to stay consistent and do the actual work that it requires to grow your account. Being able to work and do business on Instagram is HARD WORK. Don’t be fooled by how easy some people make it seem. The people who are succesful have put in the hours. Some way before you even knew Instagram existed. And some people simply make it seem they are living the life and being succesful though they actually are not. It’s called fake it ‘till you make it. This can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong if you’re not growing or getting collaboration inquiries so don’t look at these posts and accounts with just your admiration goggles on. Be realistic.
And please keep in mind: the amount of followers you have is not a direct indicator of how good your content is - nor how good you are! Try not to get stuck on this idea that you NEED more followers all the time as it might mess up your head - and where’s the fun in that?
When I asked these questions from a girl who wants to grow her Instagram account she replyed: “I’m not there yet. i’m not thinking about these things, i just post and i struggle.”
I wrote this article to tell you that it will help you to be there before the other steps become important.
I hope this article has brought some insights to you and will actually help you to move forward and start growing. I’m always here for you if you have any questions and I reply to all my DM’s, so don’t be a stranger - be a homie! :)
If you’d like me to write my next blog post about the visual content on Instagram and leave my tips on that subject, please leave a comment below or sen me a DM!
Feed the fire! /Eeva