Growing your following on Instagram can be tough stuff.
Having been quite successful with my own Instagram pursuits over the last few years, a question I hear a lot is this:
“How to get 10k followers on Instagram”
For some reason, 10,000 followers seems to be the magic number for being taken seriously as a brand, getting paid opportunities, and boosting sales in your business.
It can be slow going when you’re trying to gain your first few hundred or so followers, but I’m here to tell you:
It gets easier.
The beginning is the hard part. But once you gain your first 1,000 followers it’s just a matter of repeating the process consistently to get to 10,000.
I’m making more progress growing brand awareness, getting featured as a guest blogger, growing my email list, and making sales through Instagram than I am through any other platform.
But how? Do you have to have 50,000 followers to make this work for your business?
The answer is a great big NOPE!
For that reason I want to show you my results, to give you an idea about what’s possible. I’ll show you how Instagram can work for you and your business too.
Since the beginning is the hardest part, I’m going to start by breaking down how to get your first 10k followers on Instagram. I’ll show you how I did it and how you can repeat my process for yourself.
In the second half of the case study, I’ll talk about pushing past that, and how I gained 50,000 followers in 5 months.
Are you a female entrepreneur ready to skyrocket your business using Instagram? Join our FREE 5-day Instagram Bootcamp to start growing your audience & profits effectively:
Here’s the thing:
Most people have no clue how to get 10k followers on Instagram.
They spend a day or two setting up their account, post a couple pictures, and maybe use a hashtag or two.
Then they get a few of their friends and family members to follow them in the first few days, and then their growth seems to dry up. They gain a new follower here and there, and then lose a few here and there too.
A lot of the time it’s one step forward two steps back.
They Google things like “how to get more followers on Instagram” and read crappy and vague advice like “use the top hashtags!” or “Post on Sundays!”. They try some of these suggestions out, but it just doesn’t get them results.
In an act of desperation they may buy likes or followers just to see if a boost is all they need to get going. But though this might make them look successful from the outside, it couldn’t be further from the truth (because bought followers don’t turn in to customers).
They eventually give up on Instagram as a lost cause and stop putting in any real effort to grow — because they just don’t know what else to do.
Does any of that sound familiar?
If it does, it’s okay. I used to feel the same.
The RIGHT Approach to Growing Your Instagram
Let’s try an alternative approach to Instagram:
- Set up and optimize your account to let your audience know who you are, what you’re all about, and what you have to offer. You’ll attract the right people right from the beginning.
- Include a link to a freebie in your bio so you can start building your email list right away. Your email list is KEY to turning followers into customers!
- Post high quality images and keep it to a consistent theme and visual look. Publish your content at peak times when your audience is most active (for best engagement), and do it CONSISTENTLY.
- Dedicate a few minutes every day to implementing Instagram growth strategies. What works? Instagram is a SOCIAL platform, so get out there and interact with your potential audience! Hint: like, comment, follow.
- Connect with other influencers within your niche, form a network and start working together to boost the growth and social reach of all your accounts.
- Offer value through your Instagram account AND your email list to build trust with your audience, and eventually ask for the SALE.
Case Study Part I: How to Get 10K Followers on Instagram
Let’s take a peek into what I did in order to get my first 10K followers in 68 days.
I started from zero just like everybody else, at the end of June 2016. With no friends or contacts in the niche to help me out or give me a boost.
Yep, it was just me and my little account.
I had an idea for an Instagram that would inspire creatives and entrepreneurs, no matter what their discipline, be it fine art, photography, design, blogging, or something else entirely.
Here’s EXACTLY what I did to go from 0-10K in 68 days:
^My optimized Instagram page description.
Step #1: I set up my account, and optimized it to let people know exactly what they could expect from me, and started posting great content that I thought my ideal audience would love right from day one.
Posting great artistic content
Step #2: Over the first few weeks I concentrated on consistently posting good content, writing compelling CTAs to encourage any kind of engagement, and finding where my target audience was hanging out.
Full set of niche specific hashtags in every post
Step #3: I researched the hashtags I thought my ideal audience was using, the other accounts they were following, the brands they were buying, and where in the world they were located.
I dug into what my audience’s pain points and goals were, and deduced what kind of content they liked to see the most. Then I shifted my content strategy to reflect that (more videos, less quotes).
Step #4: After that, I hunkered down and started getting my audience to notice me. This included liking and commenting on the content of potential followers, as well as following some as well.
I developed a targeted and precise hashtag strategy to get even more eyeballs on my content to passively grow my following even when I wasn’t actively on Instagram. See my guide on selecting the best Instagram hashtags for your niche here.
The beginning is always the hardest part in growing your Instagram, and my growth was slow but steady in those first few weeks. Once I broke the 1,000 follower barrier (woohoo!), things started to kick into a higher gear.
This is a great example of social proof at work: people are more likely to hit that follow button when they see that a whole bunch of other people are already following you.
Engagement went through the roof when I started participating in engagement groups at the end of August.
Step #5: I decided to start working with other accounts to grow even faster and build positive relationships with influencers, so I started doing share for shares and joined a few engagement groups.
This is where things really started to get exciting.
I started having some of my Instagram posts go viral, and saw my first +1,000 follower day. Holy moly! All thanks to working with an incredibly hard working and dedicated group of peers.
And finally, I started to monetize my account by selling courses and digital products.
You don’t need to have a product to start making money with Instagram, and you don’t need a huge following either (but it does help!).
In my course, I show you 6 different ways to monetize your account – two of which involve no product at all – because there are just so many ways to do it.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or time to grow your Instagram and become an authority in your niche.
All you need is a good set of effective strategies.
But don’t get overwhelmed by the big numbers. Gaining 1k or 2k followers can absolutely do wonders for your business! You don’t have to wait until 10k, 50k or 100k to start profiting off your account.
Think about this: if you could gain an extra 500 new followers per week by only spending a few extra minutes on Instagram every day, where would you be in 6 months?
Over 12,000 followers!
This is a conservative goal by the way — you can aim even higher than 500 per week.
What would this mean for your brand awareness, visibility and profits? Think of how many potential new customers that is.
Doing just ONE of the strategies I teach you in my ebook, The Complete Guide to Instagram Growth, can get you to this point.
We’re talking a lot about followers today, but there are so many reasons you should be growing your business with Instagram:
- Building your email list so you can contact your audience no matter what happens with Instagram’s algorithm
- Become an influencer to receive paid sponsorship opportunities with brands who want to advertise with you
- Connect with your audience, build trust, and gain a raving fan-base of loyal customers
- Increase your business profits by promoting your products to your Instagram audience
- …And SO much more!
Don’t forget: It isn’t ALL about the followers, because a high follower count doesn’t guarantee success if you can’t gain their trust and encourage them to buy.
Case Study Part II: How to Get 50k Followers on Instagram (and Beyond)
So I told you all about the first 60 days in the life of @gorattlethestars, and what I did to get to that 10k milestone. What’s happened since then?
50,000 followers by the end of month five.
I discovered even better strategies that unlocked a growth rate that I never even dreamed was possible, all because I expanded my network.
I started working more closely with other Instagrammers and learned so much more.
Not sure how to connect with others on Instagram?
You can get started by sending out some friendly DMs or emails to similar sized accounts in your niche.
Introduce yourself. Ask if they want to collaborate. Team up to support one another and help each other grow. Exchange strategies. Do a share for share.
It can be really easy to put together a great network of people on Instagram, but you might have to initiate first contact!
Collaboration and networking is really the key element to massive success on Instagram.
A while ago I posted a curated video to Instagram, and it literally took off. Right now it’s sitting at over 700,000 views and 40,000 likes:
My. Jaw. Dropped.
I couldn’t contain my excitement, checking my phone every five minutes to watch those numbers rise up and up!
Seriously, you need to experience that feeling at least once.
I’ve made it my personal goal to help more people see the same results. Learn more about the process behind going viral on Instagram by reading my blog post about it here.
In total, I gained over 5K new followers over the next three days. All from that one post.
In short – great content that really encourages people to engage and share, and a network of fabulous peers who work together to help you grow and succeed.
I cover my process for rapidly growing a large Instagram following inside my Complete Guide to Instagram Growth Guide ebook. Inside, you’ll learn the EXACT strategies I used to grow my two Instagram accounts to 10,000 followers each in just 60 days.
One thing you’ll learn is just how little time you need to spend each day in order to get great results. I’m doing overkill on Instagram right now, and even then I don’t spend more than an hour on Instagram every day.