Seven months ago, I decided that I wanted to get serious about developing my Instagram platform. I’d had an account for years but had never used it with a real purpose or objective in mind. Then, I read several blogs and articles saying that having a well-developed platform is helpful when querying literary agents. I wasn’t finished writing my book yet, but I wanted to be ready to demonstrate a strong platform once I started my search for an agent. With a lot of persistence and commitment, I was able to grow my account to 10k followers in just seven months! Here’s how:
- I rebranded my account and created a more focused niche (bohemian adventure travel with dose of mindfulness), researching aspirational accounts and analyzing what seemed to work for them.
- I set a limit of 1.5 hours/day to spend on social media and went through it little by little. It’s a commitment, but it was worth it to me as having a bigger platform is good for unknown authors. Think about why you are doing this. Is it worth it to put in so much time?
- I started engaging with and following people in my account sector, which is travel. This is very important! If you are a small account it can be tough to organically get followers unless you are a photography/design pro. I had the most success following the followers of my followers. Say that three times fast! Watch out for bot followers on big accounts. You’d be surprised at how many people have purchased fake followers.
- I targeted accounts that were more likely to follow me back – and also accounts that might be interested in my content. If someone has 20k followers but only follows 300, chances are slim! They are also more likely to unfollow to keep their numbers low.
- I used an app to track who wasn’t following me back after a few days and unfollowed them little by little. I had about a 50% ROI. If you aren’t getting that rate, you might rethink who you are following or try to level up your content and engage with the people you are following.
- I joined three rounds of travel-themed non-posting follow loops. I only engaged in follow loops that would result in having followers who would actually be interested in my content. Having followers for followers’ sake is pointless if they don’t interact with your content.
- I learned about Instagram limits the hard way. My account was locked for a week, four different times! You can’t take too many actions (follow, unfollow, like, comment, or DM) in an hour or over the course of a day. Take it easy, and only follow 20 people an hour!
- I post content regularly and try to mix up the hashtags. I try to engage with anyone who leaves me a comment to keep my engagement up. This is the thing about also following a lot of people – you are much more likely to get engagement on your posts if you support theirs too. I know that it’s “thing” to not be following a lot of people, but if you follow people back who engage with you and you regularly interact with them, all it can do is boost your engagement rates. This can also lead to genuine friendships!
- I joined a couple of thematic engagement pods. Again, this can be a great way to make real connections with awesome people!
While getting ten thousand followers is great, what really matters is having a high rate of engagement on your posts. Buying followers won’t help you in the long-term, because even if you have a high number, if they aren’t liking, commenting on, saving, or sharing your posts, the algorithm won’t push your content to others. Again, think about why you want a lot of followers to begin with – if it’s to build any type of business, then the number of people who see and engage with your content, not simply the number of followers you have, is what matters in the end.