We’ve got so many social media platforms these days and some of them I’m just don’t get.
But INSTAGRAM, I love. INSTAGRAM is my baby, and because of that, I’m always thinking about ways to grow my following.
Now, I’m no expert, but I do know a few things or two, and over the past year, I’ve grown my following by 325%.
The hustle is real.
But in case you’re just starting off with Instagram or in case you just need a refresher, here are some bomb diggity ways to take your Instagram to the next level.
Post pretty pictures.
Even if you do EVERY SINGLE OTHER THING ON THIS LIST, if you post ugly, non high-quality images, you’re doomed, my friend. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your pictures have to be pretty! People want to see high-resolution images, so high-quality is key. No way around that one. If you can manage to make your iPhone images to look that way, then great. But people always ask me what I use to take my photos and this is the camera I use which I love. I then edit them with Lightroom and that’s made the biggest difference in my photos. If you’re ever interested in my editing services, get in touch with me and let me know!
Think about your brand.
If you’ve got a blog or a business and you’re using Instagram as a way to engage with your audience and obtain new clients, then you really ought to be using Instagram as a way to promote your brand. You should be posting photos with your target-audience in mind, and not just posting complete randomness. When your Instagram reflects your brand, you’ll start noticing more engagement, and that’s exactly what you want. I personally saw such a huge difference when I did this myself. I started paying attention to the images I was posting and started being more strategic about it. Here’s the before and after. My feed is so much more cohesive now.
Hashtag the crap out of things.
Okay, first of all, let me make something clear. Using hashtags isn’t cheating, it’s being smart. I know some people see photos with a million hashtags and they think it’s tacky, but it’s not tacky guys, it’s smart. Hashtags help you find a community, build your audience, and ultimately they help you gain more followers. Now, you need to use your hashtags in a non-spammy way, that’s for sure. They have to make sense. You can’t just post an image of a piece of avocado toast and use the hashtag #booksilove just because you’re trying to promote your new book (SHAMELESS PLUG! GO BUY MY NEW BOOK!) So just make sure that you’re using them appropriately, and that you’re using them to help you find new accounts to engage with.
Engage with your audience and ask questions.
When I first started using Instagram, my Instagram was a train wreck. And even though I’ve gotten better over the past couple of years, I still wasn’t using Instagram to its fullest until recently. Up until a few weeks ago, I would upload a picture and maybe write a not-so-clever caption and that was the end of it! (*stares at phone counting likes*) But now I’m doing something a little different, and I’m LOVING IT. I’m telling stories in my captions, and I’m asking questions. I’m letting my followers know about any new posts I have that day on the blog, but I’m not just directing them to the link. Instead, I’m asking them for their opinions and their ideas and engaging in conversation in the comments of my images.
Invest in yourself.
When it comes to social media, and really when it comes to ANYTHING, if you want to take your Instagram to the next level, you should invest in yourself and your business. Again, you don’t need to buy a $1000 camera to get started, but there are a ton of affordable options that can still get you a high quality image. Another thing I recommend is getting yourself a tripod! This one is super affordable. I shoot so many of my photos with a tripod and the timer feature on my camera and it’s worked wonders!
Also invest in training. Learn from the best and be a sponge – soak up as much information as you can. Right now (June 18th – 19th) you can grab the Ultimate Photography Bundle for just $97. That’s over $5,000 worth of resources for less than the price of one. We’re talking ebooks, courses, presets and templates that’ll teach you everything you need to know about photography for pennies compared to traditional courses. Go check out the full resource list here.
BTW, if you’re looking to start a profitable side hustle, check out my step-by-step guide (with screenshots) on how to start a blog! I’ve been blogging for six years and I’d love to walk you through the process!
Already a blogger and ready to take your blog to the next level?
Here’s an an awesome course I recommend that’ll walk you through growing your following, working with brands, and making money the first year!
Resources for creative professionals:
- Blog, Inc.
- Creative, Inc.
- How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul
- 365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing To Write About
- Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill It In Your Career, Rock Social Media
- Crush It
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
- The 24 Hour Resume Makeover (save 30% with promo code REACH30)
- One Month Web Development Bundle
- Excel Masterclass
- Build Your Own Brand
- Power Up Podcasting