It's a mystery to everyone.. Those profiles jumping out of the blue suddenly having 10K followers and their images are not even matching! But hold on, WHAT?! This post only has 18 likes.. How is it possible when she has 10K followers?
This was my first experience with Instagram, when I started digging into growing organic accounts, a few years back.
It is very easy to get followers, but the number will remain a number.. just hurting your wallet. Buying followers is offered by several websites and the followers you get for your money are fictive accounts, who doesn't really exist. That means they won't like your posts, will never click on your website link and basically doesn't even visit your profile. So what is it worth then? Nothing really.. - so the lesson is clear Do NOT buy followers!
So how does it work then? The secret is consistency and a lot of time!
We are developing a guided video workshop, where we go through the details of building a successful Instagram account, but for the fast track you can start out with the following points:
Checklist to Success
What is your story/purpose to post?
Who are your 5 inspiration profiles?
Why are they inspiring you?
Which 3-5 subtopics do you want to post about?
Which filter/look do you want to use?
Are you ready to spend at least 1 hour daily?
1. Get your story straight
It is important that your followers get your story. What do you want to leave your followers with? Maybe you are passionated about fashion and wish to share your styling skills for inspiration, or if you are an expert in flowers, you could teach your audience a specific flower everyday..
The point is that you choose something that you are very passionated about, because running this account will take a lot of your time!
2. Choose the perfect profile picture
Once you have your story straight, it's time to build your profile. Starting with your profile picture that can be easy if you have a logo, however if you have a long name as your logo, like we have "Markat ME Consultancy", you should consider to make an icon along your logo. Something which is simple, easy to understand and can be understood when tiny little.
If you want to build a personal account, you should choose a picture that illustrates your story. If you want to build a travel account, you can choose a picture where you are holding your passport etc. Try to avoid pictures where you are drunk, half naked or where other people appear in the picture as well.
3. Use the same filter/editing
Since Instagram is only showcasing images, your account will be judged only by its look and setup. When your images are consistent and has the same overall look and feel, it will give a smoother impression which will catch the attention.
You don't have to invest in an expensive camera or spend hours on editing, as long as you take your pictures the same way (light and style) and use the same settings for editing. That can be a specific filter or customised with higher brightness and contrast and lower shadows. It can be a help to find a few accounts that you find inspiring in terms of images, to try reaching their editing style.
4. Plan your posts ahead
So continuing from editing your images, some images just get along better than others. There are several programs which can help you arrange 9 images at a time. Here you can swop your images around, until you have them sorted out to be smooth and organised by colours. This can be a bit of a struggle, until you have found your branding identity, but try it out and see how it works for you.
It is also possible to autopost on some platforms, however Instagram has not allowed this yet, so you will still have to manually go online to post your pictures!
5. Use your #Hashtags wisely
It's important that you do your research beforehand, so you don't use tags that is not needed! You have two options, to either add your tags in your update, or have them ready to add in a comment straight after posting your images.. Both ways work out fine, so it's more a matter of style - However the tags works according to the second you post your images, so adding them in the main text will eventually give a tiny better result.. It might be less pretty to have them there though!
Choose one or max two hashtags that are for your brand exclusively. Make sure it is not already in use by someone else! We recommend that you use about 5-10 tags on an images.. If you go crazy with the tags, it is our experiences that it wont do you any good as it can appear desperate.
6. It's alright not to post every day!
When you see the popular pages, they are posting every day and even more than once daily - This is not necessary! The great thing about posting only every second or third day is, that each post will collect more likes.
When you follow a new account, they are likely to go check your profile out, and like the first few images of yours, so the smartest thing is to post an images and then go like, comment and follow new people.
7. It's time to work
So we cleared out that it takes time to gain the right followers, so give yourself an hour of work everyday to follow/unfollow, like, comment and upload.
You basically go visit the accounts which you are inspired of which are similar to your concept. Go through their profile and go follow the accounts that are commenting and liking their profiles images. These accounts are showing an interest in this topic and are active users on Instagram to sit and comment, so they are therefore the profiles you want to attract as well. Follow them and leave a nice comment on one of their images! Likes are easily drowning, so make sure you take the time to either Direct Message or comment..