Over the past year (almost exactly) I've taken my Instagram from 1100 followers to over 25,000 and it's continuously growing. Before focusing a few keys things, I lived in wonder of how these people with big accounts managed to get so many followers.

What was it that was so interesting about them? Could I ever be that interesting? What's the secret sauce for this stuff? Well, like most things I set my mind to, I decided to dig and find the key things that actually worked for building my platform. 

As I write this I'm putting together an Instagram course that will go into detail on all of these, it won't be ready for a little while but if this is something you're interested in please subscribe to my site & you'll get updates on it. 

 Let's get to it - Here are the 3 key things that will build your following. 

 1. Professional Photos 

It really doesn't matter what you look like, but it must look like you take your account seriously for it to grow consistently. Professional quality photos are the easiest way to do that, allowing people to see you as someone they should follow and also for companies to see that you could be a great representation of their brand. I'm a huge fan of booking photoshoots as opposed to doing photos myself because working with a professional photographer will help you learn your angles, how to pose and the photos will be way better quality. 

2. Add Value 

Forget any preconceived notions you have around what an influencer is or should be. All you need to remember is this - you have a market you’re able to reach that you can add value to. Period. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 45 year old mom, a 30 something who’s just trying to figure things out or a hot 22 year old, the value you can add is based on your life experience, insights and areas where you have expertise. Think about it this way - if I were to come to your page, what's the reason I would stick around? Where am I getting value from your posts & stories based on what you can offer the world?

3. Get Onto Other People's Feeds 

This is by far one of the most misunderstood things about growing on Instagram. A lot of people think that posting is the main way to gain followers and I've seen so many social media agencies that charge upwards of $700/month JUST to post! Ugh! It makes me cringe. Posting consistently is important, and it's good to know that posting only gets you in front of the followers you already have! It doesn't get you in front of a new audience.

What gets you in front of new people is 6 main things: 

1. Liking

2. Commenting

3. Following 

4. Tagging 

5. Direct Messaging 

6. Using Hashtags 

When you're consistently doing this, you'll gain followers simply because you're gaining visibility. And if you're someone who pays a social media manager, I highly encourage you to look at the number of new followers you're getting per month and divide that by their fee.

For example, if you're getting a 50 new followers per month and you're paying your social manager $700.00/month, you're paying around $14.00 a follower!

Now, if there's a way you can do that for cheaper, save yourself the money! Or if you find a different social media manager who can do it for a better price, work with them instead. Don't get caught up in the idea of a proper colour scheme or a theme to your posts is more important then getting in front of new potential followers. Although these are helpful they are not what will actually grow your following. 

Hope this helped! If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me through here or, of course, on Instagram ;)

Ella Mae