Getting your first 1000 Instagram followers is the hardest.
If you do it a certain way, you can reach the 1000 mark quickly without the struggles that others go through.
In this article, I am laying down all the steps you need to take to reach the first 1000 followers fast.
…ooh, almost forgot to tell you, I’m hosting a free Instagram Transformation Challenge to help you transform your Instagram & attract paying clients & grow faster. Join the challenge by clicking the image below.
Now, let’s get back to our article…
In this article, I’m sharing all free ways, so there should be no excuses not to follow them.
Here’s a brainstorming question for ya…
(The article starts below this infographic, if you are not a fan of visual learning, click here to skip to the article.)
And how do you retain them?
These are some of the questions that I asked myself when I first started out. I started from complete scratch. I didn’t even invite my Facebook friends to follow me on my Instagram business account. No one, except me and my hubby knew that I had a business account on Instagram.
This is why it was even harder to gather the first 1000 followers on Instagram. Why would anyone want to follow you, when you have only 2 followers? Not even 50, or 100!
Since it was my first time, I was learning along with growing on Instagram, and so it took time!
But it needn’t be that hard for YOU. Because I’m laying down all the things I’ve learned along the way, and the mistakes I made, so you don’t make them.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time for Instagram?
If you feel like you don’t get much time to post on Instagram…
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Now, let’s get back to our main topic of the post…
Get Crystal Clear…
Before we go and talk about how to get 1000 followers on Instagram, I want you to get crystal clear about your account’s purpose. Why do you need followers?
Do you have a business that you are promoting?
Do you want Instagram fame?
Maybe you want to increase your followers because you want to apply for sponsored posts and want to make money out of it.
Think about that why before you proceed.
And that’s because if you don’t have a goal for your account, you’ll never know what to do once you HAVE followers. How to monetize it?
And even if you come up with an idea to monetize your Instagram later after you have followers, you don’t want to remorse later on that you, in fact, attracted the wrong followers. Makes sense?
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Why am I telling you this right now?
Because since you are reading this article, I very well know that you have less than 1000 followers on Instagram. And I’ve seen many people making this mistake and then remorsing later on the fact that they actually were attracting the wrong followers.
And those followers are now not interested in anything that they promote! Not even sponsored promotions – hence, losing partnerships with the brands.
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Now, one of the few things that I often get asked is how many Instagram followers do you need to get paid on Instagram. I had the same question when I started out.
How many Instagram followers do you need to get paid?
First of all, Instagram does NOT pay you for having lots of followers. But, there are other ways of making money on Instagram.
If you’re looking for sponsored post opportunities, you either need a very large audience with good amount of engagement (become an influencer) or you need to focus on a small and very specific niche and build a VERY engaged audience based on that niche.
These are called micro-influencers.
But, that is not the only way to make money on Instagram. If you want to make quick money from Instagram, the best and easiest way is to build an engaged audience and promote affiliate products.
That is how I made my first $102.4 on Instagram with just 930 followers.
So, it’s pretty much about the ways you use & how engaged your audience is. There is no set number at which anyone can say that you can now make money on Instagram.
If you have a very engaged audience, you can start making money right from 300 followers!
(There, I said it…)
But here’s the sad truth…
Once people come to know the ways of making money on Instagram and how the number of followers affect how much money they can make, they start looking for shortcuts to how to increase Instagram followers.
One of the shortcut ways is buying followers. And thinking about buying followers is not your fault. In fact, everyone from a macro influencer, to a blogger have thought of this at some point in their Instagram journey. (Including me, #noshame)
Can you buy Instagram followers?
YES, you can.
Buying Instagram followers is NOT an answer to making money on Instagram. Brands looking to do collaboration with you for sponsored posts KNOW very well (through spikes in your Instagram account) that you have bought Instagram followers. So, they won’t do business with you.
No matter how quality followers you buy and how “REAL” (as they say) they are, but they will NEVER engage with your account. Because most of the times, these are accounts not used by people or if they DO use, they are just not interested in your account because they didn’t follow you with their own will.
Moreover, buying Instagram followers violates the Instagram terms of service and you risk of getting your Instagram account purged.
Hence, buying Instagram followers is not a good idea.
Now that you know buying Instagram followers is NOT safe, you need to find how to get free and safe Instagram followers organically. And that is what this article will show you.
I hope I’ve answered all the ideas that might be wandering in your heads, so let’s jump right to our real focus of the article… How to get your first 1000 Instagram followers – free and fast!
Getting your first 1000 organic Instagram followers (fast & for free)
Set your Instagram correctly
1. Narrow down your content
What is your Instagram account based on? Think of the content that you’re going to post.
Are you promoting your business on Instagram?
Are you marketing your blog on Instagram?
Are you trying to build your personal brand?
OR do you want to just build your followers for something, but don’t know about what?
If you’re promoting your blog/business on Instagram, you very well know what content you need to post.
But, if you are someone who hasn’t yet decided, then you need to show your expertise into something specific. Don’t go and post about everything.
Because when you try to post about everything, no one understands what your account is all about, and hence they don’t know whether to follow you or not.
So, choose a particular topic to post on Instagram. Your Instagram should revolve around THAT particular topic – that’s how you build your personal brand. You can also start Instagram blogging to show your expertise.
But here’s the thing…
The more specific your content, the easier it is to attract followers.
So, all you need to do to attract followers to your Instagram, instead of chasing them, is to narrow down your Instagram topic so that you attract a specific audience who is specifically interested in YOUR content. Got it?
Let’s take an example to understand this better…
Let’s say you decided the topic “fashion”. Now fashion is a very broad topic. So, you break fashion into different categories and then choose just one category as the topic for your Instagram.
Now remember, choose a topic that you LOVE to talk about. Don’t choose something that you’ll quickly get bored with and then want to change your topic. Don’t do that.
2. Write an effective bio
Your bio is the first thing that your audience views when they visit your profile. And, when you’re just starting out on Instagram, your bio should be something that attracts YOUR audience and repels everyone else’s.
This is what your bio should include: who are you, what is this account about and who is it for, and a CTA to compel them to take action, probably to follow you. If you tell them to follow you, you better put down a reason about why they should follow you, okay?
Here’s a link to writing a kickass Instagram bio. (This will open in a new tab, so you don’t lose your place on this post).
3. Invite your friends
Aaahh! Don’t make the mistake I made when I started out.
Since you’re just starting out, the first few followers are gonna be the hardest. No one wants to follow an account that has 1 or 2 followers. So, instead, invite your personal Instagram or Facebook friends to follow you to give a little boost to your new account.
How do you get noticed on Instagram?
4. Define your audience (Audience Research)
In the first step, you decided the topic about which you will post on Instagram, but you also need to define who is your audience. Think about the characteristics of your potential audience.
Is it a male/female? And does it matter?
What do they do? Are they parents, employee, entrepreneur, etc.?
What moves them?
What are their pain points?
Where do they spend most of the time?
Knowing all these characteristics of your audience helps you to identify what kind of content you should be posting that will resonate with them. Moreover, you will get clear understanding of whether a post would give good results or not.
Here’s the perfect way to define your target audience. (Again, this will open in a new tab, so you don’t lose your place on this article.)
5. Post content that would interest your followers (Add value to your account)
If you want to attract your audience’s attention and gain their engagement, you need to post content that your audience would be interested in.
But how do you know what is your audience interested in?
That is why I told you to do audience research in the previous step. That’s how you know what are they interested in.
Now since Instagram is a visual driven platform, you need to post photos, or videos. And there are many ways to get your photos/videos.
You can post:
- your own photography or videography
- text overlays created in Canva
- stock photography
- posts saved from other accounts and re-posted with proper credit to the original account
Now, what are you posting to add value to your account?
Provide solutions to your followers pain-points. Provide valuable tips, tricks and hacks all related to the topic of your Instagram (that we decided in step 1). Provide free downloads to your audience and start collecting their email addresses in exchange.
Here are a few free downloadable templates to get you started super-fast.
All these kinds of content add value to your account and are something that your audience would love.
6. Build Connection with your followers
Have you ever met someone complete stranger and instantly felt a connection with him/her? Remember how you felt that connection? Such connections occur when you feel that you two are almost similar and GET each other.
Social connections work the same way as well.
Show your audience how you feel their pain as if your own and how you have went through those pain points as well.
Show them the behind-the-scenes of your Instagram as if you would show to someone you know personally. Introduce them with your family and pets and do real-talks about your life. All these kinds of contents build connection with your audience.
Your followers would be able to see the real person that you are instead of just your promotions, or value-based posts.
7. Post consistently (Daily once, at least)
Being consistent is important, especially when you have less than 1000 followers.
You can’t show up one day and then run away.
Make your followers notice you by showing up everyday. Make them habitual to seeing your posts everyday.
Make them miss you, if you miss posting some day. And that would happen only if you stay consistent, haha. It’s ironic!
8. Quality over quantity (Share your best work)
Yes, staying consistent is important, but don’t post to just get done with it.
Your posts should bring value to your followers. If it doesn’t, why would someone even follow you? Or engage with your content?
Think about how can you bring value to your followers, how can you help them, and post that on Instagram. This will naturally bring engagement and followers to your Instagram.
9. Use right hashtags
Hashtags are certainly your best friends when you’ve just started on Instagram.
Hashtags bring your content in front of people who don’t follow you. And if you create quality content pieces with every single piece (and if you’ve used my checklist before publishing every post), those people will start following you considering your quality of content.
But, not everyone is interested in every type of content. And that is why, if your post is about cute pet dogs, #cutecat is certainly is a wrong hashtag for that post.
So, using the hashtags that YOUR audience is using will bring your content in front of YOUR potential followers and THAT will bring you more followers. Still with me?
Here’s how to find and use hashtags on Instagram that will bring YOUR potential followers to your account. (Again, this link too will open in a new tab for your convenience).
10. Communicate with your followers
Posting on Instagram and just getting done with it is not a good rule of thumb. You also need to communicate with your followers.
Start leaving likes and comments back to those who engaged with your content. Give the love back to your followers by leaving genuine comments (“cool..”, “love it…” are not genuine comments) on their posts. They will start noticing that you give them love back and will pay more attention to your posts.
Also, once your post is out, keep an eye on your post at-least for an hour and reply back to those who leave comments on your post. This increases your comments and engagement rate of the post, thus increasing your post reach (that’s how Instagram algorithm works).
HAND-PICKED RECOMMENDATION: How to work WITH the Instagram algorithm instead of AGAINST IT
11. Use Instagram Stories
Being consistent on stories is also a good way to keep your followers engaged. Plus, stories are on roll now-a-days. People love to connect with those who they follow and they love to engage with their stories.
Moreover, stories are much better than posts because you don’t have to think about what to post, and it whether it looks good on your feed, unedited versions also work good on stories.
How to use stories?
Instagram stories are used to connect with your audience on a much deeper level.
Share your everyday activities, how you spend your day, your family time etc. Share the behind-the-scenes of your Instagram/business and show them what’s going on in your life.
Such content show your followers that you are a real person and working hard even though that you have a life, just like theirs (THIS builds the connection between you).
You can also do a vlog on Instagram stories.
12. Use geotags
Geotags are geographical tags. When you tag a location on your posts, those are called geotags.
Geotags are great to expand your reach around a local area. And geotags have been proved to provide better reach and engagement.
If you know where your audience hangs out, tagging that location might bring in more followers to your Instagram. It makes your Instagram journey to getting 1000 followers even easier.
How to get Instagram followers fast? (Free & Paid Ways)
13. Instagram ad campaigns (Optional)
As I had mentioned earlier that buying followers is not a good option, but if you have money to spend, why not spend it on Instagram ads?
But, your question might be…
Isn’t this the same as buying followers?
No! Not at all.
When you buy followers, those accounts are either fake, inactive, or non-engaging. But, when you do an ad campaign, your ad is being shown to people and those people actively choose whether they want to follow you or not.
This is how your ad campaign is being shown to people:
You notice that “sponsored” text written in the above picture? That’s means that it’s an ad. And that is how your ad will be shown to others. Now, it is completely up to the people who see that ad whether to click on the link and visit it or not.
So, if you do an Instagram ad campaign, it’s up to the people to follow you, unlike buying followers.
Moreover, you can choose WHO will see your ads. So, you can choose the interests of a user and show your ads only to those. Your audience research really comes in handy here. This will take your profile in front of your potential followers. (Plus, it’s cheap!)
14. Hold Giveaways
Holding a giveaway on Instagram is the best way to get free Instagram followers fast.
But, giveaways can bring freebie seekers to your account and as soon as you announce the results many people will unfollow you.
This is a waste of time. And that is why, you need to pick a prize that is something that not everyone wants but only attracts YOUR audience.
You also want to be careful with the hashtags you use so that you don’t attract the freebie seekers.
And, you need to create awesome content AFTER giveaway is over so that you gain those followers/ attention and don’t lose them.
All this convey that holding Instagram giveaways for more followers should be done very carefully to make it a success.
How to stay consistent on Instagram?
I know, I know that staying consistent when you are still growing your Instagram is HARD. Most probably because of the ups and downs we face as newbies, those numbers lower our confidence levels and we just want to quit forever or at least for sometime.
When you are trying to grow organically, you know how hard you are trying but when it just doesn’t give the desired result, it makes us feel like all the hard-work is going in vain.
But remember that it might be hard, but you need to be prepared for such times. Stay consistent because you know that it is all worth it, and you WILL succeed.
Here are a few ways to stay consistent on Instagram:
1. Grab an accountability partner
Since staying consistent with Instagram is difficult, having an accountability partner who is at the same level as you are might help a TON.
You people can talk about the new things you might have discovered and then hold each other accountable and encourage each other to stay consistent with your accounts.
2. Celebrate your milestones
Create small milestones over the whole pathway to get 1000 followers on Instagram and celebrate when you reach those. These things will keep you encouraged.
Often times, when we look at bigger goals, and then compare it with where we are, it looks like we are working too hard and it’s not giving any results. And that is a big discouragement.
What you need to do instead is to create certain smaller milestones and compare yourself with those. For instance, when you’re completely new, 50 or 100 followers milestones is a good start. So, when you look at where you are, it seems achievable and it does not lower your confidence level because you know it IS achievable.
But, if you look at 1000 followers milestone directly, even having 100 followers right now will lower your confidence and will make it seem un-achievable. Get it?
What to do after you have Instagram followers?
Now that you have Instagram followers, the question you need to think about is, what now?
Do you need more leads? More sales? More customers? Or just fame?
Are you promoting your business on Instagram?
How successfully are you doing it?
Are you able to convert those followers, likes and comments into leads, sales and customers?
If not, you really need to read this. This is about how to convert your Instagram audience into hot leads and ultimately into sales. More money, ehh.
That’s it for the steps to getting the 1000 free followers in Instagram app.
Let’s recap the steps to get your first 1000 followers on Instagram:
- Narrow down your content to attract specific followers.
- Write an effective bio that attracts those specific followers.
- Invite your friends to follow you.
- Define your audience. Do and audience research
- Post content that would be loved by your followers. Add value to your Instagram account.
- Build Connection with your followers
- Post consistently (Daily once, at least)
- Quality over quantity (Share your best work)
- Use right hashtags
- Communicate with your followers
- Use Instagram stories to keep your followers engaged
- Use geotags – Tag those locations where your audience hangs out
- Do Instagram ad campaigns (Optional)
- Hold Giveaways to increase followers fast
- Grab an accountability partner to keep you focused and consistent on Instagram
- Celebrate small milestones to keep yourself encouraged and enthusiastic about Instagram
That’s a wrap.
Complete all these steps and start growing your Instagram to 1000 followers faster.
Did I forget to add any steps? Comment below to let me know.
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