The big question lately seems to be, "How do I grow my Instagram following?". Oh, wouldn't we all like to know! While all of the Instagram algorithm changes can be frustrating, I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how I got my first 2,000 followers on the social media platform.
the first 1,000
Deciding to pursue blogging is a big deal and a big time commitment. There is no doubt that the first 1,000 followers are the most challenging to gain, but with the right mindset, you'll get there! Here are the most important things to focus on in your journey to 1,000.
- Find Your Niche
- Generate High Quality Content
- Use Hashtags
- Follow Other Influencers In The Area
- Like a Lot Of Posts
- Join Your Local Influencer Community
- Apply to RewardStyle
find your niche
This is the first step you need to take when starting your blogging journey. What makes you stand out among the crowd? The influencer community is more saturated than ever before, so it's important that you create an authentic, unique brand. What makes you passionate about blogging? Integrate these thoughts, ideas, and ambitions into your personal message.
generate high quality content
Have you ever looked at someone's IG feed and thought, "OMG. This is so perfect. Everything looks so put together!". That's the same reaction you are striving for. Remember this: quality over quantity. Are you going for cool or warm tones? A mix between portrait photos and flatlays? Get your brand image down early on!
Oh the mystery of hashtags! While I haven't completely mastered the usage, it's important to always mix them up. Use hashtags that are relevant to your content. For example, if you are posting an image related to fashion, try using hashtags like #instastyle, #fblogger, or a hashtag with the brand (e.g. #zara). Here are a few of my favorite hashtags: #flashesofdelight, #discoverunder1k, #midwestblogger, #blogwithmefam, #theblogbar, #thehappynow, #pursuingpretty.
follow other influencers in the area
Especially with all of the changes Instagram has made, expanding your reach can be difficult. My best advice is to start with local influencers. Search by location of your city or maybe a hashtag (e.g. #STL) to explore through popular and recent posts. Begin liking and commenting on content you resonate with, and maybe give a few favorites a follow! This will allow local influencers to begin discovering your content. Before you know it, you'll start getting your first hundred follows!
like a lot of posts
After you've identified the influencers in your area, continue diving through the explore, location by city, and/or a hashtag page to discover more people. I remember when I first started blogging, I would spend hours (!!) some nights going through and engaging with a lot of posts. Now...don't go liking everyone's posts, just the posts that resonate with you! Remember, you want to build a reputable and genuine brand. This exercise is simply made to get your name on people's radars.
join your local influencer community
Now that you've got a little grasp on blogging, it's time to join your local influencer community. STL Bloggers has been a huge plus for me in my blogging journey. I've gotten to attend so many events where I've gotten to meet other influencers to collaborate. This is a great resource to network and discover new brand partnerships. Plus, it's just a ton of fun!
apply to rewardstyle
One of the last steps I took in my journey to 1k...applying to RewardStyle (aka LIKEtoKNOW.it). I feel like there are a lot of theories on what it takes to apply to RewardStyle, but I can promise you this: as long as you've followed the above steps to create an authentic, high quality brand...you will get accepted! I feared that I didn't have enough followers, but I've had friends that got accepted at under 700 followers! Don't let fear hold you back. If you have specific questions on how LIKEtoKNOW.it works, please DM me on IG or send me an email!
the race to 2 ,000
Once you hit 1,000 (Congrats!!), it's not too difficult to reach 2,000. At this point in blogging, you've usually got a good momentum going and can use your creativity to create new opportunities. Here are the top things I focused on to reach 2k:
- Introduce Giveaways
- Reach Out to Brands
- Join an Engagement Pod
Giveaways are an easy way to gain followers and fight the IG algorithm. You can either partner with a brand to do a giveaway or join/set up a loop giveaway. For newbies, I personally enjoy loop giveaways as it's a nice way to support other bloggers! I wouldn't commit to too many giveaways each month, as you still want to focus on your authentic content, but a few doesn't hurt! The most successful loop giveaways have the following characteristics:
- Run for 3-4 days
- Posted with a high quality flatlay
- Consist of no more than 7 bloggers (participants need to follow all bloggers to enter)
- Allow entries to come from private and public accounts, nationwide
- A call to action to tag a friend in the comments
- Include a gift card prize of $100+
If you guys want me to write another post on how to set up giveaways, comment below or send me a DM!
reach out to brands
You have over 1k followers, which means you're ready to start talking up your blog and what you have to offer! Keep in mind, your first few partnerships may not offer compensation, rather free product. Also, make sure you work with brands you genuinely love. After committing so much time to building an authentic brand, the last thing you want to do is ruin it. Start by DMing your favorite brands, following them, and maybe sending a few emails. Also, be sure to tag them in your own posts! Any exposure will help them see what a partnership between the two of you could look like.
In addition, when emailing brands, have a media kit ready to go. You can find a ton of templates on Pinterset, or if you all would prefer, I can create another post on what to include in a Media Kit! (Comment below or DM if this is your preference!).
join an engagement pod
Once you've established a #girlboss network of bloggers in your city, branch out to connect with even more bloggers! Through the grapevine, I got invited to join a few engagement pods via an app called Telegram (it's almost like WhatsApp!). This is a dedicated chat where bloggers can drop links to their posts to drive engagement. Why is this a big win? It helps beat the nasty IG algorithm by encouraging more genuine engagement on your posts!
While I am no IG magician, I know these tools and tips helped me reach 2k. I am so excited to be growing The Letter Bea community and I can't wait to reach the next 1k. Blogging is a strong passion of mine and it's because of all your support that I get to have a side hustle that I only once dreamt of. Leave your tips and tricks for follower growth below!
Stamped on 2/21/2018 by The Letter Bea