There’s no denying the power of Instagram. From hip twenty-somethings recording their picture-perfect lives, to parents showing off their super-kids, to empty nesters documenting their living-on-a-boat lifestyle, it’s a playground for anyone who wants to record their life in pictures, while glimpsing into the lives of others.
We’ve talked before, here at the Savvy Solopreneur, about how Instagram can be a great way of marketing your business to a huge audience of potential customers (and I shared with you how much I love this FREE 7-day Instagram course from Alex Tooby, as well as this useful FREE download from CoachGlue that teaches you how to connect with potential clients on Instagram).
All kinds of topics can take off over on Instagram. Believe it or not, the right shot of a fitness model’s booty workout can get more likes than a basket of puppies. Things can get viral and crazy on Instagram in no time at all.
However, if you’re a frequent visitor here at The Savvy Solopreneur, you’re probably looking to promote your online business over there, and to do that, you’re going to need lots of followers. There are plenty of spammy, desperate-looking ways to get followers on Instagram, but no-one wants to be that account, so let’s explore some classy, professional, non-spammy ways to get followers on Instagram.
Share Attractive Images
Instagram is a visual site. Above all else, you want to spend time making sure your images are actually attractive and high quality. Check any popular Instagram profile, and you’ll notice that they share some great pics. This means content that is interesting, as well as photos that are well-composed and pleasing on the eye. Look a little deeper and you’ll notice that the top Instagrammers often have a certain “feel” or theme running through their photos, using similar colors, compositions, or styles. They don’t just post attractive images. They make sure their whole feed looks attractive.
Remember you don’t have to post pictures of yourself or your life to Instagram. This works well for celebrities, models and a lot of lifestyle bloggers, but it’s fine to post a mix of all types of pics, as long as they’re attractive and relevant to your business. I often used styled stock images (I get mine from Ivory Mix, She Bold, PixiStock and Creative Market). If you are taking your own pics check out these 4 apps to help you take Insta-worthy pics.
Engage With Others
Remember, Instagram is a social network so it’s important to interact with others. Start by liking lots of pictures in your niche to get people interested in following you. The more you like pictures of users outside your personal network, the more followers or likes you are likely to gain.
Leaving meaningful comments helps even more – but make sure really are meaningful. Copying and pasting generic comments, especially if they’re asking people to check out your profile or support your business, are part of those spammy and desperate-looking tactics we already mentioned.
Time Your Pictures Right
There’s a right time to do everything, and this includes posting your Instagram photos. Unfortunately this takes time to master, as every audience is different.
Make sure you track the number of likes and comments on each photo, and keep your eye out for any trends at different times of the day or week. I tend to get more engagement on weekend mornings than I do during the week. Also don’t forget that Instagram stories tend to get more engagement than other types of posts, so make sure you time those with extra attention to detail.
The right hashtags can make a huge difference to your follower count, getting your content out there in front of many more people than just your followers. Instagram allows as many as 30 hashtags on a single post, though you may want to choose fewer than that just to keep your posts looking clean.
There are several websites out there to help you identify popular hashtags but, again, it’ll take time and analysis for you to learn which hashtags perform best for your niche. Check out our post on how to use hashtags, or take a look at the ‘take it anytime’ self-paced online course Hashtag Hero from Alex Tooby. It will show you how to use hashtags like an Instagram pro, building awareness for your business and attracting your ideal clients.
These tips should help you start building up your followers, while still looking classy. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, for pretty pics and useful tips for solopreneurs.
Have you joined our FREE resource library for solopreneurs? It’s packed full of free downloads, workbooks and guides to help you run your online business. You can get access here. You’ll also get a chance to grab The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit for half-price, and my monthly newsletter with tips, freebies, and special offers.