Foolproof tips and tricks that have helped me go from 300 followers to 45,000 +
Yes, I did start out with 3oo-400 followers when I first started my Instagram and was known as @theglamrn (my blog name). While I would maybe gain 1 follower a day, the struggle was real. I couldn’t understand why my Instagram wasn’t being seen and why I wasn’t completely satisfied with my Instagram in general. I now see what the key problems were that kept me stuck:
- I didn’t have a consistent theme or niche
- My posting was VERY inconsistent – I posted when I felt like it (which was usually once a week, or 5 times in one day)
- I thought hashtags were messy – so I rarely used them
- My bio was a bore – “Hi, Welcome” -_-
- I thought the fewer people I followed, the better (the idea of the followers > following ratio was ingrained in my head)
- And biggest mistake of all – I didn’t truly believe I could “make it”
So how did I overcome these mistakes? I basically started over – from scratch
I’m going to talk about how to fix all of the common mistakes that you may be making that keep you unnoticed, while also providing some helpful tips on how to increase your engagement and following.
Mistake 1: No theme or niche
Solution: Discover your passion and stick with it! It took me a while to find out what I liked the most and what people also liked to see from me. Eventually, I found that beauty videos and photos were my favourite to post, but also staying true to the other things I like and are parts of my life – such as spirituality, fashion and nursing.
A theme is key. If your pictures are all over the place from a picture of a beauty product to a picture of your friends, then your food and then a picture at a museum – it becomes confusing for people to figure out what you stand for. While this may be great for a personal account, it doesn’t make sense for a “blogger/ public figure” account. The best thing to do is to post a majority of one thing (like beauty) with a few posts here and there that you like but complement your general theme (like fashion, decor, lifestyle, etc).
It’s also key to making sure the visuals of your photos are as consistent as possible. This is where looking at famous bloggers will help you. See what they are doing in terms of how their photos mesh together. Think similar colours, same colour background, and simplicity. The majority of my backgrounds are white-ish. This can be tough sometimes, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Tip: Search “Instagram themes” on Pinterest to see filters and photo settings that you can use on VSCO to have a consistent appearance.
Mistake 2: Inconsistency
Solution: Consistency! – Obviously, do the opposite. I would post inconsistently because I wasn’t completely committed to my Instagram account, nor did I really know what I was doing or have any idea of what to post. Once you pick a theme and niche, knowing what to post will come more easily. In addition, the more you post, the more likely your photos and profile will be seen. It also helps your followers gain trust, knowing that they can count on you to post content on a regular basis – they follow you because they want to see your posts – remember that!
Mistake 3: Hashtags = BAD
Solution: Hashtags are actually very useful in getting your account and photos noticed. If you ensure that the hashtags pertain to your niche, you will generate followers that are interested in that. For example, people will search common hashtag when looking for something in particular, like #browgoals, if you post a photo of yourself using the #browgoals hashtag , your photo will be seen by everyone who searches this hashtag.
The maximum number of hashtags per post is 30. I keep a bunch of different “themes” of hashtags in my notes (on my iPhone) so I can easily copy and paste them into the comment section of my photo. If you need help with generating popular hashtags you can look at mine or other popular bloggers on Instagram.
Now to get rid of the messy appearance that hashtags can have on your photo I use this little trick to hide the hashtags so that they appear like this […]. To do this, go to your notes section on your phone and type 5 dots (one underneath each other and then start your hashtags.
Mistake 4: A Boring Bio *snore*
Solution: Spice up your bio! Introduce your theme so people don’t have to guess. For example, mine states “beauty + lifestyle blogger” as the first line. Boom, people know what to expect from my blog and my Instagram page. Next to that I say that I am an “RN student”. I do this to clarify both my blog name, while also telling my followers a bit more about myself- tying in the nursing related posts on my page. The rest is up to you – I modify mine every once in a while to include discount codes for my followers.
The second most important thing to have in your bio is information on how people and companies can get in touch with you. I include my email, while also mentioning that I will respond to DMs (direct messages) on my Instagram. If you do not have a “Business Profile” in which you have a contact button beside the following button, it’s imperative you include an e-mail in your bio.
Also include an active link to your website, blog, or YouTube channel. There is a place that you can include a link that is active so that your followers can easily click the link and be directed to your other outlets (website, blog, etc.). This will also help increase traffic to these outlets!
Lastly, I include my location. I think it’s always fun to state where in the world you are located. This is great if you are a travel blogger and state your current destination, but it’s also great if you just state your residency. I have mine as Toronto, Ontario – and this also lets companies know that I am a Canadian blogger in a metropolitan city.
Mistake 5: The Fewer People I Follow, the Better
Solution: Following people is OK (it’s actually GOOD), stop worrying about your Follower to Following ratio. Engage with like-minded accounts and people A LOT! Do this by following, commenting and liking other people’s photos who have similar accounts to you – or people who follow the accounts that are similar to yours.
You can also do this by going down the popular page and liking photos that you like while following the accounts that posted them. Remember, successful accounts aren’t just about the number of followers you have, but the engagement you have with your followers. Don’t be afraid to follow people because you believe having more followers than people you are following is the measure of success. Following others will actually help your account become noticed, and the followers will eventually begin to flow more organically and at a faster pace.
Mistake 6: Not Believing in Myself
Solution: Believe you are, and you will be! This was my biggest mistake – not truly believing I could be seen and liked. What I later discovered – after indulging in many spirituality and well-being books, is that if you believe you are, you will be. Basically, everyday I would affirm that I was seen, loved and respected as a beauty and lifestyle blogger and Instagrammer. I believed I was successful and that I was going to be at the top with the rest of the influencers on Instagram.
Essentially using the law of attraction and positive thinking to generate positive outcomes. The key to this is to tell yourself (out loud or in your head) multiple times a day “I am a successful beauty blogger, I am seen, loved and respected by thousands of people each and every day.” This is a simple example of what I may say to myself. It’s imperative that you state the affirmation in the present tense, as if the statement is already true, otherwise if you state “I will be..” the reality will always be somewhere in the future and never occur.
Other things to remember…
- It doesn’t happen overnight (though it can if you truly believe!)
- It will be a journey, it was a lot of trial and error for me until I truly discovered what I loved to post and figured out a theme that worked for me
- Stay true to yourself! While gaining inspiration from others is great, trying to copy them will not feel authentic and will be exhausting and unenjoyable in the long run.