Instagram. It can be the coolest outlet or literally the worst. It can be a place that stirs inspiration, connection and creativity. Or it can be a place that stirs discouragement, envy and ungratefulness if you let it.
If I am being honest (which is always my #1 goal), it has been all of the above for me at one point. That is not what this blog post is about but before I started I wanted to point that out!
This blog post is about a question that I get quite frequently and never really know how to answer it quickly. It’s also for those that are maybe to shy or even embarrassed to ask the question. *How do I grow my Instagram account? Why would I want to grow my Instagram account? Where do I even start?*
I am not an Instagram pro. I hardly get any consistent views on my blog BUT I have had success in the past 6 months growing my Instagram. In August when Nora was born, I had around 1.5k followers. In December I reached 3k. And as of today I have about 8k. I need to make one thing clear. Followers DO NOT and will not ever define me, who I am, who my family is, or what makes me/breaks me. My hope and joy is in Jesus Christ and He is what sustains me each and everyday. But as an influencer, the more followers you have, the bigger influence you can have. The more collaborations and paid ad’s you can have. I am able to help contribute and support my family financially (even if it’s just a little bit.) Therefore, this is my job (weather you agree or not) and the number of followers do matter to an extent. Everyones journey may look a little different but I want to share a few helpful things that worked for me!
I really don’t want all of this to come out like word vomit and I really really don’t want to ramble so I am going to try to keep everything in short bullet points in no particular order (meaning I didn’t do these things in the order I am writing them or even in any order at that)
Be you. Cheesy, I know. But it’s so TRUE. For me, becoming a mom basically took over my life haha and that is what my feed shows. I also enjoy posting brands/products that we love and how I decorate/design my home. Not everyone is always going to want to follow me but someone will.
Support. I remember when Nash was born and I found out what a small shop was. Etsy was my jam haha. We began brand repping. I would receive clothing/shoes for him in exchange for our photos of the products. It did help that I was a photographer because I had my Canon gear and obviously the knowledge of photography. I do feel like collaborating is now more common on Instagram than brand repping but it is still around! Search the hashtag #brandrep and see if there is any searches going on if this interests you! This also helped me in a fun way because we were broke as a joke at the time and wouldn’t have been able to buy some of the adorable clothing that we were given. I also gained some exposure when the small shops would repost our photos etc.
Hashtags. They’re still a thing! lol. You want to make sure you’re tagging the appropriate hashtags for your posts. If you’re a mom, find an Instagrammer that inspires you and has a good following. Look at the hashtags they’re using. If they are relevant to your style/posts…there ya go! Copy and paste them to your posts. And be sure to add the hashtags right after you post so your post is as current as possible and will be seen faster.
Aesthetic. Gosh. This is a tough one. You want to have a pretty feed but you want to be/feel real. I actually struggled with this for a LONG time. For me, it was a matter of finding what inspired me but also where I was most of the time. Like…literally. And after having Nora, I was home most of the time lol. So I think that the aesthetic of my home basically laid out the aesthetic of my feed. I think that the editing of your photos kind of ties into this as well. There is an app called Snug. It allows you to preview your posts with your photos before you actually post them. It’s really helped when trying to get the right aesthetic down in the beginning.
Presets. When I started selling my presets, my account grew pretty steadily. People were asking me how I edited my photos and I think this helped a little.
Tagging. As I mentioned above, I enjoy shopping small. I wish I could do it for everything. I like supporting others that are trying to earn a living to literally support their families. Whenever I buy something from a small shop, I will tag them in my photos that I post. This has helped with exposure if they repost and it also has formed really awesome relationships!
Giveaways. Some people like them and some people hate them. I use to be one of the haters until I won a few haha. Now, I love them (to an extent.) As I just said in the last bullet, tagging shops in my photos creating really cool relationships with them. I started getting DM’s asking if I wanted to do a giveaway or a collaboration with the shops that I slowly formed relationships with. This is SO great if you can get to this point. They are shops that you have already loved and supported and now you get to be in community with them and grow/support each other!
Media Kit. 4 months ago I created a media kit. If you aren’t familiar, it’s basically a resume for a blogger/influencer. I send it out to a shop that I want to collaborate with along with a little about myself and why I want to collaborate with them and what it is I want to collaborate on (product wise) I have had success using my media kit and I really like it because I can reach out to shops that inspire me. I have had plenty of no’s also FYI :) I will post my media kit below for you to look at.
Engagement Pods. When I was sitting at 2-3k followers I was in a few engagement pods. An engagement pod is a group of 10-30 usually Instagrammers that comment and like on each others posts to help boost engagement. This helps your account to be seen more and in return hopefully grow. I was tired, exhausted, my priorities were jacked up and my iPhone was telling me that I was spending 5 hours A DAY on it. It was so silly and it actually was giving me anxiety trying to keep up. I said bye to the pods and put a little more trust in God that if He wanted me to grow in this area, He would make it happen. (pod or no pod) If you’re starting out and can get yourself into a pod and find a healthy balance with it, I do think it helps you grow a little bit.
There ya have it. Out in the open…all of the tips that I have for you. I could probably think of a few more but I have been solo parenting it for a few days and my eyes burn lol. I am so tired and my body needs rest. I pray that if this has been on your heart, my post here will help you!