How I went from zero Instagram followers to 300,000 followers, and I’m not talking about buying likes or followers or comments or any of that kind of dodgy stuff, I’m talking about purely organic growth, not ads, literally organic growth.
I’ll admit that it hasn’t been a smooth ride. There’s been a lot of downs, a few ups, but I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons that made those ups really high, that got me a ton of followers. And I’ll break down the things that have been the most impactful in my growth. so that way, you don’t have as many downs as me.
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Based on its global advertising audience, reach numbers, Instagram has at least 1,393 billion users around the world as of October, 2021. It’s grown by 20.3% in a matter of 12 months, which makes it roughly 235 million new users on Instagram. You may think it’s a bit too late to join the party but it’s only getting started.
Every day, I see new accounts growing from zero to hundreds and thousands of followers. Will you go to a million right away? No, that’s unrealistic, but you can get thousands. And though the competition is increasing a lot, you can still earn lots of attention if you do the right things.
When I was first starting off at the beginning, I did this experiment. I took content from other channels like YouTube and Facebook, and I just posted it on Instagram. I took image-based content and I posted it there too. I tried lots of different content types until I started finding the right things that worked the best.
Now, what I did when I reached 50,000 followers was a bit different. I started doing partnerships with influencers. I head up other influencers in the same niche, not a different niche, same niche, and we went live together, we reposted, and my followers would go to their pages and start following them or their profiles and their followers would go to my profile and start following me.
Here’s some of the simple things I did in addition to partnerships. I also, when I started hitting 50,000 followers, I started doing Twitter screenshots. Put a quote on Twitters, screenshot it, pop that up on Instagram as well. I also did image carousels. Think about an infographic just broken down into five or six slides so people can swipe and get data. And you can do that with Canva for free.
Now, when I reach 200,000 followers, I started doing things a little bit differently, reels, right? Back then, I don’t even know if reels were out when I first started on Instagram, but I started doing reels and I started doubling down on doing reels as it was starting to boom.
Eventually, some of my reels worked, some didn’t, I quickly learned what topics people love and what they don’t. I also doubled down on partnerships. Partnerships were working out. Kept doing more of them but with bigger influencers. I also started being guests on other people’s accounts for lives.
See, originally when I was doing partnerships, I would go live on someone else’s profile and then they would go live on my profile. That’s how we cross-promote it. But once I started having enough of an audience, I would just go live on their profile and not live on my profile and have them on mine, right?
In other words, I would only be on their account and they wouldn’t be on my account. And that brought in a lot of followers and I didn’t have to go as often with my audience and give them fatigue.
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By: Neil Patel
Title: Instagram Content Strategy 101 (How I Took My Instagram From 0 to 300,000 Followers)
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