How I personally grew my Insta Following from 0-40k in 6 Months!

People ask me weekly, many people, about how I grew and continue to grow my Instagram following. My Instagram growth and engagement has been a learning curve! So I will share with you what I learn and the top tips I have for your page.

So I would like to start off by saying – A large following does NOT directly relate to engagement. Engagement is what you are after and currently I get an average of 1.7 million impressions a week. Earlier this year I completed a 5 part research project on Instagram and the lessons I learnt – but these are the specific steps I took to skyrocket my Instagram account. Almost 23% of my site traffic is from my Instagram account.

So let’s break my current statistics down:

So lets also talk about my other accounts!

What I learnt from @myinner.creative

I started the @myinner.creative back in 2013. It was originally called @roarbabynz then @theartoflifenz and now is @myinner.creative. If you go through my feed you’ll see all the changes and transitions its made! Its actually a little funny when you look at it! 😛 I decided to use this account as a learning account. And I absolutely bought 500 followers. I wanted to see what effect it would have on my account. I was amazed at how easy it was. I found though that almost NONE of my client work was coming through the page – and it was all mainly through Facebook or word of mouth. So I started focusing on my #’s and again, this didnt really do much for me. Granted I was only posting about once a day. Was that the issue?

How I changed my strategy for @theartofbujo

So! I pulled together what I learnt and opened @theartofbujo with 3 key goals.

  1. refine the hashtags as you go
  2. grow and keep engagement up
  3. be relevant and community focused.

So I googled research and it said post at least 3x a day, not more than 8. So I settled for 6x a day.

I decided to sign up to a scheduling provider because there was no way I was going to be able to post 6x a day without being online the whole time!

I googled again this time focusing on the keywords and # tags. I did this in two ways.

  1. I looked at what the top 5 accounts in this space were #’ing and made a list
  2. I checked Display Purposes for best # in that genre
  3. I then made a hashtag ladder of importance. What this means is I took 5 hashtags with over 1million posts and decreased that all the way down to my last 5 hashtags with lower than 2000 posts
  4. I then grouped the hashtags into groups of 30 with a mix of high level hashtags and low level hashtags, and made myself a little template

I googled best times to post – and settled on 6:30am 11:30am 2:30pm 8pm 11:30pm 3am – I found in the first week that 3am was my best time slot.

I knew I wanted community curated content, so went hunting for a pile of pink posts that I wanted to share for that first week. I shared the content at the time slots I researched everyday. I found that as my engagement grew and my ability to stay relevant and consistent, my followers grew too. I found that the consistent nature of the #’s and the slot times, meant that I was front of the line in Explorer and peoples feeds. Did it mean that #’s were important? Yes.

Ok perfect. But could I keep this up?

Taking what I learnt back to @myinner.creative and the fake account

So I went back to my account – with my 500 fake followers, my shitty engagement and did the same.

I looked over my past engagement and selected 3 time slots to focus on. I went back again the researched my hashtags and finally started getting together content I thought would be good enough to share. Keeping in mind my engagement had dropped to below 0.8% because I hadn’t been posting and hadn’t been relevant, I started from scratch. Over the last 6 months I was able to go from 450 followers to currently 5500 followers. Far less than @theartofbujo. However! My engagement has come up to 2.5% which is fantastic considering it was flatlining!

So could I replicate this?

The mystery fake account

Yes. I was. I created a really simple “Minimalist” account. I looked at huge minimalist accounts and saw what they were posting. Researched those hashtags and created enough content to last me 30 days. And posted.

In those 30 days – It was a slow burn – I was only able to grow 120 followers from 0. My engagement however was 91% (granted a high engagement is pretty common for small follower numbers because essentially everyone sees your posts) However – I was finding that the likes and followers were consistent.

How can I research other accounts

Its pretty simple you can head over to “Deep Social” and access almost any public Instagram Statistics – from most used Hashtag, to audience breakdown. Its pretty good as an initial analysis.

What are those top tips to growing my Instagram again?

Tip 1: Start with your research. You know what niche you are in – so research your top 5 inspirational accounts. How often do they post? What hashtags do they use?

Tip 2: Start by researching your hashtags, create a list of over 100 you might want to use from those top 5 accounts and then Display purposes. Group those hashtags into sets of 30 to post each time you post content

Tip 3: Grab yourself a scheduling tool. I like using hopper (also you get a 30% discount from them for the first 3 months with MYINNERCREATIVE as the code)

Tip 4: Choose to schedule 3 or more posts a day but less than 8. Find times that are most suitable for your audience. You can tweak this after a few weeks once you have found your groove.

Tip 5: Set your Instagram account up as a business Account so that you can track your statistics – this is key. You wont be able to tweak your work if you dont.

Finally Tip 6: Keep trying new things. I post in stories, I try

We created this freebie to get you started with Instagram if you haven’t already optimized your Account!



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