5 Free Ways To Grow Your Instagram

Bailey Graf
Feb 9 · 5 min read

Tips from a Marketing Guru

If you are debating on pulling out your wallet to buy followers on Instagram, stop right there! I’m not saying don’t buy followers on Instagram. This can often give you some leverage in ordere to gain a following. But when you pay bots to follow you, your page isn’t going to gain the right type of following.

You want engaged followers. You want people who love your content. You want pages who will be lifelong fans and who will vouch for you long term and who will purchase your products. And this is something you won’t get when you purchase follows.

So, whether you are an influencer, a small business, or just a regular person trying to gain a larger following on Instagram, here are some tried and true methods to grow your following to reach that ever coveted 10k.

  1. Post Consistently

One of the most important ways to gain a following is to be consistently posting photos and videos on your stories and feed. This not only allows for more visibility, it also statistically gives you a higher chance of showing up in someones feed and on the discover page. At the very least, try to post at least two or three times a week. You should really aim for once or twice a day, because this significantly increases the chance of you showing up daily in someones feed.

If you find this hard to do at first, try scheduling out your posts with an app like Buffer or Hootsuite. Take one day a week to schedule out your posts and plan for the week ahead, and then you won’t have to worry about setting a timer or creating something new every single day.

photo courtesy of @septembermondays

2. Post Quality Content

Instagram was made to share beautiful pictures and photos. You are much more likely to gain followers if your content pleases the eye and is something people want to look at everyday.

Take a tip from one of my good friends Chris Chin, also known as @septembermondays on Instagram. I met Chris when he was around 7,000 followers on Instagram about a year ago, and he is now at 35k and counting. Chris hired his own photographer to create his vision. He flipped the role and instead of waiting to be reached out to by brands and photographers, he set it up for himself. How is that for confidence? He now works with companies like H&M, PacSun, and Nike!

You can post all day long, but if it isn’t content that people want to see, you aren’t going to be successful. Tell a story with your words and photos. People will follow things that are easy digest and enjoyable to look at.

3. Be a Good Instagram Citizen

Have you ever had someone with 35k followers comment on your photo or send you a DM? How did that make you feel? Pretty special, right? In order to be a good instagram citizen, you need to give what you want to get.

Follow people that you aspire to be like. Go to their followers list and follow people who like them. Send people messages, like peoples photos, and comment on the things you love. By engaging with other people and brands on instagram, you will build valuable connections. Building an actual relationship with someone will make them much more likely to follow you long term.

The most important part about this step is being genuine. Commenting something specific like “I love the lighting on the face in this photo!” rather than “Great shot!” is going to make you stand out. Build heartfelt connections for a strong follower base.

“You need to give what you want to get.”

4. Be Real

Ultimately, people follow will you because they want to follow you. So be exactly that. Use your uniqueness to stand out and be consistent with your voice and brand. If you can find the balance between standing out while still being relatable, you are in the right spot.

To stay true to yourself, only promote brands and do partnerships if you really like the product. If you lose your followers trust, it is hard to earn it back. People are more likely to enjoy your content if it is real and honest rather than scripted and forced. So let your uniqueness shine through. Ultimately that will be what makes you stand out.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

5. Engage, Engage, Engage!

Engaging your followers is so important for gaining a following! Your page should inspire conversation and allow for communcation. Posts with comments gain more traction, which can help you grow exponentially. Try ending a post with a question to get comments, or post a giveaway and ask people to tag their friends.

You can also try this tactic on your stories with polls and questions. Engaging others and sharing their answers makes them feel heard and special, which will build that long term relationship with your followers.

Bonus: Find Your Niche & Figure out What They Like

Have you ever used Instagram Analytics? They are extremely helpful when you are starting out and trying to determine what you want to focus on with your page.

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Go to your personal page, and click the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, then tap ‘Insights’. This is going to give you details about who follows you, where they are from, and what age they are. It also shows you when they are most active. These are all fantastic insights to use when you are trying to figure out what your followers like and when they are most likely to engage and like your posts.


If you use these tips, it’s a surefire way to make sure your Instagram is up to speed with the top pages. Starting with a strong foundation and a flawless page is step 1. Marketing yourself is step 2. Keep working hard and stay consistent, and you will reach your goals before you know it!

Have you ever used any of these tactics on your Instagram? Let me know in the comments what has worked best for you!

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