How To Gain 55,000 Followers on Instagram

This is exactly how we did it for my company @dyerandenkins .

This is an update on an article I wrote a while back called “How To Gain 8,387 Followers On Instagram”. We’ve been using pretty much the same strategy the entire time, but I’ve got a few more wrinkles to add.


Dyer and Jenkins is a company that I helped co-found. We started on Kickstarter by selling American Made jeans and t-shirts and we started our Instagram account around the same time. This was two years ago.

On their own, jeans and t-shirts really aren’t that exciting for most people. Plus, we knew we always wanted to create a brand that fit both town and country lifestyles because thats how we live. We work in the city and we go camping on the weekends.

From day one our aim was to make apparel that we could wear in the city and while camping. However, more importantly, we wanted to create a business that was about more than selling clothing.

Tip: Create a business that is about more than selling a product or service.

Below is how we built our brand off of the back of Instagram.

Don’t Forget Why People Use Instagram

There are a lot of businesses out there who suck at Instagram because they forget why people are using it.

First and foremost, people use Instagram because they want to see cool Images. So, if you post poor images you won’t win in this space. Period.

Second, you need to have a clear understanding of your audience and what they like to see. For us, our audience is outdoorsy. So here’s what we do:

  1. Post beautiful pictures of nature. We try to show travel destinations and places that people aspire to visit, or would otherwise appreciate.
  2. Spread the love. A lot of what we do on Instagram is curation. Not only do we want pretty pictures on our feed, but we also want to share the work all of the amazing creatives we follow. There are so many amazing people in the Instagram community doing really great things. We want to shine a light on them and we always give them credit for their work.
  3. Think outside your box. What else we have in common with our audience? We share the love of travel, coffee, music, and interior design. So, we mix in images of those things as well.
  4. Our Clothing. This is the last thing I’m going to mention because it’s what we post about the least, but we do still have a product to sell, after all.

The bottom line is to know your audience and what they want to see and then post quality stuff.

The Hashtag

So, here’s the thing about hashtags. Most people use them wrong.

Keep in mind that a hashtag basically doubles as a search function. Hashtags are clickable and when you click on one it will show you all of the images used in conjunction with that hashtag. They’re important and they can help people find you.

Tip: Make sure to use the hashtags that are most common to your niche.

Create Your Own Hashtag

We felt it was important to come up with a solid tagline that could double as a hashtag.

I’ll never forget sitting down with my business partner Paul and my neighbors Nikki and Jenny. We sat in their living room for hours trying to come up with something that would fit. I don’t even know which one of us threw it out there, but Forge Your Own Path and #forgeyourownpath were born that night.

To date our hashtag has been used more than 81,000 times.

When we first started out we were probably the only people on the planet using this hashtag, but our goal was for people to use it to share our products and share their work so we could easily find it and repost. This is exactly what has happened because we were consistent with our efforts.


We post at the exact same times every single day. We try to do it when we believe most people are going to be looking at their phones.

  1. In the morning when they get to work.
  2. During the lunch break.
  3. When they get home from work.
  4. When they are laying in bed at night.

It’s important to be there when people are paying attention. It’s even more important to be consistent.


Influencers are typically people who are within your niche that command some sort of sizable following. They are respected for what they create and if they are willing to work with you they can send you followers, or traffic, or both. Don’t neglect these people.

Again, people are fucking awesome. I’ve met a ton of really cool men and women through Instagram. Who would’ve thought?

So many people in the Instagram community are open to creative collaboration. Here’s what to do:

  1. Reach out to people. Seriously. If you find someone you want to work with, hit up their business page and reach out.
  2. Don’t be rude. Sliding into someone’s direct message unannounced is intrusive. Don’t be a weirdo.
  3. Interact with them. Follow their work, like it, and comment on it. Everyone wants to feel appreciated for what they do.
  4. Be of service. So many people don’t understand this. Don’t ask people to work with you, follow you, or buy from you unless you’re doing to add some value to their life. Come to the table with something.
Tip: Make a list of people you admire in your niche and let them know you think they are doing great work!


In the early stages of growing your Instagram you should reply to every single comment that someone leaves for you. You should be thrilled that your work enables you to foster conversations. Don’t ignore people! Acknowledge them. They’re human beings and deserve to be treated as such.

This gets harder and harder the larger you get, but we still try to reply to every single comment we can. It goes a long way with people.

Your Product

Don’t shove your product down people’s throats.

It’s so incredibly annoying when all a company does is talk about themselves and their product. It’s the equivalent of people who post five selfies a day. Where’s the value in that for your followers?

Luckily, when we started, I had just read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t know that he intended for someone to take it literally, but I tried it out anyway.

Broken down, that would be 75% Jabs and 25% Right Hooks.

This is exactly what we do. Yup, 75% percent of the things we post on Instagram aren’t related to our product and 25% of it is related to our product.

We actually apply this philosophy everywhere. When we write blog posts, when we pin on Pinterest, and when we share things on Facebook. The majority of what we talk about is related to the lifestyle, the minority is related to the sell.

We haven’t sold something to every single one of our 55,000 followers and we don’t really care. If you don’t want to buy our products, we’re still honored to be able to inform or entertain you.


Know your audience, post good content, use the right hashtags, make friends with influencers in your space, deliver value to everyone, interact with people, and don’t make it all about you and your business.

If you liked this article, hit the recommend button. If you have questions, leave a comment! If you want to follow a cool Instagram account follow @dyerandjenkins. Oh, and if you want some fine clothing check us out at

Thanks for reading!