How to Earn Over 10,000 Followers on Instagram

If you're starting an Instagram account that you'd like to build, it can be exciting to watch it grow! But unless you have a ready-made following, your first 10,000 followers can be the hardest to get. In order to see your numbers climb, you first have to prove yourself as a successful brand or influencer. But don't get disheartened! Plenty of brands and individuals have successfully built themselves a huge following — and they all started with just an empty account. By following the right steps, it doesn't even have to take that long to get over 10,000 followers — and the sky's the limit from there! Here are some ways that you can grow your followers and get yourself more online exposure.

Choosing the Right Content

The first step in growing your followers is to make sure you are choosing content that is right for you. This part takes thought and effort — you want to produce original content that is not only made just for Instagram, but also is what your audience is looking for. Finding the right approach and style is an art, not a science. But when you develop your own presence, it will be the way your followers recognize you.

The most common images inspirational or funny quotes, high-quality food photography, scenic images and lifestyle/fitness photos.

There are certain types of posts that work well with certain types of audiences, so you have to figure out who you are trying to reach. The most common are inspirational or funny quotes, high-quality food photography, scenic images and lifestyle/fitness photos. These are good starting points but you also want to make sure you are doing something unique, even if it fits into one of these categories.

Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text.

Think about how someone will find your content, which hashtags you will use, etc. Why would they want to follow you? Zabisco reports that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text. That means people scrolling through Instagram are deciding in a split second whether or not they want to follow you.

Be Consistent

The number one reason people come back to a brand is consistency. Think about a business like Subway. Everytime you order a meal or visit their locations you know you can expect the exact same thing — no surprises. It's the same with influencer content on Instagram. Once you choose a content type and theme, it's incredibly important that you stick to it.

People want to trust that they can expect a certain kind of post from you.

People want to trust that they can expect a certain kind of post from you — and if they do they will keep returning for more. Keep in mind this applies to everything from the size of your photos (borders or no borders?), the filter you use, the color scheme, etc., as well as the type of content. And if you repost a piece of content from another account you don't want to stray from your overall aesthetic. Keeping up this practice over time will give your followers confidence in your brand and your dependability for a certain type of image/information.

Connect With Your Audience

Once you have figured out what type of content you are going to post, you need to get more specific. This might seem obvious, but the content itself is the only thing that matters! You want to really connect with your audience so your content has to be stuff that they will enjoy and want to interact with. A good way to figure out what your customers are interested in is to see what your competitors are posting. You can use their imagery as a guide, but don't follow it too closely.

You want the content to be original and authentic, but there's also a way of doing so without having pictures of your face or your last vacation posted all over your account.

If you're running a personal account, it might be okay to post a lot of selfies or pictures of your lifestyle. For a professional account, that's not always the case. Figure out how much of "you" you actually want to include in your posts. Either way, you want the content to be original and authentic, but there's also a way of doing so without having pictures of your face or your last vacation posted all over your account. For instance, if you are an interior decorator, you could include a story about what inspired you to design a room a certain way as the caption to a photo of that room.

Include Faces

People really like pictures of people. Images with faces in them tend to increase engagement because we want to interact with other humans — even on our devices. Including a lot of photos of faces, whether it's groups of people or solo shots, could be a great way to humanize your account (even if it's not your face) and give people a sense of who they are interacting with.

Treasure Your Community

Your audience is more than just a number. Each individual follower is important to you and you should treat them like gold. They are all living, breathing human beings and are all potentially interested in having an interaction with you. Pay attention and listen to your audience and you will be able to meaningfully connect with them. True followers are people who love your content and what you do. They are the ones most likely to interact with you, share your content and buy things from you. They are loyal. These are the followers you are after and in order to get and keep them you have to interact with them and treat them with respect, courtesy and patience. Try to be conversational and interact just as you would in real life. You're not a robot and neither are they! Posting questions and CTAs can start a conversation but don't forget to reply to comments and keep people engaged.

Thanks to Instagram, everyone from giant corporations to individuals promoting themselves can gain more online traction. Follow these tips to skyrocket your following to 10,000 in no time!