How to Grow Your Instagram Following

Written by The Influencer League

On January 19, 2021

One of the biggest struggles influencers face on their influencer journey is growing their social media following. With the access to the coveted “swipe-up” feature on Instagram being unlocked once you hit 10K followers, there’s no wonder why influencers make gaining 10K followers the desired goal. Today, we’re going to briefly chat about how to grow your Instagram following in 2021.

More than 70% of reported influencers across the globe have less than 10K followers on Instagram and are categorized as nano-influencers. Roughly 25% have anywhere from 10K-50K followers and fall within the micro-influencer… Share on X

Whether you are looking to hit your first 10K on Instagram, or grow another 10K followers in 2021, here are 3 ways to help your growth:


1. Build relationships with your current following.

Whether you have great engagement or not, the people who currently follow you should feel connected to you in some way.

When mastering the Instagram algorithm, the FIRST group of people who are going to see your posts are your current followers. Having that relationship with them means them wanting to share your posts with others, like, comment, save & share.

The influencers who start learning early on with less than 10K followers, tend to feel more comfortable & at ease when they start to grow because they’ve been doing this for a while.

2. Build relationships with non-followers.

No one knows you exist unless you’re going out & engaging with them. There are SO many ways to go about finding & engaging with people who don’t currently follow you. The best way to manage your Instagram growth strategy is by following the tips below. There are some methods in the “red zone” that we don’t recommend. “Yellow zone” methods should be used with caution & discretion. “Green zone” methods are organic & we 100% suggest you try them!

Red Zone

The “red zone” is where people are buying likes and/or followers. While this may seem like the quick way, it’s also the most likely to get you banned from working on future brand deals. The followers may not be in your target demographic thus making them irrelevant to the brands you want to work with anyway.

Yellow Zone

The “yellow zone” are activities such as loop giveaways or follow loops. Loop giveaways are where you pay a fee to participate with a group of other influencers and you all post the same photo at the same time on the same day and you each are assigned 1 person in the loop to tag. While they may boost a temporary spike in followers or engagement, these people are more after the prize being offered than your regular content.

Green Zone

The “green zone” has a few organic methods that will not jeopardize your account.

  • Gary Vee $1.80 method – The $1.80 is where you take 10 hashtags in your niche and comment on the top 9 photos in each hashtag. Thus, leaving your “2 cents”.
  • 3-in-1 method – In the 3-in-1 method you are liking 3 photos and leaving 1 comment on one person’s page. This one gives you the opportunity to build more of a personal online relationship with this person.

These may take a little longer, however, they have the best organic reach and more sustainability.  You’ll have to schedule some time out of your day for these 2 “green zone” methods but the results will become consistent.

When learning how to grow your Instagram following, remember this isn’t “one-size-fits-all.”

What works for you may not work for someone else. So, create a strategy that makes sense for YOU.

3. Cross-Promote.

We would be doing you all a disservice if we didn’t encourage you to utilize ALL of your platforms for growth.

We have seen multiple examples with our clients where we’ve had them focus on different platforms throughout the year so they can build a strong presence everywhere.

For example, a photographer began to utilize TikTok to share short-form videos with photography tips. Utilizing the generous algorithm, her TikTok profile grew to over half a million followers within 6 months. As a result, she grew from less than 30K followers on Instagram, to over 100K followers in less than a year.

If you do this correctly, then you will notice your other platforms sending new followers to your Instagram!

Trust your Journey

As we mentioned before, please, TRUST where you are in your journey. Whether you have 1K followers of 60K followers, your journey is your own. When strategizing how to grow your Instagram following, remember STRATEGY first, CONTENT second, CONSISTENCY third.

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