In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to create an Instagram account and attract 100 new followers in less than a week.
In fact, we did it in just four days.
Why should you build a following on Instagram? With over 700 million monthly active users and growing, Instagram is one of the best platforms for reaching a massive and engaged audience.
If you’re curious, you can find us on Instagram here: @emindset
Here are 5 actionable steps to get 100 followers on Instagram without buying followers or “mass following” up to 50 users per hour.
Step 1. Understand the 4 keys to a successful profile
Your profile is your first impression. Whenever you like a photo, post a comment or follow someone on Instagram, people will see your username and profile image first.
Choose a memorable username. Hopefully you’ve chosen a good username. You’ll want something that’s catchy enough to convince someone to view your profile from your likes and comments. Don’t make it a jumble of letters and numbers. Don’t use underscores or periods unless you really have to. (Even then, only use one.)
Create a high quality profile image. Your profile image should be immediately appealing at small sizes. If you’re an individual, you should have a good headshot. If it’s for your brand or company, you should create it with a company logo or brand image. Make sure there’s enough empty space around your logo so it isn’t cut off by the circle.
Craft your bio. Your bio should be a succinct summary and call-to-action for people to follow you. Why should someone follow you? What is your profile about? For example, if you’re publishing motivational quotes or educational content for entrepreneurs, you can include a few relevant keywords like “Motivation Inspiration Education” in your bio.
Enter a website URL (if you have one). Don’t worry about setting up an opt-in for an email newsletter or product page if you don’t already have one. We’ll get into that later. You should be more concerned with gaining followers than capturing emails right now.
Step 2. Decide on your “theme”
Choose 1 or 2 major themes to act as the guardrails for all your posts.
In the beginning, you should stick to a single theme. Most of your content should live within this theme.
For example, Elite Mindset is a leader in the mindset of top influencers and motivation for self-made entrepreneurs. We make sure to target this theme in all of our early posts on Instagram.
If you diverge too much from your main theme, you’ll lose some followers. Make it easy for people to figure out what you’re about.
You can always expand your reach after building an audience, but it helps to stick to one theme in the beginning.
Step 3. Choose the right hashtags
Your theme will help you determine the hashtags you’re going to use.
When you’re starting out, people will find you through almost exclusively through your hashtags.
Hashtags are the single most important tool for growing your audience on Instagram.
Compile a list of 30 hashtags that are related to your theme. This list of hashtags will form the backbone of your content strategy.
Why 30? Instagram allows you to include up to 30 hashtags per post. You should use your entire allotment of 30 hashtags with every post.
You can search hashtags on Instagram in Search & Explore or by typing “#” in a comment or caption box. As you type, Instagram will automatically populate the list with popular hashtags and their post counts.
There are rules for choosing good hashtags.
First, make sure the hashtag has at least 50k posts. Anything less than 50k posts doesn’t have enough users discovering your posts.
Second, don’t use extremely popular or general hashtags like #business or #fashion. If a hashtag has several million posts, your posts will quickly get pushed down with very little engagement.
Instead, come up with a decent mix of semi-popular and popular hashtags. Your strategic list of hashtags should consist of:
- 10 smaller-sized hashtags (with between 50k and 100k posts),
- 10 medium-sized hashtags (with between 100k and 500k posts) and
- 10 larger-sized hashtags (with between 500k and 1m posts).
It’s much easier to show up in the top 9 posts for the smaller-sized hashtags. This “snowball effect” improves your chances of getting featured in the top 9 posts for the medium- and larger-sized hashtags.
Don’t post hashtags in your caption. Your hashtags should always be included in the first comment, immediately after the post is shared. This way, your caption remains clear and concise.
Your captions should include a call-to-action. We frequently ask users to “double tap” or like our posts if they enjoy them to increase engagement.
Optional step: Develop your own hashtag.
If your working on a brand or company account, you can optionally develop your own branded hashtag. Ideally, this should be a seldom-used hashtag with less than 50k posts.
Your hashtag should be the name of your brand, the name of your product or something related to your main theme.
For example, our posts are tagged with: #elitemindset
Step 4. Create compelling content
Now that you have your theme and a corresponding list of hashtags, you need to create content for Instagram.
Look at the top 9 posts for the hashtags you’ve chosen. You’re going to emulate the most popular photos you see here.
Remember, the essence of “content marketing” is to create and share content your audience is already interested in.
On Instagram, this usually means visually striking photos in your niche that capture people’s attention and encourage engagement in the form of likes and comments. (These are the first two stages of the AIDA marketing model, “Attention” and “Interest.”)
Motivational quotes and advice for entrepreneurs are two popular and incredibly viral categories on Instagram, but discover what’s relevant to your target audience.
Bonus tip: Find influencers in your niche.
Using your hashtags, find successful people in your niche on Instagram who have achieved the results you want. Follow them and follow their followers to engage with the community.
Step 5. Stick to a schedule
You don’t need to use any automated tools in the beginning to schedule posts in advance. Just keep track of a schedule and stick to it.
You should aim to publish at least one post every day, or ideally as many as 4-5 posts throughout the day.
Don’t publish multiple posts within the same hour. Make sure to space them out by at least a couple of hours.
Later on, we’ll get into features like Instagram Stories and Live Video, but in the beginning it’s enough to focus on publishing gorgeous photos to your main feed.
Make sure your photos are high resolution. For example, 1080 x 1080 pixels is the recommended size for square images.
We searched around the web for the best articles on how to get followers on Instagram. Here’s what we recommend:
Jan Orsula from WeekHack published an excellent overview, How to get 100 Instagram Followers in 24 hours, which was the initial inspiration for our Instagram strategy.
Nathan Chan from Foundr has a great article, How to Get More Followers on Instagram, on how they launched their Instagram account. (They used a number of different strategies, like paying for shoutouts, to get over 10,000 followers in the first 2 weeks. In fact, they have over a million followers on Instagram today.)
We discovered Johannes Kanter from GettingGrowth on Instagram (@gettinggrowth) after our experiment was over. However, we can recommend his guide, How to Become Famous on Instagram, to anyone starting out.
Neil Patel has a decent article, How to Get 300 Real, Targeted Instagram Followers Per Day, but we won’t link to it because his blog has too many annoying pop-ups, aggressive marketing banners and loud bell-ringing sounds to grab your attention. If you’re still inclined to read it, search for the headline in Google.
If you consistently follow the steps laid out in any one of these articles, you’ll be on your way to a massive following on Instagram. It’s that simple.
- Create a compelling profile.
- Decide on your main theme.
- Research a list of 30 strategic hashtags. Choose hashtags with predominantly between 50K and 500K posts.
- Share content your audience is already interested in.
- Be consistent. You should publish at least one post every day.
- Repeat until you’ve published at least 12 posts. We published 3-4 images a day and got over 100 followers in just four days.
Good luck! Let us know in the comments if you have success with these methods.
Finally, if you enjoyed this guide, you should follow us on Instagram.