If you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time and found yourself plateauing at a few hundred followers, we feel your pain.
It can be especially frustrating when you know you have the look and the content, but your following just doesn’t seem to be growing. So how is it that other Instagram models manage to rack up thousands of followers in a few months?
You may think that those with a suspiciously high follower count are buying their followers, but it’s not necessarily true. You can usually tell by looking at their engagement: if they post something and it gets thousands of likes or comments, those followers are probably genuine. If it only gets a couple of hundred, then either their content is not engaging their followers, or their followers are bots. Either way, something’s wrong with their strategy.
In order to get high engagement, you need to build an ‘organic’ following – that is, real individuals who are actually interested in your content. It’s actually fairly simple to do, but definitely requires some persistence and organisation. These tips can work for many kinds of accounts, from fitness to fashion design, but we’re going to use model accounts as examples in this case.
1. Post every day. Yes, every day.
If you have the content, then post the content. Yes, you may lose a few followers, but you will gain others, and the result is an upward trend. As long as you are posting decent content, people know you are there – no one wants to follow a dead account.
2. Vary the kind of content you post.
As a model, you generally want to show your best, most professional looking pictures – but your Instagram is not your portfolio. Show some behind-the-scenes shots, some back-of-the-camera shots, a few selfies. Opening up a little and showing some less strictly curated images makes you seem more relatable to fans – and as we’ve mentioned before, people like people who they can relate to.
3. Collaborate with others.
Doing an actual collaboration with other people who have a similar following to you is beneficial to you both as you can show your work to a whole new audience who are interested in the same things. As a model, collaborating with photographers, fashion designers and makeup artists is ideal. You don’t have to do a full collaboration for this effect though – just doing Instagram story shout-outs and tags can provide the exposure you need.
4. Hashtag, and hashtag well.
Using a wide variety of hashtags will get your posts before different audiences. Don’t use the obvious ones either – #model has 145 millions posts, and the chance that yours will be seen is very slim. For comparison, #modelinglife only has 59.2k posts – much better odds! Appeal to more specific audiences with more specific hashtags. #curvymodel has more than half a million posts, so you’re more likely to be seen on #curvymodels which has 51k posts, or even #curvymodelsrock which has less than 6k posts. For the best results, use all three.
5. Play to your strengths.
Related to using correct hashtags is posting the content that appeals to your audience. It might seem counter-intuitive, but it is easier to appeal to a niche audience than a wide one. For example, you would get a larger and more loyal following if you market yourself as a ‘pin-up model’ than the much more generic ‘fashion model’. So if you have a niche, then stick to it!
With some persistence, it’s possible to rack up those impossible numbers. Keep at it, and eventually you can get the kind of following that you can monetize, if that’s the route you want to go down; or simply just show your work to as many people as possible. #inspirational