When I was in the transition phase of being a college grad but still looking for full-time work (about three years ago), I decided to start focusing on building my Instagram following. During the first phase of my social media influencer journey, I tried other platforms in addition to Instagram, but I discovered that Instagram was really the easiest way to reach my target audience.
Lots of influencers have blogs, which is great — except driving traffic to a website is a lot more difficult than driving traffic to your Instagram page (which is, after all, why brands pay influencers to link to their websites).
Ultimately, Instagram posts are highly searchable. People can find you via hashtags, location, brand tags, and more. So there are a ton of different opportunities for users to discover your content.
Initial Setbacks to Instagram Growth
Growing my account was difficult at first. Like with any new project, the beginning is always the hardest.
Initially, I only had a couple of hundred followers. It was hard to get my significant other and my friends to understand why I was working so hard on something that, at the time, showed little to no return.
In business however, you have to spend money to make money. I spent money on a camera, editing software, and new clothes in addition to spending many precious hours shooting, editing, and reaching out to brands.
It was hard to overcome these challenges and boost my following. At first, I tried using giveaways to get Instagram followers — I would collaborate on giveaways with fellow fashion, fitness, and health bloggers to get my Instagram profile in front of my target audience.
I also tried automated commenting robots, but that was a complete bust. It’s always better to cultivate a long-term strategy than to settle for quick wins.
Like-for-like, comment-for-comment, follow-for-follow, you name it — I tried every strategy in the book. Eventually I found the methods that work for my page, and used a growth service to help me get Instagram followers.
Throughout the whole process, I learned that hard work pays off. Everyone on Instagram starts at zero. If becoming an influencer was easy, everyone would do it. I put in the time and effort, and now I’m seeing an ROI on my investment. Nobody questions why I invest so much time and money into my Instagram account anymore.