How to Get Your First 1000 Instagram Followers

October 4, 2017

instagram camera design

These days with how popular social media has become there are a surprising number of people worried about how many Instagram followers they have and wondering how they can get more without relying on bots or spammy techniques.

I first started using Instagram a few years ago and never really focused on growing my followers until quite recently. I imagine it was a lot easier to build up a following back in the day but thankfully if you put in a little bit of effort each day you can definitely grow a dedicated and loyal following of Instagram followers.

Maybe this is the first time you looked up how to get your first 1000 Instagram followers or maybe you’ve tried quite a few different Instagram marketing techniques like giveaways, takeovers, and whatever else people are promoting these day without much success.

The problem with these different techniques and strategies is that they don’t really work that well unless you have a large following to begin with so you’re just spinning your wheels without making any progress when it comes to your following.

So for those of you that have less than a thousand followers on Instagram or you just want to continue to grow your following then you’re definitely going to love what I’m about to share with you in this detailed post.

You might be thinking that you need tens of thousands, or even millions of followers to start making money on Instagram – thankfully this isn’t the case at all and once you build up a loyal and dedicated following of around 1000 or so then you can start promoting something and selling to your audience.

Until then you don’t need to worry about making any sales at all and you’re better off focusing on building up a dedicated and engaged following.

Today I want to share with you some of the best things that you can do to get up to your first 1000 followers and help you out with some tips that you can continue to use for growing your audience.

The Best Strategy to Get Your First 1000 Instagram Followers

getting your first thousand IG followers

At first I’m going to go over some general guidelines on setting up your Instagram account for success and then I’ll follow up with a laser guided list of steps that you can take for getting up to that first 1000 and beyond.

Know What You Want to Achieve

Before even picking up your smartphone and hopping on the Instagram app I want you to visualize what it is that you want to achieve with your account.

Having a goal is going to make it a lot easier for you to stick with this process and follow through with these different steps rather than just trying for a few days and fizzling out because you don’t have any idea why you’re putting in all this effort.

Obviously you want to achieve your first 1000 Instagram followers so I want you to visualize that in your head and even say it out loud a few times so that it becomes a lot more real.

  • “I want to get my first 1000 followers on Instagram”

You should also consider giving yourself a deadline for how long it’s going to take you to achieve your goal.

Depending on how active you are on Instagram I would recommend anywhere between 1 month and 3 months because it’s definitely possible to achieve this level of following in this timeframe as long as you’re dedicated and you put in the work.

Now that you have a better idea of what you’re going to achieve with your Instagram account that’s continue on with the rest of the steps that are going to help you reach your goal.

Set Up Your Profile for Success

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to set up your profile for success.

Even if you already have a profile and a small Instagram following you’re still going to want to take a look at it and Implement any of the changes that I’m about to suggest.

Starting off, it’s a good idea to use a relevant profile picture that’s either a clear photo of your face or at least related to whatever the topic of your account is.

For example, if you’re a travel blogger you can use a photo of yourself in front of a popular landmark or if you’re selling something then make sure to include a clear and bright image of whatever you’re promoting.

After fixing your picture you’re going to want to focus on your Instagram bio.

A surprising number of people are going to read your bio and you’re going to want to make sure that it’s engaging, informative, and relatable to your audience.

For those of you that want to drive people to your blog or product page you’re going to want to make sure that you include a link in your bio and don’t forget to include a direct call to action so that people know that you want them to click on the link.

Along with the link make sure to include some information about who you are and what you’re able to provide for your audience .

Here are some amazing examples of great Instagram bios that you can check out and model yours after:

travel blogger bio

gary v bio

I’ll also be writing an in-depth post about how you can write your own awesome Instagram bio so make sure to check back for that if you still need help with it.

Start Out with At Least 9 Pictures

Nothing is worse than visiting an account and seeing that they only have three or four pictures on their page that don’t even fill up the entire home screen.

For most smartphones you’re going to need to have at least nine images that you’ve already uploaded to Instagram for a full screen of images. I would even recommend having at least 20 or 30 before you start worrying about getting more followers.

The reason why this is important is because you want people that visit your account to see that you’re uploading regularly and that you have a page worth following rather than coming across as someone that doesn’t care about uploading photos and that’s in it just for promoting something.

using smartphone for social

Speaking about promoting, even if you are selling a product with your Instagram account you want to make sure that you upload a mix of product related and more general themed images.

No one wants to see 30 pictures of scarves or toothbrushes so you’re going to be much better off if you mix it up with the style of images that you’re uploading.

Know Who Your Audience Is

When you’re starting an Instagram account you should already have a general idea of who your audience is that you plan on targeting and how you can relate to them on a more personal basis when it comes to promoting your blog, product, or service.

Make sure to spend time each day browsing relevant accounts and interacting with other people online that are sharing content in the same niche as you.

For example, lifestyle bloggers are going to want to spend time on other popular lifestyle blogs reading comments and seeing what people are looking for more information about.

They’re also going to want to head to the Instagram accounts of other lifestyle bloggers to see the types of content that they’re uploading and what people are saying in the comment section.

You really want to try to get into the mind of your target audience because this is going to help you in the long run with growing your account and developing an engaged following that’s going to look to you for advice and support.

Use the Right Hashtags

hashtags for social media

At this point you should have a nicely set up Instagram page with at least 9 images uploaded and this is a great starting off point for growing your following up to a thousand followers.

If you haven’t done so already it’s time to start using hashtags with your photos

Before now you might have just been using a few random ones but now is the time to find out which hashtags you can use so that your target audience is able to discover your photos.

The wrong way to go about it is to use really popular hashtags like “love”, “blogger”, or “travel”. The problem with using these ones is that there are so many people uploading photos with these hashtags that very few people are going to get the chance to see your photo before it disappears.

What you want to do is use hashtags that are very specific to your target audience and that aren’t as popular so that you have a much better chance of showing up closer to the top or even in the “popular” section of the hashtag list of images.

Finding the right hashtags to use for Instagram is a really easy thing to do.

First, search for some general yet relevant hashtags for your niche (topic) and check to see which ones some of the users with photos in the popular section are using.

This is a great place to start and you can find some gems here.

Make sure to look at the total results and try to stick between 50,000 and 500,000 results. This is going to keep your image closer to the top of the hashtag search results for a longer period of time and it’s going to help more people to find your account.

Second, head to the search feature of and search for words and phrases relevant to your topic and niche.

This is a great tool that will give you some more hashtags you can use and hopefully will give you some ideas for finding others.

Let me give you an example of how I’d find hashtags. I’ll go with the travel niche for a budget travel blogger.

I start by searching for “#budgettravel” on Instagram and I can see that it has 173,000 results – this is one I’ll definitely use.

finding hashtags to use

Following through with the search I checked out the top posts and found some more gems like “#traveldestination” with 162,000 results, “#tripgram” with 82,000 results, and “#backpackerlife” with 342,000 results.

This is a great start and it’s the exact process I use to find hashtags. Each one will lead you to even more that you can use but make sure they’re relevant.

Once you have about 20 or so hashtags to use you can copy them to your smartphone clipboard and use them whenever you upload a photo.

With your hashtags ready to go you can start uploading photos using your specific hashtags and you should notice likes and engagement right away with the followers starting to trickle in if you’re uploading quality content that your audience likes.

Engage With Your Audience

To grow your Instagram following organically you’re going to want to be interacting with your audience and other popular accounts in your niche.

This means searching for the hashtags that you’re using on your own photos and liking, following, and leaving comments for the images and accounts that you come across.

Your goal here is to both gain a new follower (the person that you’re interacting with) as well as to expose your account to other people checking out photos with the hopes that they’re going to check out your account and follow you as well.

Other Instagram users are going to see you engaging with people and as long as you’re uploading content that’s relevant to their interests then they’re very likely to follow you.

One thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t want to leave generic comments and you’re going to be much better off if you write something insightful and genuine so that you come across as a human being rather than a bot.

Try to Post 1-3 Times Each Day

I come across a lot of accounts that only post once or twice a week or they post often but not on a consistent basis.

The way the Instagram algorithm works these days is going to benefit users that post regularly with content that gets a lot of engagement.

Instagram wants people to stay on their app so they’re going to reward users that are uploading photos that other people enjoy and engage with as well as rewarding users who are spending a lot of time interacting with other people on the app itself.

While you could just schedule your posts you’re going to miss out on a lot of engagement and interactions this way and it could hurt you in the long run when it comes to building a following.

As for how often to post, I would recommend posting 3 times a day if you have the content and time for it otherwise you want to make sure that you’re at least posting once a day to stay relevant and to constantly keep your audience and potential following engaged.

Bonus Strategy for Getting Instagram Followers Fast

growing your instagram followers

So far I’ve covered just about everything I would do if I was growing a brand new account but there’s also one more little strategy that I’d like to share if you want to grow your following as fast as possible.

The steps and different methods that I’ve listed above should only take you about 20 to 30 minutes each day to accomplish depending on how much time you spend following other people and interacting with your audience.

However, if you’re in a rush and you really want to skyrocket your Instagram growth then here’s a helpful strategy that you can implement if you’re willing to spend 45 minutes or more on Instagram each day.

Bonus Strategy

  1. Once every few days follow 10 or so of the top accounts and influencers in your niche with at least 100k followers. Make sure that these people are posting every day and it’s even better if they’re posting more than once each day.
  2. Follow these top accounts and make sure to select the “Turn On Post Notifications” setting so that you get a notification whenever they post a new photo.
  3. Whenever that notification comes through to your phone you’re going to want to immediately like the photo and quickly click on the list of people that have also liked it.
  4. These people are active on Instagram right now and are like the interested in the same niche/topic that you’re in so they’re your perfect target audience and are people that you actually want following you.
  5. Follow as many of these people as you want (I would recommend anywhere from 10 to 30 at a time as long as you’re also interested in the types of content that they’re sharing).
  6. If you have the time you can quickly leave a comment or interact with them but that’s not really necessary at this point.
  7. Since they just liked another photo they’re going to get a notification that someone just followed them and they’re probably going to check out your account to see who you are. As long as they like the photos that you’re uploading and that they’re relevant to their interests they’re going to follow you back as well.
  8. Rinse and repeat this until you have as many followers as you want!

This is definitely the strategy that I would take advantage of if I was growing a brand new account and trying to get more Instagram followers as a beginner.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this guide has been helpful for you and will act as a stepping stone on your journey to growing your Instagram account and building a loyal, engaged, and dedicated following.

As long as you take the time each day, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, to  work on growing your account I’m positive that you’ll be able to achieve the following that you want in the next few months.

These tactics and strategies will also help you continue to grow your Instagram following in the future so make sure to refer back to this guide whenever you need help.

Although I’d share with you the different strategies that I use for growing my own accounts you should always be trying out new things and testing different tactics that you come across to get a better idea of what’s going to be most effective for your own account and Instagram strategy.

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