What To Do If You Want More Instagram Followers

As a working creative, no matter if it’s a side hustle or out full time job, we all need a marketing plan that helps us attract our dream clients and build a heart-filled community. Marketing our expertise, skills and services can be a bit scary, especially if you’re first starting out. But, if you want to make an impact in the world with your work, getting in front of your core people is really important.

There are several different things you can think about when building up your marketing plan. But, the one I hear the most often from other creatives is “I want more Instagram followers.” Now, maybe you aren’t very active on Instagram but you’re looking to grow your following on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. That’s okay too!

But, I always get a bit nervous when I hear that someone wants to focus so heavily on growing their following on social media. It’s not that I don’t believe that these platforms are valuable tools to help you put yourself and your work in front of people you might have otherwise never met. I’ve made several friends just off of Instagram alone and there are quite a few businesses that I have purchased from that I’ve solely found on social media.

Oftentimes though, I find that many of these creatives are holding themselves back because they believe they can’t move forward unless they have a bigger following. And, I can’t disagree with that more. I know several creatives (I’ll list them below) that have started their businesses and worked with awesome clients that don’t have a massive following.

And while you can always keep social media as part of your digital marketing strategy, don’t pause your creative business goals because of the number of followers you have or don’t have. Instead, if you’re looking to grow your Instagram following (or any social media following for that matter) here’s what you might consider doing instead.



Ask: Why Do I Want More Followers?

When we build these beautiful creative businesses we are told to create a why behind our mission. We are guided to dig a bit deeper past the financial goals and into why we want to put our heart and soul into this work and put it out into the world.

So, let’s do the same here. Why do you want more followers? Is it because you think that will make you some more “legit” or “professional? Because that’s not true. Is it because you think no one will travel to the link in your bio to buy a product or book your services so you’d rather have the swipe up option? Because that’s not true either.

Below are 3 women I currently follow that have less than 10,000 followers and have started what I would deem as “successful” businesses from my perspective:

Jessica Payne (yes, my sister but these opinions are my own) | Followers: 787

Jessica recently shared the opportunity with her followers to preorder a mug she was crafting from scratch. Through her social media posts & email newsletter: she got over 20 preorders. Now, I don’t know about you but, I’d be happy as hell if someone bought 20 of something I launched!

Katie Kurtz | Followers: 1,488

Katie is a coach and speaker who holds gatherings for women to show up, reveal their humanness and be themselves. She has had sold out retreats, built a community of loyal women who attend her gatherings and has even built a new platform to support other coaches, brands and causes.

Jen Carrington | Followers: 6,419

I don’t know Jen personally but, through her work she has consistently encouraged me to step up and step out into the world of being a creative. She has mentioned on her podcast that she recently hit the 6-figure mark in creative business. While reaching 6-figures is not the baseline and may not be what everyone wants - this is still a prime example of how you can reach big goals without having 10,000+ followers on Instagram.

So again, why do you want more followers?

Assess: How Am I Currently Showing Up Online?

If we were grabbing coffee right now and I asked you to pull up your Instagram feed, what is the likelihood that I’d see at least 4-6 photos of YOU in your top nine photos? I know it can seem a lot easier to just show your work, or a picture of your dog or share what you had for dinner last night. There is nothing wrong with any of this posts. But, people are following your account because of YOU - not because of last night’s dinner. They came to see & hear you specifically so, show your face! I will say this until I’m blue in the face - people relate to and buy from a PERSON not a BUSINESS.

Consider: Am I Posting & Ghosting?

Are you guilty of mindlessly scrolling tapping the heart over and over again? I get it, I do that too. But the whole reason we started an Instagram account in the first place is to build a community. So why are we not sticking around and hanging out? Would you show up to a party and say “hey, I’m here! I have this cool story to share. Okay, thanks bye!” I seriously hope not because that’s a bit weird. Whether you’re on the platform to share a story or you’re looking for connection from someone else’s story - take your coat off and stay awhile. Comment on a few posts that really resonate with you, respond to comments that you’ve received and share posts that you’ve come across to your audience. This is how an authentic community is built.

Remember: Things Take Time

I know when we’re on the app and looking at everyone else, it can seem like the people with 40k, 60k, 100k followers got their overnight. But, I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes time to take photos (even if it’s just on your iPhone), create a caption and share it - over & over & over again. But a community begins when one person sticks around. And then that person tells a friend who also might like what you’re sharing. And then they both go tell other friends about you. And the cycle keeps going. Being in a rush to grow is the first way to steal the joy of where you are now. If you keep showing up and engaging with others, it will continue to grow slowly and sustainably over time.

We’ll talk real soon,