One of the most asked questions from those looking to have a bigger presence on social media- is “how did you grow your following?” To be honest, I  personally feel my @thechutneylife following grew quite slowly compared to followers who just in one short year grew their follower count to over 100K! That takes serious strategy and dedication! I  like to think my follower count grew slower because I took a lot of social media breaks (first trimester morning sickness was a bitch), and I definitely don’t post consistently! However, I’m proud of the slow, steady and organic growth and I wanted to share some tips for you all!

Why does follower count matter? It was really really hard to get brands to take me seriously or want to pay for my work when I  had just 5K followers. A large following means that people are interested in you and care about your recommendations. To a brand who is looking to market a product etc., this definitely matters. Even if you’re not blogging to make an income but want to build a following so you have some support for when you decide to launch a product etc- more followers will hopefully result in more sales or more support for your next venture! If you’re simply doing this for fun- more followers means your message and your talents are inspiring more and more people everyday – nothin wrong with that!

Here are five ways you can increase your follower count:

  1. Hashtags! This might seem #basic but instead of using random tags like “love” “fashion” look at some popular accounts that are similar to you and see the kinds of hashtags they are using! Make sure the hashtags are relevant and specific because they really do help users find your page! Using specific tags like “homedecorideas” or “healthytoddlerrecipes” can really help!
  2. Follow other influencers and ENGAGE! If you like content you see, like the picture, leave a comment and message that influencer to let them know- its totally ok to be a fan girl! You can also re share their photos and just remember to always be genuine! Don’t think that larger accounts don’t see your messages or support! It’s important to build a community and remember that it’s not a competition. Leaving comments on these influencers photos not only shows them support but other users will see your handle in the comments section and out of curiosity might check out your page and give you a follow!
  3. Add followers who aren’t influencers too! For example, if your niche is home decor- go to a popular page for home decor and click on the followers who are following that account. Its safe to say that the people following that account are interested in home decor too. Just go down the list and add those accounts ! Feels a little creepy but it works- and the people who want to actually follow you will- the others will decline and thats ok.
  4. Facebook Groups! You can join a ton of Facebook groups whether they are specifically for your niche or not- are a great added bonus to gaining visibility. Sometimes a little shameless plug in a local Facebook group promoting your IG page for anyone who might want to follow is totally ok- just make sure the rules of the group allow this!
  5. Content Content Content. Focus on creating visually appealing and valuable content. Make it genuine and pay attention to when you get more engagement on a certain post. What about that post made it popular?  When do you find the most engagement, mornings or nights? These metrics will give you an idea of your audience base and help you understand their tendencies.  Instagram is a VISUAL space so remember that high quality photos are also super important! Take some time working on your skills, planning ahead with content and check out youtube to see how you can learn to take better photos- sometimes all you need is your phone!