Welcome back to part 3 of the INSTAGRAM SERIES during which I've touched on topics such as shadowbanning, why you are losing followers on instagram and instagram travel photography tips for beginners. This week we'll be looking at the 3 real reasons your instagram account is not growing and what you can do about it. I'm really excited to share this topic with you as it's the one YOU requested I talk about. So, without further ado, let's get stuck in!
Grow your instagram account with great photography!
Instagram is a visual platform and hence the accounts that do best are the ones that display great visual imagery. I know that when instagram started it was about the 'insta' in instagram AKA candid snaps of your everyday life. But as the platform has grown and people's expectations have changed, amateur and 'insta' snaps just aren't appealing to the masses anymore. Instead carefully curated photo galleries with beautiful 'professional' pictures speak to more people and inspire them to click the FOLLOW button.
FREE things you can do to improve your photography and grow your instagram following!
Get free photography advice! There are countless blogs that offer free photography advice. I've tried hard to include informative blog posts about food photography which you can access here. But I also invite you to check out edible perspective and playful cooking to name but a few for some free tips and tricks.
Create a photography inspiration board on pinterest. I find it quite overwhelming sometimes to look at and learn from images on instagram. Instead I like to create photography inspiration boards on pinterest where I study WHY an image work. I know it sounds a bit dorky, but it really helps understand some key (food) photography basics. I invite you to follow some of my boards and use pinterest as a learning tool the way I do.
Participate in a FREE instagram photography challenge. I hosted a 10 day FREE instagram photography challenge this summer and the feedback I heard again and again from those taking part was that the challenge really pushed them creatively and made them think about (their) photography in a different way. You can check out everyone's work under the #TLPlovesIG. I also warmly invite you to take part in the 12 day FREE instagram photography autumn challenge which starts this October (2017). Please just join the mailing list at the bottom of this blog posts to get further info soon!
Finally, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! It's really the only way to hone your craft!
More on how you can improve your photography and grow your instagram following!
Get the right photography gear! You don't HAVE to get the latest and greatest camera, but truth be told a nice iphone or a decent DSLR will go a long way. If you want to see what I shoot with, please check out my FAQ page. (BTW I'm wondering if you'd like me to do a blog post about (food) photography gear. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section).
Invest in a good (food) photography course. I appreciate that some courses can be pricey, but I can honestly say that (with the right teacher) any financial investment you make in your own learning is really, really worth it! Not only can a hands-on course take your photography to the next level, it can also provide you with the opportunity to connect with like-minded creatives. INVALUABLE!
On that note, if you've been following the blog, you know that Aimee and I are teaching a 3-day food photography and food styling workshop this September. There are still some spaces left and it would be lovely to see you there.
Grow your instagram account by posting regularly!
I'm sure this isn't news, but it's SO important I HAD to include it in my top 3 list. It's also why I always mention this point when I'm working with my instagram mentoring clients.
I appreciate you're busy. I appreciate you have a life outside of instagram, but the reality is, if you're serious about growing your instagram following you need to post AT LEAST once a day, ideally 2 or 3 times a day!
It's a full on commitment which I know about first hand. During 2016 when I grew my instagram account by more than 30,000 followers I posted daily for about 7-8 months. Since then I have shifted my focus away from instagram to do more creative styling work, photography and teaching in real life. As a result, the rate of my growth has slowed down significantly (but it's been worth it ;)).
In short - I've tried and tested this hypothesis and can tell you with confidence that frequency matters!
Things you can do to grow your instagram following if you don't have time
- Make the most of #TBT (Turn Back Thursday). On Thursdays (and any other day of the week for that matter) you can re-post one of your older pictures on your instagram gallery. By re-using a shot you took 6 months ago for example, you can still ensure you're posting content at regular intervals without needing to constantly create new photos.
- Be creative on the weekends. If you work full-time during the week then use the weekend to take 5-6 images. You can then gradually post these throughout the working week.
- Relax! Growing your instagram account is cool but it's not the be all and end all. If posting daily just isn't a possibility for you or (like me) you don't want to post daily, then embrace the fact that your instagram will grow slowly but steadily and enjoy your time off line to the max.
- Want more time saving tips? I'd be happy to do a blog post about it. Just let me know in the comment section if this is of interest.
Grow your instagram account by being social!
Like the two points I made above, I'm sure this one isn't brand new info either. BUT, I DO believe that most people grossly underestimate how important being social on instagram actually is. And by 'being social' I don't mean, pressing the heart button every once in a while. No, I mean leaving genuine, real, positive comments on several accounts every single day.
You feel you are being social but still are not growing your instagram following?
- Perhaps you are commenting on the same 15-25 instagram accounts? If so, see what happens if you're a bit bold and comment on accounts you love but usually don't normally comment on.
- Perhaps you are commenting on big instagram accounts only? If so, see what happens if you comment on some smaller accounts too.
- Perhaps you actually aren't really being social. The occasional emoji in somone's comment section does NOT count as a genuine, real, positive comment!!!! If the account you're commenting on is friendly and lovely, they won't bite you, I promise ;). So please don't feel self conscious and just go for it.
- There are 101 reasons why commenting is SO important. Way too many reasons in fact to touch on in today's blog post. But again, if you'd like me to write about this topic, just let me know.
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Got any thoughts and feelings about this blog post? Then please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.
P.S. I'm on the Galapagos Islands at the mo' with nearto no internet connection!!!! With that in mind I'm not sure how I got this post to go live to be honest but I am sure I'll be off line for the rest of the week. Hence part 4 of the INSTAGRAM SERIES is unlikely to see the light of day soon. So sorry. But I'll be back in 2 weeks time with new content. See you then :).
UPDATE: I did manage to get that fourth part up. You can find it here.