Interested in getting real followers for Instagram? Tired of bots, groups, and other fake methods to get free Instagram followers quickly? Going crazy spending time sharing content and hoping? You’re in the right place! We set out to answer one of the most-asked questions about Instagram by asking our network of influencers to anonymously share their secrets to get Instagram followers. Read on to find out what we learned, and be sure to read our latest eBook published in partnership with NOTICE Agency: How to Become a Paid Instagram Influencer, How I make a Six-Figure Income Partnering With Brands.
To get free Instagram followers, you’ve got to have great content, but these 10 secrets from Instagram pros can turbocharge the process.
1. Real followers for Instagram want high quality content: Upgrade your gear!
It’s a fact: Pictures that are structured and more professional get likes on Instagram. The network is dominated by visually pleasing pics and videos, and that means to compete you’ll have to bring your A game to the table. That starts with your equipment. While smartphones are getting better, nothing takes the place of a true camera. Thankfully, a number of excellent models and packages are now available to fuel your followers’ content craving, and suss out the real followers for Instagram.
Spending hundreds of dollars can be a tough pill to swallow, but you’ll also be building a skill that could come in handy in your day job or personal life. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there’s no such thing as free Instagram followers either!
“I used to take all my pics with a iPhone, which was awesome to start. But I got to a level maybe at 20k followers where things were really slowing down. I bought a Canon EOS Rebel starter pack from Amazon to up my photo game. The difference was instant and I was getting more likes than ever. Now my account is over 65k and growing faster than ever before, so can’t recommend upgrading equipment enough.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
2. Mobilize your squad to get Instagram likes
Ready to take advantage of one of the most closely-guarded secrets of top Instagrammers? People who get the most likes have a pod – or group of Instagram friends that mutually agree to help each other out. So how do you get started? First, reach out to like-minded friends (or even strangers you follow) to let them know you are starting a group to get free Instagram followers. Assemble the team in a chat app like WhatsApp to alert each other when you post. Members of the group should all agree to like and comment on each others’ content the moment it hits Instagram. Not only will you show Instagram’s algorithm that your content is trending, but you’ll also build valuable relationships with other people too.
“Becoming a fashion influencer is really hard right now because there are so many people in the space. To keep my competitive edge I had to partner up with 6 other really great people I met at events. Our group is awesome because when anyone posts they let everyone else know, and then we all go like and comment on that photo. We’re even building our content calendars together now, so we know who is going to post what and when. We’ve all gotten new followers from it, and the number of likes I get per post is 50-60% more than it used to be.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
3. Get free Instagram followers with a content niche
Instagram loves specialized content that can’t be found elsewhere. So what’s your special area of focus? You should pick something that you are passionate about and that photographs well. Using high-contrast imagery featuring idyllic or perfectly constructed images will get followers’ attention, and be more likely to net you entirely new followers. Instagram can still be organic in nature, so to get real followers for Instagram you have to play by the algorithm’s rules. More stunning images will get faster likes and comments, which will also accelerate your account growth. Niche or very specific hashtags can also have a big impact on your follower count.
“2 years ago I started out sharing pictures of food, which was going great until I hit about 10k followers. I knew I needed to get deeper into a certain aspect of cuisine that really interested me, and figure out how to become Instagram famous in the culinary world. Creating niche content was the secret, because in half a year I was able to get to over 100,000 followers no problem, and still growing.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
4. A fun account name and image acts as an Instagram like booster
Think long and hard about your account name. Does it read as funny, weird, or memorable? If not, you’re missing out on one of the most important tricks to getting Instagram followers. Those followers will notice when you like or comment on other content, and then explore your account. Now all you have to do is sit back and get free Instagram followers that are actually interested in your content.
“The first account handle I had was just a play on my name. When I started to get more attention around my account, I decided to change it to a really funny thing my friend came up with – we tested it out with our friends and every person was laughing that heard it. After the switch people were liking and commenting a lot more, it was like the smallest change with the biggest impact for me personally.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
5. Learn about the Instagram algorithm and be on the lookout for changes
The Instagram algorithm is a hidden set of factors that control who sees your posts. Internet speculation about the exact factors that impact the algorithm can run wild, but the reality is nobody but Instagram’s product team knows for sure. It’s also always changing, so what you read today may not be true tomorrow. That said, from the perspective of Instagram, it’s likely that anything designed to surface high quality content will contribute. That means photos and videos that get immediate likes, comments, and shares will be shown to more people, and accounts that generate more interesting content will get more views and likes. If you want to get more followers on Instagram pay attention to the way your posts are distributed, and look out for changes. Generally as long as you follow the tips in this guide you’ll be in a great position.
“My intern and I spend a lot of time working on how to impact the Instagram algorithm. It’s part being quick to respond and part finding the right times, days, hashtags, and every other detail and tweaking those based on performance. I switched my profile to a business account earlier this year, and now I can see a lot more of the data behind each post. That’s helping us do better every day and learn if something works or doesn’t. It’s a trial and error mentality.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
6. Respond to your fans for more free Instagram followers
When you make better content, you can expect more likes and comments. It’s critical during the first 24 hours of a post to like back, respond to comments, and generally be present with your audience. When you interact with the people showing you like love, you’ll start to see them coming back more often to check on your feed, like your latest content, and ask questions. You’ll even see the Instagram algorithm push your pictures to new users who don’t already follow you. Timeliness is a key secret to get free Instagram followers, and it works perfectly with the pod strategy mentioned above.
“I always set aside 30 minutes after each post to quickly respond to comments and make sure I’m giving my fans something to talk about. Sometimes we have whole conversations in the comments section of a post. Since I crossed the 50,000 follower mark I’ve been spending even more time doing it, but it’s worth it because if I don’t the post won’t be seen by as many people.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
7. Get out and about at real events and experiences and get real followers for Instagram
While staring at your smartphone all day seems like the best way to work on Instagram, putting the device down and getting outside can benefit too. By focusing on your content niche and finding events and experiences to attend, you’ll meet other like-minded people who will instantly admire your work. That means you’re building loyalty just by showing up, and also helping meet the other players looking to create content in your niche. The best Instagrammers are always on the move, and using events to build friends and win free Instagram followers at the same time.
“Some of the best friends I have I met through food events at various restaurants and bars. The PR agencies invited us and after 3-4 events we were thick as thieves. Now we help each other get more followers and work with brands. It’s really special, I’m lucky I guess!” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
8. Make yourself known to key contacts
Instagram agencies find Instagram influencers and recruit them into brand campaigns. When it’s time to start making money with your newfound Instagram fame, you need to turn to the businesspeople with the power to bring influencers into a campaign. That means they should know who you are, and what you’re all about. Part of this comes from having a carefully worded Instagram profile with a contact email clearly displayed. Part of it is also working in platforms like LinkedIn to identify and contact the right people. Start with your favorite brands, and build a map of the people you’ll need to work with. Request contact on LinkedIn, or even call the company to let them know you enjoy their products. At the very least they will be happy to know a content creator is interested in their brand.
“I started by reaching out to PR agencies and marketing teams on LinkedIn, but a lot of people were finding me from the email in my profile too. Basically I keep in front of the agencies because they are recommending influencers to brands and then setting up the relationship. It’s also good because they job hop a lot and then you get introduced to a new agency when your contact switches and they become real followers for Instagram too.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
9. Force yourself to improve your craft and creativity
When you start to get momentum and the Instagram followers are rolling in it can be tempting to slack off. You may not post as often, or stop commenting and engaging with your fans as much. The problem is that Instagram is always changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow. The only way to know the changes is to be deeply involved on a daily basis. If something changes, you’ll sense it. Push yourself to learn new photography skills and even push into video production. The more interesting your content stream, the better off you’ll be when it comes to brand interest, and it’s a big piece of how Instagram influencers make money and getting real followers for Instagram.
“One thing I did was read about marketing and learn that world. The brands that now pay me to create content almost use a different language when they talk about results, so it really helps to get in their head. There are a lot of books out there on marketing, but look for ones that are really current and aware of social media. I recommend a few like The Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business, it does a pretty good job of connecting the dots.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer
10. Don’t buy Instagram followers or ‘fake it’ in other ways, go for real followers for Instagram
With all the controversy around Instagram influencers Photoshopping or outright faking content, the fastest growing accounts keep things as transparent as possible. Don’t lie to your audience, and make sure you call out brand partnerships or paid posts. While it’s tempting to try and buy Instagram followers, you’ll find that the lack of engagement actually hurts your overall ability to grow Instagram followers quickly. That means Instagram will see you have a large number of followers, but few likes, comments, or natural engagements. Influencer marketing has gone wrong for a number of big brands, so today brands have tools that detect fake followers., so you’re better off working to get Instagram followers using the tips and strategies outlined here. Good luck future Instagram influencer!
“I fell for the temptation to buy Instagram followers early on. It worked for a while, but as Instagram became better about spotting this I noticed I was barely getting any pickup. After working on my account for 2 years it was painful, but eventually by focusing on growing honestly I overcame that slowdown. Now it’s pretty easy to spot a faker, so I’m glad I get followers the right way.” – Anonymous Instagram Influencer