Instagram

How I Grew My Instagram to 100K Followers in Under 10 Months (While Building a House, Homeschooling Four Kids and Running a Business)

This past Sunday, I celebrated reaching 100K Instagram followers! Considering I joined Instagram in February 2018, that is pretty crazy! While I love helping others grow, and would love to take the time to help each of you grow your account, I have received so many DM’s and comments asking for advice and tips, I figured the easiest way to get the information out there would be to do a blog post. Of course, I will not be able to cover ever single strategy in one setting but I just want to share a few proven tips, techniques and tricks that I have seen work for not only myself, but for other accounts I have talked too and mentored as well. Nothing in life is easy or free, so none of these tips will bring guaranteed overnight success, rather they are principles and policies that will give you the best shot at having a successful Instagram.
While I know it is not only Momma’s I am talking to, I do want to note that I would never encourage women to spend time on their phone not 100% focused on their babies and real lives if I did not personally know that there are opportunities out there to benefit your family and give you a sense of purpose. I know sometimes as a mother, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day monotony and feel like we are not accomplishing anything! While it does take a good twenty years or so to see the results, there is nothing more important than the work we are doing! However, I have heard time and time again, that growing your personal brand on social media and the opportunities it can bring can give you a sense of accomplishment and connection you might not otherwise feel! Additionally, it can bring financial opportunities, allow families to pursue self-employment, and allow flexibility that other jobs would not. So while I think it is so important to find balance and not let this IG world consume you, I think there are plenty of ways to grow a successful IG with your phone in one hand and a vacuum in the other!

Cohesive Content
Nothing else I say matters without this. No matter how many people you attract to your page, if you don’t have content that captivates them, they will not stay. No matter what your niche is, having high quality images is vital to the success of your page. My beautiful friend Brooke and her husband Henry, from PlankandPillow.com, recently posted about how to take better interior photos for Instagram and I think they tips and tricks they shared are wonderful. I have heard the question asked many times, “do I need a high dollar camera to take IG worthy photos?” In short, the answer is no! There are plenty of very successful accounts who only use their iPhone! You need to decide on the look and feel you want for your page and carefully craft each post to suit that strategy. There are plenty of apps out there that let you play around with future post to see how they will look once added to your feed so you can post them in the order that best fits your look. Filters are a very important part of crafting the look and feel you desire and some of my favorite apps for this are Snapseed, VSCOand LightRoom. If you want to purchase presets rather than play with the photos yourself, there are plenty of places to buy them. Liz Marie Galvenactually just announced last night that she isnow selling her pre-sets and they are gorgeous! Everything else I say will not matter unless you have this part nailed down! That is not to say you have to have tons of gorgeous images in place before you even start trying to grow, but even from the beginning, let people know what look and feel they can expect from you!
Catchy Captions
With each amazing picture you share, you want to add a caption that will elicit a response. Instagram is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more it thinks people like your post because it receives a lot of likes, comments and shares , the more people will see and like your photo because the algorithm thinks it is high-quality content. Find ways to make your captions engaging, informative, or helpful. Pretend you are telling your best friend face to face about whatever you are posting. Envision they are sitting in front of you and just write what you would say! You want to make sure an include action words like ‘start,’ ‘join,’ ‘discover,’ ‘decide,’ and ‘envision,’ versus passive words. Let your audience hear the enthusiasm in your voice. If you want them to be excited about your post and respond to you, they need to know you are excited about it! Towards the end of your caption, you want to include some type of call to action. Sometimes you can do polls, ask opinions, ask for advice, there are plenty of ways to mix it up and get people talking! Using the 5 W’s, who, what, when, where, and why, are a great way to get people talking! If you do ask a question, make sure it is an open-ended question, one that cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Captivating Conversation
Once you have a few cohesive posts with catchy captions on your wall, you want to start trying to get people to see your feed! If you know you have great content, it’s all about getting people to see your name! With over 1 Billion monthly users, it can feel overwhelming thinking about getting people to notice you. However, there are steps you can take to make it happen! First of all, find large accounts in your niche that you love and engage with them! I can speak from experience now that I am on the flip side, this absolutely works! I can think of account after account that took the time to comment on my posts, share my feed, or tag me in their stories and got my attention! I read my comments and if I see a name appear several times in a row that I don’t recognize, I check them out! If I see squares I love, I follow them and sometimes share them. This exact scenario has led to countless friendships! Plus, if they really love you and share you with their followers, you can get a lot of exposure! I have had several times where I’ve shared an account and they have gotten thousands of followers in a matter of days.
Creative Collaborations
Having no previous Instagram experience was actually advantageous to me! I had no idea what was considered normal or traditional as far as growing an account. I constantly tried to think of unique and exciting ways to collaborate and grow. If I was going to do a giveaway, I would reach out to an account that had a lot of followers and offer to buy their product for my giveaway if they would simply let their followers know about it! I found a lot of success doing this! I always figured the worst that could happen was they could say no, well and they could block me which may or may not have happened once! I would collaborate with accounts much bigger than me to do different events that I created. I was constantly trying to find new ways to collaborate and generate interest in my feed. The exact way I did things is not my point, however. What I want you to think about is how YOU can creatively find ways to collaborate with others! Try to think outside of the box and find new and different ways to make relationships and grow your following!
Correctly Cultivate
While there are so many techniques and ideas you can try for growing your personal brand and Instagram, no matter what you decide to try, you have to do it organically. Taking the time to correctly cultivate relationships is what gives you authentic, engaged followers. Things like following people just to unfollow them, following thousands of people hoping some of them will follow you back, paying for followers, or doing giveaways that have nothing to do with your niche or that promise you thousands of followers may make that counter go up but they had no value to your brand. Take the time to grow your relationships authentically. It is better to have 1,000 followers who love you and your content than 10,000 followers that don’t even know your name.
I hope you found these five pieces of advice relevant and helpful! While I have no intention of changing my focus from home building and decor, I love passing on what I have learned and watching others implement strategies based off of it. I especially love it when it works for them! There are so many opportunities on this social media platform, I want to watch each person reach their full potential and find ways to make it benefit them! If you have any other questions for me, please, drop a comment below and I will do my best to answer it for you! We are one big team and I know if we all work together, amazing things will happen!
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7 Comments

  • Reply Tatiane

    What a beautiful blog Noel. I am so happy the way it looks now. Finally it let me leave a message without having a FB account.Thank you so much for sharing great tips. I took all the notes. I am looking forward to see your next post 😊

    February 21, 2019 at 4:09 am
  • Reply Jonie

    Noell, thank you so much! This blog was extremely informative and so well written with content that is so important for not only new accounts, but for those who want to grow their accounts organically!! You reached out to me during Christmas when you saw a post of my mantel decorated for Christmas and at that time I only had my private account. Since then I have started a public account and you have been so kind to me answering questions and just being an IG friend. Thank you!!

    May 4, 2019 at 9:16 pm
    • Reply Noell

      I’m so glad I have been able to inspire and motivate you to join this community! It is truly a wonderful place to be!

      May 15, 2019 at 11:37 am
  • Reply Stephanie L. Robertson

    Hi Noel! Let me tell you, I love Ig so much!

    I’m an author who is working hard to generate a following–and I haven’t sent my book to an agent yet. It’s all part of the process.

    Thanks for sharing, and many best wishes!
    -Stephanie (Huntsville, AL)

    May 5, 2019 at 11:25 pm
    • Reply Noell

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! Best of luck with your book!!!

      May 15, 2019 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Christy

    Thanks for this great post, Noel. I’ve been one of those to pick your brain on IG DM before, and naively, I guess, I didn’t even see that you had 180K followers and I was just asking a silly question! 🙂 I’m getting ready to embark on a “journey” of building a custom home and renovating a commercial property and am thinking of documenting it for fun. I have a personal IG account, would I start a business IG account to keep things separate? Thanks!

    May 10, 2019 at 7:55 pm
    • Reply Noell

      I think starting a business page is definitely the way to go!!! Also, there is no such thing as a silly question!

      May 15, 2019 at 11:35 am

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