5 Habits That Helped Me Gain 55,000 Instagram Followers

5 Habits That Helped Me Gain 55,000 Instagram Followers
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for growing an audience and business. However, it takes time and consistency to see results. In this post, I'll be sharing the 5 key habits that helped me gain over 55,000 Instagram followers. These strategies can work for anyone looking to grow their account and connect with more people.

1. Testing Different Content Formats

The first major habit that contributed to my Instagram growth was consistently testing out different formats of content.

In today's social media landscape, it's easy to get caught up in the latest trend. Right now, that's Instagram Reels. While Reels are certainly an effective format, focusing on them alone isn’t a recipe for growth and engagement.

Through testing, I found that my highest-performing and most engaging posts have been single images and carousels. On multiple occasions, single image posts have driven over 1,000 new followers. Comparatively, my top Reels don’t come close to that level of growth.

However, I still regularly post Reels. While they don't directly lead to spikes in followers, Reels help build trust and familiarity with my audience. Posting only static images without ever showing my face could hurt that relationship component.

The takeaway here is that there's no "one size fits all" approach to Instagram content formats. You need to test different options and collect data to determine what resonates best with your audience.

Some formats you may want to experiment with include:

  • Single image posts
  • Multi-image carousels
  • Reels (with or without a trending audio)
  • Video clips
  • Stories
  • Reposted tweets or user-generated content

Pay attention to the engagement and follower growth that each format drives over the course of 2-4 weeks. Then, double down on the top performers tailored to your account's niche and audience.

2. Posting Consistently

The second major habit that fueled my growth was posting consistently, every single day.

Recently I've scaled back on daily posting as I make some strategic changes. But during the crucial early growth phase, it was non-negotiable.

Here’s why consistency matters:

  • More content means more opportunities for new followers to discover you through hashtags, the explore page, and recommendations.
  • You improve your content skills through continuous practice. Look back at posts from 6 months ago and you’ll see major differences.
  • Instagram’s algorithm needs sufficient data to determine which users to show your content to. Consistent posting provides that.

Ideally, aim for daily posting when you're starting out. But 3-4 times per week can work as well. The key is sticking to a schedule and not leaving your account dormant for extended periods.

Over time, you’ll get better at quickly creating content that resonates. Your posts will start getting shown to more of your ideal audience. That compounding effect is how consistency fuels major growth.

3. Engaging With Your Niche Daily

When my account had under 1,000 followers, my own posts weren't getting much algorithmic reach. To overcome that, I focused on a community-driven growth strategy.

Each day, I would engage in thoughtful conversations within my broader niche. I discovered relevant hashtags and accounts that had my target audience. Whenever they posted, I would leave a comment sharing my perspective or a related experience.

This served two purposes:

  • It put my account in front of similar users who I wanted to reach. Many would click on my profile and follow.
  • It built relationships within my niche. Down the line, collaborations naturally developed from those connections.

Even though this process was manual and time-consuming, it directly resulted in 15-20 new, high-quality followers per day in the beginning. And it laid the foundation for stronger algorithmic reach once I had more followers engaged with my content.

4. Sticking With It

This next habit is deceptively simple: stick with your Instagram growth plan through the ups and downs.

After 5 months of consistent posting and engagement, I had around 3,000 total followers. Growth felt stagnant and slow. But I looked back at the early progress I'd made and continued putting in the work.

Over the next 4 months, everything changed:

Month 6: +3,000 followers

Month 7: +6,000 followers

Month 8: +9,000 followers

My rate of growth accelerated by nearly 700% within a few months! But it took patience and persistence to get there.

The same concept applies outside of Instagram too. A new exercise routine won’t drastically change your body in a week. But stick with it for months and years, and the compounding benefits add up.

If you ever feel discouraged in your growth journey, remember that consistency compounds. Stay patient, review your results, and keep optimizing. Your hard work will be rewarded.

5. Strategic Collaborations

The fifth habit that boosted my Instagram growth was collaborating with others who had similar audiences.

But I didn't just team up with people in my exact niche. I actually had the most success collaborating outside of my niche, with people who had similar audiences but offered different expertise.

For example, I run a social media marketing agency. Rather than collaborating with a fellow agency owner, I partnered with experts like:

  • Ecommerce business owners
  • Sales professionals
  • Personal branding coaches

While their content topics were different from mine, our audiences heavily overlapped. When promoting the collaboration, we exposed each other's expertise to new audiences. The result was win-win organic growth.

Collaborating within your niche is great too. Just make sure you strategically choose partners who complement your strengths and don't directly compete. Diversity of expertise helps create content that uniquely engages each of your audiences.

Key Takeaways

There you have it - the top 5 habits that contributed to my 55,000+ Instagram followers. They certainly took time, effort, and patience, but the consistent work paid off exponentially.

To quickly recap:

  • Test different content formats - Find what your audience responds to best.
  • Post consistently - More content means more growth opportunities.
  • Engage with your niche - Build relationships and get in front of potential followers.
  • Stick with it - Stay consistent through ups and downs to compound growth.
  • Collaborate strategically - Partner with those who complement your expertise.

Which habit resonates most with you? Is there anything you'd add to this list? Let me know in the comments! And if you found this post helpful, don't forget to like and share it with others who want to crush their Instagram growth.

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