This is your ultimate guide to Instagram growth, with no money invested, in 2019. If you’re a fan of Instagram, which is still considered to be a reliable platform, look no further. In this guide, I’ll teach you about how you can grow your Instagram followers count from zero to thousands in a few months. The best part? You will pay ZERO dollars by the end.
In August of last year, I embarked on a mission to get more followers for my Instagram account. I mainly post travel pictures from my vacations and business getaways. I set a goal to get 1000 more followers in 3 months, using $0 as my campaign budget and having only engaged followers and using no cheats during the growth period.
What followed blew me away: over the course of 3 months, I managed to gather more than 3.000 followers, so 10x the amount of the starting number. While spending zero dollars on ads and using no funny business sites or other gimmicks.
I decided to share my 7 tips and rules that I implemented on my own profile in order to gain the new followers. This is how I made them stick with me for the long run. Loyalty is key when building any new audience. Without further to do, this is the 2019 ultimate guide to Instagram growth with no money.
In this guide:
Follow engaged followers
The best trick in the book is to constantly follow other people that are engaging and liking/commenting on other peoples’ photos. Especially influencers. You do this by simply going to an influencer for your domain -> click on their last post -> click on the “Likes” button -> follow those persons that liked the post.
This very simple trick will enable you to get a HUGE AMOUNT of new followers daily. You also should have decent content and to be determined to do this follow thing on a daily basis. Only follow people that liked the pictures of these influencers that you follow. This gives you a better chance for them to be following you back.
I used to go ahead and just follow the people that followed my favourite influencers at first. That turned into fewer people turning into followers for me. Which is why I stuck to the “last photo technique” move for my 3 months growth.
Make the following/unfollowing part of your day
Now that you have a base to work with, you need to turn it into a routine. You can’t go anywhere if you’re not willing to put in the time and effort to follow new people and unfollow the ones that don’t follow you back. And no, having great content is not enough. It has never been enough.
In order to do great with this technique, use a timer. Set the timer to 11 minutes before you follow 50 people that just liked the last picture that your favourite influencer posted. Instagram allows for 50 new follows every 10 minutes (plus 1 minute extra for security reasons) so when the timer ends, hit the stopwatch and follow 50 more.
You can do this 10 times per day. Assuming you have a morning working schedule of 4 hours, a lunch break and then 3–4 more hours of work in the afternoon, you can get 5 of the 10 sets done in each of the two working sessions. You’d be following 500 new people each day, the maximum allowed. At the end of the week, usually on Friday or Saturday, after following about 2.500 new people per week, you unfollow the people that don’t follow you back.
I use the “Followers – Unfollowers for Instagram” app to unfollow the people that don’t follow me back by the end of the week. You can unfollow 1.000 people every day, with a maximum of 200 per hour. Set the timer for 1:01 after your first batch and get it done in five batches. It takes about 3 minutes for each batch and costs zero dollars.
Repeat the process for as long as you need, or for as long as you are under your desired followers count and that’s it. No money, no boots, no hacks. It works and that’s the most important thing. And again, you pay no dollars for it.
Post once a day in your growth period
During my 3 months of growth period, I posted one picture every single day with very few exceptions. Of course, I wasn’t able to travel and post pictures on the go as a real traveller, but I had tons of pictures from my previous travels. I took advantage of that, edited one every day and just posted it.
Posting one picture every single day shows to your new potential followers that you are engaging and consistent. This is what we all look for when we decide to go ahead and follow someone new. We need good quality content delivered daily, so we usually follow the people that do that. Simple psychology logic, nothing more.
Good quality content and #hashtags are key
You’ll never grow a good following if your content is bad. Your S4 phone camera is not the ideal option for your Instagram posts. Yes, you may post on #instastories with it, but that’s about it. If you want to gather a good following, you need to put some work into your photos. Use a DSLR camera for your Instagram, if possible. It will make you stand out from the crowd.
No matter how good your phone’s camera might be, you can always tell the difference between the two, and that’s important in the long run. You will eventually want to attract some clients that will pay you for a post or two. That’s only achievable through great content, as no company will even consider you if your content is lacking.
Besides great content, as in beautiful photos that are edited, but not over-edited, you need to make sure that you find the best 30 #hashtags for each and every photo that you post. You can’t go without them #hashtags if you want to do good in searches. People search for what they’re interested and engage with content that way. Another thing to keep in mind is to always tag the location of your photo. This might also bring you a lot of new followers.
Like, comment, post on #instastory
Being engaged with the people you follow and follow you back is extremely important. Especially with your new followers, take some time to like the first 8–10 pictures on their profiles. Comment on some of them and even DM them and congratulate them on their pictures. There’s no easier way to gain a loyal follower than interacting with him the minute he or she follows you. Trust me, I know… times 3.000!
Another thing that I do is I post daily on my #instastory. That’s like Snapchat, but for Instagram. Whether it’s just your breakfast, a walk in the park, a drive or a favourite picture with a shoutout, #instastories are very well known for inciting your followers in liking and commenting on your posts. Have good posts on your Stories and more engagement will follow.
Share your Instagram everywhere
Do you have a personal website? A blog? Sure you have a blog! Who doesn’t? We’re all bloggers in a blogging world, right? I even linked my Instagram account to my business website, and guess what? I’m a writer, which has nothing to do with photography! My point is if you’re doing an Instagram growth month, make sure you share your profile everywhere you can. Do it once every week on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on.
This is the most important step towards gaining a good amount of new followers. If you implement each one of the above steps for some time, but not all of them consistently, then you’ll never see good results. You will see some results, but not the best that they can be.
For example, it’s useless to follow and unfollow people daily, as explained in steps 1 and 2, if you’re not willing to post good content, as described in step 4 and do it consistently, as in step 3. These guidelines, or rules, or whatever they are, they work in bulk, never individually. That’s because Instagram works on a very tight and demanding algorithm. The algorithm takes into account each and every one of the things listed above.
Do your homework, get ready and go for it. And before you start this is very important: if you really want to get successful on Instagram, follow me right away!
If you want to learn more about how to make money online as a freelancer, especially through writing but also programming, design, or social media management, you can now buy my book. It’s called “From 0 To $2543 A Month With A Crappy Laptop – The Freelancing Course From A Self-Made Content Creator Boss” and you can find it on Amazon at 50% off.