Want to learn how to get 1000 Instagram followers in 30 days without spending a penny? Then you’ve come to the right place!
I hit my first 1,000 fans on Instagram in May 2017 exactly one month after creating my new profile and I can’t wait to show you how I did it.
The methods I used to do this require being active and organic on the platform and as long as you’re willing to put the work in, you CAN do it too!
This post is NOT for you if you’re looking for:
- An app to buy Instagram followers
- Instagram engagement groups
- Other ways to cheat the system that could potentially result in your profile being deleted!
Keep reading to start this 30 day Instagram growth challenge.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and I could earn a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase using them.
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How I Got 1000 Instagram Followers in 30 Days: Real Advice for Real Growth
This guide to growing your Instagram profile in 30 days is all about effort and consistency.
You DO NOT have to do any of the following:
- paid promotions
- pay for a spot in giveaways
- pay for a spot in follow loops
In fact, I want you to forget that these things even exist right now because you don’t need them.
You also don’t need an existing fan base.
When I started my new Instagram profile, I didn’t have a blog or even tell my friends and family about it!
I wanted to keep it hidden until I was ready to share.
So, are you ready to start? Then let’s grow!
1. Optimize Your Bio
Give potential followers a reason to follow you.
To gain interest, you need to provide value to your audience.
Value could be in the form of:
So, why should Instagram users follow you? What makes your account special?
To give you an idea, I started blogging about West Coast life here in Vancouver, BC.
My Instagram account taught moms how to save a ton of money on everyday essentials and more luxurious indulgences with ideas for couponing, product review clubs, and more.
My bio read something like:
- Expectant Mama
- West Coast Life
- Money Saving Tips for Moms
- Local Shopping
- Couponing in Canada
Bullet form is an easy way to write your bio that’s user friendly way.
Here’s one of my original posts – not amazing quality but informative!
The end of the caption reads:
“Thank you Vancouver #filmindustry for a great deal. Check out your local newspaper or online community board for a #setsale in your area”
Since most people don’t know about film industry set sales, I created this post to highlight just how much money you can save by attending these.
The post also verifies two of the points in my bio – local shopping and money saving tips for moms!
2. Use a Great Profile Photo
Lighting is everything on Instagram and white themed feeds are still a gorgeous and popular choice.
Choose a profile photo that looks professional – whether it was taken as an optimal time of the day or even by a pro photographer.
You want your photo to represent your brand and if you’re a blogger or aspiring influencer, this means YOU personally.
Here’s my current Instagram profile photo and bio.
3. Search Relevant Hashtags
Learning how to use hashtags on Instagram is similar to learning SEO for blogging.
Your hashtags are the gateway to new followers and if you use the right ones, they can get your content featured in front of millions of people.
Be sure to use 30 hashtags in every post and place them between your caption and comments.
In 2021, I now have a creator account that lets me view analytics for my posts however, I can only see hashtags analytics for those included in my captions.
I like to experiment with new ones and use those that are most relevant here – at most, around 10 hashtags at the bottom of the caption.
I save the other 20 for hashtags bundles in the comments.
Follow Hashtags on Instagram
When I grew my account to 1000 Instagram followers in 30 days, there wasn’t an option to follow hashtags like there is now!
The hashtags a user follows determine the content that will show up when they scroll their home feed.
So be sure to follow your favorites and browse the content that appears in each hashtag before you post – this will guarantee that your content is relevant to a potential users interests.
And, if they like what you have to offer, they may even give you a follow.
This is similar to a promoted post but you don’t have to pay for it!
You’ve got a major advantage here 🙂
4. Post Once or Twice a Day
This is the big one – consistency!
People want to follow Instagram content creators that show up – whether it’s in posts, stories, or reels.
When I reached my first 1000 Instagram followers, stories, IGTV, guides, and reels didn’t exist.
But you have a big advantage with these new features!
As a busy work at home mom to a toddler and a newborn, I rely on stories to let my followers know how I’m doing without the pressure of creating stellar new Instagram content on the daily.
I just don’t have the time right now!
So, stories are a great way to stay connected to your existing followers.
In terms of growth, posts and reels are the way to go.
As of March 2021, Instagram is favoring reels to compete with TikTok so, if you’re not video shy like me, start creating video content NOW to take advantage of the current algorithm.
I posted photos and memes at optimal times between once and twice a day when I grew my account.
And once they were live, I’d spend up to an hour engaging with other related accounts and content.
No matter what format you post, upload something high quality once or twice a day!
5. Follow Related Accounts & Hashtags
You need to follow related accounts to grow your Instagram profile.
As a Vancouver mom blogger, this meant other Instagram moms, small shops, and Vancouver brands for me.
But instead of just following these accounts, engage with them before you click the follow button.
Take a look at their profile and open up a few posts or reels to like and leave meaningful comments on – two or three is great.
After you engage and show up between two to six times in their Activity notifications, they’ll probably check you out too!
And best case scenario? You’ll get some engagement and a follow back in return from smaller accounts – this will make it way easier to get to 1000 Instagram followers faster.
This is a great way to start building a community of friends on Instagram – friends who will engage with your posts and help them rank in others’ home feeds and for hashtags.
6. Tag a Location, Feature Accounts, and Brands
Tagging your location plus accounts that could feature your content is an easy way to get your profile in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
I like to choose a city as my location so locals can find and follow me – I’ve found that anything more specific or broad lessened my impressions.
Research feature accounts by browsing through profiles similar to yours.
Click on their photos and look to see who they tagged then, visit those profiles and see if they match your vibe.
Brand accounts are more self-explanatory – if the post is about or includes their brand, you’re wearing their line, shopping at their store, or telling Instagram how their product has improved your life, tag them!
Brands LOVE the publicity and may even ask to share your photos on their Instagram page or website.
Bed Bath and Beyond loved this one that I created for their website.
7. Spend 30 Minutes to One Hour Engaging Daily
I still do this after every Instagram post!
The first 15 minutes after you post on Instagram is so important to your post’s performance so, use it to interact with recent posts in the hashtags Search menu.
Browse a few hashtags that you used in your post and like and comment on the ones that catch your eye most.
Then, spend between another 5 to 10 minutes engaging with your home feed, once again liking and commenting on the posts you see.
After you’ve done this, check out your friends’ profiles to see if they have any new content and you guessed it – like, comment, and even save their latest posts.
Ideally, this is something I like to do before posting so I can concentrate on seeking out new potential followers and friends but sometimes life gets busy and doing it afterwards is just fine too.
As long as you make a conscious effort, interact and show up daily, you’re on your way to growing your business on Instagram now.
Ready to go out there and get 1000 Instagram followers? If I can do it, so can you!
By simply following these 6 steps, I was able to grow a brand new Instagram account to an audience of over 1000 in 30 days:
- Optimize your bio
- Use a great profile photo
- Search and use relevant hashtags
- Post once or twice daily
- Follow related accounts and hashtags
- Tag feature accounts and brands
- Spend 30 minutes to one hour a day engaging
Now it’s time to shine, friends – go out there and start creating content your fans will fall in love with.
Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!