When Rachel Daley from MadeFreshly approached me about contributing a guide to getting more followers on Instagram, I was all “Yes please!”
I spent much of last year on my own personal mission to grow my Instagram following, using many of the techniques she outlines below. However, Rachel has some really smart approaches to hashtags that take it one step further. Read on for her top 3 ways to get more Instagram followers and sales, plus 2 must-know hashtag techniques. Oh… and if you’re still hungry for more Instagram knowledge when you’re done? Be sure to check out their new course: the Instagram Hashtag Boot Camp.
There is a TON of Instagram info out there and going through all of it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start.
But you know you want to get more followers and more sales. No question there! And you totally can.
So where do you start? And how can you start seeing results right away, instead of trying more strategies you read about and have them not work for your account?
There are three BIG (muy importante) things your Instagram needs and that you can start using right now to begin to grow your following of people that will actually buy from you.
When done right (with your unique target audience in mind) these three parts all work together to make you more attractive to the right kind of followers and direct more sales.
I’m about the lay it all out for you in this post. No more guesswork – just more followers and sales :)
You know the kind of feed I’m talking about. Those beautifully curated accounts where each post looks like it was meant to fit right next to the others.
Everything makes sense and you get a feel for the brand with just a quick swipe, and you want to buy from them.
But you’re probably thinking, “Well they obvs have a professional photographer and graphic designer – my images won’t look that good!”
AHEM, you’re wrong my friend!
Don’t overthink it – you don’t have to get too fancy.
Clear, crisp images with a cohesive color scheme go a loooong way and you can get exactly that by just using your phone (if you don’t have a camera).
Here are some simple ways to add that professional element of cohesiveness to your account right now:
Common colors are the easiest way to make your feed look cohesive. Choose a color palette that portrays the feeling and personality of your account!
Try a few different color combos and choose 3 – 5 main colors you want to see repeated.
Now only post images that fit within your color scheme. This doesn’t mean you can’t post a photo that has some green in it if that’s not one of your colors – just as long as it has some common color elements with the rest of your feed, you’re golden!
If you’re going to use a filter (you don’t have to, but they can make editing quicker) make sure you use the same one on all your photos.
A filter with high contrast and a cold temperature isn’t going to look cohesive next to a filter with let’s say, a warmer and more antique vibe.
An easy way to stay cohesive: use ONE filter and you’ll know those edits will be the same.
Again, this has to do with your color scheme. So even if you have products or images of lots of different colors (that don’t always fit in your chosen color scheme) you can easily link them cohesively by using the same backgrounds!
Here are the types I recommend because they look really clean visually, are easy to find, and look great for product shots too:
Simply put: consistent lighting will give you a consistent look to your photos.
Think about it… if you take a picture at sunset it’s going to look a LOT different than a picture taken at noon.
If you have a lightbox for your products, sweet! If you don’t, this is a super cool setup you can make yourself for 12 bucks!
If you take your pics outside (natural light is always a great option!) then take your photos around the same time of day so you get the same angle and intensity from the sun.
Now the trick is sticking to these techniques. When you’re about to post, ask yourself, “does this fit in my feed?”
If the answer is no – don’t post it. If your goal is to be cohesive then you just have to say no! Choose another photo that gets the job done and fits. Otherwise you might regret it looking back at a cohesive feed broken up by that one post that didn’t fit.
Remember, don’t overthink it and stick to these tips. Now, on to the next part of your Instagram…
Not all hashtags are created equal!
And there are actually 2 different types and you use them for different reasons (most people don’t know about the first kind and it’s SUPER simple and effective!)
When you’re trying to grow your audience (especially when you’re just starting out), the strength of hashtags is in finding your target audience, not the other way around. You should have this state of mind:
“I gotta find my people and introduce myself!”
When you’re trying to grow but already have a big enough following, another strength of hashtags is that when you rank for them in the “Top Posts”, you can get discovered by a large audience of potential followers.
Here are the steps broken down to find both kinds of hashtags for your account:
Alright so now that we’ve gone over two ways to get new followers, let’s turn them into paying customer shall we?
Your Instagram bio is a really important part of your account, but a lot of business accounts don’t realize it actually drives sales, newsletter signups, and whatever kind of lead you want!
I’ll break it down so you can take full advantage of it.
Your Instagram Bio is made up of 2 parts:
And they work together to get more followers and to get those followers to click your link and buy.
1. Clearly state what you do/sell
2. Relate to your customers by highlighting the benefit they’ll get from your products
3. Tell them what to do next with a CTA that directs to your link
See how that CTA is updated to match the latest link and promo post?
And how that link takes them straight to the download button for the promo – not to the homepage.
This way you create a clear path with fewer steps and LOTS of direction (trust me, you need to direct people more than you think…)
The easier and clearer you make it for your followers, the more likely you are to get clicks and sales!
Alright, so those are three things you can start putting into action right now to boost your IG following and sales.
Here they are broken down so you can use them asap:
Hashtags to Find Potential Followers
Hashtags to Get You Found by Potential Followers
Your bio description should:
Your bio link should:
Now choose one of these 3 to do today. Then in a couple days, pick another.
In the matter of days you can literally have a fully revamped Instagram account that is cohesive and professional looking, attracts new followers, and gets you more sales.
Rachel and the team at MadeFreshly have designed the Instagram Hashtag Boot Camp just for you! It’s a course designed for sellers and makers that don’t have a ton of time and want some quality guidance so they can put into work proven strategies to see results right away.
What You’ll Get:
Spots are limited so members can get better one-on-one help with their hashtags, but lucky for you, MadeFreshly is offering Miss Malaprop readers $20 off!
Just use coupon code malaprop20 after you click here to secure your spot right now!
Rachel is the resident content fairy at MadeFreshly, where she and the team create super helpful blog posts, lessons, ebooks, and ecourses designed to help entrepreneurs sell more and grow their businesses.
I’ve been working with artists and creatives to get the word out about their work for more than 10 years. I’ve seen people the same marketing mistakes again and again, whether it’s independent artists and creatives, small business owners or big companies.
And I don’t want it to happen to you.
In my free mini-course, you’ll learn the top 5 marketing mistakes that I see artists & creatives make that prevent them from selling more of their handmade products.
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