3 Ways to Get More Instagram Followers and Sales + 2 Must-Know Hashtag Techniques
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? Check out Episode 24 of my podcast, Badass Creatives, and be sure to check out their free 6 day course to double your Instagram followers.
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.
- A Cohesive and Professional Look That Screams, “Follow Me!”
- The Right Kind of Hashtags to Get More of the Right Followers
- An Instagram Bio Designed for More Clicks & Sales
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 :)
1. Create a Cohesive and Professional Look That Screams, “Follow Me!”
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:
- How do you want your followers to feel when they look at your feed?
- What kind of personality does your brand have?
- Is it fun, bright and colorful or clean and minimalist?
- Give your feed a personality – a vibe – and that will help you come up with the rest…
Choose a color scheme and stick to it!
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!
Use the same filter on all your photos
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.
Use 1-3 backgrounds
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:
- white backdrop
- another color that matches your color scheme (but isn’t distracting from your products)
- a texture (wood grain is cool! but whatever texture you decide to play with, make sure its low contrast so it’s not too busy)
Use the same lighting
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…
2. Use the Right Kinds of Hashtags to Get the Right Kind of Followers (that Buy)
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!)
Type 1 – Hashtags to Find Potential Followers
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!”
Type 2 – Hashtags to Get You Found by Potential Followers
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?
3. Update Your Instagram Bio to Get More Clicks & Sales
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.
The Keys to a Bio Description that Attracts More Followers =
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
The Keys to a Link that Gets Clicked More =
- Update it to match your latest promo (send them to the product page, not your homepage)
- Shorten it with bitly so it isn’t a behemoth of a 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!
Re-Cap + What to Do Now
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:
1. Create a Cohesive and Professional Feed that Screams, “Follow Me!”
- Ask yourself what personality/feeling your feed should have
- Choose a color scheme
- Use just one filter
- Use 1-3 backgrounds
- Use the same lighting
- Only post what fits in your scheme!
2. Use the Right Kind of Hashtags to Get the Right Kind of Followers (that Buy)
Hashtags to Find Potential Followers
- choose 3 of your followers that fit in your target audience
- check out their accounts and which hashtags they use
- make a list of common hashtags
- search those hashtags on IG to get a list of related ones
- search these hashtags and find potential followers who are posting with them
- like and comment on their photos
- DO THIS A LOT!
Hashtags to Get You Found by Potential Followers
- look at similar (but bigger) accounts for which hashtags they use
- search for those hashtags on IG to get a list of related ones
- use these hashtags when you post
3. Update Your Bio for More Clicks and Sales
Your bio description should:
- Clearly state what you do/sell
- Relate to your audience and highlight the benefit they will get
- Include an updated CTA directing them to click your link
Your bio link should:
- Be updated to match your latest promo post
- Send them to the relevant page (remember, fewer steps = better!)
- Be shortened if it’s long
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.
Want to push your Instagram game even further?
Rachel and the team at MadeFreshly have designed a free 6 day course to double your Instagram followers.