So…you’re on Instagram now…and…usually…the first question to hit you over the head is: How to get 500 followers on Instagram as fast as possible.
If that sounds like you…you’re definitely one of us. One of the people looking to grow their account, feel popular, impress clients, earn money, or…get free shit from brands.
But…do you really know what you’re doing?
Do you know how to get more followers?
How to do it quickly?
Instagram is a minefield recently, even us experts are pulling our hair out over the constant changes…but…that doesn’t mean you should jump over to the dark-side and consider throwing money at fake likes and even faker comments…or worse…buying your first 500 followers. Listen carefully when I say this: Don’t do it. It’s a bad idea.
And, even if you ignore me and do it anyway…whether you like it or not…your real number matters.
I mean, I don’t know about you but I’d take 500 real buying customers over 10,000 fake spam accounts – who are gonna do nothing for my bank balance – any day of the week. So that real number means you need to shoot for real growth…but…what if you can’t do it?
What if you take weeks, or even months to get your first 500 followers?
I’ll tell you exactly what: You’re left wondering if you can actually do this.
You’re left wondering if this social media marketing biz is actually what you want.
And you’re left thinking maybe that dream of living a 4-hour work week in a beach house can have it’s ass kissed goodbye.
So what’s the alternative?
Well, you can stick around here for the next 13 minutes and get some knowledge bombs dropped on you, repeatedly.
Your first 500 Instagram followers are ready and waiting.
How To Get 500 Followers On Instagram… In 14 Days Or Less
Here’s the deal: You can take your first 500 followers like candy from a baby if you just follow these steps.
And yes, the order matters.
So, at the risk of losing a few of you because I sound like your high-school teacher…try to stop yourself from acting like the bratty kid who skips to the end.
Anyway, here’s the first thing I want you to realise:
It’s All About The Theme
I’d love to dress this part up and pretend it’s something fancy…but…it’s actually pretty easy. Pick a theme – a style – and stick to it.
Wait…what the hell is a theme?
Well, without making this sound completely redundant, it’s just the colour scheme, content style, font style, layout and overall look of your feed.
Here’s a couple of examples:
It’s obvious that there’s different themes here. Each stands out, each has it’s own attitude and each…is consistent.
So, the question is: How do you find…and…choose, your own?
Hold right there…before you let your mind run away with ideas…stop for a minute and just think about which styles you’ve seen and liked. You don’t HAVE to create a whole new style.
No-one wants you to re-invent the wheel here. It’s pointless and let’s face it…too much like hard work.
There Is A Simple Way To Do This
First, open each page up one by one. What do you notice? Do they have a theme in common? Does there seem to be anything in common? Which one jumps out at you the most?
All you have to do is find one…choose it…and…stick with it…got it? Awesome.
Let’s move on.
Oh, before we do, here’s a PRO tip: Once you’ve decided on your content and theme – create a months worth of posts to guarantee you don’t “change your mind” after a few days. We’ve all been there (it’s actually called shiny-object syndrome…I have it…it’s where you constantly find something new – that you think is better – and then you do that for a while before…again…finding something else new – and better – and so on. Trust me…it becomes exhausting).
But seriously, sometimes, you DID make the right decision the first time round.
So, now that we’ve taken care of how our feed will look, we need to set a goal. And, like any goal, you should…
Aim For The Top
Think about it: What is your aim?
Why are you here? (And don’t say because you want to know how to get 500 followers on Instagram…that’s cheating)
Whatever the reason, write it down. You’ve joined Instagram to get something. And you need to be clear what that something is. If your aim is to get more followers, that doesn’t really count. 22,200 people search for that same question every frickin’ month. That’s not specific enough for what we’re here to do.
And why’s that? Simply because…there’s a reason you want more followers.
Is it popularity? More customers? More leads for your clients? Is it to get free stuff?
I don’t care what it is right now…but…whatever it is, write it down.
Then…take the leap! You’re not here to just set a goal, write it down then move onto the next thing like you don’t know what to do next. The truth is – by the end of this article at least – you will know exactly what to do next.
But…we’re not at the end yet, so it’s probably a good time to let you in on a little secret. At some point in this process, we’re gonna get pretty hostile and pick a fight. But, we’re gonna win because we have an advantage…because…first, before we make our move, we…
Okay, this isn’t as aggressive as it sounds.
But…the end goal is to steal your competitors audience and customers. I can’t sell you the pretty picture where there’s “enough to go around” because, I’m old school on this one, you’re here to win. Just think about this:
- Jeff Bezos didn’t start Amazon thinking he wanted to share customers with other online stores – no, he wanted to price most online retailers out of pretty much EVERY market.
- Mark Zuckerberg didn’t start Facebook thinking he wanted to be just another social network that people could sign up to and browse from time to time – no, he wanted to infect your life and steal you from pretty much every other form of entertainment out there.
No…these guys came to win. In fact, their companies are still trying to win, even though they are winning.
So what do we do?
Well, we get it into our heads that we’re here to win. We want to (legally) steal our competitors customers and we want to leave those punks crying into their Starbucks Caramel Latte that they now can’t afford.
Because, that’s just war baby.
Back to it. Let’s see how we can do…
A Little Competitor Research
First up, pick the top 10 influencers we found earlier using InkyBee.
Now, we need to use a few more tools for this part, so get some tabs ready.
Pull up SocialBlade…and…make sure to choose Instagram in the search bar. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed that and frustratingly swore at my laptop for lying to me about an account not existing in the database.
Once you’ve done that, throw the names of the influencers in, one by one.
You can ignore most of the stuff that shows up for now…and…just hit “Detailed Stats”. This will bring up the follower changes every day for the past 30 days.
What we’re looking for here is consistent growth. So we want green numbers every day and we want…mostly…consistent numbers. Like this:
“But, why? What does it all mean?” I hear you say through small baby-like tears.
Well, consistent “similar” numbers every day usually signals natural growth. And yes, that’s what we want.
If, on the other hand, you see losses some days, small gains, and then huge increases on the odd day, you’re probably looking at a crappy account. Not always…but…surprisingly often…that’s someone who’s likely buying followers. Fake followers.
We DON’T Want To Copy Them
In fact, if possible, trip them up. Like…make them fall over or spill their coffee…or…or…or, something.
They’re the real reason Instagram keeps having to change it’s algorithm – which…don’t worry…you’ll find out can be a complete nightmare.
So, yeah, we don’t like them. And we sure as hell don’t want to do ANYTHING that they’re doing. It’s not working for them, it won’t work for you…and…you risk getting the boot from Instagram.
Now, I know you might be thinking: “Well hold on a darn minute. What if they bought a shout-out that day?”
And you’d be right – that is possible.
But…it doesn’t change the fact that their growth isn’t natural. They’re buying it. And, I’m guessing you don’t want to throw money at your Instagram repeatedly. I sure as hell don’t. So, I stand by what I said.
Anyway, here comes the fun part:
Creating Sexy-Ass Content
This completely depends on your niche. (Mostly.)
I mean, quotes seem to work no matter what…but…they’re getting less and less effective. Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them because they still destroy most other post types when it comes to engagement. But, just be aware of it
So, if quotes are your weapon of choice:
- Use Canva (Easy and basic)
- Use Photoshop (Hard and advanced)
- Use Templates For Photoshop (Easy and advanced)
Or…you could go with a more unique, special-to-you, business-like approach.
I’m talking about: Product shots, client results, travel photos, designed items etc. – This is all completely unique to you and could be your ticket to the big show.
Here’s what to do if you’re taking pictures like those:
- Use a good camera (or phone – it’s pretty scary how good photos from a phone can be these days) – Pro Tip: set your phone camera to “square” mode to make sure it’s perfect for Instagram.
- Use an editing app like Facetune
- Keep to your consistent theme that you decided on earlier
And that’s it.
At this point, we’ve covered a lot…so…you’re probably considering going off for a coffee…or…heading out to walk the dog. Well, I hate to break this to you…but…if you do that now, you’re gonna be missing out on the more “juicy tricks” to getting to 500 followers quickly.
Oh good, you’re staying. Let’s press on with what I promised…
Now, it’s time for the fun stuff.
How do we quickly get 500 followers on Instagram? Like this…
Find Ultra-Targeted Hashtags
“Do you mean like #luxury, #entrepreneur and #quote?”
No, no, no, no….NO! These hashtags are the reason people aren’t picking up new followers anymore without doing some pretty shady shizz. Let’s face it, these hashtags are dead. They don’t do anything for anyone anymore…unless…you already have a huge page. In that case, go right ahead. But…for someone starting out, they’re useless.
And, by useless, I mean…literally…useless.
Time and time again I see “experts” recommending you use very popular, high traffic hashtags to try and boost your reach. It’s not gonna happen.
I’m sorry, but it’s not.
These hashtags have so many accounts posting to them that your post will be buried before you’ve even managed to click back to your home screen. And guess what? Those accounts that have buried you are 10-100-500x the size of you…you’re picking a fight you can’t win.
Sure, you could win the lottery and end up with some sort of miracle…but…for most of us, that’s never the way it pans out.
So…the burning question on everyone’s lips is: Where do I find ultra-targeted hashtags?
The answer: With a LOT of time and energy. I’m talking hours of research. Now…don’t let that scare you off just yet. After all, this is your chance at free followers, customers, advertising, and…well…money.
Let me explain: The real kick-ass hashtags that will benefit you are out there, it’s just that you’re not going to find them on the crappy “hashtag apps” that everyone uses…or…by scrolling through blogs hoping you eventually stumble upon a goldmine.
Instead, you’re gonna have to sweat a little. Well, a lot. Thankfully, not right now, because you’re reading. (Saved you from that pain for a bit longer. You’re welcome.)
So, here’s a quick list of ways you could do this:
Start With Your Biggest Competitors
What hashtags are they using?
Are they relevant to your niche? If they are, great…we found them on the first try!
Most experts at this point recommend just copying their hashtags and using those…but…the problem with that, if it’s not glaringly obvious to you already, is that you’re going to be competing with huge pages again. Not good.
Ok, so can we improve on that?
You bet. Instead of just blindly copying a list of hashtags, you could…
Spend Time Finding Smaller Accounts
…and…copy their hashtags instead.
Ok, that’s a better plan. In fact, if you find a bad-ass account like this…it’s probably a great plan.
But wait. What if the smaller competitor you find has copied their hashtags from the big pages we found before? Then we’re back to square one of being buried.
Now, I was going to let you in on the best way to do this…and…the only way that avoids you tripping yourself up like this. But I’ve changed my mind. The fact is, it’s something you need to do…but…it would take this blog post in a different direction and I don’t want to do that.
(So make sure you plug your email into the form on the right of the page so you can let me know if you want me to send you this in secret.)
The bottom line is: You want to look for hashtags with less than a million posts on them…but…the lower and more specific you can get…the better.
Use Follow-Unfollow…The Smarter Way
I’m going to give you a little piece of hot information here to make up for keeping the hashtag secret under lock and key.
The follow-unfollow method does still work…if…you use it cleverly. Or else, you’re just asking for Instagram to slam it’s fist down again. So…how we be clever?
Simple. You play the game slowly.
Sure, this might take some time but the problem most people run into with this one is they follow hundreds of people at a time…randomly…with no thought over who might actually follow back. Come on, Instagram is a billion dollar company…you think they don’t know it when you’re spamming the follow button and following random pages with one photo of a goat on?
Simply running down a giant list of names tapping follow until you get blocked…then…an hour or two later, repeating the process…is NOT the way to do it.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard of that technique by now. Hey, you might of even tried it already. But I’ll say it again: It’s not the way to do it.
Instead, you should head to a competitor account that has less than 500 followers – the lower, the better.
Then, once you’ve done this, you can follow their followers…slowly. Be sure to keep your eyes open for any other accounts you come across in that list that seem to be similar to yours. If they’re also in the same niche, make a note of their username to hijack their list later…or…Pro tip: open their profile, save an image, then continue down the list following as you go. (The benefit being that their account is now saved in your folder for you to use later.)
To Sum It All Up…Step-By-Step:
- Target Your Followers
- Choose A Theme
- Set A Goal On The Top Spot
- Research Your Competitors
- Don’t Copy These “Fakers”
- Create Amazing Content
- Find “Big-Win” Hashtags
- Use Follow-Unfollow The Insta Secrets Way
Pretty good stuff, right?
Well, actually…we’re not done with the knowledge bombs yet…
Not By A Long Shot
So, we’ve got some growth happening now, but can we do better?
What if we start to ask: How to get 500 followers in 7 days or less…that’d be better, right? I think so. So, if you’d rather do that: All you need to do is…
Look out for Part Two of this post…where…I’m going to show you how to take your account to 500 followers…1,000 followers…or even 10,000 followers…faster than you thought possible.
P.S. If you want to get Part Two delivered straight to you, before any of your competitors see it first, then throw your email into the form on the side of the page and make sure to whitelist our email address.