3 Overlooked Elements of Growing a Following on Instagram

Building a following on Instagram requires consistency. Consistency – or the lack thereof – is what separates great content creators from people posting photos from their day. There are thing things to keep in mind when it comes to consistency- frequency, style, and voice. Frequency is how often you post. Style includes the point of view and content of your posts. Voice is the tone of the image and what you represent in your caption.

The slight differences in how you incorporate these 3 elements of your posts is what ultimately will help you create a unique voice that builds an authentic and engaged following.  At the end of the day we want you to create inspiring content you are proud of. 

1. Come up with a posting schedule

Your schedule can be somewhat more flexible than that of a magazine or newspaper, but you should have an idea of how much content you want to release per week. Experiment with the timing of your posts. Your following can live in different time zones and are likely to check Instagram at different times of the day.

2. Define your style

Why should they follow? Is it your vision? Another reason?

You’ve probably already started to establish this on some level. Are you shooting from your point of view? Or do your photos featuring people of interest? Coming up with a basic understanding of your own style and strengths as a creator on Instagram is important. As you start to grow, your followers will become part of your work and over time engage more and more with a specific viewpoint you create for them.

With Instagram, there are different types of followers. Over time, you will start to fill a certain role in your followers feeds. The response to your work will always be based on how your content speaks to their lives. You can be a source of inspiration, beauty, or experiences. If they follow you for fashion inspiration, they may not engage entirely when you share a photo of a beautiful sunset. If they follow you because of your landscape photography, engagement might drop when you post a photo of yourself and an outfit.  Maxing out on engagement every time shouldn’t be your only goal. Posting different photos is a great way to remain authentic and reach a new audience over time.

What’s your theme?

Fashion, Food and Fitness are three of the most common themes on Instagram. Since Instagram has become the magazine in our pockets, most people are using it for the same type of inspiration they would turn to magazines for. But the best thing about Instagram is there are so many people in one place them you can be a trendsetter and influencer whose photography appeals to other needs and subcultures.

There are a ton of amazing creators on Instagram who document their experiences – travel and other viewpoint from your world can be tremendously addictive for followers. The aspirational experience of these types of photography provide inspiration every day for millions of followers.

Is it about your lifestyle?

If you are going to be a lifestyle influencer, you become someone who people follow to see your taste in fashion, food and fitness, it is important to understand why people are following you. Over time you can start to see trends in your engagement that will give you hints as to what is resonating with your audience.

There are many reasons why people might want to follow your life and lifestyle. They might aspire to one day share your lifestyle, they could be interested in inspiration, or they just think your  taste is exceptional.

Do you have a color scheme and a visual scheme??

Developing a visual identity can help set you apart from other people creating content on Instagram. We’ve even found that photographers with a tremendously strong visual style build credibility beyond the platform and go on to gallery shows and working with celebrities. When developing your work as a photographer it’s crucial to experiment with different ideas.

3. Finding your voice

Arguably the hardest part of developing your personal brand on Instagram is the art of finding your voice. It may require experimentation and will likely take longer than figuring out the visual style you develop for your photos. It can be tough to establish whether you intend to be artistic, abstract, or uplifting. Ultimately you can be all three, at different times. The most important thing about developing your voice is that it feels authentic to you. Over time you’ll be able to tweak your messaging and improve your writing. Finding your voice is about experimenting, screwing up, and ultimately being yourself.