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How to Grow Your Instagram Followers Organically

Growing a list of engaged followers on Instagram is a great way to market your photography business. But how do you grow your list of followers organically AND how do you find the right audience?

In this post you will find:

  • Why finding the RIGHT audience matters
  • Foundations of Building Engaged Instagram Followers
  • 5 Surefire Ways to Grow Your IG Audience Organically
  • How to Start Growing Your IG Audience Today

Why Finding the Right Audience on Instagram Matters

Marketing your photography business on Instagram is a fantastic way to showcase your work and connect with clients. But even the most beautiful photo, engaging caption and entertaining IG stories will flop if you don’t have the RIGHT audience.

Let’s talk about how to grow your list of followers with the right audience and do so organically.

This is not an article about the numbers but rather a guide to help you find quality, engaged and ideal clients on Instagram and get their attention.

Right Audience = Engaged Followers

Engaged Followers = More Inquiries

More Inquiries = More Business

Foundations of Building Engaged Instagram Followers

Building the right IG followers takes time – be patient! Building a following on Instagram organically takes time and patience in addition to the right strategy. You want to build your followers intentionally and with purpose.

If you build it, they will come. To attract followers, you need to create an account that is active, engaging, and interesting. DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR LIST TO GROW before putting out quality content.

Sure, this feels like the chicken or the egg scenario. But think about it…would you want to follow an account that is full of beautiful photos, inspiring content and engaging stories OR one that has a few random photos and feels abandoned?

Of course, you want to follow an account that is active, engaging, and inspiring! 

Focus on QUALITY OVER QUANTITY always! When implementing the tactics below to grow your audience, always focus on the quality of your audience and do not get hung up on the numbers. Do not stress over the number of likes or follows. Focus on how many of those followers are the right ones and ones that could be potential clients at some point.   

5 Surefire Ways to Grow Your IG Audience Organically

1. Study niche-specific hashtags.

Hashtags are a brilliant search tool and should be leveraged often to build your photography Instagram account.

To find new followers using niche-specific hashtags, do the following:

  1. Search for popular niche-specific hashtags. These would include hashtags that include both your area and your niche. If you are a family photographer in Pittsburgh, #pittsburghfamilyphotographer would be perfect for example.  
  2. Study the top posts and popular accounts for that hashtag. What other hashtags do they use? What type of content are they posting?
  3. Study the followers that liked those posts. Click on each of the followers’ accounts and engage with them. Follow them, like their posts and comment where you can with quality feedback.

    This will allow you the opportunity to not only find but interact with an audience of potential clients. If they notice you and like your account, they will follow you. This is why it’s so important to have an attractive IG feed and account.

How do you find popular niche specific hashtags?

  • Study other photographers in your area and the hashtags they use.
  • Also, try various combinations of your location + niche.
  • Use the search bar in IG to research the hashtags. You want to find the ones that are the most popular for your area.

2. Study ideal client hashtags.

Think for a second about your ideal client. Do you follow anyone on Instagram that would be your ideal client? Take a look at their account and study the hashtags that they use. Are there any trends you find?

#pittsburghmom and #pittsburghfamily are popular in my area. By searching these hashtags, I’m often able to find accounts with moms in the area that would be a potential client. I will often request to follow them and interact with their posts. Why? Because they are EXACTLY who I want to work with! You’ve got to make yourself known.

3. Follow and engage with popular Instagram accounts as it relates to your ideal client.

Are you a family photographer in Chicago? Like, follow and engage with local accounts that are popular among moms in your area. This could be an influencer, a popular blogger, or a popular play place for kids. You want to find accounts that would appeal to moms in your area.

Remaining active with these accounts will increase your visibility. Every so often, spend some time engaging with the accounts that like, follow and interact with them as well. These are likely families that could potentially be interested in what you do.

4. Study other photographers in your area.

No matter where you are, I can bet there is a strong market of photographers surrounding you. Find photographers that most align with your style and follow them. Make a note of how they run their account, the content they post, the hashtags they use and their engaged followers.

5. Follow, like and authentically engage with families you want to work with.

You want to build an audience of engaged followers, but the interactions are not one way. Be sure to invest time in interacting with your clients or potential clients on Instagram. Comment on their posts with genuine responses and react to their stories. Do not be a stranger!

How to Start Growing Your IG Audience Today

Instagram is a powerful tool for your photography business that can help grow your business. Investing time and energy into your account will pay off. Here are a few steps to slowly but surely grow your Instagram followers organically and with purpose:

  • Invest time in creating quality content with your posts, captions and stories.
  • Take 15 mins each day and implement one of the 5 surefire ways to grow your account listed above.
  • Be genuine and giving with your engagement. Provide authentic comments where you can.

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Hi, I’m Danielle Blewitt! I am a photography business consultant and I help professional family photographers market and grow a profitable and sustainable business they can take pride in through a series of simple, easy-to-implement strategies. I will be your biggest cheerleader and most honest coach as we build your dream business together. More about me »

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