How to Get Your First 1000 Instagram Followers

Getting started on Instagram isn’t as easy as it sounds. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it is too crowded with fierce competition. You need a robust strategy to grow your Instagram account and reach your first 1000 Instagram followers.

Creating an account, publishing content, and waiting for people to find you and follow your account won’t happen. You have to reach your target audience, show them your content, and persuade them to follow your account.

This article explores 10 advanced techniques to get your first 1000 Instagram followers and continue to grow it afterward:

1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile

Getting your first 1000 Instagram followers gets easier when you have optimized your Instagram profile. Most new users just fill in details without giving a second thought as they are more interested in getting started.

And once your account is activated, you don’t look back at your profile.

Optimizing your profile helps you get more followers because people visit your profile to see who you are and what you do. People follow others when they find a mutual fit which means you need to tell others as much as you can through your profile (to make it easy for others to know you better).

Here’s an example of an optimized Instagram profile:

Instagram profile optimization example

An optimized profile should have the following:

  • Descriptive user name
  • Complete name
  • An original photo of yourself or a business logo if you have an Instagram business account
  • Detailed and descriptive bio that tells visitors about who you are, what you do, and why they should follow you
  • Clickable link to your website or another social media account
  • Story highlights are grouped into different categories that give an overview of your account and the type of content you publish.

A study reported that 68% of people follow others on social media to keep in touch for personal interactions. You have to connect with others at a personal level and this should be depicted in your profile:

why people follow others on social media statistics

Your profile should reflect who you truly are. It’ll help like-minded people find and follow you. Follow these best practices for Instagram profile optimization:

  • Use your real name and photo to improve personalization
  • Add relevant details in bio including hashtags. Your bio should tell others the number one reason they should follow you and what they should expect after they follow
  • Add a CTA in your bio that should mention what action visitors need to take. “Follow to get daily posts on men’s health” is a nice CTA that tells visitors why they should follow you
  • Link to your website, blog, or any other social media account where people can find more info about you and what you do
  • Make your profile public, don’t keep it private. If you want followers, you have to public everything including posts, reels, stories, and any other content you publish
  • Switch to a business Instagram account as it gives you access to professional tools and insights
  • Keep your profile colorful. Add relevant emojis in the bio and use a color theme to highlight stories.

2. Choose Your Niche

Whether you need the first 1000 Instagram followers for your personal account or business account, your journey can become smoother and painless if you choose a niche.

A niche market is a small, focused segment of a bigger market. It targets a specific group of people with similar needs who are part of a bigger market. For example, apparel is a huge market while men’s cotton shorts is a niche within the apparel market:

niche market example

You need to follow the same approach for your Instagram account. Instead of publishing content randomly on different topics (even if they are relevant to your business), you should narrow down and choose a niche. This has multiple benefits:

  • More engagement
  • Better reach
  • Branding
  • Less competition
  • Expertise
  • Focused approach.

When you have an extremely niche Instagram account and you publish content on a specific topic in detail, you get more engagement than bigger, established accounts that publish content across multiple topics. This significantly increases your ability to get 1000 new Instagram followers.

The best part of a niche account is that your followers will be limited, but they’ll be highly engaged. These accounts have a 33.8% feed post reach rate compared to a 10.1% rate of bigger accounts having more than 500K followers:

nano vs macro influencers

Starting with a focused approach on Instagram works best to get new followers and it helps you collaborate with nano influencers (more on this later) to gain access to new followers in a related market.

Once you have your account established, you can cover more topics to increase your reach.

3. Create an Editorial Calendar

You can’t get new followers if you don’t publish content. On average, Instagram accounts publish 4 posts per week:

Instagram average posts per week

Bigger accounts having 100K+ followers publish 5 posts per week and post up to 15 stories per week. Smaller accounts stick with 2 posts per week and 3 stories per week:

Instagram average posting frequency

Ideally, you should post more content to reach more eyeballs. This helps you get new followers organically. The reason why large accounts publish more frequently is that they know the importance of publishing consistently.

You need to create a social media editorial calendar that helps you manage content. It makes it easy to plan and schedule content for Instagram by showing you what content to post and when to publish it. You prepare an editorial calendar in advance so you don’t have to spend hours figuring out what to publish.

Here’s what an Instagram editorial calendar looks like:

Instagram editorial calendar example

You can go a step further and create content in advance and schedule it through a social media scheduling app (more on this later). The idea is to have a well-defined content strategy for Instagram that tells you what to publish on any given day.

Editorial calendar gives you control over publishing frequency.

It must be noted that having an editorial calendar doesn’t mean you’ll get more followers. Having an editorial calendar ensures that you publish relevant content consistently on your Instagram account which helps you reach more eyeballs leading to new followers regularly.

The only way to reach more people is by publishing new content regularly and the editorial calendar helps you with that.

You can use a free template like this, create your own in Excel, or use a scheduling app.

4. Find Publishing Frequency

Once you have an Instagram content editorial calendar, you need to set a publishing frequency.

How often you publish new content and on what days and times you publish it impacts new followers. A study found that Instagram accounts that publish 7 or more posts per week increase followers by 56%. Another study recommends that daily posting of new content increases followers 4x faster.

Instagram posting frequency and new followers

The ideal publishing frequency is one post per day. You can switch between posts, reels, stories, and other formats as needed. You also need to mix content.

For example, you can publish tips on Monday, a product photo on Tuesday, and a video customer testimonial on Wednesday.

You also need to optimize publishing time for better engagement and to get more followers. A study of 5 million Instagram accounts by Buffer revealed that posting between 7-8 am on weekdays is the best strategy:

best time to publish on Instagram

The same study analyzed 12 million content types and found that Instagram Reels have the highest engagement and should be your preferred content format:

best content format to post on Instagram

Do you have to stick with publishing frequency, timing, and format?


You need to look at the insights and tweak accordingly. Insights are available for Instagram professional accounts where you see engagement statistics via Meta Business Suite. It gives you full access to analytics including audience demographics, content performance, benchmarking, and more.

Use insights to find out the right content format and publishing timing that drives more followers.

5. Use a Scheduling App

The best way to manage publishing frequency and timing is via a social media scheduling or management app.

Social media scheduling apps automate content publishing making your life easier. Using a tool to manage Instagram posting isn’t necessary, you can do it manually too.

However, using software streamlines the end-to-end process.

You can choose a free platform to automate Instagram management.

Here’s a list of the best free Instagram scheduling tools:

  1. Buffer
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Later
  4. CoSchedule
  5. Planable

You can also use design tools like Canva that offer scheduling features. You design your Instagram content and schedule it right from the Canva app. It acts as an editorial calendar too. 

6. Create Style Guide

A style guide is a formal document that has a complete guide for writing, formatting, design, editing, and other details related to the style, design, and branding. It helps you publish consistent, brandable content on Instagram by creating and showcasing voice and tone.

Here’s an example of a style guide and how it looks:

style guide example

A style guide isn’t just necessary for brands, but it should be created and used by individuals who want to boost their Instagram followers by publishing consistent, well-designed, and branded content.

Here’s an example of how a style guide helps you improve the appearance and design of your Instagram account:

Instagram account design example

Using a style guide offers you a wide range of benefits:

  • Define color scheme and theme
  • Content writing and formatting details
  • Language style
  • Set personality for your account
  • Set tone of voice.

When you follow a style guide, it entices people to follow you as they don’t like missing seeing visually pleasing and consistent content. 

The big question is: How to create a style guide?

It is easy.

You can use a template and get started quickly. Or, use a design tool like Canva, Venngage, Visme, or any other app that offers customizable style guide templates. You can have everything set up in a few minutes.

Before you create a style guide, you need to decide and finalize the font, format, color scheme, and other guidelines for your Instagram account. Everything in the style guide should be meaningful and must be aligned with your buyer persona. If you decide to choose Times New Roman font, you should have a clearly defined purpose as to why you are using this specific font.

The same is true for other styles.

7. Engage in Meaningful Conversations

Instagram is a social networking app which means you have to socialize and interact with others to get more followers. Engaging with others in meaningful conversations in the form of comments, likes, and shares is the best, proven way to get new followers.

You need to find relevant content using hashtags. The idea is to put your comment in front of your audience who is more likely to follow you.

If you sell school stationery, your target audience is parents who have school-going kids. You need to find Instagram accounts that your target audience follows (such as kids’ clothing brands, household, mommy clubs, education, parenting, etc.), and here’s what you have to do with those accounts:

  • Follow all the Instagram accounts where your target audience hangs out
  • Leave interesting yet meaningful comments on their posts
  • Like their recent content
  • Tag other relevant people in your comments.

Your comments on other people’s posts should be non-promotional. You have to keep your comments relevant and highly informative. The best approach is to leave comments on small accounts as it gives your comment more impressions.

Large accounts with 100K+ followers receive more comments on average than small accounts with limited followers. Your comment is more likely to be lost if you post it on a large Instagram account and would not drive any engagement.

comments received by average Instagram accounts

Stick with small, but engaged accounts as they give your comment and like most exposure.

You might not see any positive outcome initially and it might seem as if you are wasting your time liking, following, commenting, and sharing other people’s content. Don’t stop. Keep doing it.

Consistency is essential.

When your audience consistently sees your username over and over again, they eventually end up visiting your Instagram profile and that’s when you can hook them and convert them into followers.

8. Use Relevant Hashtags

Instagram posts that have at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag and posts having 11 or more hashtags get up to 80% interaction compared to 22% when 10 hashtags are used. when you use the maximum allowed hashtags (30), it increases engagement by 20%.

Instagram hashtag stats

Hashtags are a must if you want to reach 1,000 Instagram followers. Using relevant hashtags increases the reach of your content, helps people find your content, and boosts engagement.

It is recommended to use at least 11 hashtags to get maximum exposure and get your content and account in front of more people:

engagement vs hashtags on Instagram

The hashtags you use should be relevant to your account, brand, and target audience. Don’t add hashtags for the sake of using them, but only use them where they make sense and are relevant to the content.

For example, using #healthtips in an Instagram Reel will only make sense when your Reel is about health tips. If it doesn’t share health tips, you don’t have to use this hashtag just because it is popular. This might backfire.

Content and hashtag relevance are a must.

Follow these best practices to use Instagram hashtags to gain exposure and get new followers:

  • Use at least 11 hashtags per content
  • The hashtags should be relevant to the content you are publishing and your primary target audience
  • Use natural, long-tail keywords that make sense. One-word hashtags are too crowded and don’t have any context attached to them so they should be avoided
  • Find hashtags that your audience engages with the most
  • Avoid using branded hashtags unless you are part of the campaign
  • Don’t use trending hashtags as your content will get lost and won’t drive any engagement
  • Avoid using the same hashtags across all types of content. A smart move is to mix them up and keep hashtags relevant to the content. If you have a list of keywords that you copy-paste across all content, don’t do it
  • A good idea is to add hashtags as the first comment instead of adding them in the caption
  • Use location, product, and brand based hashtags
  • Follow primary hashtags that you use to keep an eye on accounts and people who use those hashtags. It helps you generate conversations and follow relevant accounts.

9. Collab with Nano Influencers

This is one of the best proven ways to reach 1,000 Instagram followers quickly. You need to collaborate with an influencer to reach their followers.

Since you have a new and small account, most influencers won’t bother connecting with you. Your best bet is to collaborate with a nano influencer (niche influencers who have between 0 and 10,000 followers):

types of influencers

Nano influencers have limited but highly engaged followers and since they have limited followers and are always looking for new ones, they are more likely to collaborate with new Instagram users.

You can run a collaboration in two ways with a nano influencer:

  1. Initiate a cross-promotion campaign where both parties promote each other on their account. This is free and best suited when the number of followers of both parties is nearly the same
  2. Pay a nano influencer a fixed amount to promote your account, products, or brand. This is more suitable in cases where the influencer has more reach and isn’t interested in cross-promotion.

In both cases, you need to make sure that the influencer’s followers are your primary or secondary target audience. If not, it is useless to do a collab. For example, a local food influencer who has local followers might not be a good option for your brand if you don’t operate in the same location.

Finding the right nano influencer is the biggest challenge. Read more about how to do it in this guide

Once you have the right nano influencer, choose a collaboration strategy. If they agree to cross-promotion, great. Else, you need to set a budget for promotion which isn’t too high in the case of nano influencers (under $1,000). Most nano influencers will do it free for you as they are just starting. Others will only need free products or samples.

When done right, you can reach 1,000 or more followers on Instagram with only a single collaboration.

10. Promote Your Instagram Profile

Oftentimes, reaching people outside Instagram is a nice option to get new followers. Instagram is the 4th most used social media app globally with over 2 billion monthly active users which means you can reach Instagram users in several ways (both on and off Instagram) as it has massive reach.

most used social media platforms in the world

You can promote your Instagram profile to get new followers in two major ways:

  1. Promote your account on Instagram by running ads
  2. Reach your audience off Instagram via your website, blog, and other social media channels.

Running ads on Instagram to get new followers is an expensive but sure way. The average CPC is just over $1 which means a single follower would cost you at least $1. The actual cost per follower might vary as the actual cost is determined by several factors:

Instagram average CPC 2024

The other option is promoting your Instagram account outside Instagram. You can reach a massive Instagram global audience in different ways including:

  • Share your Instagram account on your website and blog
  • Add its link to other social platforms
  • Share your Instagram account as a signature in online forums
  • Use word of mouth to promote your Instagram username and ask your friends, family, and social circle to follow you
  • Add an Instagram username on your business cards, email signature, letterhead, etc.
  • Paste the username on the rear glass of your vehicle.

 Converting your physical contacts into Instagram followers is much easier than virtually persuading unknown people to follow you. Try this and it’ll do wonders.


Getting your first 1,000 Instagram followers is indeed challenging. Once you start getting followers, it gets easier to gain new followers because existing followers help you reach new people.

This is a reason why having high engagement is essential. Followers alone won’t help much.

When your followers are engaged and interact with every content you publish, it increases your reach and your account grows exponentially.

If you have unengaged followers who don’t interact with your content, growing your Instagram account will get too difficult. You’ll constantly find yourself running after followers.

Don’t ignore engagement while growing your follower base. Engagement and followers should go hand in hand.

Featured Image: Pexels

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