Instagram is frustrating. You post your best pictures ever and get a measly 20 likes while other accounts with candid snapshots of their toenail get likes in the 1000s. If you just started your account or need to break 2000, you’re in the right place. I’m going to show you exactly how to get 2000
Last updated: May 22, 2020
- Why you should take my advice
- Milestones to Look For
- Understanding How to get Instagram Followers Fast
- The Chowyoulater System to Work Smarter, Not Harder
- DOWNLOAD CHEAT SHEET HERE
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should you take my advice?
1.) I’m the most average person there is. I’m not some sexy beast, a billionaire tycoon, nor an outgoing person. My photos are not even that great (although getting better) and moving to a new city I have no connections. My network is ground zero. I had to learn everything from the bottom. If I can do it, I’m 100% sure you can too.
2.) A lot of advice you’ll find on the web are either outdated, click baity, or from those with so many followers they’re out of touch with the smaller guys/gals out there. And then you’ll get advice that assumes you already have an account with an established audience advising you to post as much as possible, pay for ads, go live, make your stories pop, etc. I hate those with a passion. In today’s Instagram climate, their algorithm is always changing because people find ways to exploit it. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry anymore because Rich got you! This year, I’ve been a mad man obsessed with figuring out the hows and whats of Instagram.
3.) I just reached 2000 Followers! It’s fresh on my mind. I started to take my account seriously on March 1, 2019 and reached my first 1000 on May 27, 2019 and 2000 followers on June 26, 2019. Most will wait until they’re cemented in their influencer status but I’m the opposite. These are the freshest strategies. Use it, and surpass me. I believe we’re all striving for the same things so we should all help each other instead of competing against one another. There’s a lot of opportunities for everyone.
4.) My approach
5.) My account is live and active. I feel like Deadpool breaking the 4th wall here. Follow me to see me grow in real time and on the other side, I’d like to watch you grow too. It’s mutual. Send me a DM if you’ve got specific questions. Heck after going through my post, you’re likely going to surpass me which would make me a very happy camper.
Milestones to Achieve
First, let’s go over the three hurdles you will need to cross. Many think becoming an influencer is easy but believe it or not, there’s a high barrier of entry. Your greatest assets will be persistence and a learning mindset. This section is divided into 3 phases since there are different strategies for each one. The fourth phase is anything beyond 2000 followers. That’s for another article as this one will focus exclusively on getting your first 2000 followers.
- Newbie: 0-200 Followers
- Rookie: 201-1000 Followers
- Starter: 1001-2000 Followers
- Beyond 2001 Followers…
Newbie: 0 to 200 Instagram Followers
I believe the road to your first 200 is the hardest. It’s like being the new kid in school. All the groups have already been formed and you’re left twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out if you belong or not. You hate lunch period because it means sitting by yourself watching the other kids have the time of their life. I get it, everything is new and you’re just not sure what to do. I’ve been down that road aplenty. When I was a kid, I moved 6 times in my pre-adult years.
With that said, your strategy here is to:
- Optimize your profile. This here is ever so important for newbies.
- Post only niched photos. You want to set a great first impression. Make it clear from the very start what your account is about.
- Follow everyone and anyone. The goal is solely to get to 200. You will be turned down a lot! You will have to get used to it. Expect a low number of follow-backs.
- A note on follow-backs: At this phase, you should follow all the accounts back. You run the risk of losing your followers and may find yourself back to square one. It won’t matter much in the future.
Rookie: 201-1000 Instagram Followers
If you’ve exceeded 200, now you’re just known as the kid. The hardest work has been done. Your audience is going to be mostly business accounts and those looking for a follow. Don’t worry about it. It won’t matter soon. You just keep posting good content to your feed regularly. At this point, you may want to start being strategic with your follows as you don’t want an account full of spam followers. Here I suggest pivoting to following real personal accounts in your niche.
- I recommend following those in your area, using either the hashtag or location search to see what they are up to and there’s always the possibility of meeting them in person one day.
- This is a good time to start or find an engagement pod. If you’ve been extremely active and your comments are well thought of, others may have noticed and will invite you.
- If you haven’t already, use this phase to develop your photography skills. You don’t need an SLR camera, an iPhone will do. Just learn the basics of composition, lighting, and themes.
- At the 500 followers mark, if you haven’t already, consider switching your account to a business one so you can get access to your posts insights.
- As mentioned in the previous phase, follow back the majority of accounts that follows you. The Follow for Follow Method is real, if you don’t follow them back you run the risk of losing your followers. Follow them and get to know them. In the later phases, you won’t need to worry about following back but for now, you need to build credibility.
Starter: 1001-2000 Instagram Followers
This is where accounts are starting to notice you because most are also within this range of 1001-2000 followers. We, as humans, tend to like others similar to us. This can’t be any truer as more accounts similar in follower size will begin flocking to you.
If you’ve been practicing your content, engagement, and the Follow For Follow at around the 1800 mark is when you’ll notice all your hard work paying off. You’re going to see an influx of notifications and suddenly others within your niche will start following you. The real fun begins.
Beyond 2001 Instagram Followers
There are more milestones after 2000. We won’t be covering them here but if you’re curious, check out my Cheat Sheet.
If you’ve surpassed 2000 followers, congrats!! You are now officially a nano influencer, the most powerful influencer group. Yes even above someone like Kim Kardashian. You’ve built yourself an audience. Your time is now more limited than ever. It will become more difficult to engage as your notifications will blow up and it’s a lot easier to get followers. Things will come more organically. The game has changed and you’ll need to have a new strategy.
In addition, you’ll meet others within your niche and finally make some cash! If sponsors haven’t gone out to you yet, you can go to them. I recommend going with products and services you actually use because it’s just unethical to recommend stuff without any basis. Here’s a table I’ve made that displays the types of agencies out there for you to
The Concept: How to get Instagram Followers Fast
This section is divided into 2 parts:
- PART 1: The 3 Chows for Success
- PART 2: Applying the Chows
I don’t care what anybody has to say. The most effective way to get followers fast is the Follow For Follow Method which I will cover below. Before that, let’s go over what makes an account successful and understand the theory.
The 3 Chows for Getting Instagram Followers Fast
You need to follow the rules to understand the mindset. Mindset is very important because it’s the difference between quitting and continuing. From the top level, there are 3 main concepts you want to execute on Instagram and that is to Grow the Account, Create Content, and Engage. We have to continuously partake in these activities no matter what. The allocation of resources and strategies may change but the components are going to remain static.
The next question to ask is “how?”. These 3 work together, without one it will be difficult to achieve:
Keep in mind, you need to have a solid profile and feed first. DO NOT put your profile on private. That’s a sure fire way to grow your account slowly.
How? Use these Techniques.
1. The Follow for Follow (F4F) Method
This method has a bad reputation like a Ponzi scheme or a sketchy car dealership. I think what gave it a bad rep are the sleazy people behind it following and unfollowing once a follow-back has been established. It’s a waste of time for everyone so please, please don’t be sleazy.
The times you’re allowed to unfollow a followed account is if that person disappeared or they have no interactions with you. They’re basically following you to have a follower. It’s what’s called a ghost account. This action is optional and I’ll leave it to your own personal values and upbringing on how to go about this one.
With that out of the way, let me explain the Conventional way of Follow For Follow:
- Follow large accounts within your niche.
- When a large account publishes a post, you go to their likes and follow every single account that’s liked that post.
I’m going to tell you doing that is a waste of time. It’s like playing hide and seek in the dark. Sure, you’ll eventually find your target but s/he might not be alive anymore after hiding under the bed for 60 years. Luckily, I discovered and created a much more efficient and smarter way.
Note: Instagram has been cracking down on automation and bot-like behavior so do not abuse the Follow action. If you follow too many during a given time it could signal to Instagram you’re a bot. Instagram will “follow block” you for a couple of days. When in doubt, be a human user. Ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?
The Smart Way of using Follow for Follow
There are 2 main ways to find your followers:
- Hashtag Search
- Your Follower’s Followers
Let’s outline the steps for Finding Followers in Hashtag Search.
1.) The very first thing is to compile a list of hashtags over 1 million posts within your niche. 5 is a good number to start with. Once you have that done go to the next step.
2.) Go to the Hashtag Search tab.
3.) Type in the hashtag you found in Step 1. Go to the Recent Tab.
4.) These are the posts that are most recent. Aim for posts within 30 minutes. I consider those fresh.
5.) Go to each profile and check out their Follow Rate. If > 0.5 Follow. If < 0.5
6.) Keep going through each profile until you reach a stale post (anything over 30 minutes). You can repeat steps 2-5.
Let’s Outline the steps for Finding Followers within Followers.
1.) This method can also be used in conjunction with the Hashtag Search. Say a follower just posted and you find them on your newsfeed. You check the time posted, and if it’s under 30 minutes then click on either their likes or comments.
2.) In this instance, I chose comments. I tend to go for those who are most active on IG so I prefer comments but you can also go to the Likes List.
3.) If the time checks, then go to that person’s profile.
4.) Check their Follow Rate. If it’s > 0.5 Follow. If < 0.5
2. Optimize Your Instagram Feed & Profile
Before you even consider following anyone you need to make sure you look like a fully functioning human account. Who wants to follow a spammy one? Here are three factors into looking like a decent human being.
Optimize your profile
When you set up your profile, I stress on establishing a human connection. In other words, include where you’re from and where you’re currently living. If you’re part of a school or group, whether you’re a mom or dad, put it in there! You have no idea what words will trigger the right connection and that’s why your online persona is equally important. Overtime, as you understand your customer avatar, you will have a better understanding of what to put in your profile therefore experiment, play around, and update every so often.
Use a good photo of yourself for your profile pic. Something shot candidly or by an amateur. Using a professional image or logo can look spammy. Remember to choose wisely as you want to change your profile pic as little as possible. Over time, that’s how others will recognize you. Changing your profile pic too often can change your online persona as well as losing immediate recognition. Think of it as your own personal logo much like Nike or McDonalds. There’s no mistake as to what these companies are.
There are two (2) ways to get found in an account search. The first is your handle. The second is the first line in your profile. I’ve circled in red below.
You want to take advantage of that first line of your profile. You never know who is searching for what. I wouldn’t waste that line on my name and instead place it in the line below. I recommend using some keywords or search words you think your customer avatar is searching.
Publish at least 20 niched posts before F4F
You need to look like a real account. I’m pretty sure in your iPhone you have at least 20 pictures in there you can use. Don’t worry if the images aren’t great. Good is good enough. If you don’t believe me check out my Instagram. As you gain more followers and post more, naturally your photography skills will develop in correlation with your follower count.
Optimize your Captions and Tags
The most important tip about captions is to not be boring. Always answer the whys of the post. Focusing on the whats (such as a description of the pic). Tell a story, tell people why they should care.
- Keep Captions brief @ 150 words max
- Open the caption with an action word. Makes for an enthusiastic post.
- Write a short story, answer the why’s of the post.
- Use emojis. It’s hard for people to know what kind of personality (serious, humorous, etc) you have without emojis.
- Ask a SIMPLE open ended question.
For hashtags, be careful. If you use (1) too many, (2) repeatedly use the same tags, or (3) use unrelated hashtags to the post you run the risk of getting shadowbanned which just means your posts won’t show up in the hashtag search. I recommend staying under 25 hashtags (the max is 30).
Secondly, tag other accounts to your post whether that’s in the form of a shoutout or a mention. When tagging you’re giving free exposure to other accounts for more followers. It’s a win-win 🙂
Lastly, make your post easy to be found. Geo
3.) Optimize Your Comments and Likes
One thing about me is I’m quite introverted so it’s always easy for me to make engaging comments. What I mean by “engaging comments” or “power comments” are those that trigger an emotional response. In my case, it’s always humor. For you, I recommend staying away from generic comments and going with a more engaging approach.
- Avoid generic responses. Be human. If something is interesting
answer the why!
- The reason I’m commenting is
because….(the more descriptive and visual the better)
- I like your _____ because…
- Your image reminds me of…
- The reason I’m commenting is
- Use Emojis, but don’t only use emojis.
- If there’s an opportunity, tag the post’s subject such as company, IG user, etc.
- Comment on something in the image sticks out.
- Comment on something in the caption invoked an emotion.
- Supplement Info: some additional tips, helpful info, advice.
- Ask a question about the image
- Bonus Points if you’re able to add in something you remember about them
- Bonus Points if you can start a comments party by adding more peeps to convo
This is very do-able under 2000 followers. The advantage of having a small account is the relationships that can be developed into meaningful ones.
Another tip I’d like to introduce is the concept of bulk liking. If you were to like a post, you might as well like it at least 10 times as it will show up on that account’s whole screen. That is the best way to make an impression, especially to larger accounts who may not see you, this is the way to do it. Both accounts get something in return. You get seen, and they get more likes on their posts so it’s not an annoyance.
Note: Instagram has been cracking down on automation and bot-like behaviour so do not abuse the Like action. If you like too many during a given time it could signal to Instagram you’re a bot. Instagram will “Like block” you for a couple of days. When in doubt, be a human user. Ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?
The Chowyoulater System
If you’re new to Instagram, chances are you’re going to be lost (like I was) OR you’re a IG veteran but found too many tasks to do. I’m all for working smarter, not harder. That’s why I’ve recommended a minimum of 90 minutes per day. Keep in mind, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
My 6 Step Process
My guide was created for those who do not want to spend much time and effort (afterall, the title is How to get Instagram followers fast!) but reap the benefits of learning how to get Instagram followers fast. You will spend at most 90 minutes per session. But if you have the time, you can still use my process and go through multiple sessions in a day rather than one.
1.) Follow for Follow
- See my Smart Follow for Follow Method.
- For me, I mostly use
Bulk Likeas an appreciation tool. In otherwords, when a person has followed me back is when I’ll Bulk Likebut if I’m courting them, I’ll give them one like and a follow. Think of it like going out on a blind date, and within the first 30 seconds you tell them you want to marry them, it doesn’t work like that.
2.) Post to your Feed.
At this stage of the game, you don’t need jaw-dropping images. Using a smartphone is fine. Your audience is so small it won’t really matter too much. That is not to say, not to use high-quality images. If you have the photography skills, display them. If you do not, take the time to learn and develop your craft. Having great content can only help you.
3.) Post to Your Insta Stories.
If you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t dwell too much using Stories just yet. In my opinion, if you do not have an audience, there’s no point in putting in the effort unless you want to learn and familiarize yourself. Try to get at least 1000 followers first and then engage in Stories. It’s not always the case but, expect an audience between 5-10% of your follower count.
With that said, after 1000 followers Instagram Stories are your friend, the friend that keeps on giving. If used correctly, it can be a powerful tool at your disposal especially when not many are taking advantage. It’s the best way to get noticed by bigger accounts and to develop relationships. It’s raw, uncut, and informal. It makes it a lot easier to engage with accounts you haven’t seen in a while or gets lost in the shuffle.
When you’ve reached 1000 followers, do the following:
- Showcase your personality. Be raw. Be yourself.
- Use music you actually listen to.
- Caption your posts using words you use in real life (IRL)
- Use GIFs to display emotion. These can really take your stories to the next level. I akin it to emoji’s on steroids!
- Geotag, hashtag, shoutouts!
- Use interactive stickers like questions, polls, etc.
- Add value by showing some Behind The Scenes (BTS)
- Promote your next post.
The most important thing is to keep it fresh and multidimensional! For example, don’t make every post be a question or a shoutout. Switch it up. User Fatigue is real. Don’t be a victim.
4.) Catch up with your Engagement Pod.
Engagement pods. The members in your pod are going to be your ride or dies, your day ones, your besties. When you accidentally post a picture of yourself riding a horse
5.) Power Comments and Bulk Likes
6.) Followup with Notifications and DMs
You don’t want to be rude and not respond back to people. I don’t think anyone likes getting the cold shoulders. Acknowledgment and appreciation will take your account far. You can simply respond back with a comment or like their comment.
Worried that the process may take too much time? Not necessarily. If you only want to do the minimum then see the Time Allocated Table below:
If you want to spend the absolute minimum amount of time then the schedule above is what your time could look like. You’re more than welcome to move things around to cater more towards your schedule. The main takeaway here is you only need, at most, an hour and a half a day. It’s very doable. If the schedule doesn’t work for you, you can download and edit as you please.
Cheat Sheet Summary
You want a “Too long, Didn’t Read” version. I get it, I done wrote too much! Here’s a cheat sheet summarizing everything I’ve written but if you have time, I highly recommend going through my whole post to capture the mindset and rationale behind my madness.
Remember to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out any new articles. There will be more posts like this as well as advanced techniques you can learn. By sharing my article and liking my other social media platform tells me where I should focus on next. So if this article takes off, I’ll do a part 2 on how on 5000 followers. And if you have anything you want to share with me, feel free to send me a message or drop me a DM. I’ll happily publish it on this post and credit you. And if you already knew all of this. Great!! 👏🏻 What are you waiting for?! Get it done!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I’m sure there will be more questions about my system and how things work. I’ll leave them here. If you have one of your own, contact me and I can publish in this section.
- What is the Follow Rate?
- I already have 2000 followers, will Follow For Follow still work?
- What Type of Accounts should I follow?
- How do you know who to engage with?
- Why 2000 followers?
What is the Follow Rate?
Once you’ve surpassed 200 Followers, you should consider targeting your Followers. In the long run, your followers will matter. Whether you’re looking to become an influencer of some sort or you’re a business account and need clients you’re going to need real accounts. Here’s an example of how to choose your followers. Let’s say you come across my account.
As you can see, based on the math, if you were to approach my profile you’ll see that my Follow Rate is pretty high at 1.9. A 1.9 is basically screaming, “Hey you, I’m obviously trying to grow my account dude, follow me and I’ll do the same!”
I already have 2000 followers, will this method still work?
Absolutely. But the question is how much time do you have? Assuming you’re active, at 2000+ followers it’s going to be a lot more difficult to keep up the interactions. That’s why if you’re a new and small account (< 2000 followers), there are advantages to developing real connections with people who are going to be your core audience. These are your Day 1’s! Theoretically, you can keep practicing the Follow For Follow method up to 7500 follows. That’s the max Instagram set it at. But eventually, you want to get to a point when you no longer need to do that. I titled my post at 2000 followers because at every milestone there’s a different strategy to implement.
Remember: “The definition of insanity is doing the same things expecting different results!”
What type of accounts should I follow?
Great question. There are levels to this question. Follow these steps. If you just want the answer go to Step #3.
- For your first 200 or so followers are going to suck a lot. You will need to get any followers you can get. For the first 200, follow everyone. You should aim for those in the same theme as you but honestly, take anyone you can get. Again, be grateful of anyone investing this early into you.
- Once you get around 200-300, hey you’re looking kind of good. Your posts are great (hopefully at 20 or more) and your profile (with your mug and optimized) is congruent to your feed. You look like a normal, decent account now. People won’t think your some bot or spammer.
- Now you’re ready! As a general rule of thumb, follow other accounts like yourself. Aim for accounts as high as 3x your followers. In other words, if you have 300 followers, the highest you should aim to follow is 900. Remember, humans like to be around other humans similiar to themselves.
How do you know who to engage with?
Instead of engaging with anyone and everyone we will be smart and identify those who are likely to engage back. If you engaged with everyone, it’s like shooting at a target in the dark. You want to shed some light a little bit so you don’t waste any of your resources. What you want to do is use the Follow For Follow Method to gauge the interest level of the user.
The accounts you want to engage with are those who are already engaged with you. That is the #1 rule; in other words, those who:
- Like your posts.
- Left a comment.
- Sent you DM’s.
- Go to your stories. Those who watched your stories, interacted and/or reacted.
Those are the accounts you want to engage with. Keep it simple. Correspondingly, that’s when to like and comment and will give you the most return on effort.
This is where your content, personality, profile all will come together. If your profile is enticing enough, accounts will naturally want to follow you.
Why 2000 followers and not 2000 likes per post or something else?
Yeah, I agree it’s extremely superficial but it’s no different from FICO scores, GPA’s, SAT’s, etc. As a matter of fact, it’s the society we live in 😅. It’s not a number that defines you but rather more of a requirement and if you don’t have a certain amount of followers, as it becomes more of a concern than a compliment. Trust me, I’ve never been rejected so many times in my life 😭 by these agencies.
Although the number of followers you have is not the “end all, be all” it is an indicator of some sort and it’s what many sponsors will measure you by. In short, having sponsors is how to get paid for your time.
In addition, at around 2000 followers is when you will begin to see all the benefits of having an Instagram account. It’s a lot of work however at 2000 followers, almost all the strategies you’ve learned will become obsolete because there simply will be a new game to be played. Think of it like facing the different bosses and levels in Mario. It’s very much the same way.
If you really enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my blog and share it with others who need the help. I worked pretty hard on showing you how to get 2000 Instagram followers fast and with your help, I’ll know what topic to expand on. We’re a community and should help each other out. This tells me what I’m doing is worthwhile and to write more posts like this that brings you value. In addition, please follow me on Instagram @chowyoulater and facebook.