There’s so much you can do as a photographer to grow your follower base and improve your image as a professional. Instagram is a very powerful social media platform that can get a lot of eyes on your portfolio.
Gaining those followers can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to developing your photography business on Instagram.
I’m by no means a large influencer on Instagram, but I have grown from under 100 followers to over 4000 followers in a year by following these basic tips and my growth rate continues to rise.
I’ll touch on these 5 items because I think they’re the some of most important. Hopefully this will help you better shape your social media image on Instagram and give you some tools to begin expanding your follower base.
1. Post Quality Content and Curate your work
My buddy and superstar wedding photographer, Ryan Flynn (@ryanflynnphoto) sums it up nicely when asked how he has increased followings so well on his Instagram feed:
“…for me it’s just been focusing on quality content and learning what people like — essentially figuring out who i want my target audience to be, and then reaching them.”
2. Be Patient and Consistent
Last May I had less than 100 followers on Instagram, and most of those people were friends or family. That was when I decided I would focus on consistently posting strong images and dedicating my Instagram feed to growing my business.
I anticipate some of you may ask when the best time to post is. Honestly, I think that posting around mornings and /or evenings everyday is a great start. I see my best interactions on weekdays around 10am. However, using an online analytics program like Iconosquare can help you narrow down when most of your interactions occur and you can then adjust to posting to a more specific time window.
3. Don’t Flood Your Feed
Variety and giving my images time to marinate in the social media world is important. Remember, my Instagram feed is a curated gallery, not throwing up every image I’ve ever taken.
4. Interact with Your Followers
It should be noted that this becomes exponentially more difficult to do the more you gain followers since Instagram’s notifications for comments can be lost in a sea of likes and other notifications. Programs like Iconosquare can help manage comments a bit easier and is a great tool for Instagram in general (I won’t dive into those benefits in this article).
5. Represent Your Brand
It’s really easy to open up Instagram and just start posting whatever. I’ve seen a lot of photographers mix business and personal life and create a very awkward representation as a solid professional. This mixed representation in general can muddle your image and have a negative image on the viewer. In most cases, I think it’s best to separate your professional work from the personal pictures taken of friends and family, etc.
Let me know if you have any of your own tips and tricks for gaining followers and developing your Instagram image in the best way possible. If you’d like a follow-up article covering more of the details and smaller moves I make to propel my image, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Andy Shepard is a Freelance Commercial and Travel photographer. Follow Andy on Instagram , 500PX , Facebook , and Twitter for travel and adventure pictures!