Instagram (IG) can be overwhelming. It’s saturated with people and businesses (and people who ARE their own business) so much that it can seem like getting traction is nearly impossible. I am here to tell you that you don’t have to be a celebrity, a corporate titan, or a hot girl in a bikini to get followers. Below I’m going to cover Captions, Call to Action, Hashtags, Stories, and Quality (pictures and lighting) to explain a few ways to get more followers on your IG. 

1. Captions 

Captions on IG have almost doubled in size since 2016. People like captions that share quirky info about the person posting (are you a Hotdog Eating Contest Winner circa 2012?), have useful information for later (the amount of at-home workouts and recipes I’ve saved from IG are ridiculous), are informative about a topic (did you know that the guy who invented the polygraph also created Wonder Woman?), or inspire them. Don’t be afraid to have a longer caption, but make sure that it’s long for a reason and not an example of how to turn your 500 word essay into a 1000 word essay without adding any more actual content <– A truly valuable skill we all learned in school, but don’t use it here. As always, quality over quantity. 

2. Call to Action 

Just in case you don’t know what a “Call to Action” is, I’ll explain it. If you already do, skip to paragraph two here to see where to use it to get the most out of it. A Call to Action (or a CTA in business-person speak) is the thing that tells people what to do with the information they’ve just been given. You get these so much that you might not even realize they are happening. It’s what you hear at the end of every YouTube video — “Like this video, subscribe to my channel!” Or at the end of commercials “Call 1-800-GROMYIG today!” A Call to Action simply tells people what to do with the cool information or content that you’re giving them. 

Have a CTA in your Instagram bio and in most of your IG posts to funnel them to your IG bio from a post, or to your website from your IG so that they buy your epic jewelry or go visit your brick and mortar because that chicken and waffles just looks too good to pass up. Examples are “follow @matchlightcreative for more marketing tips!” or “visit my 

website and enter code COFFEEISLIFE to get 15% off.” Even something as simple as “Contact us today” or “Follow my page @CallToActionsAreAwesome” can help funnel people to your page to follow you. 

3. Hashtags 

You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram (and Facebook), and studies have shown that pages that utilize all 30 of them get more engagement, more likes, and more followers. So use all thirty, but make sure they actually apply to your page and content (if they don’t, you’ll likely lose followers). Also, make sure your hashtags are a mixture of hugely used and less used. When you’re growing, you want to stand a chance to be seen from your hashtag choice and not be lost in an Instagram sea. One more thing, use a mixture of hashtags that are searched or by similar business individuals (people who sell the same stuff you do) and then others that your ideal client would use to search for you. 

4. Stories 

Stories are a great way to connect with your audience. The best stories for audience engagement are interactive. Give them polls (add the sticker where they can type their answer), ask them for suggestions (what podcasts are you in love with because I have this super long drive for my business that I have to make), ask them which of two things they prefer, etc. Audience engagement makes them like you more and causes your story and posts to show up higher in their feed and with more frequency. Also, the more like a real and relatable person you seem to be (like by commenting back to every comment made on your posts), the more you will get lifetime followers. This is your place to relax a little and not worry so much about quality and focus more on just being in front of your audience, so try posting every day if you can manage it.

5. Quality (Pictures and Lighting) 

We all know quality is important. Long gone are the days of terrible cell phone pictures of our food (hey 2002, you may only be 18 years ago, but you might as well be 100 for social media). Nearly every person’s cell phone has an epic camera, so quality is even more important than ever, and that includes lighting. If you want epic makeup videos/selfies or any sort of video with you talking to your followers, we suggest you get a ring light (like this one for beginners:​ Esmart 10 inch Ring Light, or this one for more advanced options Neewer Ring Light Kit). 

Can’t get the ring light? Then find your light. We all have that one window/room in our place where the light is amazing for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night, right? Find that time and use it to your advantage. Oh, and I don’t just mean for selfies. The right lighting (indoors and out) can sell a product or an idea to someone, so never underestimate it. 


This is just the tip of the Instagram Iceberg, but even doing these things will help you grow! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to help you start something.