Q&A: How I Grew My Instagram Following to 10k with @yourgirlmax
Max’s Instagram game is solid. Her feed is fashion focused without trying too hard and will provide you with outfit inspiration for days. Not to mention, she’s also Head of Influencer Relations here at #paid and knows her stuff about building your Instagram following, while staying true to your audience. Now she’s sharing what inspired her to take her feed to the next level and tips for others wanting to follow in her footsteps!
At what point did you begin to take your Instagram content a bit more seriously? And what was the reason behind the increased effort?
I started using Instagram strictly as an app to edit my photos – It wasn’t a “social network” yet with lots of users. It had just been released! I always just posted random photos– pictures of my friends and food nothing serious!
When I moved to Toronto I took an interest in fashion so whenever I bought new clothing I would take a picture. I started going outside with my best friend Olivia, and we’d try and think of cool concepts to showcase our outfits, and make the picture pretty and engaging! From there it became a hobby, we’d take a few hours a week and go out and take pictures! Naturally, the more I did it, the quality and ideas we came up with got better! It was always just for fun– and still is. As my profile got cleaner, with engaging photos, the followers started to come!
What accounts inspired you early on?
There wasn’t a specific account that inspired me, rather it was the photos I kept seeing on Tumblr that inspired me!
I used to browse through Tumblr for hours – looking for outfit inspiration and just cool “Tumblr” like photos! I’m not sure if that explains it at all, but Tumblr photos are usually cool, artsy and edgy. I think that’s what inspired me, I saw photos and wanted to mimic the style – I still look at Tumblr to this day!
You don’t use much hashtags (the way most Instagrammers who want to be seen do) so how did you get your page seen by new eyes with each post?
I think hashtags can be corny, but they’re super effective! I don’t mind a few hashtags here and there but I like to keep mine simple. I think keeping an open profile is a big thing. When liking photos from other accounts, usually they’ll return to your page and like back. In time you’ll develop a liking friendship with some people! With an open profile and random accounts liking your photo, your content can get to the news feed so the tactic really helps get your photos out there!
What did you do to drive traffic to your page?
I used to find specific hashtags that were in line with the type of profile I had. For example if someone uses the hashtag #myaritzia it means they’re into fashion! I would go to these hashtags and like peoples photos. This was a way to bring my page to their eyes. Sometimes they’d like a few photos back and even follow me! This was an organic way to help my growth.
How much thought goes into one of your posts?
This changes from post to post – sometimes I have an idea and we go out and it takes 10 minutes.
Other times I have an idea – it doesn’t go as I thought so we try different things. It takes me one glance at the photo to know if I like the overall look of it. Sometimes little things sticking in the background will bother me and we’ll have to retake it!
Traveling pictures are the easiest! Those are my favourite photos because it’s a new scenery and different from the usual setting.
You consistently receive high engagement on your photos. Why do you think this is?
I think a big part of my consistent engagement is I know my followers extremely well. This means I know exactly what they’re looking for. And when I give them what they want, I’m guaranteed high engagement.
This means I know certain photos I post will get lower engagement, but that’s okay! I have to stick to what I like.
What are your best tips/strategies for people who are trying to grow their following?
It takes time and consistency – that means you have to enjoy doing it! Take photos you love, you have to find your own groove. Sometimes it can take some time to figure out what your story is, but it’ll come!
I’m not sure if Instagram is an x+y=z type of equation to gain a big following! But posting frequently, taking high quality photos, and being active on the ‘gram will help!
Check out Max’s feed here.