Instagram Content Strategy 101 (How I Took My Instagram From 0 to 300,000 Followers)

How I went from zero Instagram followers to 300,000 followers, and I'm not talking about buying likes or followers or comments or any of that kind of dodgy stuff, I'm talking about purely organic growth, not ads, literally organic growth.

I'll admit that it hasn't been a smooth ride. There's been a lot of downs, a few ups, but I've learned a lot of valuable lessons that made those ups really high, that got me a ton of followers. And I'll break down the things that have been the most impactful in my growth. so that way, you don't have as many downs as me.

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Based on its global advertising audience, reach numbers, Instagram has at least 1,393 billion users around the world as of October, 2021. It's grown by 20.3% in a matter of 12 months, which makes it roughly 235 million new users on Instagram. You may think it's a bit too late to join the party but it's only getting started.

Every day, I see new accounts growing from zero to hundreds and thousands of followers. Will you go to a million right away? No, that's unrealistic, but you can get thousands. And though the competition is increasing a lot, you can still earn lots of attention if you do the right things.

When I was first starting off at the beginning, I did this experiment. I took content from other channels like YouTube and Facebook, and I just posted it on Instagram. I took image-based content and I posted it there too. I tried lots of different content types until I started finding the right things that worked the best.

Now, what I did when I reached 50,000 followers was a bit different. I started doing partnerships with influencers. I head up other influencers in the same niche, not a different niche, same niche, and we went live together, we reposted, and my followers would go to their pages and start following them or their profiles and their followers would go to my profile and start following me.

Here's some of the simple things I did in addition to partnerships. I also, when I started hitting 50,000 followers, I started doing Twitter screenshots. Put a quote on Twitters, screenshot it, pop that up on Instagram as well. I also did image carousels. Think about an infographic just broken down into five or six slides so people can swipe and get data. And you can do that with Canva for free.

Now, when I reach 200,000 followers, I started doing things a little bit differently, reels, right? Back then, I don't even know if reels were out when I first started on Instagram, but I started doing reels and I started doubling down on doing reels as it was starting to boom.

Eventually, some of my reels worked, some didn't, I quickly learned what topics people love and what they don't. I also doubled down on partnerships. Partnerships were working out. Kept doing more of them but with bigger influencers. I also started being guests on other people's accounts for lives.

See, originally when I was doing partnerships, I would go live on someone else's profile and then they would go live on my profile. That's how we cross-promote it. But once I started having enough of an audience, I would just go live on their profile and not live on my profile and have them on mine, right?

In other words, I would only be on their account and they wouldn't be on my account. And that brought in a lot of followers and I didn't have to go as often with my audience and give them fatigue.

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    22 Responses to Instagram Content Strategy 101 (How I Took My Instagram From 0 to 300,000 Followers)

    1. Neil Patel March 16, 2022 at 7:22 pm #

      How many times are you posting on Instagram per week? Share in the comments below.

      • Calligraphy With Me March 31, 2022 at 3:59 pm #

        I don’t interest in Instagram
        I want to built a community of begginers in calligraphy so that youtube is best for me
        But i post 1 or 2 post per week 🙂
        Edit- can you please give some tips to connect to audience by the way I do not have more audience but I’m happy with it.
        Also how to increase watchtime fast?

    2. Fredy Diaz March 31, 2022 at 2:01 pm #

      Great content. Thanks Neil!! Many good learnings. Greetings from Colombia South America

      • Neil Patel March 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm #

        Greetings 🙂

    3. Vivek Sharma March 31, 2022 at 2:05 pm #

      300k for you neil is too less. Given the kind of brand you are…

      Tough good learnings from the video. However its difficult to build that fan base for a small business or a freelancer

      • Neil Patel March 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm #

        It’s tough in the beginning but you can do it!

    4. andy andy March 31, 2022 at 2:19 pm #

      Like yiu your Awesome!!!

      • Neil Patel March 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm #

        You are!

    5. andy andy March 31, 2022 at 2:42 pm #

      I want to talk to you

    6. andy andy March 31, 2022 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you

    7. M March 31, 2022 at 2:52 pm #

      Neil Sir What Content Should i Post I am A Entreprenur And run a ads agency

      • Albertus Indratno March 31, 2022 at 2:57 pm #

        Content that people need

    8. M March 31, 2022 at 2:54 pm #

      I Want Sales For My Digital Marketing Services From My Insta By Which Type Of Content I can Get The Sales.

    9. Milton S Dahyr Junior March 31, 2022 at 3:01 pm #

      Hi Neil… I would like your honest opinion on investing time on Facebook and Instagram social media as we are seeing Facebook stocks dropping day by day. I honestly think investing time in these media now would be like building a house on rented land. could you say something about this please?

    10. Arunima Saha March 31, 2022 at 3:25 pm #

      I can’t help but feel disappointed, I’m doing everything I can to grow my mother’s creator account which we started just a month ago and it has less than 100 followers, but neither her follower list is growing nor the views on instagram reels. I’m not able to get them to trend. Although I’m following all the rules to tee.
      1) Her account is all about traveling and our pet dog. She has 15 followers
      2) We post images and reels everyday (not both of those stuffs everyday but alternating between the two)
      3) using 20 to 30 hashtags each posts and reels and videos
      4) we even tag some of our relatives
      but still no growth on follower lists and reel views.
      Please tell me what should I do differently because I watched all the videos and followed all the tips laid down by experts on youtube But nothing seems to working

      • Lead X Design March 31, 2022 at 5:24 pm #

        Hi there, one major thing I didn’t see you list was engaging other users. Do you like, comment, DM and follow other users in your niche? If not this could be a game changer for you if you show genuine interest in the people you want to follow you. Just a tip 🙂

    11. Susmitha Thirunagari March 31, 2022 at 3:45 pm #

      Hie sir..like for blog health and fitness niche has huge competition..but if I work consistently for atleast a year will I get results?
      .am currently building my brand by answering on quora and started creating content for insta like fitness tips posts.
      Just let me know sir if blogging is still booming and it will give returns after atlesdt an year

    12. G Fish March 31, 2022 at 4:53 pm #

      You’re a legend Neil

    13. Webware.io March 31, 2022 at 5:07 pm #

      Instagram can be a goldmine for businesses. We do this stuff for our clients and it’s been crazy how many leads flow in.

    14. Aurobindo Ghosh March 31, 2022 at 5:19 pm #

      how? you have hackers who are satisfied with your pay

    15. NOOBDAAA March 31, 2022 at 7:19 pm #

      Money can buy anything. From youtube Subscribers to Instagram Followers. We are the witnesses.

    16. Baldeep Birak March 31, 2022 at 7:22 pm #

      Awesome progress. Good to see what works at different levels.

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