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If you’re trying to grow your Instagram audience right now, then you’re likely learning just how frustrating it can be. It seems like all of the Instagram tips on the internet conflict with one another, or they’re not actionable. Plus, Instagram tips for photographers are way different than Instagram tips for other types of artists or “influencers.”
So, I went in search of a video about how to grow your Instagram audience that is actually helpful for photographers. And I found one…
Nick Hoeller, of Hoeller Photography, created the video above about how to grow your Instagram audience as a photographer in 2021.
Here’s a recap.
Tag Your Photos
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The number one tip to grow your Instagram audience is to make sure every photo you post is tagged.
Now, if you don’t know what this means, it essentially is a way for people to find your photos based on where they were taken. So, you can tag the city of Paris if you’re posting a photo of the Eiffel tower and then Instagram users can discover your photography by searching through that tag on Instagram.
Nick pointed out that he has the best luck when he tags his photos to a more general area, like Los Angeles, instead of a more specific area, like Echo Park. This is because far more people are interested in Los Angeles photography than in Echo Park photography.
Engage with Your Followers
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Another way to grow your Instagram audience is to actively be engaged with your followers. People use Instagram, and every other social media channel, because they like to feel like they are a part of something.
So, when they comment on one of your posts and you actually respond to their comment, either thanking them for sharing your post or just generally answering questions, they get a boost of dopamine and will be more willing to stay engaged with your page in the future.
Another way that you can keep engaged with your followers is to follow them or post comments on their photos that you enjoy. Instagram’s algorithm will pick this up and will recommend your page more frequently if you’re engaged with your followers.
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I feel like just about every photographer understands that they’re supposed to use hashtags in their photos, since this is a staple of Instagram, but very few understand what sorts of hashtags they should be using, and in an effort to find a bigger audience, they start throwing every hashtag they can at their photos.
I’m sure you’ve seen this before and it’s pretty frustrating. So, instead of annoying your followers with dozens of hashtags, stick to the basics. Nick said that he likes to use a hashtag of the city and state where he took the photo, as well as a hashtag that bigger accounts use in an effort to get them to notice his work.
Keep It Consistent
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While your personal Instagram account might have photos of your pets, your dinner, a theatre you just went to, and each one is in vastly different colors, you don’t want to do that with your professional account because it is easier to grow your Instagram audience when your feed looks organized.
Nick is a landscape photographer, so he only posts landscape photos. Perhaps you’re a wedding photographer. Then, you should only post wedding photos.
Along the same lines, you should make sure that your professional Instagram account is a business account and not a personal account. When you have a business account on Instagram, you can get your analytics, which is one of the easiest ways to learn how to grow your Instagram followers.
Stay Away From Trends
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While trends can be a lot of fun, they’re really hard to keep up on and can throw off the consistency of your feed. If you’re serious about learning how to get noticed on Instagram, then your safest bet is to ignore all of the Instagram trends and continue working on keeping your feed looking beautiful and consistent.
This also helps you to keep your account looking unique. There are thousands of Instagram accounts out there with wedding photos. How are you going to make your account stand out?
Create with Other Creators
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Old-fashioned networking is not dead. In fact, it is more alive than ever. Whenever it is safe to do so in your part of the world, you should start collaborating with other photographers who live near you. This way, you are posting images that they created and they are posting images that you created. It’s an easy way to essentially double your following.
Of course, despite all of these tips, you do need to keep in mind that growing your Instagram following is hard. It’s going to take a lot of time. If you are serious about doing so, you need to make sure that you are not only making your page consistent, but that you are making it a habit to post regularly.