If you’ve spent any time on social media, chances are you’re active on Instagram. It continues to be one of the best platforms for growing an audience with both engagement and discoverability features.

If you’re starting out or building a personal brand - getting an initial following can take some time. But, that audience is going to drive your success. As such, here are four tips to help you in gaining your first 1000 followers on Instagram!

Consistency is Key

One of the key components of any social media platform is to be consistent in your uploads. On Instagram, you should be keeping your following engaged with new content every single day. That can mean one main profile post per day or actively involved in using Instagram Stories. Both of these pieces of content serve their own purpose, and both are an important mix of building and nurturing a growing audience. Your content needs to be a priority. As such, you need to give your fans fresh content to consume is the best way to continue growing and getting that first 1000 followers.

Take Advantage of Discoverability Features

One element of Instagram that you may neglect when posting daily, is to take advantage of the ways in which people find you. Instagram actually has several ways to get your content in front of new eyes. The first is Hashtagging. Hashtags are essentially a way to give context and search functionality to your content. If you are posting travel photos, you should target travel hashtags. This will put your content alongside others posting similar content for which an audience is searching for! You can use up to 30 different hashtags for each photo - but, make sure to use a different set of hashtags for back-to-back content.

The second discoverability feature is Sharing Location. When you post a piece of content, especially if the location is unique or interesting - sharing location will help you get more eyes on the content. What this does is gives a potential audience a chance to find your content alongside others who’ve shared an image from that location. Ideal for travel content, food reviewers and other location-based focused content.

Third, you should be tagging Feature Pages. These pages build audiences based on grouping similar style content and help new creators get noticed if they fit within their niche. Often times these accounts will share one of your posts, giving you credit. It benefits them by giving them new content to share with their audience and benefits you by driving a similar audience to your profile.

Be Active in the Community

Instagram is a community and as such, you need to treat it that way. Spending time engaging with other members within your community will benefit you in the long run. The more you’re engaged, sharing, liking and commenting on other people’s content - the likelier they are to do the same for you. That crossover engagement can present opportunities to collaborate with one another later on. Not only that, but you’ll meet people who may become close friends! Having friends in the same niche as you can help if you ever need to bounce ideas off of them.

Theme your Content

When you’re creating content for Instagram, it’s important to find a theme and stick with it. This will become your brand and what people get to know you for. The idea is that when you post a piece of content, people will know EXACTLY who created it based on the look and feel. That kind of brand recognition is important to growing your following and building your community. You can theme your content based on shot composition, color palettes, style of photo or type of photo that you shoot (headshots/drone/landscape/nature/cars etc).