When you start a new Instagram account, getting to 10k followers seem like a daunting task. Once your first follower is on board, you give a sigh of release and think: “Only 9,999 more to go!”.

Yeah…that’s equally daunting.

Getting to 10k followers on Instagram involves a lot of hard work, but it’s certainly not impossible. Any ambitious social media manager with big dreams can get do it.

In this article we’re going to lay out the basic techniques that will help you get your first 10k followers on Instagram. Plus, we’re going to spice things up with some more advanced tactics that will keep you afloat. Let’s sail!

Create and maintain an Instagram aesthetic

To get 10k followers on Instagram ASAP, you need to start with a carefully planned strategy. Then, you have to figure out how you can translate it into a coherent post schedule with a cohesive visual aesthetic.

To attract new followers you need to be smart about your content. Interesting, fresh and out-of-the-box visuals are great hooks. Not only that, but maintaining a coherent aesthetic is a key factor in gaining AND retaining followers.

Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Create Instagram aesthetic to grow to 10k followers on Instagram
Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Another Instagram aesthetic

A coherent Instagram aesthetics will help followers instantly recognize posts from your account, increasing the chances of engagement. Of course, building an original Instagram aesthetics is not easy and, besides involving a lot of work, it requires a bunch of creativity. If you feel lost, you can draw inspiration from specific themes or graphic patterns. For even more juicy ideas, you can go through Preppr’s step by step guide for a coherent Instagram feed or, if you’re already an Instagram veteran, you can dig deeper and try your hand at some more advanced tips and tricks.

Post quality content consistently

We believe this should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: in order to get to 10k followers on Instagram (or anywhere for that matter), you need to make ‘quality’ your primary goal! With your Instagram strategy and aesthetics well-planned, plan on how to see it through flawlessly. Yes, that means that even if you’re trying to go for a rough aesthetics (the 90s types of visuals are, after all, back in style and vintage is the new cool) you need to give old-school a top-notch spin. No matter what style you decide upon, whether it’s inspired by the 60s or from a far-away future, it should be, first and foremost, quality driven. Of course, visuals are only a part of the ‘quality’ story, the essence of the content is the other, copy included. So make sure to create interesting content-wise posts crafted with smart captions.  

Smart caption - Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Quality content – Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond

While quality is mandatory to get your 10k followers on Instagram, you need to bring consistency to the table. Because no matter how high-quality your content is, if you only post once in a while, you’ll get nowhere close to your goal. That’s why having a posting calendar is essential to your growth. Plan ahead and stay ahead.

Plan ahead stay ahead - Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Plan ahead stay ahead – Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond

Choose your hashtags strategically

Hashtags are the essence of Instagram and the reason why it has, in fact, become so popular. That’s why selecting the right hashtags to go with your post is a big deal when trying to reach your first 10k followers on Instagram. Or, actually, when you’re trying to achieve anything on Instagram.

While tackling the most accessed hashtags will bring you a lot of exposure, this isn’t necessarily the best strategy. Turning to very used hashtags also means that your content won’t stay in the front rows of Instagram for long. Instead, try finding hashtags that address specific niches. This way, you’ll target smaller groups of Instagram users, but you’ll increase your engagement chances.

When it comes to finding the best hashtags, there are a number of great strategies you can use: from getting inspiration from your current followers to having an eye on your competitors and staying on top of trends that go beyond your industry. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve given quite a lot of attention to hashtags, researching both the way hashtags will work in 2019 as well as everlasting hashtag strategies that will never go out of style.

Engage with other accounts

Reaching 10k followers on Instagram isn’t done in a vacuum. That means you don’t get to that big of a followers’ count without reaching out to them. You can’t expect to simply post consistently and gain new followers. Staying in your bubble will leave you…well, with only your bubble. You need to get out and meet the digital world, as originally and creatively as possible. Instagram is an interactive medium and artificiality is not only discouraged but punished.

Engage with other accounts - Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Engage with other accounts – Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond

To gain more followers, you need to get out of your comfort zone, out of your feed and interact with other accounts. These accounts can be users from your target audience, influencers, or other connex businesses that can somehow complement yours. A like here, a few comments there and a rounded strategy for various interactions will get you a long way. A word of caution here: whatever interactions you choose, make them authentic and relevant! Generic, out-of-context comments of the type ‘great pic, love it’ can cause more harm than good.

Take the Stories Path

A key strategy to getting your first 10k followers on Instagram is to diversify your communication methods. After you’ve created a coherent Instagram feed, you need to also think about Instagram Stories. In fact, Instagram Stories are slowly becoming the star of Instagram and ignoring them would be a fast-steady way of losing terrain on the social media platform. Also, it would be a big shame to ignore Instagram Stories because they offer such a big opportunity for creativity.

Instagram Stories can help you reach more followers by getting away from the restrictions of the feed’s algorithm.

All stories are displayed based on a time criteria so you have bigger and many more chances to reach your target audience. And we’ve not even mentioned how fun Instagram Stories can be! Actually, we have in other informational articles about Instagram Stories and in our complete Instagram Stories Blueprint that covers everything (and we do mean everything!) you need to know to master them.

Establish smart partnerships

Okay, we’ve established that Instagram is about reaching out and engaging with other accounts. But, to get to 10k followers, you need to stretch even further. To get to your first 10k followers on Instagram you must create smart partnerships. Sounds like common sense, right? However, it’s not the common practice it should be. Why, there’s no telling, especially since partnerships are not hard at all to make.

Establish smart partnerships - Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond
Establish smart partnerships – Step by step to 10k followers on Instagram and beyond

The simplest form of partnerships can be initiated by sharing the posts of your current followers or by asking followers to use your branded hashtags. If you want to take things a step forward, you can engage with influencers and create paid partnerships. Sure, there’s a certain business art when it comes to interacting with influencers and establishing fruitful partnerships for both sides. No worries though, we’ve covered the essentials of influencer marketing and you should check these to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Use third-party tools to ease your job

All the tips and tricks we gave you so far might seem like a lot of work. Indeed, they are. Getting to 10k followers on Instagram is not an easy task. However, you don’t need to take it all upon yourself. Help is on the way. First, your Preppr sidekick is here to help you with posts automation, so you can schedule your content for weeks and even months in advance. Of course, that’s only the beginning, as the market is filled with automation tools that can help you easily find users that fit your target audience or create automated engagements (but authentically! be mindful). Check out our article on some of the most-useful automation-tools for Instagram.

Instagram scheduling - Start building to 10k followers on Instagram!
Instagram scheduling – Start building to 10k followers on Instagram!

Start building to 10k followers on Instagram!

We’re not giving advice only for the sake of sharing. We’re keen on seeing results. So, share your journey with us and keep us posted on how long it takes you to get to that coveted 10k followers on Instagram. How well did our strategies worked for you and what other techniques have you applied? Tell us in the comments below.


Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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