How I Grew My Instagram Following to 25,000 Followers



When I was younger, I thought a lot about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Some of the professions that came to mind at age 13 included: journalist, soccer player, doctor, teacher, and dentist.

Little did I know that a few years down the road I would be clicking submit on blog posts and uploading edited photos of myself to Instagram in exchange for money!

There are plenty of ways to achieve success on the Internet. For some, choosing to upload vlog-style YouTube videos rakes in thousands of dollars with every view.

YouTube stars are now famous for posting everything from makeup tutorials to high-production travel vlogs. Sensations like Casey Neistat and Zoella are just two that I can think of who continue to dominate the YouTube space.

How I Grew My Instagram Following to 25,000 Followers

1. Create Beautiful Images

This may be super obvious, but I have to point it out anyway!

Instagram is all about the visuals.

If your images don't look clean, put-together and interesting to the eye then you won't see much happen in terms of growth. People continue to create Instagram pages and soon there will be billions of accounts worldwide. You need to stand out from the rest in terms of creating the most visually appealing images you can.

There are reasons why people will choose to follow you:

1. Are your photos pretty to look at?
2. Can they relate to your life?
3. Do you sell something they need?
4. Do they care about your "story"?
5. Are you providing them with advice, tips, tools?

These are all things to think about when YOU start following someone new, too. Why did you choose to follow him/her in the first place? What do you hope to achieve by following him/her?

Let's talk about the nitty-gritty: the PHOTOS!

Taking photos is such an art form. I used to hire photographers who created high-quality photos for me to post on the regular and I endlessly appreciate their hard work because being a photographer is not just about clicking buttons -- there is so, so much more work that goes into the business of photography and I am always trying to teach myself new tricks.

I recently upgraded my camera to a Sony A6000. This camera was recommended to me by countless Instagram influencers as a great tool to capture the types of pictures I want for my content, sponsored or not.

Investing in this new camera was not an easy decision. It was close to $900 which is a lot of money in my mind. However, I knew I could earn the money back to pay off the camera with my sponsored content and luckily I have. Having this portable camera in my toolkit has been something that has helped me capture high-quality images on the go, too.

No longer do I need to book and schedule photoshoot appointments, but rather I can take my camera with me and shoot outfits wherever I end up going for the day. The images taken by the Sony A6000 are crisp and clear! I absolutely love this camera and it was definitely worth the money compared to other makes and models in my opinion.

2. Attend Local Events

A real game-changer for growing an authentic Instagram following happened when I attended my first influencer event back in February 2018.

I booked myself a ticket to participate in Kahlea Nicole's first ever Gal Getaway weekend trip down in Siesta Key. Of course, at first, I was initially terrified because I was going to be living in a house with 30+ girls for the weekend and I'm such an introvert that I almost talked myself out of going...but I am SO glad I did!

Bonding with these other women gave me the confidence I needed to keep exploring the world of becoming a full-time influencer.

I heard so many inspiring stories from the women at the house who have multiple streams of income! My Insta friend Nikki Hall, for example, is not only an influencer but she is an accountant. How awesome is that!!

Attend all the local events you can. Use these various events as an opportunity to spread the word about your brand and your name. Finding other people who also create content for the Internet is also a wonderful thing. When I create content for my Instagram and blog, I am constantly thinking about how to connect with my "followers" - who have turned into real life friends.

I am thankful to have connected with such likeminded women who believe in me as much as I believe in them! I look forward to attending local St. Pete and Tampa events because I know I'll see at least two or three familiar faces in the crowd.

I think attending events is why I've grown a few thousand followers within the last few months. Once you tag a fellow influencer in a photo or on your Insta story, then you've crossed into mixing followers to promote each other's accounts.

3. Participate in Facebook Groups

Another tip for growing your Instagram following is to join Facebook groups with members who also have influencer accounts.

I am currently in a few Facebook groups and we often are allowed to post multiple times a day with our feed to receive likes and comments on photos.

Since Instagram has changed its algorithm, I've resorted to using as many outlets as possible to find new followers. I post my daily photos into these Facebook groups and return the favor by liking and commenting on other posts found in the group!

Engaging with other people on Instagram EVERY DAY with the help of these groups has always benefited me.

For example, one of the groups I am in on Facebook is called Instagram Influencers. One perk to becoming a member of this group is that we chat about the latest updates to Instagram and provide each other with as much information as possible regarding gaining new followers.

I love interacting with the girls in this group because we all have unique backgrounds, as some are from the east coast while others live on the west coast.

4. Participate in Giveaways

A controversial topic I'm about to discuss is whether or not I believe in participating in Instagram giveaways.

At first, I was hesitant to join in on giveaways because I thought they were fake. However, if you take the time necessary to find giveaway hosts who are not sketchy, then you can really use them to your advantage.

There are plenty of influencers who do not want to participate in Instagram giveaways and I get that they can feel "wrong" because you are essentially "buying followers". The pros and cons of giveaways exist, but I feel as if the pros outweigh the cons in a major way.

Usually, when I participate in an Instagram giveaway I will gain anywhere between 1K-2K new followers. These new followers are already following other accounts with similar content to mine, so I see this as a major win. It's hard not to ignore the power of an Instagram giveaway.

Almost everyone in the influencer community that I know of has been a part of AT LEAST one, and the results can be extraordinary in terms of growth and engagement.

I participate in 1-2 giveaways per month depending on the dollar amount I wish to put into the total prize money. I make sure to work with legitimate blogger giveaway hosts so a winner can confidently follow the girls involved!

5. Tag Brands and Utilize Hashtags in All of Your Photos

A few months ago, I was wearing a cute swimsuit from Target and they reached out to me to ask permission to post the photo onto their social channels.

I was so thrilled when they asked me and immediately said they could. The next day I saw myself on the Target Style Instagram Story! It was awesome to see myself on there because over 3 million people follow that single account.

Whenever I post a new Instagram photo I have a method to make sure as many people see it as possible. After all, there's no point in creating beautiful content if nobody sees your hard work, right?!

I often choose clothing that I know will give me more exposure, too. Target has a bunch of accounts that love to repost you, so that's one more excuse as to why I spend so much time (and money!) at Target during the week.

When I post a photo I also include hashtags at the bottom of the image in my caption. Instagram continues to change things up when it comes to new "rules" and including hashtags in the caption of your photo is just another slight change they've made. Instead of posting your hashtags in the comments below your photo, try adding a few important ones in the caption of your image.

P.S >> When it comes to hashtags, be sure to choose wisely! It can be tempting to include popular tags like "photooftheday" but have you seen how many other people have posted with that same tag on their pics? Millions!

If you want your photo to be seen by a select few (thousands of people!) be picky about specific hashtags to place until your caption.

Some of my personal favorites are:

#floridablogger
#stpeteblogger
#creativechics
#tampabayfashion
#affordablefinds
#targetstyle

As an influencer, I've learned quite a few tricks to gain new followers in such a saturated market.

Of course, you want to show off yourself and what makes you stand out from the crowd is YOUR personality and flair.

I hope these tips to gain followers on Instagram help you out! If you have your own Instagram advice please feel free to leave it in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you.

How To Style Wide-Leg Cropped Denim Jeans This Fall


SHOP THE LOOK:






I just recently found the perfect pair of wide-leg denim jeans! 


Out of all the great places to look for trendy jeans I stumbled upon this flattering pair: at Target!

I mean, who can beat $24.00 for AMAZING jeans!? 

I've tried looking online for a pair of stylish wide-leg jeans and I even went to Levi's to see if I could make something work there. Unfortunately, I left the store empty-handed and a little crushed that I didn't find any in my size. 

Of course, as soon as I walk into my favorite local Target to make a return and plan on leaving with more money than I originally entered in with, and I find these jeans to try on. I saw a size 2 and decided to go for it. 

THEY WORKED! I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that these jeans ($24.00) are wide at the bottom, where they should be, and are tight at my waist. It was a done deal. I made my way out of the clothing department and checked out before I could pick up anymore unnecessary dollar section pumpkin decor, too.

Here is how I styled my wide-leg jeans: 

In the outfit look above, I am wearing a floral print tie-front crop top ($23.00) that instantly makes you look on-point for fall! 

I love the long sleeves of this crop top to balance out the midriff-baring aspect of the top. As for shoes, I opted for black loafers ($24.99), which are also from Target. 

What can I say? I have a problem entering Target and leaving with more than I anticipated! These loafers are a closet staple item for the fall, too.  

Let's talk accessories for a moment: these knot headbands are SO fun right now and I'm seeing them on bloggers across the country, from LA to NY. Some of my fave blogger babes like Steffy and Noelle rock this same mustard headband from Urban Outfitters in such a bohemian fashion that I constantly envy! Plus, it's only $14.00 so it's not too expensive if you want to test out this trend and purchase your own knot headband. 

BTW -- notice where I'm shooting this outfit? Next to the famous Posie's Flower Truck! This classic Tampa Bay Volkswagen travels from St. Pete to Tampa at local coffee shops and indie markets all the time. I found them hanging out at Bandit Coffee today (via Instagram Stories!) and caught them right before it was time for them to pack up and head out for the day (well, more like roll on out!). 

If you haven't checked them out yet, please give them a look over on Instagram because the ladies who own the truck are incredible #GirlBosses who opened up this mobile flower truck just last year. I always love supporting local businesses and visiting Posie's has become a fun tradition for me! 

Are you planning on wearing wide-leg jeans this fall? 
Let me know your favorite jean style in the comments below!