Let me guess:

You have followed all the best tips found on the Interwebz.

You create fresh content daily. You use the right hashtags. You post 3 times a day. You reply to everyone who comments on your posts.


The number of followers on your Instagram account remains pitiful. You don’t even remember the last time your follower count went up.

At this rate that this is going on, you are going to give up.

How can Instagram be a profitable channel for your restaurant, if your number of followers don’t grow?

Fret not.

I am here to help.

I reached out to several Instagram marketing experts, and got them to answer this one question:

“If you were to grow a brand new Instagram account from zero followers to 10,000 followers in under 30 days, how would you do it?”

Below are their answers.

And I am 100% sure you will find something new to try… and skyrocket your Instagram following.

Try These Tips Shared By 19 Of The World’s Best Instagram Marketing Experts

Zach Benson | Assistagram

1. Powerliking method

Cost $1200-$1700 a month, depends on how many likes per day 1-3x, contact me at benson.zach@gmail.com to gain access to our network of 180 million on Instagram, several niches.

What are powerlikes and why does it work?

Powerlikes are likes/comments from a network of large accounts (100k+ accounts are considered large) as soon as your post goes live. The intent is to play into Instagram’s algorithm where a post’s first ten minutes are most crucial for gaining traction and determining how it’ll do in reaching beyond your current following.

It works two-fold: By flooding traffic from the large accounts over to yours from the ‘Following’ tab, as well as triggering the algorithm to recognise that large accounts are enjoying that piece of content.

This will not only increase the post’s reach to more of your current followers but increases its chances significantly in hitting the Explore page, where you’re reaching beyond your current audience and grow organically and quickly.

2. Telegram groups/rounds

Telegram is a messenger app that has become solely used for Instagram engagement groups. It’s hugely popular as you can code bots that take over the entire process for you, making everything automatic.

Below are screenshots of arguably the best and most exclusive engagement group, XPLOR Rounds.

Prerequisites: 80k+ followers, 2k+ likes per post avg

Niche: General/all

3. Direct message groups (free method)

Create a DM engagement group of 15 people with similar accounts, niche and a high quality audience— in this strategy, multiple Instagram accounts help each other grow organically by mutually liking & commenting on their content. The larger the accounts participating, the more effective it is.  You will need to be in 50-100 groups and participate constantly throughout the day, each and everyday.

Better to hire a VA to do this.

4. Shoutouts/giveaways/contests

Network with other big Instagram accounts in your niche and try and set up a giveaway contest with them.  This is a great way to grow your following fast.  By collaborating with a 3 million follower account and 300k + account, you could grow up to 2,500 -3,000 + in less than a week.  For example, maybe you have a hotel page and want more travel followers, you could create a 2 night all inclusive stay in your best suite for 2, full-board.  To be entered into the contest, you have to follow these accounts (the two large travel accounts and yours) and the more friends you tag, the higher chances of you winning.  The set up price of these contests vary in price and could cost you anywhere from $500 to a couple thousand dollars.  It just depends on who you know, like how big your network is and what you can offer these huge accounts in return to create a mutually beneficial business relationship.

5. Post viral content

Open up your Instagram app, look at whats on your Explore page tab.  All viral videos and pictures with thousands and thousands of views and likes.  Most of this content is what we call viral content, unique and original and “way out there”.  The more open you are to posting viral content the higher chances you will have of going viral on instagram while using the above methods.  An example of viral content: https://www.instagram.com/tribeinfluencer/

6. Be consistent

To be good at anything, you must do it every single day. For example, you aren’t going to be an awesome sports player if you only play 1-2x a week.  You have to practice each and every day.  Same with social media, you have to be consistent and posting each and every day, respond to comments, direct messages, like and comment on your target market, do market research, research and rotate hashtags daily, participate in engagement groups, use Instagram lives, stories, etc and create original epic content.  Easily 3-4 hours a day.  If you don’t have time to do this, outsource it.  Build your brand.  Your name is your most important asset.  Reputation is what other’s think you are.  Character is what you are.  Grow your following, provide great value for your fans, teach, inspire, give, give, GIVE and watch your circle of influence grow, network expand, and more opportunities will come your way.  You will find that it’s a lot easier to negotiate anything, seal deals, pretty much do anything when you grow your following and brand.  You are the brand. You are the commodity.  Think of Instagram as your new name card, so when you are out and about and you meet someone, exchange biz cards but then say hey let’s stay in touch via Instagram, pull up your account on their phone and then they are like WOW you have 100k followers. You are legit! Definitely peaks their interest more and helps you stand out from everyone else they met that night.

Nathan Chan | Foundr Magazine | Instagram

I would research the market I’m looking to serve, then create great looking content and post 3x a day.

Then I would find other Instagram pages that serve this target market and get them to share my content as much as possible from either paying, or working out reciprocal deals using my own accounts as leverage.

Then I would find other big accounts that serve this niche and convince them to like and comment on my posts.

Then I would run at least 2 competitions/giveways to get people to like and follow us – I would give away something that of super high value that would attract my target audience / niche – (that way we’re building a following of buyers too around this market).

 Alex Tooby | Website | Instagram

My answer will help you reach 10,000 REAL and TARGETED followers.. Not just any follower because what’s 10k followers worth if they’re not going to engage with your content or purchase your products or services?

So having said that.. here’s my approach: if you want your account to take off quickly you need to create a feeling of authority – like you’ve been doing this for ages and have perfected every inch of your Instagram strategy. To do that you need to laser focus on what your account is all about. It shouldn’t be “food, fitness, healthy lifestyle, travel, etc” it should be just ONE of those thing.

Niche down as far as you can then curate images that fall into a very specific theme.

Aesthetics are everything.. are your images white and bright? dark and moody? are they all desaturated except for the pinks and greens? Figure out what your aesthetic “style” is and stick to it like glue.

Upload a variety of photos to populate your feed, then post at least once per day moving forward. Select hashtags that aren’t too large (limit yourself to 5 tags that have over 1million posts associated with them) and write engaging captions that evoke a feeling, educate, or provide some sort of value to your audience.

Then.. the most time consuming part. Put yourself out there and start engaging with your target market. Like, comment and follow as much as you can (without getting blocked by IG) in the most authentic way possible. Make real comments, start true conversations, show your audience that you’re a real person who cares and is present behind the account. You could easily spend upwards of 1 hour a day doing this.

On top of this you can add SFS with complimentary accounts, run a giveaway, add relative content to your Instagram stories daily and go on IG live often to answer your audiences questions.

Bottom line is – Be present! Show up, be authentic and provide value.

Good luck!

 Ali Mirza | iSocialYou | Instagram

I would piggyback on the giant. Let me explain…

You are just starting out and have no audience. Right?

But there are so many other people in your niche who are 10 steps ahead of you (with huge audiences).

So reach out to them and ask them to feature you.

Yes, you may have to pay a little bit but it’s totally worth it.

If you pick the right influencers, their followers is your target audience also.

So don’t hesitate to spend some money.

Let’s create a step by step process so we can easily follow

1 — Find 10–20 Instagram influencers in your niche

2 — You can search on Instagram or use 3rd party tools (e.g. RightRelevant, Kear, Ninja Outreach)

3 — Find the contact info of the owners. Note: If their contact info is public on their account, this means they open for business)

4 — Reach out and find out how much their charge for a “shout out” or “feature post”

5 — I would pick 10 and have them feature my brand new account. Then pick the best 3 to 4 best performing influencers and do it again.

“You either build the audience from scratch or go to someone who already has the audience you need.”

 Leon Benjamin | Triple Your Tribe

Here’s my answer.

The main steps are
1. Who I’m looking to attract
2. My content + hashtags
3. Get easy quick followers
4. Shout campaign
5. Giveaway campaign
6. Engage with existing fans daily

First determine who’s my account for. And think about who else is serving them right now. What other instagram accounts are currently BIG that have them. I’d make a list of at least 30 of them who have over 40k followers and a fairly active comment section where discussions arise.

Next, I’d find out what type of content those accounts put out thats interesting for them to engage with. Make at least 30 posts that are similar to those kinds of post and add a twist to them with my brand. The rest can be posts with quotes related to the market.

Also from the previous listed accounts, scrape some of the hashtags that are in the medium range 20k-200k posts. And some in the more popular range +500k. From there I’d look a bit deeper to find more related tags through suggestions.

From there, I schedule the posts with later.com to go out once per day. And another post uploaded manually. While rotating 60 hashtags across 2 posts per day. (that’s 30 tags per post. NOT 60 tags per post – which can get you into trouble!)

Next, I’d ask my current network of friends, or fam to follow my new account. Just for the sake of growing momentum and some social proof.

Now for the giveaway campaign. I’d create a document of value either from my knowledge or from interviewing influencers in the market or get an existing product of value (maybe around +100$) that that audience will want. Something thats related to the market. And offer it for free. In a giveaway. They would have to follow and tag in someone to enter for a chance to win. The winner would be announced on the last day of the 30 days. All participants receive part of the document or online product as well as a bonus.  

Then, while that’s being promoted in the account, I’d get others to share it as well. I’d reach out to that list found in step 1 and ask them to give us a shout on their page. In exchange, shout them out on my page, or give them something of value in return.

While they promote the contest, I’d manually get traffic. The way I’d do that is by engaging (by liking or commenting or replying to stories) to the people who are active on the posts from accounts of list one.

In summary,
1. find my audience,
2. the content they’d like,
3. the tags that attract them,  
4. Ask existing network for some social proof followers
5. Create a contest
6. Get shouts from relevant accounts
7. Manually engage with the market

That could make me hit 10,000 followers easy. But in reality, hitting the 10k mark can be done by purchasing them.. however, would not make your account valuable to you or your market..

What would be the most bang per buck (your buck being in terms of your energy and time), would be to have an engaged and interested following instead.

So growing through the steps above, ensures you get interested followers. And less of the ones that unfollow you later.

Erica Eckman | Everything Erica | Instagram

Find out what is currently a topic going viral and create witty, funny or informative content around that topic.

 Jenn Herman | Jenn’s Trends | Instagram

I would never encourage a client to attempt to reach 10k followers in 30 days. It’s unrealistic and the audience will not generate the ideal results with that type of manufactured growth.

 Jason Stone | Millionaire Mentor | Instagram

I would do a giveaway and tell people to follow the account to win something


 Jaime Derringer | Website | Instagram

My best advice is do a lot of research. Find out which hashtags are critical, which are performing well, and who are the key influencers. Interacting regularly in this community is the best way to increase followers quickly and get noticed. Posting at least once a day using key hashtags is the right way to go, but don’t overdo it. Too many hashtags can get you flagged by Instagram. Also, consider posting video and doing a few Instagram stories regularly because Instagram favors these over photos and can help you increase your visibility within their algorithm. But most of all, be real, be human, and be authentic.

 Jim Tobin | Ignite Social Media | Instagram

Growing a following is extremely easy if you don’t care about the quality of your followers. There are companies online selling 5,000 Instagram followers for just $30. Several years ago, I actually ran an experiment and bought 10,000 Twitter followers to roughly double my follower count. Nothing beneficial happened and just a few months later, Twitter’s algorithms had deleted all of them. I was back to my natural follower level.

If you care about long-term value from your Instagram account, the steps are a bit more difficult.

  1. Start with a quality content strategy. Are you a drone photographer? Fashion? Food? Dogs? DIY?
  2. Create a significant amount of content, but be ruthless about deleting anything that’s not your best. Instagram more than Twitter is about quality over quantity.
  3. Begin posting. Use hashtags (between 5 and 10 is ideal), but place them as the first comment on your post, not in the body text.
  4. Once you have some decent content, follow people in the same space as they will often follow back.

This path takes some work, but if you’re not energized by it, building a large Instagram following will probably not have any benefit for you.

 Shawn Thomas | Website | Instagram

Unless you are a celebrity, or have some sort of public awareness, the ability to grow your account on Instagram to 10,000 followers in one month will require one or both of the following methods.

1. Find a way to get into what is called “Shout groups”. These are Instagram accounts all of similar size that will promote all of the other accounts in the group. For instance, on Monday if there are five people in the group, all five people promote want on account. On Tuesdayeverybody promotes the next account and that process keeps repeating each day. It works best if all of the accounts in the group are of similar theme.

2. Paid promotions. This is a method where you will reach out to accounts of larger size and similar theme and pay them to promote your Instagram account. This is the fastest way to grow your account on Instagram.

 Diana Marks | Lux Affair by Diana | Instagram

If I were to grow my Instagram account to 10K in under 30 days, I would still use the same techniques: consistency and originality of content, interaction with the community and existing fans, and using relevant hashtags. All accounts are different, but these are the three simple things that produce the best results.

 Lauren Bath | Website | Instagram

If you want to grow a brand new Instagram account from zero – 10,000 in under 30 days then you are overlooking the point of Instagram, to grow a community of like-minded people. Using Automation, Pods and other dubious methods might get you there but your audience will be shallow. My advice to anyone looking for  quick growth on Instagram is to take a step back and ask themselves what they really want it for, because if you want to influence your audience in any way then you’re going to have to settle in for the long run. The fastest ways to grow organically on Instagram is by posting world class imagery every single day using the right tags and engaging with other accounts for hours a day. Every day. For years. But if you build the base correctly you will start to see momentum and traction and if you’re a great person sharing great content then you might grow your influence here, and influence is not just about numbers.

 Mario Massitti | Website | Instagram

If I had to grow a brand new Instagram account from 0 to 10k followers in 30 days, simply put: I would run ads. Assuming I had a product established & content for Instagram, that would be by far the most efficient way. If I were trying to accomplish it with zero dollars, I would create partnerships and value for other influencers in my space (both on and off Instagram). I’m a big fan of growing organically (liking & commenting on potential client accounts, hashtags, etc.) but in this mindset – running a strong paid campaign would save a lot of headache and allow me to focus on what I do best and double down on my strengths: creating great products and creating strong, relevant content.

 Laura Lawson Visconti | Geography Creative | Instagram

I wouldn’t. I could, if I had a decent budget, hundreds of hours to spare, and employed all kinds of shady methods… but I wouldn’t. This is a common misconception nowadays, stemming from a greedy (or perhaps simply naive) desire both from brands and wannabe influencers to see numbers grow exponentially and unrealistically fast. If I was a brand, I’d want an engaged audience of 1000 people who are actually interested in my product, rather than an audience of 10k disinterested individuals (or worse, bots) as that doesn’t actually generate sales. It’s the age-old quality vs quantity argument. Quality is better, just as it always has been.

 Amber Renae | Website | Instagram

To grow in under 30 days, firstly I would create a really unique, beautiful and on-brand feed, that people instantly want to follow and collab with. Branding is step #1 in growing an audience. Once my feed is tight I would then start being super active
I would then make a targeted list of accounts that have a similar audience to the one I’m wanting to cultivate.
I would then actively target their followers, being super active on the platform, liking, commenting and DMing as often as possible.
I would also follow as many accounts as possible and unfollow anyone who doesn’t reciprocate
That should get 10k in 30 days

 Melissa McAllister | Team Made | Instagram

Easy! I would laser focus on my niche market and provide daily valuable tips for free.
How I was able to grow my account to 200,000 in less than 2 years (organically) was because I knew my market, which is fitness professionals, and I provided short workouts for them to do and use…FOR FREE!
Most people think you need to hang on to your BEST stuff for your paid content but that’s not true. You will have faster success over delivering right from the get-go while establishing trust and a good relationship which is the secret to a strong brand!

 James Shamsi | ModelGram | Instagram

‘Id pick a niche thats easy to grow that doesn’t have too many competitors – eg gaming. I’d then test new types of targeting for automation for the first 2 weeks, testing different options heavy for 2 days at a time. EG, those uploading content about different videogames, those engaging with diff videogame pages etc. I’d also start an engagement group with other accounts in that niche, helping to bring up average post reach and Explore page visibility. Last thing would be to do some influencer marketing, paying micro influencers with an audience I want, eg YouTube gamers, to do shoutout posts for the videogame meme page.

 Zahara Jade | HireInfluence | Instagram

There are always a few things to do in order to grow an Instagram account from zero to 10k in under 30 days, but one of the best and brightest ways is to leverage influencers.  Aside from all of the basics like having a tight brand image, profile, and sleek images + videos posted with a nice amount of hashtags – not too many and not too little – have others spread the word for your brand.  This might include so many different strategies.  A few suggestions to get you started: a roundup blog post of popular IG influencers that is then shared on IG to, a guest spot on an influencer’s IG account, a true sponsored post via an influencer, a collaborative real-life effort (social cause, etc.) with influencers that is shared via IG, and so much more!

3dcartJimmy Rodriguez | 3dCart

You need to take a different approach to Instagram than you would when trying to build, say, a Facebook page – focus more on brand-building opportunities that you have at your disposal. Instagram users are extremely willing to follow and engage with brands, which is unparalleled compared to all other popular platforms. This gives brands the chance to bring their image and message to life in a visually powerful way that turns users into loyal customers.

To start building your follower’s base on Instagram, you need to establish a few key things on your account:

1- Make valuable and beautiful content. If you’re sharing images that are unique, powerfully visual, and evoke both emotion and value to the user, then they’ll be much quicker to hit like and follow.

2- Stay consistent. No one likes to follow a dead account. You need to be posting at least once or twice on your account every day to keep engagement up and show Instagram that you’re worthy of that all-powerful Discover page.

3- Know your hashtags. Perhaps even more so than Twitter, Instagram’s platform thrives off the concept of hashtags. Entire communities can live within a single hashtag, so it’s up to you to do the research and find out which ones are the best fit for your posts and business.

4- Research the biggest accounts in your industry. Take the time to find the accounts that already have more than 10,000 followers and take notes on what they’re doing right. What does their feed look like? What content are they posting that gets the most engagement? What hashtags are they using? You need to be able to answer all of these questions to build an effective strategy.

It’s important to realize that building an account with thousands of followers from scratch isn’t as easy as saying a magic word (or paying for bot followers). If your goal is to sell on Instagram and you have 10,000 followers, but none of them are engaging with you or converting into customers, then that number is ultimately meaningless. Focus your hard work and energy on building an engaged community, and you’ll reach an audience that’s much more meaningful.

Skyrocket Your Instagram Following Now

So, you’ve now heard from 17 different influencers on how they would grow their Instagram following in 30 days.

Your mind must be exploding by now.

But don’t be overwhelmed.

Read through their tips, choose up to 3 strategies that you would like to try and experiment with them over the next week.

There are 4.2 billion likes on Instagram every single day – building a following is definitely possible.

Let’s do it.


Posted by Si Quan Ong

Si Quan is CandyBar's Content Marketing Manager. He is also the co-founder of BreakDance Decoded, an online breakdance training company. He loves standup comedy, and has a dream to visit at least 100 countries in his lifetime.