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Instagram case study: How to get 1,000+ targeted followers in 1 week


Sometimes, Instagram is almost too easy. The user base is absolutely massive, and by and large, everyone on the site enjoys the same things. Beautiful photos, extravagant wealth, attractive people – all of that. If you start up an account in one of these popular photo categories, the followers will come to you pretty easily – assuming you have a startup strategy, that is.

In the past few weeks, I formulated a basic strategy that anyone can use to get an Instagram account off the ground. It’s really nothing complicated – just a few smart moves to turn your account into one that’s “cool” to follow and a few minutes of work every day to build up your follower base for free.

Use the three parts below as a guidebook and you can have the same results.

Part 1: Setup & posting

Your account should be in a category that has a high number of users and a ton of user interaction.

Stay away from categories like these:

  • Photoshop tips and tricks
  • Anything too specific – one particular breed of dog, etc.
  • Tech
  • Anything that would be considered “lame” if you took a professional picture of it

Stick to categories like these:

  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Fashion
  • Modeling
  • Luxury cars
  • Anything that can be photographed in an attractive way

If it’s Instagram, it has to be flashy. Take your category and upload a bare minimum of 12 to 20 photos to your account. Ideally, space them out at a rate of one or more per day to make your account look “natural”, and more importantly, active.

Take your own pictures if you’re a decent photographer, or, use other images that you have the creative rights to use. Stock images are great for this, just not the tacky ones – sites like these are what you should be focusing on.

Part 2: The shortcut

Instagram is all about looking popular. It’s like high school all over again. The “cool kids with the rich parents” (Dan Bilzerian, anyone?) are idolized by the community because they’re already followed by a huge number of people.

On the other end of the spectrum, if your account has no followers, you don’t look popular in the slightest, and people will be hesitant to be the first ones to follow you.

To make your account somewhat popular and get over this initial follow-back resistance, go to a site like SEO Clerks and buy 1,000 followers – easy.

(1,000 followers to the average person is quite a few – the median number of followers is just 194.)

Part 3: The strategy

You’re set up with your account and your followers. Now, become everyone’s favorite Instagram follower – the one that consistently likes, shares, and comments on photos. Your basic strategy here is to go through the hashtag feeds and just start liking photos – it’s that simple.

The concept is that when an ordinary Instagram user (maybe one with 194 followers) sees that your powerhouse account is following him or her, he or she will want to follow you back. For most Instagram users, getting a new follower is a big deal, especially if the account seems like a “cool” one.

Find some relevant hashtags (like #landscape for a travel account), follow them, and go through every day liking photos in the feed. You don’t even have to follow anyone – as long as you have the followers and you’re expressing interest in others, Instagram users will flock to you.

Once you have your hashtags (use a site like this for ideas), there are three ways to like the photos.

  • Through software, such as FollowLiker (totally automated)
  • Through a freelancer, such as on Fiverr or Upwork (somewhat automated)
  • By yourself, either on your phone or your laptop when you have a few spare minutes (not automated)

There’s not much work to it, no matter which method you choose – the only catch is you have to be consistent. If you like a thousand photos in a row, your account will get restricted. Behave like a natural Instagram user, scrolling through hashtag feeds and liking photos intermittently throughout the day.

The results you should expect

The first 1,000 followers you buy probably won’t be the best. But the new ones you create from liking similar users’ photos will be extremely targeted towards your niche, and more importantly, they’ll be interested in your account because they chose to follow you all on their own.

By liking 100-300 photos per day, I was up to 2,000 followers by week two – 1,000 that I purchased and 1,000 brand-new, targeted, and active followers. Although I haven’t gone through and removed the purchased followers, that is one approach once you build your account up. (If all of your followers are active, you’ll get more interaction and better reach on all of your photos.)

That about wraps it up. If you’re someone who wants to break into Instagram but you’re not sure where to start, follow the guidelines above and you can have a decent account within a week from now. Good luck!

About the author:

Josh MacDonald is an entrepreneur and software developer who has sold thousands of licenses of his marketing software to agencies around the world. Visit