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So You Wanna Be Instagram Famous

So if you are anything like me you have asked yourself multiple times, how do you get your following up on Instagram?  How have these teenagers and companies built such a presence on Instagram that they are now known as “Instagram famous”?    How do they have 1,500 likes on a picture of the smoothie they drank that morning when I can’t even hit a 100 likes on a picture of me jumping out of an airplane 13,000 feet in the air with a random man strapped on my back…like come on guys, that’s worthy of at least 15,000 likes.  After a few months on Instagram, I think I have realized that there are definite things lacking on my profile, things that are holding my Instagram back from having a great following and being the best Instagram out there.  So with that being said today I am going to let you in on a few things that can boost your presence on Instagram and gain the followers you desire.


1. Keep your profile on public.

People are often scared to do this; they do not want strangers seeing their posts but if you want to gain a following, gain an audience, you need to keep your profile public.  People will hold back from following you if you are private because they are afraid of being denied.  Some people, companies, organizations may want to view you but may lose interest when they have to wait for a request to go through.  Allowing your audience to freely view your Instagram, will give them an idea of what you post and if it is something that they would want on their feed.  For instance, if you are a young entrepreneur there might be another young entrepreneur that posts events and meet-ups for other young entrepreneurs, now that’s something you would want to know, am I right?


Hashtags are so simple and soooo important with Instagram.  These #hashtags allow you to move around Instagram and explore posts like yours and find companies and people that are similar to yours.  When you have your profile on public and use hashtags, the hashtags boost your posts and help followers find your Instagram.  When choosing your hashtags, you have to make sure that you are using tags that relate to what or who you are trying to target.  Hashtags are all about knowing what audience you are marketing too.  The more complicated and intriguing hashtags will draw followers to you- if you hashtag “fun” do not expect your feed to blow up.  Create posts that will inspire your followers and choose hashtags that will interest people.

3. Location is key.

Whelocationn we edit our pictures we have the ability to choose a caption, choose our hashtags and we are also able to choose a location, which is another really important component to building your Instagram presence.  So you have a great post and hashtags that have interested your audience, so now they want to know where you are from; where your Company is located, so maybe they can contribute to the ideas you are posting on your Instagram.  They will wonder if there is a way that they can connect with you.  Indicated your location is key on Instagram.  When you see that someone has a great feed and powerful posts you are going to be intrigued to see if they are close to you.

4. Who doesn’t love to edit?

Editing is extremely important on Instagram.  Everyone knows the name of each Instagram filter and everyone has their own favorite filter they use.  But only using filters and the same old filters at that gets old.  So how can we vamp up our photos and make them different from everyone else’s feed? Well, there are a toooooon of different apps out there to help boost your pictures and help you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few of my favorites:  Afterlight, VSCO, Made With Over, Everlapse, Tilt Shift Generator and DXP Free.  These apps can add a professional feel on an iPhone picture, mash your best pictures together into a video, and bring a vintage flair to your pictures.  These apps are the ones you want to have on your phone; they are truly changing the Instagram game.

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4. Who do you follow?

Think about the people that you request to be “friends” with via Instagram – how many of them request you back?  People are intrigued in who you are simply because you were interested in them first.  It’s human nature to be curious about someone who is looking at you. A big thing with building an Instagram following is to start following people that you have a similar interest with or have a similar idea.  I know it may seem a little odd to connect with people you do not necessarily know but your follow interests them and interests the people who follow them.  WHY did you follow them?  And WHO are you?  B  You should always follow people who share a similar feed with you and like their posts-  people will like your posts back and who knows, maybe you can collaborate together and tag each other in your posts.  Which brings me to…

5. TAGSfollowing

When you upload a photo to Instagram you can tag whoever you want in your photos.  When you tag people in your photos, your followers have the chance to click the tag and see what your friends or company has to offer.  When you are tagged in something on Instagram, the followers of the friend that tagged you in that picture will be curious at who you are and why Bob decided to tag you.  They will go to look at your profile and think, hmm he’s cool, he has great posts, I would love to see him on my feed.  People love to know things, love to know who knows who, why and how do they know each other.

6. Timing is everything!

There is a time and place for everything- and with Instagram time is really important to boosting your posts.  Before you post your picture, think of who is up, who will be scrolling through my feed and who will be completely absorbed in “stalking” my feed and seeing who I am.  As people start to wake up for work, around 7 or 8 and the time we leave work, around 5-6, is when people are looking through their phones the most.  Whether it be the news, email or Instagram- and that is the time to post!

Building a following on Instagram is not rocket science but it does take time.  People like positivity, people like when you are posting pictures you are passionate about, pictures that move others- those pictures are what drives people to look at you and your feed and wonder who you are.   Try some of my tricks and let me know how your Instagram improves- I wish the best to you all in becoming Instagram Famous! Have tips that I missed? Post a comment below. We want to hear from you!

Good luck fellow Instagrammers, maybe soon I’ll be seeing you on my feed.

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About the Author: Heather Holst-Knudsen

Heather L Holst-Knudsen, a New York City area native and now resident of Sarasota, FL, is the CEO & Founder of KidBacker and HatchPad. A passionate entrepreneur, Heather has founded and led multiple business units for large organizations. She is founder and former President of Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, a B2B media platform that connects CXOs in manufacturing with senior level leaders in technology around the world. Manufacturing Enterprise Communications was sold to Frost & Sullivan in August 2012. Prior to Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, Heather was founder and President of Managing Automation Media and TechMatch Solutions, all divisions of Thomas Publishing Company in New York City. Heather is a trusted advisor to many top manufacturing and technology organizations including Cisco, AT&T, Google, SAP, Oracle, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Ford, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and more. She has 25 years of B2B media experience, is a veteran digital media expert, and has been in a C-level leadership role for over 20 years. She has won multiple awards for innovation in media. Heather believes in and respects the imagination, creativity, and fearlessness that young business minds bring to the table and is passionate about unleashing their entrepreneurial skills and spirit so they can own their own destiny. Holst-Knudsen has an SBLL from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Heather also is Chairman of the Board and Founder of KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship, a new 501c3 that will award seed grants and scholarships to young entrepreneurs to help fund their education and their businesses.

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