The Secret To Organic Instagram Growth


the blog

by sarah elrod

Tune In On Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Do you want to know the secret to organic Instagram Growth? We all have our reasons for wanting to grow a social media following. Some of us use Instagram as a platform to market our business. Others use Instagram as a way to share their art and creative side. While others just want to keep up with their friends and inspire those around them.

Whatever your reason might be for wanting growth, let’s face it, it’s not easy. I remember being in High School when Instagram first became a thing and it was really just used to edit your photos. I would go onto the app and slap a weird purple looking filter on the image and then take that image over to Facebook or Tumblr and post it there.

These days, a lot had changed. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there with over 1.074 Billion users worldwide. 71% of the users are under the age of 35 years old and 71% of US businesses use Instagram to market their business. That’s an insane amount of people.

With so many users on one platform and the insane amount of content being produced every single day it can feel impossible to get in front of your audience or to find the right people on IG. You want to increase your following and bump up that engagement but you are just stuck and feeling lost. Maybe you feel like you have tried everything and you are on your last straw. Well, I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t throw in the towel. Instead, it’s time to look at Instagram in a whole new light and try an entirely new strategy. One that contains my biggest secrets or organic instagram growth. And i’m not going to lie, these might surprise you!

Stop Focusing On Growing

This is going to sound a little backwards but one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you for organic Instagram growth is to stop thinking about growing and start focusing on what you already have in front of you. There is this common misconception with business owners that more followers equals more money. But that is not really true.

Sure, more followers could mean more exposure and more potential customers. Don’t get me wrong there are definitely benefits to having a large Instagram following however it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

I want you to ask yourself a question. Are the followers you already have being converted into customers? Maybe you have 50, or 100 followers or even 3000 followers, and that’s great! But how many of those individuals are buying from you? If you have a high percentage then that’s great! You would be in an awesome position to increase your following. But if not very many of your current followers are buying from you, what makes you think that new ones will?

Organic Instagram growth comes from having loyal fans and followers that can preach on your behalf. If you have 100 followers and 50 of them have bought something from you, you are in a fantastic position because that means that 50% of your following is a loyal customer to you.

If you have 10,000 followers and only 50 of them are buying from you, well, you may not have build a trusted following yet. My point is, you should not be so eager to grow that follower number until you can take some time to focus on the people that are already there for you. Serve the ones who have already told you “yes!”

Attract And Repel For Organic Instagram Growth

So how do we build that loyal and organic Instagram following? With a little something I call attracting and repelling. I know it might sound scary the word “repel” can make a lot of people nervous but hear me out. It is a million times better to have 1000 loyal fans/followers than 10,000 gray area followers.

Typically smaller Instagram accounts will have amazing engagement because the people that follow them have a genuine interest in what they are posting. This awesome engagement is what leads to getting more and more followers. More engagement means your content is being distributed at a very fast rate. As your account grows and you gain more followers, these numbers decrease. So use it to your advantage if you currently have a smaller account.

How do you attract and repel? We attract new followers by posting content that serves the audience we want to find. If you are a wedding photographer trying to find more brides, you are going to post a lot of wedding content. What this is going to do is tell Instagram who you are trying to get in front of. This is also going to be a deciding point for your followers on whether or not the type of content you produce is of interest to them. They may choose to unfollow you but don’t panic. Losing followers is actually a good thing!

By choosing to unfollow you, they are saying they do not relate to your content, and they prefer to not engage with it. This is so much better than having them stay on as a follower but never engage because that will bring down your engagement average. When they leave your engagement could actually go up because now you lost a none loyal fan and your following consist of only the people who love your stuff.

Go Deep Not Wide For Organic Instagram Growth

Once you have produced content to attract the right people, the next thing you want to do is take your current followers on a journey. We want to go deep into information and value instead of trying to spread wide and reaching for new people. If you stop focusing on those who do not follow you, new followers will naturally start finding their way to you.

You need to understand who your current followers are and why they are following you. Saying things like “they like seeing pretty pictures” or “they want to live their best freaking life” is not deep enough. If you are tracking with me but unsure of how to figure out who is currently following you, here are some ways you can do it:

  • Post a question box to your story and ask why people are following you
  • At the end of the day, scroll down your notifications and message every single new follower you got and ask them how they found you and why they followed you
  • Scroll through your list of followers and click on each profile *this will be very time consuming if you have a big following* and do your best to get an idea of who they are and why they might have chosen to follow you. What do you have in common from what you can tell?

It’s good to have a clear understanding of who you already have, not who you want to have. There is a big distinction between the two. Knowing who you have and being able to cater to them right now is going to be the best way to build that organic instagram growth. Eventually you will be able to transition and pivot into sharing other types of content to attract the people you want.

Boosting Engagement

Engagement on Instagram is really the name of the game. The more likes, comments, saves and shares you get the easier it will be to grow your instagram account organically. Getting good engagement however, is a lot harder than it sounds. We all wish it was as easy as posting a new reel or photo and bam! The comments come rolling in! But what happens if you post a new piece of content and you hear crickets?

Instead of panicking and deleting the post and being ashamed and feeling like a failure… ask yourself this: when was the last time you commented on someone else’s post? When was the last time you engaged on other accounts? It’s pretty simple. If you want more comments on your posts, you need to leave more comments. If you want more Dm’s from people, leave more Dm’s.

I have said this a million times but people are more likely to engage with people they like, know and trust. When you interact on other posts and they see that, it makes you seem like a real person. People are more likely to reciprocate your actions as well because you are establishing a relationship. Marketing is just like dating in a way! You start out slow, and make small talk and then as you get to know each other more, you begin to like, know and trust them.

Do things that your competitors are not doing. If someone new follows you, jump into their inbox with a video of yourself being a creepy weird welcoming them to your profile. It will feel so awkward at first but the more you do it the easier it gets. The point of this is making those followers feel seen and heard. Most people would never video message a stranger, but not you! You are different! You go the extra mile to make people feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Final Thoughts

Remember friends, the algorithm is not out to get you. It’s just simple math really. One of the heads at Instagram actually put out a video explaining the algorithm and if you would like to watch it I will link it here! The whole point of the algorithm is to show people who like your content… more of your content and visa versa. When we shift our mindset to realize this, we are able to utilize it to our advantage.

Please also keep in mind that numbers do not matter. That follower number above your name does not determine your value or skill in any way. What truly matters is engagement if you want organic growth. Let’s worry less about being popular and more about being profitable. Popular won’t pay your bills.


Instagram Bio Freebie:

More Instagram Related Posts:

Instagram Algorithm Video:

Connect with me & other listeners of The Branded Cowgirl Podcast by joining my community Facebook Group here:

Follow Along:

The Branded Cowgirl Podcast Instagram:


I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast

Rural Lifestyle



I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.

Branded Cowgirl podcast

get updates on the things you care about most


join the newsletter

a business & lifestyle podcast for western & rural women

- Top Categories -

Anything you need from stylish everyday clothing, or moms night out, or new Maternity jeans... PinkBlush has you covered!

Get 25% off your next purchase when you click here!

Pink Blush






some of my
favorite things!

Flodesk is an email marketing GAME CHANGER. Now you can send emails to your people without feeling salesy, annoying or just flat out confused. 

Flodesk has helped me grow my list and make more $$

Click here to save 50% on your first year!

HoneyBook is my all in one client management solution. It makes sending emails and contracts a breeze!

Save on your first year when you click here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *