You don’t need thousands of Instagram followers to be successful

 You might be thinking I’m off my rocker, but you really don’t need thousands of Instagram followers in order to be successful on Instagram.


I get asked a lot for Instagram advice and I pretty much tell people I suck at it because I don’t spend a lot of time on it.

The truth is, I don’t suck at Instagram – the 6,500+ followers that I show up for love me. And they drive quite a bit of business to my website and blog.

Show up for the people that are already there.

The key to bringing profits to your blog, is simply showing up for the people that are already there! I promise they will bring friends.

Sometimes we are trying so hard to get new followers, when what we ought to be doing is serving the ones we already have.

People follow you on Instagram for a reason.

People follow you for a reason, do you know why? I know, this is a hard question to answer, so let’s flip it around…

Ask yourself, “Of my favorite people that I follow on Instagram why am I following them? It’s for a reason.

  1. Maybe they know something you want to know.
  2. Maybe they are offering something you’re interested in.
  3. Maybe they are one step further on the path than you are and you want to learn.
  4. Maybe they are a friend (or family member) that you love.

People are likely following you because:

  1. You know something they don’t.
  2. You’re offering something they want.
  3. You’re one step further on the path than they are, or
  4. They like, know and trust you… you are “friends” or “family – hi mom!”

You want people to look at your Instagram feed and see that you’re just like them. I’m all about building the brand, not the business… and when you do, the business will come.

Convert followers to fans.

In order for people to fall in love with your work, your offerings, they first have to fall in love with you. So–

#1: Show up in the feed. Stop speaking to the masses and write to ONE person, your friend. When you realize you don’t need to convince EVERYONE, you just need to reach ONE, the messaging completely changes. Tailor your message and strategy to speak directly to your ideal ‘dream’ client! Know WHO it is that you’re speaking to!

#2: Focus on building a brand, not just a business. My suggestion, choose 5 things in your life that define you/your brand and share those in a cycle of images over and over and over again.

Look at your photos in harmony with each other, what do they say about you?

I’m showing you what I love, my eye, my storytelling. I know what I’m selling and I use Instagram (@yourmarketingbff) to paint that picture, to tell that story!

#3: Engage with your followers, whether it’s one, one thousand or one hundred thousand plus. Respond to questions, hop on over to their feed and like a few posts – let them feel both seen and heard.

Every single post should serve a purpose.

Like I said earlier, you really don’t need thousands of Instagram followers in order to be successful on Instagram.

-Show up,
-Share your brand story (image + words) again and again,
-Make sure every post you publish serves a purpose (each playing a small part in a bigger picture), and
-Serve the ones that already love you!

I think Hilary Rushford said it best…

“You can be popular and broke. Popularity is not the key to success. Popularity alone is like a padded bra — it looks fancy but doesn’t change reality.”


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  1. It’s funny but I’m just now really getting this! Amen to everything you said! Some of my friends have twice the following, as far as numbers go, and sometimes I wonder what I could do to boost my following more quickly. And then I realized… They’re showing up. They’re reading my blog, I get lots of emails every week with questions, and I get a lot of DM’s on Instagram. And some of their comments are when I need them the most or when they say they needed at most, and I had no idea they were there. But they are there. This has really opened up my eyes. So yes, amen to this! The numbers aren’t as important anymore because it’s the people that are engaging or showing up that are really there and really reading that are keeping me going and making me realize I have a place in this blogging world. So yes, amen to this! The numbers don’t mean what they used to and I’m reminded of why I am doing what I’m doing. I wish I would have realized this sooner and I would have not stressed out as much or doubted myself. Thanks for another great post, friend! We need these reminders!!????????

    1. Yay! I’m so glad this is what you needed. We get ‘stuck’ on a number and that number does not equate to success. Show up, be the best YOU and those who are like you will love you (and what you have to offer)! Like me. xo

    1. I’m so glad! It’s changing the way that we think. Think to yourself… “well it matters to this one”. (Google the starfish parable – it nails it). Thanks for showing up and commenting! I greatly appreciate it. xo

  2. Awesome post, Tana! Great advise and so motivating. I love Instagram, but haven’t been on it for quite some time. You’ve motivated me to engage again.

    1. Yes, IG is a lot tougher to gain followers today! It’s the downside of social media… they are fabulous at the beginning, gain popularity, then they change their algorithms so they can make more money… it’s the social media cycle. THIS is why I’m a huge advocate to have a blog and then use social media as sprinkles on the cake! xo

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