How I Gained Over 100k Instagram Followers

In this post, I’ll be showing you how I gained over 100k Instagram followers on my account, @unreal.tattoos, which as you can tell is a tattoo-related account. As I write this post the account actually has 237,377 followers and is increasing by an average of 1,000 new followers per day. This post will explain how you can create mad growth for your own account regardless of your niche.

Before I go any further, I must add that I haven’t used ANY paid advertising for this account and that the results you see are purely from organic growth methods. Of course, this will take longer but you can achieve this without spending a penny. To clarify, it probably took me around 5-7 months to get 100k followers without paid ads.

Niche Down

People need a reason to follow you, and that reason should be abundantly clear when they land on your profile. The biggest problem that I see people make on Instagram is that they try to cater to everybody, by posting a little bit of this and a little bit of that, which makes it difficult to understand what you’re all about. The truth is if you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.

To niche down your business and Instagram account, you’ll want to focus on one or two services max, which you can then devote all of your efforts to. In the above example, I chose to focus entirely on sharing great tattoos from tattoo artists around the world. Anyone who had an interest in tattoos would be interested in following my content.

The reason why this works is that anyone who is interested can come to expect what sort of content I’ll be posting should they follow me, and that I’m unlikely to veer away from what made my account attractive in the first place (i.e. Great tattoos). The same can be said for any service-based accounts, as you’ll want to stick to a key theme and specialize in one particular subject in order to reap the rewards of Instagram.

Check out this post which explains how talented designer, Ano, niches down his Instagram profile to pull in new, targeted clients every single day.

Quality + Quantity

Post great content, often. As mentioned already I make an effort to share the very best tattoos from around the world, making it that much easier for people to follow me because they will be expecting nothing but quality every time I share a new post. You should share this mentality by striving for nothing but high-quality content, however, you should be wary of falling victim to perfectionism.

Do you struggle to get anything done, as you’re constantly being halted by perfectionism? If so then you’ll want to read this article I wrote on how to overcome this mental obstacle, and start being more productive with your time.

Not only should you be posting high-quality content, but you should also make an effort to do so on a regular basis. With Instagram, it can take time to get into their good books and using their platform regularly is a good way to do so. With my @unreal.tattoos account I was posting three posts a day until I reached 100k followers, and now I share four posts a day!

I understand that this simply isn’t feasible for the majority of my readers, especially if you’re struggling for time what with work, kids and other important commitments, but don’t worry. At first, you should look to produce at least one quality post every few days, and gradually work towards posting once (or multiple times) a day.

If you really want to succeed on Instagram, then you should focus all of your marketing time and efforts on it, as opposed to spreading your time across a multitude of social media platforms. It’s better to have 100k Instagram targeted followers than to have 1,000 followers on five different platforms. Focus on Instagram then introduce other social media platforms once you’ve established an audience or can afford to outsource social media management work!

This article offers a further explanation of when and how often you should be posting to Instagram, in order to maximize the effectiveness of your posts. Give a read through to ensure that you’re making the most of your content.

What You Should Be Posting

Now you may be wondering what you should be posting, and it’s quite normal to be thinking that. Obviously I had a clear vision as to what I would be posting with @unreal.tattoos, and you should share the same sense of clarity. If you are creating an Instagram account for a particular service, then you should first identify one or two problems that your ideal clients may be struggling with.

You should then create an array of posts that help to solve those problems for the client – for free. It might sound crazy giving your knowledge and experience away for free, but hear me out. The intention here is to gain the trust of your followers and simultaneously establish yourself as an expert in the field. Those that trust you will be more inclined to purchase from you, especially as they’ll likely be too busy (or lazy) to put your advice into action on their own anyway!

If you’re still not sure about what to post then it’s worth spending some time checking out what your competitors are doing. This isn’t me telling you to copy their work, but instead to get ideas on what content your ideal audience is engaging with the most, and how you improve on said content. If all else fails, you can just ask your followers what content they would like to see!

It’s not uncommon to encounter moments of fog, where you just don’t know what to write or say, which is why I wrote this post on 10 Ways to Consistently Get New Post Ideas. Give it a read and never run out of creative post ideas again!

Use Relevant Hashtags

A huge reason why I’ve succeeded on Instagram is because of my use of hashtags on my posts. You will notice that on every one of my posts I will include thirty relevant hashtags (in the comments), which are essentially thirty ways for potential followers to find my content and follow me. The reason why I specifically include thirty hashtags is that that’s the maximum amount that Instagram will permit.

Many people struggle with hashtags because they don’t know the science behind it, and how the competition for each specific hashtag can differ depending on the number of followers and engagement you have. I for one would have struggled to rank on the #tattoo hashtag when I had just started out, as it was too competitive at the time, however now that I have over 100k Instagram followers my chances of ranking on said hashtag has increased significantly.

I personally use third-party software to determine which hashtags I should (and shouldn’t) be using, and I must say it’s been working great thus far. The software I use is called Flick, and not only will it show you endless amounts of hashtags that you can realistically rank for, but it will also run a scan for any banned hashtags too. Try Flick’s free trial today!

If you would like to understand how hashtags truly work, and which ones you should be using to grow your own account, then you should check out my Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags.

Be Social

Now this is going to be a good example of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’, as I’ll admit that I don’t really respond to comments on my tattoo account, but that’s because I haven’t had to. Why? Because my account is so niche, and so self-explanatory that people aren’t expecting a conversation. If you look through the majority of the comments on the account, it’s just people tagging their friends – which is great!

I get away with it because the (visual) content speaks for itself, however, for most of you I would highly recommend that you spend time responding to every comment that you receive, as the focus should be to create genuine, long-lasting relationships with your followers. After all these are the people that could eventually be buying your products or services, they’re not going to do so if you just blank them.

Another great way to get new followers on Instagram is by engaging with other people’s content, and not just your own. With the right targeting, you can effectively draw your ideal customer’s attention towards your own profile by just being social with them. All it takes is a nice, genuine comment on their post or story, and you could have yourself a new follower (and customer).

Check out my post on Gary Vaynerchuk’s $1.80 Strategy, for a more detailed guide on how you can use this method to gain new, engaged followers on a regular basis.


Now above all else, none of these methods would have worked if I didn’t have any patience. At the very beginning, you will definitely feel like you’re talking to a brick wall, hence why it’s really important that you start socializing with others on the platform to gain profile awareness. If you’re consistent enough, there will come a point where you start to see a big increase in momentum as your followers begin to share & engage with your content.

Until that point, you will want to implement the $1.80 Strategy to get your first 1,000 followers, as without it you will struggle to rank high enough of any of the hashtags that you use, regardless of how good your content is. With all things considered reaching 100k Instagram followers is definitely feasible, but only for those that deserve it.


Reaching 100k followers on Instagram is a realistic aim for those that are looking to devote their time to the platform, and to do so they should look to post high-quality content on a regular basis, as well as make great use of relevant, researched hashtags too. The use of paid advertising can speed up growth but isn’t required.

Time should also be spent engaging with existing and potential followers on a daily basis, to ensure that you’re creating a genuine following and not just a vanity metric. This will help to create an element of trust between you and the follower and increase your chances of converting them into paying customers.

What’s your reason for wanting 100k followers on Instagram? Let me in the comments below!

In this post, I'll be showing you how I gained over 100k Instagram followers on my account, @unreal.tattoos, which as you can tell is a tattoo-related account. As I write this post the account actually has 237,377 followers and is increasing by an average of 1,000 new followers per day. This post will explain how you can create mad growth for your own account regardless of your niche.
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4 Responses

      1. Hi Mike
        Thanks for this. I currently have an action block for a week for a first time offence. I guess I liked or commented or unfollowed too many inactive accounts so they did this to me! Quite devastating. I have a good account that does well for engagement. How can we get someone like you to help build our account?

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