When you’re first starting out as a content creator, you might find yourself overwhelmed with all the different wheels you must put in motion to grow a platform and audience. After a while, you might even find yourself feeling discouraged by all the time and effort you’ve put into your content without seeing the type of results you hoped for.
Having a strategy to rely on will help creators just starting out reach goals that seem stagnant or even impossible. Passionfruit asked four successful micro-influencers (a micro-influencer is usually defined as having a loyal and engaged audience of 10,000-50,000 followers) about specific techniques they personally used to get more followers on TikTok and Instagram—for free—in 90 days or less.
As a new content creator, a lot of the work you’ll spend in the early days will be around helping you figure out your voice, niche, and even what you want to be known for on that particular social media channel.
Melissa Tovar, a beauty influencer with over 280,000 followers on TikTok, explained how a lot of her early growth spurts happened because she “stopped being a robot” and instead showed a more human side.
“People want to hear your opinions; they want to hear about who you are as a person,” said Tovar. “In order to create a community that trusts you, you have to make people feel like they know you. Open up about pain points and past experiences or show them a little of your day-to-day life. You’re a lot more interesting than you think,” she told Passionfruit.
As you plan your content for the month ahead, find ways to incorporate your personality, unique voice, and perspective so new people on the platform can understand who you are, relate to you, and ultimately decide to follow you.
Post frequently—then figure out what works
While it might feel like a lot of work, posting frequent and repetitive content when you’re first starting out as a creator is a quick way to see growth. When she was first starting out, food influencer Marwa Osman (who currently has 116,000 followers) was able to grow her audience by over 10,000 every month just by following two important rules:
“First, I made sure to post multiple times a day,” said Osman. “I created each post with the intention that someone is seeing you or your content for the first time, because the intention is to be seen by someone who does not already follow you. Offer value in each post so that you can convert that new person into a follower.”
Osman also explained how creating a high volume of content might be time-consuming, but it provides significant data points. Paying attention to the sorts of posts that do best and the times they do best allows for both automation and replication.
“Post a bunch of different content and then dissect what is working best in order to repeat that format. Do not be afraid to fail, if a post flops, just use that as data,” she said.
Stick to a niche
When trying to attract a new audience, it can be difficult to get someone to want to hit the follow button if they don’t understand who you are or what type of content they will find on your account. Irina Bromberg, a travel influencer with over 800,000 followers, shared the importance of sticking to a niche and making that niche crystal clear.
“Think of what makes you unique, what makes you you, what knowledge you bring to the table, what you’re most passionate about. Your niche, put in other words, is your specialty. For me, it’s the luxury segment of family travel with kids,” she said. “Let people know who you are in your bio so it’s clear what people can expect. People move on to the next account because they do not have time/desire to figure out what yours is about.”
Another tip Bromberg shared was that whenever possible, interact with other large accounts in your niche—to gain exposure to potential followers by letting the algorithm know what you’re all about.
Get right to the point
Creators often value putting out content that captures an audience’s attention. However, it’s important to remember that people’s attention spans are far shorter than you think. Kelsey Riley, a food influencer with over 700,000 TikTok followers, shared the importance of getting to the point as soon as possible in your videos.
“It’s so easy for social media users to swipe to the next video or post,” she said. “Be clear in the beginning of your post by either using a video title on the screen for the first few seconds, verbally telling your audience what the video is about, or using a clear caption. Not only does this provide a clear message to your viewers but it will also help the algorithm decide who to show that post to.”