I sat with a special guest today Cristina Inestroza and had a great interview with her to help squeeze out tips to help everyone learn how to gain Instagram followers organically. 

There is a lot of fluff out there on the internet and since I personally watched Cristina grow from 0 to almost 10,000 real Instagram followers in less than a year I knew she had real practical advice.

No spammy tricks or bots but real Instagram hacks that really work.

Below is a screenshot of Cristina’s Instagram account.

Not only is her account consistently growing but she is growing in very specific niche with a very specific audience that she really connects with through her content which allows her to get real targeted engagement.

Get more followers on Instagram

Growing on Instagram takes work and consistency and that is the first thing I want to make very clear. There is definitely processes, systems and techniques that can help you along the way and we will discuss them more down below.

I really wanted to share Cristina’s story because I witnessed first hand what she has accomplished and how hard she has been working on growing her followers and staying engaged with her audience.

There is so much spam and junk out there on the internet when it comes to giving tips on how to grow on Instagram and I have tried many things myself just to test on accounts.

All of these “software”, “bots” and techniques like follow unfollow are not going to grow a real personal brand with a highly engaged following.

At the end of the day what you should really want is not just to get more followers on Instagram but to have real fans and a following that is interested in your content.

Why? This is how you can end up monetizing your account to make money in the future and get brand deals.

Watch The Full Interview Right Here Where We Discuss How To Get More Organic Instagram Followers Or Continue To Read The Interview Down Below The Video?

(Here is the transcript of the interview below)

From 0 To 10,000 Followers On Instagram With Cristina Inestroza

JAMES: Hey everyone YouTube Instagram Facebook wherever you’re watching this today I have a very special guest on my podcast and I’m also making this into a video because we’re talking about how to gain Instagram followers organically in 2020 my special guest today I watched her go from zero to almost 10,000 real Instagram followers and not just real Instagram followers they’re very engaged with her content.

She did this in less than a year and you can too and today what we’re going to be doing is sharing the exact steps that she took, what she sees working with the Instagram algorithm and I’m also going to leave down below a PDF Instagram growth guide.

Pretty much everything we talked about in the video I put it in a nice organized guide so you could get that down below and you could just look at it and go step by step to help your own Instagram account out 

So if you’re new to my Youtube channel I make this type of content personal branding, personal development, and personal growth if you like that type of information from experience definitely click that subscribe button down below like and share if you think anyone would like this video and now we’re gonna jump into an interview with a very special guest on how to grow your Instagram followers.

Welcome to the Talk Less Do More Podcast today I have a very special guest Christina Inestroza 

Cristina: Hey 

JAMES: And we’re gonna be talking about how she went from zero to almost 10,000 Instagram followers within a year it’s pretty amazing I’m very excited to go over this stuff and I’m also going to leave a PDF down below in the description going over everything we talked about and some tips and tricks that you can start implementing on your own Instagram accounts start growing it.

So Christina thanks for being here thank you so much for having me so let’s start off tell us a little bit about yourself where you’re from.

Cristina: My name is Christina Inestroza I was born in Queens in Corona but I definitely consider myself raised on the island, I’m a Long Island girl for sure as you can tell by my accent. 

I’m married, I have two kids and amongst many other things that I consider myself a content creator for Instagram so my kids are basically my muse for what I do there in almost every picture I take and that’s that’s basically that’s where I am for now.

JAMES: And you grew up on Long Island?

 Christina: I did yes.

JAMES: okay, and what was your journey like did you go to college or school?

Cristina: Yeah, so I actually went to college on Long Island. I went to Adelphi University and I got my masters in secondary education. I actually wanted to be a history teacher my whole life that I love history, especially American history and that’s what I went to school for. 

I actually studied in Rome for a part of my education when I was doing more history research and then when I graduated school, I had every intention of being a teacher that’s like what I always wanted to do and then either fortunately or unfortunately however you see it I quickly realized that teaching was not for me.

Once I left my college classroom and moved into an actual classroom where I was with students I just realized it was much more than just teaching it was working with the principal and other teachers and all the parents and just the culture of Education in our country right now it’s just not what I imagined it would be.

JAMES: I mean that happens with a lot of people, especially when you’re young you’re trying to choose something you get into something and then you realize this is not what I thought it was going to actually be like. 

Why You Should Grow Your Business On Instagram: 

22 Social Media Stats You Should know About Instagram

Instagram Is Preparing For 2020

How To Get Started On Instagram For Business

So, now the biggest thing which we’re here to talk about is Instagram. how did you discover Instagram and what made you go down that path.

Cristina: Sure, so after I realized that teaching wasn’t for me I actually got a sales and marketing job for another company here on Long Island and that was kind of my first taste of how cool photography was, how cool media was, how cool working with different companies and kind of using my communication skills would benefit me at work so it kind of just like planted the seed that I liked that kind of stuff.

 So, after I had my son in October of 2016 I found myself no longer working and becoming a stay-at-home mom and for any moms or parents that are listening it’s definitely very overwhelming, it’s a whole new world that you find yourself in for sure.

Something that helped me get through kind of the isolation and tough times is taking pictures of my son and then I started posting those things, posting the pictures that I took and I started getting little responses from them like, oh, that was a good idea, that was fun and I just kind of dove into the world of that further and further and here I am today.

James:  Yeah, I remember probably about a year ago and we were talking.

 Cristina: I started taking it seriously.

 James: Yeah, you made a commitment where you were like I really want to grow on Instagram. I forgot the conversation we had but  I think you were only around maybe a hundred Followers. 

You really didn’t know much about the platform at the time.

Cristina: I didn’t know anything.

James: I remember you asking me questions we were having, like a conversation and I probably always just said like consistency I know is one of the main keys and then you really over the last 12 months took action. I remember just watching and I’m like alright she’s on to something.

 Cristina: Yeah, thank you yeah I made it my job so I actually left my personal account where I started posting those like pictures of when my son was little and I opened a brand new page with a commitment to grow this page.

James: So when you left your person where was your personal profile?

Cristina: It was just Cristina Inestroza. So that was my page.

James: And how many followers did you have at the time?

 Cristina: 300 but only of people I knew like high school friends things like that so what I did is I just moved on and started a new account with an Instagram business page but yes  it didn’t start out that way but I recently changed maybe about six months ago to a business page and it makes all the difference, especially when you want to monetize your account a lot of people who want to work with you want to see some of your insights so that’s important.

James: So you moved over started a new account and obviously that was at zero?

Cristina: Yes, I just started and my mom was my first follower.

James: And then you started implementing what? Do you remember the first thing you started doing?

Cristina: Yes, so the first thing I actually did and I don’t know if this is silly but I reached out to someone who was where I wanted to be in a year and I just found a pretty page she was at 11,000 followers at the time and I still follow her today.

James: Do you know where she is at now?

Cristina: Yeah, she’s around 32,000 followers.

 James: Wow! 

Cristina: She has a great page. So I reached out to her and I was like I’m brand new but I want to be where you are and in life sometimes you meet people who don’t really want to help you, I think everyone’s had that experience where someone just doesn’t pay any mind to you and I don’t know what the reasons are for why some people are like this but I guess it’s just kind of human nature. 

But I was lucky with her, she really did want to help me so she just loaded me up with new information that I’ve taken now and given to many, many, many other people so I love talking about Instagram I love talking about growing pages I love spreading the information some of it is like small little things like your bio on your page.

I say to make your bio a quick little blurb of who you are so when someone comes to your page they read your bio and learn right away where you are from, what’s your page about like mine says wife, mom, happy human those are the things I am so I think that’s a quick little tip that she gave me that is where I started.

Instagram Content Ideas For Business

James: On your account right now I see you put up so much content how are you creating all that content at mass?

Cristina: So my page is basically a parenthood, motherhood page my kids drive my content and my posts. The things I talk about are things related to being a mom that’s what my captions are so because I have a page of children I don’t really batch content.

 Batching content as you know as “Batch Content” is basically when you take many pictures in one day so for certain pages that do not involve children I would suggest batch content. If I was to have an account just on myself, what I would do to batch content for an example is I would go to the beach with a few outfits change and create a whole bunch of content.

 I think that’s a great way to ensure that you have content for your page, but for people like me who work with kids I don’t batch contact with my kids. I’m always ready and we’re always ready with my camera.

James: That’s still amazing because you have to always remember to be ready in the moment to be like alright we’re gonna get a picture now and actually to me I think that’s actually more work what you’re doing.

Cristina: Yes, it is but I just don’t want to feel like my kids are working. They’re natural pictures for the most part. Not always supernatural sometimes I’ll get them for a certain purpose such as taking Christmas pictures.

James: Now, let’s say it was just you and your husband had a travel page would you guys batch content?Cristina: I think you should batch content definitely.

How To Schedule Instagram Posts To Help Organic Growth

I use an app called Plann. What it does is when you open the app it’s a grid of Instagram that’s empty and you can put in your post, your pictures and arrange them how you think they would look.

 I use that now and I usually have about a week or two of pictures always planned out one week out so so from today I have maybe nine pictures forward and the descriptions and everything are already written.

Now, they are not always written because a lot of my captions I am inspired by something that happens in that moment. I’m like, oh let me talk about that with my followers.

 but sometimes if I have something specific to say just know you’re gonna put it out there you’ll already create yeah okay what app was that again? PLANN App for Instagram. It’s really really helpful.

How To Use Hashtags On Instagram To Gain Followers

There are plenty of rumors about Instagram Hashtags so I will just give you my experience with them.

James: Now, when you put up your photos what about hashtags?

 Cristina: Okay so I use hashtags, I use 30 per image which is the maximum Instagram lets you do but just kind of a pro tip that I learned if you try and do 30 hashtags and you ask someone if they can put some more hashtags in your comments Instagram will take away all your hashtags.

 You want to be true with them, you want to use 30 hashtags and basically what I do is in the note section of my phone I have thousands of hashtags that I’ve compiled over the year so I saw someone use the hashtag and I was like oh that’s a good one like @mamalife just for an example and I would add it to the note section of my page.

Then I use 30 different hashtags from this section of my notes for each post.

 James: Makes sense because another thing I think people get into trouble with is that they just use 30 hashtags the same ones over and over again and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to the image it’s going with. At least change it up so that it looks more natural and also just for different reach.

  So, hashtags use 30 of them and switch them up and you pretty much batch those as well you can store them in the note section on your phone all already planned out.

Cristina: I’ll use the plann app to organize my pictures and my captions and then I post every day. I post at the same time every day I’ve actually even had people reach out to me if it was later than the time I normally post to be like where’s your picture? where’s your post from today? I was looking forward to it. 

So, I think being consistent and doing things almost at the same time every day or whatever your posting schedule is I think that’s really important to do and it’s good for your page as well.

Use Instagram Engagement Groups To Help Get More Followers

James: I want to talk about Instagram groups because I think this is really important and before we even got on camera I was telling you I’ve tested out groups on different accounts and there’s a lot of spammy groups out there. So how are you doing the group’s exactly and what is your experience with them? How’s it working for you?

Cristina: I think the number one benefit of groups in general is to get people that are in your niche that are specific people just like you. I think that’s really important to work together so I have created certain groups and I’ve been invited to join other groups that are just dedicated to engagement. What we do is we comment, we like and we save on each other’s posts with the idea that we’re gonna work together to grow each other’s page.

 Which is a really really big technique. I don’t think any Instagram account or any influencer no matter how big they are would say that they could do it completely on their own without high amounts of engagement.

 I think the more that you engage with others I think the more you get back that’s really how I’ve grown on Instagram.  I’ve taken the time to really read other people’s captions and comment back in a meaningful way and grow real relationships using groups, using the explore page.

 I’m also in other groups that again I’ve started myself and been invited to that are dedicated to motivating each other asking Instagram questions you know for support. This is more like a support kind of group and in the groups I’m in were all moms so it is very niche driven.

 James: How are you  finding these groups? Is it something like anyone could do?

 Cristina: Yes, 100% it’s something everyone can do. For an example if you were in the exercise and nutrition space I would try and find similar pages to your own, send them a message, say hey, I’m looking to start a group where we can support each other. I would do that a bunch of times to put everyone together and not only will it benefit you but everyone else in the group will appreciate your effort to do that for them.

 They’ll engage with each other, they’ll engage with you and it’s just a great way to grow and to meet people in your own area and within your niche. Also, from my experience and analyzing accounts I noticed too when you’re getting engagement from accounts that are more like authority such as even if there’s 20,000 followers if they’re liking and commenting on your stuff that definitely boosts your authority as well.

You have got to be realistic if you have no followers you can’t message someone with 50,000 asking to join or form a group with them. You want to be on the same playing field and especially if you get very niche specific.

James: Yeah, which I think is genius what you did and I think that’s really because you’re getting like-minded people that want to support each other 100%.

 This is one of the very important things that I’m even learning today from you. It is not just that I see your account growing but it’s more of the fact that I see that you’re getting sponsored deals and you’re getting a specific niche that is so engaged. 

If I were in the exercise and nutrition niche I would want that specific type of brands and then maybe protein companies reaching out to me.

So talk a little bit about that like how that’s work at monetization.

How Do You Start Making Money On Instagram?

Cristina: Sure, so as my page has grown it’s happened both ways where I’ve reached out to the company or they’ve reached out to me, that’s the more exciting way. When they reach out to you for an example I’ll use pampers as an example although I haven’t worked with pampers they’re just an easy example.

 I would reach out to pampers and I would first introduce myself and say where I’m from, talk about my page a little bit and a plan for how I’d like to collaborate. Also, why I use pampers which I really do use pampers for almost three years now.

I would wait for them to reply to see if they wanted to collaborate with me.

James: Now are you currently doing an outreach campaign like that? Are you actually doing this like on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis? 

Cristina: No, I know that some influencers are but I’m very selective about who I work with because my page isn’t up for commercials. I only want to work with quality companies, especially when it involves children in any way. I want to be really genuine with I actually used this product or actually shop here and you know more of a natural approach.

James: I see the stuff you get sent so I know you definitely are working with companies that must be reaching out to you then right?

Cristina: Correct, so once I started reaching out and other companies saw that I was doing sponsored posts and I guess that they were happy with the way that worked then other companies wanted to work with me as well.

My page isn’t fully monetized most of my posts are non sponsored posts but when I do have a sponsored post you know I do get paid for it because it is work. I feel like sometimes you don’t realize how much work and how much back-end stuff goes into actually doing sponsored work especially with kids.

 When you want them to you know smile for the shirt that they’ve been given but it’s great, it’s been great.

James: We pretty much touched on a lot of things is there anything else that I’m leaving out or that you think someone that’s just starting right now on Instagram or even maybe someone that’s stuck should know? Let’s say they might have a few hundred followers and cannot get traction how do they get past this? What would be the main things? Obviously consistency we know that.

Cristina: Yeah, whether you got to batch your content or what not those are some of the more technical things I would say but I think that the number one thing I would say to anyone whether it’s regarding Instagram or any social media platform or just what you want to do with your life is to pick a topic you love, that you’re passionate about and make it be something that you know enough about that you could teach someone else.

It means you have something to offer. I always say I’m a professional mom which is what I love but what I do on my page is I offer something to my followers. I talk about potty training, I talk about swaddling, I talk about what bottles are best, I talk about diaper brands. It’s like you have to offer something to the people who are following you and it could be a really wide range of what you can offer.

 You can have a lot of knowledge about what sneakers to buy and then have your page wrapped around that kind of stuff or about exercise if that is something you have knowledge about.

James: I talked about this a lot that you should be doing it across any type of social media platform you are trying to grow. Even YouTube, I can guarantee somebody if they stayed consistent and they were putting out content consistently around certain things in a specific way they will grow.

Everything has an algorithm so Instagram has a specific algorithm, YouTube has an algorithm and once you understand how that works you could feed them what they want and then also educate the people on that platform and in return people will start subscribing  or following because they like you.

I think you hit the nail on the head with educational things that you know about, not just some pictures of you with a nice pair of pants and nice coat on just because you want to have it and showing it off with no real meaning behind it. That’s not going to cut it.

Cristina: Yes, if you wanted to have a fashion page you totally could there are extremely successful fashion pages but they’re around how to wear this, what season to wear this, and how to style this outfit and they offer something to her followers more than just like look at me in this shirt.

James: When it comes to Instagram I also think this is not the answer that everyone wants to hear but when you are really asking the question how do I grow on Instagram? it’s a lot of work. There is no secret push button and same thing on how to grow on YouTube. 

Again, it is not the answer everyone wants to hear because it’s a job but I can guarantee results and I call this the compounding effect. It’s when you’re doing something whether it’s every day or every week after time you could look back and realize oh my gosh I went from here to here because I was doing this and it compounded into this.

If you do pushups for one day you won’t see a difference but if you’re doing push-ups every day after 12 months you’re going to look in the mirror and go wow my before-and-after look at this! yeah, it’s the same thing with business.

It’s really taking action and staying consistent and then yes the little tips and tricks that you know from being on the platform, again you take those you run with those and you do those every day. I know you’re gonna grow your account.

I also think that the group’s a really big thing. I think that is one of the hidden gems that people aren’t doing and if they are, they’re not doing them right. 

Because I see some of the group’s some people are in and these groups are spammy and when I say spammy I mean they’re not very niche specific, I think some of the accounts also have a lot of fake followers. 

You can tell you’re on an account with fake followers by engagement ratio. There’s things that are off and those accounts are not really gonna help you if you’re getting comments or likes from them correct?

 Cristina: No, they are not going to help at all.

 James: What you’re doing is genius and I mean even the idea of starting your own groups.  

Cristina: Yeah that’s that’s been really helpful to me. Simply from an engagement standpoint it’s about equally helpful then if I were to be invited to one but when you’re the admin of the group there’s a certain respect.

 I don’t know if that’s the right word to use but you’re kind of like the leader in your group and leader in this space and I feel it really does open the floor for good conversation between you and other people that want to grow on Instagram.

They have been amazing for me and in my groups I’m the low man on the totem pole like you said I don’t reach out to someone with 200,000 but I have in the groups influencers of you know anywhere up to 70 thousand followers.

 James: So, quick question what if you did have 70 thousand followers or how about when you do have 70 thousand followers would you still leverage groups? or would you like only go after certain people on your level that have followers like you such as 50, 60 thousand followers?

Or would you let somebody with only 5,000 followers in a group if you did have 70,000 Followers.

 Cristina: Sure, so an honest answer would be that I’ve spoken about two types of groups one of them just for commenting, liking and things like that and I wouldn’t necessarily need them or want them if I had 70 thousand followers. 

Not saying that in like a pompous kind of way but like the idea is to work with people who were around your status. 

but if it is a group solely dedicated to Instagram chat motivation discussing what’s working and what’s not working, what hashtags are great, what time of day you should post, you know how to make your feed look and feel a certain way, those motivational groups I would gladly welcome someone with 100 followers into it.

I feel like that’s the whole idea is to support each other.

That Is My Honest Overview Of Growing On Instagram Organically

James: Okay. I think we pretty much wrapped up a lot on Instagram I’m gonna make a nice PDF again out of this I’ll leave that down in the description of this video or on the blog post. 

Now, where do you see yourself in five years from now? What’s like the goal?

Cristina: It’s always a difficult question for me anytime I’ve ever been asked it throughout my life but if I’m just thinking about Instagram my dream would be to grow by 10,000 followers every year and I don’t say less than that or more than that and because I’m using this year as an example of what I can do right now, I do have two babies so if I didn’t have children perhaps I could do more because it really is a lot of work for its dedication to your page, to creating content and captions and hashtags and groups and all this stuff but I’d really like to grow by 10,000 followers a year.

 James: I think you’re gonna crush that and I know you’re gonna do that and now if any of the people in the audience listening wants to find you where would they find you?

Cristina: I just have an Instagram page that’s really where I’ve like dedicated my time and I’m at this little love affair and I’ll also put that down in the description this way you could follow her @ThisLittleLoveAffair go connect with her I’m sure if you have any questions she’ll gladly answer them.

Cristina: I answer all my DM’S 

James: Okay, so there you go because I know people are gonna have other questions so you you know feel free to reach out to us okay and yeah I mean thank you for everything I really appreciate it, I really appreciate your story and then also you educating my audience.

I know this is something that people want to hear and remember there is no easy way to it, there’s not a push button system but this is the real way you grow organically on Instagram.

Cristina: Before I started I would have had no idea how much goes into it but just get started you know you gotta start somewhere. Everyone starts at one follower .

James: That’s it thank you.