How to Grow a Private Account on Instagram: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Growing a private Instagram account can seem daunting at first. Without the ability to use hashtags or get onto the Explore page, it can be tough to gain new followers organically. But don‘t worry – with some smart strategies, you can grow a thriving private account on Instagram.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through the key steps for growing a private Instagram account from scratch. By the end, you‘ll have actionable tips to skyrocket your followers and engagement. Let‘s get started!

Why Growing a Private Account is Harder

First, it‘s important to understand why growing a private Instagram account is more challenging than a public one.

The main reason is that hashtags don‘t work for private accounts. When your posts are public, using relevant hashtags allows them to be discovered via hashtag searches and the Explore page. This opens up your content to be seen by tons of new people who don‘t follow you yet.

But when your account is private, your posts are hidden from non-followers. This means hashtags on your posts won‘t boost your reach at all. Your content stays limited to only your current followers.

So without the ability to use hashtags to expand your reach, you have to get more creative with your growth strategies. But with the right techniques, you can absolutely build a thriving private account!

Step 1: Write an Appealing Bio

Since non-followers can‘t see your posts, your Instagram bio becomes even more important. For many visitors, it may be the first impression they get of your account.

Your bio should quickly communicate who you are, what you post, and why someone should follow you. Here are some tips for writing a stellar private account bio:

Describe your niche/interests: Summarize your content niche or interests in 1-2 concise sentences. Intrigue visitors with a preview of what they‘ll get by following you.

Add a call to action: Encourage visitors to click through to your website, YouTube, etc. You can only include one live link in your bio, so make it count!

Use emojis strategically: Emojis help your bio stand out and save space. Pick ones that represent your brand or content style.

Keep it short and scannable: Avoid huge blocks of text that people won‘t read. Craft your bio for quick skimming on a small screen.

Checking these boxes will optimize your bio to convert visitors into new followers!

Step 2: Choose an Appealing Profile Photo

Your profile picture is one of the first things people notice when visiting your account. Having an eye-catching, relevant profile photo can encourage followership.

For personal accounts, use a clear selfie or headshot of yourself. Full body shots don‘t work as well at the small profile photo size. Help friends easily recognize you!

For business accounts, a logo makes the most professional impression. It ensures brand consistency and helps people identify your business.

Regardless of account type, choose a high-quality, vibrant photo. This makes your account look more inviting to visitors who are deciding whether to follow you.

Step 3: Follow People You Know in Real Life

Leverage your existing connections to kickstart your private account‘s growth. Chances are, many people you know already have Instagram accounts.

Search for them one-by-one and send follow requests. You can also check the followers lists of mutual friends to discover accounts you may have missed.

People who know you in real life are much more likely to accept your follow request and engage with your account. They want to stay updated on what‘s happening in your life and show support.

This is an easy way to start building an engaged follower base of friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, and more.

Step 4: Join Follow for Follow Communities

Once you‘ve exhausted your real-life connections, follow for follow communities are the next best option.

These allow you to connect with relevant Instagram users in your niche and organically trade follows. While you‘ll get some ghost followers, you‘ll also connect with active users who like and comment on your posts.

One of the best follow for follow communities is the r/Instagram subreddit. Simply share your account handle and a description of your niche. Engage with other users‘ posts, follow them, and politely ask for a follow back via DM.

It‘s best to follow and message people in small batches to avoid action blocks. Be sure to mix up your messaging as sending the same text repeatedly can also trigger blocks.

Using communities like r/Instagram, you can steadily gain 10-20 engaged followers per day. This adds up fast!

Step 5: Like and Comment on Others‘ Posts

The final step to growing a private Instagram account is consistent engagement with others.

  • Like posts in your main feed and from hashtags related to your niche. This exposure helps some users discover and follow you.

  • Comment thoughtful remarks on posts from those you follow and want to build relationships with. Don‘t just comment emojis – add value!

  • Always follow back and engage with those who follow or interact with your posts. These users are signaling interest in your account – take advantage of it!

This active engagement boosts your visibility and helps convert casual visitors into engaged followers. Best of all, it‘s completely organic!

Liking and commenting is a numbers game. The more you put yourself out there, the more your account will grow. Just be sure to do it thoughtfully, not spamming meaningless comments.

Wrap Up: Growing a Private Account on Instagram

Growing a private Instagram account requires creativity, persistence, and good old fashioned relationship building.

But by optimizing your profile, leveraging your connections, joining communities, and actively engaging – you can build an amazing private account with tons of loyal followers.

Here‘s a quick recap of the steps:

  • Write a compelling, niche-focused bio
  • Use a relevant, high-quality profile picture
  • Follow people you know in real life
  • Join follow for follow communities
  • Like, comment on, and engage with others‘ posts

Implementing this game plan takes effort, but the payoff is huge. Not only will you gain followers, but you‘ll build relationships that lead to better engagement.

So take the first step today – craft an appealing bio and profile, and start connecting. Before long, you‘ll have a thriving private account and amazing community!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.