This will be the first instalment in a series of posts where I talk to some of my favourite Instagrammers about how they’ve each grown their accounts in excess of 10k, in the space of less than 12 months.
In a post algorithm world, this is really impressive growth and so I’m sure we’d all love to know just how they did it!
(clue: it’s always about great photos!)
This week, I am chatting to Barbora Kurcova from @herinternest. I first came across Barbora earlier this year and instantly fell in love with her account. It’s a mixture of beautifully styled, creative shots and equally stunning photos, capturing the light and wonder in the everyday.
She also writes the loveliest, vulnerable captions, that make me like her as a human being, as well as for her photography.
Your account has grown really fast. Roughly how many followers have you gained in the last 12 months?
I started Herinternest in March this year (just 8 months ago) and during that time I’ve gained 11k followers.
I should mention, to be totally transparent, I had another smaller amount before starting Herinternest and about 800 people came from there. So beginning was a little bit easier.
What inspires you and your photography?
I like to capture everyday and often boring things, in a beautiful way, and I’m hugely inspired by nature. I love to photograph shadows and different kinds of light, seasonal changes, and nature finds. But, more often than not, I just want to tell a story, share thought, or ask for opinion.
I like to think of ways to translate what I’m trying to say, into my photographs. In the same way that a book might be turned into a movie, I like to express my my thoughts through photography.
I’m also hugely inspired by other people, the things they say, they way they photograph, and how they react to my pictures.
What do you think is the secret to steady growth on Instagram?
I think it’s so important to keep reinventing yourself. The things that work for you now, may not work for your in a month or two. You need to keep finding new ways to surprise your current followers and to attract new people.
It’s about keeping your current following engaged, while continuing to attract new people. There needs to be a balance.
What process have you followed to get you where you are today?
I think I have two strategies.
Firstly, I’ve set myself a schedule. I try to post every day, at roughly the same time, although lately I’ve tried to switch this up a bit to attract and engage with new people.
Secondly, I make sure I take the time to engage with other people’s posts. Every time I post, I try to engage with others a little while before and for about 30 minutes after. I always try to reply to every message and comment, although with over 10k followers and growing, this might not always be possible.
My other strategy is to be a nice human being. I really try to build the community, support others, comment on and like other people’s photos, and share profiles that deserve more support. I try to make the most of enjoying this online tribe, and live by the rule that you have to give, before you ask for anything.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to grow their Instagram following?
If you’re all about the numbers, try to be very tactical about your posting time, photography theme, and hashtags. Find out what works and replicate that success.
Photos of florals, flatlays, and beautiful portraits, always work well for me and attract new followers. Though, I’m all about steady and sustainable growth, so don’t have too many tricks up my sleeve!
What benefits has having a successful Instagram account brought you?
As an introvert, the community side is really important to me, and I see this as the biggest win. I met my two best friends thanks to Instagram, one of them I’ve met in person and she’s just the sweetest.
I’ve also made a couple of other really great friends, whom are part of my every day and an amazing support. I know that any time I feel down or need help, my community picks me up and that is just priceless.
I’m quite strict (aka picky) about collaborations and gifts, so this isn’t a major benefit for me yet. But, I do have a couple of collaborations lined up, which I’m super excited about! I’ve also won two competitions thanks to hashtags, and received some lovely presents.
What are your aspirations for your account?
This may sound silly, but I just enjoy sharing my authentic me and my passions and skills. I think I’m hoping to find my community, and in a sense, my life purpose.
I would love to leave my corporate job and run my own business, but at the moment, it’s all about figuring out what that might look like.
My big dream was to reach 10k, so at the moment, I am focussing on quality and taking care of my current following, rather than growing my account any bigger. Hopefully, in the new year, I’ll be able to tell you all I’ve left my job to follow my passions!
Thanks so much to Barbora for sharing her advice with us here! If you would like to follow Barbora (and I thoroughly recommend you do), you can find her at the accounts below.
You may also enjoy having a read of her post ‘Photo Styling on a Zero Budget’, it’s super helpful.
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