Have you tried posting to Instagram but just don't seem to be gaining much traction?

In this article, I'll share with you a step-by-step plan for growing an actual fanbase on Instagram for you and your music.

Get Clear On Your Brand Identity & Brand Image

instagram for musicians

The first step to Instagram growth for any musician is to have a strong sense of their brand identity and what their overall aesthetic will be.

This includes everything from the style of music you make, to the way you dress, to the photos and videos you post.

Your Instagram should look like a cohesive feed that tells a story about who you are as an artist.

This means that your posts should all fit within a certain color scheme or theme. If your Instagram is all over the place, it will be harder for people to understand what your brand is about, and they will be less likely to follow you.

Think about some of your favorite artists on Instagram.  

  • What makes their feed so visually appealing?
  • Is it the colors they use?
  • The type of photos they post?
  • The way they edit their videos?

Figure out what it is that makes them stand out, and try to emulate that in your own Instagram posts.

35 Days Of Instagram Content For Musicians [Free Printable Calendar] 

Just click the button below to download a free calendar with 35 days of Instagram content ideas.

Craft An Engaging Instagram Bio

Your Instagram bio is your one chance to make a first impression on potential new followers. So it's important that you take the time to craft an engaging and attention-grabbing bio.

Make sure to have:

  • Your genre/micro genre listed
  • What makes you unique
  • CTA (Call to action) - This is your link

1. Make It Clear Who Your Music Is For

Make it clear and obvious what genre of music you make, and also include what makes you unique.

What special twist do you bring to the genre? 

2. Offer An Incentive For Your Email List

Building your email list is one of the most important things you can be doing as a music artist, so be sure that your link takes fans to a place where they can sign up for your email list. 

If you want to learn more about how to get started with email marketing, and why it's important, click here.

More than social media followers, you want to get your fans on your email list.

First, you'll want to include a link to your website or any other social media platforms where people can find your music. This way, even if they don't follow you on Instagram, they can still find your music elsewhere.

Next, you'll want to give people an idea of what your music sounds like. You can do this by including a few keywords that describe your sound, or by listing some of your influences.

Finally, you should include a call-to-action in your bio telling people what you want them to do. This could be something like "Check out my new single!" or "Download a free song!"

By including all of these elements in your bio, you'll be sure to make a good first impression on anyone who comes across your profile.

Post Consistently & Frequently

If you want to grow your Instagram following, you need to be posting consistently and frequently. That means posting at least once a day, if not more.

Of course, quality is more important than quantity. So if you can't post every day, that's okay. Just make sure that when you do post, you're putting out high-quality content that your followers will enjoy.

One way to make sure you're posting consistently is to plan out your content in advance.

This could mean taking photos or videos ahead of time, or writing captions for your posts before you publish them.

From there, you can use a scheduling tool like Later, or Instagram's free scheduler tool, Instagram Creator Studio.  

By planning your content out in advance, you'll save yourself a lot of time and stress in the long run.

Use Instagram Stories & Live Videos

Instagram Stories and Live Videos are both great ways to connect with your followers on a more personal level.

These types of videos allow you to share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your life and work, which will make people feel more connected to you as an artist.

Stories are also a great way to show off your personality and sense of humor. So don't be afraid to have some fun with them!

Use Reels & Short Form Video Content


New Synthwave Music! A clip from one of our works-in-progress

♬ original sound - andromedacoast

Short form video content is becoming increasingly popular on Instagram.

In fact, there are some who say Reels are really the only way to build an audience on the platform today. 

Reels are also a great way to show off your musical talent, and they can also be used to promote your latest single or album.

Use Carousels When You Post Photos

The goal of Instagram, or any online platform, is to keep users on the platform FOREVER. 

So if you can get users to engage with your content, and stay on the platform longer, then the Instagram algorithm will reward you. 

Carousels have the potential to keep users engaged longer than a single image because they have to tap on the image, and then swipe to see the others. 

Carousels are also a great way to showcase multiple photos in one Instagram post. They're perfect for sharing behind-the-scenes photos, album covers, or even just a series of great shots from your latest gig.

When using carousels, be sure to include captions for each photo. This will give people an idea of what they're looking at, and it will also help you attract more followers as it increases the chances they'll find something to resonate with.

Run Regular Giveaways & Contests

Contests and giveaways are a great way to engage with your followers and grow your Instagram following. People love free stuff, so offering up some of your merchandise, a gift card, or anything else your audience would like is a surefire way to get people interested in following you.

When running a contest or giveaway, be sure to include clear instructions on how to enter. You should also make it clear what the prize is, and when the winner will be chosen.

You can uses a free tool like KingSumo to help you with this.

You can "power up" your giveaways by collaborating with another artist or brand as well, as you are getting a second party to promote the giveaway to their audience.  

When I run giveaways, I'll regularly grow my email list by hundreds of subscribers. 

Use Polls On Stories

Polls are a great way to engage with your followers and get them involved in your content.

Asking people for their opinions on things is a surefire way to get them talking, and it can also help you get to know your audience better.

Plus, again, the more engagement, the more the Instagram algorithm will like your content. 

When using polls, be sure to keep them short and sweet. Ask one question at a time, and give people two or three options to choose from.

Post Teasers For New Music & Videos

If you've got new music or videos coming out, make sure to post teasers on Instagram! Give people a taste of what's to come, and let them know when they can expect the full release.

Remember to include a call-to-action with your teaser, telling people to follow you for more updates, or even better, to sign up for your email list.

Offering a free song for download in exchange for an email is a great call to action, but if you want more ideas...

Check out my article here for 24 different ideas for what you can offer your fans to make them want to join your email list.

Create 3 Different Content "Buckets"

You don't want to run out of things to post on Instagram, but you always want to post relevant content that attracts your ideal fans. 

To help with both of these things, you can decide on three different content "buckets" or categories that all of your content will fall into.

Your buckets should have these 3 categories:

  • Promotional Content (anything that is asking fans to stream, buy, or join your email list)
  • Professional Content (anything relating to your music, genre, behind-the-scenes content, etc.)
  • Personal Content (your family, lifestyle, opinions, etc.) 

Your professional content will attract your ideal followers, your personal content will help them to connect and engage with you so that they become fans...

And then your promotional content to ensure that you can actually start to produce some income.  

If you still need help knowing what to post on Instagram...

Check out my article here with 97 different ideas for Instagram posts for musicians.

Use Location Tags

When you post photos or videos on Instagram, be sure to use location tags! This will help people who are searching for content from your area to find your account.

If you're performing at a venue or festival, be sure to tag the location in your posts. This is a great way to get exposure to new audiences who might not have heard of you before.

And even if you're not performing, tagging your location can still be helpful. If you're a local band, people in your area might be interested in following you. By using location tags, you'll make it easier for them to find your account and become followers.

Interact With Other Accounts

One of the best ways to grow your Instagram following is to interact with other accounts. Like and comment on their photos and videos, and follow accounts that you think would be interested in your music.

Don't just focus on other musicians, though. You should also interact with fans, venues, festivals, and anyone else who might be interested in what you're doing. The more people you connect with, the more likely it is that they'll follow you back.

And when you do interact with other people, make sure to do it in a genuine way. Don't just leave generic comments or like everything they post.

Take the time to read their captions and really engage with what they're saying. This will help you build genuine relationships

Create Hashtag Groups

Hashtags are a great way to get your content seen by new people. And when you create hashtag groups, you can save time by using the same hashtags over and over again, but you also create enough variety that Instagram doesn't see your posts as spam.

To create a hashtag group, come up with a list of relevant hashtags that you want to use. It can be a good idea to look at the hashtags other artists in your genre are using. 

Then, add those hashtags to the notes section of your phone (or wherever else you like to keep them). Whenever you post something new on Instagram, just copy and paste the hashtags from your list.

Using hashtag groups is a great way to stay organized and make sure you're always using the most effective hashtags for your content. So give it a try next time you post on Instagram!

Ask Questions In Your Content For More Engagement

When you're trying to grow your Instagram following, engagement is key. The more people who like, comment, and share your content, the more exposure you'll get.

And one of the best ways to encourage engagement is to ask questions in your posts.

For example, you could ask people to tag a friend who loves your type of music in one of your posts.

Or you could ask people to vote in a poll about which song they want to hear next.

The best questions you can ask are ones that prompt people to talk about themselves, because just about everyone loves talking about themselves.  

Asking questions is a great way to get people interacting with your content, and that's what you want if you're trying to grow your Instagram following.

Tell a story with your captions

Your Instagram captions are a great place to tell a story. When you're promoting your music, be sure to include a link to where people can listen. But don't just stop there! Use your caption to tell people why they should care about your music.

  • What's the story behind your latest album or single?
  • What are some of the challenges you faced while making it
  • Why do you think people will enjoy listening to it?

Telling a story in your caption will help people connect with your music and make them more likely to follow you on Instagram.

Encourage The Creation of User-Generated Content (UGC)

One great way to grow your Instagram following is to encourage the creation of user-generated content (UGC).

UGC is simply content that's created by your fans, and it can be a great way to get more exposure for your account.

There are a few different ways you can encourage UGC.

For example, you could run a contest where people submit photos or videos related to your music.

Or you could create a hashtag for people to use when they post about your band.

Whatever you do, make sure you're clear about what you want people to do and how they can enter.

Encouraging UGC is a great way to get more exposure and grow your Instagram following. So give it a try next time you're looking to promote your music!

Ready to Explode Your Instagram Followers?

The best way to start growing your Instagram is to just get started posting consistently. 

I know, that sounds painfully obvious, but so many don't follow this step and actually start posting consistently. 

If you want help posting consistently, then click below to grab my free 35 calendar of Instagram post ideas.

35 Days Of Instagram Content For Musicians [Free Printable Calendar] 

Just click the button below to download a free calendar with 35 days of Instagram content ideas.

Reagan Ramm

Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm


Career, instagram

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