Once you’ve created your Instagram Business account and filled it with interesting and engaging content, it’s time to grow your following. There are no overnight tricks to getting thousands of followers, but there are a few effective strategies you can use to gain exposure and encourage people to click that “follow” button.

Make sure to read “Part 1” and “Part 2” first for tips on building your brand and posting great content. 


  • Hang a sign in your salon/barbershop that has all your important social media information.
  • Include links to your social profiles in your email marketing campaigns and on your website.
  • Always include a call-to-action. For example: “Follow me on Instagram for special deals and helpful haircare tips.”


  • Make it a daily habit to engage (like + comment + follow) with other accounts.
  • Engaging with other accounts is like free advertising. Your username and profile photo show up in their “likes” tab and now you are on their radar.
  • Target accounts that are likely to follow you back. How do you find these people? Start by following accounts that are similar to yours. Go through their list of followers and start interacting with them.

PRO TIP: Only follow accounts you are genuinely interested in. If the number of people you follow is higher than the amount of followers you have, it may make your account look spammy.

  • It’s just as important to maintain followers as it is to attract new ones. It should also be part of your daily routine to interact with the followers you have. Answer comments, go through your followers and like some of their photos, and make sure you have answered all of your direct messages.

PRO TIP: You can find your direct messages (also known as DMs) in the “home tab.” Click on the paper airplane (or chat bubble if you have a business account) in the top right corner. If someone you don’t follow sends you a message, it will be hidden behind the “requests” button after you click the airplane or chat bubble.


  • Collaborate with content creators. Send direct messages to local influencers, well known stylists or bloggers and offer free services (or a collaboration) in exchange for a shoutout on their account. Remember, your goal is to get in front of as many eyes as possible.
  • When you offer free services, it’s important to be clear about what you want in exchange. Here’s an example message you might send to an influencer:

Hey Dylan,

I’m a makeup artist and I would love to do your makeup for an event in exchange for a shoutout. I love your style and I would have so much fun creating a look for you. A formal makeup appointment typically takes 45min and I usually charge $120. However, all I would need from you is an instagram post that says “Go follow @(yourname)! Check out my profile and see if there’s a look you like : )

  • If you can get a shoutout from an account with a lot of followers, great. But most of the time you’ll have to start small. Reach out to other stylists in the area. Obviously, it’s best not to work with your direct competition. If you are a makeup artist, reach out to hairstylist or estheticians. Offer to give them a shout out in exchange for a shout out. Collaborate on a look you can both post to your instagram and tag each other in.


  • While you’re engaging with other accounts keep in mind, your profile photo is your first impression. When your tiny photo shows up in their feed, it better grab their attention.
  • People love when influencers or brands like their photos. The more legit your photo looks, the more likely they will click to find out who you are.


what is balayage? your questions answered instagram story
  • Try to post at least one engaging Instagram Story a day. When new followers come to your page, they will be able to watch your video to get a better sense of your personality and what type of content they can expect on your page.
  • Posting fresh content in very important. New followers want to see that you are active and worth following. Posting a high quality photos everyday can be difficult but you should always have time for a quick video of a service or a few beauty tips.
  • Be sure to save your Instagram story as a “Highlight.” That way your followers can always reference back to your story.

Social media gives you access to thousands of potential clients and if you use it right, it can be the answer to almost all your marketing needs. It only takes a few minutes a day to show off your work, engage with your clients, keep up with trends, and keep an eye on the competition ; )

Need a little Branding 101?

If you haven’t set up your professional account on Instagram yet, check out: Build Your Brand On Instagram For Stylists Part 1: Create A Profile

Next, see exactly what type of content you should be posting to build your following and get more bookings: Build Your Brand on Instagram For Stylists Part 2: Post Great Content

Looking for tools to help you run your business?

Pro banner
Pro banner