How To Create a Popular Instagram Account

14 May 2015

I get asked questions all the time on how I managed to create an Instagram account that has so many followers. There is no right or wrong was to do this, however I wanted to share with you some of my top tips that have helped some well known accounts to maximize their branding. This article was originally written for Thrive Magazine, which is in health food stores and online. I would of course love it if you support them and myself by picking up a copy! So without further ado, here is how to create a popular instagram account 🙂

Thrive Cover

You finally have an Instagram account, now what? There are over 100 million users on Instagram and growing everyday so what does it take to set yourself apart and market your product?

So many various social media channels have popped up in the past few years that it’s hard to tell which ones will become the next big thing, which ones are worth skipping and where you should be investing your time for your business. Quite often I am told by companies that they just simply “don’t have time” to run an Instagram account or put any effort into it.

What if I was to tell you I made more money in the past year from my Instagram profile than most people will make in the next 7 years? Would you then start rethinking the power of this channel?

I currently run @staysharpbestrong, a healthy living account with 313,000 followers (and growing every day) that I’ve built up from nothing in two years. I have seen what works and what doesn’t and now privately consult businesses on how to improve their accounts in order to maximize their brand.

There are a few basics to maximizing your account if you want to get the most from it:

  1. Have consistency. This is one of the biggest problems I see on people/brand accounts and really does tie into the rest of the points. Figure out what your brand represents, who your target audience is and the message you want to get across. One thing to remember is: are you trying to sell a product directly or just grow your brand? This will help focus what style of pictures to post. For example, if you are a swimwear company, all of your photos should focus on beaches and pools, fit women in your suit, with sunshine showing off a certain lifestyle. Don’t post one photo of a swimsuit, one of the grass, another of a car, and one of you. That will confuse your audience.
  2. Have a colorful & light page with interesting photos. People are drawn to colors, contrast, and bright things. Whether you are a car company, men’s socks or soda company, having eye catching pictures that will naturally draw someone’s attention will always get you more followers than if your photos are dark and of
  3. Show the product, not your personal life. The best way to think about what picture to post 1) is it high quality? 2) does it motivate or inspire? 3) would it be something you repost on your own account? If the answer is no for any of those it is not a photo you should post. The biggest accounts get that way because they post photos that people can screen shot, save, or repost. If you are a specific brand, the person doing your social media should not be posting office shots, the profile should be only about the product in professional looking images.

Nikki Sharp was a traditional model turned role model and now a healthy lifestyle expert. She runs Stay Sharp Be Strong, a company dedicated to health, happiness and fitness. She is available for private consultations to increase your social media brand and can be contacted at

With Love, Nikki



As Seen In