Instagram has been a HUGE part of my marketing strategy for both my personal brand and business over the years. I’ve been a beauty editor, an influencer manager, and an influencer myself.

What brings me the most joy, though, is taking what I’ve learned through these various positions and pouring into others! That’s why I want to help you GROW on INSTAGRAM in 2021.

“But, Nicole, how do I increase my social media engagement? I post multiple times per week, but my business page is still lacking.”

I get questions like this all the time from my social media community. It’s no secret that things are constantly being updated by Instagram, from available features to the removal (and later return) of likes, and the ever-changing algorithm. 

But the one thing that doesn’t change is that with the right mindset, the right tools, and a little planning, you can absolutely grow your account, your engagement, and your BUSINESS on Instagram this year. 


Here Are 6 of the Best Ways to Grow on Instagram in 2021: 


  1. Clean Up Your Bio
  2. Utilize Instagram Reels
  3. Be Active on Instagram Stories
  4. Run Engagement Ads
  5. Showcase Before and After Photos of Your Work
  6. Engage with Other Pages in Your Niche

Let’s dive in a little deeper. 


Tip 1: Clean Up Your Bio if You Want Your Instagram Account to Grow


One of the absolute best ways to grow on Instagram is to keep your bio clean, concise, and organized. When someone lands on your Instagram page for the first time, you want to grab their attention right away with an attractive profile and a bio that quickly explains to that person what it is you do and how you can help them. 

If you are a beauty professional who provides beauty services you also need to have your physical location or address in your bio! 

You would be surprised at how many beauty professionals’ Instagram pages I visit, and I have no idea where they are based. Guess what? Your potential client can’t get their hair, nails, or makeup done by you if they don’t know where you are! And they’ll be disappointed if they get excited about your work, just to realize after some research that you’re not located anywhere near where they live. This will lead to you losing potential clients, and potential followers. 

Make sure new visitors to your profile have access to everything they need to know to hire you.

If you need a quick how-to guide that teaches you step-by-step how to setup your Instagram page, check out this bundle by clicking below!


Tip 2: Utilize Instagram Reels to Create Shareable Content that Will Help You Grow


Another way to grow on Instagram in 2021 is by using Instagram Reels. In 2021, video content on Instagram is still king, and IG is still prioritizing Reels, their short-form video response to the popularity of TikTok, by giving the :15 and : 30-second videos higher priority in user feeds and on explore pages. I even see Reels on my explore page from users I already follow, something Instagram didn’t serve me before with regular photos. 

To further highlight IG Reels, they have even been given their own tab on profiles in the app, another sure sign that Insta wants users to easily find and engage with these videos. 

As a beauty content creator, you can utilize IG Reels for educational videos, to showcase your products or services, or to showcase before and after videos of your clients. The goal of using Reels is to create bite-sized, highly shareable content that can bring new eyes to your page.

And Reels do NOT have to be complicated.  I literally recorded this Reel below in a sweatshirt on my couch and also sitting at my desk.

My favorite apps for editing Reels are inShot on mobile devices and Veed on my Macbook. 

I have found that editing Reels from my Macbook is SO much faster.  I use Airdrop to send the final file to my iPhone.  Airdrop is built-in to ALL Macs and iPhones.  A tutorial can be found here!


Tip 3: Be Active on Instagram Stories 


Instagram stories are still very important to your account growth strategy in 2021. IG stories give people a real-life glimpse behind the scenes of what you’re doing in your business. 

I especially love watching stories where people show “a day in the life.”  You can make your IG stories like a mini reality show, using just your phone, capturing little glimpses of your real, everyday life and work.

(You can check out some of the gadgets I love for creating better content on my phone here.)

Another way I highly suggest using your stories is to share something that you can use to drive people to your website every single day.  I encourage doing everything in your power to grow your Instagram account to 10,000 followers so that you can access the swipe-up feature.

And finally, I recommend utilizing Story Highlights to save helpful tips and information even after the 24-hour window of expiration has passed. Not only do Story Highlights allow followers to easily find answers in your IG profile, but they can also make your profile more eye-catching when properly labeled and organized. 

(If you need help with this, I offer a digital product bundle to help you Make Over Your Page, that includes a video Instagram training course, AND artwork bundles for your highlight covers! You can access Make Over Your Page at any time here!)


Tip 4: Run Engagement Ads to Grow on Instagram


On Instagram, it’s important that you pay to play if you truly want to grow your following and increase engagement. 

You should already have a marketing budget for your business, and I believe that part of your strategy should be having an engagement ad running on Instagram 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to help boost your posting efforts, and bring new eyeballs to the content you’ve already shared.   

As an entrepreneur I spend $20 per day on engagement ads for Instagram and it brings new people to my page every single day whether I post or not. If $20 per day is not yet within your budget, you can get started with just $5 per day, but in the long run you should be using Facebook and Instagram ads as a strategy to market your business.


Tip 5: Showcase Before and After Photos of Your Work 


Beauty professionals who provide services, or who sell products, absolutely need to have before and after photos. This is a non-negotiable if you want your Instagram account to grow this year! 

If you are a service provider you should absolutely be taking photos and videos of your clients when you are working with them. Being able to showcase your work helps to build confidence in your services and increase your potential for referrals. AND, it helps bring more people to your page. 

If someone uses your products and they were able to improve their skin tone, or grow their edges back, or whatever it is your products promise to do, you need to show that on social media. This is one of the ways you build trust in your products and your brand. AND, it helps bring more people to your page.


(Still feeling a little unsure of what to post? With Beauty Content Pro, I offer your solution for beauty content calendars, planning and posts, every single month! Enrollment opens again at the beginning of April. You can sign up for the waitlist right here.)



Tip 6: Engage with Other Instagram Pages in Your Niche 


Engaging with other pages in your niche is a MAJOR way to help grow your account on Instagram. 

One of the reasons I recommend separating your personal IG from your business Instagram page, is because Instagram will place your account among similar accounts to those you follow and engage with. 

On your business page, be sure to follow other pages and people that are doing similar things to what you do. If you have a hair salon, you should be following and engaging with other hairstyling and hair care professionals. 

You should not follow someone with a cooking blog and like all of their posts where they are showcasing ingredients, meal prepping and grocery shopping. Interacting with yummy viral food videos might be fun, but it will also tell Instagram to place your account with other food accounts, so if you want to follow a food blogger you should do that from your personal page.


And Those are 6 Ways You Can Grow Your Followers on Instagram in 2021! 


As a reminder, you want to:

  1. Clean Up Your Bio
  2. Utilize Instagram Reels
  3. Be Active on Instagram Stories
  4. Run Engagement Ads
  5. Showcase Before and After Photos of Your Work
  6. Engage with Other Pages in Your Niche


These tips will not only help you to grow on Instagram in 2021, but also increase traffic to your business website or digital content, and ultimately, create more income for your business. Once you begin implementing these tips, you’ll certainly begin to see your growth for this year reach beyond where you were able to grow in 2020.

I’m always more than happy to answer more questions if you have them, and if you’re looking for support from a community of other beauty entrepreneurs, feel free to join my Facebook group here!