In this article I’m going to teach you how to get followers on Instagram using Reels. It doesn’t matter if you have a small audience; one viral Reel has the potential to reach thousands of ideal followers or clients for you.
So the key is to really just get started, and to keep creating Reels because you could be one Reel away from reaching 100,000 new people!
It’s simple …
The more Reels you create, the more chances you have of going viral – and therefore the more people you reach.
This method that I’m going to show you today is the exact process I used to create this Reel, which went viral* – it’s got over 50,000 views and it’s still going up! I think by the time you are reading this, I’m pretty sure it will be at 100,000, and I have a fairly small audience.
*Since writing this, I have since had multiple other videos go viral on both TikTok and Instagram. My most viral one to date has 333,000 views, so watch this space!
This viral video method is the exact same method that I also teach my clients inside of the Content Accelerator (my private program for business owners and entrepreneurs wanting to grow their business & social media).
If you are someone that has a small audience, you should 100% be on Reels. Do it today, and do it after you read this article!
Without further ado … Here are my 7 top tips on how to get followers using Instagram Reels:
Tip 1: Create for New Audiences
The first thing to remember is that Instagram Reels are an absolutely incredible way to reach new audiences. And the key word there is new. The people that are going to see your Reel, they don’t know anything about you yet. So they have no loyalty to you yet. Therefore, you’re not going to be creating that same kind of content for Reels that you create for your existing following that you are nurturing and building a relationship with.
Reels and TikToks are typically shown to mostly new audiences (and this is how you get followers with them). This is why they are great for “top of funnel” content.
Top of funnel content is content that doesn’t try to sell the audience on a product or service, but instead educates, helps, and answers common questions or pain points.
^ This is the type of content you should be creating for Reels. Top of funnel content is most often used to target your prospects in the ‘awareness’ stage of their buyer’s journey.
Another key thing to remember when you’re creating Reels is that it’s not about you; it’s all about the viewer.
So ask yourself …
- How can you help the viewer with your content?
- How can you add value with your Reel?
- Are they going to learn something from it?
- Are they going to laugh about it? (entertaining Reels still add value!)
- Are they going to get a quick tidbit of information?
You want your Reel to be filled with content that matches your personality, but not something that is so personal that someone has to know you to understand.
To give you an example and to make this completely clear, if I were creating content for my existing audience who already knew who I was, I would do something like:
‘’5 things that helped me to start the Content Accelerator’’
For someone that doesn’t know me, they have no idea what that is or what the hell the Content Accelerator is. So what will be more effective in that context would be for me to create a reel like:
‘’5 things that helped me to start my online consulting business’’
… or something like that, because there are fewer specifics, and it’s going to be understood by (and be useful to) people who don’t necessarily know me yet!
Tip 2: Use Viral Content as Inspo
The second tip I have for you is to use inspiration. You cannot reinvent the wheel every single time you create content, specifically with Reels. If you go on Instagram Reels and actually flick through them, or if you go on Tik Tok, you can watch content that has really good engagement and put your own spin on already viral ideas.
It’s very important to remember that, as a content creator and business owner, you do not have to create content that is completely unique every single time! That is exhausting and a recipe for burn out.
If you want a piece of content to go viral, then a really good method is looking at other content that has already gone viral, and then using that as inspiration. If you’re wondering how to get followers, this is how.
I don’t mean copying it though! I mean looking at how it is structured, what made it go viral and then using those elements in your video. Basically, putting your own spin on it, or adapting it for your niche. The way you can do this is to flick through Tik Tok, and like anything that you are inspired by so that it is saved in your “liked videos”.
At the same on Instagram, you can find music that is being used on videos or Reels that are going viral, because that means they’re a trending sound.
Tip 3: Save audios as soon as you find them
If you can identify the background music that’s being used, then you can think about how you can apply that to your piece of content. Now, just a disclaimer here. When I say you are using inspiration and you are replicating, I do not mean go and copy someone else’s piece of content because that just isn’t going to work.
Your viewers want to see you, your followers want your uniqueness, and they want some originality in your work.
What I mean by this is just taking inspiration from other people. So if you see a Reel that’s performed really well or gone viral, you can definitely use that background sound and you can definitely use that concept but adapt it, put your kind of specific spin on it and adapt it for your niche. Have your unique angle or take on the topic that you’re creating the Reel on.
Tip 4: Repurpose your existing content into Reels
If you have good content ideas in other formats, you can repurpose them for Reels! For example, I do a lot of these graphic type posts because they have a lot of value, and my followers love them. They’re typically carousel posts, and there’s a tip on each page or each slide. What you can do is you can repurpose that type of content as a Reel fairly easily!
For example, if you have a carousel with three tips, you could do one of these Reels where you’re just pointing around the different things and really, you’re just lifting that same information that you would have put into a graphic or written into a post, and you’re just putting that into a Reel.
If you want to take this even further, you could make every piece of good content you have created in the past, and repurpose those same ideas, that you know have performed well, into Reels. Just by repurposing it into a Reel, you will explode your reach – which is exactly how you get followers! Reaching more people usually = more new followers.
Tip 5: Include a longer caption
Don’t be tempted to write just like a couple of lines for your Reels captions. You want to get a really, really good caption in there. The reason for this is that it will amplify the likelihood of someone sharing it, because they’re now not just likely to share it because of the visual aspect, but also because you’ve written something you think they’ll resonate with. It is almost like a double whammy. What I find works really well is a funny real, something that’s a bit humorous, and then having a bit more of a motivational or inspirational in-depth caption.
Please don’t forget to include a call to action every time! This can be either on the Reel, or in the caption. I was so glad that I had included a call to action to my coaching program (the Content Accelerator) on this Reel because it went viral and it reached so many people. Imagine if I hadn’t included my call to action? I would have been so gutted because I would have missed out on getting all those new followers!
Tip 6: Keep text to the middle third of the screen
You’ve got to remember that your Reels will show up in three places:
- They can show up on your feed, so you will see the little preview where it’s just like a square crop
- They can then show up when people are scrolling on their feed and it shows up slightly larger
- And then the final place that people can watch them is in the full screen when they’re specifically scrolling the Reels part of the app
That means, essentially, that the text on your reel has to fit in the middle, because then when it’s on the feed, it’s not going to cut off any text. Also when people are playing it, and if it’s not in the Reels part, again, it’s going to cut off the text and they won’t understand what the Reel is about. There’s loads of different ways you can preview stuff and make sure it all fits. What I find really easy and kind of smooth is to just make sure that I always put my text in the middle third of the screen. I don’t even try to add text that’s away from the middle.
That works really well for me as I personally don’t make custom covers for my Reels (too much effort!). That’s just what I found to be more effective. For me, it kind of reduces the friction of me creating that content and getting it out there. I would suggest you do the same, because creating custom covers is just going to be another kind of step to add, and that’s not really going to add a lot of benefit in my eyes. I also think that Instagram users, especially in Reels, want the authentic content and don’t want the super polished stuff – like fancy covers!
What I do is just pick a part of the Reel that summarises what it’s about, and hooks people in. And I just screenshot that! In the one reel that went viral, you can see in that kind of preview what the reel is going to be about, and it actually makes a lot of sense.
If you do want to create a custom Reel cover then you just want to give a bit of an overview or a teaser, and hook people in. Just don’t give away the “punchline” of the Reel, if you know what I mean.
Top Tip: A quick and easy way to make Reels covers is to create them in your Stories (because you can use the same fonts) and then just save it to your photos.
Tip 7: Let your Reels live! Don’t delete them if they “flop”
My final (and most important!) tip is … Do not ever delete a Reel, if you think it’s flopped! Okay? I just want to share my personal experience with this. I posted this Reel that went viral like weeks ago, maybe no months ago, and then just randomly over the Bank Holiday weekend, the views just started going up … exponentially. This happened literally months after I’d posted it!
What I’m trying to say here is that it could pick up momentum at any time. So do not judge how a Reel is performing just off the first few hours, or the first few days. I would just say leave it because you don’t know when someone is going to share it and the algorithm is going to pick it up.
The annoying thing I realised is you can’t actually see who’s shared it and you can’t really see any analytics other than views. But I think someone must have shared my Reel (like a big influencer or someone with a large following), because I’m not really sure how it could have gone up exponentially, but it did. So don’t delete ones that you don’t think have got enough views at the beginning!
Anyway, that’s it. If you’re a new or aspiring online entrepreneur and you’ve been wondering how to get followers, I hope this has helped you! Reels are an amazing tool for absolutely exploding your reach on Instagram, so I can’t wait for you to get started.
Check out this blog post as well: