Most people have Instagram accounts, but only a select few can claim to command an actual audience. In this post, we sit down with Dan Rolfe, the brains behind Faces of Rock, an Instagram account with upwards of 60K followers…
How do you turn an Instagram account into a force to be reckoned with? How do you go from zero followers to over 60,000 followers in a couple of years? If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. But as you’d expect, growing an Instagram channel organically is not easy. You need a good idea, dedication, and a command of the subject matter you’re talking about and sharing.
In order to find out what it takes to grow an Instagram channel, from the ground up, organically, without using bots, we sat down with Dan Rolfe, owner, and content-master at Faces of Rock, to find out how he grew his Instagram account from zero to over 60,000 engaged users in the space of a few short years…
Q: How Did You Get Started? What Motivated You?
I have always had a love for music and read a lot about the bands that I like. Just as the music tells a story I have always found that photos do the same thing, there is always a story behind the photo.
Through years of reading biographies, NME, and Rolling Stone Magazines, there would always be these iconic photos of bands that would blow my mind and give an insight into the artists. That’s what really started me off with @facesofrock1.
Originally, I started off just posting pictures of bands and artists for fun, as I loved the images and I liked to tell the story behind those photos. But slowly I moved onto videos as being able to share my favorite live performances and also the story behind the song or that particular performance seemed to give a broader insight for the followers and they seem to dig it.
Q: How Long Did It Take To Get 1000 Followers?
I think it took a couple of months to get 1000 followers but as I was really just doing this as a bit of fun, I was actually surprised anyone was following at this stage.
Q: The Most Valuable Lessons Your Learnt Early On?
The most valuable thing I learned early on was the use of writing good content, having a story gave the followers more to engage with than just an image they may have seen before.
Hashtags were a big one.
Having hashtags that were relevant to my Instagram account but also covering a wide scope of the artist, genres and decades seem to work pretty well.
Most importantly not just building followers on a follow for the following basis.
Building your followers organically seemed to build a better follower base. This is because I would find that the followers would stay because they were interested in your content and not just built up because of the F4F tactic.
Q: When Did Your Follower Numbers Really Start Taking Off?
I think around about 1 year in it started to grow quite rapidly to around 20000 followers (now at 61000) and this is the thing with moving onto videos; it’s super-important. The videos get anywhere between 30000 to 200000 views and this would end up giving more exposure to @facesofrock1 which ultimately allowed us to get more followers.
Q: How Many Hours A Week To Do Dedicate To Posting On Instagram?
It’s hard to say because a lot of the time I am trying to find great clips and get lost watching them myself but I would say it’s only 4 hours a week. Once I have an idea of the clip I am posting, this is the best part for me as I enjoy finding out the stories to go with the song or trying to remember my favorite stories that I already know and researching them again.
Q: What’s One of The Biggest Mistakes You Made Early On?
The biggest mistake I made early on was following too many people. If you are following 6000 people Instagram will see you as a spammer and basically even if you have a good follower base, good content, and use good hashtags, your post will never end up on the “explore page” so basically you are shooting yourself in the foot.
Q: What’s Your Hashtag Strategy?
With hashtags, I like to keep them relative to my niche. So artists’ names, song titles, genres, and decades and this seems to work pretty well.
Q: Do You Consider Yourself An Influencer?
Nah man, not an influencer but I do like the feedback I get from a lot of my followers on them enjoying the content and especially the stories behind the songs.
I have always loved that myself how you feel like you know a song inside and out but then you read something behind the creative process or maybe just someone being f**ked up when they were recording it and it brings a whole different scope to the music.
Q: What Advice Would You Give To Someone Just Starting Out?
Write about the things you love. Keep on posting and give it time to grow, do it for your own enjoyment and it should connect with other people. If you are not interested in what you’re posting then nobody will give a sh*t about your content. With respect to post frequency, I tend to only do one or two posts per day; any more than that and you’re likely to irritate your followers.
I’d also recommend that you bone up on the basics of professional Instagram account management. This course helped me a lot when I started out, covering off all the basics you need to know in order to get started on the right foot.
Q: What Are Your Future Goals For The Channel?
I am looking to branch out with a @facesofrock1 website soon to give more insight into the music for my followers and hopefully just keep sharing the music that I dig.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.