5 Tips for Growing Your Instagram Following from Sarah Hollingshead of “Our Vintage Farmhouse”

Sep 18 2017

by Nancy McNulty

One day away from deleting her Instagram account, Sarah Hollingshead received a message from a national brand which encouraged the popular Our Vintage Farmhouse blogger to stay. Since that fateful day, she’s grown into an Instagram influencer now approaching 300,000 followers.

“I was in love, oblivious, happily married, and, then I wasn’t. I had painted this happy picture and was going to delete everything. But, you can’t let life hold you down and I proved that to my daughter,” Hollingshead says.

Sarah Holingshead and Harper, Our Vintage FarmhouseJPG
In a moment of despair and a day away from deleting her Instagram account, a national brand helped change Sarah’s mind demonstrating her tenacity for her daughter.

Crate & Barrel was the national brand who contacted her and since that time, she’s collaborated with them on website content as well as a ton of other folks. After meeting her at the recent HGTV Urban Oasis House blogger event, which I was thrilled to help coordinate, Sarah was kind enough to share some of her top tips for growing an Instagram following. (Be sure you click here for her HGTV home tour.)

Sarah Hollingshead, Brian Patrick Flynn, HGTV Urban Oasis House
Sarah Hollingshead, Our Vintage Farmhouse, comparing Instagram notes with HGTV designer Brian Patrick Flynn at the Urban Oasis media blogger event.

Top Tips For Growing An Instagram Account

#1 Find your voice and your uniqueness and then rock it. Hollingshead says highlight your talents, gifts and what is special about you and express it.

#2 Engage, respond and create conversations within your post thread. Even if someone just posts “pretty,” respond and add more info about the posted moment. Appreciate them as a real person and not just a number. It is like making new friends, but they are virtual. Be real that if you run into them in public, you are the same person.

#3 It bothers me if people worry they aren’t a model or their home isn’t perfect. You should be proud of yourself. People love to see people in their photos. Share your lifestyle. Show your talents but show parts of yourself, family and life. They can relate to you. When I moved to a new home to start over, I had one wall that was perfect and behind it, my daughter was sleeping on an air mattress!

#4 Comment on big brand accounts. This engagement might lead to a potential relationship. Many of the business accounts don’t get a lot of comments. Be yourself and who knows? I’m a barefoot queen of summer and Crate & Barrel followed me!

Top Feed Tip

“My number one top tip is to cut photos down to good, bright, crisp pictures which are pleasing to the eye far away. Focus on having good pics.


Our Vintage Farmhouse Instagram Feed
Our Vintage Farmhouse Instagram feed is a combination of family, great design and inspiration.

Future Growth

Sarah Hollingshead and Harper, porch seat, Our Vintage Farmhouse

For future growth, she plans to continue her Instagram strategy but is increasing her blogging which is more financially beneficial to the single, working mom. “In the long-haul, you never know what is going to happen with Instagram.   It is so important to your business,” Hollingshead says.


Nancy McNulty View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cool, new and different is the mantra driving the public relations efforts of our company, Forest Home Media. Based outside Nashville in the historic Forest Home area, as a PR rep, I love working with a variety of home lifestyle companies including the 2014 Nashville HGTV Smart Home builder and served on the PR team for Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel. A long-time Tennessee girl with a communications degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, my career began as a newspaper reporter and a state agency spokesman. Connect with me at ForestHomeMedia.com

Leave a Comment

5 responses on “5 Tips for Growing Your Instagram Following from Sarah Hollingshead of “Our Vintage Farmhouse”

  1. Mindy Curtis

    Thanks for this article!! I am in the beginning process of starting a business, maybe (at my age, this is really scary!!).

    I do believe that social media is a place I need to be present and have lots of followers to help me succeed.
    I follow Sarah and am grateful to hear what she had to say!

  2. Angie

    Thank you Sarah and Nancy for sharing these tips and encouragement! I’m looking to move to the next level with my blogging. Great info!

  3. Carrie

    Love these tips! I know I get nervous that I’m not showcasing something beautiful all the time and it’s intimidating to keep up with the “real” instagram pros.
    Thank you!

  4. Amber

    Sarah is the same person on social media as she is in person. Kind, bubbly, silly, realistic, optimistic, and absolutely beautiful! I’m honored to call her a friend & watch her grow beyond her wildest dreams!!!! Keep on keepin on!

  5. Jenena Parker

    Great tips! I have not thought of some of these either.
    The main “top tip” you (Sarah) gave us readers was to have good, bright, crisp pictures. This is where I struggle most! I love my home, decor and style but I sometimes feel I cannot post a pic of my home or decor because my pics do not look good. My home is small and sometimes it is hard for me to back away and get a good pic.

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