Take a look around, it’s quite apparent that most people are in zombie mode looking at their phones. Rather than wishing this was not the case and people would connect with you more will not change this phenomenon. As an Entrepreneur and Business Owner it’s vital to recognize trends and consumer behavior so you can place your product or service directly where your ideal customer is focusing their attention.
One channel that is getting a majority of the attention is INSTAGRAM.
In this blog post I will break down step by step the actions I have taken to acquire over Hundreds of Thousands of followers for several accounts in various industries.
**QUICK TIP, never take social media advice from ANYONE who can not show you the results with their own accounts**
Accounts I have built:
@TheBrokeAgent (90,000+ Followers) Co-Built
@PizzaPlusPositivity (23,000+ Followers)
@TheWesPinkston (17,900+ Followers)
@CosmicAwareness (8,200+ Followers)
NOW, Let’s begin!
The First Question you have to ask yourself is why should anyone follow you?
So you are ready to take the stage and begin putting your face and message out to the world, congratulations 🙂 this is a courageous step and you should be very proud of yourself.
Instagram is incredible for building a platform to broadcast your message, the more authentic and real you can be the better, and it will give you an advantage over every other account out there, BE UNIQUELY YOU. Tell your incredible story, even though your life and story may seem boring or basic to you, it could be the inspiration someone else needs to push through a roadblock they are currently facing.
It’s quite simple to acquire a follower but to KEEP THEIR ATTENTION is another task altogether. This will only happen with consistency, consistency with the quantity and quality of your posts and interactions.
Social Media is a long game, just hit singles day in and day out, you’ll have moments where a Home Run may occur but keep solid and consistent technique (like anything) and the results will follow.
What’s The Secret to Social Media Success?
Don’t spend too much time critiquing a post, just launch it! Many of us are hyper critical over every post and we think everyone is going to view our posts under a microscope, this is simply not the case. The More You Post The Better. Chances are your followers won’t even see your posts based on a lot of reasons from timing to competition with more popular accounts, so post A LOT. Some days I post 5 times, some days I post once, but activity and a high number of posts is critical to gaining a large following in the beginning. Once you have reached a certain threshold of organic growth you can slow down but in the beginning go crazy with it!
Prior to doing anything on instagram, make sure your profile is filled out. For inspiration on how it should look and what it should say, find a few accounts that are in your industry that you love and use their bio for inspiration. See Below:
(Secret Tip!) For correct spacing on your bio you will have to use your computer browser and log in to Instagram.com, from there, log in to your account, and edit your bio from there so you can bring down certain words and emojis, spacing is HUGE and makes your account POP 🙂
You’ll eventually want to track the analytics so connect your account to Facebook, this requires you to make a business page but it’s worth it.
Just above the URL on your bio, let your followers know what action they should take AND what they can expect once they take the required action, meaning once they click on your website.
For example: “5 Ways to Transform Your Life, Click Below to receive my FREE E-book.”
Before we bring attention to your account we need to have some content. Meaning, you are going to have to post some photos that followers would Enjoy!
For help designing Instagram Posts use Canva, I won’t spend too much time here on WHAT to post, but the accounts that are the authority in your industry that you follow should give you an idea and inspiration on where to begin, don’t over think it!
If you need help with royalty free stock photos check out: NegativeSpace although there are a ton of other competitive sites just like it.
Once you post a photo, you can use Zapier to automate your workflow, meaning it will automatically post the photo on your other accounts Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, saving you a bunch of time. Save these posts though, because you can upload them to a service like MeetEdgar that will automatically repurpose your content for you once you set a schedule, saving you even MORE time, which is the name of the game. AUTOMATION!
Now that your account has a professional photo, a bio with properly formatted words and emojis, a call to action leading them to your website, and some valuable and relatable content, we have to bring attention to your account.
I’m only including free methods below, paid advertising is easy but the reality is most of us don’t have a lot of cash to spend on Instagram Ads
These Steps are in no relevant order, they are completely random
The Good ol’ Follow/Unfollow Game (The Lazy Approach):
Depending on your “MORAL COMPASS” and how much getting followers means to you and your account, this is a method that many accounts use.
Depending on the theme of your account, for example, motivational, real estate, food, fitness, select 3 or 4 accounts that are in your space that you have a similar vibe with.
Go to their most recent post and click the “likes” under the photo, this will bring up active accounts that have engaged with this company’s photo.
Simply follow these accounts, there is a high chance that if they like this account they may also like yours, since the message and theme are similar.
You won’t get high quality follows here, and most of them will unfollow you when you unfollow them, a.k.a. wasting your time, there are apps to notify them of this, but if you are strapped for cash and desperate to have thousands of follows because if will make you feel better about yourself, this is your method!
CAUTION: If you don’t want you account to get flagged I’d suggest only following 50-100 people a day, slowly, if you get too crazy and anxious about getting followers here they can flag your account and even terminate it, so proceed with caution, this method is common but I don’t recommend it.
Liking/Commenting (The Slow and Steady Approach):
Warning, this method actually takes time and effort, so if you are looking for something quick and easy go to #1, if you are on Instagram for the “right” reasons this is the way to go.
Let’s use my account as an example:
Although my Life and Business Coaching practice is located in San Diego, California, I have clients all over the world that I work with over skype. But, I do meet people face-to-face in San Diego so every day I search on Instagram through the places category cities in San Diego. For instance I search “Encinitas,” which is the specific city I live in. For you and your brand, you’ll click “Near Current Location.” Once I search this Instagram will show me the top 9 photos in that city based on Engagement, which doesn’t matter to me. I go to the fourth row, which is the most recent photos in that city. Assuming the photo is not crazy or explicit, be careful what photos you like because people can see this, like the photo and make a meaningful/relevant comment.
Wait, you actually want me to engage with people Wes? Yes, yes I do, This is the point of instagram, to find other accounts in your space and engage with them, it’s a community, ENGAGE. Most accounts get little to no LIKES or COMMENTS so seeing in their notifications “TheWesPinkston liked your post” means a lot to them and more often than not they will click your name and check out your gallery.
Like and Comment on 25-50 photos a day, only if the photo is worthy of it, if it’s a basic post just like it and move on, over the course of a month or two you will begin to see some legit organic growth and traffic to the URL in your bio.
If you are a local business like a coffee shop, search hyper local and location based through the places search. If you are a clothing brand and not concerned about being hyper local then search based on Hashtags, like #Fitness, #Yoga, and do the same like/comment actions.
The Hashtag Block
Hashtags on Instagram are incredibly overrated but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. I rarely use a hashtag on the original comment section when I post the photo. I do, on the other hand, have a “Hashtag Block” saved in my note section of my phone that I copy and paste on my photo as a second comment.
My original comment for the post above was a few emoji’s, which usually expresses what I’m feeling better than some words, and they are more colorful. When in doubt, use an emoji.
Secondly, I went to my note section of my phone, where I saved the following in the following format:
You need to have 5 .’s (see above) then write down 20 hashtags that are relevant to your business. (I chose hashtag topics that best represent who I am and my Life/Business Coaching program). Once you launch your post, copy and paste it as a comment so you’ll still get the Hashtag traction without ruining the aesthetics of your post.
FYI, this will only help you get a few extra followers and likes, since many automated accounts auto-follow and auto-like based on certain hashtags they saved. On instagram exposure is key so every follow and like counts 😉
Adding Your Post To Instagram Stories
After you post a photo to instagram in the traditional sense, the quickest and easiest way to crop it and add it to “Your Story” is by going to your photo gallery on your phone, cropping it and then taking a screen shot of the photo, assuming you have an iphone, it will have the correct dimensions and will fit in the story mode format.
Adding photos to “Your Story” gives your followers a second chance at seeing your post, since most of your followers won’t scroll down too far, the more opportunities they have the better, and you don’t have to compete with all the other accounts for your followers attention.
Don’t annoy your followers on the story photos, if you are too pushy and selling products every day they will MUTE your stories and most likely never UNMUTE it so less is more here.
I’m going to continually add to this blog post, this should get your started, if you need any help with your business marketing and social media be sure to reach out to me and schedule a call HERE or to find more information on my One-on-One Business Coaching Program Click Here