250,000 Instagram Followers in 10 months
My 3 Biggest Lessons and the Fun it’s Allowed Me.
Need to celebrate wins more soooooo;
I’ve just passed 250,000 Instagram followers in 10 months!
I’m going to give you my biggest 3 takeaways from growing this account, but first I want to give you a peak behind the curtain at some of the fun that I’ve been having in the last week or two, based largely on the success of this Instagram account.
- If you’re just here for the marketing knowledge and want to skip this section — DON’T!
I mean, there’s nothing “useful” for you in this section, but it’s not long, and there’s a chance you might even enjoy it 🙃
2. If you do find it in anyway amusing, here’s a peek at my first two weeks in Croatia.
Fly over to Copenhagen for a Bachelor party.
Realize Stevie, a girl who I’ve never met, but am doing a goal setting workshop in Italy with next month, is also in Copenhagen for a few days!
Meet her for drinks / to battle plan. She’s amazing.
Spend $15 on a beer. Die a little inside.
Meet my uncle who’s flown from Canada for the party a few days early. We drink too much and sing karaoke.
I pick “Power of Love — Huey Lewis”.
I jump on stage and “Power of Love — Jennifer Rush” starts to play.
These are not the same song…
Caffeine through the previous night’s antics.
Work. work. work.
Go to some hipster barber shop. Get the most meticulous haircut anyone has ever had. This dude shaved my head with 8–9 different clipper lengths.
It was nuts.
Hair looks dope though!
The rest of the bachelor party turns up and we head over to the boat we’re staying on.
We drink. We sing karaoke (you may detect a pattern emerging).
Drink. Drink. Drink. Pass out.
Not feeling too fresh. We go to the Carlsberg brewery. They have nazi elephants . We learn some beer history and taste some (lots) of beer.
My energy returns.
We throw on some pirate outfits and take to the streets!
I discover 7Eleven taquitos.
I destroy 7Eleven taquitos.
Guess what! We drink, again.
I drunk eat too many taquitos, again.
I’m so tired from too much fun and not enough sleep, I swear I feel my soul break, horcrux style.
I knock back 10–15 shots hoping that my energy returns.
It does not.
I go to bed for about 3 hours before…
I wake at 7am and fly 5 hours back to Split.
I’ve never been so annihilated it’s making me cry to keep my eyes open
I’m a man reborn. Punch work in the face with my productivity fists! Me and Joe punch our workout in the face with our, er, fists!
Go to a meeting that the amazing L.D organised where everyone turned up to talk about their background, goal and fears for the coming year.
It was fucking awesome.
Got all the friendship feels and get a good kick to scale and automate my business more.
Would be the nuts if I could free up more of my time, and help the awesome people I’m traveling with smash their goals!
Watch Wonder Woman.
Decide I need to marry wonder woman.
Work like a bloody bad man again. Get a good 11 hours in.
Chill with the bestie watching Despicable Me.
Go to some huge outdoor rave to celebrate the solstice. Develop GCLF (gorgeous Croatian lady fatigue). Not even joking. The ladies here are so good looking, it actually exhausts you.
Uber home at 5am.
Me and Mark ask our driver to stop so we can grab pizza half way.
There are two shops, one’s stopped serving and one has approximately two thousand hungry people outside it.
We go into the closed ones and they cook us up the two remaining pizzas with topping combos so nasty, that clearly only idiots would buy them.
We’re hella drunk so, tasty AF…
Wake up. It’s 9am and I’m like:
Wake up at 6.30pm.
Mark cooks L.D and Amelia and I some dank munchies. He’s awesome.
Work, work, work, gym, work, work.
Amazing Sushi round 2.
We go out for one drink.
Then two. three. four.
Alcohol magically cures GCLF.
Stay out til the sun comes up dancing with lovely Croatian ladies.
I wake up and decide, once again;
No adulting for me.
Moving ain’t on the cards for me today.
I chill and get loads of writing done.
Me, Eddie, Kib and John drive to Plitvice National park. It’s unspeakably beautiful.
Pristine lakes a magical shade of deep cobalt.
And apparently all of America and Asia over the age of 60.
It’s pretty busy!
Luckily, we march around for 6–7 hours and for the last couple, we are the only people around. It is stunningly tranquil.
But that’d not the end of the fun…
We travel to Knin to Europe’s second largest castle. It’s on top of mountain. It’s fucking epic.
We eat a gorgeous feast as the sunsets over the mountains and then, then the heavens open.
The sky’s alight and the rumble of thunder shakes through each of us. People are inside to avoid the rain, but I need to find the lightning.
I run from the restaurant to the top of the castle until I find my moment.
Looking out across an expansive plane, mountains on each side to frame it, gorgeous tendrils of lightning branch across the sky. The hair on the back of my neck stands up as a storm of rain drenches me.
Everyone else catches up and we all get just a little silly… We run around screaming ghost noises, gibberish and movie quotes into the heavens.
Yeah, yeah, get on to Instagram.
To top it off, this week I hit quarter of a MILLION Instagram followers!
Here’s what you actually came here for, my take away’s from achieving this.
1. It’s not difficult to grow a large following
No intention to sound like an arse, and perhaps you’re putting in the right hours in the right place and getting no results.
I’m almost certain that 99% of people aren’t doing the following:
- Posting good content, consistently.
- Priming that content for discovery by using good hashtags and engaging.
What do I mean “good content”?
Content which has proven itself to perform well. That could take a lot of forms:
- You could see locations or styles of photos that work well and imitate them.
- You could find “themes” on Instagram and fit your photos to that theme (travel, fitness, fashion, food, memes, motivation, or more granular sub-niches of these).
- Or, most simply — you could find larger accounts in your niche and find the best content they’ve ever posted, and repost that with an attribution to them (you’ll likely need to contact them before doing so).
If you’re relying on the business that this Instagram account funds to pay the bills, or to get you out of a life you’re not enjoying;
DON’T TRY TO REINVENT THE FUCKING WHEEL.
Find what works and adapt it in whatever way works best for you.
If you’ve got a load of time to test new shit, or you’re doing an art project, fuck yeah, try something edgy and viral, otherwise — stick to what works.
What do I mean by “consistently”?
Posting 2–8 posts, at about the same times. EVERY DAY.
EVERY, DAMN, DAY!
Most people freak at the thought of this, and so most people aren’t doing this.
Know what helps with making this many posts per day? Having a large store of content ready for your account to use via some or all of the methods mentioned above 😉
2. Instagram will constantly try to fuck you.
Instagram isn’t your platform, it’s continuously changing!
Guess what, maybe, they decide they want you to do something differently.
Maybe, you don’t want to.
You like what you’re doing.
What you’re doing has ALWAYS worked, stupid Instagram.
Boom, say bye to your engagement.
And she ain’t some cheap, $50 fling. This Instagram traffic is conversion meth. Missing out on it going to your website for 1–2 weeks is really going to kick you in the (literal) coin purse.
There is hope. I’m going to let you in on a little (big) secret:
Your traffic from Instagram is related to your account growth, not your follower count!
Is it easier to gain lots of followers if your account is big?
But that doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing. My largest traffic day from Instagram was at perhaps 30,000 followers. And my most profitable month from Instagram traffic was in the 80–120k follower range.
My traffic is steady, and it does continue to go up on average, but when it has big growth (usually from a string of successful posts) it’s really noticeable in the traffic you get.
Point being, don’t think that everything hinges on having a huge Instagram account. I’d suggest you have multiple accounts and stick to maintaining them.
What works can change quickly and multiple accounts helps you experiment more to find out what Instagram is after.
If you can get some quick growth, you can get much of the reward of a larger account with a small one.
Know what you’ll need to get that tasty, tasty growth?
3. You’ll need to get creative!
The algorithm changes lately have been savage and people are feeling the squeeze.
You’ve now got to get very creative because 3–4 posts in a row with low engagement and Instagram will limit your exposure to YOUR OWN FOLLOWERS, which can cripple your further exposure for the next week plus.
So; if you’re feeling a little hard done by, if you’re feeling like going into a Facebook marketing group and making a post anywhere along the lines of:
“Oh no!! I’m not getting growth any more, I’ve been shadow banned!”
“Oh no!! I’m not getting growth any more, Instagram’s algorithm has changed and now my account is dead!”
“Oh no!! I gained 6 followers today and then I lost 9, my Instalife is ruined”
If you feel like saying anything like that, I have a little gift for you:
Know what you’re not doing if you’re moaning?
You’re not getting shit done.
Getting shit done >> moaning on Facebook.
So try using your time productively by experimenting with any / all of the following:
- Posting more.
- Finding better quality content — look at large accounts that are in your niche and repost their best performing content.
- Get more hashtags that are relevant to your account and build some hashtag ladders with them.
- Network with influencers. Under about 250,000 followers I’ve found it very easy to get in touch with influencers by engaging with their content in a thoughtful way, or sending them a direct message offering something useful . If they engage back with your content it can give you a big boost in the explore page.
- Try posting videos — Instagram is making a push for them as shown in their video feature section. Try posting a video a day for 3–4 weeks, see what happens.
- Use Instagram stories more and try using hashtags and location tags with them. Instagram trying to crush Snapchat and so just doing stories may give you an algorithm boost when posting photos to your followers.
- Ditto for Instagram livestreams.
- Try some album posts with viral calls to action:
Instagram’s algorithm is usually looking for something, and a good guess is whatever their latest update introduced, so give that a go.
Don’t want to do live streams or stories? Tough! Instagram wants it and it will make your life all the harder if you don’t get on board.
You can either embrace it as they intended, or find a system that allows you to do it in a way that suits you (like my story hacking).
That’s really it. There are very few secret, hidden techniques to getting this shit to work. Get to work and in less than a year you can also have a big account!
Like the post? Hit that heart and let me know what you thought. What’s your largest social media achievement? What creative Instagram strategies are working for you?
Here’s a present for doing so 😊