Let me guess, you want to drastically improve and grow your Instagram this year? Great idea! Instagram’s popularity is not slowing down and more and more people are heading to the app when they hear about you, your brand or your company. If your account isn’t effective or your following is small, people may choose not to follow, or worse, won’t invest in you and your products / services! Because of that, having a strong Instagram presence and large following is top priority for many.. But how exactly do we grow our Instagram followings?
Well you have a couple options:
1. Do it yourself – dig through the mess of info on Google, YouTube and Pinterest and trial/ error all tactics until you find out what works2. Pay for an Instagram Growth Service where a third party helps grow your account for you3. Invest in an Instagram Course that gives you the step-by-step processes needed to grow your Instagram
Which one are you leaning towards?
First things first, #1 is an extremely respectable way to grow your Instagram following. In fact, it’s exactly what I did to get to where I am today (almost 500k followers across my three main accounts!) I learned exactly what worked, what didn’t and how to maximize my time on the platform, however it took A LOT of effort to get to where I am now.
So while that is an option, I don’t recommend it because I know you have s*** to do and can’t spend all day and night trying to crack the Instagram code!
That leaves us with an Instagram Growth Service or an Instagram Course.
While the appeal of an Instagram Growth Service is high – you basically hand over your info, sit back and watch your following grow (ideally), but there are plenty of risks involved with this method.
The first risk is that you’re giving an unknown party your username and password. I don’t think I have to explain to you why that’s a BAD IDEA! If you care about your account, you need to be very careful with your private information! You should never use any type of Instagram service that asks for your password. You always want to make sure you’re logging in through a secure Instagram API (like the image below!)
The next risk is that these Instagram growth services end up plugging your information into a bot to follow, like, comment and DM on your behalf. This might seem okay but they often focus on low hanging fruit like “like4like” and “follow4follow” type users. That means your following may grow but there is NO guarantee those new people actually care about your content (or are even real people!)
Have you ever seen those ridiculous (and often poorly timed) “amazing pic!” comments on photos? That’s a bot and it could be your account leaving them if you use an Instagram growth service. These methods not only turn your audience off, but may also put your account at risk of being disabled by Instagram. Instagram has made numerous statements and efforts to shut down this inauthentic activity so if you want to keep your account in good standing (and actually grow a following that cares about you!) be extremely wary of Instagram growth services!
You don’t want to end up like this person:
Sounds bad right?
So, that leaves us with the next option: an Instagram Course!
This is my preferred method for a number of reasons. First, you’ll learn exactly how to grow an account on your own. That means you’re educating yourself, which is invaluable. Second, (with the right course) you’re learning real methods that actually boost your engagement, increase your income and improve your relationship with your followers!
Now having said that, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bad Instagram courses out there, trust me there is! So to avoid getting duped into using black-hat growth methods or wasting your money on tactics without strategy, you need to know what exactly you should be looking for in an Instagram course (and what to avoid) to get your money’s worth and effectively market your business!
Here’s some things to consider before investing in an Instagram course:
1. Don’t trust people that overpromise results
It is impossible for someone to tell you exactly how many followers you will gain in a month for a number of reasons. The amount you gain will highly depend on your content, your niche, how often you’re posting, etc. The only way to truly guarantee a set number of followers per month is to buy them – yikes!
A quality Instagram course should teach you how to identify your target audience, how to create strategic, engaging content, the importance of organic engagement, how to use all of the internal features, and how to monetize your efforts. In a nutshell, your ideal Instagram course should not promise metrics, but rather promise the inevitable organic, targeted growth you’ll receive when you know your audience and implement strategic PROVEN best practices – with proof of results to back it up!
2. Don’t get starstruck by Instagram Influencers
A common trap many people fall into is buying courses from their Instagram idols. And why wouldn’t you? They have millions of followers and great content – they are likely the best resource to use to bring that same success to your own account! Right?
The unfortunate reality is this – just because someone has been fortunate enough to gain fame and stardom from Instagram, that doesn’t mean they have experience growing accounts outside of their niche. A recent scandal surrounding Aggie Lal’s latest Instagram course is a prime example of this. Is she a successful travel blogger that’s been able to monetize her account and live her dream? Absolutely! Is she a business savvy marketer that has specialized training in marketing concepts? Not so much. Your favorite Instagram influencer might have a killer page and content, but they aren’t necessarily qualified to teach courses on marketing and how to properly utilize Instagram to gain a large, targeted audience that converts.
If you want to learn how to build a following and monetize your account with proven strategic method, regardless of your niche, check out my course The Instagram Ivy League.
3. Do your research
With a quick Google and/or Instagram search, you’ll find thousands of courses on growing your Instagram account. Picking the right one for your specific objectives can be a tedious and overwhelming process if you don’t know what you should be looking for. To narrow down your decision, consider the following:
1. Credentials – how much marketing experience does the course creator have? Do they have proven results for themselves and their students?2. Testimonials – look for testimonials from current or past students. Did they find the course delivery worked for them, did they learn new concepts, did they see results?3. Available resources – does the course creator have a blog or other free resources that expand on their knowledge of growing accounts on Instagram?
4. Ask questions
There’s no such thing as asking too many questions when deciding on an Instagram course! Don’t be afraid to reach out and personally ask questions about the course and the instructor’s level of experience. Start with the following:
• Which niches have they worked with?• How many years of experience on Instagram & with marketing in general?• What can you expect to gain from the course when it comes to a long-term Instagram marketing strategy?• Do they have any case studies?• Do they use or promote the use of growth services (purchasing likes, using bots)?• Will support be available during and after the course?• Is there a refund policy?
5. Check their social media accounts
You wouldn’t believe how many people create courses for social media growth without implementing what they teach, or their teaching methods are outdated/ineffective! Do a little digging of your own and look for the following on an instructor’s socials:
• Are the comments they receive on their posts genuine or are they littered with bot comments? • Are their followers real? (Check that the amount of likes/comments they’re getting is relative to the size of their following. Tons of followers but little likes is a big red flag!)• Is their content appealing and engaging? (Are the photos high quality? Are they providing some kind of value or story-telling in their captions?)• Do they seem to properly utilize Instagram features such as location tags, stories, hashtags, etc?• Do they have a solid hashtag strategy? (check if they’re using hashtags on their posts. Are they descriptive and relative to their account or are they broad and popular like #love #business #sunshine?)
As consumers we need to be educated on what were investing in so be sure to tick the boxes above before spending money on any Instagram Course, and please, be very careful when it comes to Instagram growth services!
Have you bought an Instagram course before or used an Instagram growth service?What was your experience? Let me know in the comments!