The lure of Bots, Hacks and shortcuts is all to real when the promise of more followers is thrown around. But is it really worth it?
A blog by Jacques aka Kiwi with A Camera
There are so many lessons I wish I had learnt before I started Instagram. But at the same time most lessons are generally learnt through experience. Well here is your chance to learn a couple lessons through me.. some of it is knowledge and some of it is from the mistakes I have made. Happy reading and if you have any other tips or advice drop a comment down the bottom.
Lesson One- Get All Your Ducks Lined Up Before You Try To Swim!
Makes sense right? Not really though aye? Well kids welcome to Instagram hahaha just when you think you understand what's going on and everything is making sense. Something change's with the Algorithm, trends change or you post the wrong style of photo and lose 200 followers over night.
So Lesson One is simple but it is going to take you some time. Before you even create an Instagram account get your research done.
-Find Your Niche(small specialised section of the population)- What do you represent and what makes your account unique. What is going to bring people to your account over the other 100,000 people in your niche?
-Research exactly who your target audience is. And I mean exactly! Know where they live, what they do for work, how old they are, where they shop, what their favourite colour is. Seriously the more you know the better your content will do.
-Understand Instagram! This is a hard one because I don't think that anyone truly understands the crazy algorithm's that decide how well your content does. But do the best you can to understand this incredible platform. Knowledge truly is power.
-Find out who your Niche success stories are and incorporate their techniques into your work. I am not saying copy them, just learn from them. They are doing something right so chances are if you take inspiration from their styles and put your own twist on them.. your posts will do well.
-Research your hashtags and figure out what combinations will work best for you and your posts.
-Plan out your feed. If you look at all the big Instagram accounts you will notice how beautifully laid out their feeds are. Your feed needs to be attractive to the eye and relevant to your niche. If you post an incredible landscape shot followed by a selfie and then a pic of your burger at maccas your feed is probably not going to catch the right eyes aye.
Basically the more you know going into Instagram the higher your chances will be of success on the platform. I didn't haha I learnt along the way and I am still suffering consequences from the mistakes I have made along the way. On a positive note; this blog would have never come to be without all my amazing mistakes. Go Me!
Lesson Two- Don't Cheat the System
Now I will start by saying I never once used Bots. I thought about it but I am glad I decided against it. Accounts that have used bots in the past will suffer hugely with the new Instagram changes in effect. I have tried a few hacks (sneaky techniques to help get ahead of the algorithms and grow fast) but they have actually hurt my account more than they have helped it. Nope the best thing to do is be patient and focus on delivering incredible content. Here is a short list of DOS & DONTS to help you out.
-Create amazing content.
-Actually interact with your followers and those in your niche.
-Leave legitimate comments.
-Follow pages in your niche that inspire you.
-Interact with pages that will feature your content. TIP- Use their hashtags
-Use Bots. Not Once.
-Follow & Unfollow rapidly to try and grow fast- It just ruins your engagement and puts you on Instagram's naughty list.
-Post content outside of your niche.
There are many more DOS & DONTS but this shortlist will stare you in the right direction.
Lesson 3- Don't get so caught up on how many followers you have!
Straight up! I got stuck in this trap for months and I still worry about it from time to time now. At the end of the day content is king! If you have great content and you keep playing by Instagram's rules you will start getting featured. At first those features may be small but eventually bigger pages and hashtags will start showcasing your content. This will lead to more organic growth and you may just get yourself noticed by brands.
Also, guess what! You don't need a huge Instagram account to travel the world taking pictures and creating films. Some of the most successful photographers and film makers I know have less than 2000 followers! How? They went out there themselves and contacted companies with examples of their work. Instagram is an amazing platform for sure but don't forget that the real world still exists.
I hope this little write up helps you guys out! Just remember that anything worth doing is hard. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go. But don't forget why you are hustling and grinding so hard. If you have a dream do everything you can to make it a reality!
Chase those dreams!
Massie Bro's | Paulo | Jacques