Very few things perplex and frustrate entrepreneurs more than the crippling Instagram algorithm and how it appears to stifle your visibility and throttle your engagement.

This article has no massive secrets (SORRY, THEY DO NOT EXIST!) but core strategies that can organically and effectively grow the right audience. Remember, getting the wrong audience will only further hurt your engagement.

1) Post Share-Worthy Content

In last week’s article I wrote about the three things our audience could want from us. To be entertained, informed or inspired. Pick your lane and own it. When it comes to studying your content, it is not about the number of likes and comments you get – it is about how many SHARES you receive.

When you post content that your audience feels compelled to share, they are advertising you to their audiences which is a phenomenal way to grow your own audience.

Watch how much your posts get shared. And what posts get shared? Post that are very entertaining, highly educational or massively inspiring.

Look to see how to many “Mentions” you get. The more per day, the better as that is others marketing your platform.

2) Your Mission




Do it constantly.

3) Hashtags Matter

A successful hashtag strategy is all in testing an analyzing the results. Use relevant hashtags that relate to your post and don’t use the same ones constantly. Avoid hashtags with millions of uses as you will never stand out. But then mix together hashtags with small, medium and some larger uses. Use hashtags that people would actually be searching for versus random hashtags that no one would ever think to search for.

4) Collaborate

Find accounts that have the followers that you would want to have and seek ways to collaborate. This can include but is not limited to IG takeovers, IG co-lives or even contributing relevant content that they can share with their audience in exchange for a shoutout to your account. Tapping into the successful followers of other accounts is a strong way to leverage their audience to grow your own.

5) Engage

It is not enough to get followers – you have to keep them! We are in the age of the unfollow where users are unfollowing 2 accounts for every 1 that they follow. The best way to keep your audience? Engage with them. Start conversations, have discussions, respond to comments and show up as a human who cares more about building relationships rather than focusing on short term sales.

In Sum

Ever notice how there never seems to be the ultimate hack to growing a large following overnight? Because it does not exist. It is about gradually building genuine, strong relationships and allowing those followers to spread your brand on your behalf.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto