0 to 100,000 Instagram Followers in 6 Months (My Story)

This year I grew an Instagram page from 0
to 100,000 active followers in just 6 months. Here's how I did it, the mistakes I made along
the way and how you can replicate the same results without making the same mistakes as
I. So in 2020, I went from a student who side
hustled for a little bit of extra money so I could upgrade from a pot noodle… to two
pot noodles… To now being someone who's able to make my
online Instagram business my full-time job.

I did this by taking just one page all the
way to 100,000 active followers. Now I'm not going to ramble on too long before
getting into the content of the video but if you stick around, at some point in the
video, I'm going to flash a code and this code will give you my Instagram ebook, the
Instagram Bible, for completely free. So if you see that code, go to IGBible dot
com, the link is in the description too and try it out. It will work for the first 3 people, but if
this video does really well, I'll add more uses to the code so definitely try it out
and also leave a like and subscribe as this will help the algorithm show the video to
more people which means more uses for the code. So let's dive into how I actually grew the
page. Let's start from the start, the first 100

Which I'd argue is actually the hardest part
of growing the account as once you've done that, you really get the ball rolling. I mean just look at how many pages are in
my niche, the finance niche. And I imagine that your niche too will have
a lot of competition. So you'll have to do something to stand out. One of the first things that I did in order
to make my page stand out is I'd use these carousel posts and one the first slide, I
wouldn't really give away too much information, it would be like a title page.

This would force people to stop scrolling
through the hashtag feed or wherever else they may be finding my content and actually
click on it and swipe all the way through and then I'd end these carrousel posts with
a call to action to follow me, these did extremely well, so well in fact, that one of these posts,
when I first started on instagram has produced more followers than lots of the posts that
I post now with over 150,000 followers.

It's a really good strategy and although you
can't keep it forever because the content takes much longer to make and doesn't necessarily
go viral, I'd definitely recommend it to all accounts just to make yourself stand out a
little bit and make yourself a little bit different to the competition. You may look at the big pages in your niche
and see that they're all doing the same thing and it's very tempting to copy it because
you know, don't break something that already works right? Well, no because they only manage to have
this kind of content because when they post, it goes viral.

But your post with 100 followers, less than
100 followers, it's not going to go viral so you have to provide massive value to convince
people to follow your page over a much, much larger page. Alongside this strategy, I also did a hashtag
strategy. And I don't mean using hashtags, I mean going
through hashtags and going to the recent tab, scrolling through to find posts that were
actually similar to mine, from people that were really running their accounts, not just
bot accounts, so these real people in my niche, similar number of followers, I'd like the
post, I'd comment on the post, I'd follow them, I'd DM them, I'd do everything that
I can so that they know my presence.

And then they'd then return that, they'd follow
me back, they'd comment back, they'd share my posts and really does create long-term
relationships with other accounts. And these long term relationships, really
help you build your first few thousand followers and in fact, some of these pages that I networked
with right at the beginning, I still talk to now and we still engage with each other's
posts now, even though some of them have tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands
of followers. But here comes one of my first big mistakes. My first big mistake was using DM groups,
because a lot of these people that you network with, they invite you to them, they sound
like a good idea, so you join.

Well, actually they're not such a good idea. The Instagram Terms of Service actually bans
this kind of engagement group and they can tell because when you're using an engagement
group, they can see, oh "Those likes are coming from that group, he's in that group, so why
is he getting likes from a group he's already in? That's suspicious!" Now you won't get banned for using engagement
groups, but it will decrease your Instagram health score. This is a really important concept to understand. The algorithm isn't just good or bad, it's
a scale. And everything you do contributes to the algorithm
and if you start using DM groups too often, what will happen is your health score will
decrease more and more and Instagram just won't show your posts to new people. So I really do not recommend using DM groups.

Especially not ones on Instagram, you can
do one's on Telegram, potentially but you still might get out so just don't let it be
a too high percentage of your total engagement. Instead, just comment on people's posts straight
from the feed or straight from the hashtag feed and if you notice somebody never comments
back, then just unfollow them, find someone new and hopefully they will engage back. So these 2 relatively simple strategies have
helped me to get my first 100 followers and I've continued to use these strategies to
get my first few thousand followers but before I had the chance to reach 1k followers, disaster
struck. Somewhere between 100 and 1000 followers,
I'd spent so much time on the account, so many hours grinding out these strategies that
Instagram banned my account. They thought I was a bot and I thought there
was nothing I can do, I'm a little tiny account, Instagram's not going to notice me trying
to get my account back.

But I tried anyway, I spammed every single
contact form, I went on my personal profile and I spammed the report a problem thing over
and over again and eventually they emailed to say it was a mistake and they unbanned
me. So there's an important message behind this,
in fact there's 2. The first one is if you do get banned, don't
give up, don't think "That's it! My accounts gone forever", Instagram are hard
to contact but it is possible. I've seen loads of people have accounts that
have 100,000+ followers, they get banned and they try for maybe 2 days to get the account
back and then give up, do not give up and secondly if you really can't get the account
back, you've put all that work in, don't let it go to waste. Just try again, come back, this time scale
the engagement down just a little bit for the first few months and try again and honestly
eventually you will succeed.

Sometimes it seems like Instagram is against
you but in the long run it will work out. When I got the account back, I grinded the
same methods, just a little bit more slowly this time. And I started to make some money from these
free stock affiliate links and this kind of inspired me to start investing some money
to grow the account. And this is where a really cycle of mistakes
began. So, now this is the story of how I went from
1000 followers, all the way to 10,000 followers and exactly what I did wrong. I was approached by someone, offering something
called a target shoutout, and it was just $30 for a 1000 real followers, related to
my niche. I know you're thinking "Oh, these must be
fake" but no, target shoutouts are actually a really good way to grow your account.

But back then, I was a little bit naive and
didn't really understand if I was paying $30 I was going to be getting the worst demographics
of followers. These followers, they engaged, they liked,
they commented, they DM'd me, they shared my posts, so it sounds like I might have got
a really good deal. And I thought I did. That's until I started to reach 10,000 followers
and people started to ask to buy shoutouts from me. I was thinking "This is great!" and they'd
always ask "Can I see your audience insights?" and I'd show them and it was over 80% India
at the time and this is absolutely nothing against India but advertisers do not want
Indian followers, they want American audiences and European audiences. Cuz on average they spend more money. So even though I was very thankful to have
these followers, I could not monetize my page with such a high Indian demographic. And that was why the target shoutouts had
been so cheap.

Because they knew that and they were selling
it so they could only sell these Indian followers for a lower price. You know isn't even something that might cross
your mind like me you might just get hooked on getting followers and as long as you're
getting followers, you're happy. You really need to stop and think "Who do
I want my audience to be? Where do they come from, what are they interested
in?" Think about all these things, think about
what advertisers might want from your niche too and then build your whole page around
that and then any paid promotion you do, make it target what you want your audience to be. So after I hit 10k followers, I switched from
target shoutouts to Facebook ads, in the hopes that this would solve my issues. Now, Facebook ads allowed me to grow all the
way to 60,000 followers and for a long time I was at university, I wasn't on my page much,
I was just enjoying university life, until things got crazy in March, but before then
I was spending like $5 a day on Facebook ads and growing 100's of followers, every single

It was cheap, my page was growing, it took
barely any effort, I was really happy and if you guys leave 50 likes on this video,
I'll make a whole new video about my FB ads strategy, because it was a good strategy and
it worked for a long time, and you can definitely change it to make it fit your audience but
it will take a whole video to explain it. But there was one big problem, again with
what I was doing. When I did reach 60k, I looked at my audience
demographics again and realized that although it had improved, it was still quite an issue.

Because Facebook ads had improved my demographics
but not enough to convince advertisers to promote on my page. I was probably being rejected by about half
of the people that wanted to promote on my page. I had a choice: offer really low prices for
my shoutouts or find a way to change my audience. And you know that I needed that Instagram
money to buy sick whips. Anyway, this is when I started using target
shoutouts again. Except this time, I was working with the person
who's now my business partner, and we were able to work together to create our own target
shoutout service, so this time I could target the countries that I wanted, by contacting
pages and finding out their audience insights and make lists of ones that fit the American
and European demographic.

Ones that were like a bit of American, a bit
of Asian followers. And ones that were purely Asian followers
to create these 3 tiers. And then I exclusively promoted my page on
the American and European tier. This drastically improved my demographics
to the point where now most advertisers are very happy with my audience insights and very
happy to advertise on my page and I can now earn a lot more money from my page. But what exactly are target shoutouts? And can you just do your shoutouts yourself? Well the thing about target shoutouts is we
have a lot of clients at any one time. Meaning that we can promote 5 pages on just
1 shoutout. This drastically decreases the price to get
the followers. We've also tried many, many forms of ad copy
and over time have created viral ads that gain a lot of followers.

So, I think if you were to do it yourself
with your own shoutouts, it would cost 10-15x the amount. In which case, I'd recommend doing Facebook
ads. But if you can find a reliable target shoutout
service, it's a really, really good strategy. It allowed me to grow all the way to 100k
and I could finally have an audience to start making me money. And you know that was the time when I decided
to become a hype beast and buy some AirPods. You know I could've probably bought a better
car for the price of those AirPods. Self-deprecating jokes aside, I used this
strategy for 6 months to get to 100,000 followers, alongside my organic growth strategies that
I previously mentioned. But after 100,000, I started to switch things
up so definitely keep watching. And see what else I did. So now you know how I got to 100,000 followers
but at the time of recording, I'm at 160,000 followers so what am I doing now and what
can you do if you have no money to invest into your page? Well if you smash the like button for the
YouTube algorithm, I'll tell you how.

Just kidding, you already know I'm gonna tell
you anyway. So, nowadays, I still use these same shoutouts
because I want to get to a million followers in the next 2 years which is a huge, massive
goal but if you're thinking you want to invest a bit of money into your page, but then start
taking a lot of the profit, very soon. Then you can do this to 100,000/50,000 or
if you've got really, really good content just 10,000 followers because my page now
generates hundreds of followers every single day organically so at this point, the business
would have almost no expenses if I just wanted to leave it growing organically, take the
profit and it really, really, be quite easy to do now. So it's very, very tempting for me to just
stop investing in my page now and take the profit but I know if I keep investing and
get to 1 million followers, the page will easily generate $1,000 a day so I'm keeping
up the shoutout train all the way to the big…

One… million. So on top of that I do shoutout for shoutouts
with other big pages my size. And I also work on creating viral content
now, rather than those carousel posts from before. As some of this viral content goes to the
explore page and gets me hundreds of thousands of views. In fact, at the time of recording, every single
one of my posts reaches the explore page. But you might be wondering what to do if you
have no money to invest into your page.

Well, there is still ways to grow, without
spending any money on your page. So, besides only eating one pot noodle to
save money, you can also save money on investing into your page by using the strategies I mentioned
earlier, at the start of the video and when you do start to grow, you get to a few thousand
followers, you start doing shoutout for shoutouts with pages your size, do maybe 1 a day. No more than that. But aim for 1a day and your page will start
to gain traction. Just from these free promotion methods. There's also a really good method that I think,
Gary Vee might've mentioned at some point. But you turn on post notifications for big
pages in your niche and now when you see that notification come up, you click on it straight
away, you leave a valuable comment, it must be like 2-3 sentence, not just like "Oh come
and follow me please", really respond to the post, provide value to the followers of that
page and then they'll come over to your page and follow you.

So there's some other really good strategies
to use that are completely free and I'd keep doing those things until you reach 10,000
followers. Now, when you do reach 10,000 followers, you'll
be able to start taking money from the page through shoutouts and other methods that I've
mentioned. So at this point, you really should start
investing in your page. You only have to invest the revenue from the
page, you don't have to put any money upfront yourself. And this will really help you scale your account
quickly. Now, if you don't know how to make money from
your page, I made a video about this a few days ago, so that'll be on the card somewhere
now, it'll appear.

And also if you subscribe, then I'll be releasing
new videos about Instagram monetization in future. Because really I could make 100s of videos,
just on that topic. There's so many ways, and there's so many
like ways within the ways. Nerd moment aside. Let's keep going. So yeah, like I said. Once you've started making money from the
page, go back to the other methods that cost money and try them out and you'll be able
to make that sweet, sweet Instagram dollar. So, that was the story of how I went from
0 to 100,000 Instagram followers in just 6 months. I hope you liked it, and if you did, please
do subscribe. I'm a new channel, so I really, really appreciate,
every single subscription and I notice every time I get that notification. So please do subscribe and I'll be bringing
out more videos about Instagram.

But also things about investing, personal
finance, self-development or just anything that helps you and helps you make money. The feedback on the first video was overwhelmingly
positive and that's inspired me to keep making more content to help out you guys. So thank you and goodbye!.

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