The Best Way to Grow an Audience on Instagram

Forget about all the marketing hacks and techniques you’ve read about, they definitely don’t work as well.


Charles Tumiotto Jackson

3 years ago | 4 min read

Growing on Instagram is hard. We all know that.

In fact, it’s because it is hard that it is valuable.

If growing on Instagram was easy, everyone would have hundred of thousands of followers and Instagram would have zero business leverage.

But growing on Instagram is a whole job, and it has been the top priority for most business owners in the past couple of years.

Chances are, you’ve already read blog posts and watched videos about how to grow on Instagram. And you’ve probably heard advice like : you’ve got to engage with the community, you’ve got to create good content, you’ve got to use hashtags.

And while all of the above is true, these things aren’t going to help you grow fast.

But here is what will:

Guest Posting and Shoutouts on Instagram

These practices work so well if you want to grow an account.

Guest posting is where you post your content on the feed of another Instagram creator. Basically, you push your content to someone else’s audience and you’re hoping for their followers to follow you.

Shoutouts is when a bigger account shares your work or advises their community to follow your account.

These practices may seem spammy at first.

You’ve probably been asked for shoutouts in the past. And I’m sure some VAs from the other side of the planet are constantly reaching out in your DMs asking for you to collaborate with their boss.

But there are ways to make these collaborations work, and I’m going to share them with you.

How to Make an Instagram Guest Post Work

The ideal account to host your guest post has more followers than you do. It has a following that’s in the same niche or a relatively close niche as yours.

This assumes that you already have your positioning figured out and that you can identify who can be interested in your content.

The key to make sure a guest post can work, is understanding the exchange in value:

  • As an expert, or service provider, you have something valuable to bring to an audience.
  • The host of your guest post has to put out content consistently to retain their audience.
  • You bring in new content that’s relevant to their audience, so they have nothing to do and their audience is retained, and you gain some extra exposure from the work you put in.

And this is why you don’t have to pay for guest posts: the hosts benefit from your fresh perspective, and they don’t have to spend hours on content research and content creation to publish a new post and keep their audience informed and entertained.

Once you’ve understood that it’s a win-win, you’re now ready to reach out and highlight how they can benefit from you posting on their page.

Putting a highlight on how valuable your perspective and knowledge is to their audience will be a big plus and it is usually what will make hosts accept your submission.

But don’t forget that it’s a numbers game. Not everyone will get back to you. Not everyone will understand what they can make out of a guest post.

So reach out to lots of potential hosts, multiply your chances of getting featured, and make sure you can get guest posts out on the regular!

How to Make Instagram Shoutouts Work

I’m sure someone already reached out to you for a “shoutout for shoutout” kind of deal.

Stay away from those, they don’t work.

Effective shoutouts are actually hard to land, and they require some time. But if done well, they can really initiate some good qualified traffic and some impressive follower growth.

So what’s the best way to do it?

Check out the profile that’s in a similar niche and answer their questions and their audience’s question with one of your posts.

It’s not rare that some creator will share some questions they have in their stories, or that they’ll address an issue that their audience is trying to fix. If you have post that can help them or that can complete the post of a creator, send it over and explain why your content can help their audience.

For example, if someone just made a post about how to advertise a retail business on Instagram, I can maybe send a post I made about how to advertise a restaurant on Instagram as it will share some advice and practices that will be relevant to retail businesses.

If it is relevant, the other account will share your post in their story and it can bring quite some impressive traffic.

Think Bigger

Get your content in front of large audiences. That’s the key to grow any sort of audience.

If you were trying to build a business years ago, you would have done everything to be featured in the best magazines, go on TV, talk on the radio.

Today is no different, you have to go where your audience is and get your content in front of them.

Simply being on Instagram isn’t enough. You need to put your content in front of audiences too.

Of course, engaging with others, hashtags etc. are important. But nothing will have as much momentum as borrowing someone’s audience.


Created by

Charles Tumiotto Jackson

Content Marketer, willing to put the “social” back in Social Media. Forget about “Hacks” and obscure secrets to grow on social media →







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