Get your first 1,000 – and even up to 5,000 – followers as quickly as possible by applying 15 powerful Instagram growth methods to your account!
Works for any niche.
In the first part of this guide we’re going to set up & optimize your Instagram account so that the subsequent growth methods in the Action part will generate the best results possible.
To do the preparation I’ve prepared some tools for you that’ll help you out in this process.
These tools come in the form of a Google spreadsheet: Your very own Instagram Growth Sheet, which will do most of the “hard” work and heavy lifting in this preparation for you.
You can gain FREE access here (if you haven’t already):
Once you’ve gained access, you can easily make this sheet your own by going to File -> Make a Copy -> and give it any name you like, such as @your.account.handle Instagram Growth Sheet (1K+).
You now have full access to the Instagram Growth Sheet and are able to edit it for your use.
The Instagram Growth Sheet includes the following tabs:
‘dashboard’ - ‘growth tracking’ - ‘analysis’ - ‘niche research’ - ‘hashtags research’ - ‘data codes’.
Here’s a quick overview of the different tabs in the Instagram Growth Sheet and what they’ll be used for in the upcoming transformation of your account:
First, enter your Instagram account handle into this tab to truly make this sheet your own: Your transformation has now begun! The ‘dashboard’ tab provides you with an overview of your progress in completing the preparation part. Please note that throughout the entire Instagram Growth Sheet you are only to use the green fields to put in any data - the yellow fields are filled in automatically!
Here you’ll fill in your account data using the designated data code from the ‘data codes’ tab. The ‘growth tracking’ takes this data and does all required computations for you. Learn about your growth rate, engagement rate and more!
In the Bonus: Tracking Your Growth & Analyzing Your Performance you’ll learn more about this tool.
Your graphical representation of the ‘growth tracking’ tab! The ‘analysis’ tab lets you know at a glance how you’re performing.
Also see the Bonus later on.
This tab helps you to compile a list of relevant successful accounts in your niche, which you can use to draw inspiration from and implement the best elements of these successful accounts for your own account.
Use this tab to generate a list of 80+ niche-specific hashtags using the designated data code from the ‘data codes’ tab. From this list you construct your set of 30 hashtags, which will be ready to copy/paste into a .txt file so you can use it on your account.
Here you find codes that you can use in conjunction with your web browser to extract large amounts of data from Instagram hashtag and account webpages to accelerate your research and transformation.
(Unfortunately, full automations are against Instagram’s terms of service or you would have gotten even more powerful tools for use. However, you can purchase your personalized complete hashtag-list from me to skip the manual work and save time.)
Familiarize yourself a little with the different tabs of your Instagram Growth Sheet now, and then we’ll proceed.
In case you should opt to upgrade to the Instagram Growth Guide, which I highly recommend you do, you’re going to see a few of these Instagram Growth Sheet tabs again - along with lots of other useful Instagram tools, strategies and, of course, much more knowledge.
So here’s how we proceed:
We start your preparation by first of all getting your account stats - your number of followers, average amount of likes, engagement rate, and so on - so we have a snapshot of your account before it is transformed through the methods revealed in this guide.
We then continue by studying your niche on Instagram and seeing what has worked for others to implement a few of their good ideas for your own account.
Next, we optimize your profile & content using best practices to make your account more appealing to your potential followers.
Then we research niche-specific hashtags to strengthen the distribution of your newly created content and increase your reach.
And finally, we’ll prepare a few “Trojan comment-templates” that you’ll be able to use as part of your growth methods that involve leaving comments on other Instagram posts to get people to follow you.
Then let’s start!
(This will only work if you have at least one post on your account.)
Let’s create a quick little snapshot of your account using your Instagram Growth Sheet.
(These colored boxes are “action boxes”. They let you know when it’s time for action and perform one or several steps that lead to the transformation of your account.
Whenever you encounter these, take action before you move on with reading.)
Here’s your workflow to complete this task:
Copy the ‘Account Growth Data’ data code
Open up your Instagram Growth Sheet, go to the ‘data codes’ tab and copy the first data-code, entitled ‘Account Growth Data’.
Go to your Instagram profile page
Open up your Instagram profile page in a web browser (i.e. go to https://www.instagram.com/your.instagram.account/)
Open the Browser Developer Tools
On your profile page right click anywhere → ‘inspect’ to open up the Browser Developer Tools.
Paste the data code into the ‘Console’ tab
Go to the ‘Console’ tab within the Browser Developer Tools and paste the ‘Account Growth Data’ data code into the Console of the Browser Developer Tools.
Transfer the data to your Instagram Growth Sheet
Copy/paste the numbers that are generated as output into the first free ‘Date’ field in the ‘growth tracking’ tab of your Growth Sheet.
(When you go to paste the extracted data into your first free ‘Date’ field of the ‘growth tracking’ tab, do not double-click on that field or you will go too far into the field and the entire line of data will be pasted into that single field (or cell). Click only once on each field (or cell) to stay in top view and paste the extracted data into the sheet as desired. Furthermore, with some browsers it may be that you have to use a special paste command to not mess with the design of the sheet and avoid putting everything into a single field - namely: Right Click → Paste Special → Paste Values Only, or simply Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + v to keep the design of the sheet intact when copy/pasting.)
And that’s it!
If you’d like to learn more about using the Instagram Growth Sheet to accurately track your account growth & performance, check out the bonus section here:
The bonus also includes my personal growth data and compares it with the average account on Instagram, so you get a real feel for what’s possible with these methods.
Troubleshooting tips for any of the data code steps:
The recommended web browser for working through these steps is Google Chrome, as it works best in conjunction with Google Sheets (especially important, if you’re on mac).
If any of the designated data codes is not working, refresh the webpage. Use ‘Ctrl/Cmd’ + ‘F5’ (or ‘Ctrl/Cmd’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘R’) to get a clean refresh. Furthermore, always open new account and hashtag pages in new browser tabs (you can do that very easily from within the Instagram Growth Sheet using the account and hashtag links that are provided). Don’t use the same browser tab to go from one account or hashtag page to another, because when you do that, the browser doesn’t update internal data storage (despite showing new pages), which can cause the data code to not work or even show you wrong data. Also you may have to temporarily disable your browser extensions.
If it still doesn’t work, try updating or switching your web browser (to Chrome), and finally, search the Facebook group for a solution to your problem (it’s probably already been answered) and only as a last resort make a post in the group to ask for help. Thanks!
Purchase the Instagram Growth Guide (which includes the IG² Inner Circle Facebook Group) for more direct help and email support!
To be able to receive help with problems you experience, please follow these guidelines for asking for help in the Facebook group:
Include your Instagram account handle
Detail exactly what you’ve done and whether you’ve followed the steps
Provide links to or screenshots of the specific posts you’re referring to, if applicable
Provide screenshots of your post impressions from your post insights, if applicable
At any rate, make sure you’ve actually read through the guide and followed it before asking for help! Most of all questions are answered within the guide and everything should work, if executed properly.
Now let’s take a closer look at your niche.
A niche on Instagram is defined by certain hashtags that you can use to tag your posts, such as #fashion, #meditation, #entrepreneurlifestyle or #photography.
These are all different niches, and it’s very important to know and define what your niche is, so you’re able to speak to someone instead of speaking to no one.
To find out what your niche is simply consider the following:
Who do you serve with your content?
& How do you serve them?
Serving people can mean many things, by the way:
Entertainment, education, inspiration, motivation, talking about an interest or hobby of theirs, providing a solution, etc..
Here’s my recommendation:
Make your niche about the thing you’re most passionate about.
If you have A and B that you could pick as your niche, simply choose the one that you’re most passionate about - period!
Figuring out what your niche is before you try to grow on Instagram is very important.
If you don’t have a niche you won’t have success on Instagram, because having a niche is about having a message (or a solution) that resonates with a certain group of people.
If there’s nothing that people can “get” from you - no value (and keep in mind, even entertainment is value for people) - they’re not going to follow you.
It’s as simple as that.
So be clear on what your niche is.
Clarify your vision of who it is that you serve. Who is your content for?
For instance, in my own personal case my niche with @complete.self.knowledge is helping people to realize higher states of consciousness.
That’s how I serve people.
So relevant, niche-specific hashtags for me would be #consciousness, #meditation, #spirituality, #enlightenment, #spiritualawakening, etc.
When picking a niche, it’s realy key not to try to serve too many people at once.
Serving too many people is like serving no one - and if you don’t serve anyone, who’s going to follow you?
Exactly, no one.
To concretize the choice of your niche, go ahead and research 5 - 10 niche-specific hashtags for your account and put them into the ‘hashtags research’ tab of your Instagram Growth Sheet.
Simply use the search function on Instagram for this.
The Related Hashtags might give you a few suggestions as well.
Once you’ve done that, let’s continue with the important Niche Research.
Now that you know what your niche is, we’re going to take a look at how your niche takes form on Instagram, so you can get a better understanding of what your profile or content could and to some extent even should look like.
Niche Research is easily one of the most important steps of growing your Instagram account.
So DON’T miss out on this chapter!
(It won’t take you very long anyway.)
Niche Research tells you exactly what has worked for other people in your niche (with potentially very similar accounts and audiences), and so you’re able to get a lot of insight out of this process - allowing you to avoid many fundamental mistakes.
The easiest way of starting your Niche Research is to simply look up the primary hashtag for your niche - which in most cases is simply #niche.
I’ll use my passion for Meditation & Spirituality as an example throughout this guide, so in my case I’m looking up the #meditation hashtag right now:
As you can see, on the #meditation hashtag page (and for every other hashtag, too) there are a number of Top posts that are featured for this hashtag.
These posts serve as a good entry point for finding successful accounts that…
are in your niche,
already perform well (preferably 10K+ followers),
and resonate with you based on the content they post.
You’ll use these successful accounts as a guideline for improving your own Instagram account.
To complete the Niche Research, here are three quick steps I want you to do right now:
Follow the successful accounts
(This step is also part of the Profile Optimization, which we’ll start here and get to in more detail later.)
Use the Top posts in your primary #niche hashtag to look for accounts that are in your niche, have at least 10K followers, and resonate with you based on the content they post.
Once you’ve found the first successful account, you can use the dropdown menu to easily find more:
Follow at least 50 to 100 of these accounts in your niche (you may even go up to a few hundred, but don’t do more than about 100 at once - we’ll discuss action limits later).
If you stumble upon accounts in this process that really resonate with you, go ahead and write them into the ‘niche research’ tab of your Instagram Growth Sheet.
Make sure you find at least 3 such highly resonating accounts!
Utilize the same workflow as in Getting Your Account Stats - just for different account pages this time around.
You’re going to want to use these accounts as sources for inspiration throughout your entire Instagram growth journey, and we’re also going to utilize these accounts in the next step:
Bookmark the Best Performing Posts on the most resonating accounts
Looking at the successful account pages that really resonate with you (best done on desktop, because it’s faster), you’ll notice that some of their posts perform way above the average of all their other posts.
We call these Best Performing Posts, or BPPs.
Bookmark these BPPs to build your “war-chest” of content in your niche that is proven to work based on these posts’ exceptional results.
Bookmark the ones, where you can imagine posting something similar, and also the ones that really stick out to you in terms of style or which may have surprised you.
You can use these posts later to model your own content after them to help you achieve better rates of success.
Take note of the Worst Performing Posts on these accounts
You’re not going to bookmark these, because we don’t need them for content, but it’s a good idea to also pay attention to the Worst Performings Posts, or WPPs, on these accounts.
WPPs are posts that perform way below the average post on that account.
We’ll use WPPs later on for finding “loyal fans” in your niche - the hardcore audience that engages even with content that isn’t very great.
BPP & WPP is always relative to the average post on that account, because the “value judgement” depends on their overall engagement.
For instance, if an account has 3K likes on average, then I’d consider any post with 5K or 6K+ likes a BPP, and any post below 1.5K or 1K likes a WPP.
This concludes our Niche Research!
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Let’s talk about Profile Optimization now.
The important reason for optimizing your Instagram profile is:
Social Following doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
Think of your account as a magnet for attracting certain types of people (your “target audience”):
Having a profile that is fully optimized makes it more appealing to your target audience.
Not only that, but by using these best practices I’m about to share with you, your account is going to be well-liked by the Instagram algorithm, which means it will be shown to people more often.
A huge plus!
By the way, once we get to the Profile Content chapter, you’ll have the option to purchase our premium Instagram Content Board, which helps you to take your branding & profile design to the next level as well as create a powerful content strategy that enables you to get the maximum amount of followers, while spending the minimum amount of time creating your content.
It comes at an amazing bargain - but, of course, the content of the free guide is totally sufficient to get you to 1K+ followers ASAP.
This is just for those who wish to grow even faster and achieve better results!
So let’s see how you can do this!
Most people aren’t aware:
You can use SEO methods on Instagram to rank higher and get more profile visits.
“SEO” stands for search engine optimization.
It’s the practice of using specific keywords to rank higher in search queries.
These specific keywords are words or phrases associated with and used by your niche.
As a demonstration, check out this search query for meditation - where the following account ranks #1 (in browser incognito mode):
That means this account is definitely getting some passive traction from meditation queries on Instagram.
You can see how excessively the owner of this account has made use of the keyword.
That’s for the incognito search.
If I use a “non-incognito, but also not following me” Instagram account (an account that has had only very minor engagement with my account, @complete.self.knowledge, such as seeing a post or my profile even once) and search for meditation, my account @complete.self.knowlege ranks #1 in both ‘Top’ and ‘Accounts’ for this “non-incognito” account, which has had only minor engagement with me.
This means even if you don’t get to be #1 for virtually everyone who is looking up your keywords, you can still get the people back to your page that have had even very little engagement with you - perhaps saw only 1 of your posts (without even liking), or visited your profile page once.
Seems pretty helpful, doesn’t it?
Instagram SEO also affects which accounts appear in the account suggestions dropdown menu, when looking for other accounts in your niche:
Imagine other people see your account in these suggestions for various other profiles within your niche - that’s powerful!
So how do you achieve these effects?
Virtually all of your account SEO happens directly on your profile!
Here are the different areas on your profile with which you can do SEO:
Your Instagram account handle
Make your @account handle speak to your niche.
Using your personal or business name is fine, too!
Your Instagram name
A powerful place for SEO and should contain more info on what you’re about.
Use niche-specific keywords!
This is your place to stand out from the crowd and let everyone know what they can expect from following you.
Use fitting emojis to break up the text and give everything a nice look. Formatting is key!
By the way, hashtags in bio don’t serve a purpose beyond the looks of the blue color it gives you.
Make your bio keyword heavy and don’t be afraid to polarize!
It’s better to polarize and say something memorable than to try to please everyone and say nothing at all!
Your website link
Up to you what goes here.
If you have a business, put a link to your business website in there.
You can use bit.ly to customize your links, shorten them, and add even more keywords, if necessary!
And a little less known SEO factor - the hashtags & people YOU follow
This is the reason I had you follow successful accounts within your niche:
It lets the Instagram algorithm know what you’re about and what niche you belong to, which helps it to suggest you to people more accurately.
Follow at least 10 - 30 hashtags from your niche, and follow up to a few hundred accounts from your niche!
(Don’t go into the thousands, or it’ll look like you’re using bots, which is a turn-off for people. I’ll talk more about following limits per day once we get to the Action part).
Make sure you optimize your account according to the list above!
Putting niche-specific keywords into all of these areas will help to shape your account and give Instagram hints & clues as to what you’re all about.
This makes it easier for the algorithm to suggest you to people who are interested in what you have to offer!
And don’t forget to write your profile & bio in a way that makes sense to your audience!
It’s about them, not you.
A point that is often overlooked.
“Which keywords should I use?”
Look to the accounts you’ve researched in the Niche Research for inspiration.
The hashtags you’ve researched will also give you some ideas.
Next, let’s talk about the posts that are on your Instagram profile.
For the upcoming growth methods to be most effective, it’s essential that you have at least 9 posts on your profile, so it doesn’t look vacant!
Furthermore, you also want to be posting content that is appealing to your audience.
Luckily, you already know exactly what that content ought to look like, since you’ve got the Best Performing Posts from all your favorite accounts right in your bookmarks.
You have two main options at your disposal now to get out solid content:
Model your content after these BPPs
Repost their BPPs and tag the owners on these posts
You may even do a combination of the two!
Just so that we’re roughly on the same page, let’s study some examples of what good, virally potent content looks like, and distill some key features & elements together:
Virally-potent content elements:
Combining image or video with text
Clear & aesthetic shots
Out of the ordinary & unexpected content
Collages (left vs right)
People or personal
Polarizing or controversial content (but not negative)
This should give a few ideas as to what you can do on your account!
Go ahead and make sure you have at least 9 posts on your profile, and shape up the design and viral potency of your content.
Creating good content is the #1 pain in the butt for most people looking to grow on Instagram.
But this need not be so!
To help you easily create content that’s not just beautiful, but also respects those important viral-potency principles, resonates with your niche and converts the maximum number of people into engaged followers, I’ve created a plug-n-play Instagram Content Board that comes with all the content creation support you could possibly need:
The Instagram Content Board is a professional profile optimization & content creation environment with 30+ professionally designed & 100% customizable Instagram content templates that allow you to create content that attracts more followers than ever before with ease.
This amazing addition comes embedded in the free & easy-to-use designed software named “Figma”, which is well-utilized by some of the most successful content creators on Instagram.
If you’re new to Figma, worry not: The Instagram Content Board comes with a quick-start guide for Figma, so you can learn all the functions you’ll ever need in a matter of minutes!
You can get the Instagram Content Board here (highly recommended to really maximize your results and take your growth to the next level):
The Instagram Content Board is part of the Instagram Growth Guide. As a benefit you get its full price deducted, when you upgrade to the Instagram Growth Guide.
Let’s discuss the last component of your Instagram profile now. Your…
Nowadays it’s pretty much standard to have an extensive Instagram Story Highlight Reel.
I strongly recommend you create one - even if it can’t be done overnight.
A full highlight reel of 3, 4, 5 or even more Story highlights is going to make your account look really active & valuable, and give people the impression that you really have something to say & offer.
With an extensive Instagram highlight reel it looks like something is happening on your account, which gives people the impression there’s a real purpose to following you.
However, the highlight reel needs to be well done in order to achieve this effect, of course!
It pays to plan out your highlight reel in advance - so think about what you want it to look like and also what kind of content you want to put up.
Again, the successful accounts in your niche will give you some good ideas as to what’s possible!
At any rate, your Instagram Highlight Reel is the place where you can showcase:
What your account is all about - the bigger view
What you have to offer and what the process with you looks like
Your various perspectives and experiences - getting personal
Testimonials or Reviews
More in-depth education, information or entertainment relevant to your niche
Whatever else you think will help communicate your brand more clearly
Once you’ve figured out what it is that you want to put into your Instagram highlights, it’s time to design the highlight thumbnails.
It’s generally a good idea to give your thumbnails a professional, cohesive and unique design - and also to make them draw attention & spark interest.
Here are two valid examples for different approaches to the Instagram Highlight Reel:
A good highlight reel increases the amount of people who follow your account after discovering it!
Plan out the first three components of your Instagram Story Highlight Reel and create a schedule to get it up & running ASAP.
Once you’ve done all that…
Improved your profile with Instagram SEO
Added at least 9 posts that are (like) BPPs to your niche
Added an extensive Instagram highlight reel…
… you’ve officially From 0 To 1K+ Followers ASAP-optimized all aspects of your profile!
(I realize that especially the last two points about getting 9 posts up and creating the Highlight Reel might take a few days before you can really get them done, but at least plan & prepare it all now!)
Let’s come to another very important part of your preparation now to increase your reach & growth: Hashtags Research.
Hashtags are one of the most underrated factors in Instagram growth.
The fact is:
Hashtags are key for maximizing your growth potential and they can drastically increase the amount of people you’re able to reach… with every single post you make!
In this guide, I’m going to give you only the light version of hashtag research & hashtag strategy, which will be enough to get you to 1K+ followers.
If you REALLY want to go deeper into hashtags and get the absolute most out of them to the point where you’re able to 10x your reach for potential new followers, I’ve created a comprehensive guide teaching you exactly how to set up the best hashtag strategy possible for YOUR account.
It’s called the Scientific Hashtag Strategy™ and it utilizes your unique engagement & hashtags data as well as scientific, statistical models to predict which sets of 30 hashtags will bring the best results for YOUR Instagram account.
The Scientific Hashtag Strategy™ guide supplies you with all the tools and step-by-step guidance you need to quickly & easily implement this powerful hashtag strategy for your account.
Even though it’s somewhat of an intermediate strategy, the Scientific Hashtag Strategy™ has helped people with as little as only a few hundred followers to more than 5x their post impressions… as early as with their very next post!
With scientifically optimized hashtags you effectively accelerate your account growth allowing you to earn many thousands of dollars more with your additional followers in the span of a year as every follower adds on average $2 to your pocket, when you monetize your account.
You can get the Scientific Hashtag Strategy™ here (in which case you can skip the Hashtags Research chapter of this guide):
The Scientific Hashtag Strategy™ is part of the Instagram Growth Guide and you will get its price deducted, when you upgrade to the Instagram Growth Guide.
Back to the 1K+ guide!
For the Hashtags Research in this preparation you’re going to research 80 niche-specific hashtags for your account.
The Instagram Growth Sheet will enable you to do this very quickly and easily.
I’ll show you how to use these 80 hashtags later on in the Action part.
Here’s a workflow to quickly compile your list of 80 niche-specific hashtags:
Copy the ‘Extract Hashtags’ data code
Open up your Instagram Growth Sheet, go to the ‘data codes’ tab and copy the second data-code, entitled ‘Extract Hashtags’.
Go to any hashtag page
In your web browser open up a hashtag page that most represents the niche that you’re in (i.e. for meditation go to https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/meditation/).
Start with your primary niche hashtag, aka #niche.
Open the Browser Developer Tools
On the hashtag page right click anywhere → ‘Inspect’ to open up the Browser Developer Tools.
Paste the data code into the ‘Console’ tab
Go to the ‘Console’ tab within the Browser Developer Tools and paste the ‘Extract Hashtags’ data code into the Console of the Browser Developer Tools.
Transfer the generated list to your Instagram Growth Sheet
Copy/paste the hashtag-list that is generated as output into the first free ‘Hashtag (without #)’ field in the ‘hashtags research’ tab of your Instagram Growth Sheet.
(When you go to paste the hashtag-list into the list first free ‘Hashtag (without #)’ field of the ‘hashtags research’ tab, do not double-click on that field or you will go too far into the field and the entire list will be pasted into that single field (or cell). Click only once on each field (or cell) to stay in top view and paste the extracted data into the sheet as desired. Furthermore, with some browsers it may be that you have to use a special paste command to not mess with the design of the sheet and avoid putting everything into a single field - namely: Right Click → Paste Special → Paste Values Only, or simply Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + v to keep the design of the sheet intact when copy/pasting.)
Mark all irrelevant hashtags
Mark as ‘Irrelevant’ any hashtags that are not relevant for your content by using the drop-down menu and selecting ‘Yes’.
Repeat until you have 80 hashtags
Repeat this process for the next most relevant hashtag to generate another such list, until the ‘Number of unique hashtags’ is 80 or more.
Clean up your hashtags
In the Menu bar at the top (right underneath ‘Instagram Growth Sheet’) go to ‘IG²’ (next to ‘Help’) and click ‘Clean Up Hashtags’ to automatically remove all duplicate entries (and keep only the newest ones). Do this before you move on to the next step to make filling in the hashtags data easier!
In case you’re running the script for the first time, you need to authorize it first.
You can find all the necessary steps in this Blog Post:
How to authorize scripts in your Instagram Growth Sheet to drastically increase its utility
Fill in the hashtag sizes
Once you’ve extracted at least 80 hashtags in this way, go ahead and (manually) fill in all the hashtag sizes (number of posts tagged) for the hashtags.
You can do this by using the links to the hashtags pages that are provided in the ‘hashtags research’ tab and copy/pasting the exact numbers into your Instagram Growth Sheet.
If you copy/paste the numbers from the hashtag pages, use Right Click → Paste Special → Paste Values Only, or simply Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + v to keep the design of the sheet intact when copy/pasting.
If you type in the numbers manually, don’t separate them by dots as the sheet uses American notation. (Use commas to separate thousands (example: 1,200), or better yet, don’t use any separators at all! (example:1200))
Make sure a good chunk of your niche-specific hashtags have sizes below 1M - we’re going to divide these into 15 - 100k, 100k - 250k and 250k+ hashtag sizes later on for your hashtag strategy!
Sort your hashtags according to size
For easier selections you can sort your hashtags by size using the A → Z or Z → A sorting functions of the ‘Size’ field. (See image.)
In a few of the growth methods that you’re going to use to get your account up to 1K+ followers, you will be leaving comments on posts of other people in your niche to attract attention to your account.
If done properly, this works really well.
It all comes down to what you say in the comments and how you say it.
Fortunately, you can design & engineer these comments beforehand.
You probably know this scenario:
You’re watching a YouTube video and you decide to read the comments. Among them you often find one or even a few comments that really stick out from the rest in terms of engagement.
These comments tend to have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of likes. Often they’re clever and point something out in the video that wasn’t seen before, voice a popular opinion or add something else to the discussion.
But also some of these comments are purely self-promotional - telling the story of the writer’s struggle or journey, which usually gets many people to relate and incite a lot of empathy and even trust for the author simply by sharing a part of their personal life.
Once people relate to you and even trust you, they’ll check out your profile and are likely to follow, because they already have their guards down - they feel they know you from this one comment alone.
These are what I call Trojan Horse comments.
Trojan Horse comments are comments that tell your story and low-key introduce yourself to the reader without being too pushy or salesy about it.
The beauty about these comments is that you can actually prepare them.
There’s no need to look for the rare opportunity to make a witty comment.
You can be the creator of your own opportunity and simply prepare something that is relatable & relevant to your niche and you’ll crush it in the comments.
As the final step in your preparation write out 5 Trojan Horse comments.
Here’s an example:
“I relate to your post. I suffered a lot growing up and even into my adolescence as a result of my own thought patterns, which practically forced me into meditation. With diligent practice and daily presence I not only understood the cause of my suffering, but I also got rid of it and even gained incredible perceptions into the reality of living and life - the change is truly remarkable. I didn’t even know at first what meditation would bring me exactly, but it felt pleasant enough and now - not that long after - it completely turned my life around in a truly beautiful manner. I can only say that meditation is THE most important “skill” I ever learned. Funnily enough, I now help other people get into meditation quickly so they can realize higher states of consciousness in themselves and find the clarity to solve the problems in their lives. Thank you very much for your post - I appreciated it.”
The shorter, the better - so if you can write a shorter one, feel free to do so.
The most important aspect of the comment is that it’s intriguing and causes the reader to want more - so much in fact that they would even follow you.
Let’s break this comment down a little and discover the psychology behind it.
I’ll proceed through various noteworthy statements step-by-step and discuss their meaning:
“I relate to your post… - This is just some nice etiquette to get your salesy comment started. You might even leave that out and get straight to the point.
… I suffered a lot growing up and even well into my adolescence as a result of my own thought patterns… - You want to say something here in which the reader can find themselves: something that hits home or sparks interest within your target audience.
… which practically forced me into meditation… - my “origin story” leading right into the solution of the problem.
… With diligent practice and daily presence… - communicating that it takes commitment and possibly requires knowledge that the reader does not have, but that I have now (= value).
… I not only understood the cause of my suffering, but I also got rid of it and even gained incredible perceptions into the reality of living and life - the change is truly remarkable… - I’m telling the reader that I clearly have not only the solution to his problem, but can help him beyond his wildest dreams.
… I didn’t even know at first what meditation would bring me exactly, but it felt pleasant enough… - This is for purposes of relatability, because if the reader is on the fence and has not tried meditation yet, he/she is likely to feel that way. That meditation is pleasant is something that can easily be verified by everyone themselves, adding to my credibility.
… and now - not that long after - it completely turned my life around in a truly beautiful manner… - a desirable outcome.
… I can only say that meditation is THE most important “skill” I ever learned… - Not only is this true, but it also generates the fear of missing out in the reader.
… Funnily enough… - Selling on the low-key: “Oh, by the way… “
… I now help other people get into meditation quickly… - “I help ____ to _____ by _____” is a basic scheme. The benefit is that I can do it for them quickly, let’s say.
… so they can realize higher states of consciousness in themselves and find the clarity to solve the problems in their lives… - The ultimate benefit of what you can get from me. It related very much to what has been said in the comment so far and deals with what I perceive to be the “problem” of my reader that would motivate him/her to be interested in what I have to offer.
… Thank you very much for your post - I appreciated it.” - A nice etiquette to make this comment seem less about me or my services. If you can manage it, you might even want to sneak a call to action in there at the end: “Oh, and by the way, you can see more of my work on my profile.”
I’m not saying this is the best or ultimate way of writing a Trojan Horse Comment - this example and break-down are meant to inspire you and show you the possibilities as well as the goings-on behind what you say.
To communicate clearly and sell your idea (getting someone to follow you is a form of selling), you have to understand how your counterpart thinks and feels.
It’s basically empathy with a bit of writing practice.
Here are a few possible angles for your Trojan Horse Comments:
Tell your story, or your business’ story
Share some intriguing insider information about you or your business that makes people feel they know you
Share a discovery you’ve made
Share some expertise regarding your niche
Talk about a struggle you’ve overcome
One thing we’re all captivated by and can remember very easily are stories.
You might find the following Wikipedia page helpful for telling your story:
The main point of these Trojan Horse comments is to get people in your niche to relate to you, so that your comments get likes and more people see them.
Comments with the most amount of likes are usually at the top of the comment section.
One good comment can cause a lot of people to check out your Instagram profile and follow you.
And since you can leave multiple comments per day, this can add up quite a bit.
We’ll discuss limits for making comments and where it’s best to post them soon.
Create 5 - 10 Trojan Horse comments-templates now before moving on to the next part.
Once you have them, get some feedback by posting a few of your Trojan Horse comments in the IG² Community Facebook Group.
On the same note - also provide feedback for someone else’s Trojan Horse comments in the group.
You’ve got at least 5 Trojan Horse comments plus feedback?
Now it’s time to put the preparation into action!