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A couple of weeks ago I burned the midnight oil to take part in a live webinar by Nathan Chan, founder of Foundr Magazine, hosted by Darren Rowse from ProBlogger (my blogging hero).




For any of you who haven’t heard of Foundr magazine, it is a digital mag which Nathan started in 2013 while working full time in another job. Since they started their Instagram account in November 2014 they have gone on to amass 676k Instagram followers.  They grew their email subscribers list from 3k to 30k in the first six months, then from then until now it has grown to 150k!   Foundr is already one of the top business related accounts on Instagram. They rank 7078th out of 400 million accounts on the platform (in 12-14 months).  Foundr focuses on business specifically entrepreneurship and business advice for start-ups.



O.k, so I am sure you are now convinced that Nathan knows his stuff.  The webinar focused on how to grow your Instagram and was the lead in to their IG Domination course (which is paid for and not cheap). However, there was lots to take away, so I thought I would share his tips for growth with you all.


Overview of Instagram


Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform with 400 million accounts that boast engagement of over 50 times more than Twitter or Facebook.  There is an Instagram goldrush happening at the moment.  For Foundr, Instagram is a huge driver of traffic and a massive source of lead generation/sales.



Top 5 Steps to IG Domination




Decide why you are on Instagram?  Then your account and feed should be tailored to this end goal.  Are you aiming to drive traffic to your sign up page for email subscribers, to a sales page of your blog? Or are you trying to build exposure and influence?  You need to focus on the why, so you can have clear steps to get there. Your bio should reflect your ‘why’.  Use bullet points in your bio and make it compelling.  If you are trying to build your email list on your blog, then your IG link on your profile should link to this page on your blog.




To be successful on IG you need to know your core target market.  Look at what other influencers in you niche are doing and what engagement they are getting, what works for them, what doesn’t?  People need to click on your account and instantly know what it is about.  So you need to have a consistent theme.




Commit to being consistent.  Consistency is everything.  You should be posting at least 1-2 times a day for the best growth.  Foundr post 4-10 times a day.  Nathan feels it is not spammy as it is a fast moving platform.  The more you post, the faster you will grow.  Post content that gives value.  Inspirational/motivational content works well.  Content which provides an emotional response is the best.  Aesthetics are also important, use nice graphics and if you are using a quote, brand it somewhere, so you might get follows if it is shared.




    • Utilise hashtags – post them in the comments and use the maximum 30.  Use hashtags to help you find other accounts to follow


    • Run competitions and giveaways. Those asking for a follow and tag two friends work well.


    • Network with influencers.  Make friends and find out how you can help others (serve first ask later).


    • Partnerships are key. Collaborate with others and each promote the other on their accounts.


    • Post viral type content.




Nathan believes Share For Share (S4S) is everything when growing your IG rapidly.  Foundr worked on getting as many accounts as possible to shout them out on their accounts.  Most of Instagram business is down via Kik (which is similar to WhatsApp).  If you want to give an account a shout out you would use their image and tag them in, posting a comment about them asking people to go and check them out/follow them. It is also possible to pay influencers for shoutouts.



S4s has been game changing for Foundr.  When you are looking for someone to potentially swap shoutouts with, look for someone with a similar number of followers, so it will be mutually beneficial.  When doing S4S, make sure the image you use for another brand matches your feed.





Track everything!  Use Iconosquare, which will give you great insights into your account and following.  Test all your shout outs paid or unpaid, make sure they work and have the desired effect on your growth.  Look at the average engagement of key influencers, what works for them?





Morris Motley book themselves out for months using their Instagram account, where they utilise influencers and have a clear aesthetic.




This skincare brand are killing it on Instagram with almost 700k followers.  They have very strong story telling and also run giveaways and competitions via IG.  They ask their customers to post pictures on themselves using the products with  #TheFrankEffect, which they then repost.  They have received 20 million pounds worth of sales directly from Instagram.




An example of a personal brand which has consistent theming and is reaping the growth rewards.  Behind the scenes pictures are important to build a personal brand.





    • Wordswag/Typorama – These are text apps that Foundr use.  Incidentally Foundr do all their IG uploads/graphics from an iPhone.



    • Phonto – Android app similar to the above apps.



    • Kik – messaging service for IG business development.



    • Canva – online graphics programme.



There you have it, Nathan’s top tips to rapidly grow your instagram account.  I hope you found it useful, if you have any comments or queries please do leave a comment and I will get back to you to try to help.

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