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  • Writer's pictureDanny 'Marina' Owston

How to grow your Instagram following from scratch. 98% of businesses are doing this wrong

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

What your about to read and watch isn’t a bunch of ‘How to gain 10k’ followers in a week BS, it’s some real practical advice about how to position your brand on Instagram, with 6 of our top tips to grow on the platform.

If you want to grow your Instagram following, carry on.

Grow Your Instagram Following

It’s no secret, IG is where it’s at…

And if your business is not popping on there, you are leaving a lot of branding on the table.

With over 1 billion active users every MONTH… if you get your Instagram marketing right, your audience will find you. So take the time to get to know how to storytell, how to provide value and more importantly, have a deep dive into what your audience WANTS to see, what works for thought leaders in your niche, what Instagram hashtag strategy they use and how your brand can better it.

Think less of how to grow your instagram following, and more of how to give something to your audience.

Take a few minutes to learn how to grow on the platform.

The right way.

Here’s the deal. There are no shortcuts with social media branding.

If you want a successful business, you have to put the work into your Instagram marketing strategy.

Here our CEO Dan and Creative director Lauren share some ways in which you can grow your market share, connect with your audience and provide value through your brand visual identity.

98% of businesses get this wrong in our experience.

Aimlessly selling to people who don’t care is not an Instagram marketing strategy. People try concern themselves with how to grow instagram followers over building real social media branding. Relationships matter, and when your audience feels like you are providing them with something… guess what?

They identify with your brand. Putting in the work leads to a real connection with you and your customers. Building your brand on social media means giving your audience what they want to see.

Let’s get into it.

1. Educate, entertain or provide value.

The sooner you work out which of these three things your brand needs to be doing and does best, the better. This is social media. Sales will only get you so far. All of the top brands in the world leverage educating their audience, entertaining or providing value with their Instagram marketing strategy. So ask yourself right now. Is the endless offers i am pushing cutting through? What are the click through rates? And how can i improve my content?

Instagram Marketing Strategy

A great place to start is to think less of yourself and more of the end user - your potential customer. What are YOU giving to them with your Instagram strategy? Why should they value your content over your rivals? What can you give to them? How can you estbalish yourself as an expert in your niche. Taking a look at your rivals is a great place to WORK OUR - everything you want to achieve has been done better by someone else - so study and learn how to craft better content.

But i don’t know how to build a brand on Instagram…

2 choices mate… Google it or hire someone who does

Take a look at the video when we speak about ‘how to lead generate for free’ in your local area (and beyond)

Building Your Brand On Social Media

2. Branding and storytelling

Defining how your team can communicate best is SO IMPORTANT to your business. Consumers are savvy to marketing which bombards us from every angle - so think about how you can get across your unique story to your audience in a way that’s going to interest them. Your brand is how people see you, so think about the quality of content you are putting out.

Building Your Brand On Social Media

Building Your Brand On Social Media

Take a look at your Instagram now and ask these questions.

Does this represent who we are as a brand and how we see our business? And what does my ideal customer WANT to see.

If not then it’s time to make some changes and level up that quality.

Social Media Branding

Less look at the flip side - a well established visual identity, strong social branding and a good ability to storytell means your audience will associate you with quality, they will align certain colours and branding with you and they will be MUCH more likely to buy from you.


3. Research.

This one goes without saying if you ever want to be taken seriously.

How To Grow Instagram Followers Organically

Take a look at the brands you want to be in the niches you are in. What are they posting?How are they engaging with their community? How many times are they posting? What are similar audiences to you responding to? What is the quality of your rivals like? What are the best Instagram hashtag strategy that i can use again? (we go deeper in the vid - local businesses you are going to want to put this into place)

Do this across your industry and think outside the box to learn from the best brands on social media in other niches…

Now compile a ‘greatest hits’ list of the things they do well and establish what your business needs to do to grow.

Then put together your Instagram content plan.

There is no shortcut to a real business that develops a large audience. It’s down to being really good, researching, caring about your audience and applying.

You get out of your business what you put into your Instagram content plan.

4. Interact and engage

How you treat your audience is gonna be reflected in how well your business does.

It’s that simple…

Moving forward brand is all we are going to be left with. Straight to consumer brands are literally exploding all over the world in every niche.

Social Media Branding Strategy

Because they provide more value, they care more and they solve pain points much better than the establishment.

How can i help you sir.


The #1 marketing strategy. You want to sell more? Care. you want a bigger audience? Care.

Even if you have got a popping business, it can do better on social media. DM your customers, check in on them, take an interest in what THEY are doing, for no other reason then you care.

We can all do better on IG.


As of writing this, Coca Cola last posted to their almost 3 million followers ONE MONTH AGO…

That’s amazing. They could literally hire someone to do it for FREE.

Think about how much better even they could be doing if they learned how to storytell better on a platform were MILLIONS of people are following them.

Makes you think really.

That’s why this is your time to shine on IG.

Instagram Content Plan

5. Batch create and plan ahead.

Instagram Content Plan

Otherwise something will come up. It always does.

Ever got up late? Slept in a field? Dog ate your phone?


That's where the best social media schedulers come in.

But if you had scheduled your content, at least that would be going out on time and your audience would be in for a treat.

Life happens, so planning ahead with a social calendar is a great idea as part of your branding strategy.

Here’s some great tools for content creation and apps to plan your instagram feed

  • Canva App/desktop - ideal for social media posts and Stories and for stock images. So get a free account and get creative. Canva is fantastic for helping you establish your visual identity. So think about using similar fonts and colours so that your audience can recognise your distinct tone of voice.

  • Inshot App - fantastic for editing both images and video and creating the best Instagram stories, using Inshot should be part of your social media posting schedule - available for both IOS and Android - so watch a few videos on it, because trust me, it’s well worth it.

  • Huji Cam - you’ve definitely seen this one on your timeline at some point - even if you didn’t know what it was called. Ideal for that 90s grunge aesthetic that looks great in the feed. Easy to use and adds beautiful light flares to replicate film cameras. Apps like Huji are a great way to build your brand identity design.

  • Planoly - one of the best social media schedulers on the market. You can see your feed before it goes live and schedule your upcoming posts. Planoly is the best of both worlds for social media scheduling apps


6. IG stories

This is the best part of Instagram to express your creativity and get right to the top of your timeline WITHOUT paying - imagine getting to the top of Google for free? Take advantage of Stories. Be creative and watch a tonne of market leaders who create the best Instagram stories. If you are clever with your Instagram story strategy, you will build real depth with your followers and have daily viewers for what you represent. You can also share posts to your stories to direct traffic towards your feed, use trending Instagram hashtags, develop stunning Instagram story templates and make animated Instagram stories. Wild. We love Stories.

There you go guys, that’s how you grow on Instagram. Real relationships, quality and quantity and most importantly, by showing that you care. This is what building your brand on social media means.

best social media schedulers

Take the time to get to know IG.

It might be the best decision your brand makes this year.

Let’s connect.

If you need any help, feel free to email me, tweet it or hit my DM

Let's connect >

Peace, Dan

x ❤️

Check out our NEW Amsterdam vlog 2019

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