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Instagram Marketing 2021: Hashtags, Live, Stories, Ads &more

Watch me take an account from an idea to 40k followers in 4 months. 14 hours instruction, 8 hours of BTS videos
Evan Kimbrell
80,857 students enrolled
English [Auto] More
Learn how to create a successful themed, business, or personal account on Instagram
Be able to pick an effective name for their account
Understand the platform specific and growth marketing jargon associated with Instagram
Create an attractive logo and further optimize their profile bio, name, & call to actions.
Use and operate analytics tools like Iconosquare & HypeAuditor
Analyze and understand why content on other accounts work
Design a cost & time effective content strategy that works for long term growth
Research and network with other competitor accounts in their space
Create their own first batch of high quality content optimized for attention on Instagram
Find the best images for use on Instagram and prevent copyright complications
Use scheduling tools like Buffer & Later to better control & manage their future posts
Use Photoshop to create custom images
Use Pablo to rapidly create quote & motivational images
Use Final Cut Pro and adobe Premiere to successfully put together and export Instagram videos
Shoot their own personal video for Instagram
Identify strong performing posts that complement their content strategy and re-gram them
Identify, research, and pick the best hashtags for each of their posts
Increase engagement in their posts with effective caption and CTA strategies
Create and deploy an effective "dummy account strategy"
Create a high performing and low effort habit schedule for growing their account
Find and select the best opportunities for growing their accounts through shoutouts
Setup and monitor follow, like, & comment bots in a tasteful way that brings attention to their account
Create a workflow and design a system for their content production
Post an effective job ad online to find help in scaling their content production
Trial and decide which freelancers are right for their account and their content strategy
Make money through their account in 4 different ways
Use mobile optimized tools like Linktree for lead generation
Design and execute an effective Instagram Story strategy
Design and monitor Instagram ads designed to accelerate their account growth
Navigate the Facebook advertising platform and use it effectively for Instagram
Design and run effective Instagram Live sessions that result in account growth & engagement
Use advanced tools like Jarvee for coordinating multiple accounts and automating content
Use advanced tools to automate outreach for promotional strategies, like shoutouts
Design and run successful competitions that are legal and cost effective

***Join the over 8,900 students that have joined this course in the first 4 days of being live!***

** This course was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine**

This is the most comprehensive course on Instagram Marketing anywhere

With over 23 hours of video and 165+ custom resources & guides, you won’t find a more thorough and up to date course out there. 

We cover everything you need to know to start from scratch and grow an account to 20k, 40k, even 100k followers.

This course is for both beginners to Instagram and more advanced students that have some experience with the platform.

We’ll first start by teaching the basics of:

• Setting up and optimizing an account

• Developing a content strategy

• Creating your first batch of content

• Learning how to post & how to optimize hashtags

After that, we’ll start exploring intermediate growth strategies like:

• Shoutouts

• Bots & automated systems

• Top post targeted hashtags

After we establish a consistent system for growing our audience we’ll start diving into advanced concepts:

• Hiring low-cost content producers and designing a production system

• Introducing automation into content production, posting, and even outreach

• Using stories to increase engagement through your feed and expand your reach

• Designing an Instagram Live strategy to consistently create spikes in follows

• Creating zombie accounts that help drive traffic to your main account

• Design effective Instagram ads and how to incorporate them into your overall growth strategy

• How to run competitions to grow engagement and follows.

And much much more!

This course is designed to apply to both individuals that want to grow a following for themselves, but also businesses that want to start a presence on the platform and use it to grow their brand.


Are you tired of courses that just repeat information you could have found on a blog or YouTube? Or maybe you’ve been stuck with instructors that TELL you what to do but have no idea what it takes to really accomplish what they’re teaching?

In this course, we don’t just TALK the TALK. We will actually DO what we are teaching.

Follow along as we take an account from complete scratch to 47,000 followers.

UPDATE: The account currently has 141,000 followers!

We start from the absolute beginning with conceptualizing the account, and we end with a well-defined content strategy, over 700 posts, and have even started to generate revenue with our account.

@innovationstation <

No fake followers, no boosted posts, & no cheating. 47,000 REAL followers with an average engagement rate over 7%. Our account is growing by over 300+ followers a day, using the strategies taught in this course.


Beware other Instagram courses are outdated, shallow, and taught by instructors who have never grown an account themselves

Outdated: Instagram changes its system, its features, and its algorithm at least 3 times a year. That means if your instructor filmed their course in 2015, they’ve missed at least 9 different cycles! Their advice is not only out-dated, but it’s also worthless.

Shallow: Instagram is a huge opportunity and a very complicated product. Anyone who tells you that you can “master Instagram” in 4 hours simply is not telling the truth. It’s not enough to just SHOW you how to add a hashtag. You have to understand how they work, how to track them, and how you can apply a comprehensive strategy to your posts to stay ahead of the game.

Your Instructor:

Evan Kimbrell is in the top 1% of Udemy instructors with over 30 courses on Entrepreneurship & Marketing. His courses have over 456,000 students, 35,000+ 5 star reviews, and have been covered in publications such as TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Buzzfeed.


Course overview

This course goes above and beyond the basics to give you all the knowledge you'll need to create a successful Instagram account. By the end, you'll know how to monetize your account, how to automate your processes and a lot lot more.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What this course is all about.

  • What you'll be taught.

  • What you'll be able to do at the end.

Join our community on Slack!
Review sheets, resources, activities - all in one PDF

Setting up your account

Intro to section 1

Most of you probably already have an Instagram account. You may understand the importance of your bio, the significance of your account name and, yes, why your photo needs to be more than just a bland bit of text if you're hoping to make some real money.

The first section of this course will detail everything you need to know about your Instagram profile (including how to write a truly banging bio and what elements really aren't worth your time). After all, this really is the essence of the platform.

Obviously, if you're already au fait with the gram, feel free to skip some of the explainer parts of the following lectures. But if you've been living under a rock for the past few years, it's probably a good idea to listen up.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why your Instagram profile is so important.

  • A brief overview of which parts of your profile you need to worry about.

  • What to skip if you're a seasoned Instagram user.

The 3 types of accounts

Despite what some people may say, there are three types of Instagram accounts. And yes, that number does include the ones full of adorable cat photos.

The type you choose depends on what you're trying to promote. Is it yourself, a business or a theme (that will later help to promote your company)?

Before embarking on this weird and wonderful Instagram journey with me, take some time to decide which route you're going to go down. Whatever you do, don't panic because you can change your mind again later.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The three types of Instagram accounts out there.

  • Real-life examples of each.

  • How each type can impact your personal or business profile.

What goes into a great account + jargon

Treat your Instagram profile page like a dating app. The more attractive you and your business look, the more success you'll have.

Setting up an effective profile really isn't that difficult which is why some of you may have decided to skip this lecture entirely. Don't worry, I'm really not offended. Really.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why your profile matters.

  • The five profile factors you should care about.

UI walkthrough - Creating a dummy account

Most of you probably already know how to set up an Instagram account. A select few won't. If you're of the latter group, stick around for an easy breezy walkthrough.

The second half is all about dummy accounts i.e. the ideal way to screw everything up without worrying about ruining your company's reputation.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to sign up to Instagram on iOS and Android.

  • Why a dummy account is so important.

  • How to make said dummy account.

Picking a name

Ah, the username. The life force of any Instagram account. Picking one is relatively simple — as long as it's available. If it's not, don't panic. Yes, it's terribly annoying but there are easy ways to get around it.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What an Instagram username is.

  • How to pick a good one depending on the type of account.

  • How to check your username is available.

  • What to do if someone has stolen your dream username.

Naming pro-tips

Still stuck on your username? Here's a few extra tips and tricks to play around with. 80% of businesses have an Instagram account so taking inspiration from your competitors may serve you well. Just don't slip into something too familiar.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to pick the perfect username for your business.

  • How a good username can boost visibility.

  • How to avoid legal issues in the future.

Follow Along - What to do when a name is taken

Unfortunately, getting the ideal username can be difficult simply because there are a billion Instagram accounts. Literally. However, there's no such thing as being too late to the game.

If you're a personable individual or someone who has a viable business that can be trademarked, that dream username may just end up in your hands.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The easy steps to take if the username you want is unavailable.

  • The legal steps to take if the username you want is unavailable.

Follow Along - How I got my name

For those who still can't get the grasp of securing their dream username, this is the lecture to watch. I will run through everything I explained in the previous lecture and show you exactly how I got the username for my own Instagram account. And yes, it involves bartering with a Danish teenager.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I secured the username I wanted.

  • The tools I used to help my search.

  • My strategy for checking active accounts and communicating with account owners.

Name vs username

Believe it or not, there is a big difference between your username and account name. Since you've already decided the former, it's onto the latter. Pick something good because it really does matter.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The difference between your username and account name.

  • Why both of them matter.

  • How to use keywords to choose a successful name.

What goes into a good logo

Your profile photo is yet another way that represents you or your business. If it's a personal account you're going for, you could go down the influencer selfie route. But a professional headshot is probably going to serve you better in the future.

Corporate profiles, on the other hand, are going to require some kind of a logo. Here's a few words of wisdom.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Where your profile photo appears on Instagram.

  • The different options you can choose.

  • Tips to make it stand out.

Getting design done for your profile picture

By now, you should have decided what your profile photo is going to be. Are you going for a photo of yourself or a graphic of your company's logo?

If you already have either of these, great. If not, here's a few quick ways to get one.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What makes a professional profile photo.

  • How to get the perfect headshot.

  • How to design a company logo.

  • Free, affordable and more expensive options for each.

Follow Along - How I got my logo

Here's another one of those follow along lectures which means you can sit back and relax as you watch me go through the process of picking my Instagram logo.

I had a rough idea of what I wanted so decided to hold a logo contest. (If you have no idea what that is, watch the video.) The results were rather a mixed bag...

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I got the logo for my Instagram account.

  • How a logo contest works.

  • What Instagram users generally look for in a logo.

  • How to give constructive criticism to get the design you want.

What goes into a good bio

So you've finally made it to the last part of your Instagram profile: the bio. It's easy to think that this isn't important but don't be tempted to leave it blank. After all, it's a quick and easy way to get your message across.

Instagram does limit you in two ways. You only get 150 characters and users get bored quickly. Take that into account and your bio will be a breeze.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a bio is.

  • The two styles of bio that I recommend.

  • How to use emojis effectively in your bio.

What you should say in your bio

People tend to get stuck when it comes to the actual content of their Instagram bio. But it's really not that hard. You only get two to three sentences to sell your account to potential followers. Remember it's your account that you're selling, not your company or product, and the rest will follow.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What exactly should go in your bio.

  • Bio techniques to sell your Instagram account to followers.

  • Examples of highly effective bios.

CTAs & links

Technically, this is still all about your bio. But it's what I refer to as the call to action or CTA. Essentially, it's the link that you're going to want to encourage your followers to click on. It could result in revenue or just website traffic. Either way, you're going to want to make it a good one.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why the CTA is so important.

  • What your CTA should actually link to.

  • The potential benefits of your CTA.

  • How to effectively link your bio to your CTA.

Follow Along - Putting it all together

If you like watching me do everything I explained in the previous few lectures, you're in luck. Here, I show you how I put my entire Instagram profile together from profile photo to bio.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to put together your complete Instagram profile.

  • How I got all the keywords I wanted into my name and bio.

  • How I used emojis in my bio.

Instagram Insights & Iconosquare

There's not much point posting if you have no idea how successful your posts are. Two analytics tools allow you to find out what's going right with your account and what really isn't.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why you should take a look at your analytics.

  • What Iconosquare and Instagram insights do.

  • How to use them.

EXTRA: Optimizing your bio link (how to get pretty links)

Sometimes, the link you want to use as your CTA just isn't attractive enough. It could be too long or look irrelevant to the content of your Instagram account. Fortunately, technology has prevailed once again, giving you a couple of ways to prettify your links.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What makes for an ugly CTA.

  • What pretty and custom links are.

  • How to quickly and easily create both.

EXTRA: Protecting your account

Yes, Instagram theft is real. Marketplaces full of people selling stolen accounts do exist and can be a legitimate threat — especially if you end up with millions of followers. Naturally, there are a few ways to protect your account to prevent that happening.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why Instagram accounts are hacked.

  • How to protect your account.

  • How to get your account back if someone takes it.

Review & Recap: Section 2

Planning your content strategy

Intro to section 2

The following lectures are all about content strategy. I'll dive into the kinds of things that you can post on Instagram, what generally works best on the platform and what could work for you and your business (if you have one).

Again, this section isn't for the pro users so feel free to skip ahead if you're experienced or just not into deep thinking. But for those who want help with their strategy, stick around.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What section two is all about.

  • What content strategy means.

The 3 types of content

Instagram started as an image platform. Everyone knows that. But over the years, it has slowly added different types of content. First, there was video. Then, Stories (which yes, were totally stolen from Snapchat).

Most accounts combine all three content types to build following and engagement. The trick to Instagram success is to know that the audience wants nothing but a quick fix.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The three types of Instagram content.

  • What the ideal ratio of each content type is.

  • How Instagram's ever-changing algorithm works.

  • How to increase engagement.

What works on Instagram + common themes

So what works on the gram? Quite a lot of things, actually. The only rule is that it has to be visual. Now I know what you're thinking: "There's nothing pretty about my business." That may be the case but there's always ways to change that.

Be visual and be succinct. Remember that sentence and you're onto a winner.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What kind of content works on Instagram.

  • How you can transform your business into the king of visual.

EXTRA: Planning for aesthetics

Feel free to skip this if you're not looking to take Instagram too seriously. But if you are intent on success, you might want to think about the aesthetic of your profile. Do you have a kaleidoscope of colours and post types or have you stuck to a black-and-white theme, for example?

The cleaner your profile, the better it looks. Simple.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The definition of a good Instagram aesthetic.

  • How to draw up and implement a style guide.

8 accounts worth studying

As I've said and will continue to say, know your audience and you're well on your way to Instagram gold. The following accounts have done exactly that, posting creative content that engages immediately. Proving that Instagram can work for anyone, even if your product isn't inherently visual.

Covered in this lecture:

  • 8 accounts to take inspiration from.

  • What each are doing right.

  • How you can replicate their techniques.

Follow Along - InnovationStation content strategy

Time for me to unveil my grand content strategy. As previously discussed, my Instagram is all about innovation so I know roughly where I want to go. But it's important to be flexible at the beginning, be open to change and know who your audience is.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The ins and outs of my specific content strategy.

  • How I decided on what type of content to focus on.

  • How I'm planning to create my content.

Review & Recap: Section 3

Laying the groundwork

Intro to section 3

Sorry, but it's time for the boring stuff. Vital. But boring. Getting to grips with your marketing strategy involves planning ahead and keeping on top of things. It's time-consuming but totally worth it.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What you need to research.

  • Why this is important.

  • The difference between doing it manually and automatically.

Researching competitors

Knowing who you're competing with is vital in today's business climate. Whether you're aiming to make up for what your competitors have missed out on or want to know who you can rely on for promotion later in the game, making a quick list is well worth your time.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why you should research your competitors.

  • How to easily find related accounts on Instagram.

  • How to use competitors to your advantage.

Follow Along - Listing out competitors

Follow along as I reveal my list of competitors. You may think researching 145 accounts is going overboard but every single name on that list could become useful in the future.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I created my list.

  • Examples of direct, indirect and adjacent competitors.

List out people to reach out to

Once your list is complete, you're going to want to narrow it down. Marking which accounts are worth watching and which are complementary to your own is a big yes when it comes to marketing strategy.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I define complementary and worth watching accounts.

  • Why you should narrow your list down in this way.

UI walkthrough - laying the groundwork

If you've never used Instagram before, this lecture is vital. If you're a seasoned user, move along. I'm going to walk you through all the features on the app that you'll find yourself using.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The three sections you'll be using on the app.

  • How the smaller features can help you.

Review & Recap: Section 4

Creating your first batch of content

Intro to section 4

Now it's time for the fun part: making that content. Hopefully, you've figured out the kind of look you're going for by now. And when you do eventually start to build a following, you'll need something to keep them on your page. The following lectures will take you through it all.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why you need to create a few posts before starting your Instagram takeover.

  • How many posts you need to keep followers engaged in the beginning.

Image best practices

There are a few rules to remember when it comes to the images that you post. Luckily, none of them are too difficult to get your head round.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Four ways to ensure your images look the best they possibly can.

  • How to promote you and your business through the images you post.

Alternate image sizes

Old Instagram only allowed you to post one image size: the dreaded square. But now, you have three options to choose from. Here's what to know about that all-important sizing.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The three types of images you can post.

  • How big each image should be.

  • When you should use each kind of image.

How to find good images

When you're first starting out, you may not have the funds to hire a photographer every time you want to create a new image. That's where stock photos come in. Often cheap (or even free), you can find almost anything without having to break the bank.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Where to find stock photos.

  • How to personalize stock photos.

Quick add apps

While you can use a computer to create a sophisticated image, it's always useful to have the option to quickly make posts on your phone. A few apps exist allowing you to seamlessly add text, logos and images without switching device.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The photo creation apps to download.

  • How to use all of the features on said apps.

Using Canva

There's no need to spend hours creating your Instagram content. Instead, use one of the tools that the mighty internet has provided. Canva is a photo editing tool that's available in an app and on a web browser and, in my opinion, it's an easy solution to what would be a total headache.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Canva is.

  • How to use it to create personalised Instagram photos.

  • The difference between the free and pro versions.

Follow Along - Using Canva

This follow along lecture focuses on the wonder that is Canva. If you still can't quite get your head around the tool, I'll show you exactly how it's done.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I used Canva to create two effective Instagram posts.

Using Pablo to make images

It's true that Canva requires a little TLC. But Pablo is perfect if you're looking for a quick fix. Suited for motivational quotes or text laid over an image, here's how it's done.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Pablo can be used for.

  • How exactly to use it.

  • Techniques to make your post stand out.

Using Photoshop

For those who like a challenge, head to Photoshop. The ruler of the image manipulation world is a little complex but does give you more control over your editing. If you're satisfied with Canva and Pablo, feel free to skip ahead.

  • How to use basic Photoshop tools.

  • How to create a beautiful Instagram post in a few easy steps.

Intro to creating video posts

Now you've got the image part down, it's onto videos. Now, you may be a little reluctant to get on board with this. If so, feel free to skip the next few lectures. They'll be waiting for when you change your mind.

If you are into the idea of peppering your profile with a little movement, you can save yourself plenty of time by listening to what works and what really doesn't.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to make effective videos.

  • Techniques you can use.

  • Some useful tools and equipment.

How to use other people's videos

If videos are part of your content strategy, you're probably going to be using a lot of clips filmed by other people. That's totally fine. But first, you need to know how to find and save them.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Where to find relevant video clips.

  • How to save them.

Shooting your own video

Filming your own content takes a lot of work. However, it doesn't have to be expensive. Thanks to smartphone technology, you no longer have to invest in fancy cameras. Instead, use your hard-earned cash to pick up a few pieces of equipment, transforming your basic videos into professional films.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to shoot videos yourself.

  • The equipment you might want to invest in.

  • Lighting, audio and other things you need to take into account.

Using Final Cut Pro (part 1)

Just like with images, there are a few tools you can use to help with video editing. My personal favorite is Final Cut Pro. (Note: this is exclusive to Macs but there are a few Windows alternatives.)

Any new tool can look intimidating at first but with my help, you should find it a breeze.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Final Cut Pro can do.

  • What the user interface looks like.

  • How to use the basic functions including transitions.

Using Final Cut Pro (part 2)

Carrying on from the previous lecture, this takes you through the last few elements available to you on Final Cut Pro. No video is complete without text so here's how to add it in and give your work that professional touch.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to add text to videos.

  • How to save videos in the correct Instagram format.

Follow Along - Using Final Cut Pro (part 1)

Here's where I show you how the video creation process works. Find out where I sourced video clips and how I used Final Cut Pro to bring everything together.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Where I found stock video clips.

  • How I merged them all together on Final Cut Pro.

  • How I added text to my video.

Follow Along - Using Final Cut Pro (part 2)

The second half of my Final Cut Pro tutorial walks you through some of the finer details and finishing touches. Remember: it's the little things that count.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use templates for transitions in Final Cut Pro.

  • How to add your logo to your video.

  • How to add music.

Follow Along - Hyperlapse of putting together a video in Adobe Premiere
UI walkthrough - creating your first batch of content

If you're a seasoned Instagram user, please skip this. You have been warned. If you're a beginner, this lecture will walk you through how to create content on the app itself and later edit that content. And yes, all you're going to need is your trusty phone.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to take a photo and video on Instagram.

  • What each of the icons mean (including Boomerang and Layout).

  • How to use filters and the editing options effectively.

Follow Along - Creating your first batch of content

You may remember the golden ten post rule. Creating that initial batch may seem daunting but here's how I reached my target without elevating my stress levels.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How my first ten posts were made.

  • Where I sourced my content.

  • The techniques I played around with.

  • How I used templates for consistency.

Review & Recap: Section 5


Intro to section 5

Now you've got things going on your Instagram profile, it's time to get down to posting all of that beautiful content. The following lectures will pass on all the wisdom you need to know so that your hard-earned efforts don't end up as a dud post with zero likes or comments.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The basics of Instagram posting.

  • The most important things to take into account when posting.

Elements of a good post

Hashtags, geotags, captions... There are a few vital elements to a good Instagram post. I unveil them all to prevent a scenario where the platform's pesky algorithm gets the better of you.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What makes an effective post.

  • How Instagram's algorithm takes each element into account.

Writing a killer caption

Should you explain every single little detail of your post? Should you attempt to pen a witty comment? Seriously, what should a caption entail? Well, here's the answer.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What captions are and where they appear.

  • How to use captions to captivate your followers.

  • How long a decent caption should be.

How to add invisible line breaks

Line breaks are the ideal way to make a long caption more readable. It's in the name. They break text. However, doing this on an Instagram caption isn't as easy as simply pressing enter or copying and pasting your text from elsewhere. Here's how to do it.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a line break is and why it's effective.

  • How to add clean line breaks to your Instagram captions.

Calls to action

Did you really think you'd heard the last of calls to action? On a more serious note, these sentences are sometimes the only way to get followers to engage with your post and profile. Whether you're asking a question or encouraging people to give a shameless like, several methods to boost engagement exist.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a call to action in a caption is.

  • The various ways to craft a call to action.

  • How calls to action can boost your profile.

What are hashtags?

The majority of you will know what a hashtag is, how they work and where to put them. But if you don't have solid knowledge of this particular social media sensation, stay until the end. Your Instagram success may depend on it.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a hashtag is.

  • Why they are important.

  • How they can boost your posts' success.

Picking the best hashtags

The world of hashtags is a complete minefield. Some think if you use too many, you'll look like an idiot. Others go with the message of the more, the better. One thing is clear: hashtags promote engagement and engagement is what gets you followers (and hopefully earnings).

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to come up with appropriate hashtags.

  • Where to post these hashtags.

  • How many you can and should use.

When is the best time to post?

If you're anything like you me, you may not have realized the importance of when you post. During the month, week and even day, there are high and low points. Posting at peak time (where more people are on and engaging with the app) equals peak engagement. Simple, huh?

Covered in this lecture:

  • When general peak posting times are.

  • How to work out peak times depending on your audience.

Follow Along - Posting

This follow along lecture shows how I posted my first Instagram image. As you may have guessed, it didn't go entirely right first time round.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to post on Instagram.

  • How I laid out my caption.

  • How I came up with and where I put my hashtags.

Review & Recap: Section 6

Setting successful habits

Setting up a habit schedule

To get used to how everything works on the gram, it might be worthwhile to set up a daily schedule that tracks how your account is growing. Remember: a little a day keeps the temporary blocks away.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why a habit schedule is a good idea.

  • How to set up your everyday schedule and track interactions.

  • What your schedule should consist of.

Using your dummy account correctly

If you haven't already set up your dummy account, please do this now. After all, it's the only way of allowing you to experiment without negatively impacting or losing your audience.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What your dummy account can be used for.

  • How a dummy account can help your engagement.

Curating your posts

Curation is an art. So is a successful Instagram profile. Aside from sheer embarrassment, there are a few reasons why people may delete certain posts.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why curating your Instagram is essential.

  • How to curate it without being too obvious.

  • All the reasons why you may want to delete a post.

Using Followers GoLike

Improving the performance of your posts is easy thanks to the myriad apps on offer. A few minutes on these everyday can boost likes, saves and follows. In other words, why wouldn't you sign up?

Covered in this lecture:

  • Which apps can be used to improve post performance.

  • How they work.

  • How and when to use each app.

5 ways to up your comments

Are comments more important than likes? No one really knows but one thing's for sure: Instagram does take them into account. Here's how to get your followers typing.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why comments are important.

  • 5 easy ways to increase the number of comments on each post.

Review & Recap: Section 7

Growth #1 Shoutouts

Intro to shoutouts

The easiest way to scale up your account is to collaborate with others. Unfortunately, Instagram hasn't made this easy, meaning you have to do most of the legwork.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a shoutout is.

  • How they can help your account grow.

  • What the difference between a shoutout and shout for shout is.

  • The different types of shoutouts on offer.

Shoutout best practices

Some shoutouts prove to have little success. It's not because the concept doesn't work but because the people using it don't have a good grasp of the process. Here's some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What makes a successful shoutout.

  • Five tips for ensuring the success of your shoutout.

How to find shoutout partners part 1

Remember that competitor list I asked you draw up? Well, if you didn't follow my advice, you're going to wish you did now. Trust me, you're going to need it for the game of shoutouts.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to decide who to contact from your competitor list.

  • How to contact the people behind successful Instagram accounts.

How to find shoutout partners part 2

Sometimes, you may be unsure if a shoutout partner is really worth your time. Or you may struggle to get in contact with someone no matter how much you try. That's where more aggressive tactics come in.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to grab a potential shoutout partner's attention.

  • How to check their engagement ratings.

Paid shoutouts (optional)

Of course, there's the option to pay a super successful account to shout you out. There's nothing wrong with it but you have to decide whether the money you're about to spend is worth what the rewards you may reap.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a paid shoutout is.

  • When paid shoutouts work.

  • How to find accounts that you can pay to shout you out.

  • How to check their engagement ratings.

Follow Along - Paid shoutouts 1

I decided to try out the murky world of paid shoutouts to see how easy it was, how much it cost and, more importantly, how successful it was.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Where I found accounts that I could pay for a shoutout.

  • How I decided which ones to contact.

  • How I contacted them.

  • How much I paid.

Follow Along - Paid shoutouts 2

My second and third paid shoutout experiences were a mixed bag. One went not so well, the other went well in an almost accidental way. Here's what I learnt.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How much I paid for these paid shoutouts.

  • Exactly what I paid for.

  • The results I was expecting.

  • What I actually ended up with.

Advanced strategies for shoutouts

Shoutouts seem incredibly simple but there are a few advanced ways to increase your follower count and engagement. And yes, they work even if your account is teeny tiny.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The difference between standard and advanced shoutout techniques.

  • Four complex shoutout strategies to build up your account.

Review & Recap: Section 8

Growing and automating content production (Optional)

Intro to growing and automating content production

Producing, scheduling and posting content is a lot of work for one person. That's where other people come in. The following lectures will show you how to automate certain processes and how to hire others for either the parts you're too busy to do or the bits you're just not very good at.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to make the content production process smoother and easier.

  • An overview of the things you can do to reduce your workload.

Creating a workflow for content production

In order to outsource some of your content processes, you first need to understand what they are. Naturally, this will involve a bit of manual labor. But afterwards, you'll be able to take some of the burden off yourself and give large sections of your workflow to others.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why you need to know your content creation process inside out.

  • How to create a workflow.

  • How I put together my workflow.

Dividing your workflow

Breaking up your workflow is easy. Figure out which steps can be lumped together and outsourced to one person. Do you need an administrative assistant, a writer or a video editor? Perhaps you need all three.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to break down your workflow.

  • How to utilize different skillsets.

  • What Trello is and how to use it as a collaborative tool.

Follow Along - Dividing your workflow

As discussed, outsourcing is the best way to ensure Instagram efficiency. Here's a step-by-step look at how I broke down my content creation and posting process and handed it out to others.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How I turned my workflow into task groups.

  • Who I gave each task to.

Writing requirements

If you're asking people to write captions for you (or anything for that matter), you're going to need to push them in the right direction. Otherwise you'll end up with a bunch of useless content that requires serious rewrites. Be specific and you'll be problem-free.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to set writing requirements for others.

  • Examples of what those requirements should be.

Deciding what help you need

Deciding which areas you need help with can be tricky. It's easy to think you can do everything and it is possible. But if you want to save yourself time and effort, you'll want to outsource the more difficult parts to others. Here's a few tips.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to decide where you'll need help.

  • What to pay freelancers.

Finding freelancers online

Now comes the tricky part: finding people to work for you. Thanks to the internet, there are several legitimate places to look for writers, video editors and even virtual assistants.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What sites to use to find freelancers.

  • The pros and cons of each site.

Writing a job post for Upwork

To find the right people, you're going to need to write a job post that not only engages but also accurately describes the role. Here's a few easy tips.

Covered in this lecture:

  • A step-by-step guide to writing a job post.

  • How to come up with an accurate job title.

  • How to describe a job effectively.

Running trials & posting on Upwork

The last thing you want to do is hire someone who turns out to have no idea what they're doing. That's where trials come in. And if you want to attract the crème de la crème of the writing, editing or whatever pool, paid trials are your best bet.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a trial is and why they're beneficial.

  • How to set up a trial.

  • How to finish posting your job advert on Upwork.

Using Later for scheduling posts

Post scheduling is a real godsend. It means you don't have to spend unnecessary time on your phone (we could all benefit from that) and can set up multiple posts in one quick easy go. My preferred platform is called Later. Here, you'll find out why.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The advantages of scheduling posts.

  • How to navigate Later's user interface.

  • The difference between the free and paid versions of Later.

  • How to check your analytics.

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Instagram Marketing 2021: Hashtags, Live, Stories, Ads &more
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