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If you’re struggling to get the results you want on Instagram, you might be making one of these fatal Instagram strategy mistakes. Find out which mistakes you're making and how to fix them in order to maximize your Instagram strategy to grow your following and boost your exposure.

Are you getting the results you want on Instagram?

If you’re struggling, you might be making one of three fatal Instagram strategy mistakes that are cramping your style!

But don’t worry:

They’re quick and easy to fix once you’ve identified them.

There are a whole host of mistakes I see people making on Instagram, and I’ve made most of them myself.

To be completely honest:

I’ve been guilty of every single one of these three Instagram strategy mistakes in the past.

But now?

I’m killing it on Instagram with my two accounts @gorattlethestars and @lobotany, with over 130,000 followers combined.

It just goes to show you how far you can come by making corrections and refining your Instagram strategy.

Get My Instagram Growth eBook for 50% Off!

You’ll get instant access to the top 5 most effective strategies for growing your Instagram following from scratch — the EXACT strategies I used to grow my Instagram audience to over 100k followers in under a year.

Grab your copy of the Complete Guide to Instagram Growth

Instagram Strategy Mistake #1: Being unclear about what your business is all about, and what you have to offer.

Beginner Instagram mistakes to avoid

Have you ever come across an Instagram account that is full of pretty pictures, but you just have no idea what their business does or what it can offer you?

I see this all too often.

Pretty pictures are great and all, but if you really want to attract your ideal audience and get them to hit that follow button, you’re going to have to get clear on who you are and what you’re all about.

What can you offer your audience? Cool products? Amazing, actionable advice? Inspiration? Motivation? A solution to all their problems?

This should all be super clear, but it’s something that I see people having trouble with all the time.

There are many places to get specific about this, but the most important is your Instagram profile.

Is your name clear? Does your profile picture accurately represent you or your brand? Does your bio tell your audience the details on what you do and what you can do for them?

These are all great places you can put that important information, and it really needs to be there.

Instagram bio information

Get clear about who you serve and what your account/biz is all about in your profile.

You don’t want your audience getting confused about what you’re all about when they first land on your virtual doorstep!

Setting your account up to be professional, clear, and effective at capturing your audience’s attention is the first step in building a successful Instagram campaign.

Instagram Strategy Mistake #2: Using the wrong hashtags for your account.

Unsplash free Instagram photos

I know hashtags are perplexing to a lot of people, and I counted myself included in that group in the beginning. 

But not any more!

Hashtags are actually a pretty simple growth tool to use once you wrap your head around how they work and how to choose the best ones for your specific account.

A lot of people receive bad advice on this topic – I don’t know how many blog posts I’ve read where the audience is being told to “use top hashtags like #instagood #love #happy #girl” etc.

No. Just don’t do it. I’m begging you.

I wrote an entire post that dives deep into finding the best hashtags for your specific business. If you’d like to take things even further than what’s outlined here, be sure to give it a read.

The biggest hashtags on Instagram are completely useless to 99% of accounts, and there are two reasons why:

  1. When it comes to hashtags, size definitely matters.
  2. Niche is super important too.

1. Choosing Hashtags Based on Size

If you take a look at the page for a specific hashtag, you’ll see that the page is divided into two sections: Top Posts and Most Recent.

“Top Posts” shows the most popular posts recently tagged with that hashtag. To get your content to show up here you’re going to need a LOT of likes and comments, and the bigger the hashtag the more likes and comments you’ll need to land here.

boston hashtag search

Aim for the Top Posts section for all your hashtags.

To get the best bang for your buck, you should be aiming to land in the Top Posts section for as many hashtags as you can.

2. Selecting Hashtags Based on Niche

Hashtags can be used to search for the content you like, so if you have an art account and you’re using the hashtag #happy, it isn’t going to do a very good job at attracting art lovers to your page. That’s why you want to get super specific on finding what your niche is.

If you’re an artist, you’d be better off using something like #painting #artlover #artistic to attract the right kind of followers to your account. People who already have an interest in your topic are more likely to follow you anyway.

niche specific hashtagsKeeping it niche specific: gardening content tagged with a full set of garden related hashtags.

Setting up a great hashtag strategy really depends on several things: your niche, your size, and what kinds of images you’re posting. It definitely takes a bit of analyzing your target audience and doing some hashtag research to really get it right.

Hashtags are a really powerful yet passive way to grow your account, so leave them out of your Instagram strategy at your own peril!

Get My Instagram Growth eBook for 50% Off!

You’ll get instant access to the top 5 most effective strategies for growing your Instagram following from scratch — the EXACT strategies I used to grow my Instagram audience to over 100k followers in under a year.

Grab your copy of the Complete Guide to Instagram Growth

I grew two Instagram accounts to a combined 115,000 followers in under a year, and using the proper hashtags was an essential part of my success.

Inside this 40-minute masterclass I’ll walk you through the process of selecting sets of 30 hashtags optimized for your account and your target audience. You’ll walk out of it with several hashtag sets that are ready to be put to use in rapidly growing your Instagram following. 

Instagram Strategy Mistake #3: Going it alone. Not interacting with followers, and not forming relationships with your peers and influencers in your niche.

Beginner Instagram mistakes to avoid

Of the three mistakes listed here, this is the one I’ve personally struggled with the most.

I have a tendency to avoid asking help and to avoid working with others, because I’m super independent and like to figure out how to do things on my own…

But this is a HUGE mistake to be making on a social media platform!

I cannot stress this enough.

I spent months doing the bare minimum interacting with my followers, didn’t connect with peers in my niche, and DEFINITELY didn’t have the guts to approach any influencers for collaboration. And although I do all of these things now, looking back I honestly wish I had started sooner.

Because when I finally did start doing all those things, I was astounded by the results.

I joined a couple networks with other people looking to connect and grow their accounts, and in a matter of weeks my growth rates went through the roof.

My monthly growth rate literally quadrupled.

Instagram networking growth

The green line is when I started using my network to help me grow, resulting in a substantial increase in growth rate.

How does that saying go… “no man is an island?”

You definitely shouldn’t try to be an island or a lone wolf on Instagram. Growing an account all by yourself is completely possible, but you’re going to get waaaay better results if you connect with others.

Trust me.

So get out there and start reaching out to your peers!

Here are some ideas for collaborations that have worked for me:

  • Start doing share for shares with accounts of similar size. You gain exposure to their audience, and they gain exposure to your audience, for mutual growth! Do this with as many accounts as you can (staying within your niche) for the best results.
  • Join or set up an engagement group. These groups work to help each other out with your growth and engagement. Set them up as a private DM group in Instagram, or off platform in a chat app like Kik, Telegram, or Slack. Everyone notifies the group when they’ve posted, and all group member go and like/comment on each others most recent content.
  • Try some paid promotions or shoutouts with an influencer in your niche to gain exposure to a larger audience. Though this comes at a price, you could potentially gain a big boost in followers, email opt-ins, or sales. Check out this post to learn about how to work with Instagram influencers to boost your brand.

These are all incredibly effective strategies that will help you grow.

Avoiding fatal mistakes like these is KEY to succeeding on Instagram. I made a lot of mistakes myself, and it took me a lot of time and practice to really start getting things right.

I want to make the process easier for you by sharing with you all the things I learned, and telling you what actually worked so you can get on with those things and stop wasting your time on the wrong stuff.

Ready to take your Instagram to the next level? 

Get My Instagram Growth eBook for 50% Off!

You’ll get instant access to the top 5 most effective strategies for growing your Instagram following from scratch — the EXACT strategies I used to grow my Instagram audience to over 100k followers in under a year.

Grab your copy of the Complete Guide to Instagram Growth

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nice post! Couldn’t agree more that you should be focused regarding who your target audience is, using the right hashtags to capture the right audience and using social media to be… social!

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