Record labels Instagram 1

The Ultimate Hacks To Boost Your Instagram Followers From Three Industry Professionals.

Maddy Raven


Damian Keyes

(DK Music Management)

Adam Ivy

(Marketing Mentor and Music Producer)

Instagram is one of the biggest platforms that music fans engage with daily. If you are an artist or record label, then it's vital that you are actively using the platform to grow your audience,  promote, and interact with your fans.

And boosting your engagement on Instagram isn't always down to paid advertising and paid promotions. You also want to be making the most of organic activity by ensuring that you are creating content with a constant theme, using engaging headlines, utilising hashtags in both your headlines and in your stories, and that you post at all times of the day.

You can learn how to do this and also increase your followers, increase your engagement and work smarter on social media by following the advice of the music industry marketing experts below. If you follow this advise and start implementing the hacks today, you will have thousands of new and engaged super fans on your Instagram account.

First up, it's the brilliant Adam Ivy who talks about cyclical marketing and how by using analytics and simply changing the timeframes that you post in, you can see a marked increase in engagement.

Adam is a music marketing genius – with over 10 million views and 190K+ followers on YouTube and 60,000+ followers on Instagram, he knows what he's talking about! 

 Adam Ivy

A lot of people don't understand how to actually be as effective as possible, and (on Instagram in particular) they're only talking to a very small percentage of their followers. What we want to do is to convert these followers into fans, not just boost some numbers!

The first thing to understand about cyclical marketing is that cyclical is the word for cycle. Basically we all have the same 24 hours in a day and these 24 hours represents what we have available to us in a day to post on social media.

So these are all the available times, and out of these time slots; what is your normal posting schedule? 

Is it between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM?

Is it between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM? 

Is it after you get home from work?

After you get home from school?

Maybe before work, before school, before you drop your kids off at school?

It’s important to identify what your ‘usual’ posting schedule is. As an example, let's say your usual posting time is 8am to 11am. Let’s say that’s when the majority of people are posting on Instagram and Facebook and even TikTok, because they have that window of time during the day that's convenient for them. And they're looking at their analytics to see who's busiest, to see when they're getting the most post engagement.

But that's the problem. If you're only posting between 8am and 11am YOUR time, where's the rest of your followers? Because what you're doing is posting in a three-hour window, expecting all of your followers to be on your schedule. And that's the first mis-step when it comes to cyclical marketing.

Now let’s think about that in terms of your ratio. Your ratio is your followers versus how much engagement you have. Let's say that (for example) you have a 10% engagement ratio. Out of a thousand followers, you're going to have an average of a hundred engagements per post, that could be likes, comments etc.

So, out of a thousand, if a hundred people are engaging on your posts between 8am and 11am, then where are the rest of the people, where are these other 900 people?

Cyclical marketing is here to help find those 900 people.

Instead of just posting in a small window, and then showing Instagram that your content is worth X amount during rush hour, what we want to do is create a posting cycle that might get less engagement upfront, but you're actually going to get more engagement from more of your following and have an opportunity to really turn them into fans.

Start looking at your analytics. Start thinking about who these people are, where they might be, and why you’ve been ignoring the vast majority of them by only posting at certain times of the day!

With cyclical marketing (and this works for Facebook, email marketing, and it even works on YouTube) you can start addressing the other time zones, and therefore the other followers. Let's say that you work at a gas station, a petrol station, or a 24 hour convenience store and you only work from 8am to 11am every day. Well, you're obviously going to know Joe who comes in every day at 8:30am, and Brenda who always comes in at 9am. You're going to know your regulars in the schedule, but what about the other people? Because obviously that same business has regulars in the other time slots when you aren't working there. We need to have all these people become regularly acquainted with our content.

What I want you to start doing, is start taking different shifts at that day job, hypothetically speaking. I want you to start posting at 8am and then maybe 12pm, then you wait a few hours and you post at 4pm, and then maybe before you sit down to eat or even just before bed, you post at 10pm, and then you use a scheduling app to post something at 2am. Now, 2am might not make sense for you if you are on the East coast, but for people over in China and Asia and Australia, they're already awake, they're already doing things. Imagine a highway at busiest rush hour, you can't get anywhere very fast can you? Well, if you're going down this highway at 2am when the rush hour has kind of died down and you're the only person on the road, you’re going to move fast, (and your content is going to be easily shared with those who are hanging out at 2am). At 2am you’re going to have your content seen first and foremost, when those in that timezone get into the app.

When you post during busy times, Instagram's algorithm has to try to figure out whose posts your followers are going to see. They might want to see your posts, but unless they have post notifications turned on, (and to be honest, most people don’t even know they can do this) they just won’t. And really, the first 12 to 24 hours are going to dictate how valuable your content is, based on Instagram's algorithm to show it to X amount of people. If I have 5,000 followers and I'm following 500 people, do you expect Instagram to show me all 500 of the people I follow's posts every day? It's not going to happen. By doing this we're getting in front of more eyeballs that aren't used to seeing your content.

And then from there, it's up to you to engage with them. It's up to you to have a lot of product in your library, on your account. If you just share three posts in your limited timeframe and try to engage with everybody using hashtags and getting into DM's and comments, without having anything for them to really enjoy and get into, you’re not going to be successful. You need to be able to provide enough. If you want people to be engaged, you don't want to go and follow everybody. You don't want to be a follower. You want to be a content creator that's worth following.

Start following the cycle. It doesn’t need to be the specific times I mentioned earlier but you need to be consistent. This is for people who are serious about building a following on Instagram or other platforms, not for people who only post twice a week. Start posting daily or almost daily. You have to hustle to a certain extent and put the effort in to achieve cyclical marketing successfully. Start posting at different times and see if you have an uptick in engagement on your profile and posts. Use your analytics to see the levels of engagement. Hopefully you’ll see a bump without having to get into paid advertising.

Watch the full video here

Follow Adam Ivy:


Instagram: @adamivy

Twitter: @adamivy

Snapchat: @AdamIvy



Now over to the incredible Maddy Raven, from Burstimo, who explains how to hack Instagram's algorithm and grow your fan base overnight with a few simple tips.

Maddy and Alex are a pair of music marketing masters with YouTube views of over 2.8 million, their videos give super practical marketing advice for music industry artists.

Note: These tips are mainly aimed at musicians and artists but the principles can still be applied for label owners, or anyone looking to boost their profile.

 Maddy Raven

When you're building a brand around your music, Instagram can be so important. Having a loyal fan base on Instagram can be the one thing that will blow you up. Instagram has 1 billion, monthly active users. That's an audience there waiting for you to connect to just by uploading pictures and videos.

Now there are a few things that you can do that will hack Instagram's algorithm and mean that you get the fans that you deserve. Imagine uploading a picture or video onto Instagram and you immediately get hundreds of thousands of likes. You get DM's from people telling you that they love you, they love your music, and brands are even approaching you, telling you that they love your content, and they want to collab with you. This is possible. You just need to put in the time and put in the effort to get the results.

So we're going to start with the most important thing about your Instagram account as a musician, which is the content. Your content becomes your brand. There are artists out there that have blown up, and got charted material, purely because of the content they're putting out. A great example of this is Lewis Capaldi. 

He's currently got 2.3 million Instagram followers (recorded in June 2019), and his recent album went to number one in the UK and Ireland, and was the fastest selling album in 2019. And there's no doubt that his Instagram is one of the reasons that happened.

Your content is something that can blow you up. It's so, so important. It needs to represent you as an artist, represent your music, but most importantly, engage your fan base. And the content that you can put out can be broken down into three main areas.

These areas are:

- Entertainment

- Educating

- Documenting

You need to choose one of those three things. You need to focus on a theme, because those three pieces of content are the ones that engage an audience and are doable as a musician. Pick one that suits your personality, suits your music, and also suits the fans that you want to have.


The first one, educating, is pretty self-explanatory. You're just educating your audience. For example, here at Burstimo, we are Educating.

We are educating independent musicians, and you can do the same. If you want to educate your audience, you can put educational material out there. However, a lot of musicians aren't really into that. They'd much rather have an audience that are there for them, their personalities, and for the music. So that's when you can focus on either entertaining or documenting.


Documenting is just simply documenting your journey. You could have vlog style content. You could have Instagram stories showing the creation of a new track all the way up until the point of release and onwards.


The final piece of content you can be creating is entertainment. This one usually only works with people that have quite strong characters and are happy talking to the camera and their personalities alone are quite entertaining.

Entertaining your audience can be a fantastic one because it creates a relationship.

And if you have that sort of relationship with your fans, there's trust, which means they're going to take in all of your content, they're going to listen to all of your music and they're going to potentially pay for things like merch and tickets.

So if you feel you have the confidence to entertain your audience, you can start entertaining right now.

Once you've chosen what sort of content you want to create, you need to stick to that theme. And this is so important because if you start following someone because the content they create is something that you really enjoy, and then the next day they start creating content that isn't the same at all. You're very likely to unfollow.

If you're adding value to your audience, if you're giving something to the consumer, they're going to stay engaged. So stick to that theme and stick to it for about three months, and if it doesn't work after that, that's when you can look at changing. But if you're growing an audience gradually, it’s important to stick to it.


Now you've got the style of content that you want to be putting out you need to start thinking about the captions, because a compelling caption can increase your engagement massively.

And the engagement around a post is what will hack Instagram's algorithm. It's the key thing that the Instagram algorithm is looking at. If they see a piece of content is getting lots of engagement, they're going to push it out to more people. It's going to go to the top of people's timelines.

So the capture needs to be compelling. It doesn't just have to explain the image. It doesn't need to just be an emoji, it needs to be something that starts a conversation. I think a lot of people forget about the caption because they're so worked up about the content coming out, but the caption can actually be the thing that engages an audience more than the image or the video.

Take some time to think about the caption you're adding. And don't be afraid to write a really, really long caption because people do take the time to read them.


Now you've got your caption, you need to think about hashtags. The hashtags are the thing that are going to get you discovered by people who aren't already your followers. This is obviously so important because you're putting your content out, and that's your audience of followers seeing it and engaging with it, but you want more fans!

You can use a tool such as Display Purposes

This website will allow you to put in a keyword and give you suggestions for hashtags. It will give you them based on other people's hashtags, based on the most engaging hashtags and the ones that are ranking quite highly. As well as this, you can also search a hashtag that you want to use. Look at some of the top performing posts and see what hashtags they're using.

DM (Direct Message)

If you're doing all these things, you're going to be getting engagement. If you've got that high quality content, you've got that really compelling caption, and you're using the correct hashtag, people are going to be commenting. People are going to be liking. People are going to be in your DM's. But you want to take it that step further. You don't want to just post content and occasionally get a DM. You want to have thousands of DM's, you want your followers to be in the millions. So you need to be engaging with the audience a little bit more.

The first thing is to be replying to every single comment. It doesn't matter if it's a bot. It doesn't matter if it's a negative comment, reply to it because Instagram's algorithm cannot tell if a comment is negative, or if it's coming from a bot. So reply to every single one, because instead of then having three comments, you're going to have six comments, etc etc.

And also a little bonus tip, try to reply in questions! This might sound really weird, but if you reply with a question, that person is going to reply to that question, which means you're doubling your comments again.

As well as the comments, you also need to be jumping into other people's DM's. Of course, you're going to have people DM'ing you because you've got great content. You've got those really good captions, but you should also be DM'ing them. As soon as you get to follower, DM them to say thanks for the follow and then add something personal, check out their profile for ideas. Even something simple like “Hey Steve, thanks for the follow. Love your dog” will work, and show that you’re taking a personal approach and you actually care about your followers.

This sort of thing can work wonders because it means that people that are following and unfollowing you are going to care about what you're putting out, and actually look at your profile. And the people that followed you because they like your content, they're going to stay around for longer because they appreciate that you appreciate them.

So message every single follower if you can because it will mean a lot to them. And it will make them a loyal fan rather than just a random follower.

Instagram Stories

Our final tip for getting those followers, hacking Instagram's algorithm and engaging as many people as possible is taking advantage of Instagram stories. Instagram stories are used by over 500 million people every single day. So don't just focus on your feed.

The stories are actually going to have more engagement than the feed quite often because the majority of people will have some time to quickly go through stories, but won't always get the time to scroll through their whole feed. If you're putting out at least three stories a day, you're engaging with your fans, you're giving them a little bit more, which will guarantee more engagement and then guarantee more loyalty.

Stories allow you to be a little bit more spontaneous. With your feed you're sticking to your theme, but with your stories, you can be a little bit more personal, take them behind the scenes of everything, but you can also create more engaging content.

Instagram stories have amazing features. You've got polls, you've got quizzes, you've got sliders. There are so many features and we need to be taking advantage of all of them. I'm definitely not saying do a quiz every day, do a poll every day, because that would just be really annoying. But if you're adding value, if you're including your audience in a conversation, it will again create more of a personal relationship.

I've got a little hack for this one as well. So, you think your Instagram stories are only really going out to your followers, but what if you want to get your Instagram stories out to a wider audience? You can again use hashtags.

A lot of people don't use hashtags in stories cause they don't really know that it can go out to people, but hashtags still work in Instagram stories and you can keep them hidden. Use the hashtags that you think are fitting to your content, to the story itself and write them out and then you can make them a color, which is the same color as the photo or the video, and it will hide it.

This one's super easy to do. And it's kind of hacking Instagram a little bit, but we've seen this one have amazing results because it means that that content is reaching a wider audience and that wider audience might then look at your feed and become a follower.

If you're doing all of these tips, you will have a more engaged and connected audience. Your followers are going to grow exponentially, but you have to put in that time, you have to put in that effort and give back to your audience.

Watch full video here

Follow Burstimo:

YouTube: YoutubeChannel

Instagram: @burstimo

Twitter: @burstimomusic


Thanks Maddy! Up next it’s Damian Keyes from DK Music Management talking through 10 x five-minute hacks to grow your Instagram, and you can easily do ALL of these hacks:

 Damian Keyes

We've all been there. We want to grow our Instagram. We want to get more numbers. We want to get more engagement. We want to get more people seeing what we're doing, but for some reason, this algorithm just won't go our way. And therefore, when we post, we still see the same old numbers and probably a lot of inconsistency. Sometimes you post something and you go, this is pretty good, and sometimes you post something and go, why did that not do very well?

To understand how to grow your Instagram followers quickly and efficiently (in five minute chunks here or there throughout the day), we also have to understand where the Instagram algorithm is right now. And the answer is very, very simple.

Instagram wants you to do one thing. It wants you to keep people on Instagram as long as possible. Literally, that's it.

Instagram just says, if I can keep you on Instagram for as long as possible, I win. So therefore, if you can help me with that by keeping people on Instagram for longer, then you win and I will reward you. This idea of playing the algorithm is more about just keeping people on Instagram for longer. So the ten hacks I have revolve around that.

Hack number one:  The audio or video DM response.

After a while, your life becomes a stream of messages to and from people. Emails, Facebook, Instagram etc etc. But then you’ve also gotta be active in the comments too. It's just relentless. Instead of sitting there typing, what about a nice, quick, to-the-point audio/video message?

Grab your phone, bring up Instagram, and go to that person that you want to DM straight back to. And then very simply all you're going to do is hold down the microphone, and just talk your message into it.  For example “Dude, thank you so much for buying that book, let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on it, and also loving your playing. I think it's absolutely sick.”

Boom. That took, 5-10 seconds right? So you can get through a lot more messages, but there's something else as well, which is that people appreciate that personal touch a lot more. All of a sudden they're hearing your voice, they're seeing your face, and it just makes it a little bit more personal, and they're more likely to appreciate you responding. And at that point, what are you doing? You are keeping them on Instagram.

You're keeping people on Instagram, whether it's in the DM’s, whether it's in the comments or whether it's scrolling, you're doing your bit.

Hack number two : Using Carousels.

The reason why carousels are so important, goes back to that key thing of keeping people on Instagram for those few seconds longer. If all of a sudden they see a picture, and it says there's two or three or four or more pictures within that carousel, what are they going to do? They're going to think about swiping. You're giving them the option of staying on Instagram, and more importantly, staying on your Instagram for that little bit longer.

There's also another great thing with carousels, which is that the next day Instagram will show the second picture within the carousel in their feeds. So if someone might've missed it or possibly scrolled straight past it, 24 hours later Instagram shows you that you might've missed the fact that it was a carousel. It rejigs your memory. And therefore it puts the second picture in front of people, encouraging more people to scroll. So you get two bites of the cherry from one post.

All you need to do is upload the pictures you want in your carousel, and add your text. Now the great thing about a carousel is that it's a really perfect way of telling a story.

So let's say for example, you go and do a gig. You can now document the entire day of the gig from when you're leaving and traveling to the gig, to the venue that you're playing, to the sound check that you're doing, to backstage, to being onstage, to the post gig antics, even to getting home, you can put the whole thing on and tell one story through 10 different pictures, which not only makes things more interesting, but it keeps people on your Instagram, which is the absolute key.

Hack number three : Traction.

Hack number three is a way to get a little bit more traction on what you are about to post or have maybe just posted. Let’s say you're about to post something, or you've just posted something. The next thing to do is to go onto your last post before this, and go to the comments. Hopefully you have a bunch of comments already, and what you need to do is start liking each of the comments. You may have already replied to them but now you need to click the little heart and like them all. This does two things. Number one, it will remind them about you, and number two, it will mean that the picture you’ve just put up or are about to put up, will now be in front of them.

It just means you're more likely to actually get a little bit more traction with your picture or your video that you've just posted. It’s a nice and simple tactic, but might give you that extra 10% in terms of engagement.

Hack number four: The mini win for the notification bell!

Now, we all know that the notification bell is absolutely key, but it's very, very difficult to get lots of people to hit that notification bell and have another popup on their phone. Getting people to follow you is one thing, getting them to follow you and make sure that they're actually getting that notification bell to be reminded you’ve just posted- much more difficult!

You’ve got to incentivise them. How about this: once a week you run a competition, which just says that the first three people to comment on your picture will get a shout-out but you have to hit that notification bell. The shout-out could be anything from a standard shout-out, to a bit of merch, through to you doing something special or of value for them.

They need to be reminded to hit that notification bell. And by offering something in return you are bringing people back into Instagram and who likes that? ...Instagram.

Hack number five : Engagement

Now we all know that we need to get into the comments or we need to get into the DM’s, but it's very time consuming.. You're probably aware by now that as soon as you post a picture, it gains a little momentum and views go up, but then it starts coming down after that first thirty to sixty minutes after posting.  

It is absolutely crucial for you to be commenting and engaging with people, so that as many people see it as possible, because Instagram is always watching and taking in that data. And the next few hours are still crucial. The first 24hrs are really important but even up to 48hrs are still key. After that you will lose momentum. Basically every half an hour that goes past after you've posted, is just a little bit more or a little bit less momentum. It's really, really important that you are in the DM’s and comments.

The problem is that it takes a lot of time. Who's got 24 or 48 hours to just keep going backwards and forwards commenting and DM’ing. I do have a little hack, a little cheat that hopefully will help you save some time. This is a text replacement hack.

Bring up your phone, go into Settings, and hit General:

then hit Keyboard,

and hit Text Replacement.

Here you can add chunks of text message, which might take you a little while to actually type out, but this way you can add a shortcut. So fairly standard things like “Thank you so much. I really appreciate that, keep me posted” will be quicker and easier to post.

You’re still engaging. This is just a shortcut and means you can type ‘Tx4’ (I have a whole bunch of other Tx's already saved) in an Instagram DM for example and then rather than having to type in the whole message, the text replacement brings up the saved message instead.

Hack number six: Questions.

Hack number six is asking a question when you make a statement on your Instagram post or on your Instagram story. If everything you do is all ‘this is me, or, this is what I have done’, it’s just a statement and people will look, go ‘ok’, and move along.

If you ask them a question, all of a sudden you are opening the door and allowing people to take part. There's much more likelihood of them commenting.

For example, instead of saying, ‘I am in Brighton’, I could say, ‘I'm in Brighton. Who's been to Brighton? And where should I go to eat’ or ‘what's the best venues in Brighton?’ or ‘What bands have come out of Brighton?’. And the people who know Brighton will be like “Oh, I know this. I want to take part. I want to be a part of this”

And all of a sudden they're more likely to jump in and start answering that question, getting engaged, putting stuff in the comments, and most importantly, staying on Instagram.

Hack number seven: Storytelling

People say a picture tells a thousand words. Yeah, it absolutely does. BUT words enhance the story. Because people are more likely to read text if it is actually there.

Rather than putting up a picture and then saying what it quite obviously is, why not describe the surroundings? Describe the story. For example, if the post is you on stage, rather than just saying, ‘this is us at that venue when we played that gig’, you can say ‘We went to that venue, we arrived at five o'clock. It was raining outside, but we lugged all our stuff in, very excited to play this venue. This venue has hosted bands like this and this and this. It's a really prestigious venue. We waited, we got on stage. The crowd were going crazy. We had the best time. Then after that, we met some of you backstage. Thank you so much for everyone who came down, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera’. What are you doing? You're buying time. You're buying precious seconds to keep people on your Instagram.

If it's not a story, it might just be the story of that picture. For example, with the carousel we talked about earlier, you can actually explain what’s happening in those pictures. Why? Because people will want to read it. Some people won't, some people will scroll straight past, but the people who will read, I have then kept on Instagram for that few seconds longer.

Think about what you can post in the description, make it that couple of extra seconds longer to keep people there. Be creative! Tell stories, tell stories about what's in the picture. And more importantly, look after that Instagram algorithm by keeping people on your Instagram as long as possible.

Hack number eight : Hashtags!

Hack number eight is about using hashtags, especially in stories. Now we're all aware that hashtags are quite important to help you show up to people who aren't already following you on Instagram.

What we're going to do is make sure that we put hashtags in stories, but there's another little hack because hashtags can be a bit messy. So firstly, you put in the picture for your story, and then you put in the title, maybe you use a question or a poll for some extra engagement. Then you’re going to put in some hashtags, so in this example I’m adding #musicianslifestyle #musicmarketing and #musicmarketingtips.

The only problem is that looks a bit messy, it looks a bit try-hard. It looks like I'm just trying to get people to follow me and find me.

So what I'm going to do is put in a little emoji. And I’m going to put him (the guitar playing squirrel) right over the top so you can’t see the hashtags.  

Hack number nine: Tagging your area.

This is about attention to detail, and those details are ways that people can find you and ways that people will stay on your profile. One of those things is tagging the city or the area that you are in when you are posting. And that can be in stories as well as in your feed because if someone goes searching for it, you might pop up. Therefore take advantage of these opportunities that Instagram is laying out for you. Very, very simple. You just hit the tag button of the city that you're in and you’re done. Another way for you to show up to other people.


Hack number ten: Run a poll.

When was the last time you ran a poll? People love polls because, again, they get to stay involved and it keeps them on Instagram that little bit longer. And it's so simple. Take your picture, then go to poll and add your question, for example... “Are you practicing more or less?”.

From there I'm just asking people to come and take part in this. I'm getting them to engage. Soon as they engage, Instagram goes, ‘Oh yeah, I can see you two have been engaging again. I will show your posts to that person the next time they come online. So therefore you're getting in front of them the next time.

Now go forth and grow your Instagram community! It really can be as simple as that. If you've got five minutes to spare, pick one or two of those things and start to implement them, start to get people to stay on Instagram a little bit longer and stay on your Instagram a little bit longer and you will start to see results.

Watch the full video here

Follow Damian here:


Instagram: @damiankeyes1

Facebook: @damokeyes

Linkedin: @damiankeyes


Great stuff Damian, and good to see an alternate version of hiding hashtags in stories!

Now back to Adam Ivy who shares a neat trick to get one thousand followers in just 90 days! And it’s not that difficult. Here’s his advice:

 Adam Ivy

One of the questions I’m asked time and time again is how to gain a fan base, how to grow a following. What I want to do is I want to teach you how to make a thousand new fans, a thousand new followers in 90 days.

This isn't overly complicated. This breaks down to 84 people a week, 12 people a day. (that's on average). This could be four one day, 16 the next. What’s more important to focus on is the 84 per week number.

And this can be on one platform or on several, if you're worried about getting those followers on just one platform, it might be a different strategy for you and you work across multiple platforms.

If we work on one platform for now, for instance, if we want to get a thousand new fans/followers on Instagram, we're going for 1000 people in 90 days.

The strategy that you use is that you engage with people using hashtag research. What you need to do is find 12 relevant hashtags a day. And for each of these 12 hashtags, you’re going to leave 10 comments or likes. Overall that will be 120 interactions a day.

From a marketing perspective, thinking about the analytics and the metrics, you’re going to have, on average, about a 10% engagement rate. So if you have 120 touchpoints a day, what does that break down to? 10% of 120? That leaves you with your magic number 12. Now, do you have to do this everyday? Does it take some time? Of course it takes some time.

And it’s important to leave these comments on Instagram in a conversational tone, you can’t just fire off a few emoji’s here and there and expect people to come rushing to see what's up. Now that 10% (12 x people), isn’t a strict rule, there may be more, may be less but the average will be 10% which is 12.  

Now this does take time. But the alternative is that you don’t want to spend the time and the effort to contact these 120 people a day. And that’s fine, you will then just need the money for paid ads and promo.

But if you don't have money to do ads and promo, you just need to spend the time. And 120 comments a day takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Just find those pockets of time in the day, while you're waiting for your food to heat up in the microwave, If you're on a lunch break, before bed, after the shower, waiting for the water to warm up in the shower, taking your dogs out for a walk, just get into the habit of it and it's going to become second nature.

12 hashtags - 10 comments/likes for each.

This is going to make you engaged with people. This isn't following or unfollowing. This is actually engaging with 12 hashtags that relate to what you're doing. This can work for any sector but obviously we are focused on music right now, so you would be looking up relevant hashtags e.g. #producer #musician #songwriter #instabeats.

What we're trying to do, is we're trying to get four and then six and then 16, and then 25 and then 50 new people a day that are going to interact and engage with your content to reach that goal of 12 new followers/fans a day. And then you’ll be ultimately reaching that goal of 84 new followers per week which adds up to a thousand people in 90 days.

And the same goes for LinkedIn. The same goes for YouTube. The same goes for Facebook. As I mentioned earlier, you can do this on one platform or several.

Let’s say your three platforms were Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. If you're just working on one platform, like we just talked about with Instagram, and you're trying to get a thousand people in 90 days, that’s 12 new followers a day, 84 a week leading to 1000 in 90 days. But if you’re working across three different platforms, it’s a much lower number. Facebook could be four new fans a day, Instagram could be six, YouTube could be just two. As long as across all of the platforms, you are keeping the maths right, and aiming for that 10% engagement ending up with 12 new followers/fans a day.

And you do need to understand that a thousand true fans, a thousand true followers, don't have to be all on one platform. If you have all of these people engaged, they all matter. Collectively they accumulate and every single one of your platforms is going to be for a different thing.

YouTube can drive a certain customer. Instagram can drive a certain fan, etc. If you have a thousand people that are willing to give you a hundred dollars over the course of a year, you have a six figure income. This comes right from Kevin Kelly’s thesis on ‘A thousand true fans’.

Now, obviously that's over simplifying things but for now, I want to give you some real life strategies that you guys can start to put into play right away.

The thing is consistency, and dedication. If you don’t have the dedication to do this consistently for 90 days then it will not work.

Let’s look at what would you do on a weekly basis to reach 84 people on Facebook? First and foremost, look at these 84 people as people, as human beings. If you do not engage with these 84 people, you're not going to be able to really build a fan base because they're going to know that you're just trying to trick the system and gain numbers. What are the five things that people would engage with you because of?


1. Because you're interesting.

2. Because you’ve got great music.

3. You have a cause that they care about.

4. You’ve got a great personality.

5. You educate or inspire them

That's five reasons that people are going to be able to engage with you. That's five reasons that they're going to be able to interact and follow you. If you don't have any of these five things, if these are lacking, this is what you need to work on. If you do none of these things, it's going to be really, really hard to build a following.

So in your journey for a thousand people, you need to interact.

How do you interact?

You ask them about them. You ask them about what they're working on. You interact, interact, interact. You don't just say, ‘listen to my music’. You don't just say ‘follow me’.

None of that!

A thousand people in 90 days is a feat, something to be really, really proud of. But you guys need to worry about it one step at a time. So every single day, ask yourself this. What kind of value did I put out? Every single day ask what kind of content you put out and how much effort did you put into it? If you put in effort with a little bit of humility, a thousand people in 90 days is not the hardest thing to do in the world.

Now, when you put the content out, you want it to be interactive, right When you put out a post, when you put out a comment, when you put out a video, you want it to be consistent. You want to do it in a conversational way to get people to engage.

Here's a great example. If I put up a picture of me standing with my girlfriend and our two dogs, and I caption it with 'Family', that's going to get a certain amount of engagement, a certain amount of likes and comments and interaction, and maybe even some follows because somebody might have a emotional trigger to the view of a family/happy couple/dog lovers etc.

But instead if you say something in the comments or the caption, like "I've had these dogs in my life for around 10 years, my girl has been one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I'd love to hear what the best thing that's ever happened to you and your family is?/What does your ideal family looks like? What are your family goals?" etc. There's a big difference between hashtag-family-life and something that’s interactive, something that’s conversational to get people to comment and engage.

And the greatest thing that you could ever do for an algorithm is interact. So over on Instagram, on Facebook, on YouTube, it happens pretty universally when it comes to these different social platforms, and even some blogs, is that the first 24 hours, (and it’s the first hour on Instagram) are the most important to drive that conversation and drive that engagement that will boost you up in discovery and get your post in front of more people.

I want you to be able to go from zero to a thousand fans in 90 days, but you have got to put in the work. You need to follow some of these strategies. You need to be creative, do it your own way to make sure that your voice shines through. Because at the end of the day, nobody can be you and your uniqueness, your own personality is what makes you special. What you might think is your weakness can make you stand out from the crowd.

If you're willing to get through those days where it seems really discouraging, where you might not have any followers, you might have a couple unfollowers, that consistency is what builds that muscle. That consistency is what builds that momentum, that progress.

So this is the basics of how to go from zero to a thousand fans in 90 days, if you already have followers, if you already have a fan base, you might be able to do it much more rapidly, but this hopefully will get you on your way.

Watch the full video here

So, thanks to Damian, Burstimo and Adam for these pearls of wisdom. Don't forget to check out their socials and catch up on their other video's on YouTube. 

Now you are equipped with some excellent hacks and tricks to increase your following, your engagement, your fandom. Go forth and conquer! 


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