“Why am I not growing” is perhaps the most asked question on Instagram. I know exactly why you aren’t growing and it’s most likely because you are making one of the following mistakes.

3. You are not networking on Instagram

Instagram, just like many things in life, requires you actively network with others if you want to attain any level of success. You are not the only person on the platform – as of 2018 there are another 1 billion active monthly users on there with you. You are definitely not the only person in your niche as well!

Now you might be wondering,

“Why should I communicate with other people online? I already get enough of that shit in real life. I am here to get my money.”

I feel your pain, but there are many benefits to networking on Instagram.

The primary benefit is that you get to talk with other people in your niche, and as a result can gain insider information about what works on the platform and what doesn’t work. This is the most valuable education you can gain on the platform, not the stuff you learn from YouTube videos (besides mine) or forums. This advice you gain is from people who are actually in the trenches, that is people who talk the talk and walk the walk.

My growth on the platform exploded once I started networking. Through networking I learned about direct message engagement groups well before they became common Instagram knowledge. With this advice I was able to leverage them and grow my Instagram accounts very quickly.

You can also gain free shout outs and links to resources and services to which you might have been oblivious. Remember, your net worth is actually measured by your network. Having a network allows you to model success and gain the same results for yourself!

So how can you network on Instagram?

Have you heard the phrase “Quid pro quo”?

It means ‘something for something’. If you want to network with someone the best thing you can do is start the relationship by providing them with value. This can come in the form of leaving comments on a couple of their posts before direct messaging them, or giving them a free shout out. When you do this, people will love you and will be more open to engaging with you!

Most people get this simple concept wrong, because they think about themselves first and offer no value. No one wants to associate with someone who is self-centred. A hobo asking for money will always get less money than someone who is basking for it. Think of different ways in which you can be of service and then put them into action!

2. You are not experimenting

Instagram is a platform that is perpetually changing, the algorithm is frequently updated, and things that once worked do not always continue to work! The people who stay on the top of the platform are the people whom are constantly experimenting. They are the people who look at their insights and track what they are doing.

The people who refuse to accept change are left behind in the dust, as Instagram is not a place to remain stagnant! If you really want to grow on the platform, you need to take the process seriously.

If something is not working, don’t just accept it! Know that it can be changed, and the things that are working can definitely be improved.

Start with one variable and experiment with it; this could be the number of hashtags you use per post, or even the amount of times your post per day. Nothing is set in stone and no guru can give you all the secrets. Each account is unique and has its own set of followers that define it. What works for one account doesn’t necessarily work for another, even if they are in the same niche.

You need to find out what works for you. The next step is to keep track of what is working via the insights. This will allow you to gain a better perspective on what content resonates with your audience, thus allowing you to double down on it and continue to grow.

Here are some things you can experiment with:

  • The number of hashtags per post
  • The type of hashtags you use
  • The number of posts you upload per day
  • Video posts vs pictures vs albums
  • IGTV
  • Instagram stories
  • Instagram live
  • Direct message groups
  • Telegram groups

…and anything else you want to try.

1. You are not consistent enough

The number one reason most people fail on Instagram is because they are not consistent enough. I have many clients approach me, asking why their account has not been growing. When I track back their posts I often see months of inactivity.

Posting consistently for two months only to take a month off galivanting around the world is not acceptable! Nothing will ruin your growth faster. Instagram is a game that relies on fierce consistency until it becomes momentum. If you are not willing to stay in for the long haul, do not even bother starting!

Instagram is fast-paced and will forget about you as soon as you stop posting, but at the same time it will reward you appropriately if you are constantly uploading good content and staying active. Imagine if you were an employer with two employees working for you. Employee one never shows up to work on time, as a matter of fact he takes weeks off without warning. Employee two is always on time, does a good job and shows he is reliable. Who would you most likely give more shifts? The employee who does the work of course!

As soon as you stop being that person on Instagram, your growth will slow down.

This is why it’s important to stick to the plan. It doesn’t matter if you are posting once a week or nine times a day. Consistency is the key making your audience learn to anticipate your posts, so ensure that you can deliver the goods.

Closing remarks

Growing your account on Instagram parallels the same process needed for mastery in many other avenues in life. It requires effort, getting in the right circle, experimentation, and consistency. If you can avoid the three mistakes highlighted in this article, you will go very far indeed.

Isaac Tinashe

Hi, I am Tinashe and I started delving into entrepreneurship in 2015. It started with YouTube, and I was drawn to having my own business even more as time passed. I am now the proud owner of digital marketing agency The Insta Hustle. My team and I work with clients ranging from dentists to real estate moguls and public figures. The world is changing and if you don't keep up you'll be left behind. Let me show you what is possible with digital marketing.