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Design Thinking, Growth Hacking, Marketing
Talking is one of our most primal and basic functions, yet when presented with an interview or data on a computer screen, more and more people are choosing the impersonal interaction.
 
User research has always held a high place within design but it now has come to the forefront with more people competing for customer attention. While a number of user insight approaches exist such as A/B testing, heat mapping, and expression tracking, these all tend to get overly complicated and are better suited for later in the design process. They also rely exclusively on technology to solve a non-technical problem that is understanding what your users feel.
 
With so many alternative research methodologies, why bother actually talking to your customers at all? 
 
Because people inherently don’t trust a screen but will open up to an empathetic stranger in a matter of minutes. The need for interviews stems from the complex nature of people being people and the fact that we can’t always be defined by numbers or predicted by patterns. 
 
Forget Your Assumptions; YOU ARE WRONG
Research methodologies were born out of the sciences, they were designed to provide validation on hypothesis, concepts, ideas, and statistics. Due to this, most questions result in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers which provide a direct response to the hypothesis but do not explore the emotions or journey that got the user there. Unfortunately, the answer to ‘why something works?’ is then based on a pre-determined combination of prior knowledge, demographics, and psychographics. Interviews, on the other hand, have the flexibility to be structured in a way that makes no assumptions and goes to the heart of what the customer is actually feeling.
 
During customer research for our stock 3D model company, we assumed that artists were purchasing stock 3D models to simply fill out their scenes. That stock models were not core elements of their designs. Through a combination of in-depth conversations and literally sitting at their desk asking questions while they worked, we learned that our customers weren’t using stock to simply fill out backgrounds, but as critical components of their designs. The majority of customers were actually using stock models as ‘mostly’ complete skeleton of their project, then modifying it to meet their requirements. We had been aware of this use, however, the research data we had showed that this wasn’t really a big use scenario. It wasn’t until speaking with 3D artists that we learned that the existing academic data we had was entirely superficial and didn’t really understand the job that 3D artists do every day. 
 
During these conversations, it was revealed that since we weren’t the only platform for our customers to purchase 3D models, they would open multiple browser tabs to look at us and our competition. They would then search all platforms and buy the 3D model that was the closest to their needs. Our assumption was that they searched one site at a time and hunted around, spending quality time in our store. In hindsight – should have been obvious – we were blinded by our assumptions and missed something that helped us rethink how we shared our product offering – from site design to marketing positioning.
 
Fill in the Knowledge Gaps
One of the great advantages of in-person interviews is that they enable you to discover things about your product that you didn’t know existed, or was needed. This can come from suggestions by the user, from you discovering new lines of inquiry during the interview and sometimes even when the user misunderstands a question. Discovering something that you aren’t looking for it is part of the conversation that always brings a new perspective and avenue for exploration every time.
 
Users = People
Interviews can be really hard on your ego, especially if you have staked your hypothesis on your assumptions. This is because your assumptions are about to be tested. You are now able to check if the personas you have created are actually representative of your audience or if you are introduced to a new group of users who you hadn’t considered before. You are able to connect with these people and understand the challenges they face not just with your product but also in their life. This is where empathy comes in, to make the emotional connection between your offering and the user’s problem. Ultimately, it enables you to better integrate your product into their lives.
 
So if interviews can reveal far more intent and understanding than other research methodologies, why aren’t more people conducting user interviews and why do most interviews end up being a waste of time?
 
Assumptions Instead of Goals
One of the biggest mistakes made while planning a user interview is not defining the purpose of the talk. Without clarity on why you’re talking with users, the whole exercise turns out to be futile as there is no set direction and it ends up becoming a generic mess of nothingness. You’re not a reporter doing a human interest story, you have a specific reason for requesting someone’s time.
 
Solution
There is no need to get into the weeds here, you just need to define the problem that you are trying to solve. If you can’t put it in a single sentence then you should probably keep refining it, because everything you do after will have to be validated by whether it helps you reach the stated goal.
 
Less Specific, More Open Ended
When you have your goals clearly defined and expectations established, it’s now time to develop the framework of the interview. There is no need to develop a detailed set of questions as these will add too much structure to the conversation which can choke off spontaneity and new discovery. While this sounds unstructured (it somewhat is), the worst thing you can do is to wing it; it doesn’t work. You eventually end up losing track of what you needed and everything looks like a great insight, it is only later that you realize that nothing of value was gained from the interviews.
 
Solution
The interview framework should be divided into sections based on the main questions that need answering and it should include follow-up questions to enable you to dig deeper into the ‘why’ of your user to understand what they’re feeling. Using a defined framework and accepting an unstructured approach that will be contained within the established framework will open more doors to insights you and your team might never have thought of.
 
Striking Balance
While it is important to get to the bottom of why something works/doesn’t work, you really don’t want to annoy your user by asking a follow-up question to every answer. You’ll need to strike the right balance between getting to the core of something and getting thrown out.
 
Solution
During your interview, it is inevitable that you will have the realization that you missed something of real importance. This makes adaptability a very important tool; you need to be willing to throw out the framework and explore this new revelation. As we discussed with Journey Mapping, you can treat the first few interviews as trials and revise the framework based on the feedback. This will not only help make the framework more complete but also help structure it based on the flow of the conversation.
 
While we all agree on the value of these user interviews, how do we get users onboard to spend their valuable time talking to us about our products?
 
Proving Value
Sadly, design isn’t a major concern for society, most people don’t really think about it until something doesn’t work and then all hell breaks loose. There isn’t enough time in an interview to educate the user on the design thinking process and quite frankly, they probably don’t care. However, what needs to be done is to convince the user that having these conversations results in a better product for them. The user only needs to understand that since they are the ones using the product, they are the best people to suggest how to improve it.
 
Establish Rapport
A conversation would be useless if the user doesn’t open up and answer the questions candidly; a disengaged user will give answers that they feel are the most unlikely to generate follow-up questions. To start, you’ll need to ‘warm up’ the interview by starting with general lines of inquiry about topics the customer is comfortable talking about before you jump in and make it about your product. This will ensure that when the ‘why’ questions approach, the customer already has the momentum going for them.
 
Keep Focused
It is easy to lose focus during these interviews because external distractions can come up and the fact that the customer might go off on a tangent can easily pull both of your focuses away. While this can be great to develop a better overall understanding of the customer, spending too much time on non-core issues is counterproductive, it could even dilute the research.
 
As mentioned with Journey Mapping, have two people conduct the interview along with audio and video recording. This way one person can lead the conversation giving the customer their full and undivided attention while the other can take detailed notes. In case of a single person, it’s best to allow the recording equipment to keep track of the conversation while you lead it, building the rapport and learning about your user’s problems.
 
Final Thoughts
While interviews are a great way to gain insights, without proper care and attention they end up being a gimmick and a waste of everybody’s time. Interviews are a design exercise in their own right and they should be treated as such. So instead of just conducting interviews next time, design them.
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Design Thinking, Growth Hacking, Marketing
Imagine being the proverbial fly on the wall watching your customer’s journey from recognition of your brand, through research to contact and ultimately purchase? What would that journey look like? What types of ‘a-ha’ moments would you hope to uncover?
 
Journey Mapping is taking the hypothetical customer journey and plotting it out in a flow-chart, Gantt chart or another visual format. This map envisions the actual journey, documenting touch-points and areas of friction. It can also envision the ideal journey, identifying an existing area of concern to provide an overall smooth experience. 
 
Regardless of the approach, plotting a customer’s journey with your product or service forces you to focus on your customers, and not on your company. When you map their journey, you’re walking the mile in their shoes, feeling the highs and lows associated with your brand and getting a better understanding of your customer’s experience.
 
Creating the Journey Map is a critical component of Design Thinking. Taking the trip and documenting the existing customer experience to feel what they feel will help you generate informed ideas when it comes time to brainstorm solutions or new opportunities for them. 
 
The number one reason great ideas fail is that we misjudge what the customer wants. One of the best ways to remove this uncertainty and reduce the risk is to develop a map that gets you as close as possible to your customer’s lives, to their problems and their frustrations, as you seek to understand how your brand can create value for them. 
 

How To Do It – A Designers Guide For First Timers

 
1. Select Customers That You Want To Understand
Spend time investigating the context in which they’ll be interacting with your brand, and how you contribute to their overall picture at that moment. Looking to secondary data is a good start, before actually engaging with real customers. Blogs and websites can be a great source of information to learn about the world surrounding your customer and give you a better understanding about the context that your brand lives in, and will ultimately interact within.
 
2. Sketch The Hypothetical Journey
This is the first map you’ll draw, albeit a hypothetical one. This is your opportunity to outline how you think your customer’s journey goes. Be sure to cover all the steps in the journey beginning to end, and not just the ones that your brand is involved in (ie: If you’re selling an app on the App Store, the journey probably started with a need, then a search, then a visit to the App Store, all before your brand was introduced).
 
3. Interview time
Select a small group of customers or prospective customers (usually 12 to 20, but less isn’t necessarily bad) representing a range of demographic attributes that you’ve already identified in your marketing strategies and business planning. This will give you a range of experiences to draw upon which can help challenge your hypothesized pencil sketch Journey Map. 
 
It’s time to conduct interviews. However, these interviews are far different than the traditional focus groups, as they are conducted one-on-one and reject the herd mentality when answering questions. With these interviews, you’re going to go (physically) where the customers are interacting with your brand, and joining them on their journey not only observing them but talking about their journey as they experience it.
 
Initially, interview two to five customers. These first conversations allow you time to practice your interview techniques, but also to refine your questions and approach. What might have felt like the perfect question internally, might turn out to lead the conversation nowhere. When you are fine-tuning the questions, you can easily find the focus points on the emotional moments of the customer experience, which will provide the strongest data for your team to analyze. 
 
Using your hypothetical Journey Map, ask your customer to take you through their journey while comparing it to your notes. Be sure to dig into the details so you are getting an accurate picture of their steps and getting the kind of data you need. Sometimes you’ll even need to keep digging in order to get your customer to truly reflect deeply on their thoughts and feelings. Remember not to accept superficial answers, they won’t do advance anything.
 
Lastly, it is important to conduct the interviews as a team; one person taking notes while the other conducts the interview, thereby giving the customer their full, undivided attention. 
 
4. Moments Of Truth
The interviews are complete, you’re sitting on a pile of data, now it’s time to uncover the truth. This is an intensive, deep dive, of sense-making. By summarizing what was learned in each interview on a single template, then identify the key emotional moments of each interview, you can start to plot out what your customers are feeling. Taking these key emotional moments, writing them out in large print, then sticking them on the wall, you and your team can start to see the bigger picture and identify themes across all customers. 
 
5. Study The Themes
Now that you’ve identified the core themes, its time to uncover and identify a number of new dimensions that are usually physiographic, rather than demographic, that will help you reveal the difference in your data. To help make sense of all this, try using the list of Universal Human Needs, compiled by the Centre for Nonviolent Communication, for generating the key points and needs from your customers. 
 
6. Map The Journey
Armed with your data, the emotional needs and wants of your customers and the understanding of what they go through, it is time to build the Journey Map of your customer (or for each persona if you are expanding your research across multiple customer types). The map should reveal its own set of high and low points. These pain-points represent the most valuable innovation opportunities for your customer – this is where you make their life better! 
 
Journey Mapping is a whole different monster from traditional market research tools like focus groups and surveys. Marketing leaders trained in those methods are often suspicious with the findings from Journey Mapping interviews because of the small number of subjects and versus the large nets that they are used to casting. However, the small sample is a deliberate choice (and not only because it is more economical for startup businesses), because the data gathering is much more deep, personal and emotionally focused. The process uses observation and intensive interviews in real-time while the customer is in the middle of the experience and the interviewer walks with them through each part of the journey asking questions as they go along. 
 
Final Thoughts
Like all tools, there is a time and place for Journey Mapping and it must be remembered that it does not produce statistically significant results that a corporate auditor can review; it doesn’t “prove” anything. Instead, it sparks creative thinking about the unmet needs of customers which are often inaccessible using traditional market research methods and larger sample sizes. The aim of Journey Mapping is not to produce a set of statistical data, but to produce a new set of hypotheses for testing. As such, Journey Mapping is another iterative tool in the Design Thinking toolkit that pushes companies to engage their customers to really understand their experiences, and design better solutions for them.
 
 
 
1

Design Thinking, Growth Hacking
Design is in the C-Suite. So what happens now?
 
The cheers can be heard from art school classrooms, from behind drawing tablets in design studios and in long forgotten cubicles occupied by internal creative teams living in corporate purgatory. Design has won, it is now at the boardroom table. What will smart executives do with this opportunity? Design leaders are ready to introduce the world to Design Thinking. You know, that inherent, natural, gut-driven process that creatives ‘just get’ and take for granted? This process has finally been plotted out, studied, reviewed, processed and found to be one of the magical markers of success. 
 
So what do you do with it? How can companies get that critical advantage when design is no longer their competitive advantage, but another barrier to entry? Today, I’ve tackled five key ways companies can adopt Design Thinking, and offered possible solutions to get the most out of them.
 
1. Innovation is driven by Design Thinking
Over the past decade, we have witnessed the vast majority of consumer-focused companies embrace design thinking to not only improve their user experience but to also drive innovation. It has become so critical that Fortune 500 companies are now reporting that it is one of their top three priorities. By adopting the processes pioneered in the creative industry companies can reap the benefits of iterative rounds of ideation, stripping an idea, concept or process down to its purest form and analyzing and modifying it.
 
Steve Jobs infamously sent his designers back to the drawing board after designing and prototyping the first iPod – a design that any other company would have launched on the spot – Jobs knew that this design was what the world was expecting, so the team stripped it down further, to what we now know as one of the greatest industrial design pieces of modern time.
 
Innovation is born from a strong, data-informed cycle; user experience informs design, that drives innovation which responds to user experience.
 
Solution: If you have not embraced Design Thinking, start today. If you have but it has failed to take hold, it’s time to re-evaluate your processes to find the right implementation.
 
2. User experience is at the core of Design Thinking
Historically, there have been clear distinctions between design disciplines; industrial = 3D, graphic = 2D, interior = inside spaces, and so on. With the advent of digital design, industrial and graphic have blurred. Throw experiential marketing into the mix and now architecture, interior design, industrial, graphic and UI design have become one large melting pot all focused on delivering exceptional user experience. 
 
Smart companies are investing heavily in building design-driven customer experiences, and we’re just getting started. Consumers can expect UX designers to work their magic into all facets of the consumer and the corporate world in the years and decades to come. 
 
Speaking on why design matters is Daan Roosegaarde, Founder of Studio Roosegaarde, “design matters because it is about triggering curiosity, it’s about thinking about the future.” With so much focus and attention on user experience, it’s clear that design will slowly eclipse more traditional marketing efforts. Roosegaard continues, “design has never been about a chair, a lamp, a table. So how can we use design to improve technology, to improve life? For me, this is the essence of design” 
 
Solution: Start filling your teams with UX designers, even if they don’t seem applicable to your product or service. The value they’ll add in their thinking could change the entire narrative.
 
3. Design Thinking isn’t a trend, it’s a driving business principle
Business is built on best practices, trial and error, risk taking and above all, innovating to stay relevant. At the core of this is Design Thinking. “I think the need for design is something more and more executives are starting to understand,” says Derrick Kiker, Partner, McKinsey & Company. “It became something that wasn’t around the art of creating beautiful things, but around developing something more fact-based, around what the people like, what do they need. What is going to complete experiences for them”
 
While the C-Suite has always (sometimes begrudgingly) understood that their customers are at the core of their business, the focus has only recently come around to understanding the customer’s experience with their product or service. “Depending on how you place a device, the instructions, and how the thing unboxes and presents all the information; if it’s not done the right way, you get people who fail to use the product correctly” states Ernesto Quinteros, Chief Design Officer at Johnson & Johnson. By giving customers a complete experience from the moment they open the box, through the lifecycle of the product, understanding how people use and experience the product is paramount in building brand evangelists. 
 
Solution: Weigh different Design Thinking methodologies and apply the right one for your business.
 
4. The demand for design leadership will continue to grow – hire now
There is no question that with the business world adopting Design Thinking and design leadership as part of its core ethos, that the demand for Design Leadership will only continue to grow. Consistently, hiring managers report that finding candidates in high-demand talent pools is their top challenge. Design thinkers, user experience gurus, design leaders, and design strategists count among the most in-demand roles today. 
 
Using Design Thinking to parse all the data is also a major factor in the success of design leaders, as is witnessed by a recent LinkedIn global recruiting trend study. The role data plays in Design Thinking cannot be overlooked. It is critical for any company to develop, SME or enterprise, data-driven design leadership to continue to innovate and stay relevant to their customers. In the past companies could compete in the ‘burger wars’ – selling near-identical products, mediocre design, and a fight over price and territory – but the future will be owned by companies differentiating themselves with good design and fighting other companies through great design. The competitive advantage will be won through internal design leadership, not just user experience alone.
 
Solution: Give designers positions of power.
 
5. Real design leaders are hard to find
The best design leaders are already out there. Senior designers who cut their teeth in advertising agencies and design studios alike who toil over client briefs day in and out. Others have moved over to the corporate side and are leading internal creative teams. The reality is that the talent is here, and probably sitting in your office now. The question is, have you as a leader, harnessed them yet?
 
The best design leaders tend to keep their heads down and create astonishing things. Those that are most boastful tend to be juniors (design leaders are senior, directors, executives with decades of experience) or simply posers looking to talk their way into a ‘cool’ job.
 
True design leaders understand that “this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to people on the ground that you care about them, the way that you create gives them dignity, “ says Mokena Makeka, Founder, Makeka Design Lab. “You’re already beginning to elevate people’s conscientious and helping them to get out of their circumstances, encouraging them and showing that you believe in them. This is why I believe good design is a human right.”
 
Taking that understanding further, the quiet, focused design leader knows that “a large part of design is just the ordinary grunt of making the burden of being a human being on this planet a little bit more pleasurable.” With ideas like this, and a passion to unleash their creative way of thinking upon the world at large, it’s no wonder true design leaders are sought after far and wide. 
 
Solution: When contracting a recruiter, ensure that they have creative recruitment abilities. Better yet, grab one of your internal creatives, or someone from your agency to sit in on interviews and meetings to get their professional opinion.
 
Closing Thought
While we’re in the early stages of Design Thinking, agile companies have already started to reap the rewards of enhanced, data-driven user experiences. As every designer knows, great design starts with the user, not the sketch pad. 


Want to learn more about how your company can benefit from an experienced creative professional? Click below to set up your 30-minute consultation. We’ll sit down and work through your branding, marketing, or creative materials to find where you need some work, and offer our suggestions.
 
1

Growth Hacking, Startup

Thousands of marketers use LinkedIn to get data and they know this. So recently, they put in stricter limits to scraping and ghost profiles so now these profiles are getting banned.

What if there’s a better source than LinkedIn for data?

It’s called Angellist and it’s not using their company or job search- it’s using their new feature: Source. You can get it up and running in a few minutes and have thousands of resources at your fingertips. 

This is how it works:

Register your company on Angellist with less than ten employees.

Now click on Recruit.



Upload a relevant job to the profiles you want to search for:



You can now view relevant people using the Source search:



Angellist returns relevant results:



You can also pay to filter by more criteria (hence why it’s important to put less than ten employees):

Here’s where the fun begins.

Look at the data you have available:

  1. City
  2. Bio
  3. Social profile links
  4. Job title
  5. Company name
  6. School name

All this data is yours.

Unlike on LinkedIn where you need to click through to a profile to retrieve data (same process that gets you banned), you can grab it here without ever clicking through.

Before you know it, you might have a thousand LinkedIn profiles of software founders, even Facebook profiles, too.

Talk about powerful.

*Originally appeared in the BAMF Group Blog, courtesy of Josh Fletcher.

Want to learn more about how your company can benefit from an experienced creative professional? Click below to set up your 30-minute consultation. We’ll sit down and work through your branding, marketing, or creative materials to find where you need some work, and offer our suggestions.
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Growth Hacking, Startup
This hack is so incredible, I had to share it with the world. Originally posted into the BAMF Growth Hacking group. 

Do you want thousands of followers on Instagram?

You can make that happen.


And without lifting a finger.


In this blog post, you’ll get the entire guide to automating your Instagram account to thousands of followers and generating revenue. We have every detail you need to start.

 

Build Your Foundation

Use Heepsy to identify influencers in your niche.

Use the filter to find people by keywords in their bio or even location. You can also choose whether the profile belongs to a person or a company or has a certain follower ratio.

Once you have a list of relevant influencers, let’s dive into the rules of Instagram growth:

1. Post a new picture every day.
2. Test to find the ideal posting time as it’s different for every niche.
3. Post the same type of photos as the influencers in your niche post.

If they post pictures of beautiful San Francisco, then you should post only pictures of San Francisco. Don’t mix it up. If they don’t post pictures of San Francisco food, then don’t post pictures of San Francisco food.

4. If you want to post pictures of yourself, you can’t entirely automate the process. 

You’ll still have to take pictures. Again, look at what works for influencers in your niche and take the same pictures. They know what works best. After all, that’s part of how they got a loyal following. 

5. You don’t get exceptions.

If you’re taking the pictures yourself, they need to be on the same level of quality as the influencers in your niche.

Getting Over the Hurdle
To avoid getting your Instagram account banned, you must gradually raise the automation settings for the first month. It takes time, but you’ll see results soon after. The gradual raising of Instagram automation took me months to learn. I had to restart each time my account got banned. Now, I have settings that work every time.

You may be wondering if this works for your business. Ninety percent of the time, the answer is “yes.” If you sell software, you can still market your team using lifestyle pictures with quotes from industry events. 

Implement Cheat Codes
1st Day:
First, grab a username. Make it memorable and easy to find.

Add a retargeting link to your bio using ClickMeter. This allows you to keep track of followers and retarget them on Facebook. Next, buy and install Instazood. Post three photos every day for the first four days.

2nd Day
Pay Instaboostgram for 500 fake followers = social validation. Remove 150 fake followers for every one thousand real followers. Make sure to turn off your automation settings the entire day you remove fake followers.

3rd Day:
Run Instazood on slow and only Like tags with “like4like” and “likeforlike” posts for 4 days.

5th Day:
Add 2-3 highly relevant hashtags in addition to “like4like” and “likeforlike.” If you’re in a yoga niche, the added hashtags might be #yogini or #yogi. You get the idea.

Continue to post 1-2 photos a day.

Once you’ve posted 20 photos, remove the “like4like” and “likeforlike” hashtags. Now, change your targetingfrom these hashtags to followers of relevant influencers in your niche.

Scale Your Profile With These Steps

1. Once you have, at least, 15 pictures and 500 followers, move your Instazood settings to easy. Only turn on the auto-liking feature.
2. At 600+ followers and 20+ pictures, begin Instazood auto-commenting.
3. Once you have 650+ followers and 22+ pictures, use Instazood follow and unfollow settings on easy.
4. At 700+ followers and 34+ pictures, move the settings to normal.



5. At 800+ followers and 50+ pictures, move the settings to fast.
6. Manually turn off the follow/unfollow settings to see faster results. Try to keep a 2/1 ratio.

Pay Attention to the Details with Auto Commenting


Automated commenting is powerful when used right. When used wrong, it can hurt your brand.

The first rule of automated commenting is to use mostly comments that mention the entire profile, not the picture it’s on.

Here’s what we know:

  1. People love their Instagram profile
  2. People post random pictures

Having an automated comment of “that’s cool” on a baby picture is not cool.

Use comments that reflect their overall love for their profile such as “awesome profile,” “nice profile,” “great photos,” and “cool photos.” You should have at least nine comments you switch around. Make sure you don’t comment on the same users! Posting the same comment on a user’s profile screams spam.


Let’s Get Rid of the Work

If you’re looking to repost content without ever creating your own, then discover photos by searching hashtags on Instagram. Make a list of the most relevant hashtags and influencers so you know where you can quickly grab photos to re-post. Outsource this process to a virtual assistant through Upwork.

Use this tool to download photos for reposting without leaving a watermark: https://downloadgram.com/

To help with organization, add photos to DropBox folders labeled by month. Download the DropBox app. Now you can easily log in and log out of Instagram to post pictures by simply saving them from DropBox to your phone. Posting 5 pictures to 5 different accounts takes about ten minutes. Don’t worry, there’s an even easier process.

Include the description of the photo in the DropBox file name. This enables you to quickly copy and paste the description when you upload photos. Just click “Rename” in the DropBox app, then copy the description.

On average, you should collect and add a description to 30+ photos in an hour and a half. Make sure to remove “.jpg” at the end of the description before posting.

What photos should you repost?

Look for ones that have quality contrast and a significant amount of likes and comments compared to other photos the accounts have posted.

For your uploaded content, people like worldly descriptions, such as “A beautiful day no matter rain or shine because yoga replenishes your soul.” That took me two seconds to write.  It doesn’t have to make sense. Most of my descriptions don’t. It just needs to sound nice.

If you repost someone’s content, then @ them in the description  = “A beautiful day no matter rain or shine because yoga replenishes your soul @username”

Don’t ask permission to repost their content. It’s fine as long as you tag them. Trust me. You won’t get sued and ninety-nine percent of the time they don’t care.

After the worldly description, write the “benefit+ solution +CTA @ in my bio @.”

If you’re a noob marketer, ideally the link should go to a dedicated landing page. I’ve created a two-hundred thousand dollar sales funnels with this strategy.

It’s Time for a Major Upgrade

Once you have 1000+ followers, use Jarvee (only works on PC – need a VPS for Mac) to auto schedule every post so you don’t have to do so manually or simply hire a virtual assistant from Upwork. I’ve started on Jarvee with accounts that had only 500 followers, but there’s a risk when doing this to getting banned.

As you notice, the follow setting in Jarvee is at an average of 230 followers/day.


I make sure to be selective about the users I follow. If you follow more quality users, then you can have an increase of 1000% in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English Users, making sure they have a profile image and are active on Instagram. I also don’t want to target people who are influencers because they won’t notice my follow. So I target smaller accounts, but not too small.



For Follow Sources, I target the most active engagers of target accounts. That means interacting with people who interact with the target posts on a relevant influencer profile. They must’ve interacted with recent posts as well.


Settings for Unfollowing:

For Unfollowing, feel free to do up to 250 people/day. Notice in the first setting how we give a one-day barrier to ensure whomever we followed has a chance to follow us back before we unfollow them.


It’s important that when you unfollow people you do it to the people who don’t engage with you. This feature will enable you to only follow the people who provide the most reciprocity.


Settings for Liking:

For Liking, we engage with upwards to 400 pieces of media content/day.


Similar to commenting and following, we ensure we only engage with the most targeted users.


Settings for Commenting:

For Commenting, we engage with upwards to 400 pieces of media content/day.



I make sure to be selective about the users I comment on. If you engage with more quality users, then you can have a huge increase in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English Users and making sure they are not already in our network. I also make sure to target people who are active.



I make sure to be selective about the users I comment on. If you engage with more quality users, then you can have a huge increase in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English users and making sure they are not already in our network. I also make sure to target people who are active on Instagram.



In regards to commenting, I use spin syntax to engage with relevant comments on relevant users. That means either targeting by geolocation, hashtag, or interactors of posts on a target account.



Notice how we use comments that compliments their overall profile. This way, the comments look genuine.


Put the Followers, Leads, and Revenue on Autopilot

You’re done setting up your account for Instagram automation. Still, there are always more advanced tricks you can use if you’re running many accounts at scale.

Before you jump into asking how you can work horizontally with more accounts, let’s see how you can improve the processes we already have – that’s thinking vertically. One way is to use the right hashtags and engagement groups for even more follower growth. Engagement groups are communities of influencers who engage with each other’s posts to boost them in the feed. These are both proven strategies to get more followers.

Now that you have less work and more time – you have all the opportunity to think of new ways to grow your company’s online presence. Best of luck.

*Originally posted into the BAMF Growth Hacking group, courtesy of Josh Fletcher. 


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