Instagram for Creatives: How I Grew to 150k+ Fans Organically | David Drazil | Skillshare

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Instagram for Creatives: How I Grew to 150k+ Fans Organically

teacher avatar David Drazil, Architect Who Loves to Sketch

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

22 Lessons (1h 12m)
    • 1. Trailer

      2:45
    • 2. Introduction

      1:24
    • 3. Your Why

      3:44
    • 4. Define Your Niche

      3:06
    • 5. Your Target Audience

      3:36
    • 6. Value You Provide

      2:59
    • 7. Hashtag Strategy

      6:16
    • 8. Quality Content

      4:40
    • 9. Bio Optimization

      2:42
    • 10. Be Social

      3:43
    • 11. Consistency

      1:31
    • 12. Content Typology

      6:09
    • 13. Content Ideas

      1:30
    • 14. Tips on Content Creation

      3:06
    • 15. Best Posts Analytics

      3:30
    • 16. V-A-T Framework

      1:03
    • 17. Your Content Strategy

      1:39
    • 18. Running a Successful Giveaway

      3:05
    • 19. Launching My Merch

      4:57
    • 20. Book Launch

      5:12
    • 21. Promoting Products & Services

      4:04
    • 22. Recap - My Top 10 Rules

      1:06
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About This Class

Wonder how I've built my audience of more than 150,000 engaged fans on Instagram?
In this class,  I'll tell you my every secret.

This class is not about short-term hacks, but rather about long-term strategies based on what really matters.

It’s my 3 years of experience building 150k+ following shrinked into digestible chunks of advice and approaches which will save you a ton of time.

  • Are you struggling with growing your Instagram account?
  • Unsure what to improve to gain more traction with you audience?
  • Are you creating quality content but not getting enough attention for it?

My goal with this class is to share everything I learned during more than 3 years of actively using Instagram and pass it on to you so you can benefit from it as well.

So if you want…

  • to establish a personal brand
  • to become an influencer in your niche
  • more sales for your online or brick & mortar business
  • more leads and email subscribers
  • to drive more traffic to your website, blog, Youtube, etc.

Then this class is for you!

Inside the class, I'll also show you how I got more than a MILLION impressions, over 4,000 follows and close to 3,000 website clicks from a single Instagram post.

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It's not a coincidence. It's not luck. You can design your posts to reach the masses.
You'll learn the system behind the best-performing posts!

The systems & strategies for organic growth I share in this class will work for you EVEN IF...

  • you're starting from scratch
  • you're not well-known on any other online platform
  • you're overwhelmed by all the info out there
  • you don't know how to start

Here’s what you learn in this class:

  • How To Identify Your Ideal Niche
    • to stand out and get noticed among others
  • How To Define Your Target Audience
    • to attract the best and repel the rest
  • How To Create Your Hashtag Strategy
    • to get discovered by the right people
    • to get maximum organic reach
  • How To Create Quality Content the Smart Way
    • NOT to get overwhelmed and caught up in the hamster wheel
  • How To Optimize Your Bio
    • to convert more visitors into followers & to drive traffic to your website
  • How To Know When To Post and How Often
    • to meet your audience when they are most active
  • How To Drive Traffic Towards Your Website, Products & Services
    • and make it fun at the same time!
  • How To Plan Your Content
    • so you always know what to post and you never run out of ideas
  • Specific Tactics for Running Successful Campaigns with Instagram
    • how to support a launch of your physical/digital products or services
    • how to successfuly run giveaways
    • how to promote your products/services without being salesy

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

David Drazil

Architect Who Loves to Sketch

Teacher

Architect who Loves to Sketch Online & Offline Teacher, Author, Speaker Founder of SketchLikeAnArchitect.com

Get in touch, leave a comment, or just say hi! :)
Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | LinkedIn

David Drazil is a young architect who loves to sketch. He’s commited to help other architects, designers, and hobby sketchers to understand, develop, and communicate their ideas better by sharing his knowledge and tips on architectural sketching.

During his architectural studies, both in the Czech Republic and Denmark, he found his passion in the visual representation of architecture - namely architectural sketching, visualisations, ani­mation, and virtual reality.

As a trained architect (Master of Science in Architecture and Design), Da... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Trailer: I was avoiding Instagram for quite awhile until I finally sign up in December 2016, which is six years from Instagram's official release. Nonetheless, it took me a couple more months to actually start using it actively and post something every day. Let me show you one of the very first post a shared on Instagram. It didn't have any hashtags as I didn't understand the first thing about Instagram. Notice there is no caption. Know hashtags, know Geolocation. The post is not even in a square format and it's none that pretty eater almost nothing about is was correct, quote unquote, bother me at the time? No way. I was excited to start on this platform. And maybe just as you are right now, I was starting from scratch. The reason why I started was to use Instagram as a gallery of my works in progress. As I was starting to work on educational material, on architectural sketching, my focus was on producing content that I could use to probably present myself, but I didn't really have any expectations when it comes to getting followers are becoming successful on his platform is my approach was more like, Hey, let's give it a try and see where it goes. Jumping back to this day, three years and more than 150 thousand followers later. Thanks to my online presence on Instagram, I've had a chance to meet some amazing people. I had a chance to speak about my project at conferences and universities. I self-published my first book. I got a traditional book deal with a major American publisher. I was featured in a magazine and interviewed or several blogs and podcasts. I started long-term collaborations with two sketching abs on iPad. I turned my side hustle into an online business that I can do full-time for a living now. But more importantly, by sharing my content, I could help a certain group of people and thanks to them, turn this online endeavor into something much bigger, impacting people all over the world. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to brag here, but I want to show you the opportunities, the possibilities, and the benefits that come out of building a strong online presence. So in this course, I'd like to share with you my Instagram experience, my best practices, all my secrets and strategies that I developed over the time. And I'd like to help you to get the most out of this platform as well. 2. Introduction: This is a short introduction where I'll quickly tell you what to expect from this course, as well as how to get the most out of it. You have already instant access to all the videos. In this course is self-paced, which means there are no deadlines or a timeframe that you need to follow. You can watch the videos in your own pace. There are six chapters in this course, starting with this introduction, the chip their own what really matters. And other on strategies and tactics and other on content creation. One with several real-life campaigns and a final wrap-up. There are several action sheets in PDF format providing during this course, which will help you to put a knowledge from this course into practice. Feel free to ask any questions under the videos, and I'll be happy to answer them the best I can. There's also afforded Plus page PDF guide summarising all the info from his course. Now how to make the most out of this course. Watch the videos in your own time. Filling the provided action sheets. Put the knowledge into practice. Feel free to reach out anytime. And don't forget to have fun experimenting with strategies and tactics in this course. Okay, that's it for this short indirection. Enjoy the course. 3. Your Why: Hi and welcome to the first chapter of this online course focused on what really matters when it comes to building your online presence, getting attention, and growing your audience in a way that is sustainable over the long-term and that will help you in your career or business. From my experience, there are four things that really matter when it comes to this. It is your why, your niche, your target audience, and the value you provide. And even though this course is focused on Instagram, you can take the same principles and apply them to build your online presence even on other online platforms. Be it other social media, your blog, YouTube channel, or search engine like Pinterest. So let's start with the first one. Your why. The call to action start with why is borrowed from Simon Sinek? It's something that I believe in and as it can be applicable to most areas of our lives, it also matters when it comes to building your online presence on Instagram. It is based on an idea that people don't buy from you because of what you do or how you do it. But they buy from you because of why you do what you do. I told you at the beginning that I started with Instagram. They use it as a gallery of my works in progress related to the educational material on architectural sketching. I need a space to present my sketches online to have an overview of them, and also an ability to share them easily with others. That was my y back then, no big expectations. Slowly as I was putting in the work. And the more I was sharing online, I realized that there's actually a deeper level of why behind what I do and what I believe in. It's nicely presented through this little definition of a designer, which I really like. It's short and simple and it's very truthful at the same time. It goes like this. Designer as someone who solves problems and communicates the solutions. This really resonates with me because it puts in words, my real-life experience when it comes to the importance of hand sketching, InDesign. So I realized that I share my knowledge about sketching. I explain various techniques and surely love tips and tricks for improvement, because I believe that it dramatically helps designers to be better in both of these key roles, both at solving problems and communicating solutions or ideas. That is my y. Now, if you haven't yet, it's time also for you to define your why. It's a foundation for all the other steps of building your online presence. Do you have an expertise you want to share with others? Do you want to help other people with something they often struggle? Do you want to build something bigger than you to create a community of like-minded people, have an honest intention. So start with something that you believe in and use it as an anger for sharing your work online. And don't worry too much. If it evolves into something a little bit different or deeper, it's all part of the process. Knowing your why and being honest about your intentions with this online and never will help you send the right direction for what you should share, for whom, who you might like to connect with based on what you stand for and how to present it in a way that it attracts the right people. So I know this is quite hard, but give it some thought. Maybe put it on paper because we will build on this in the next videos. I'll see you then. 4. Define Your Niche: Once you are a bit more clear on your why and your intentions behind using Instagram, Let's define your liege. So what is a niche in this context? Niche, in other words, is an area of interest or a specific area of the market, if you like, you should define your niche, your focal area to be well recognizable and to have the chance to stand out. Instagram is a very visual platform, as opposed to Twitter, for instance. So some of the most popular Nietzsche's, I'm at once, which can be strongly represented in a visual way. Some of the Instagram is most popular, general Nietzsche's our health and fitness lecture or lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, business and similar. Of course, all of these can be divided into smaller niches. In case of fitness, there are suddenly she is focused specifically on CrossFit, calisthenics, running, et cetera. Your ideal niche should be big enough, meaning there's enough people interested in it. There's enough attention and demand, but also a well-defined and specific. So your unique point of view can stand out among others and you avoid being too generic. The more you can define your niche and the more specific you can get, the better. Here's a little diagram that might help you define your ideal niche. Basically, you just need two ingredients. One is your passion, what you're really excited about, and the other is your expertise, an area where you can provide value for others? Does this mean that you have to be a professor at a university in this topic or that you have to have a degree for that. No, of course not. Don't worry. You just need to be ahead of majority of people who are interested in this topic. And you need to be able to explain it in a clear, engaging, an understandable way. Your ideal niche lies in the intersection of your passion and your expertise to give you something specific. Here's my example, architectural sketching. My niche lies at the intersection of architecture and sketching. And it's not just Architecture as this very broad and generic. And it's not just sketching or drawing either. It is a more defined combination of those. And it is certain specific style of sketching used by a specific group of people, architects and designers is very visual. It's a good fit for the platform, again, is defined specifically enough. And at the same time there was enough people interested in this topic. And by the way, I had no idea about this when starting out. I was just lucky with this one. So you can be more prepared. And I was, in the next video, we'll talk about something very much related to your niche and that is your target audience. I'll see you in the next one. 5. Your Target Audience: Once we have our leaves defined, a target audience comes really hand in hand with it. So let's take a look into death. First off, I think there's really no point in trying to please everyone. So let's be clear about the fact that you, your work, what you do, as well as your content is not for everyone. It's designed specifically for a group of people who either share the same interests as you are, who are looking for solutions in the area of your interest. Very probably the target audience is your ideal client. And you should be able to define very specifically who that is by creating one or more avatars. And author in this case, is a typical representative from your target audience. Tried to define it a bit closer with these characteristics. Ask yourselves, who RNA was the names, where they live, what situation are they and what do they want? What are their hopes and dreams? And also on the ADA sides, what do they struggle with? What are their pains and fears? Lastly, what are their barriers and uncertainties? The better you can define your target audience and your avatar's, the better targeted contents you can create to help your ideal audience and attract just the right people. Through sharing such content, you'll be getting more and more attention. And what you'll do when you get that attention is that you engage with your audience by engaging with your community, replying to their comments, discussing through DMs, direct messages, asking questions, and creating polls on stories. You should be able to define more clearly who your target audience is and who you create content for. This is a long-term process which requires mainly two things, empathy and care. Empathy for putting yourself in your ideal audience is shoes and asking whether they need, how can I help them by creating content on Instagram? I really like this slide. I borrowed it from one of the Creative Mornings presentation. And it's just so true. Kindness is really very often the answer. I have a policy that I don't ever write any negative comments online. I never respond in a negative way. It's just a rule of mine that I stick to. It doesn't mean that I don't offer a piece of constructive criticism, especially when someone asks for it. But I just try not to share any more negativity online as I think there's already enough of it out there. Again, the more you define and understand your target audience, the better. In that way, you know who you are creating the content for, which will lead to better response and overall higher engagement of your followers. In my case, over the time, I found out that my audience consists of mainly students and young professionals in areas of architecture, landscape and interior design, civil engineering, industrial design, and related professions. But there's also a group of non-professionals in architecture area, like Urban Skechers or self-taught artists and illustrators. Next step, we'll take a look at how you can create and provide value to your audience. 6. Value You Provide: Hi. In this video, we'll take a look at the value that you can provide to your audience, which is ultimately the main reason for people to follow you and become your fans. The good news as you don't have to ask anyone to follow you, people will be more than happy to follow your IV. They see value in the content that you share. So what makes valuable and useful content? The value you provide 30 content can have different forms, but usually it fits in these categories. Either it's entertainment or aids, education and information, or it's inspiration slash motivation. In an ideal scenario, you will combine all of these values in a single piece of content. You will entertain, you will educate, and you'll inspire all at the same time. I hope this already starts rolling in your head with ideas on how you can create valuable content, what you'll share that your audience would find useful, entertaining, and inspiring. Again, your goal, first and foremost, is to serve your audience by providing value through a quality content. It is relative to your target audience who has often looking for a solution to common or specific problems within your niche. And that's where your expertise comes into play. As you can see, I'm talking back again about your niche, about your target audience, about a value you provide. It's all connected. And I really do hope it starts to click and come together. To give you again my specific example. I tried to put informational and educational value alongside with high aesthetics of my posts. I'd like to explain how as kitsch was made, what tricks and techniques there are to achieve similar results. In that way, my audience can enjoy and get inspired by nice sketches and at the same time, learn more about architectural sketching step-by-step and apply it to their own sketches. So that's what my audience gets out of it. I'm not trying to just show nice sketches, but also to explain the process behind them and break them down. So my audience can learn a bit more about the process and gets the principles and use them on their own illustrations. So to wrap up this whole chapter about the things that really matter, I've prepared a worksheet for you where you can fill in your Y, your niche, your target audience, and the value that you will provide. It's an opportunity for you to put it in words, to put it down on paper all in one place. You can get this worksheet and downloaded in the next lesson. Take your time to fill it in and I'll see you in the next chapter. 7. Hashtag Strategy: Welcome to another chapter where we'll dive into the nitty-gritty stuff. Specifically, we'll be talking about different strategies and tactics that I've tested, measure, and optimize during the past three years. We will start with one of the most important strategies that you should create for your Instagram presence, and that is hashed x strategy. First off, what are hashtags? There are basically a tags, keywords, searchable words or phrases, which are used for organizing and categorizing content. But they also dramatically help you to increase the reach of your posts as well as the engagement with your content. Even though hashtags started on Twitter. It's one of the characteristics that Instagram was built on and is the platform where it is used the most. According to simply measure.com, posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average over 12% more engagement than posts without a hashtag. Hashtags are the key to discover it on Instagram. The use of the right Instagram hashtags, which are relevant to your niche and target audience, increases engagement with their posts and leads to more quality followers. So the bottom line is, the use of hashtags should be a no-brainer. How many hashtags should you use? The number of hashtags you should use? Proposed is a topic of many discussions. The maximum allowed is 30 hashtags per post. And that's what I've been using almost all the time. Some people may recommend using only three to ten hashtags. But little tip here is to actually use just 28 or 29 hashtags to fly just under the radar of the algorithm. The reason for that is nuts to appear suspicious or not to push it to the limits, but to use almost the maximum potential. This is one of the things that's really up to you to try it, tested and optimizing, underway. It's one of the things that is quite easily measurable, which means that it's also manageable. But what's maybe even more important than the number of hashtags is the combination of different types of hashtags and their relevance to your content. One way to differentiate between hashtags is how much they are used and therefore how big reach they have. Obviously, you can reach more people with more popular hashtags. On the other hand, is harder to get discovered through them. As there's much bigger competition. Creating your own hashtag strategy means creating an organized overview of relevant hashtags for your niche with focus on the right combination of hashtags with both high and low reach. How do you find out which hashtags to use? Basically, there are three places where you should look for relevant hashtags for you to use. The first and obvious choice is Instagram's own search tool for your niche and suggestions or related headaches. Number two is to search for what your audience is using so you can meet them where they are. And lastly, you can analyze the influencers and competitors in your niche. Depending on the categories of content you'll be sharing, you may want to create different sets of hashtags that would be relevant to respective categories. I would have a set of hashtags for sketches, a different set of hashtags for scale modals, and another one for architectural visualizations. For example, it's a good idea to keep your hashtags organized in a Google spreadsheet or a notepad, just somewhere where it's systematic, easy to use an accessible on your phone. Let's take a look at three different hashtags that I use, which have all different reach. Let's start from the right-hand side. There's my own branded hashtag sketch like an architect. And you can see that at the time that I made this screenshot, it had a little bit over 1200 posts using it. In the middle, there was a bit bigger hashtag, which is used in more than 200 thousand posts. That is what we would call a middle reach hashtag. And on the left-hand side, there is a very generic hashtag called sketching. And you can see that more than 11 million posts include dat. Notice the little line just under the hashtags which says related how Instagram suggest to which other hashtags are related to the one you are searching for. That should help you to discover other relevant hashtags for your niche. If you're an entrepreneur or you're trying to build a community, you can create your own branded hashtag, which can be your name or name of your company, through which you can connect with their followers. My example of a Brendan hashtag is the hashtag sketch like an architect, which I use for all my posts. But I also use it to search for any type of content that my audience is sharing with me. A little tip here is to create your hashtag and a little bit shorter than this one to make it easier for your followers and to avoid any mistyping. Now, let's summarize all the tips for creating your hashtag strategy. Use hashtags that are relevant to your niche. Combined both low and high reach hashtags. Research or hashtags with Instagram search tool, analyze influencers and competitors in your niche. Find out what your audience is using an engaging with, test and optimize the number of hashtags which works best for you. Collect your hashtags in Excel or Google Spreadsheet or Notepad and updated regularly. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video where we'll discuss what makes quality content. 8. Quality Content: Quality content is alpha omega of your online presence on Instagram is by far the most important factor when it comes to building and growing your audience and everything that follows. So in this video, I'd like to talk about six characteristics of quality content. Content creation is very probably da, area where you're going to spend most of your time creating or curating quality content. Let's break down what I believe are six most important characteristics of quality content. First, aesthetics. High aesthetics of your posts are a must, especially in terms of composition, colors, and contrast. Keep in mind that Instagram is really a very visual platform. So you need to help your posts aesthetics to a certain standard. It's okay to give it some time to find your style also in relation to what really resonates with your audience, what your fans react well to. Optionally, you can also decide to establish a consistent visual style for your whole feet. Again, we can take a look at my feet and you can see it. It's mainly black and white. Lot of overexpose photographs or just wide, big round and send the arms little bit of color exons. At 1. I asked my audience through stories, what are they like a super consistent feed, or whether they appreciate a variety of formats and categories of contents. And to my surprise, they preferred the leather. So if you're unsure which direction to go, just ask your audience. They will be happy that you ask them for advice and opinions and they will gladly tell you next sharable content. But what does it mean really? Sharable content is both relatable for your target audience and original in a way that it's presenting your unique point of view. Sharable content is something people like enough and find it useful enough to share it with others. I will go through some very specific examples of such pose and their analytics in the video in the next chapter focused on content creation. Quality content brings value. We've talked about a value you provide in an earlier chapter and hopefully get you started thinking about how we can provide value to your audience. Every time you want to post something new, ask yourself, is it worth sharing? Will my target audience benefit from this? What value does it bring? Quality content is also engaging. Great example is a caption of a post. Caption has the same importance as opposed to itself. Tried to think of your caption more as a start of a conversation rather than a statement. Ask a question For instance, or tell a related story. I've had some great success with asking simple this or death questions like in these posts. Again, we'll go deeper on this in the next chapter. Behind the scenes. I think people love getting to know how things are actually coming to live and what it takes to produce whatever you're creating. By showing people how it's done. You also educate them about your approach and your expertise. So show your audience behind the scenes of your work. Quality content is native to the platform. We might not always realize that, but there's a big difference between scrolling through Facebook feed and Instagram feeds. Both being social media, both owned by Facebook. But our mindset is different and that makes all the difference to our experience on it. We are used to different kinds of things, different people, different content on each platform. And that's why it's important to create content which is native for a respective platform. On Instagram, It's typical with square posts, nine to 16 ratio for stories, one minute video for post, and 15 seconds for stories. Specific hashtags relevant to your content and your niche. Keeping in mind these characteristics of Instagram as a platform and being aware of the mindset people are in when scrolling through their Instagram feed is super important. Orion, this was a quick run through of the six characteristics of quality content will follow up on this in the next chapter. Well, we'll also dive into analytics behind some of my best-performing posts. I'll see you then. 9. Bio Optimization: Your Instagram profile page, your bio works as a main lending page. Your little version of a personal website. And really, So here's what to keep in mind to convert more visitors into followers. First thing that is often overlooked is to differentiate between your username and your name. Your Instagram name is also searchable, so it makes sense to replace it with your brand name or include keywords which are relevant to your niche. Make clear what people can expect from you and what they get if they decide to follow you. You can incorporate hashtags and tags in your description. They work just as anywhere else on Instagram, and they're clickable. Include a website link and add a call to action. This is the only place where he can place an URL link on your profile. And there are generally two ways how to approach this. Either you can have a single ink towards one specific webpage like you see in this case. Or it can use a link hub such as link tree, which after clicking offers multiple directions and links to visit. Both approaches have their place. But in terms of efficiency, it's better to have a clear single call to action, specific outcome then to create more friction by adding a link hub where people need to decide what they want to visit. Lastly, below the bio, you have the option to create highlights from your stories, which can be compilations of handy categories explaining to visitors or your followers who you are, what you do, what you can offer, et cetera. It's a good opportunity to show an organized overview of important topics related to your profile or brand or company. In my example, you can see I have a welcome sequence showing people around and telling them what they can expect next. I have also highlight, showcasing my best-selling ebook. There are also links to podcasts, episodes with me, my website saved FAQs for quick answers. And there are highlights from the whole year of 2019 and so on. So you can think of the frequently asked questions that you get from your audience or typical things you want your audience to know or learn about you and place it on your profile as story highlights. And you can take action right now, I recommend to spend a couple minutes optimizing your profile. It's one of the little things that make bigger impact over the long-term. I hope you found this useful and I'll see you in the next video. 10. Be Social: In this video, we'll cover some useful tips on how to actually behave on Instagram to have the biggest impact and to build influence. If you want to get anything out of social media, you need to be actually social. What do I mean by that? I mean to engage with other people, respond to their comments like and comment on other people's posts. Leave your so-called $0.02 in discussions and reach out to people you want to make contact or collaborate with. Let's go over some of my favorite practical tactics which builds trust, increases your influence and create a really engaged community. And maybe above all, is just real fun to do. Do things that don't scale. This is a great advice. I've heard from many successful people. Whether you're just starting out or have already some following, still make time to do unscalable things like one-on-one conversations with your audience. It's a great way, not only how to make connections, but how to build relationships. $1 80 strategy. This is an effective strategy from good reminder Jack, taking your time and living your so-called $0.02 is a great way which helps to raise awareness of your profile and to build an engaged following. As Gary V presents it, wonder or Ailey strategy means searching for ten relevant and most popular hashtags in your niche and commenting on the best nine posts under these hashtags. By leaving your $0.02, which means nice, meaningful, useful comments, you start to build awareness of yourself. You earn credibility and gain engaged followers. If you do this consistently, everyday, people will notice DMZ direct messaging since they won, had been replying to every single direct message I got. It was out of respect and politeness. I appreciated that some people took their time to write me a message and I feel obliged to respond to them in a meaningful way. I found out later that on practical level, it also helps with your Instagram engagement as algorithm will organically promote your content more to people you've been in touch through DMs before. It's another way to help your audience. You learn about your questions, problems, and struggles, which can lead to great ideas either for your new content or paid products and services. It's great insight into your people's minds. Like a deep customer research. You'll find out what they're afraid of, what they want or what they struggle with. Using stories for engagement is another great tactic. You can use polls, questions, sliders, and other features in your stories. Use these features to learn more about your audience. Ask them questions, ask for advice. Give them a chance to vote on something and have a say. One more way. How I use stories is that I do unsolicited shout-outs to people whose work I like and admire simply because I think they do a terrific job. This is also a great way to get in touch with like-minded people who might be in a similar position as you are. Give it a shot and try out some of these tactics on your own for some time and see what works best for you. I believe you'll be surprised by the amount of engagement you'll get out of this. 11. Consistency: Probably one of the most important rules to play by, which is again, applicable to many areas of life. We already talked about quality content and what makes such content. So this is an addition to it. Create quality content consistently. The frequency of posting is up to you. Rule of thumb for growing is the biggest volume of content to foster the growth. Decide on what is sustainable for you over the long-term, and what is the right frequency for you to stick with? I tried to create a post for every working day, meaning five times per week, Monday through Friday. And that worked for me just fine. But I know that some of the curating pages, Instagram accounts that share and pureed work of others. They may pose between two to four posts and day, which is why usually curating pages have more rapid growth than people who post only their own work. Depending on your intentions, think about whether you want to share only your own content, curated content of others, or to combine both approaches. Keep in mind that sharing other people's work might lead to faster growth. But at the same time, it might not be the best strategy if you want to build a personal brand as it takes away the attention from the person behind that account. 12. Content Typology: There are several types of content that you can share on Instagram. In this video, I'll try to cover the characteristics and opportunities that each of them brings. Let's start with a single image post. And let's break down what worked really well for many of my best-performing posts, which often got more than 10 thousand lives and reach hundreds of thousands of people. Let's take a look at this image of a sketch from a photo reference. At the top, you can notice that there is a geolocation tag which is related to the image. The image itself is native to the platform as it's cropped the square format, and it also fits my visual style and my niche. This little icon says that I've tagged several pages in the post. Usually they are relevant curating pages which are likely to repost my image. The maximum amount of tagged accounts can be 20. As I've said before, caption can be as important as the image itself. In this case, the caption is actually a question to my audience with two options. So it's kind of that this or dad question, which drives a really high engagement. And a lot of people find it easy to answer that in the caption. I also credit the reference which I made this sketch from. Under that you can see first hashtag is my own branded hashtag sketch. Like an architect, I'm used to making five enters or five lines to separate the rest of my hashtags. But optionally you can put the rest of the hashtags in the first comment. It also works just fine. Lastly, the comments section. Since I ask a question in the caption, lot of people are answering in the comments, which drives high engagement. And as you can see, and also replying to all those comments. Next type of content is a carousel post. Carousel post offers multiple images which you can swipe through from left to right with the horizontal slideshow, I recommend using them if you aren't yet because they let your audience engaged with your content for a longer time than a single image. Post your followers, stop scrolling and start swiping left and right, resulting in a longer time spend on your content, which is assigned for the Instagram's algorithm that is a quality content and it will be more organically promoted. Moreover, carousel post offer many more opportunities. How to share some value with your audience. It can be a step-by-step tutorial or a short story. You can present before and after. And you can also show multiple options that your audience can vote for. In one of the next videos focused on analytics, I'll explain some strategies behind the creation of such carousel posts. Videos offers similar opportunities as carousel posts, as they can get your viewers attention for a longer time than a single image post. However, it does depends very much on how well you can capture the attention during the first couple of seconds of the video. Video posts are limited to one minute. And even though they can be in a landscape format, it's preferable to crop the video to square format or sudden aspect ratio of four to five. Instagram stories, usually inspired by or pretty much stolen from Snapchat or another fun way how to engage with your audience. Stories disappear after 24 hours, so they don't need to be perfect. They are great for both images and videos up to 15 seconds, and serve well for quick updates behind the scenes or pulls and Q and A's, there are lots of possibilities for interactivity and engagement with your audience, as well as a great chance to get to know more about your audience. You can also use them as an appetizer for your hashtag new post, to drive traffic to your profile. Whenever you post something new, share it to your story. Ask a related question, create a poll or paint over it to hide it so your audience is lowered into chicken it on your profile. Igtv stands for Instagram television, and it allows you to upload videos longer than one minute. Instagram tried with IGTV to create a competition to YouTube. However, originally, you could upload only vertical videos, which often don't serve the best purpose. And they lived only on IGTV channel. And the beginning of 2019, Instagram allowed IGTV videos to be also upload it to normal feed, allowing up to one minute of preview of an IGTV video. This helped a lot with increasing traffic to IGTV channels and watch time of IGTV videos. You can go live with your audience on Instagram through the live mode in your stories. It's a great way how to show your personality and get closer with your fans and followers. You can schedule a Q and a time and invite your audience to ask questions which you can answer them during the live stream. Live streams are also great opportunities to present your new products or services and answer questions and bound him or showcase physical products that you're offering. I use IG live to show my audience my upcoming book. And it was a great strategy, had to raise awareness of the book and help the whole book launch campaign to succeed. Finally, you can also use Instagram Live to host an interview with someone interesting in your niche. Then it becomes a live version of your own TV show or live video podcast. I hope you find this inspiring and that you get some new ideas about how to leverage different formats of content on Instagram. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 13. Content Ideas: Coming up with content ideas for Instagram can be tough. So let's talk about the framework that can help you with this process. Use what you know about your target audience and right now and number of topics your followers are interested in. In my case, some general topics might include a theme from frequently asked questions like, what pens and markers do I use? Or typical struggles withdrawing, like how to understand perspective. So if I tried to list it out, I would write down architectural design, perspective drawing, sketching doodles, drawing from observation versus imagination, sketching with color markers, and so on. Now take these general topics and think of what would be the best form or format to present them in. Isn't a single image post as a photo or motivational quotes, or a carousel post with a step-by-step tutorial, or a video, or a story sequence. To help you start. Here's a list of general ideas or categories for your content. I encourage you to continue growing this list on your own because you go. So we have always a place to come for some content inspiration. You can find this list and downloaded under this video, but for your convenience, it's also included in the PDF guide. 14. Tips on Content Creation: How to not get swallowed by the hamster wheel of content creation. How to avoid burning out? Some great approaches and strategies for content creation process is what we are going to talk about in this video. Creating high-quality content on a regular and frequent basis can be super hard and time-consuming to avoid doing extra work for the sake of content creation on Instagram or any other platform. It's smart to document what you're already working on and use debt as content for Instagram. This is a strategy that I've heard from Gary Viner chug in case you're not familiar with him, look him up and also check his books and can only recommend them. But it's strategy of documenting overproducing is especially useful for profiles that's shared their own work. Here's an example of how I can produce one sketch and documented in four different ways, resulting in four unique pieces of content. In that way, the hamster wheel doesn't swallow me entirely and I can keep my sanity. Optionally, I could have also recorded myself creating the sketch and documenting several steps of the creative process to create even more pieces of content. So you want to be thinking about your creative or working process and documenting the steps on the way which can be used as content for Instagram or any other platforms. Again, this is also related to taking your audience backstage, showing them behind the scenes, which is very attractive. Here are some more useful approaches to content creation. We've already talked about a strategy, document overproduce. And other one is repurposing. Thinking about the ways you can repurpose your already existing content for other platforms, such as your website, blog, email, newsletter, YouTube, et cetera. You can turn your popular blog post or a newsletter e-mail into an Instagram carousel post or vice versa. Another great time-saving approach is Bejing. I can only recommend batching your content creation, which means dedicating a certain block of time to a single activity. In this case, it'd be content creation. You can dedicate one morning or maybe one afternoon per week to create and prepare content for the next week, for instance, I can tell you from my own experience that this is so much smarter approach than to be thinking last minutes, what to post on Instagram today and what caption to write about it. So that your content creation and plan ahead. If you're wondering about a third party content planning tool I'm using later. I have no affiliation with them. I just use their free plan for planning and scheduling my posts. And it's a timesaver. So that's it for the tips on content creation process. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 15. Best Posts Analytics: In this video, I'd like to share with you some of my best-performing posts of all times and discuss why they worked. We're going to take a look into analytics to see some insights behind these posts and what impact they had. You'll have access to these analytics called Instagram insights. Once you set up a business profile, if you don't have a business profile yet and you're unsure whether to change it or not. Check the link below this video for a handy infographics that will help you decide. Let's start with this person. This is a good example of a carousel post showing two different options, black and white and colored hand sketch trees from top. Note that all the trees are numbered. And in the caption I'm asking which is your favorite. In that way, I tried to make it very easy for my followers to interact and engage with my content. On the right-hand side, there is a screenshot from the insights for your information, reach is the number of unique accounts that have seen the post. And impressions are the total number that this post has been seen. Another example of two options with a question to audience, this time in a single image post the day before I posted a video of me sketching this. So it was a natural follow-up on already successful content. Or the time I found out that content explaining anything perspective related usually performs very well. Simple diagram of the explanation which brings value to the audience. Since my niche is architectural sketching, this post combines both architectural design and sketching taken from a real life project. I share the insight that this was not the chosen concept we went with. Let's take a look at my best-performing posts. So far. The single carousel post reached over 900 thousand unique accounts, brought over 4 thousand followers, and generated close to 3000 website clicks. The important question is, why? Well, it speaks directly to my ideal audience, to my target audience. Educate them on how to place people. It gets their attention by challenging subtitle what you're doing wrong, and takes advantage of a carousel format showing dues and dawns on seven slides. The last slide is used as a call to action in binding the viewers to download my related freebie, hence, the high number of website clicks. This post roughly follows the marketing framework called the aida model. I'd ask them for attention, interest, desire, and action. It's a classic marketing model which is being used in different contexts, including email marketing. However, as you can see, you can also adjusted and it applies to Instagram Carousel posts. All the posts that you've seen in this video were shared organically with no ads, no promotion, no financial investment in them. I hope this provided some insights into what's behind some of the best-performing posts and how you can leverage the strategies behind them so you can create your own successful content. Thanks for watching. 16. V-A-T Framework: We're getting close to the end of this chapter on content creation. And I'd like to summarize what's really important to take away from all of this so far. Building and growing your online audience is a long-term process. And in order to get all the benefits of that, like lots of attention, influence and eventually more sales. You'll probably want to follow the simple overarching framework. It starts with value. Bring value to your followers through the content you create. Be it entertainment, inspiration, or education. When you provide value on a regular and consistent basis, you will get attention. And finally, when you nurture the attention you're getting and you provide even more value, you'll be able to gain trust. You'll harness trust from your followers by truly caring about them, engaging with them, communicating through DMs, and helping them as much as he can. Only when people trust you, they are more willing to support you and to buy from you. 17. Your Content Strategy: Hi again. To put everything we've talked about so far into practice, I've prepared a special worksheet for you where you can start with your content strategy. You can find this worksheet and downloaded under this video. It should serve for you as an action plan which you will dedicate to for the next month. So you can set your posting frequency here. I recommend at least three times a week so you can measure some results. If you can do more than that, then it's great. Posting time is another thing to be consistent about. If you don't know yet when your audience is most active and you don't have the access to your Instagram insights. You can start with times when your audience will be probably active, which is generally either in the morning when they wake up and show their social media or during their lunch break or afterwards, let's say after five or six pn. Then you have also space here to analyze your needs and to write down five influencers and five competitors, which you can analyze further for their posting frequency or hashtags. Finally, following up on the content idealist from one of the previous videos. Here you have space to write down your 10 content ideas to start with. Alright, this wraps up the whole content creation chapter. I hope you find that useful. Take your time to fill in the content strategy worksheet and feel free to ask any questions. I'll be happy to answer them the best I can. I'll see you in the next chapter. 18. Running a Successful Giveaway: What are giveaways and why they're useful to building and growing your online audience. Let's take a look at some specific examples and case studies in this video. In this context, a giveaway is usually a free contests for your audience, where one or more participants can win a prize that you're giving away. Giveaways are basically just another way how to say thank you to your audience for sticking around. Usually when you reach a certain milestone in growing your audience, like 10 thousand people or 50 thousand people. You can offer free, downloadable, freebie, or you can host a giveaway. It's a great way not only how to grow your online audience, but also your e-mail list. Having that said, I'll show you two approaches which are used in the past to successfully run a giveaway. First, let's start with a giveaway hosted solely on Instagram. But long ago I hosted a giveaway as a thank you for reaching 150 thousand followers on Instagram. In this case, and breadth of art supplies offered to provide a price of 120 color markers to a winner of this giveaway. That was great because it's very relevant to my audience and niche. And at the same time, I'm using the markers myself. So here's how to do away post looked. In this case, we want it to generate high engagement and to also provide exposure for the brand. Sponsoring the giveaway. To give it away lasted for a week and it resulted in over 15 thousand comments, more than 6000 unique accounts actively taking part in it. And a big spike in followers growth for both me and the brand sponsoring to give away. Another way to run a giveaway is to use a third party service like King sumo. King Summa is a free tool which I used to run some of my giveaways where participants sign up for free with their email addresses. In that way, a giveaway helps you to grow your e-mail list. Great thing about King Summa is that it promotes viral character of your giveaways as it rewards participants for sharing your giveaway on social media and following you on various online platforms. I used consumer for my book giveaway in the occasion of my book launch, and the results were following. Over three days, more than 1400 contestants joined to give away. That means lot of new email addresses. And on top of that, more than 14000 entries means a lot of new followers and subscribers on all other online platforms. So these were the two approaches that I found the biggest success with in the past. Let me know if you've tried the same or different strategies for running a giveaway and how it worked out for you. Thanks, and I'll see you in the next video. 19. Launching My Merch: In the occasion of reaching 100000 followers on Instagram, I decided to host the giveaway and to also use it as an opportunity to create an introduce new products. For some time, I've been thinking about creating some kind of merchandise for my brand. And I started with what came first in my mind, T-Shirts. To give you an overview of the whole process, I recorded a bunch of stories as Instagram takeover for the print on demand company that I use to produce and ship the t-shirts. Let me play it for you a little bit about what I do. I'm an architect who loves to sketch, and I have other architects, designers and Hobbes Skechers do use sketching as a tool for both design process and presentation. To help our people, I create digital products. I share downloadable freebies and educational resources and tips and tricks on how to sketch like an architect. You can find me on Instagram at David underscore drizzle. I started with physical products as my giveaway prizes when I reached 100000 followers on Instagram, since I already offer my digital products on the gum road, I was really excited to find out did I get over even physical products together with principles. So my very first products wear T-shirts like this one with 10 different designs on them. And here's how the process of creating them went. First, because these t-shirts where the prices for my giveaway for 100 K followers on Instagram. I wanted to involve my audience and create a T-Shirts with them rather than just for them. So I did my audience votes on different designs and also ask them about their own ideas and feedback. So I would find out what they really like. And also I let them look behind the scenes and show the unpacking of some of my first samples. The ADA peroxidase said the Create where these magic coffee mugs, because architects are quite well-known to drink a lot of coffee. What I love about this process is how interactive it gets, how I can communicate with my audience to create just the right products for them. And also, I love when they're similar photos of them wearing the t-shirts, our drinking from the coffee mugs. You can see almost 10000 on average on these Instagram stories and debts. Debts huge. It's a great number showing really high engagement. And you could tell in the process how people were into it, how fired up they were on top of voting in the stories. They were also sending me a lot of DNS with their own ideas. And that's exactly what you want. Your audience want to be a part of the process. They want to look behind the curtain and even better, they appreciate if they have a say. So letting people vote and decide on a t-shirt design is a great way how to achieve all this and how to get your people excited about a final result of the process. Obviously, this is just one of the examples from my experience, but you can take the principal and applied to whatever you're creating to involve your audience in the process and get them excited for the result. 20. Book Launch: In this video, we'll take a look at how I use Instagram to create buzz around my book launch and how it helped my book to get trending as number one in new releases on Amazon. Okay, So this is the result of my successful book launched earlier this year. But let's rewind to look at what promo campaigns were actually behind it. I already talked about hosting a book giveaway to support the book launch. And as you can see from the poll, people love giveaways. I also used Instagram stories and livestream to share some of the behind the scenes on the process. Let's look at some of those stories. Guys, this is it, this desk brains of my upcoming book just derived. Finally. All right guys, let's do an Instagram live here where we, um, fact this together. Like it's going to be first sign, preview you to gather together. And I will not see it before you, which is a bit scary, but let's do that tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing. Don't forget to turn on their a reminder for tomorrow's live stream. I'll see you then. Cheers. You can see that some of the immediate reactions from the community were just amazing. We went live on Instagram 2 times, actually. And both times they were around 1 thousand people joining the live stream. In the first live stream, we unpacked together the first test print of my book. And in the second live stream, I officially launch the book and made it publically available for purchase. On the way, I was also sharing behind the scenes from the process, like with this book, photoshoot, partners and Instagram pages I've been in touch were kind enough to share the book launch in their stories for free, which is a part of our unwritten gentleman agreement, that we would help out each other's spreading the word in occasions like this one. And these relationships, they all come as byproducts of the process we've talked about during this whole course. You'll get a lot of opportunities and your create meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with others. There's the power of providing value and contributing to an online community. So let's recap the use of Instagram and my online presence in this book launch. There was this whole book giveaway, which I covered in the previous video. Thanks to building relationships on the way, my partners on Instagram where kind enough to share the book launch to their audiences for free. I was sharing a lot of stories with behind the scenes on the process. We went live two times together with my audience. Once for unpicking of the first test print and the second time during the official release day of the book. I hope you found these insights inspiring to use some of the mentioned strategies also for your lunches of physical or digital products, services, or even events. 21. Promoting Products & Services: Let's discuss different tactics on how to promote your products or services through content on Instagram. You can use different formats of content to promote your products or services. And we look more closely into how to use carousel post stories and live streams on Instagram. First, let's look at some examples of using carousel post to promote your free or paid products. Here I'm promoting my best-selling ebook on architectural sketching. I start a caption saying peek inside. And I ended with lincoln bio, which is basically a short form of a call to action for people to know where to find a link to get the e-book. It's a carousel post so people stop scrolling for awhile and start swiping. Left. On four slides, I show what's inside the e-book. And at the end there's also a video trailer. If we look at the analytics, we can see that it has over 11 thousand legs and it generated over 1800 website clicks, which resulted in many sales and email addresses. This is, again, my best-performing posts so far, which we've talked about in detail in the best post analytics video, offering, irrelevant, the freebie generated close to 3000 website clicks and similar number of new email addresses. This post shows an important concept of educating your audience burst and offering your product later. Here's a similar example of educating my audience first on how to sketch human figures and offering a related product afterwards. And again, great results with almost 13 thousand likes and more than 100 website clicks. Let's take a look at how to use stories to promote your products without being salesy. Here one of my followers, Mariana, tag me in her story showing the use of my Photoshop brushes. This is a great example of so-called UGC user generated content. Not only I'm happy to report her story and give her a shout out, but I'll also take this as an opportunity to remind the rest of my followers about this product. You can see that I'm using a little trick here with hashtags to get big reach with my stories. I add relevant hashtags and hide them either behind a text or behind a sticker, so it's not disturbing the message. Also, I'm using the Swipe Up feature, which is unlocked for you once you have a business profile and you reach 10 thousand followers. Even though it might seem like a detail, ending the call to action to swipe up dramatically increases the number of people who actually will swipe up. If you want your audience to do something, they'll them. Another way how to promote and sell your products through stories is to share positive reviews and testimonials from your existing customers and clients. In order to sell more, It's important to be seen selling successfully in the past. Lastly, scheduling and Instagram live stream with your audience is a great way how to answer their questions or physically show them your new or existing products, again, is great if you can use the strategy of educating them on the topic first, like how to use your product and selling afterwards. In that way, you are basically turning your live stream into a webinar. Okay, that's it for some of the tactics on how to effectively promote your products or services on Instagram. I'll see you in the next video. 22. Recap - My Top 10 Rules: Big, congratulations on finishing the course. I hope you found lots of the information from this course useful. And more importantly, that you are putting the knowledge into practice to really getting the most out of your online presence. Here's a recap of the most important takeaways from this course. Be clear about your why. Bring value through your contents. Care about people. Be consistent. Put in the work. Make a plan and stick to it. Be social. Experiment, optimize, and have fun. Document overproduce. Lastly, the patient's quality takes time. Okay, thanks again for joining me in this online course and good luck with your online and offline and diverse. Feel free to reach out anytime with your questions to answer them the best I can. Take care.