11 Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Grow on Instagram

Instagram has changed a ton over the years and even within the last year, there are things that are completely different. With that being said, the way you used to grow on Instagram is not going to work for you anymore. Here are 11 things to stop doing if you want to grow on Instagram. Plus, what you should do instead!



I know it can be hard to keep up with the algorithm, the social media competitors, or needing to post every day. But, friend, I have everything you need and more to help you finally get a good rhythm going for your Instagram game and your content strategy. If you’re looking for some extra tips, click HERE. If you’re ready to jump straight to the coaching and community that will teach you all the secrets and hold you accountable, you need to join my Insta Money Makers Coaching Group. Get started HERE


11 things to stop doing if you want to grow on instagram. www.iammichellegifford.com


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #1: Engagement Groups or Pods

Engagement groups are made up of several people you join with, most likely in your niche, and commit to commenting and sharing each other’s content. People do this in hopes to trick the algorithm and boost their content into other people’s feeds. 

This strategy is particularly damaging because you are now spending a lot of time engaging with other people’s content that is not bringing you any benefit, as far as how the algorithm works. Yes, you may have the same audience as those people in your engagement group, however, commenting on their content is not tricking the algorithm. The only thing it’s doing is telling the algorithm that you want to see more of that person’s content. 


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #2: Posting Square Content

Have you noticed how Instagram has changed the formatting from a square to a rectangle for posts? To follow this trend, whenever you’re posting a carousel post or any other type of post, make sure it is in a rectangular format (1080 x 1350). Why does this matter? You definitely want more real estate A.K.A. more land on Instagram! Any chance to take up more space on a screen will be to your advantage when it comes to catching people’s attention.


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #3: Follow-Unfollow Method

This follow-unfollow method is when you follow someone and like their content in hopes that they will follow you back and like your content. And then once they have, you go back and unfollow them. How mean is that?? We don’t do that. This method should never be used because growing your account has everything to do with making connections and building relationships so you can serve your people and spread your message all while cheering on and supporting the biz friend next to you. 


want to grow your biz faster on instagram? stop doing these things. www.iammichellegifford.com


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #4: DM Cold Calling

I get quite a bit of these cold calls in my DMs. They usually sound something like, “I’ve looked at your feed and I have this amazing business opportunity for you!” It’s true that cold calls can make you sales, BUT it’s maybe 2 out of 100. In other words, it’s not very effective and there is a much more effective way to make sales. And you do this by spending the time to really build a solid brand. Instead of solely relying on convincing people to buy your product, build a really amazing brand and let the sales happen on their own. 

If you create this really amazing brand that is beautiful, clear, and trustworthy then people will naturally want to purchase your products and work with you. Focus on building an honest relationship with people before you ever mention a business opportunity. Spending time cultivating authentic relationships will be what makes your business last in the long run. 


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #5: Posting Inconsistently

I get it. It is SUPER hard to stay consistent on Instagram. However, maybe you just don’t have the right tools you need yet to make this consistency possible. I recommend getting a content calendar you can stick to. If you really want to grow on Instagram then it’s crucial for you to post every single day. Click HERE for tips on how to post every single day without getting burnt out. (*I know the linked post says it’s for summer, but this batching method will work any time of the year!)

Consistency is key to growing a business and growing on Instagram. It’s also one of the toughest things to master. Showing up every day will give you three things:

  1. Secures a stronger relationship with your people.
  2. Builds trust and credibility with your audience.
  3. Improves your skills for creating content because you are learning so much so quickly since you are doing it every single day.


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #6: Posting a Perfect Feed

Having a “perfect feed” is so out. It used to be that you had to have a beautifully created post every single time and everything had to look aesthetically gorgeous. But this isn’t the case anymore. Your Instagram feed definitely still matters but in a different way. Think of it as your resume. If people hear about you they will probably go to your Instagram feed and scroll through to see if they want to follow you, work with you, etc. 

So, while your feed doesn’t have to be perfect it should be cohesive. You create this cohesiveness by using the same fonts, colors, and types of photos. (Check out my post HERE for tips on setting up your cohesive feed.) That way your brand will be easily recognizable whenever people come to your feed or when your content shows up in their feed. 


11 things to stop doing right now if you want to grow on instagram. www.iammichellegifford.com


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #7: Not Posting Video

About 5 or 6 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that video would make up 80 percent of feeds in about 4-5 years. And he was totally right. Do you want to know why I love video? It builds a relationship with people so much faster than if they were to see a carousel post (or almost any other post). 

Plus, with Instagram specifically, reels has its own algorithm so your video content gets pushed out to people who do not follow you. This is a HUGE opportunity for helping you grow so much faster and get seen by people who could become your loyal customers.


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #8: Using Hashtags as Your Overall Search Strategy

Hashtags are slowly fading out. If you’ve noticed on Instagram before you post you can add topics to your content. This is a way for you to tell Instagram what your content is about. This feature along with several others is Instagram showing you that they are stepping up their SEO game. Because of this, hashtags are now less of a strategy than they were before. I still use them, but only as a supporting element to my strategy and not as my main strategy. 


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #9: Not Using SEO as Part of Your Strategy

Instagram is getting better at identifying what our content is and putting it in front of people who would actually want to see it. This is great news for creators! The ticket is you need to make sure you are taking advantage of these SEO (search engine optimization) features. It’s all about the keywords and where to put them. Check out my video HERE which will tell you all the ways to use the SEO features on your Instagram posts. 


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #10: Posting Outside of Your Niche

This tip goes along with the SEO one. If you’re posting content that is outside of your niche that is confusing the Instagram algorithm with what type of content you create and what type of people it needs to be in front of. So, get really specific about who you serve and make sure your content appeases that ideal person every single time. My post HERE will help you hone in on your niche and ways to serve those people. 

If you ever have the desire to post something a little outside of your niche then post it to your stories instead. Your stories is a great place for you to go to the edges of your niche because you’re talking to your people who are already sold on you and your brand. Plus, this is a great way to nurture your relationship with your people. 


Stop Doing This on Instagram | Thing #11: Not Having an Instagram Strategy

Instagram is an AMAZING place for meeting people, selling products, and building brand awareness. However, Instagram is just the handshake so you need to have a strategy where you meet people on Instagram and then you lead them elsewhere to buy your products/services and keep following you. This could be to an email list, podcast, website, etc. 

Getting a strategy in place will help you be much more intentional about how you’re spending your time growing your business and the type of content you’re creating. AND it will lead you to make more money! Which is one of the few things your business is all about, right?


Stop doing these 11 things if you want to grow on instagram. www.iammichellegifford.com


11 Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Grow on Instagram

Alright, those are the 11 things to stop doing if you want to grow on Instagram! Let’s just leave these 10 things behind together and work on exploding our Instagram accounts this year! If you want some extra support in this, join my Insta Money Makers Coaching Group. You get coaching from me and special guest speakers, access to all of my courses, and a community of biz owners who get it. You can check it out HERE. And make sure you’re following me on Instagram @iammichellegifford to get all the best tips and tricks for growing a biz! 



11 Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Grow on Instagram

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