Do This Before You Follow Another Instagram Guru

Have you ever had an Instagram expert say one thing and then another Instagram expert says another thing and the advice doesn’t match up? This can be super confusing and even frustrating when you’re trying to grow and getting conflicting messages. Don’t worry, this post isn’t just more advice for you to follow. I’m giving you the tools to discern if who you are following is someone worth listening to. So, do this before you follow another Instagram guru.


First off, I want to put it out in the open that this post is not to call anyone out because there are a lot of people teaching Instagram who have great motives and amazing things to share. Along with this group of Instagram experts, there are people who are also teaching Instagram strategies who do not have a ton of experience with it. But they get a lot of followers simply because of platform bias. 

It may sound funny that I’m talking about this when I am in fact someone who is on Instagram and teaching about it. However, I’m not afraid to cover this topic because I have the experience and expertise to back up my strategies and recommendations. And because of this experience, I’ve gotten really good at discerning who is worth following and who isn’t. I want you to get really good at this too, so let’s jump right into the tools you need to figure this out. 


before you follow another instagram guru, do this.


Do This Before You Follow Another Instagram Guru

Before I follow someone who is coaching on Instagram strategy, I ask myself several questions. These questions help me discern if this person is worth following. I want you to get in the habit of asking yourself the same ones because it’ll help clear things up so much for you.

Q #1: What experience do they have?

Q #2: When did they start their Instagram account?

Q #3: What were they doing before they started coaching about Instagram?

Q #4: What led them to this point?

I used to think of my business experience as a negative thing. I’ve zigged and zagged all over the place which has led me to where I am now. I started out selling little girl dresses on Etsy, I’ve tried cake decorating, and photography, started a non-profit, participated in an MLM, and started a marketing agency. 

I’ve sold physical products that were homemade and I’d have to physically ship them out, I’ve sold services (marketing and photography), and I’ve sold digital products. I’ve been all over the map and where I used to see this as a downfall that it took me so many twists and turns to get to the point where I am now, I now see this as the biggest blessing because it’s given me the vast experience I need in order to serve you. 

While you do want advice on how to grow on Instagram–which I can totally give you–my experience helps me be able to relate to you and really visualize where you’re coming from no matter your niche and phase of your business. 


the best questions to ask yourself before you follow another instagram expert.


Discerning Questions Continued…

Q #5: How consistently does this person show up?

Q #6: Did they get lucky with a couple of viral reels?

Q #7: Do they only show up when they are selling?

We want people who are consistent and in it for the long haul. We are looking for people who are here to build a sustainable business, and not just a passing one. Pay attention to how often they show up and how they are serving their audience. 

Q #8: Are they growing followers right now or is it staying stagnant?

This answer is a sign of whether or not the Instagram “guru” has adapted to how Instagram functions today. If their followers are from months or even years ago this means they are not up to date with the strategies people need in order to grow on Instagram today.

Q #9: Are they only teaching hacks or do they really understand the strategy? 

Q #10: Are they sharing valuable information or regurgitated information from other people?

Q #11: Does this person have an email list and/or website they lead you to?

If this person is only growing on Instagram and nowhere else, this is a red flag to me because this tells me they aren’t serious enough to invest in a long-term brand. We don’t want people who just make a quick buck from their followers, we want someone who truly cares about what they are sharing and has worthwhile experience with it. 

Q #12: Does this person make sense for me to follow?

If the Instagram guru has checked all the boxes at this point then the last question to ask yourself is if this person is the right fit for you. Do you like the information they are sharing? Do you mesh well with their style/brand? Make the decision and try it out! 


5 truths you need to know as an instagram content creator.


5 Truths to Know About Instagram as a Content Creator

Now that I’ve run you through all the questions to ask to help you discern if this claimed Instagram expert is with your time, there are 5 truths I want you to remember about Instagram. Hopefully, these truths will give you some encouragement to grow your account. It is totally doable, you just need to believe it and create your strategy to make it happen. (I can help you with this!


Instagram Truth #1: You can still grow on Instagram, even if you’re not teaching it.

Tons of my clients are growing insanely fast on Instagram using the strategies I recommend to them, and they are not teaching Instagram. They cover a wide range of niches and they are having great success. (Check out my post HERE where I spill some of my secret strategies that work so well for them–and me.) 


Instagram Truth #2: Create content for people who do not follow you. 

This is one of the strategies I dive into HERE, but basically, you need to split up your content strategy to where some of the content you are creating is for people who do not follow you–yet. This will mostly be in your reels content since that is what is seen by most people who do not follow you. 

You could also gain new followers from your feed–so think carousel posts, images, and other similar content. This content could show up in people’s searches and if you get really good at your Instagram SEO the higher the chance you have of showing up at the top of their search. 


Instagram Truth #3: Calls to Action are super effective. 

Always, always include a call to action in your posts. This is where you invite your followers to like your post, click the link, comment a certain word, etc. I discovered Many Chat a little while ago and it is a serious game changer! It automates your DMs and comment replies for you and makes it SO much easier to interact with and grow your audience. You can learn more about how this works HERE


Instagram Truth #4: The more research you do, the faster you’ll grow.

Do. your. research. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Instagram has great analytics where you can look at your content over the past 90 days. If you want to look back even further and have a few more research perks, you can use Metricool. This is what I use and I LOVE it. 

Looking at your analytics will give you a really good idea of what content is doing great and what content isn’t. This will tell you what your audience is interested in, and you’ll be able to take that knowledge and create more content based on that. 

Another way to research is to look at what successful people are doing outside of your industry. Pay attention to what type of content they are creating and pick up some tips and strategies that you’d like to include in your content. 


Instagram Truth #5: Using trending audio BEFORE it’s too trendy will get you more views.

Including trending audio in your reels is always a good idea. While using it will not guarantee that your reel will go viral, it is your best bet at getting the most views. When you click on the trending audio you should be able to see how many times it’s been used. If it has been used less than 10 thousand times, it’s good to go. If it has been used more than that, you’ve probably missed the trend and it’s best to move on. 


what to do when you get conflicting advice from instagram experts.


Do This Before You Follow Another Instagram Guru

Too many of us are getting on Instagram and scrolling our businesses away. We’re checking out our friends, and our competition, and “researching.” And then before we know it it’s been two hours and we haven’t actually done anything to help grow our business. 

And do you want to know the honest truth? When this happens we get frustrated and blame Instagram for being the worst when actually it’s the best–we just need to learn how to use it. So, do this before you follow another Instagram guru. Ask these questions, be intentional with your time on Instagram, and get serious about growing your business. 

I am so happy you’re here, putting in the work to grow. I know it seems like it’s a lot–and it is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. You can totally do this, and if you want some extra help I have some great resources and support you can check out HERE. And please, give me a follow on Instagram @iammichellegifford so you can keep getting the best Instagram tips and so we can stay in touch! 


Do This Before You Follow Another Instagram Guru

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