Demystifying Instagram : The Rise of Dan Bilzerian!
Let’s face it! Thanks to Instagram, It’s easy to brand yourself as a role model.
Who among you would have thought that a simple poker player named Dan Bilzerian becomes talk of the town?
His fan base is twice that of Tunisian population
I took the time to explore various Instagram celebrity accounts in an attempt to demystify the secrets of what people might call “overnight success” when we talk about Dan Bilzerian.
My findings might surprise you!
A little bit of history
Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app exclusively for the iOS operating system. A version for Android devices was released two years later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively. (Wikipedia)
With 700 millions registered users, 400 million active ones and 40 billion shared photos daily, Instagram is certainly one of the hottest platforms right now.
Did you say personal branding?
There is a high chance you are pretty aware of it . Your time is precious so I will keep it short .
Personal Branding is the practice of self marketing(Thank you Wikipedia)
In other words, Personal branding is about exposing your set of skills to the whole world.
That’s the dream! right?
For example, if you know how to code,tell us about that . If you can play the piano, share your passion with us.
You get the point right ?
What you will need :
- The instagram app
- A computer with internet Access
- Some photoshop skills
Everything is ready , Let’s JAM!
Choose a unique username
This may sound like a cliché but picking a unique username is crucial. I know setting up an instagram account requires a unique username .
But I am talking about something different here.
There are two approaches to pick a noisy username :
- catchy and easy to remember (e.g : freshelectron, darkmatter, bluemoon)
- Standardized : name.surname or name_official ( e.g : my account username is azzen.abidi )
Setup your profile description :
This is not necessarily the first thing the visitor can see once they are on your profile pad. Just a reminder:
Words matter a lot for information addicts
First, keep it short . Do not exceed the length of a tweet.
You can either describe what you do or the business values you are promoting. In my case, it was a hard choice to settle with one of the following:
- Mozilla Tech Speaker|Entrepreneur|Blogger
- Get original insights on tech, entrepreneurship and more . Join my blog : https://goo.gl/vNSn8X
Quirky descriptions make you manifestly stand out . They might also be risky.
I remember when I took part in the Mozilla Tech Speakers program a few months ago, I wrote the following bio :
Azzen loves riding the elephants and hanging out with his penguins. Overall, he is a Parker by day and a Spidey by night.
To enhance your bio a little bit more , you can:
- Use flashy stickers and emojis to give it some style .
- Leave your contact information for business inquiries . Your email address should be enough for now .
Pick a profile photo
A good profile photo should send the following signals :
So, how are we going to achieve this ?
Taking a photo is easy. Taking a great photo is hard !
The anatomy of an instagram profile
If you look at any instagram profile, you will notice that the profile photo takes a small room in a whole page .
Ideally, take a face photo and please smile! Also, use a filter in order for it to be noticeable .
Optional : you can use your brand logo instead.
Make your profile public
By default, Instagram accounts are private. It’s in your interest to turn off the private account option .Go to settings then slide left the private account.
Select your niche
It’s essential to know your targeted niche before hand . This will help you to leverage the appropriate content . if you are a software engineer, most likely your audience will be tech enthusiasts and other fellows from the tech industry .
Always consider a similar question :
would I be interested in someone who posts just about everything or in someone who meets my interests ?
Plan your content strategy
Uploading photos should not be random . Before uploading, think about the purpose.
you don’t want to waste your audience time, right ?
Each weekend , I prepare my posts in advance , use notepad to write intriguing descriptions for my photos and schedule my posts .
Design Gorgeous photos
Remember the photoshop thing I mentioned earlier?
Now it’s time to use it . Indeed, It’s not a must to upload every photo with your face on it . Be creative and design some with your favorite quotes on it . You can also grab royalty free images and tweak them to fit your needs.
Tell us about your favorite book or maybe painter . It won’t hurt if you share your opinion after watching an awesome movie .
If you are promoting a brand, you can create teasers. For instance, I publish announcements from time to time about my upcoming articles .
One of the things I love about instagram is filters .
You can tweak your photos on the go . Honestly, It feels great to give them a special touch! Always experiment and buy premium filters whenever possible.
Use appropriate hashtags
It’s good to deliver your content to your followers but it’s great to reach new ones .
Just like twitter, instagram hashtags index your content . Then, your post will be sent right away to the feeds of people following those hashtags .
Try to use a maxium of 5 hashtags . Anything more will put your content at risk to be drown in the huge instagram data pool. Even worse , you may be attracting the wrong niche.
Publish at the right time
Timing is important.
You should choose the appropriate time to publish for maximum engagement.
For example, it’s crazy to publish a web development tutorial on a friday night. Most people will be chilling at home or partying outside . Instead , you can ask them about their plans for the weekend or how many lines of code they did write today or what’s the hardest bug they did fix this week.
You know where I am going huh ?
Extend your niche
This may be contradictory to the point already mentioned above but hear me out .
We are not machines . we are humans ! we have lives .
So it’s ok to publish something for a joint niche. For instance, if you went to a coffee shop to get stuff done and you liked it , tell your followers about it .
If you had a family reunion, don’t just share the photos with emojis . Emphasize the importance of family in our lives away from work.
Long story short, every story you publish should serve a purpose .
Keep it consistent
Consistency is key . With nearly 40 billion photos uploaded, it’s hard to stay visible . Post at least once a day to maintain your online presence .
Be careful ! don’t fall in the spamming category. Your followers may not care about your selfie in the bathroom unless you are promoting cosmetics or clothing brands .
Always ask yourself :
What purpose is my post going to serve ?
Engage with your audience
Up until now , I have covered stuff related to your brand and profile. Great influencers engage with their audience .
If someone posted a cool photo , press the heart button it’s free! If someone is celebrating a milestone, take the time to congratulate them.
Frequently, check what your audience love to hear from you ; maybe a live session to ask questions about a certain topic or maybe they want you to write something specific.
That way, you will show them that you care about them ❤
Interact with other influencers
We all have role models, I mean people we look up to . People that inspire us .
I love Ashley Graham . She is disrupting the fashion industry and redefining what it means to be sexy .
It’s simple, here is my formula :
FLE = Follow , Like, Encourage
I was really surprised when Sahar, an aspiring fashion blogger left this on one of my posts.
Ask for and make shoutouts & collaborations
Shoutouts happen when popular figures support growing brands . It can be either for money or for free if you are lucky!
It consists of mentioning you in one of their posts or sharing some of your work on their profile .
Collaboration however happens when you work with someone on a specific project. if that someone has a big fan base , Say hello to traffic! You will gain a huge exposure and a huge crowd of followers as a result.
Activate the business profile
The business profile on instagram is tailored for businesses or for public figures with a huge following who are ready to invest. It’s basically linking your instagram profile to your facebook page (again page and not profile ).
The cool thing here is that you have access to measure the engagement level of your posts . Figuring out what works and what doesn’t .
I don’t recommend using this early in your journey unless you have a huge fan base on other social media platforms .
Don’t be afraid to experiment
If you are reading this, I wanna thank you for sticking around .
Actually, Those path finders are the fruit of my research and experiments . Keep in my mind there is no magical formula .
Any other constructive comments are more than welcome.
So, what made Dan Bilzerian popular on Instagram according to you ?
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I am Azzen, a blogger and entrepreneur from Tunisia. I love sharing chunks of my life and knowledge .
Special Thanks to my editor Abdou Labidi for the amazing efforts.