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HOT TOPIC How I built a following of 3.8 Million on Instagram. Blueprint

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Hayden Aquilon

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@Jinn Sola - thanks for following up with questions. I'm happy to see (as well as others) that after 4 pages we haven't been linked to a $997 IG Blueprint Coaching Class with $100 in free bonuses. ;)
@MJ DeMarco Random side note - I was recently watching squawk alley and listening to Jim Cramer ranting and rubbing his magic lamp to predict the future. Your jab at him in unscripted is spot on, I couldn't agree more! haha
 

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Andrew W

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Hey everyone I just read through this thread and I noticed the worry about Instagram bots. I thought I'd share a little bit on social media automation. Unless you really have no time it takes just about one to two days to set up an automation system in python using the API's available to you by the different social media providers. Seriously, it's pretty easy so if you don't want to pay a monthly premium you can set it up yourself. For example I set one up for twitter in an afternoon and it was auto-posting quotes to my twitter page FOR FREE. You can even expand it to include a system that auto-downloads royalty-free photos, edits them, adds your quote/content and posts it all at a certain time of day w/ relevant hashtags. Obviously fleshing out a system like this WILL take you some time maybe a week or two but it's not as hard as people seem to make it. Also, it's really fun tinkering with something until you have an automated system set up. I don't know too much on "growing" an account, but the automation side isn't too hard. Any questions you have and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

P.S. Any programming language has it's pros and cons but for some reason Python has an Insane number of libraries for automation. Also you can learn the basics of it in a day, and have a working program that night.
Cheers!
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Somehow I feel like the beauty niche is over-saturated already. Lately I notice the growth of my follower base stagnating on Instagram and i dont know what to do about it anymore.

Is it the content, or what can I be doing wrong?
If you feel like your niche is oversaturated, then most likely your content does not differ from others.

This is one of the hardest parts. If you think you have specialized enough already with your account's content theme, then go one more level deeper and go brutalist as described before:

Specialized in jewellery? Go brutalist and post jewellery that looks really weird, oversized, ... ear rings that are bigger than a persons head ... basically anything that's different and I guarantee that there will be fans for that.
 

Zenoviy Kovtun

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Yes exactly! People are lazy. The less clicks needed to get gratification, the more users will gratify themselves with your products.
Some insightful info on here. Thanks for contributing!

Can you touch on the e-commerce side of your business?

Do you use a 3rd party to handle fulfillment, etc?

Do you hold your own inventory and ship out yourself?

What are your biggest take a ways from this side of the business over the 3+ years?

Thanks
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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@Jinn Sola - thanks for following up with questions. I'm happy to see (as well as others) that after 4 pages we haven't been linked to a $997 IG Blueprint Coaching Class with $100 in free bonuses. ;)
@MJ DeMarco I just started working on my $10k IG Blueprint. Will advertise it here tomorrow :) Thinking about giving $5 free bonuses as well.

Regards
Jinn
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Hey everyone I just read through this thread and I noticed the worry about Instagram bots. I thought I'd share a little bit on social media automation. Unless you really have no time it takes just about one to two days to set up an automation system in python using the API's available to you by the different social media providers. Seriously, it's pretty easy so if you don't want to pay a monthly premium you can set it up yourself. For example I set one up for twitter in an afternoon and it was auto-posting quotes to my twitter page FOR FREE. You can even expand it to include a system that auto-downloads royalty-free photos, edits them, adds your quote/content and posts it all at a certain time of day w/ relevant hashtags. Obviously fleshing out a system like this WILL take you some time maybe a week or two but it's not as hard as people seem to make it. Also, it's really fun tinkering with something until you have an automated system set up. I don't know too much on "growing" an account, but the automation side isn't too hard. Any questions you have and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

P.S. Any programming language has it's pros and cons but for some reason Python has an Insane number of libraries for automation. Also you can learn the basics of it in a day, and have a working program that night.
Cheers!
I would like to learn more about programming and the automation that comes with it. Could you please elaborate on why python a good choice for that purpose? Is it the best choice to learn photon or will I have better results with other programming languages?
This whole programming is a bit mysterious to me.
 

JamItFast

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Specialized in jewellery? Go brutalist and post jewellery that looks really weird, oversized, ... ear rings that are bigger than a persons head ... basically anything that's different and I guarantee that there will be fans for that.

Do you actually sell the oversized jewelry or is it simply to get engagement?
 

Andrew W

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I would like to learn more about programming and the automation that comes with it. Could you please elaborate on why python a good choice for that purpose? Is it the best choice to learn photon or will I have better results with other programming languages?
This whole programming is a bit mysterious to me.
The reason I suggested python for the people here is because:
  • It's easy to learn compared to some other languages (which means you can start making things FAST)
  • Once you get the gist of it, other python code is very readable
  • It is a high-level language meaning you don't really need to know much about low-level things (i.e. you don't need to know the ins-and-outs of computers to learn this)
  • Lastly, in relation to this thread, there is a dedicated python API for most social networks
    • This means that there is documentation which is essential for programming anything.
I hope this helps break down why I thought this was the best language to learn for automation. Each language has its purpose but python is relatively easy to pick up and you can get started right away.

Here is a comprehensive tutorial (you might get lost but think of this as a reference)
I suggest starting off with twitter since it has a pretty good API for python called (Tweepy).

THE FINAL REASON I recommend python for this task is here:
YOU CAN ORDER PIZZA WITH A PROGRAM YOU WRITE!! You can schedule it to auto-order, or mass-order pizza for the neighborhood (they do have defenses against this though).

Pick any language you'd like but whatever you pick I suggest you stick with it, people change languages on a per-project basis and often-times mix upwards of 4 languages per project. Have Fun!
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Some insightful info on here. Thanks for contributing!

Can you touch on the e-commerce side of your business?

Do you use a 3rd party to handle fulfillment, etc?

Do you hold your own inventory and ship out yourself?

What are your biggest take a ways from this side of the business over the 3+ years?

Thanks
E-commerce is simple. The people who land there are already interested in your product(s). Else they would not be there.

I am a control freak that tries to avoid all kinds of unnecessary reoccurring extra costs. Self-host all your services. I don't see why people use 3rd party like Shopify, well actually I see why, because they are lazy. Basically they make you pay hundreds a month and still restrict you in a lot of ways that require you to up the monthly payments to them, so that you can scale further. F them.

As said I am an ultra control freak. That's why I have hired 2 freelance programmers that build a complete commerce system from scratch based on a programming framework I think called Larabel or something like this. This has immense advantages for me because whenever I want a new feature and that happens often they will exactly implement it they way I want it and not tell me "this is only possible if you purchase another plan". It even integrates with the mobile apps that I am about to release soon.
The only 3rd party necessary here are payment provider gateways like Stripe and Paypal.
However, if you are just in the beginning and want to go simple try out Wordpress WooCommerce or maybe Magento (have only heard of it, never tried)

I moved out from my parent's house about 2 years ago and now use their basement as a storage for the products I sell. I spend some time there every day, process the open orders and in the afternoon our local shipping provider comes by and picks the packages up.

Takeaway:
- Marketing is everything. Commerce is nothing. Anyone can sell online via a commerce system, but only those who put in the work and strategy can market.
- Customer support is everything after Marketing. Leave every customer happy and overdeliver to their expectations. We are living in a world where online advertising dominates but forget mouth-to-mouth conversations can make or ruin a business
 

ned.ryerson

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Nov 14, 2018
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The reason I suggested python for the people here is because:
  • It's easy to learn compared to some other languages (which means you can start making things FAST)
  • Once you get the gist of it, other python code is very readable
  • It is a high-level language meaning you don't really need to know much about low-level things (i.e. you don't need to know the ins-and-outs of computers to learn this)
  • Lastly, in relation to this thread, there is a dedicated python API for most social networks
    • This means that there is documentation which is essential for programming anything.
I hope this helps break down why I thought this was the best language to learn for automation. Each language has its purpose but python is relatively easy to pick up and you can get started right away.

Here is a comprehensive tutorial (you might get lost but think of this as a reference)
I suggest starting off with twitter since it has a pretty good API for python called (Tweepy).

THE FINAL REASON I recommend python for this task is here:
YOU CAN ORDER PIZZA WITH A PROGRAM YOU WRITE!! You can schedule it to auto-order, or mass-order pizza for the neighborhood (they do have defenses against this though).

Pick any language you'd like but whatever you pick I suggest you stick with it, people change languages on a per-project basis and often-times mix upwards of 4 languages per project. Have Fun!
Another strong vote for python.
It is the number 3 programming language in the world only topped by Java and C which are complex platforms that require compilation.
Python has great Community Support having an unbelievable amount of packages, libraries, components all ready for you to assemble a solution versus writing from scratch.
I've been developing software solutions for over 20 years and it's absolutely accelerated our time to solution tremendously.
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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The reason I suggested python for the people here is because:
  • It's easy to learn compared to some other languages (which means you can start making things FAST)
  • Once you get the gist of it, other python code is very readable
  • It is a high-level language meaning you don't really need to know much about low-level things (i.e. you don't need to know the ins-and-outs of computers to learn this)
  • Lastly, in relation to this thread, there is a dedicated python API for most social networks
    • This means that there is documentation which is essential for programming anything.
I hope this helps break down why I thought this was the best language to learn for automation. Each language has its purpose but python is relatively easy to pick up and you can get started right away.

Here is a comprehensive tutorial (you might get lost but think of this as a reference)
I suggest starting off with twitter since it has a pretty good API for python called (Tweepy).

THE FINAL REASON I recommend python for this task is here:
YOU CAN ORDER PIZZA WITH A PROGRAM YOU WRITE!! You can schedule it to auto-order, or mass-order pizza for the neighborhood (they do have defenses against this though).

Pick any language you'd like but whatever you pick I suggest you stick with it, people change languages on a per-project basis and often-times mix upwards of 4 languages per project. Have Fun!
Thank you for the explanation! That was really helpful!
 

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ned.ryerson

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Nov 14, 2018
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E-commerce is simple. The people who land there are already interested in your product(s). Else they would not be there.

I am a control freak that tries to avoid all kinds of unnecessary reoccurring extra costs. Self-host all your services. I don't see why people use 3rd party like Shopify, well actually I see why, because they are lazy. Basically they make you pay hundreds a month and still restrict you in a lot of ways that require you to up the monthly payments to them, so that you can scale further. F them.

As said I am an ultra control freak. That's why I have hired 2 freelance programmers that build a complete commerce system from scratch based on a programming framework I think called Larabel or something like this. This has immense advantages for me because whenever I want a new feature and that happens often they will exactly implement it they way I want it and not tell me "this is only possible if you purchase another plan". It even integrates with the mobile apps that I am about to release soon.
The only 3rd party necessary here are payment provider gateways like Stripe and Paypal.
However, if you are just in the begging and want to go simple try out Wordpress WooCommerce or maybe Magento (have only heard of it, never tried)

I moved out from my parent's house about 2 years ago and now use their basement as a storage for the products I sell. I spend some time there every day, process the open orders and in the afternoon our local shipping provider comes by and picks the packages up.

Takeaway:
- Marketing is everything. Commerce is nothing. Anyone can sell online via a commerce system, but only those who put in the work and strategy can market.
- Customer support is everything after Marketing. Leave every customer happy and overdeliver to their expectations. We are living in a world where online advertising dominates but forget mouth-to-mouth conversations can make or ruin a business
I'm curious why you didn't want to use Magento as a base platform?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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I'm curious why you didn't want to use Magento as a base platform?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
To be very honest, I have never taken time to consider it since in the beginning I would have never thought that my commerce websites will scale up by that much. I have always had the image of those CMS/Managment systems that they have too many features and are overly complicated. So I started with a very, very simple platform that has extended immensely over time with all the custom features.

In the end, Magento might be a very good choice, but I am pretty happy about my custom platforms and the full control that comes with it.
However, if you want to keep initial costs low, I don't suggest hiring programmers that build something like that for you, except if you are a control freak like me.
 

ned.ryerson

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Nov 14, 2018
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To be very honest, I have never taken time to consider it since in the beginning I would have never thought that my commerce websites will scale up by that much. I have always had the image of those CMS/Managment systems that they have too many features and are overly complicated. So I started with a very, very simple platform that has extended immensely over time with all the custom features.

In the end, Magento might be a very good choice, but I am pretty happy about my custom platforms and the full control that comes with it.
However, if you want to keep initial costs low, I don't suggest hiring programmers that build something like that for you, except if you are a control freak like me.
Having successfully deployed Magento from many SMBs I would say that you're being a control freak MAY ended up costing you a lot of money by rolling your own solution. I couldn't imagine creating basket code from scratch again. Did it back in the late 90s very painful.
Please tell me you're not creating your own CMS and CRM.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Having successfully deployed Magento from many SMBs I would say that you're being a control freak MAY ended up costing you a lot of money by rolling your own solution. I couldn't imagine creating basket code from scratch again. Did it back in the late 90s very painful.
Please tell me you're not creating your own CMS and CRM.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
I know that we are using a lot of existing Laravel packages. Which exactly, I'd have to talk to the developers. Also there is a CMS called Statamic which is based on Laravel that we are using.
 

Xeon

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I don't see why people use 3rd party like Shopify, well actually I see why, because they are lazy. Basically they make you pay hundreds a month and still restrict you in a lot of ways that require you to up the monthly payments to them, so that you can scale further. F them.
Shopify is Dracula. For $29.99 you get all kinds of restrictions even for basic shipping functionality. You have to upgrade to their $299/month Advanced Shopify plan to be able to show calculated shipping rates on checkout. And their plugins are low quality and expensive (monthly recurring expenses that add up to a lot) compared to WordPress's.
I never understood why Shopify themes cost 3x - 4x more than WordPress's (the quality ones on Themeforest).

Customer support is everything after Marketing. Leave every customer happy and overdeliver to their expectations. We are living in a world where online advertising dominates but forget mouth-to-mouth conversations can make or ruin a business
What do you think about social proof and reviews? I see a lot of online businesses have reviews on their website to show that people love them etc. Do you have something like this when you first started, or did it come later?
 

Xeon

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Big update coming to Instagram check it out here. They are going to come down on the engagement groups more I assume.
I'm not sure if they're able to catch engagement groups though. If it's fake likes from those bots, I can understand. But with engagement groups, usually it's real people manually liking the accounts.
 

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Big update coming to Instagram check it out here. They are going to come down on the engagement groups more I assume.
Great news, thanks for sharing!
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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What do you think about social proof and reviews? I see a lot of online businesses have reviews on their website to show that people love them etc. Do you have something like this when you first started, or did it come later?
Social proof can definitely work wonders but it strongly depends on where these reviews were posted. From my perspective, reviews that are "just there" without any reason (or the reason to just show how good your product is) will likely direct your visitors the wrong way. They are almost to always fake and everyone knows that.

If you are having an online shop where each product can be reviewed, that works better from my expieriences.

Furthermore, reviews that are hosted by 3rd party like Amazon or other companies that people already trust are most efficient.
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Big update coming to Instagram check it out here. They are going to come down on the engagement groups more I assume.
Thanks for sharing! This will definitely knock out some automations on Instagram what - in my opinion - is needed urgently. There is too much spam already and where spam is people will leave.

But most importantly, no one can knock out automation that acts like a human being
 

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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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I'm not sure if they're able to catch engagement groups though. If it's fake likes from those bots, I can understand. But with engagement groups, usually it's real people manually liking the accounts.
I stay away from engagement groups because I think they already know who is using them.

They simply just need to check the referrer app the users come from before a like/comment has been posted
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Do you actually sell the oversized jewelry or is it simply to get engagement?
That is a question that only your audience can answer. Simply ask them.

When posting an image with oversized earrings, fill the caption with something like:

Tag a friend that would look stunning wearing those earrings ...

Now, if you get engagement on that, maybe it is a good idea to take the product into your catalog
 

sophiee

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Hello Jinn, i set up media scheduling with Buffer and automation with IGCompanion and I have great results. i am not sure if i use the right settings. can you show me yours please
 

Xeon

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That is a question that only your audience can answer. Simply ask them.

When posting an image with oversized earrings, fill the caption with something like:

Tag a friend that would look stunning wearing those earrings ...

Now, if you get engagement on that, maybe it is a good idea to take the product into your catalog
Another method I've seen is that they post 3 photos of different products of the same type (e.g: earrings) within 1 photo, then the caption says "Which one is your fave? 1, 2 or 3?"
 

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Big update coming to Instagram check it out here. They are going to come down on the engagement groups more I assume.
Doesent this mean the end of IG bots?
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Hello Jinn, i set up media scheduling with Buffer and automation with IGCompanion and I have great results. i am not sure if i use the right settings. can you show me yours please
Glad you are having results!

Do you mean the scheduled commands?
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Another method I've seen is that they post 3 photos of different products of the same type (e.g: earrings) within 1 photo, then the caption says "Which one is your fave? 1, 2 or 3?"
That's a good way to do it as well! Yes!
 
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Jinn Sola

Jinn Sola

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Doesent this mean the end of IG bots?
It's the end of bots that show automated behaviour. There will always be bots that act naturally and therefore can not be filtered by IG
 

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