Instagram Growth Hacks with Zach Benson


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Do you use Instagram for your business? Instagram has turned into a serious content marketing, networking and audience building tool, yet it can be tricky to figure out how to attract followers and grow your account.

Zach Benson, my guest this week on the Sigrun Show, has cracked the code and grows Instagram accounts for a living. After an injury to his back that marked the end of his dance career, he spent his last money on buying 10% of a 400K Instagram account and started advertising on it. He promoted other accounts and products and today, works with top brands like The Ritz Carlton and has a network of 220M followers on Instagram.

But Zach’s life wasn’t always so glamorous. He was adopted when he was five months old and brought up in the countryside in Iowa, looking different from the average white American and suffering from a speech impediment.

In this episode, he tells the story of how he found his birth mother and learned Korean, how he hit rock bottom and had to start over, and how you can use the latest Instagram growth hacks to build your own following on Instagram.

Are you frustrated about not being able to grow your Instagram account? Then this episode is just what you need!

“The only way to grow your Instagram account nowadays is through shoutouts.” - Zach Benson

In this Episode of The Sigrun Show:

  • Zach’s story (3:52)
  • The moment Zach started looking for his birth mother (7:44)
  • What the average Instagram user can do to grow his account (15:03)
  • How to do a shout out (17:45)
  • The latest Instagram growth hacks (20:58)
  • How to work with Zach (33:00)

Want to know more about Instagram growth and using Instagram for your business? Learn how to convert Instagram followers to customers or get more tips on how to grow a massive following on Instagram.

3 Instagram Growth Hacks You Should Try Out When Growing Your Account

Growing an Instagram account nowadays is much harder than it once was. So what can average users still do to grow their accounts?

Zach says that there still are some organic ways to boost your Instagram growth, and they all have to do with creating win-win relationships and synergies with Influencers or accounts that are bigger than yours.

Here are the three Instagram growth hacks he recommends to users with small accounts to grow their following.


A shoutout works like this: Someone who’s in the same industry as you takes one of your graphics (an image or video), reposts it on their account, and tells his or her followers to follow you for a specific reason.

Sometimes shoutouts include screenshots of the person’s profile or are tied to contests or giveaways. If you want someone to do a shoutout and our content doesn’t fit this person’s feed, you can also do a caption shoutout where your account would be mentioned in the caption of a picture that fits their feed better.

Shoutouts can be paid or organic. If you don’t have a big following yet or aren’t able to invest money into a shoutout, think about something you’re good at and do an exchange of services. If your product or service is good and delivers results, you can give it to an influencer in exchange for a shoutout and as a result get free exposure on their page. There are a lot of things you could offer in exchange for a shoutout: Your own product, help with SEO or list building, getting them onto a podcast, and so on.


By using hashtags you make your content searchable. What a lot of users do wrong is that they apply hashtags to their posts that are too generic. Some hashtags have millions of posts on them and if your account is relatively small, you never hit the top nine posts of these hashtags because other people who have bigger accounts use these hashtags and your content won't be seen.

In order to get exposure, apply the big hashtags and then have a look at the related hashtags with less posts Instagram will propose to you. Ideally you should use hashtags that have under 1M posts on them to get a bigger chance at exposure.

Engagement Groups

In your Instagram messages, you can create an engagement group. Reach out to a number of other people in your industry and set up a group that likes and comments on each other’s posts. When you get enough likes and comments over a period of time it hits the algorithm and boosts you onto the homepage everyone is consuming content on, giving your content the opportunity to go viral.

When you get likes from other people, your content will be seen on their account and by their audience, which increases your chances of gaining followers.

Are you going to try out one of these Instagram growth hacks, or have you already had success with one of them? I’d love to hear about it! You can follow and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

12 Days of Masterclasses

I love the time around Christmas, and I love making gifts. That’s why I decided to not only give you one, but 12 gifts this month.

I’m giving you access to 12 of my most popular masterclasses for free! That’s 12x60 minutes of valuable content you can immediately implement in your online business.

Don’t want to miss out on this exclusive content? Then sign up here and get access to all 12 masterclasses!

Connect with Zach Benson

Please share, subscribe and review

Thank you for joining me on this episode of the Sigrun Show. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music so more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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