So what are some ways that you can grow your Instagram followers organically? This means no paying for ads, no “follow for following” and especially no paying for bots.
I decided to challenge myself and try out Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram strategy for 30 days. This strategy is a way to grow your followers organically without doing the “easy work”. Yup, it’s going to take a lot of that time and energy.
So will it work? and will it be worth your time? Find out my results in this post “I tried Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram strategy for 30 days challenge”.
How Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram Strategy Works
First, let me give you an insight and history on what the $1.80 Instagram strategy is (aka the “Gary Vee challenge”).
This Instagram growth strategy was created by Gary Vaynerchuk. You can find his original $1.80 Instagram strategy post here. It is an “engagement tactic” to help build up your Instagram brand or business account. Technically it’s giving out YOUR 2 cents to build up to $1.80. It’s going to take a lot of work and effort out of your day.
The strategy is broken down into three parts: finding hashtags related to your niche, leaving your 2 cent comment and (of course) continue to build engagement.
Let’s talk about the first step: Finding your niche hashtags
You need to identify at least 10 most important and relevant hashtags in your niche (or field). Based on Vaynerchuk, spend time searching for both popular and less popular hashtags. Lesser-known hashtags can still be related and make a real impact on your Instagram engagement. Also, it can help you get known more easily.
Next, he says to take 20 seconds scrolling through the top 9 posts of each hashtag. So when looking up a hashtag or post, the first thing is to “identify that person” by going on their account and looking at their profile (this includes bio, their likes, dislikes and activity).
Pay attention to the number of likes, comments and views: You’re apparently “ignoring” the follower counts (because we all know that people buy followers *oops the sass*). Instead, you’re looking for the number of likes and comments each post has on that account.
The second step is: Leaving your “2 cents” Instagram comment
After you got your top 9 posts for your top 10 hashtags, you got to leave your thoughts and try to provide value where you can. Not going to lie but this sounds time-consuming but apparently, it takes no more than 2 minutes.
The last and third step is to: leave $1.80 every day
This means continue commenting, liking and engaging on Instagram every day (practically following step 1 and 2). Every 2 cents on 9 posts for 10 hashtags equal to $1.80. So that’s what I’m going to do for you for the next 30 days.
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History on doing Gary Vee’s Challenge and My Goal
I tried to do this “challenge” a few months back but I totally gave up as it took up most of my time. But now I decided to restart again and try to grow one of my other projects. It was the best time to do so as well.
I did gain at least 2 new followers when doing this challenge for 4 days in the past.
The Goal: My aim here is to grow my “Redbubble project” Instagram account and see if I can make at least 1 or 2 sales within the 30 days of doing this $1.80 strategy.
How The $1.80 Instagram Strategy Challenge Went…
A reminder that these are some of the notes that I jot down on that exact day. The account I’m going to be using is “Pink Plants And One Dollar Coffee“.
Day 1 (7 Oct 2020): I’m going to do the first step which is looking up hashtags in my niche.
I started uploading posts to my RedBubble IG account on the 3rd of October 2020. Which was 4 days ago. I have 5 posts up and 2 followers (one new follower just a few minutes ago).
My niche is in “feminine, aesthetic, cute, girl boss, feminine, and quotes”. I need to add “RedBubble” also as it was the store I’m promoting my designs too. I also added in a few of my own interests such as league of legends, video games, beauty and more.
Due to it being October you can tell that I created Halloween illustrations for the season to see if there was a peak in trends.
Ok so I just came up with my top 10 niches and for the 30 days, I’ll be jotting down my outcome as well as my own personal experiences or “failures“.
I also created checklists in my notes app.
Day 2 (8 Oct 20): 12 followers (+10)
Couldn’t finish commenting on all of them… I think my plan is to comment throughout the day during my free time. Doing it on one go is literally impossible (unless I’m extremely motivated). Also had to change a few hashtags because it didn’t match the audience I’m looking for.
- Day 3 (9 Oct): 18 followers (+6 followers)
- Day 4/5 (10/11 Oct): 26 followers (+8 followers)Decided to split it 5 hashtags a day because 10 hashtags are quite overwhelming and also there were not that many posts in the “top pages” (aka posts that I already liked and commented on).
- Day 6/7 (12/13 Oct): 31 followers (+5 followers)
- Day 8 (14 Oct): 35 followers (+4) I was burnt out from commenting so I decided to just do 3 hashtags today.
- Day 9 (15 Oct) TAKING A PAUSE FROM SOCIALS
- Day 10 (26 Oct) ok I’m back from the break! 47 followers (wow!) I’m still sticking to 5 hashtags a day.
- Day 11 (27 Oct) 51 followers. (+4)
- Day 12 (28 Oct) 54 followers. followers (+3)
- Day 13 (29 Oct) 57 followers. (+3)
- Day 14 (30 Oct) 57 followers. (0) I’m gonna take a break from commenting today.
- Day 15 (31 Oct) 60 followers.
- Day 16 (2 Nov) 65 followers.
- Day 17 (4 Nov) 73 followers.
- Day 18 (5 Nov) 74 followers.
- Day 19 (6 Nov) 81 followers.
- Day 20 (9 Nov) 89 followers.
Summary of Key Points during my $1.80 Instagram Strategy Challenge
On day 4-5 (10-11 Oct), I got burnt out from commenting 10 posts on 10 hashtags so I decide to split it (5 hashtags, 10 posts).
Day 8 (14 Oct) was when I was actually burnt out and my mental health was draining. I only commented 10 times on 3 hashtags. Day 9 (15 Oct) was when I actually took a one week break from social media and then day 10 (26 Oct) was when I went back to the $1.80 Instagram strategy. I had 47 followers during that time.
I hit 50 followers on day 11 (27 Oct) then I took a break from commenting on day 14 (30 Oct).
Lastly, my main goal was due on 7th Nov 2020. So I only hit like 19 days but I have forgotten about the due date (whoops) so I kind of the only hit to 20 days. That’s when I hit the 89 followers mark.
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My Results & Thoughts on The $1.80 Instagram Strategy (Gary Vee Challenge)
I “failed” trying to do this Instagram strategy for 30 days. Here are some reasons why:
- There were days where I was burnt out from commenting or just wanted to stay off social media for a while. I also took a week off work to focus on myself and my mental health.
- I made the weekends (Sat and Sun) my day off from commenting. There were days where I would do the $1.80 Instagram strategy on Saturday.
- I didn’t do what it was expected: 1 comment on 9 top posts on 10 hashtags. Day 4-5 and onwards was when I started splitting 5 hashtags, 1 comment on 10 posts.
- Ok, I didn’t follow the instructions carefully. I was supposed to comment on 9 POSTS for the 10 hashtags. Instead, I commented on 10 POSTS instead (but I guess it is a good enough excuse to half the hashtags).
I’m pretty happy with the results though and I can say that this $1.80 strategy DOES work! As you can see on day 1 I had only 2 followers. On day 20, I had grown to 89 followers! (I’m nearing the 100 followers mark).
I didn’t do any Instagram ads and this is grown organically from commenting on top posts in my niche as well as posting content that is niche related.
Would I do this again? Yes! I would definitely do this strategy for my Etsy IG account but I wouldn’t be doing it every day though.
Now, what about the sales made on Redbubble? None. I did purchase some of my Halloween stickers to showcase them IRL on my Instagram page but with other sales, I have not made any.
View this post on Instagram
My @redbubble stickers came yesterday! Here are what they look like (well not exactly). I had to cut around it 😂 If you want to shop these #halloween edition, check out my link in the bio ✨ [ew HaShTags] #redbubble #smallbusiness #digitalart #stickers #redbubbleartist #redbubbleshop #redbubblecreate #redbubblestickers #redbubbleart #redbubblestore #redbubbledesign #redbubbleartists #redbubbleproducts #redbubblecommunity #redbubbleseller #redbubblesticker #redbubblesale #redbubbledesigns #redbubbledesigner #redbubblecreative #redbubbleartistshop #aestheticstickers #halloweenstickers #stickershop #stickersforsale #kawaiistickers #stickerart #stickerstore #stickersart
However, I did get one follower and 8 favourites.
Again, this is Redbubble and in order to get sales, you need to upload a lot of designs on there. I currently (as of 9th Nov 2020) have 13 designs on there. One of my design “100% that Witch” got taken down by Lizzo copyright.
I’m currently still doing that Redbubble project so subscribe to my newsletter to check out behind the scenes of my projects and to get notified of that future post.
Also, Redbubble is currently holding a 60% off discount storewide from today till 12th November 2020. If you want to shop there for Christmas gifts (such as t-shirts, apparels, stickers, mugs, totes, bags and more) for family or friends, click here!
If you’re new to Instagram and want to build a brand but don’t want to spend money on ads, definitely try out this $1.80 Instagram Strategy by Gary Vaynerchuk. Note that it will take a lot of time and effort but it’s well worth it in the end if you want to build engaging followers.
You can also purchase my Instagram post templates from my Etsy store to help build engagement through quote posts. I’m currently holding a 20% sale on my store which ends on November 2020 so you better be quick!
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