So if you read my blog post last week on the Gary Vee $1.80 method, you would have noticed I put a little challenge at the bottom for us all to give it a try. 

I’ve run my photography Instagram page, @jakspedding, for a while now and will be the first to admit i’m terrible at being consistent in updating it.

Instagram used to just be a case of banging 30 hashtags on an image and taking your dopamine hit, but recently the dreaded “algorithm” has valued interactions over a quick double tap.

What is the $1.80 method?

In a nutshell, you leave your 2 cents on the top nine trending hashtags, relevant to your business, brand or industry, every single day.

So by the end of the day you have left $1.80’s worth of valuable interactions in your niche market which should drive traffic to your account and help you grow a community.

My results from 7 days of the Gary Vee £1.80 method

If you’re a video person, check this out:

If you prefer good old text, then i’ll begin:

If you’ve not had a look at Instagram’s analytics before, the first thing you will need is to convert your Instagram account to a business account, which you can do here.

This will then give you a range of analytics tools to see how your account is growing (or not) and how you are being discovered.

Discovery

The discovery tab measures how many people see your content, so is arguably one of the most important metrics to keep track of.

Over the week, my account was discovered 910 times.

Both my reach, which is the amount of unique accounts that see any of your posts and impressions, which is the total number of times your posts have been seen increased.

All good, right?

Interactions

Interactions measures the actions that people take when they interact with your content.

So this includes things like visits to your profile as well as your clicks through to your website.

Again, my profile visits and website clicks (which is the only important metric for me) are up.

What’s interesting to me here, is that people discovering my content over the weekend plummeted but interactions on that content were very high.

Audience

Audience tracks how your account has grown over the last 7 days.

It shows the amount of accounts which have followed and also unfollowed you, it doesn’t tell you which accounts they are though.

You can also see demographics of your followers in this tab.

So if location, age and sex of your followers is important, check it out in more detail.

So for my 7 days of running the Gary Vee $1.80 challenge I gained 53 followers.

Doesn’t seem a huge number but it is an increase of 4% from the week before, not bad ROI for a week’s work.

Or is it?

Activity

One of my main worries with this challenge was the amount of time it could take to offer valuable comments each day.

Over 2 hours a day!

So that’s 14 hours in the week or nearly 2 full working days to gain 53 extra sets of eyeballs on my content.

That excludes the time of putting the posts together too!

Conclusion

I think it’s important to have an end goal in mind.

If your business model is to grow to 10,000 followers and monetise your profile then this may be a good use of your time and i’m sure that once you get the ball rolling, it will begin to reap greater rewards.

Your niche will make a huge difference on your growth too.

One of the biggest issues I had was finding enough accounts to interact with, the top 9 for interior and architecture photography didn’t change once during the week. 

So it wasn’t as easy as just clicking the hashtag and interacting with those images.

I had to really dig deep to find stuff I was interested in.

This did make me discover some really nice accounts and I have had some great conversations with other creators but I definitely followed way more accounts than have followed me. 

Inspiration is at an all time high but spending 2 days a week scrolling through Instagram isn’t where I want to be spending my time!

I will be trying out some other Instagram growth strategies for photographers over the next few weeks.

If you want to keep up to date with them, give my account a follow, @jakspedding, and drop me a comment so I can give you a follow!

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