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4 Top Secret Instagram Growth Tips From a Celebrity Advisor How do you boost and grow your social media following, whether you're just starting out or have been in business for 20 years, 30 years or longer? Expert Zach Benson shares his tips.

By Mike Koenigs

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you suffer from "Imposter Syndrome?" Constantly asking yourself nagging questions like, "Why would anyone invest in me? I don't look legit because I don't have as many followers as _______ (fill in the blank). Is it stopping you from moving forward in your business or even worse… preventing you from starting?

Fact: we buy from people we like, know, and trust and if you're in the public eye, you're going to be judged by the size of your platform and audience. A large audience gives you leverage for positioning a better book deal, a better publisher, better distribution, and charging premium prices.

How do you boost and grow your social media following, whether you're just starting out or have been in business for 20 years, 30 years, or longer?

I talked to an expert who's known as the celebrity influencers' secret weapon and has worked with many A-listers. He is a man behind the scenes and shared with me the best ways to grow your influence, audience, and platform in this incredibly noisy world.

His name is Zach Benson and he started his career in a way that may surprise you. Before his extremely successful marketing career, he was a breakdancer on the show, "So You Think You Can Dance" (now in its 15th season). He made it to the final four in the contest, taught dance all over the world, and towards the end of his career, he was making $1,000 an hour teaching dance workshops. Dance changed his life.

But an injury brought his career to a screeching halt.

Benson was in India teaching at a salsa conference and during a warm-up, he landed in a bad position. Because he was the main attraction, the organizers told him he had to dance anyway (even though he was injured). The performance lasted about 30 seconds; he fell again and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors told him that he wouldn't be able to dance again and that was the end of his career.

Benson became depressed, and didn't have a "plan B." Coincidently, the same friend that got him into dancing called him and said, "I know you're going through a hard time right now, but my brother and I are making a ton of money on Instagram. You've got to get in on this!"

With the last $10,000 he had, Benson invested in an Instagram account that had 400,000 followers. He used that account to grow other people's accounts, do advertising, rinse, and repeat. Fast forward to today: he has a network of 20 million and is working with some of the biggest brands in the world.

So how did Benson manage all of this? Here are some incredibly valuable, Instagram growth hacking tips and specific things you can do right now.

Tip 1 - Using paid, automated systems or "bots" will get you shut down almost immediately and you could lose your account. And yes, 2020 is a different ballgame altogether compared to just a few short years ago. You can no longer just post and grow.

Tip 2 - The only way to grow by thousands of followers per month is with shoutouts. Reach out to other influencers in your niche and ask them, "Hey, how much do you charge for a 24-hour post on your wall?" The goal is to get an army of like-minded influencers to promote you and your content. When you get enough influencers promoting you in a short window of time, it hits the algorithms' boost due to the explore page and you can grow by thousands of followers per month.

Tip 3 - If you don't have money to spend and want to grow organically, you can use what's called the "repost strategy." Benson grew his personal travel account from zero to 70,000 followers without spending a penny using this strategy. He reposted other people's beautiful travel content onto his travel page, gave them credit, and used engagement groups and the right hashtags to boost it to the top.

Tip 4 - Speaking of #hashtags… you have to use the right ones. Many people are using very generic hashtags that won't help you grow. Let's say that you're in the real estate business and you use the hashtag #realestate. That generic hashtag has millions of posts on it. Same with hashtags like #motivation or #travel. When you use these super-generic hashtags, your post will never be seen. You'll be swallowed up because so many other people are using the same ones. What you want to do is research the hashtags that are relevant to you and only have between 10 to 20,000 posts.

To hear the rest of Benson's tips, tricks, growth hacks and best practices, watch the whole YouTube interview here: and for an Instagram guide and strategy session with Zach, visit: or text "Z" to (858) 434-5316.

Mike Koenigs

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of Superpower Accelerator

Peter Diamandis calls Mike Koenigs An Arsonist of The Mind. He helps entrepreneurs create their “Next Act,” high net, low overhead, high impact, fewest moving parts, lifestyle-compatible businesses they love. Serial Entrepreneur with 5 exits, 17x bestselling author and the secret weapon of founders.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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