STEP 2: Clean up - lead traffic - track growth

in this step I'll ask you to:

  • Keep your strategies "natural"

  • Clean up who you are following

  • Keep track of your growth

  • Follow your Facebook friends

  • Lead all traffic to Instagram

  • Bonus: Reconsider your digital platforms


  • make a folder on your phone where you keep all your Instagram related apps, see screenshot 1.



  • Before I go any further, here is an important note that I want you to always have fresh in your mind: Keep it real. Be a human. What I am referring to, is that I don't want you to go crazy with the strategies I'll present you.

    • Don't follow or unfollow 100 people over a short period of time.

    • Don't Direct Message (DM) the same message to tons of accounts over a short period of time.

    • Don't use the exact same hashtags with every post.

    • Don't like 100 posts or comment on 100 posts over a short period of time. Instead, SPREAD IT OUT.

  • Why? Instagram's algorithm is programmed to look for spammers. All of the above would potentially get you categorized as a spammer, resulting in a shadowban, block or banned account (temporarily or permanently). Don't worry though; I'll guide you through it all.

  • I recommend not using automated services, such as Crowdfire. Do it all manually! If someone is offering you a service saying "you don't have to do anything," - then please run the other way. I'll give you examples of these services in the next step, and you'll start recognizing when they are used.

  • Also, NEVER buy followers. Not even if they are supposed to be real people. It will do so much more harm than good. Let's get you followers who are fans, supporters and collaborators! That's how you build a strong Instagram account and your music career! Applause emojis!


1. Collect all the apps you use in your Instagram workflow.

Keep track! (2.1)

  • You are going to put a lot of work into growing your account, and you might find motivation in watching your numbers grow! So let's keep track.

  • At the same time every week, write down the number of followers you have, then calculate how many followers you gained since the same time last week. If you want, you use your Insights and write down other measurements; then you can use them when we get to Step 8 about analytics.

  • SHARE: Every Friday at 5 PM-ish, I'm encouraging you to post your results in our Chat Group so we can celebrate your achievements with you! See screenshot 2.

  • Give yourself a goal to reach for! I suggest you try to increase your account by 10% every month. Or perhaps you want to reach a certain number by August 1st. How many followers do you need to gain on average to reach that goal?

  • I've made a growth chart for you in the Google Sheet, under the tab Growth/Goals if you want to use it.

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 4.35.32 PM.png

2. Share your weekly growth with us if you want! Every Friday around 5 pm.

the FIRST clean up round (2.2)

  • Let's clean up your account so that we can be organized. Until you are all cleaned up, don't follow any new accounts unless they are already following you and they are relevant for you.

  • EXAMPLE: An account selling cool watches start to follow you. Don't follow back because they are not in your niche. Your band's role model (Jack White) starts to follow you. Yeah, you can follow back. And celebrate with a really good piece of chocolate cake.

CLEAN UP ROUND 1: Your first clean-up goal is to only follow accounts who are following you back. This is referred to as the Follow/Unfollow Strategy and the Follow Me/Follow You Strategy.

  • WHY: Three reasons.

    • We want your ratio to be in your favor, meaning we want your account to have more followers than the amount you are following.

    • Also, you are gonna be following plenty of accounts in order to try getting their attention/follow back, so we need your following number to be low.

    • Lastly, the accounts you are following who don't follow you back, I'm going to ask you to follow again, but more strategically to increase the chances of them following you back this time. More on that later.

  • APP: Search cleaner for Instagram. There are several to choose from. I use CleanUp (see it in screenshot 1).

  • AGAIN, KEEP IT REAL: Use this app and strategy carefully. As mentioned above, if you are behaving too "unnatural" Instagram's algorithm might pick up on it and categorize you as a spammer.

  • The CleanUp app should be free, though you may want to pay a few dollars for unlimited use. You could clean more with this app than with your mop.

  • With this app, you can see who is following you, and which of them are not following you back, see screenshot 3. I want you to unfollow all accounts who are NOT following you back. Right now, even accounts you like and want to follow. No worries, you can follow them again soon. Start by selecting 30 of the accounts that are not following you back and tell the app to unfollow them.

  • Wait 2 hours before you again click on another 30 accounts.

  • Limit this to 200 unfollows per day. Depending on your account, this process might take several days.

  • You might see that some of your friends or family members are not following you, they might not be aware of your account! So, make a note of them (e.g. under the tab "to do" tab in the Google Sheet) and ask them to please follow your account.

  • DON'T PANIC should you notice that you are not able to follow any new accounts! Instagram has put a spell on you because you were acting too irrational, but the spell will wear off in a day or two. This has happened to me several times.


3. You can see who is following you back, and who you still want to get attention from.

Follow your facebook friends (2.3)

  • The easiest way to increase your followers is to get those who already know you to follow your band's account. So, when you are done with Clean up goals 1 and 2, I want you to follow all your Facebook friends directly from your band's Instagram account. Go to settings, and you'll see it!

  • Do it the fast way, just hit the follow all button. The last time I did this step, the follow all button did not work. If that happens, follow all the accounts manually, but carefully! If you follow too many too fast, Instagram thinks you're a spammer and will put a temporary ban on you from following any more. I don't know what the limit is, but I suggest this: Follow 50, wait for at least an hour, then follow another 50. Only follow 200 in one day. Most likely they will follow back!

  • CLEAN UP ROUND 2: Once you have followed them all, give them 7 days to follow you back. Then, clean up again by unfollow all who did not follow you back.


CLEAN UP GOAL 3: Only follow accounts related to your niche or are in your network.

  • Once you are only following people who are following you back, I want you to carefully go through who you are following and unfollow unrelated account. Is the account not in the music industry and not in your network (including family and friends)? Unfollow. Bye-bye.

  • WHY? Instagram's algorithm is based on niches. So if you are following lots of accounts in the makeup/beauty niche, your posts will be shown to a lot of people who are also interested in makeup and beauty. BUT those people are not necessarily your target audience. Therefore, I want you to establish your algorithm firmly in the music niche by only following accounts related to your music career in some way. Makes sense?

  • Whether you want to keep following the Facebook friends who do follow you but are unrelated to your music career, is up to you. If you feel bad unfollowing them, then don't. Feeling good about your actions on Instagram is also important, I want you only to have good associations with your Instagram account and your membership here.


lead all traffic to your Instagram (2.4)

  • Make sure that every platform where people can find you will point them to your Instagram account.

    • your website

    • Facebook

    • email signature

    • newsletter

    • business card

    • flyer/poster

    • sticker on the back of your uncle's car

  • I know you are eager to grow your Facebook numbers also. Wanna know the best way? Gain and collect your new fans on Instagram; then you guide them to Facebook:

    • Someone discovers your band --> You guide them to your Instagram account
      --> From there, you guide them to your Facebook page. Everybody's happy.


bonus (2.5)

  • Reconsider your platforms all together! I read tons of pitches from bands, and they often conclude like this:

"For more info, please find links below. Hope to hear from you!
Best, The Band Called Hello"


I recommend driving the traffic to a selected few rather than scattering your streams and followers all over the map. And guiding everybody to a GREAT platform, rather than letting them pick between 12 weak, or let's say not-so-great pages. This will, of course, depend on the status of your band as well as how much time you have to spend on your digital platforms. For an emerging band, the following might be a good starting point:

Website: Yes, and with a button to your Instagram on the landing page (front page) easily seen.              
Facebook: Yes, and linked to your Instagram (it's under "contact info"). Post that you are releasing some new content Instagram and ask them to also follow you there. Add link to your account in the post. So, collect your new fans on Instagram and move them from there to your Facebook Page.              
Twitter: No
Snapchat: No
Pinterest: No
Bandcamp: No
Soundcloud: No
YouTube: Yes. Upload your video content there, and embed them on your website.
Spotify: Yes. Collect all streams here.
iTunes: Most people will not download music, they will stream. So you might as well just send them to Spotify.



  1. You have made a folder on your phone called "Instagram" where you keep all Instagram-related apps.

  2. You've written down your starting point (the date and number of followers you currently have) in your Google Doc.

  3. Tell everybody you know to follow you, and all new people you meet.

  4. Follow all your Facebook friends.

  5. Cleaned up who you are following

  6. Lead all traffic to your Instagram account.

  7. If you want, share your accomplishment with us in the Telegram Chat Group! Chat us saying something like "I completed Step 2 including all the items on the checklist!!"

checklist completed?

Yeah! on to the next!