Instagram Masterclass Experiment – Summary

In Completed Experiments by Josh Robbs0 Comments

Note: this summary is a compilation of several posts from a previous website originally posted in early 2016. The information has been gathered and distilled for easy consumption.

This was an interesting experiment with some highs and lows.

Originally, the experiment was supposed to run for 6 months. But Instagram shut me down. I was so successful that they thought I was a ‘bot or a spammer. I like to think it was the former. More on that in a minute.

After waiting for them the reactivate my account, I started a 2nd experiment. It was the same experiment but on a new account. It was supposed to run for 8 months with a goal of just over 100,000 followers. I’ll let you know how that went.

Let’s talk about the Instagram Masterclass

The Instagram Masterclass Experiment

Nathan Chan is the founder of Foundr magazine. He’s also been kicking a lot of ass over on Instagram since early 2015. His numbers are absurd.

Is it luck? Is it because he has the right kind of business that does well on Instagram? He’ll tell you it’s the system they’ve developed.

There’s a free ebook (A Guide On How To Get More Followers On Instagram: 10,000 Instagram Followers In 2 Weeks) and a webinar (Instagram Masterclass). And it all builds to a premium course calledInstagram Domination. (You can sign up for them here.)

Does it work? I had to find out. (Note: I have not taken Instagram Domination. This experiment is based on Chan’s free training.)


Will the information in A Guide On How To Get More Followers On Instagram: 10,000 Instagram Followers In 2 Weeks and Instagram Masterclass help me find success with Instagram?

The Results

I’m going to bore you with all the details of what I did. Suffice to say, I mostly followed Chan’s guide. But I only used free tools. I didn’t spend any money on anything.

On day 7, I was following 1616 people and had 839. Then my Instagram account was suspended. I never found out why and it was eventually reactivated – but not before I restarted the experiment with another account.

What was working

5 things you can do to jump start your Instagram account

  1. Follow people. It’s a numbers game. For every 3 people I followed, 1 would follow me back.
  2. That is a bit misleading because I was getting followers from my posts as well. Be sure to post throughout the day until you find out the best times for you.
  3. Use tons of hashtags. I used 30 hashtags (the max) every time. That really helps with discoverability.
  4. Experiment with hashtags. Your goal is to get your post in the top posts section. So play with using hashtags with different levels of popularity. (Sometimes you get more love with a popular post in a less popular hashtag.) And play with different posting times. There’s different levels of competition at different times of the day.
  5. 30 hashtags is a lot to come up with on the fly. You need to track what you’re doing so you can deliberately repeat successful tactics.

The Instagram Masterclass Experiment Redux

The 1st account was canned and I was sick of waiting. So I kicked off the same experiment with a new account and a promise to be a little gentler.

By the number

  • Week 1: 37 posts, 1196 follows, and 586 followers. Not too shabby. That’s already more than many people on Instagram.
  • Week 2: 54 posts, 1440 follows, and 895 followers. A combination of not doing the work and new limitations on the tools I was using put me behind schedule.
  • Week 3: 64 posts, 2390 follows, and 1392 followers. Looks like my growth has nothing to do with posts. Follow more and get more followers. Simple math.
  • Week 4: 89 posts, 3812 follows, and 2294 followers. This week it looks like posting is making a difference. And that’s good news because bulk following is becoming a pain since a couple key pieces of software restricted usage on their free accounts.
  • Week 5: 92 posts, 4097 follows, and 2679 followers. This week is a bit interesting. 3 posts. 250ish new follows but got almost 400 new followers.

And then I gave up.

It’s too much work and what I wasn’t getting is click throughs. Honestly, the account wasn’t quite mature enough for that, but I couldn’t justify the time.


In the end, the pattern matched the results I got from the Twitter experiment.

  1. Action creates reaction. If you do nothing, you get nothing. Take deliberate action and you’ll get results.
  2. Success creates success. The more followers you have, the more chances you have of a post getting quick traction. Quick traction gets the post put in the top posts section. And that gets you more followers.
  3. Click throughs were few and far between and didn’t convert well on site. There are dozens of potential factors that caused this. The offer was a bad fit. My tribe was at the wrong stage of growth. My copy writing skills are lacking. The list goes on.

My Instagram account has sat quietly for a while now. I’ve been testing a couple other brands / positions. But I’m back to this one. And I’m curious to see how it will go with a slower but still focused approach. I guess that’s another experiment.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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About the Author

Josh Robbs

Josh is the founder and cynic-in-chief at Rust Belt Webworks. When he's not testing marketing strategy and tactics, he's spending time with his family or playing guitar (poorly).

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