Today’s guest post is by Tony Bennett.

Last week marked an unprecedented milestone in my otherwise ordinary life; it’s the first time I’ve ever accumulated a million of anything!

Sadly, it’s not dollars, but a million likes on Instagram certainly is a gratifying consolation prize.

While there’s no “easy-button” for building such an engaging fan base, there are three simple strategies to help you achieve a higher level of Instagram fame.

And don’t worry; proclaiming yourself as the “friendly neighborhood IG superhero” isn’t one of them… although it worked for me.

To Follow or to Unfollow?

The most simplistic way to grow your fan base is to follow more people. Going further, don’t follow just anyone… follow accounts actively liking OPP (other people’s posts). Or, in similar fashion, find someone who has a very good like-to-follower ratio (# of likes >30 percent # of followers) and raid their stash!

At my peak, I was following +/- 15,000 accts. However, once you realize your photostream is a clusterbleep, you’ll go through the drama of unfollowing people using tools such as I dropped EVERYONE who wasn’t either following me, or posting great photos, until I was down to seven non-reciprocators.

And I STILL can’t get Mark Schaefer to throw me a bone; but it’s ok, his pics are very good and I recommend you read his excellent post about explosive growth at Instgram.

Like, Like, Like and Like Some More

Once the follow/unfollow phase is complete, you’ll (albeit superficially) appear more attractive to other IGers (more followers than followings). Now, while you won’t have to follow someone for them to follow you, they just have to know you exist. It’s time to get your like on!

Whether you do it the old fashioned way, develop a script to do it, or have oompa loompas do it for you, choose a hashtag and start liking every picture posted. Find a tag which is similar to the types of photos you post and is among the most often used. Webstagram has a section showing the “hot” tags and filters on Instagram.

Don’t Be a Salesman

Instagram is a very fickle mob. Unlike most other social networks, IGers are not conditioned to seeing people with megaphonitis telling them what to buy. This platform is about the works you create and relationships, first. Anyone can go on IG to peddle their goods.

Not everyone can put themselves and their photoart out there. Ann Handley knows how to do this. While she talks about her business and books from time-to-time, she never sells you. Her pics are great, the conversations are fun. It goes to show developing your followers trust comes first. Then, in return, your super fans will be loyal and supportive to your cause.

Here’s what I want you to tell me: What is the main reason you’re on IG and do you want to grow your base?  Do you think this blueprint will help? What would you add?

Tony Bennett might have the world’s most interesting bio: “Having a famous name is my game and I’m winning it! Consider me your friendly neighborhood IG Superhero. Also, a future senator who’s going to reinvent America with the the Tony Bennett for Senate 2020 campaign!”