Instagram open on a phone

Hacking Instagram a 30 day test


I love food. A friend of mine once told me if I had enough followers on Instagram, the restaurant would give me free food in return for a post on my Instagram channel. 

This is true, but you need a lot of followers within your niche for brands to hire you. 

You also need to provide customers for the restaurant or more followers to their social program in return for a free meal. 

Being a naturally curious person, I created an Instagram account dedicated to my food adventures.

Instagram takes a long time to build a following, and I did not want to wait years to cash in on my free food. 

So I decided to test an automated service that would help me gain followers fast. 

As a marketer, I knew what Instagram’s algorithm wanted: engagement on my posts paired with followers to promote my page to other users on the platform. 

I knew who my target audience was:

  • The foodies, chefs, and restaurants of Instagram. 

I also had a goal before starting my campaign:

  • Growing my Instagram profile to thousands with no advertising money.

The Instagram hack for growing followers fast.

I would not attempt this in your business as Instagram frowns upon the tactics described below but use the same concepts without using an automation tool/robot.

I created an automated tool that would do the following. 

  • It would look for Instagram accounts in my niche chefs, food bloggers, food magazines, and restaurants.
  • I live in Seattle, so the users had to be in the Seattle region as part of my criteria. 
  • The bot would then follow Instagram profiles that fit the above criteria and unfollow them in 5 days.
    • The tactic here was for the account owner to notice my account and follow me back. 
  • It would also automatically leave comments on Instagram food-related posts 
    • The goal here is to get influencers’ followers in the space to notice my brand by seeing my comment. 
    • When you comment 100 times a day, you quickly gain followers as many people notice you. 
  • If someone new followed my account, the bot would automatically message the follower and thank them for following me. 
    • This would make the follower feel welcomed as I showed my appreciation
  • Now came my job to post content daily on my Instagram profile and interact with my followers when they left comments on my pictures. 
    • Having good content helps keep your followers coming back.

Then I sat back and let the bot do its thing. 

Phone camera taking picture of food

The results of this 30-day Instagram test. 

  • I quickly went from 0 followers to over 2,200 followers
  • Every post I published had over 750 likes and, on average, 30 comments
  • Restaurants and influencers started tagging me in posts
  • Three brands sent me free food in return for posting stories about their brands
  • Don’t believe me. Here’s the Instagram handle @seattlefoodman

What can you learn from my Instagram test

The secret to growing Instagram with no investment is to make your brand known by following the steps below.

  • Posting daily
  • Following profiles within your community.
  • Commenting on posts within your niche/topic
  • Engaging with your customers when they engage with you.

All of the above is easy if you had a million hours in a day, but as business owners, we are constantly running All over to grow our business. 

This is when we need to learn to delegate portions of your business to experts who have the time to do all of this for you. 

Now at least you know the secret to growing on Instagram. Next time an agency approaches you to take on this aspect of your business, you know the questions to ask to see if they will help you grow your social presence.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at