10 Marketing Techniques I Learned from Instagram Models

instagram model

Do you use Instagram? If you do, you probably notice a ton of pictures of half-naked models.

Most people react negatively to these images; for example, they think that these models have nothing going for them other than their looks. Or even worse, most people assume these models aren’t intelligent.

I’ve known a handful of these Instagram models for a few years now, and the one thing I can say about them is that they are really creative marketers. I’ve learned a few tricks from them that would help you grow your social media accounts.

Here are 10 marketing techniques you can learn from Instagram models: 

Technique #1: Shout for shout

On any social network, there are users who are popular. But whether you are popular or not, you want more followers.

To get more followers, you should network with other users and approach them to cross-promote each of your profiles. You can tell your followers to follow another member in the same space, and that other member can do the same for you.

shout out for shout out

By doing this, you can grow your account as long as you are continually employing this technique with other members each and every week. And it doesn’t just work for Instagram—you can leverage it for Twitter, Facebook, and any other social network.

Technique #2: Cross-promote your profiles

Chances are you have profiles across multiple social networks. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter, you’re on a lot of social networks.

And I bet that your profiles don’t have all of the same friends and followers. So why wouldn’t you cross-promote? For example, you can post on Facebook a few times a month, telling people to follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn.

And on Twitter, you can tell people to add you as a friend on Facebook. When doing this, just make sure you don’t cross-promote more than one network at a time as you’ll see a diminishing return.

In other words, if you told people on Facebook to follow you on both Twitter and LinkedIn, it wouldn’t be as effective as if you asked them to follow you on just one of those networks.

Technique #3: Time your posts

You can’t post on these social networks whenever you want. Why? Because your followers may not be there when you are posting, which means they won’t see your status updates or posts.

So, when should you post? Well, you shouldn’t just rely on generic data, telling you that 8 a.m. or 3 p.m. is the best time to post.

Instead, you should use the following free tools by Simply Measured to determine when most of your followers are online. From Google Plus to Twitter and Instagram, they will analyze all of your social profiles and tell you when to post.

Once you have the data from Simply Measured, you will know when to post. This is why you are seeing a lot of these Instagram models posting at certain times, e.g., 6 p.m. It’s not because that is when they are free—it’s because they figured out that the majority of their followers are on that social network during that time.

Technique #4: Post multiple times a day

You can’t expect to post once a week or once a day and get the most traffic. I know some people say you get better engagement if you spread out your posts. And although that’s true, it doesn’t really matter if the content you are posting is exceptionally good.

Just look at these models: they are only posting content that their followers want to see. In addition to that, they are posting the content multiple times a day as it helps them get more engagement faster.

Spend the time to curate great content. If you are pushing out great information, more people will want to follow you.

Technique #5: Show some love

Have you noticed that these Instagram models show a lot of love to their fans? They have contests that allow their followers to win a Skype date with them. To enter, all their followers need to do is post an image of the model on their accounts and tell their own followers to follow the model.

It works wonders for them when it comes to follower growth. You too can do similar things.

For example, Gary Vaynerchuk has an Ask Gary Vee show, allowing people who want his advice to tweet at him.

He then selects some of the tweets and answers the questions in a video format. This has helped him grow his follower count to over a million.

gary vee

You too can do something similar. Just make sure that whatever you offer your followers is valuable to them.

Technique #6: Participate in the community

This one is simple, but most people forget to do it…even I forget at times.

You have to participate if you want to build a loyal community. Respond to comments and messages, and help out your followers when you can. If you show that you care about them, they will reciprocate.

Social media is all about being social. So, don’t just post on these social sites and expect people to buy all of the products and services you are selling without participating.

Technique #7: Don’t forget about the stats

What’s interesting with these models is that the good ones don’t put naked pictures of themselves on Instagram. Why? Because they have found that showing too much skin slows down your follower count (plus Instagram bans nude images).

By leaving some things to the imagination, these girls generate more engagement per post, which causes them to pick up more followers and fame.

So, what does this mean for you? Well, you need to experiment. You have to analyze your status updates and tweets to see what performs the best. This will give you some insights into what you should be posting about and what you shouldn’t.

It’s just like how these girls figured out that they shouldn’t post naked pictures—leaving something to the imagination works better.

Without analyzing your social media updates, however, you won’t know what your audience is craving.

Technique #8: Focus your energy

Besides Instagram, what other social networks do most of these Instagram models use? It’s Snapchat.

Sure, they may have a Twitter or a Facebook profile, but they focus over 90% of their time on Instagram and Snapchat. Why? Because they know that there isn’t enough time to be on every social network.

If you want to be big on the social web, pick a network or two. You can expand into a third or a forth later on, but first focus your time and attention on a couple.

Once you’ve built up your popularity, you can then use your following to cross-promote other social networks like I described in Technique #2.

Technique #9: Have fun

This is probably the simplest technique, but you probably don’t see it this way. When you look at social media, you probably see it as a chore. It’s something that you have to be on because of work or financial or marketing reasons.

But what would happen if you actually enjoyed being on these social sites? Your content would get better; people would want to read your updates; and you’d gain more followers.

Don’t make social media a chore. It should be something you are passionate about and are having fun with. If you aren’t, then you need to rethink your strategy.

These Instagram models love their jobs and truly enjoy posting pictures all over the social web. That’s one of the main reasons they are blowing up.

Technique #10: Don’t fight fire with fire

As you can imagine, these Instagram models are loved by a lot of people. But at the same time, they are also hated by thousands of people too. And many of those haters are more vocal than their passionate fans.

What should you do when people start bashing you? You could start bashing them back, but that would just create a feud.

Instead, embrace criticism. Try to learn from it…and if you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it. Let your fans defend you…which they naturally will as you build up your following.


You can learn something from everyone in this world. From kids to flight attendants to even Instagram models, the possibilities are endless.

Sure, you may already know some of the tactics I mentioned above, but I bet you are not leveraging all of them. Just try them out for 30 days, and I promise you’ll see a world of difference.

How else can you grow your social media following?


  1. Hi Neil,
    Such a great article for me.
    Thanks a lot.

    • InderJeet, glad you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any other feedback or need help with anything at all. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    • Hey Inder Jeet,

      I absolutely agree.

      This is a great article. I liked # 7 most.

      I can´t imagine that someone doesn´t do #3.

      I think when you´ve got a certain number of followers things will be much easier nd new followers are coming nearly automatically.

      • Anil Agarwal :

        Great image I must say ;0)

        Instagram is all about using captivating images to get more likes and getting famous on it is not a big task if you are actively spending time on it.

        Timely post!

  2. I particularly liked the cross promotion tip and the #5 I think the 5th tip won’t work for newbies. So, in that case ‘love’ can be replaced with incentives in the form of giveaways or some freebies. Won’t that work?

    Also, I am familiar with most of the points you mentioned because you already talked about them in your previous posts. And as you said in your last words – ‘Yes, I am not leveraging all of them.’

    • GK, I think love can be equated to incentives and freebies — it’s all about showing your appreciation through any means that attracts and interests your niche. Gary Vee has found that his strategy involves videos and other types of content.

      Thanks for the great tips!

  3. Clever use of a half naked model in your post Neil!

  4. Great stuff, unfortunately I can’t apply any of these for my blog.

  5. William Zimmerman :


    That photo woke me up, especially on a Monday. Haha. Great post.

    Thanks Neil!!

    Bill Z

  6. Steve Estimable :

    Neil, nice marketing techniques post!

    I love post like these. I noticed the shout for shout is strongly present with fitness model profiles.

    Neil Q: How else can you grow your social media following?

    Steve A: On Instagram i would suggest a consistent “like back” and answering to every or some comment when it is possible.

    Have a phenomenal day!

    • Steve, it definitely is. People love reciprocity and shout for shout is a great way to accomplish that. Liking back is another technique that a lot of people utilize. Thanks for the insights and feedback.

  7. Eye Candy images are obviously VERY effective on Instagram but video content the ay Gary Vee does it in your example goes to show you while pretty girls draw your attention, good content encourages the right people to follow you and your musings.

    • Neil — good point. I think it all depends on your audience. Interests across social media vary so vastly that it’s important to get to know your audience and what they like. I shared Gary’s story to show the contrasts between two types of content — and how they ultimately both work.

    • shashi dixit :

      seo technique is very good for out website publicity

  8. Sometimes the simplest, most obvious advice is the most actionable. I immediately navigated to Facebook to promote my Twitter profile there after reading this post. I had never thought to do that.

    Great post, Neil. For the record, I’ve never minded the pictures of pretty girls. In fact, some of the smartest women I’ve ever met have also been among the best looking.

    It’s always important to look past the stereotypes.

    You also make a good point on focusing your efforts on just one or two social media channels. That’s one piece of advice I have been following, and to good effect.

    • Randy — it’s definitely important to focus less on stereotypes and more on end results.

      Cross promotion is a great trick that will definitely provide a lot of value. Keep me updated on your progress. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  9. Sonny Shivani :

    Great article Neil.

    Some of the fashion bloggers and “life quote” merchants on that site are just killing it. I love your advice of using cross-promotion — I recall you did one on Instagram some months back by having various influencers give you a shout-out w/ “Who is Neil Patel?”.

    I remember that working really well. I’m curious to see what your next Instagram experiment will be. 🙂

    • Sonny, I love experimenting with marketing tactics so I am sure there will be something coming up very soon. Stay tuned.

  10. Jasleen kaur :

    I like your purposeful and i starting this work.

  11. HA! That’s an eye opening front graphic! Love the concepts you give us with these postings. Thank you for doing this for us.

  12. Ameet Khabra :

    I think what was mentioned in the article is great advice, however, I think it may be easier if we just automated the posts.

    If we’re going to analyze the data to determine when our followers are online and at what times they are the most engaged we could easily automate the process. This will not only help make our lives as marketers easier but will let us focus on the analyzing/evaluating vs implementation of it all.

    • Ameet – great point. While automation works extremely well for twitter and FB it’s impossible for Instagram. You physically have to post the image and write a caption on the spot — there is no scheduling software out there yet.

      • I think my last comment got deleted as it may have been suspected to be spam (had a couple links in the comment).

        In that comment, I mention that although I have yet to try these platforms there are a couple platforms out there that schedule Instagram posts. We could easily go in, upload the image(s), write the caption and automate.

        Here are the names of the platforms:


        • Carmen Palomino :

          Ameet thanks for sharing those Instagram automation tools. Always in the look out for new, useful tools that’ll make my Online Marketing activity more efficient.


        • Ameet – thanks for sharing. I will definitely share this with others.

  13. Palash Kumar Daw :

    Thank’s for sharing with us. If you don’t mind, can i ask a question 🙂

  14. WoW Glamorous Post as well as informative 😉

  15. Thanks for these great marketing tips, Neil.

  16. Dennis — those are definitely some great takeaways. Thanks for sharing your quick summary.

  17. Sex sells – really nothing new about that. But nowadays, it’s in your face all the time and I for one am pretty darn tired of it.

    They may be clever marketers but if they were THAT clever, they wouldn’t need to take off their clothes just to get noticed – like you Neil. You are one of the best marketers in the world and I can’t say I have seen any near naked pics of you!

    Now what IS clever, is that you have come up with 10 techniques we can use to boost our marketing efforts!



  18. is there a tool to schedule instagram posts?

  19. Connor Rickett :

    You know, I’d never considered Snapchat for social media marketing. Huh. I’ll have to think about how to implement that. It’s not even mentioned in our guide yet.

    I just did an article on someone I know who’s gaining great traction for her jewelry business by using her dogs and cats as models. It’s all in finding a way to stand out. Me, I don’t have any pets, and I’m none too pretty, so I don’t spend much time on Instagram.

    Simply Measured I hadn’t ever realized had a free option. Thanks for sharing that!

    • Connor — thanks for sharing your insights. I will definitely touch on the topic of Snapchat in the future.

      • Connor Rickett :

        I’d be interested in reading that. I’m planning on playing around with it a bit, myself, I’m just brainstorming on the how of it.

  20. Hi Neil,

    Just recently began blogging to complement my marketing promotions business. It was something I was already doing in a face-to-face style with many in the local business community. It’s exciting and I love it!

    I have a personal Instagram account, which could be easily converted to support the platform I am working with. Would you recommend making this transition, and truly utilizing Instagram for this platform, at the sacrifice of my personal usage? If so, do you recommend a big announcement, or a soft launch?

    Thank you Neil. Love what you do.

    • Jeff — my suggestion would be to just start the transition now. No need to announce or launch — sometimes getting started is the best step.

  21. Great post Neil. Question – when would you say would be an appropriate time to reach out to other influencers on social media to see if you can promote each other? What if you have significantly less followers than they do? What else can you offer in return? Thanks!

    • Michael, often times people care very little about your follower count and will reward you just because they are happy you supported them.

  22. Can’t agree more on all of your 10 points Neil. Great Post..

  23. Be patient is what matters.

  24. Neil i am a subscriber of your blog and i just loved your work
    keep it up

  25. those question marks were a Laughing Crying Emoji

  26. All of those tips are great but you missed the three main ones –
    1) Have boobs.
    2) Be pretty.
    3) Put both 1 & 2 front and centre.

    😉 Love your posts Neil. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I’d love to know your take on getting Instagram followers. 200,000 is impressive.

  28. Very interesting post Neil.

    You once again give us new persprective of marketing. I really enjoy your post.

    Hope you always have great notion to write.

  29. Francisco Rodriguez :

    Hi Kelli,

    Actually this two tactics both work very good. What Neil didn’t mention is that it is only a good deal when both parts have similar amount of followers, so they get the chance to have a significant return over the action taken (promoting other).

  30. As we are start-up and facing challenges how to increase more engagement or followers on social media, we are using Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Google+ and we will be focusing on Snapchat from today onward.

    @Neil…thanks for this blog and we will implement those things in our company so we can grow in better way.

  31. Hello Neil,

    What a great post for me. I’ve started think much more about this source of interesting traffic.

    Thanks a lot again.

  32. Nilantha Jayawardhana :

    Hi Neil,

    Thank you for this great post. Very useful and I never think about Instagram.

    I manage my social profiles on Facebook, G+, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest. In this post, I learned there are many useful tools and techniques to use.

    Really, this is a very tactful post. Thank you.

  33. Harekrishna :

    All of 10 marketing techniques are truly helpful. I would like to give more priority to Instagrams. Such a great platform to expand business circle quickly. As you are giving promises, I prefer to give 30 days to the Instagram by using your effective techniques.

  34. Thanks for the tips Neil, excellent detail as always.

  35. Samantha Grain :

    I’m not a superstar nor an Instagram model, but i’ve got bits of understanding on how it all works. The part where you right the most is about interacting and being real. It’s vital to engage people, to start communication, and the best and easiest way to do so is to find & follow name people with similar interests. If everything is all right, in the first round you like & comment, and expect the same in return. If it worked – well played, continue liking and go find some more people. Otherwise don’t bother wasting your time and just unfollow, it’s no use to spoil your follower/following ratio. Process of unsubscription is the only one i let myself automate, because i hate it. I use fast-unfollow.com to get rid of large amounts at once, 5000 per day to be exact. This strategy isn’t new, but it’s been working for years, so i guess you can use it too. i know it seems a bit odd to advice something like that after your article full of calls to be much more human, but it is my way to do so.

    • Samantha — thanks for sharing the insights. At the end of the day engagement is what matters on instagram — people focus on the small things.

  36. Even though I agree with regarding #1, you are just showing what models are doing, I think it will look “pushy” for some industries’ followers. Shout-for-shout often indicates that you care about a number of followers instead of a group of followers who are passionate about your industry AND what you do.

  37. Dini Susanti :

    Wow… its very amazing strategy sir… but, what do you mean instagram model ?

  38. Excuse me Neil Patel… After exploring and understanding your idea, I feel must building strongest relationship in pinterest. Do you have important tool to analyze pinterest data for 3 month or more ? Thank you sir

    • I am not 100% sure which tool would help specifically help you with this, but I think tools like hootsuite should be able to provide you with the metrics you’re looking for.

  39. Hellen detik :

    Great work Mr.Neil Patel, you content has given me a simple straregy on instagram.

  40. Ezy Fransica :

    Dear neil patel, you are one of best master in marketing strategy. I read to learn here. Thank you

  41. Tanjeet Saggu :

    Hey Neil, Thanks for your valuable article. I have tried this shout for shout method, It actually works and I have generated over 5000 followers!

  42. Harry Geommbrane :

    Neil… I think your sharing always useful for many people. As mentioned, you have helped many people success…Congrat’s

  43. Hello Neil… I feel that your instagram techniques really creative. I’ll try soon

  44. Ibrahim Alhassan Fagge :

    This is an impreasive post just proves how smart a growthacker Neil Patel is. I’ll certainltly implment these new techniques!

  45. Rumah sederhana :

    Hi Neil…. I learn more from 3 article in your site. I feel your instagram techniques still relevant

  46. Hello Neil… I save 3 article from your site, I want to say thank…, thank… and thank you very much for your great contribution

  47. Love these tips! Very useful! Maybe you can help me I have an online store and want to expand my brand so I reached out to a girl with hundreds of followers with the usual gifting a product for promotional use however she has not promoted it and its been months I asked if everything was good ex. Fitting style etc.she replied yes and will promote it soon. Yet never did. Should I just take it as a loss or is there anything I can do? Please help! Lol

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