Should you be on Instagram? (Mini-Course)

Here’s a quick mini-course I wrote years ago before I transitioned online and helped people use Instagram with their business. Some markets are just NOT fit for it.

I guide you through CORE PRINCIPLES of marketing – from all the readings I’ve done and present you with some guidance I’ve accumulated over the years.

I could sell this but I’d rather give value to you if you are in the early stages of your business.

Here you go:

Module overview:

  1. True marketing 101: Channeling Mass Desire
  2. How to use social media for your business
  3. The 5 essential questions for starting any business on the right track
  4. The 3 types of brands that make it on Instagram
  5. 5 points to look for in your market research
  6. How to fill up your market research sheet
  7. How to know if you should be on instagram with your actual data

Lesson 1: True marketing 101: channeling mass desire

One thing you must know about marketing for ANY business you get into, is that you are NOT creating a new desire. All the desires already exists. What you do is channel it.

Most new books don’t refer to this directly. They usually replace it with “choosing a niche”. This is vital. This comes from a book published in 1966 called “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz, and it still applies to this day.

To channel the mass desire, you do 3 things:

  1. Know people’s hopes, dreams and emotions
  2. Build your product (what it does around that desire)
  3. Advertise your message (how you convey that desire to your audience)

Choose the most powerful desire that can possibly be applied to your product. Three guidelines exist to choosing the most powerful desire along with some examples to give you an idea:

  1. Urgency
  2. Intensity
  3. Degree of demand to be satisfied


  • Desire to be healthy, to be fit, to gain physical strength, to eat at a satisfactory level vs eating healthy.
  • Desire to be informed, desire to be self-reliant,
  • Desire to be loved and accepted,
  • Desire to organization, cleanliness, routine, stability,
  • Desire to influence, to have leadership, desire to be part of a community, desire to be accepted,
  • Desire for beauty, for sex

Before you hop into the most powerful desire, find the scope.

Meaning, the number of people who share this desire.

If it is large enough, your chances of success are greater. (I will show you how to do this in the next few pages)

An entire course can be dedicated on choosing your niche to dive into, but for the sake of this instagram mini-course, I take it that you already have an idea or are currently in the process of jumping into Instagram to grow your product’s presence.

To implement this mass desire into your business,

  1. Find the desires attached to your product/service
  2. Rate them on the most popular and powerful ones.
  3. Attach the most powerful to your product’s advertising.

Lesson 2: How to use social media for your business

This comes from a call between Jay Abraham and Tony Robbins about Social Media.

Tony reveals some very important nuggets that are relevant to using Instagram for your business. :

  • Social media is a requirement. But it is NOT going to make you a fortune on its own.
  • It’s how you get people to know of you, to like you, to engage with you, how you stay in touch with your client
  • The more you do that, the deeper the engagement = the more likely they will do business with you.
  • the way for your clients and raving fans to introduce other people to you
  • how you can engage with people in a limited space
  • The way to go straight up the flagpole
  • spread to a million people in a second
  • but you must add value

What is your voice?

  • be authentic, you can’t have other people do it!
  • is your voice serious, inspiring?
  • your voice must be consistent
  • your audience comes there for your point of view
  • if you are all over the place, no one is going to stay with you, and you won’t be authentic


  • Find your authentic voice and be consistent
  • When you have your instagram up,
    • engage with new clients,
    • answer questions,
    • be present with your posts,
    • be involved with the lives of your fans
    • ask them to tag their friends who might be interested in your message

Lesson 3: The 5 essential questions for starting any business on the right track

1) Single most important question to ask yourself:

What business am I in?  (what market?)

The more specific you get, the more impact you will have (and consequently, the more money you will make)

2) Why am I in this business?

If you don’t have a strong enough *WHY*, you won’t get far.

3) Who are you?

Skilled artist, software developer, love clothes, a leader, an awesome trainer, someone who takes risks and is happy about them..etc.

4) Where are you?

In the lifecycle of the business, you can be at the start, or in the middle. It’s important to know this because you can do the right thing at the wrong time. So know where you are.

5) What’s missing?

Chances are it is not a lack of strategy. It is not a strategy problem. It’s a story problem. If you change your state, you change your story and then your strategy follows. Find your story. Write it out.

Lesson 4: What brands make it on instagram:

Instagram is a visual platform. You post pictures. You like pictures. You comment on other people’s pictures. So anything that can be made visual in some way, has a big chance at success.

Wrapping the visual with an emotional mass desire, will triple your chances. Here are 4 powerful ways you can do this:

  1. showing your service/product in action
  2. showing its benefits (end results)
  3. convey emotions (happy, having fun, the joy of the end result)
  4. telling a story

Here are 3 big markets that dominate instagram:

  1. Food
  2. Fashion
  3. Lifestyle

Please, use these to your own advantage!

This is why the fitness industry on instagram is booming like crazy!

It works with all 3 aspects so perfectly: nutrition plans and meals (food), the leggings and shoes (examples of fashion) and the #gymlife routine with post-gym selfies (lifestyle).

Twist these to your niche and you can connect with all of your marketplace with ease!


  • How can you adapt food into your market?
  • How can you adapt fashion?
  • How can you adapt lifestyle?  

Lesson 5: What to look for in your market?

*Before looking into your market, take note of your niche/market again. Remember that the more specific you go, the more you are solving a specific problem.

This will allow you to advertise and communicate with your audience at a deeper level. The better you do that, the more value you bring to them and attract money in your bank account.

Example of niches:
– pilates for busy stay-at-home moms,
– fitness training for girls in college who have self-confidence issues,
– artisanal cosmic-themed coffee mugs, etc.

Now, to have a good idea if desire exists in your market/niche on Instagram, let’s examine your key pages. We do this by checking 3 areas:

  1. Your direct competitors
  2. Your indirect competitors
  3. Mass-interest pages (think “meme” pages, community pages)

What do you look for in the pages we are about to compare? Here are the guidelines:

  • they must be on Instagram (some are not on Instagram yet!)
  • must have followers above 10k
  • more than 50 likes per picture

Here’s the data to take note of for each page you analyze:

  • Instagram handle (@xyz)
  • Number of current followers
  • Average of likes per post from the 6 first pictures
    • roughly estimate the average likes here
  • Note their type of page
    • personal page,
    • online store,
    • blog,
    • local or global focused,
    • magazine… 

Now let’s dive a bit deeper on each category you will look into:

1) Your Direct Competitors

These are pages of other businesses who sell something similar to what you are selling.

If you don’t have a list of competitors already, it’s time to start! Think of all the keywords that might be used for your product or service. Make a few searches on (even when you’ve LOCAL)

Do some keyword searches for your niche. Start general and go more specific. See which websites come up, which brands are closest to what you are doing. The more the better at this stage. 


2) Indirect competitors

These are the companies who sell additional things with the thing that you are selling.

Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box for this one. Chances are, you will return to update these as you progress. The answers aren’t always obvious.

Here are some to give you some ideas:

Shampoo? Soap, vegan soap, organic, hand-made shampoos.  

Luxury Watches? Watch Straps, luxury bracelets.

Yoga classes? Leggings, yoga mats, nutrition guides.

Fitness Training? Local spas, supplement stores, clothing…

Beard oil? Barbershops, beard combs, bearded gentlemen clothing.


3) Mass-interest pages

Here’s your chance to get creative. These are pages that have built communities of fans with a common interest. It can be on comedy, movie, actors, sculptor, pizza blogs, bible quotes, inspirational quotes for breakups, or entrepreneurship, etc.

Here are a few categories examples:

1) Fans of Movies (@orange_is_the_new_black, @Starwars, @Marvel)

2) Fans of tv shows (@breakingbad, @amcthewalkingdead)

3) Readers of specific magazines (@wsj, @GQ, @natgeo, @time, @sportsillustrated)

4) Readers of blogs (@lifehacker_, @refinery29, @travelandleisure)

These all have massive followings and cultures around them. You can potentially reach each of those followers.


  1. Find 3 instagram pages as your competitors
  2. Find 3 instagram pages as your indirect competitors
  3. Find 3 instagram pages as your mass-interest pages
  4. Fill out the details for each page on your Template sheet

Lesson 6: So, are they popular? What are your chances of success on instagram?

Okay, now that you have your list of brands, its time to see your chances of success.

Look at the total number of followers. It is the sum of all the followers on those lists. If that number is:

  1. greater than 200k, its a go! (local and online)
  2. if not, re-assess your target market. Consider a slightly broader market. And redo the steps with the larger market in mind.

If you STILL can’t make it passed 200k follower market, then it will be an uphill challenge to make it on instagram I’m afraid.

I’m not saying you’re guaranteed to fail, just that it will be harder to find the people present on instagram.

If you are consistent and stay visual with your messages, you can still make it. It is possible.


Well, there you have it.

This is part of the process I go through for clients before I work with them when its about a market I’ve never heard of. It helps me get a quick glimpse if there is potential on instagram with actual data.

In short, once you complete this mini-course you actually made a list of users in your market who are actively interested in your niche. (potential LEADS)

It’s a real number of people that you can reach out to!
(which is a separate post or course on it’s own)


Go get ’em

– Leon Benjamin
Organic Instagram Expert, Head of Triple Your Tribe


PS: So? What did you think of this mini-course?

Feel free to tell me via Messenger through the blog.
Or if you’re signed up in my emil list, reply to me an email. 🙂