A Tale Of Men And Coffee

I’m the creator of the popular Instagram account @menandcoffee.

When I first started out I wasn’t well known on the platform. After growing my channel to over 350k followers I began coaching other business owners how to improve their own results on Instagram.

Instagram is my favorite social media platform, it’s provided so many opportunities for unique brands to showcase what makes them special.

When I started @menandcoffee I wasn’t sure where it was all going other than I thought I could attract an audience of fans.

Once the account started taking off I moved to monetize the channel. I partnered with a print fulfillment company and sold branded products like t-shirts and mugs to my followers.

I was able to create this income stream without any inventory and little overhead so it put me in a strong position to pursue further growth.

From there I transitioned into selling my marketing courses.

One tactic I want to talk about today is Hashtags. Hashtags have been an instrumental part of my success in growing from a small account to a featured one.

The first place to start is with your audience. Hashtags work best when they resonate with your intended audience. Can you describe a typical day in the life of some of your audience members? Are they entrepreneurs? Teenagers? Surfers?

Putting yourself in their shoes gets you thinking about what they’re looking for on Instagram.

Next, you want to find that particular person on Instagram. What accounts are they already following? What does their feed look like? Who are they aspiring to be from their use of the platform? Note what hashtags they are using now.

With this information, you can preload your posts with hashtags that are already resonating with your market. Since you’re specifically creating content for them, it’s not going to be a big stretch to get these users to follow your account too.

Be wary of really popular hashtags. While you might think they’ll bring you increased exposure, chances are your image actually won’t be seen because they’re updated so frequently.

To get the best results from your hashtags, keep the post count below 1 million.

The first couple of tags I use are ones that describe my business. For me it’s #instagrammarketing and #socialmediatips, these are tags that describe “what I do.” Then I’ll add tags that describe my audience.

A person in need of my help is likely a small business owner so I’ll add #smallbusinesslife or #smallbizowner.

You can see what tags are in demand by looking at what auto-populates in the search bar when you type in one of your keywords.

These related tags will expose you to what’s currently going on in your industry. It takes a bit of legwork, but it’s a valuable process.


Action Steps

  1. Write a profile of your target audience and find them on Instagram.
  2. Do an audit of their feeds and write down what hashtags they are using that are related to your industry. Look at what content they are engaging with as well.
  3. Create similar content for your account and use hashtags your audience is already engaging with.
  4. Display your own hashtags first describing what you do and then adding in what your audience may be looking for.
  5. Enter your keywords into the search bar to discover new related hashtags.


Result You Will Achieve

A list of Instagram hashtags your audience is following and searching for along with a method to use hashtags on your posts.

Mentor: Alex Tooby

Alex quickly learned what worked and what didn’t, and after 5 months found herself and her Instagram account in a printed spread in Cosmopolitan Magazine.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.