The complete Instagram guide to buying Shout Outs


Hello! And first of all, thanks for click on this article! It really means the world to me! This Guide is a part of my developing content series around Instagram. Originally I wanted to create an e-book out of this, but down the line I decided to just offer it all for free. If this article prevents anyone from dealing with below-average Shout Out suppliers and wasting money in the process, I will have reached my goal!

Shout Outs?

As a user of Instagram you will have, undoubtedly, seen or heard about Shout Outs. Although I assume (since you are reading this post) you will have an understanding of what Shout Outs are. But just to be complete: Shout Outs are an action where somebody mentions you (Shouts you Out) on his or her profile. On Instagram, this can be done in a picture, in the caption, through stories,…

  • Get your profile promoted in order to realize growth
  • Get your products or service promoted to get leads or sales

Shout Outs will cost, or earn, you money!

Shout Outs are an important part of the Instagram Ecosystem, as it is one of the ‘easiest’ way for influencers to earn money with their Instagram profile. And by the looks of Google searches (the keyphrase: “how to earn money with Instagram” returns over 28 million hits on Google), people are always looking for ways to earn money with Instagram.

  • Do you want them to post a link in their bio
  • Are they able to earn something of your promotion themselves (for instance: an affiliate commission)
  • How long do they have to keep the post up (more on that in the next parts)
  • Are you providing the content?
  • How big is the profile of the influencer
  • How high is their engagement rate

Determine your Strategy

by on Unsplash

Define your goals

First on our agenda is to have a clear definition of our goals. Why are we doing the Shout Out? Is it to increase our followers? Or do we want more engagement (which, to me personally, is more important than followers).

Define your budget

I want you to be realistic about Shout Outs: most of them will cost you money! This makes me ask one very important question: What kind of budget do you have available to promote your account or business on Instagram?

What are you promoting

So we have a goal and budget in mind, now it’s time to think about what you are going to promote exactly. You need to think about:

  • What type of content are you going to promote?
  • Are you providing the content?
  • Is there a specific theme within the content you want to promote?
  • Are you promoting your website or a specific URL?

Think about the duration

When I mean duration, I am in fact talking about 2 different types.

Write it all down

So we covered the most basic things you will need to think about before even contacting people to promote your content. Now it is time to write everything down!

Finding the right influencer

Instagram is all about niching and categorizing content (and accounts). That’s why you always need to look for accounts within your niche. After all, we only want to attract people that are really interested in our profile or content.

Use the Explore page

Visiting the explore page and scrolling through it will show you profiles that perform well in terms of content creation and engagement. Click on an image to see who posted it and then visit their profile.

Using the explore to find influencers

Use hashtags

A second option is to use hashtags to find people within your niche. Use a few relevant hashtags and check who scored in the top 9 under those hashtags. Keep in mind though that since the “follow a hashtag” feature, the top 9 has become very personalized and will be curated towards your profile.

The top posts for hashtags

Use the Suggested Profiles option

Checking the suggested profiles

Create a selection of accounts with different sizes

When you are looking for accounts, try to select a handful of accounts in all sizes. This will not only make a difference in the price they will ask, but most of the times, the accounts with a smaller following have a much more dedicated group of followers.

  • Bracket 1: 2 000–5 000
  • Bracket 2: 5 000–10 000
  • Bracket 3: 10 000–25 000
  • Bracket 4: 25 000–50 000
  • Bracket 5: 50 000–100 000
  • Bracket 6: 100 000 and upwards

Evaluating the influencer’s profile

Now that we’ve found a collection of influencer’s, it’s time to thoroughly evaluate each and every one of them. In the next sections, you’ll find what you should look for!


The next step is to evaluate the quality of the followers of the accounts you selected in the previous steps. We all know that Instagram is plagued by fake followers and likes, even though Instagram has taken tremendous leaps forward in banning fake profiles, it remains an issue to date.

Growth and posting frequency

Another quality marker is to evaluate the profile’s growth. Daily growth and growth charts are a good indication of how the influencer’s profile is doing. Ideally we want to see a constant, daily growth and regular posting.

This is a good chart: consistent and stable growth
Profiles that show this type of followers progression are definitely buying followers!

Engagement rate

So we covered the posting and followers quality, now let’s have a look at the engagement rate (ER). The higher the engagement rate, the better! But, that will most likely also cost us a bit more money.

  • (9 000 likes + 200 comments) divided by 12 = 766.66667
  • 766.6667 divided by the amount of followers (10 000) = 7.6%

Quality of the engagement

Another important thing to consider aside from the engagement rate itself, is the quality of the engagement.

  • How is the likes to comment ratio?
  • If they are receiving comments, how qualitative are they?

Compare Cost Per Engagement

Okay, so with all the work you have done up to this point you will most likely have collected a fair amount of accounts which you can content in order to buy some Shout Outs.

Cost per Engagement
  • The amount spent: so for instance, say you will spend $50 with each Shout Out
  • The total measured engagement (average likes and comments of the last 12 posts)

Negotiate towards a better offer and have a tryout

If you have followed the previous 11 steps (thanks for reading this long) you will now have a prime understanding of how to evaluate Shout Outs and you will have selected a few influencers you will contact.

Evaluation: was it worth it?

Okay, so we completed the promotion. Our partner did his Shout Out. Now it’s time to evaluate how successful it was.

  • How much followers did you gain during this period (deduct the amount you would get on average for yourself)?
  • Did the engagement on my profile increase?
  • Did the visits to my website increase?
  • Did I get any sales through Instagram visits?

That’s it folks!

Thanks again for reading this post, and sorry for making it this extensive! I sincerely hope you gained some insight from it and it will help you in the future.



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