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The Best Instagram Tools List and Expert Advice to Grow Your Instagram in 2020

In 2020, Instagram is still going strong and is one of the most popular social media networks. Even after the latest changes when they started hiding likes, and the engagement dropped massively for many people, businesses and brands are still relying on Instagram to market and grow.

People spend, on average, almost an hour a day using Instagram. That’s a lot of time to spend on one platform every day. It just shows how addicted and in-love people are with this platform, no matter what algorithm changes are happening. 

For me personally, Instagram is the #1 referral source for bringing in traffic to my blog, 6.62% of my traffic is from Instagram. It’s weird for me, as I don’t put much effort into marketing on Instagram. However, I always make sure to have a link to my blog in my bio. 

A few months back, I started noticing that the best performing posts on FOXY SOUL were my blog posts about organizing Instagram3 reasons why Instagram is the best, and posts about Instagram stories

After doing a little bit of research in FB Groups, I’m a part of and other places on the internet, I noticed, that many people are only now are getting into Instagram and using it to market their personal brands. And many people have no idea where to start, what to do, or how to get results. 

So, after seeing so many people struggling, I decided to compile this best Instagram tools and expert advice list to make it easier to start working with this platform. 


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I’m not an Instagram expert myself per se, I share with you my experiences only, so I wanted to go out and find advice from people who dedicate their careers to figuring this platform out and sharing their knowledge. 

With this best Instagram tools and expert advice resource, you will have all the best up to date knowledge about this app, and it will help you start growing your brand efficiently. 

Let’s Jump Into The Best Instagram Tools List and Expert Advice to Help Your Grow in 2020

#1: Best Instagram Courses

Courses I picked for this list are not free, and they’re not the cheapest. I didn’t select any courses that you can find on Udemy or Skillshare, as I don’t believe they’re enough. 

The point of this list was to have a list of courses where you pick one, invest in it, and you know everything there is to know about using Instagram to grow your brand. 

And Skillshare and Udemy courses don’t offer this opportunity. However, they’re great if you want to learn one or two tips on top of your knowledge about how Instagram works. 

Let’s jump in:

The Instagram Lab by Jenna Kutcher

This course is my #1 recommendation as it’s the course I’ve invested in myself when I was trying to learn everything about Instagram. I can genuinely say it was worth every penny. 

The creator of this course, Jenna Kutcher is one of the most popular online marketing experts. She’s best known for her Goal Digger Podcast as well as Instagram expertise. 

Jenna actually built her business as a wedding photographer first, and then she started selling her courses and build an empire for herself. Now, her most popular course is The Instagram Lab, but she has great courses on Pinterest and email marketing. 

One of the most authentic things that make Jenna stand out in the crowd is her love for storytelling. Her strategy has always been showing her face and telling a meaningful story that will let people connect with her. 

This course, The Instagram Lab, is designed in a way to cover every single thing about using Instagram to grow your personal brand or business. 

There are modules about captions, hashtags, images, best strategies. She goes in-depth on how to convert followers into clients and build a meaningful brand on Instagram. 

Jenna shares her secret strategy on how she plans and creates content for her brand, which I totally used myself when I first started. It’s also a pretty unique strategy that is very easy to implement, and I haven’t seen it anywhere. 

The Instagram Lab has a dedicated private Facebook group for people in the program. Jenna’s team answers questions there, and you can communicate with other people using this course. I think the community part is very important when learning, so it’s great that this course offers this bonus. 

Now, when it comes to content formats inside the course, each module is done in a few formats. There is a video file, audio file, and a transcript, so no matter which way you prefer to consume content, you have an option. 

When I took this course, I did watch video and marked essential parts in the transcript as I was lazy to take notes for myself. 

When it comes to price, it’s not the most expensive course out there. It costs $297 if you pay in full, but they offer a payment plan (which turns out more expensive in the end) of 4 monthly payments of $89. 

So, as you can see, the price point is reasonable, and knowing that you will not need to take any other course about Instagram, I think it’s worth it. 

Cheaper alternative:

However, if spending $300 on an Instagram course is not what you want to do right now, Jenna has an alternative. 

She recently created this other product called Insta Essentials, which costs only $49. This is essentially a Quickguide designed to get you started on using Instagram to grow your brand. 

It includes guides, tips, and even stock imagery, so if you’re not sure about investing in Jenna’s full course, but would like to see what she can teach you, it might be an excellent option for you.

The Bossgram Academy by Vanessa Lau

Another great course on my best Instagram tools list is The Bossgram Academy, created by Vanessa Lau

Vanessa is an Instagram growth expert I’ve found on Youtube, and I recommend you follow her as she offers a unique approach to growing your brand on social media. 

The Bossgram Academy is more like a program than only a course on how to use Instagram to get clients. This course has a clear end goal, to get more clients if you finish and execute it, which makes it unique. 

Another unique thing about Vanessa’s course is that she’s always updating it. As of the day that I’m writing, Vanessa is in the pre-launch phase for the 3rd update of this program. 

I think this is a very interesting approach as instead of creating more different products, Vanessa is focusing 100 % on making this one program the best. But it shows that she cares about people who take her course, so if you decide to invest in Vanessa’s program, you can expect to see results and be up to date with everything new happening on Instagram. 

If you want to get the taste of this program, go on Vanessa’s website and register to get the free module for her The Bossgram Academy. She has this offer, so people who want to invest in the course can see if it’s the right thing to do for them. 

There are 3 phrases in The Bossgram Academy program or 6 modules in total. Also, there are some extra resources to help you reach the best results with this program. All content has video, so you can watch it or simply listen while you go about your day. 

It is a very unique program, so if your main goal is to attract more paying clients with your Instagram and grow your personal brand, this course might be just right for you. 

Sadly, the price is not advertised anywhere as of the day I’m writing this, but I’m sure it’s going to be anywhere between $300-$900. 

Insta Growth Accelerator by BossBabe Inc.

Insta Growth Accelerator (IGA) is a 12-week program created by BossBabe creator Natalie that will help you grow your Instagram and monetize it. 

It’s one of the most advertised Instagram courses I’ve seen as BossBabe Inc. is a very well known female entrepreneurship network. It’s also the most expensive program on this best Instagram tools list. 

The creator of this course, Natalie Ellis, is a real Instagram expert – she built BossBabe Instagram to 2.1 million with the strategies she shared in this course. That’s pretty amazing. No other course creator on my best Instagram tools list had these type of results. 

This program is focused on growing your Instagram organically, without ads, and getting paid clients. A huge focus of this course is growing an engaged audience, interested in you and what you have to offer. 

What’s great about IGA, is that it focuses not only on Instagram growth but on helping you build a brand that has a strong foundation that goes beyond Instagram. So, expect to get a lot of tips on your business strategy. 

This course also has many useful resources that come with this program, like spreadsheets and worksheets, pre-recorded video calls with the creator of the course, and much more. So, you’re really getting a lot for your money. 

This course also offers the private community option, so if you want to connect and network with other people, it’s great. 

IGA is the most expensive course on my best Instagram tools list and costs $1997. They offer a payment plan of 3 payments of $749 (which ends up being more expensive in the end). 

I know it’s an expensive investment and can be hard to make as not many of us have $2000 laying around for an Instagram course. However, when you’re investing in courses like that, you have to remember that it’s going to be the only Instagram course you’ll ever buy. 

Cheaper alternative:

I have some good news for you. BossBabe offers a cheaper alternative to their IGA course, the IGA DIY course, which comes at the lower price of $997. 

This DIY option doesn’t include the private community and bi-weekly coaching calls but includes all the other materials offered in the original IGA program. 

If you don’t care about the community part and only want the information and strategies that they offer, this course might be a better option for you. 

The Instagram Ivy League by Alex Tooby

The last course on my best Instagram tools list that I recommend is The Instagram Ivy League created by Alex Tooby. 

Alex Tooby is an Instagram expert with a very inspiring story and has been featured in magazines like Forbes and Cosmopolitan. 

Her course, The Ivy League, is a full-on Instagram program designed to make you an expert at using it. This course is going to teach you everything there is to know about using Instagram and building your personal brand. 

It has 10 modules that cover every question and strategy you might have or need in order to grow. Alex claims that the Instagram strategy she teaches in this course is the same unique strategy she used to build her own personal brand. 

The Ivy League modules are very in-depth and have so much information on each subject. It’s one of the most comprehensive courses I’ve seen on Instagram. 

Some bonuses come with purchasing this course as well. You get a full years access to a private community on Facebook. You can connect and build relationships with other members of the program there, and it’s always a good bonus to have. 

The Ivy League also offers workbooks, templates, and hashtag packs as bonuses, so you’re definitely getting the value for your money. 

This program costs $597 if you’re paying in full, but it also offers a payment plan of 5 monthly payments of $140 (which is more expensive in the end). 

#2: Instagram Experts to Follow and Learn From

Vanessa Lau

Vanessa is #1 on the experts I recommend list as she’s the most unique Instagram expert I know. 

She’s very new to the game, compared with other people who are Instagram experts, but she’s one of the best. She blew up on Youtube this year, and in only a year and a half, she managed to grow her channel to 100k+ subscribers, and she’s almost at the 100k followers on Instagram. 

Her growth is a very unique thing about her, but it was not due to pure luck. She shares on her Youtube channel how much she worked and what she did to receive the success that she has. 

When I found her, one thing that attracted me to her was how unique and different her advice was. Vanessa very openly shares tactics that she uses, and that helps her grow, and she even shares her mistakes. 

While most of the information about growing online is pretty similar, Vanessa stands out because she has a different type of advice. One of the things that make her Instagram tips unique is that she likes to say that to grow a platform, you need another platform. 

This is the strategy that not many people use when teaching others. It’s usually all about what type of content to post when to post and how to use hashtags. But Vanessa has proved that the fastest and best way to grow your Instagram right now is by using other social media platforms. 

She has a lot more advice to share on her blog and her Youtube channel, so go check her out. 

And here are a few of my favorite resources from Vanessa:

How I Get 4,000 NEW Followers a Month (WITHOUT Posting Every Day!)

My Instagram Strategy for 2020 (EXPOSED!)

How to Get QUALITY Instagram Followers (That Actually ENGAGE!)

Jenna Kutcher

Jenna is a very well-known online marketing expert, and she’s best known for her Instagram tips. 

She has been in the business for a while now. Jenna quit her corporate job to start working as a wedding photographer and later began teaching other people how to market their business with the help of Instagram. 

I genuinely love Jenna’s podcast, it’s one of the most valuable podcasts I know about business and marketing. I used to listen to The Goal Digger Podcast every day while cooking or doing chores, and I think it’s a very effective way of learning. 

Jenna has a huge following on social, and she has been working with Aerie on their body positivity campaigns, so she’s not your regular Instagram expert. 

One of Jenna’s signature strategies is leveraging storytelling to connect with people online and grow a personal brand. She’s so good at using events in her life and finding teachable or exciting moments to share with her audience. 

It’s a unique way of growing a personal brand as she’s always looking for ways to connect and create an emotional bond with her followers. When you’re listening to Jenna’s podcast, where she interviews other guests, it looks like she’s always having just having a casual coffee with a friend. 

She also has a very unique Instagram strategy that she explained in detail in her course The Instagram Lab as well as in a few of her podcast episodes. 

Some of my favorite resources from Jenna:

The Secret Behind My Most Liked Instagram Posts EVER

What You Should Actually Happen Blogging About

11 Ways to See Life and Solve Problems Like an Entrepreneur

Alex Tooby

Another Instagram expert on this best Instagram tools list that I recommend you follow is Alex Tooby.

She shares her knowledge on her Instagram, blog, and Youtube channel, and it’s all packed with lots of insightful tips. 

Alex stands out with her fascinating personality and her backstory. She’s the person behind the famous Men&Coffee Instagram account that landed her interviews with Cosmopolitan and Daily Mail and started her social media career.

She shares very openly that before becoming an Instagram expert and offering Instagram consulting services and selling online courses, she tried many other things to make money. From selling stuff on eBay to using affiliate marketing, she’s done it all. 

You can read more about her story to being a successful entrepreneur here. It’s an entertaining read, and her personality is amazing. 

I’ve included her Instagram course Ivy League in my best Instagram tools list as well as it’s a program packed with lots of valuable information. 

A few of my favorite resources from Alex:

HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM HASHTAGS IN 2020! Strategy & Guidelines for more targeted traffic

INSTAGRAM MARKETING STRATEGY FOR 2020!

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS! 4 tips for Instagram growth

Sue B. Zimmerman

Sue B. is another great Instagram expert you should be following if you want to learn to use this social media platform. 

She is known as The Instagram Expert, and she has been one for the last 8 years. Like some other ladies on this list, Sue is a serial entrepreneur who had many different businesses before she started teaching other people how to use Instagram to grow their brands. 

Sue used Instagram, Youtube, and her Blog to share her expertise and even offers courses on things related to Instagram growth. She has many great resources on every part of Instagram, from using the stories to utilizing IGTV and feed tips and tricks. 

My favorite part about Sue is her Youtube channel. She knows her audience is busy, so she uses this unique strategy of posting short, but informative videos instead of 20-minute long tutorials. 

Now, yes, she has videos that are longer on her channel, but she mainly creates short, 3-6 minute videos focused on one topic at the time. I love this attention to detail and respect for people’s time.

Here is the lesson in itself – realize that people looking for answers are busy and give them what they want quickly.

A few of my favorite resources from Sue B.:

Instagram Conversion Tips: Daily Tips To Convert IG Followers

Practical Beginner Tips On Instagram (5 Ways To Understand IG Even As A Newbie)

Sharing Instagram Posts To Stories (Creative Ways To Share Content)

#3: Best Resources for Content Planning and Idea Generation

Now, let’s talk about planning the content and generating ideas. I could write a whole blog post talking about this topic only (and probably will in the future), but in this best Instagram tool list, I just want to give you all the best resources to do it fast and efficiently. 

First, let’s talk about idea generation: 

In order for you to know what type of content you should share, you need to know who you’re talking to. Do your market research and find out who your ideal audience is so that you can brainstorm ideas for your Instagram. 

Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s going to be very easy to come up with ideas for your posts. I actually have a blog post talking with 10 great examples of content that you can post on your Instagram. 

When I brainstorm ideas for my Instagram or even my blog, I always try to think about what issues my audience has and how I can help them solve them with my posts. This formula is the best way to find ideas for your post, you can ask any expert out there. 

When you finally sit down to brainstorm ideas, try to keep this tip in mind and see how much easier it is to come up with valuable posts. 

Now, let’s talk about planning your content:

I don’t know how about you, but I love planning. Whether that would be planning my life goals, yearly goals, content for Instagram, or tomorrow’s lunch menu. I love it. 

But I understand that not everyone likes planning, and some people have many issues when the time comes to sit down and create a content calendar

Before we jump into how to plan content for your Instagram, let’s take a look at 3 reasons why you should do it:

  1. It can save you the headache and stress of not knowing what to post when it’s time to post (#1 reason people don’t stay consistent).
  2. It helps to create more valuable content.
  3. It can help your team work more efficiently (if you have one).

I actually have a full blog post written about how to create a good content calendar for your Instagram, so check it out here. It goes into detail on how to plan your Instagram and gives you the best tools to help you. 

I actually have a full blog post written about how to create a good content calendar for your Instagram, so check it out here. It goes into detail on how to plan your Instagram and gives you the best tools to help you. 


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I also have to recommend watching these two videos on content creation and planning for Instagram. Both of them are packed with valuable and useful information that will get you started planning your content:

Let’s quickly talk about planning apps:

There are so many Instagram scheduling apps out there, I probably don’t even know all of them. I’ve tried all of the most popular ones, and it took me a little bit of experimentation to understand what I like in a scheduling app. 

But now I totally have two favorite Instagram scheduling apps (one of which I’m using personally), and I want to recommend them to you. 

#1: PLANN

It is my #1 Instagram planning tool by far, I love it so much. I enjoy using their app, the design is simple, yet elegant, and it’s very easy to use. 

I was always happy with their pricing as they not only have a decent free plan, but their paid options are affordable, and they have many different plans to choose from, depending on your need. 

Also, they have a desktop app, which makes it easier to use for some people. I prefer using it on the app, but I know that many people like to schedule their calendars on their laptops instead. 

Another thing I enjoy about PLANN is their blog. They have so many great tutorials, tips, and tricks on using Instagram, and you can always check on recent news and updates about the app.

Also, they have a free resources page where they have many great downloadables you can use to grow your Instagram. Honestly, not many brands go so above and beyond to provide free content for their audience.

#2: Later

Later is another excellent Instagram scheduler that I recommend in my best Instagram tools list. 

This planner has a bit more tools as it includes not only the Instagram content planning and scheduling, but you can manage a few other platforms like Facebook or Pinterest as well. 

So, if you want a scheduler that allows you to manage more than your Instagram, Later might be a better option for you. 

Later has a mobile app for Instagram and a desktop version of their software, so there is a lot of flexibility for you. They also offer many different plans with various prices, so everyone can find something for their budget. They have a free option where you can have only 1 platform connected and schedule 30 posts a month. 

They also have a Blog where you can find tons of information about recent updates on Instagram and tutorials on how to use this social media platform and grow on it. I think it’s always great when companies offer tons of free valuable information. 

#4: Must-Have Design and Content Creation Tools

Lightroom

If you’re posting images on Instagram and you haven’t used Lightroom to edit those pics, you’re seriously missing out. 

I know that using Snapseed and VSCO is very popular as every trendy teenager is doing that on Instagram. Still, Lightroom is on my best Instagram tools list because it’s the best editing software out there, in my opinion. 

It has way more tools and gives you so much freedom to edit, and it’s also totally free forever. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee or buy presets you like for extra money. So, gals on the budget out there, it’s excellent for you. 

If you want to improve your images, try taking images with the app itself and not with your phone camera and then upload it into Lightroom. There is something about Lightroom camera that makes your photos look a touch more professional, it catches the light very well, so the images look more editorial.

I use Lightroom myself right now, and to make everything easier and faster, I’ve created my own preset that I apply each time when I’m editing a photo. I always make sure to adjust some settings when I apply the preset as not every photo is the same, and sometimes it needs a bit of tweaking. 

If you don’t want to edit photos yourself or create presets, Lightroom is great because you can buy great presets from many creators. They all usually have instructions on how to use them, so don’t worry about that, and they’re not as common as filters on VSCO. 

Here are a few of my favorites I recommend that I’ve used before in the past and loved:

  1. Presets by Ashley from bestdressed (my #1)
  2. Presets by Avrey Ovard (great for that cool Instagram girl look)
  3. Presets by Erica from fashionlush (she is a pro at editing photos)

Storylux

This app is great for upping your Instagram story game. It really doesn’t do much else, but it’s very worth it, in my opinion, as it has some cool frames. 

You can also create cool collages with kodak or polaroid frames either for your stories or the feed (I do that myself sometimes), and it looks fantastic. 

It’s a totally free app, however, if you want to have more options for frames, you’ll need to pay for them. But they’re not expensive, a few dollars and I have bought them in the past. 

So, if you’re into that cool early 2000’s look, this app will be great for you. 

PicsArt

This is another app that is hugely popular between Instagram influencers and trendy teenagers. It’s an editing app, and a social network in itself (kinda) as you can share your creations with other people and they have a feed. 

It’s an app that allows very easy editing of images, they have so many fun functions that makes it enjoyable to create Instagram stories. I used it at first to create that diamond look that was inspired by this creator Sara Shakeel:

This app has a paid version, but you can use most of their tools for free. It’s great if you’re into collages or want to make your Instagram stories cooler. It has a tool that allows you to crop something out of the photo with no trouble, and I’ve seen people use it not only for Instagram images. 

You can add stickers and text to your Instagram story, and they have this brush tool that allows you to add many different details to the image. 

I personally create all my design details in Adobe Illustrator. However, if you’re not good with Adobe products, you might give PicsArt a try. 

Spacie

This is not an editing app. However, it’s a game-changing little tool you need for your captions. 

I had trouble making spaces between the lines in my captions for years on my iPhone, it was driving me nuts. But then I found this tool, which allows you to break the text in your captions without adding dots. 

I’m telling you, it’s going to change your life as you won’t have to look at horrible captions anymore. It does cost some money, around the same amount a coffee does, but it’s going to be worth it if you’re writing long captions. 

I had to share it on this best Instagram tools list as not many people know about it yet. 

Canva

I bet you didn’t know that Canva was an option for your phone, right? Well, now you know, and it’s going to make your life so much easier. 

I use Canva to create my Instagram stories on the phone. I don’t always have time to create stories in Illustrator, so when I’m lazy, I just put everything together on my phone in Canva, and I’m ready to go in 10 mins. 

They have all the same functions you would have on your desktop, they’re free and have tons of cool options. Honestly, if you want to up your Instagram stories game, Canva is the easiest way to create stories that are branded, valuable, and pretty. 


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#5: Everything You Need to Know About Hashtags

I know that many people don’t know how to really use hashtags to grow the Instagram account. I know I was lost as well when I first started.

There is this idea that you have to be using the most popular hashtags, and use hashtags that reflect what is in your image that you’re posting when it’s not always the case.

The Instagram algorithm is always changing, and it affects hashtags significantly. A year ago, the norm was to have 30 hashtags on your posts, but today this might not fly with Instagram.

Instead, if you’re always using the same 30 hashtags, you can severely hurt your account. The best resource I have to you today when it comes to using hashtags in 2020 is this video from Vanessa Lau:

I recommend you watch it as it’s precisely the strategy that I use and that works best in 2020.

Conclusion

I hope you guys found this best Instagram tools and expert advice list helpful and can utilize it to grow your personal brands. 

It’s a lot of information packed in one blog post, but I really wanted to compile everything that’s most relevant and best and put it in one place so that you don’t have to search the internet for hours. 

If you don’t know where to start with your Instagram, I suggest you grab my free 30 days of content planner that will help you get a head start. It has not only feed and story ideas but also IGTV ideas, so it’s really going to be helpful to you.

If you want to read more about online marketing, you can do it here. Also, check out my podcast The Foxy Soul Show and follow me on Instagram @foxysoul.co

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4 Comments

  • Chris Kosto | GoldenBloggerz.com

    Nice resourcses, Canva is my favorite!

    July 15, 2020 at 5:35 pm Reply
    • foxysoul

      Yes, Canva is an amazing tool!

      July 16, 2020 at 1:34 pm Reply
  • Katelyn

    Love these tips and I will definitely be implementing some of them! Just starting out transforming my personal insta to a creator account and recently created a blog so these tips are super helpful! Thank you for sharing!

    July 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm Reply
    • foxysoul

      I’m very happy to hear that you found these tips useful, Katelyn! It’s always my pleasure 🙂

      July 22, 2020 at 7:31 am Reply

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