How to Get Free Instagram Shoutouts in 2021

How to Get Free Instagram Shoutouts in 2021

Instagram shoutouts are a common Instagram influencer marketing method. People have used them to not just grow their Instagram accounts quickly, but to also generate revenue.

Most people think that when they use this technique, they have to pay a lot of money to influencers to convince them to post. But this isn’t the only option as you can easily get shoutouts for free. As 78% of Instagram influencers have posted content without being paid.

sponsored post without payment

You just have to follow a few simple steps. Therefore, to help you I have put together this post on how to get free Instagram shoutouts in 2019.

Use them to get more followers, likes and sales.

Create great Instagram content:

Put yourself in the shoes of an influencer. Why would they want to post something you created for free? It needs to do something for them.

Instagram influencers are always on the lookout for content that will entertain their followers and boost their engagement rates. Something that will not only ensure that they continue following them, but will also get on the explore page and attract more followers.

So, if you want them to post your content for free, you need to create exceptional content that will bring in the results they want. It needs to help them attract likes, followers and comments. So, keep the influencers you want free Instagram shoutouts from in mind and create the content they desire. Also keep your own goal in mind as you need to benefit too.

Next, post these pieces of content on your own account.

Not all the posts you publish will do well. Some will, some won’t. Posting on your account will help you find out which posts work well. You can then pitch these posts along with results you generated to the accounts you want shoutouts from. If you inform them that these posts generated a lot of engagement for you and attracted a lot of followers, and will probably do so for them too, they will definitely be interested in posting it.

The posts you create should depend on your goal. If your aim is to drive engagement, you can create funny or helpful posts that don’t involve your product, like this comic from Dollar Shave Club. They aren’t promoting any of their products. It’s just a fun coming about shaving.

These are great for gaining followers and brand impressions.

While if you want to sell something, you can create content where you promote your product, like this video from Ben and Jerry’s. It’s an engaging video on how to use their ice cream to create a beautiful dessert.

When influencers post this, their followers will see Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the video. This can drive more sales.

Pro tip: Try to create more video and carousel posts as they drive more engagement than just plain photos. Videos should be the preferred option as they drive 21.2% more interactions than images and 18.6% more than carousel posts.

videos drive more interactions on Instagram

Videos are also posted less often, so they will help you stand out. This will make it easy to convince influencers to post them and give you a shoutout.

Also, brand your content as people will know it is yours, even if someone steals it. The simplest way to do this is by adding a logo. If you haven’t got a logo, you can easily make one with a logo creator.

Make a list of relevant influencers to get Shoutouts from:

Next, you should make a list of influencers to contact. This will get you more organised. You can create a spreadsheet for this.

The columns should include Instagram account name, number of followers and engagement rate to begin with. You can add other details like response, rate (if they asked for payment), post shared (if they shared your post) and result later.

Here’s a screenshot of a spreadsheet I created.

If you want this ready to use spreadsheet instead of creating one from scratch, click the below button. I will send you the shoutout outreach tool kit. This includes a checklist, a script and this spread sheet.

In the first column you should write down the handle/username of the influencer’s account. To find influencers you can use Instagram itself. Just type in the hashtags related to your niche in Instagram search and it will show you the top posts. Click on these, checkout the influencers’ accounts and add their name to the spread sheet if you think their posts are similar to the one(s) you want to promote.

In the next two columns write down the number of followers the account has and the engagement rate. You can easily figure out the engagement rate of an account by using a free tool like SocialBlade.

use socialblade to figure out engagement rate

Just choose the network as Instagram in the top right corner and type in the username of the influencer’s account. It will show you the engagement rate of the account and even the average number of likes and comments per post.

engagement rate instagram

Add at least the engagement rate to your spreadsheet.

These are the basic details you should add to your spreadsheet. Rest of the details like contacted by (DM or email), response, result, etc. should be added later.

Build a rapport with influencers:

Now that you know the influencers you want to work with, you should begin connecting with them before you ask them for a shoutout. Spend a couple of hours a day going through this spreadsheet and visiting the influencers accounts and liking their posts, leaving long thoughtful comments and tagging them in posts of other influencers you think they will like. Do this for a week or two. Some of them will respond and it will help you build a rapport.

Contact them:

After you build a rapport by regularly engaging with their posts you can begin contacting them. Start by reaching out to influencers who have only a few thousand followers or around the same number of followers you have.

Most people only try to connect with the biggest influencers. As a result, the influencers get inundated with direct messages.

So, the likelihood of them responding to you will be low. But smaller influencers who are just starting out receive less messages so their response rate will be higher.

So, start by contacting the smallest influencers on your spreadsheet. Later as your account grows you can begin contacting bigger influencers.

Another way to increase the response rate is by reaching out to influencers via email instead of direct messaging. Direct messaging is easy so more people will use it. Fewer people will email them. Therefore, if you can find the influencers email addresses you should email them instead of sending a DM.

When you email people, you will be able to write in more detail and you can easily copy and paste images, links and videos.

To find any email you can use a tool like VoilaNorbert.

use voilanorbert to find email addresses

Just type in the name of the influencer and add their website URL and it will find it.

If they don’t have a website, then the only option left for you is to DM them.

In the email or the DM start by wishing the influencer and compliment them on their work. Let them know that you regularly like and comment on their posts. Then ask if they would be interested in posting your content.

You should inform them on all the benefits of posting your content. Let them know the high amounts of engagement and followers you got from it. If other influencers already posted them, you can include details about the results they got. Here’s an example of an outreach message you can use…

Hi ______,

I really like your Instagram account. You share a lot of interesting posts. I regularly like them and comment on them.

I think you will like my posts too. I publish on the same topic of _____. Could you please take a look at my work?

Would you be interested in publishing my post ________ on your account? It has driven a lot of engagement for me. Here’s a screenshot of some of the results I have got. Other people who have shared it have benefited too and I am sure you will too.

Thank you


Send the email in the morning time as many people check their email in the morning. Your email will be right at the top and more likely to be opened. You can use an email scheduling tool to help with this.

After they get back to you, you should add their response (yes/no) to the spreadsheet. If they are asking for money in return write down the response ‘Asked for payment’ in the spreadsheet and add the rate.

If they publish the post, add the name of the post they published and the number of likes, followers, sales, etc. you got from it in the results column.

What should you do if someone says no or asks for money?

Most of the people you contact won’t be interested in posting your content or will want some money in exchange. Here are a few ways to respond to them…

Offer to create something that their followers will like: Find out if they would be interested if you created unique content their audience will like. Many influencers will like that you are really committed to this and would create unique content so they will want team up with you.

Offer shout4shout: A shout4shout is when you offer a shoutout to an influencer’s account for free and in exchange they do the same for you. It is a very effective method. Nathan Chan of Foundr  used this technique to drive thousands of followers to the Foundr Instagram account.

foundr used instagram shoutouts

Give a free product: Some influencers would be happy to give you a shoutout if you just send them a free product. Therefore, if possible, ask them if they would be willing to promote your product if you send it.

Team up for a giveaway: Another option is to send them two or a few free products instead of just one. As they can run a giveaway for their followers and give the other products away. A lot of influencers will be interested in this.

Now follow these steps to get free Instagram shoutouts…

These are the 5 steps you must follow to get free Instagram shoutouts. Start by creating great content that influencers won’t mind posting for free. Next, make a list of influencers who will want to post this content. After you create this list, begin building a rapport with these influencers by liking their posts and commenting on them for a week or two.

After that you can contact the influencers. If possible, send them an email instead of a DM like most people as it will help you standout.

A few will respond and will be willing to post it for free while most won’t respond or will ask for a payment. Respond back to these influencers and check if they would be interested in one of the alternate solutions like a shout for a shout.

This will help you get a lot of shoutouts for free and for very little investment. Some influencers will only prefer payment. You will need to take their follower numbers and engagement rate into consideration and decide if this is worth it.

To help you execute these steps I have created a free Instagram shoutouts toolkit. This includes a checklist of the steps you must take, a spread sheet to help you come up with an organised list of influencers and an email/DM script you can just copy and paste when you outreach influencers for shoutouts. Get it by clicking the below button.

If you want to avoid taking all the above steps and get shoutouts from influencers with hundreds and thousands of followers quickly you should give Shoutcart a try. You can get started for as little as $10.

What steps do you take to get free Instagram shoutouts? What has worked best for you? Please leave your comments below.

How to Get Free Instagram Shoutouts in 2019

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