If you are interested in promoting your tattoo artistry/studio online, you’ve probably already tried to find your targret audience on Instagram. But how exactly does one promote an Instagram account? What tools are there for it? And is there any real profit from buying thousands of bot/fake followers?

We publish an interview with one of Combin users, Eduard, better known as Chrome Power to learn the answers to these questions from him.

He is a successful Russian tattoo artist of the art-group ‘ТЬМА’ (“darkness”) based in Krasnodar. Eduard told us how he managed to turn a hobby into a lucrative business with the help of social media, elaborated on his experience with various Instagram audience growing tools and why he prefers Combin above all others.

Combin: Eduard, please tell us about yourself and how your professional journey started

Eduard: I was always interested in tattooing in general and found pleasure in watching the process, but frankly, I could never even imagine being a tattoo artist myself. Just a year ago I was a sales assistant at a local furniture company. It was a typical monotonous, dull job, I always felt unmotivated and bored there. Eventually I started drawing on the office printer paper when there was nothing to do and my shift was yet to be over.

The drawings were nothing spectacular at first, just scratches, really, but over some time they became more cohesive and esthetical. The drawing process, too, started to bring more and more excitement — it wasn’t a stress relief anymore for me, it was something bigger, something special. I continued practicing at home and was eager to get better at it.

I got acquainted with a small group of tattoo artists with a shared interest for black-, dot-, and line-work style of tattooing. I showed them my drawings — the tattoo artists appreciated them and encouraged me to turn them into tattoo design sketches. It wasn’t just flattering, but life changing. For once I felt empowered and motivated, I set a goal to become a tattoo artists, something I previously couldn’t dream of. I was really passionate about mastering the skill.

Combin: Where did you find your first clients?

Eduard: The first people to get tattoos done by me were my friends. They knew I was just starting and were completely fine with being practiced on. A bit later a word of a mouth marketing did it’s thing — friends of my satisfied friends came to get ink’ed too.

I posted my drawings and photos of the tattoos on my page on vk.com, a popular social media site in Russia — that’s where most of my audience learned about my services and contacted me from. It was obvious at this point that social media was not only for communicating with friends, sharing personal life and news, it’s a marketing tool as well, and a very powerful one. Naturally, I wanted to attract more interested people, so I started to promote my work on other social media platforms.

C.: Was it the main reason you created business Instagram account?

E.: Yes, it certainly was. My goal was to put my work for as many eyes to see as possible and to work with individuals interested in certain tattooing style — dotwork and linework. I was looking for more skilled niche artists for myself to get inspiration and knowledge from, and for people who wanted to cover their bodies with beautiful blackwork.

By now I’m pretty well-known in my region, but it isn’t a finishing point. I’m ambitious to expand my audience, to make my name known worldwide in tattoo industry.

C.: Did you use any Instagram growing tools to reach your goals?

E.: I did, I started using them half a year ago, but was hardly satisfied with the results. Instagram bot tools did the job to make my profile look popular without a doubt — thousands of followers and likes came fast. However, the number of fake followers or likes, no matter how big it was, didn’t get me any new clients — the followers Instagram bot tools brought were mostly people completely uninterested in tattoo art, and for the most part weren’t real people at all. These numbers didn’t let me grow as an artist and didn’t pay my bills. There was no genuine engagement at all, so I started to look for other options to attract potential clients and inspirations, while searching for people from my field manually, just through Instagram mobile app.

C.: How did you found out about Combin?

E.: A friend of mine told me about it, she regularly travels around the globe and uses Instagram as a blog to share her experience. She used Combin to promote her account and was impressed with it. I was curious to try the tool out after her recommendation, and gave Combin a go in hope to finally find the people with shared interests on Instagram with the help of a specialized app.

C.: What are the main advantages of Combin in comparison with other Instagram growing tools you tried?

E.: Combin saved me a great deal of time I previously had to spend on manual searching of potentially interested and interesting people. I had to make time for hours and hours of monotonous search, always keeping in mind how many people I followed, how many posts I liked and commented before reaching the edge of Instagram activity limits, being in risk to be suspended or blocked. The fact that Combin took care of all time consuming actions and scheduled them accordingly to Instagram policies, stood out for me.

I also appreciated minimalistic, user-friendly design of the tool. It pleases the eye and you don’t need to be tech-savvy to quickly get what’s what.

C.: Can you elaborate on your strategy? What exact actions did you perform to reach your goal with the help of Combin?

E.: In order to find Instagram accounts of my targeted audience I searched posts by the hashtags related to my work and interests, such as #linework, #dotwork, #darkartists, #blackwork, #whipshading #vladbladirons, #tattoartist, #tattoo, #tattooink, #ornamentaltattoo, #art, #drawing, #freehand, #blackworkerssubmission, #inkaholiks, #instatattoo, #inkedup, #tattoomodel, and the combinations of these hashtags. I tried searching by hashtag+location but didn’t find much as such hashtags are not in wide use in my country and region in particular.

So I settled on searching posts only by hashtags.

Commenting process on #darkartists posts

I also tried to interact with the clients of famous tattoo artists from all around the world via Combin user search. I typed in usernames of the tattoo artists and searched the accounts who comment and follow them. The search results consisted of people interested in tattoo art, who were either planning on getting a blackwork tattoo or were tattoo artists themselves. I liked and commented their profiles and got the expected feedback.

I enjoyed sorting and filtering abilities of Combin, it’s a helping hand for prioritization. I was able to see the most popular people and content first and to hide the accounts of people I’d hardly have mutual interest with.

As for the number of the received search results and performed actions, I decided to have a strict limit of searching not more than 250 people a day and scheduling at least 2 tasks for liking and following daily.

C.: Could you please summarize the results you got with Combin?

E.: I was looking for truly interested and active members of my targeted audience and I found about 200 new real followers and 50 tattoo artists over the course of 2 weeks. I know these numbers aren’t as impressive as the ones Instagram bot tools would bring, but the audience I got with the help of Combin share my works to their followers, leave a lot of comments, watch my stories on the regular, while the found artists have the same interests and are very open for an exchange of experience and new ideas. It was exactly what I was looking for in the first place and I can’t be more happy with the results. I strongly believe that quality is so much over quantity and I recommend Combin to all businesses that rely on Instagram marketing in aim to get genuine feedback and real deals. Combin does what it promises and it’s an irreplaceable tool for attracting interested people on Instagram and building a strong communication channel with them.