Pancake’s Basic Guide to Instagram Game

See also: How to Instagram close — the Pancake way


Instagram’s userbase continues to grow, and having a solid Instagram presence is becoming more and more useful in terms of making your life as a man easier by giving you social proof and demonstrating your value.

I have been experimenting with Instagram Game for a year and a half. Through trial and error and comparisons with other successful guys, I have a good handle on what works and what doesn’t.

Why develop your Instagram presence?

Instagram tends to polarize people.

The mantra among a lot of guys in the community (especially the more red-pill-inclined) is to avoid Instagram entirely because it’s a haven of beta-ization and attention whoring.

Other guys claim it’s the best tool in the world, will replace Tinder, and you should be opening every girl on it and putting Tinder on the backburner.

The reality is somewhere in between both of these claims. If used correctly, Instagram can be used to your advantage as a man to show off your lifestyle to women and increase their attraction to you. But if used incorrectly, it can be a time suck and cause you to spend hours scrolling through your feed with girls you’ll never fuck that don’t look half as good as they do in their photos.

At the end of the day, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social networks in the world, and it is one of the only networks that is majority female. By using Instagram, you’re moving to where the ratios are best.

Your profile

Your profile should have a provocative name (not just your first and last name), a solid profile photo (make it a close-up of your face with a photo that is rated highly by girls), and a descriptive bio filled with DHVs (make it similar to a Tinder bio).

Then, onto the photos. If you’re starting from scratch, you can post a photo every day to build up your presence, but after six or so you’ll want to move to once every few days, or once a week.

The key here is quality over quantity. Every photo of yours should be a DHV that portrays you as a high-status guy and hits all the attraction switches:
– Leader of men
– Protector of loved ones
– Preselected by other women
– Ability to emote
– Risk taker

Next, you’ll want to define a niche (are you a DJ? Weightlifter? College dude? World traveler?) and put up photos in that niche that represent your personality.

All photos should be taken with a phone with a nice camera or a DSLR. At least half of the photos should have you in them. Remember that this is a marketing account for you as a man. While I’m sure your landscape vacation photos are great, at the end of the day, girls respond better to photos of people, and they want to make sure you were actually in the locations you said you were, rather than stealing photos from Flickr. Typical online apps advice about avoiding selfies applies.

I recommend using the Snapseed app on your phone to edit and color-correct your photos before posting, it’s better than Instagram’s built-in photo editing tools.

Stories can include selfies and can relax the “quality photo” requirement a bit, but most stories should be a DHV as well, not just the Egg McMuffin you had for breakfast this morning.

After following this advice, you should have a profile that looks more like this:


than like this:


Your followers

Having a lot of Instagram followers is a DHV and status signal. It makes girls curious about how many people follow you and why.

To get more followers, you’ll need to use services like or, or, which follow/unfollow users and like their photos, artifically growing your follow count. If you decide to take the plunge and buy Followliker, I recommend this guide to grow your page:

As few as 2,000 followers should set you apart from most guys, and I’ve found the sweet spot is around 10,000.

One thing to keep in mind when using these services is to never let your “following” count get too high. In my experience, you should never be following over 1000 users at once, as any more than this indicates something suspicious.

How to use Instagram

If you followed the advice above, you should have a solid profile. Time to start putting it to work in the following situations:

For leads who don’t want to meet up right away

Instagram is better than text for leads that you may not be seeing for a couple weeks, as well as for girls in other countries that are part of a weak rotation. Because they’re constantly logging in, they’re going to be viewing your updates and will be reminded of you often.

As a close mechanism for daygame and night game

If you have a short interaction during daygame or night game and are unable to build enough attraction to give the girl a good idea of who you are, making her follow you on Instagram is a great alternative to text. She’ll often look at your profile right away and get an idea of your high value. No longer are you just a random guy on the street or in the club.

If you’re using it this way, make sure to also use my Instagram close technique.

DHV tool for online game

You should be linking your Instagram in every app and site you use, especially apps like Tinder and Bumble which limit you to a small number of photos and bio. If certain apps (like CoffeeMeetsBagel and The League) don’t allow you to link it directly, mention your profile name in your bio).

Girls do look at linked Instagrams and I’ve had more success getting girls out on dates when they are given a glimpse into the lifestyle I display on Instagram.

Cold DMs (not very effective)

A lot of guys claim you can use Instagram effectively by cold DMing or cold following girls you don’t know. I have done extensive testing on this and I don’t believe it’s worth the time in most markets.

For example, here are my stats from a test run I did following girls that had their Instagram linked to Tinder over the period of three months:

3041 girls followed (and liked three of their photos)
100 girls followed back (3.28%)
73 were hot enough to open
45 replied to opener
12 gave their number or agreed to date
1 date
0 bangs

Instagram in 2018 can be compared to MySpace in 2007. Were guys meeting girls on MySpace? Yes. As many as on or an actual dating app? No. So you are best resorting the DMing girls on Instagram out of the blue if you are running short on leads from other sites.

Now, keep in mind I live in the worst city in the US for men (San Francisco), so you may have different results in your city. I know that I’ve had as much as a 15-20% followback rate in other US cities. Go ahead and give it a try where you live and see if it’s worth your while.

That should be it for now. There are a few more complexities, tips, and tricks I’ll share in future posts, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or use the Contact form on this blog to email me personally.

Note: this post was adapted from a guide to Instagram game I originally wrote for the RooshV forum.

16 thoughts on “Pancake’s Basic Guide to Instagram Game

  1. Nice write up. I’ve built up a good number of followers that I feel is realistic for where I’m at (<10,000). More than that would be suspicious for my niche. Also I'm getting some good engagement on my photos and videos.

    As I mentioned to you before I believe I'm getting a couple of follows from Tinder. If I especially like the look of someone on Tinder (looks+lifestyle) I will visit their profile and leave a couple of likes. No more than three and preferably on pictures of things other than herself. So things she's made, food she's cooked, places she's visited. I've found a couple of girls will like some of my photos and some follow me.

    We're talking about very low numbers here. I have zero expectations of getting results from online interactions but believe it will greatly help with my real life approaches. The weather is getting better over here and I'll be out more so we'll soon see if the plan works.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magnum

    Great post Pancake you’ve been on a roll with quality content.

    I followed the above with your guidance offline and agree with everything you shared: Instagram is great for building comfort and keeping leads warm, but not so much as a cold approach tool. The comfort building part has been especially valuable for me since I’m in my early 40’s and date women in their 20’s and late teens.

    Using the above I’ve gotten my account to over 2000 followers and for me that’s been enough since I don’t use it for cold approach. I find women already comment on how many followers that is and especially when traveling abroad some have found it intimidating because few men have more than a few hundred.

    A few additional points I’ve come across:

    1. if you and a girl who follows you have mutual followers, the girl can see that. At least one of my regulars was able to tell I’d been dating other girls in her social circle. It ended up being good preselection, but something to be aware of (I wasn’t aware of that until she mentioned it in passing).

    2. when someonefollows you Instagram will recommend other accounts for her to follow as well. When a girl did this last week Instagram recommended Dan Bilzarian and Killing Kittens. She commented that this was “baller”, but my point is be selective on who you follow because girls check that (they can really turn into Sherlock Holmes sometimes). I follow less than 100 accounts now that I have over 2000 followers.

    3. I was hesitant to post pictures of me with one of the multiple girls I date, but it ended up being a positive in that other girls I was dating actually went in and liked those pictures…and I got zero drama. So again good preselection. That said personally I’ve kept this to a minimum and made sure these pictures were ambiguous and not overlly sexual (she was holding and leaning in to me but we weren’t making out, for example). Also it’s good practice to get the permission from that girl before you post the picture with you and her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting that you’re getting women comment on how many followers you have. I have almost never had this happen, and I’ve had my Instagram linked to apps since 3K followers (at 12K now).


      1. Magnum

        Maybe it’s because they don’t expect it from a man my age, or maybe it’s because most of these comments were from foreign girls either brand new to the US or from my recent travel adventures. Hard to say but I’ve heard it more than a few times, even from girls with 15K + followers.


  3. yolomofo

    Excellent. Thumbs up to data approach on this blog man.

    I’ve been wondering this – who do you get to take photos of you for your IG? This is probably the biggest sticking point for most guys, and the elephant in the room of IG game. We all know selfies don’t cut it, we got great photo ideas, camera and editing skills, but no photographers. Many of the popular IG accounts including the first you have in this post have paid pro photographers tagging along and snapping pics, not to mention pro social media managers.

    All the hot girls specifically go out to snap pics and attention whore. But they’re girls. Wouldn’t it feel weird as a man to hit up your crew and go hey man, let’s go take pics to pimp up our IG, nah take it from this angle dude, I want you to make the shadows accentuate my jawline? Or ask your friends to take photos of ONLY YOU from different angles every damn time you go out? And even if I did that me and my buds hit the same 4-5 places every weekend, so aside from once a year holidays, to get exotic locations and angles, I’ll have to specifically go out to scout around town for photo locations and have a dude with me.

    Looking forward to hear how you guys approach this problem.


    1. I don’t have a great answer for this. I struggle with it as well, as someone who hates having his photo taken.

      Some of my photos came from a girl I met on Tinder in Cabo San Lucas. She happened to be a photographer and after we had a night full of passion and connection, I convinced her to pick me up and take me to the beach for a photoshoot.

      The rest I either took myself with a DSLR, tripod, and remote (DSLR remotes are quite cheap), or had friends take of me. Friends are actually quite receptive to taking good photos of you if you get over the anxiety about asking. If you need to, just make a self-deprecating joke about how you’re “doing it for the ‘gram”.


    1. Thanks. When I do things, I tend to go all-in.

      It’s funny, spending all this time learning this stuff has actually helped me a ton with marketing in other non-Game endeavors I’m involved in.


  4. I’m assuming this is for a pubilc profile. I’ve been hesitant since I don’t want my boss/customers stumbling on my profile. But with a private one, wouldn’t girls find it suspicious to have 5,000 followers on an account they can’t even browse?


  5. Factory

    Cool post man. I’m thinking of giving this a go and starting a new IG page..

    Which one of the paid “follower” services do you recommend / think is the best?



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