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Scott Bakken’s Instagram Essentials on Skillshare: Build Your Brand, Grow Your Community

Are you looking to grow your Instagram presence but not sure where to start? In this review, I’ll cover Scott Bakken’s course so you can determine if this is the right one for you.

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Scott Bakken’s Instagram Essentials on Skillshare: Our Verdict (2023)


3.7 / 5

Scott Bakken’s Skillshare course, "Instagram Essentials: Build Your Brand, Grow Your Community," offers a clear and engaging introduction to navigating Instagram. The course provides valuable insights on brand growth and community building, along with practical strategies for crafting impactful posts. While the course excels in production quality and content accessibility, it primarily caters to newcomers in the social media and online branding sphere. Experienced Instagram users may find the material somewhat elementary.


  • Easy-to-follow and digestible content
  • Excellent production quality
  • Not too lengthy


  • Could use more personal examples and visual aids
  • Not much beyond surface-level information and advice


In the vast world of social media, where millions of users vie for attention and followers, finding your authentic voice can seem like a daunting task. However, Scott Bakken, the founder of Socality, brings a refreshing perspective to the table. In his Skillshare Originals course, “Instagram Essentials: Build Your Brand, Grow Your Community,” Bakken guides you through the intricacies of building a personal online platform that truly represents who you are. Drawing from his experiences living in different corners of the world, Scott’s short course aims to offer a unique take on Instagram that transcends the usual pursuit of numbers and dives deep into self-expression, community building, and the art of storytelling – let’s see how the course does in practice!

Table of Contents

What is the course about?

Instagram Essentials: Build Your Brand, Grow Your Community” on Skillshare is not your typical Instagram course. It’s a journey of self-discovery and community-building through dynamic storytelling. Scott Bakken’s course is less about creating a polished online persona; it’s more focused on finding your authentic voice and connecting with like-minded individuals. His emphasis is not on the “Here I am” mentality that dominates social media, but instead focusing on the “There you are” approach – discovering and engaging with others – is a refreshing take that many introductory courses may not be hitting on today.

Who is Scott Bakken?

Scott Bakken, the course instructor, brings a wealth of experience and a demonstrable passion for social media. His personal journey from Calgary to Sydney and back again is the foundation of Socality, the online community and movement he founded. With his unique perspective and dedication to fostering real connections, Scott’s delivery in this course is both engaging and inspiring.

Meet Scott Bakken, the course instructor and founder of Socality.
Course instructor Scott Bakken, founder of @socality

Who is the target audience?

While it may not be appropriate for more mature users of Instagram, this course is perfectly suited for beginners who do not know where to begin their Instagram journey. If you’re looking to establish a genuine online presence, find your creative style, and connect with like-minded individuals, this course is for you. It’s not about follower count or vanity metrics; it’s about building a meaningful presence on Instagram.

Instagram post from Scott Bakken's community Socality
Post from Scott Bakken’s Instagram community @socality

What topics does Scott Bakken Cover?

The course delves into a variety of important topics to help guide your Instagram journey, including:

  • Finding Your Aesthetic and Cohesive Theme: In this segment, Bakken provides four valuable tips for Instagram success. First, emphasizing consistency, he stresses the need for a recognizable style. Second, knowing your unique aesthetic is crucial to stand out on the platform. Third, the importance of finding and engaging with your online community, or “tribe,” is highlighted. Finally, active engagement with your audience is stressed as a key element in building a meaningful online presence, encouraging authentic connections, and purposeful posting.
  • How to Build Your Social Influence: Here, Bakken stresses the importance of authenticity, enjoyment, and not being overly focused on numbers. Starting with available resources, using the environment creatively, asking questions, and surrounding oneself with inspiring individuals are the four main tips provided for building a strong online presence. Overall, it’s about being true to yourself and constantly learning and growing.
  • Community Engagement and Telling Your Story: Building an online platform involves finding and engaging with an audience, and Scott emphasizes quality over quantity of followers. Strategies suggested include connecting with like-minded individuals, exploring hashtags, and engaging in community interactions. Additionally, the goal should extend beyond online interactions to real-life encounters and activities, allowing for the expansion of one’s presence and the development of a stronger social platform.
  • Strategy: Scott highlights that posting times on social media matter, as there are more opportune moments when your audience is engaged. It’s essential to understand your audience’s time zones and post when they’re most active.
  • Product Placement and Authentic Captures: In this section, Scott dives deep into the importance of editing and even shows us learners his process for editing photos. He takes us through a few different editing technologies until he finds what he likes and heavily stresses that editing is a creative process and there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Metrics Scott Bakken utilizes to develop an effective posting strategy
Metrics Bakken leverages to form a posting strategy

Pros and cons of Scott Bakken's course

My overall experience taking this course was that it was fairly enjoyable and easy to follow; however, there was little in the course content that was groundbreaking information, as someone who has been a social media fanatic for many years.

What I particularly liked

  • Emphasis on Authenticity: Scott Bakken’s commitment to authenticity shines through in every module. He encourages you to be yourself, experiment, and grow.
  • Practical Editing Tips: The course provides valuable insights into the world of photo editing, helping you transform your visuals into compelling stories. I especially liked that he took us along for the editing process for one of his own photos.
  • Community Building: Scott’s emphasis on finding your tribe and connecting with people who inspire you is a game-changer. He shares practical tips on how to do this effectively.
  • Real-Life Encounters: The course encourages turning online interactions into real-life connections, strengthening the sense of community.
  • Focus on Influence: Scott redefines influence by highlighting its role in inspiring and positively impacting others, regardless of follower count.

What I didn't like

  • Limited Depth in Technical Editing: While the course offers a solid introduction to editing, those seeking advanced editing techniques may need to explore additional resources.
  • Some May Desire More Structure: The course encourages experimentation, which may be liberating for some but slightly disorienting for those who prefer structured lessons. This is not a course that provides step-by-step instructions.
  • Not Suitable for Experienced Instagram Users: While this course is a great resource for getting started, those who are familiar with using Instagram may want to take a more advanced course.
Bakken provides a step-by-step demonstration of his photo editing process
Bakken walks us through how he edits his photos

How much does the course cost?

Courses on Skillshare can not be bought individually – they can only be accessed by signing up for a Skillshare membership. The good news? Skillshare offers e-student.org learners a full month free trial if you use our link (if not using our link, there is normally only a 7-day free trial). As virtually all Skillshare courses will take you less than a month to complete, you can in effect take this or any other Skillshare course for free – or any number of courses that you can finish in a month.

Once your free trial is over, the cost of Skillshare is $165 per year, which averages out to $13.75 per month. This gives you full access to all 34,000+ Skillshare courses. But if you're not happy to continue, you can easily cancel any time before your free trial ends – just go to your payment settings in your account.

If you have no need for a free trial, you can instead get %30 discount on your first year by using this special link instead. With this link, your first year will be just $115.50, averaging out to $9.63 per month. Note that this offer is only valid for new accounts, so it can't be combined with the 30-day free trial.

Concluding thoughts

Instagram Essentials” is a breath of fresh air in the world of Instagram courses. Scott Bakken’s passion for authenticity and community building is palpable throughout the course. It’s not just about perfecting your Instagram feed; it’s about perfecting your journey of self-expression. Scott encourages you to embrace your uniqueness, experiment, and find your tribe.

This course is ideal for anyone who seeks to build a meaningful online presence, whether you’re just starting or looking to refine your approach. Scott’s teachings transcend follower counts and vanity metrics, emphasizing the profound impact you can have on others through your authentic expression.