Here’s How I Got Verified on Instagram and TikTok

So just about every week I get between 10 to 20 messages across TikTok and Instagram asking me, how did I get verified on social media? So in this video, we’re going to dive in and I’m going to give you my most transparent answer that I possibly can on how it could be possible for you to get a verified check mark, next to your name on social media. So it seems that everybody’s after the elusive blue check Mark, and it is quite difficult to get, but I get it. It’s the reason that I pursued it in the first place as well. So I’ll give you kind of some bullet points and some ground rules for me. When I pursued becoming verified on social media, it was for good reason, but overall it took me a little under a year. I’m verified on Instagram.

I’m verified on TikTok and a handful of other channels.

I’m not verified on YouTube obviously yet. And I’m also not verified on Facebook, but Instagram and the TikTok channels are the big ones for me. Let’s kind of lay out some ground rules and I’ve got some notes here that I’m going to kind of reference, but here’s the reality is most people meaning. And when I say most people, this means like the average person, right? That doesn’t mean that you’re the average person watching this because you might not be, but you also might be. Most people will never get verified. That’s just the reality of it. If it was easy, then everybody would have a blue check Mark next to your name. Now, every year that goes on, it gets harder and harder and harder to get verified because what’s happening is more people are getting verified, therefore Instagram and TikTok and Twitter, Oh, I’m not verified on Twitter either.

I don’t know that I even want to be verified on Twitter. Anyway. I don’t spend much time there. I don’t find a lot of value in that platform, regardless. I don’t know what your thoughts are. Do you like Twitter? If you do comment below, let me know if you hate Twitter, let me know either way. I don’t spend a lot of time talking about Twitter, even using it, but some of the things that or miss that people believe is that it’s all about gaining followers. And I’ll tell you right up front, that that is not true. I am not somebody that’s sitting here in front of you today with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. Now, if you combined like all my platforms, I bet you I’d have maybe maybe 50,000 at most. Right? And I, I have other businesses that have in the hundreds of thousands and they’re not verified, but as an individual, my personal accounts are verified.

People get verified for a number of reasons, but most often it is because of security.

These are people that are very well known that are protecting themselves from being impersonated. Usually, you know, think of the Kanye West of the world, people that are making fan pages of these people and people that are even attacking these people and things like that are trying to break into their accounts. The reason that platforms like Instagram and TikTok, verify these people is for authentication and security purposes. And also because they’re well known. And when people are searching for those individuals, that platform wants to make sure that you, the person who’s looking for them is able to find the real version of that person. The Google Cloud security hygiene is what is needed to keep hackers away.

The account that truly represents the authentic individual that is verified on that platform. Okay. Now what I want you to think about, if you’re somebody who is serious about trying to become verified on social media is to flip the role a little bit and sit in the chair of the person that is at Instagram, looking at your verification requests. So think about it like this. If you’re, if you’ve ever gone to your settings on Instagram and requested verification or, or really on any other platform, what is the person that works at that company seeing when you do that, why are you asking to be verified? What sort of backup to your claim do you have on why you should be verified? And what is the realistic expectations that you have when your application comes across that person’s desk right now, obviously when you apply to be verified, it’s a digital application.

What do you think is the very first thing that Instagram does when they see that you’ve requested verification?

The very first thing they’re going to do is Google you. They’re going to look you up. And if there are no results there, that that show any sort of reason why you should be verified. They’re not going to look at anything else. They’re not going to look at your followers. They’re not going to look at any of that. They may take a glance at your profile just to get a general idea, but they’re not going to dig through your stuff. They’re not going to give you the fair shot that you’re looking for. They’re going to look you up. And if there’s nothing there, they’re going to determine that you’re not worth verifying.

I mean, it sounds harsh, but that’s the reality of it. What comes up when people search you is powerful in many ways, not just when it comes to verification, but since we’re on the topic, that is the very first thing you want to think about is what actually shows up when somebody searches for you. The second thing is to consider the terms of services of the platform you’re using. So in what’s called the TOS, which is terms of service of something like Instagram. There’s a lot of rules and guidelines in there that you’re going to want to make sure that you’re actually following. And I encourage anybody regardless to just read through these things.

The more familiar you are with the platforms that you’re using if you’re trying to grow on social media, the better.

Especially if you’re looking to get verified, you want to get very familiar with the terms of services that these platforms lay out, especially Instagram, because they are fairly strict. They don’t allow very open use of their API. If you don’t know what that is, I wouldn’t stress over it right now. But in short, it just means that you want to be very careful about any software that you’re using on your Instagram account. Right? So when I say software, any of these third-party tools that you might be using, or that you’ve heard of that automate things like following or automate DMS or liking images or following and unfollowing, virtually all of these are a no go for Instagram. Instagram does not like people manipulating their platform like that. Now whether you, if you’re somebody who does that, whether you take offense to me saying that or not is beside the point, if you are somebody who’s doing that, just recognize that it’s absolutely going to harm your possibilities of ever getting verified. So what’s the solution.

What I would say is two things. Number one, stop using services like that. And just make the commitment to not do that now anymore or ever again. Is it going to be hard to grow your audience on social media if you don’t use it? Absolutely, but it’s hard regardless. And I would almost be willing to bet that whatever you’re using, isn’t working anyway a good example of a software like this, one of them is called SimplyGram, and I actually did a video review on this software, pointing out why it’s not a good service and I don’t recommend it. And I don’t think you should use it either. You may have seen some of their YouTube ads that they run, trying to convince you that they can grow your Instagram following into the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. And you can check that one out if you want a good example of what I’m talking about, about softwares, that break Instagram’s terms of service.

Now, one of the only softwares that Instagram actually endorses is called Later.

And I will also link that up so that you can check it out. So if you do want to use a software or kind of have a competitive edge on being able to grow your Instagram and use things like hashtags and schedule your posts in advance and really create kind of content libraries and create your content in advance, that you can post it on a schedule later is the tool that you want to use. And you can use my Lincoln. It will give you an additional 10 posts on your account for free. It’s actually a free service. You don’t even need to pay for it.

You can get an additional 10 posts on your account just by using this link. You’re welcome to use it if not, no big deal.

Here’s how to check and see what apps are connected to your Instagram account.

Now, the way that you can check what is connected to your account is you can log into your Instagram account on a desktop device. You have to do this from your laptop, your desktop. It will not show up on the Instagram mobile app on your phone, even with the use of temporary phone number . And this is why it’s kind of tricky. You may have connected something to your Instagram account three or four years ago. That is actually still connected to it, even though you may not use it. So log into Instagram on a desktop device and then go into your settings and you will see a tab called connected apps, go in there and anything that is in there, just delete it and remove it and start fresh, unless it’s something that you use on a daily basis.

And you’re very familiar with it, but again, do your research and make sure that it apply it abides to Instagram’s terms of service. Another little trick that you probably don’t. And I only learned this by actually working to get some of our clients verified. And I found this out. The hard way was one of my clients had emojis in her username or not her username like her user handle, but in her actual name on Instagram. So for example, let’s say that I’m a fitness influencer, which I’m not. But let’s say my name is you know, Mikey fit and I’ve got some, some flex emojis and some fire emojis in my name. Right. And again, I’m not talking about your handle, I’m talking about your actual name on Instagram. If you have like emojis or weird symbols in that name, Instagram will actually not verify you.

Now, the only caveat to that would be if you are a extremely well known B list or a list celebrity, at that point, it’s not gonna matter. And almost none of what I’m saying applies to people like that. I’m talking about somebody who is similar to myself give or take, that’s looking to pursue eventually building a well known brand, a well known name for themselves and getting verified on social media. This applies to you. It doesn’t apply to very, very well known celebrities. You will find, you know, DJs and rappers and musicians that have emojis and crazy shit in their usernames and in their, in their name and they’re verified anyway, but that is an exclusion that is that is not applied to what I’m talking about. So if you do have anything like that, my best recommendation would be to just use the name that you go by most right.

Everywhere I go by name Myke Metzger, so I put that everywhere. So that way it’s exactly the same. I spell it the same everywhere. That’s how it is. All right. Now another thing to consider, and this isn’t an accusation, but if you’re doing anything questionable at all – like I can’t really come up with like a good example, but if you have to think about it, and if you’re slightly thinking that this applies to you, then it’s something to consider. You don’t want to come off as any sort of fraudster or scammer or somebody that’s doing literally anything that Instagram would frown upon. Right? We’re talking about like, like money flippers and these little credit card. Like, I don’t even know, but you get what I’m saying, right?

If Instagram was your dad, would he be proud of you?

Right. Like, that’s the question? And if the answer is no, then Instagram’s probably not going to verify you. Right. Think of it like that when Instagram or any platform, everything I’m saying applies to every platform. But we’re talking specifically about Instagram and a little bit about TikTok because those are the ones that I am verified on. And the ones that I’m most familiar with. But when these platforms verify you, they’re giving you their seal of approval, right. They’re putting the stamp on it and saying that they endorse you, that they approve you, that they accept of you right now. I don’t know that that’s necessarily even something to be proud of, but are there benefits to being verified? Absolutely. Are they worth pursuing?

I don’t know. There are some cool benefits. There are some cool things about it. And that kind of brings me into my segue here, which is how did I get verified? Now, the only reason I’m sharing this is not to talk about myself. It’s because I literally get this question all the time. So first off I am fairly well known in my industry. Now you may be sitting there thinking, well, Mike, I’ve never heard of you. I don’t know you. And I don’t have an answer to that. I don’t know why you don’t know me. Hopefully you get to know me and this would be a good time to tell you to subscribe to this channel. If you have found this video helpful so far, but I am well known in my industry. And the reality is I’m a published author. I’ve shared the stage with people like Grant Cardone.

Grant Cardone and Myke Metzger at Entrepreneurcon in Miami, FL
Grant Cardone

I’ve been on television, have been featured on and entrepreneur magazine. I’ve been featured even in local publications where I’m from, which is Richmond, Virginia. I’ve been featured in Richmond magazine, which is a smaller one, but it all adds up. Right? So being on TV, being a published author, my book is available at every major retailer, sharing the stage with people that are extremely well known, sharing the stage with other verified figures is helpful and I’ve done all these things, but the reality is I didn’t get lucky. I made a plan. I planned to do everything that I just named. And you can do that as well. That is what I did. And so I made a plan to speak at events and try to brush shoulders with other big, well-known names in my industry. Now the underlying secret is you have to actually know what you’re doing.

You have to be capable and worthy in your industry.

So if you’re a professional photographer, you better be pretty damn good. My buddy Tyler Shields is a world-class photographer and his known around the world for the photographs that he takes. And sure enough, he’s verified on social media. You know, you gotta be good. You gotta be one of the best at whatever it is that you do. Whether you’re a professional dancer, a rapper, a musician, a songwriter, whatever, you gotta be good at it first. So don’t think that this is a shortcut to having talent. You got to, and I don’t necessarily believe in like born talent, right? You can work hard and grow talent and become good at something and become verified. Now I know you’re probably wondering, like, what is the technical approach to getting verified? The way that I did it is through my agency.

So I run a marketing company called Stoqd marketing, and we use a tool called Facebook business manager. And I applied through that Facebook business manager. I had to do it two times. And the second time I was approved, all right, with tick tock, a good friend of mine actually put me in touch with somebody at TikTok. And once I showed them that I was verified on other platforms and I had press and all this other stuff, they verified me on TikTok at the time I only had 38 followers on TikTok. I’ve got maybe 15 or 20,000 on Instagram. And now I’ve got, I think 35 or 40,000 on TikTok at the time of filming this video. So that is what I did. And it took me a little less than a year to really do it. Now. Obviously there was a lot of time and effort that went before that one year period where I got verified.

And this was 2018 that this happened for me. So I’ve gotten this question over and over again for the past couple of years. And this is my attempt at trying to give you some clarity on understanding what to do so enough about me now, although some of the things that I just mentioned that I did, you could absolutely pursue doing, make a list and do it work on getting on your local TV segments, write a book. If you want to work on being featured in news articles. Now what you do to make those things happen. I have no idea. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know what you do, but I took the knowledge that I had in my industry and applied it to these things that I’m mentioning. Now, some of the books, speaking of a book that might help you, and I’m not going to plug my own book, you can search that on your own.

Books you may find helpful when trying to get verified on Instagram or TikTok.

  1. Read This if You Want to be Instagram Famous by Henry Carroll

One was by somebody that I had never heard of before. I think his name is Henry Corel or corral, something like that. And it’s this book right here. And I actually found this as an, in an airport when I was traveling and I, it caught my attention and I thought I would read it during my flight. It was a short book. It took me maybe 30 minutes to read and not everything in here was helpful, but I did actually get a lot out of the book. And it gave me an interesting perspective on almost how to become like buddy, buddy with Instagram. You can get a copy of this book here and I think it’s like 10 bucks, and the other one is called social media millions.

2. Social Media Millions by Ryan Stewman

And this is actually by my friend and client Ryan Stewman. He’s written a bunch of different books, but this is one of the ones that I read that I found. Interesting. You can get a copy of this book here. If you’d like to give these couple of books a read, I think that they would help you if this is something that you’re serious about. So here’s the question. How can you get verified? Right? Understand that there is a very technical approach and the best way that I can describe this is to go back to understanding how important Google search is. And you can apply this to any search, right? It doesn’t necessarily have to be Google, but Google is the kin. Now, if you search for anything on Google, you could go and search for meatloaf right now. And what’s going to show up in that search is what’s called a Google knowledge panel.

So when you search meatloaf or you search your favorite band, or you search your favorite sneaker company, that search term is going to pop up a Google knowledge panel that breaks down what that topic is and all about it.

When you search for Tom Cruise, you’re going to find pictures of him. You’re going to find the date that he was born. You’re gonna find his spouse or ex-spouses. You’re even going to find a list of other people that are similar searches to Tom cruise that are also popular. You may search me and find, Oh, well, Mike, you have a Google knowledge panel, right? Unfortunately, there’s no way to request one from Google. There is no shortcut to getting one. You can’t ask for one Google, literally just assigns for topics that are searched very often. So what that means if you’re listening is that you need to find a way for people to search your name, right?

That could be from blowing up on social media. It could be from working really freaking hard and spending two years writing a great book. It could be from showing up on podcast interviews or TV channels. The real answer is all of the above. Do it all. Is it easy? Definitely not. But make a plan, make a list and do those things and brush up on your SEO skills. What SEO is, is search engine optimization. There’s a lot that goes into that. We don’t have time to do an entire SEO lesson right now, but I do think that you could spend some time learning the basics and brush up on your skills and figure out how can I optimize my name? Cause maybe you’re sitting here and your name is John Smith. It’s going to be pretty hard to rank on the top of Google, right?

But the more you get familiar with how to make it happen, the closer you are to actually obtaining that goal. So consider learning that stuff really, in order to maximize your potential, you want to make sure that the name of your brand or the name of you as an individual, because this applies to anything, not just you and your personal brand, but specifically if you have a brand that is named as something other than your personal name, or if you’re just going by your individual actual name, or if you have some sort of moniker that you go by, or if we’re just talking about your company, your business name, you need to make sure that that is set in stone and that it is the title of every asset you create. Right? So if you are in a TV interview, your name needs to be mentioned.

If you get mentioned in an article, your name needs to be in the headline of that article.

You want to put your name first and foremost on the front of everything. Okay. And that is the best way that you’re going to start to utilize the advantages of search. All right. So what I would recommend, and the conclusion of this is to find your one thing and go all in that one thing for me is marketing. It’s a huge industry and it’s really hard to be good at that doesn’t mean that it’s what you need to do. You could be a great musician. You could be a great artist. You need to go all-in on that one thing and actually become well known for doing that thing. Now I know that that might not be the answer that you were hoping to get out of this video, but I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that there’s a trick or that there’s a shortcut.

Now, there are people out there that do have contacts that Instagram and have contacts at TikTok. And honestly, I hate those people and you probably hate them with me. And I don’t hate them like in a in like an aggressive, like I actually hate that person. It just means that I was frustrated by that too. I sat by and watched people that I know did not know as much as I did in my industry. And they didn’t work as hard as I do, but they had the luxury back then of having more money than I did. And they just had the connections and they were able to pull some strings and get verified for nothing. Like for no reason, these aren’t even popular people. And they end up getting verified on social. And all it did was piss me off. I thought it was bullshit.

But if anything, it just fueled me more to figure it out on my own, which at the same time is what allows me to share the information with you that I am right now.

Conclusion: Do your research spend some time, get really, really good at what it is that you do.

And that is the one thing that will lead you down the path to eventually hopefully becoming verified in your industry, whatever that is. So the best way that I could probably help you moving forward is if you drop your comments below, that’ll give me some ideas on what questions you actually have, but in exchange, I would really appreciate it. If you subscribe to the channel, it just takes you a second. Go ahead and do that. Like this video, if you got value from it and then comment below and let me know, what is your question? This channel is dedicated to helping you maximize your potential through social media, technology and marketing. And if I can help you do that, then that’s great. And that would be the point of these videos moving forward. This is obviously my first professional video that I’ve shot in a while. I’m going to be making a lot more content moving forward on all channels. So be sure to stay tuned for the next post. And I’ll see you then.

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