We know that it’s possible to build a robust community using the social media platforms available to us and our business.
But, building a network with an immensely engaged and passionate audience that is eager to support your business – a group that can be easily monetized – is an undertaking most people can’t or won’t do, for various reasons (many of the reasons are totally understandable).
Think through big accounts you’ve seen, or maybe about a friend who is making four to five figures a month, and using Instagram to fuel it.
If you’re anything like me, you’re curious. Maybe even slightly envious. You naturally want to understand their process that led them to monetization.
This article not only opens a whole new perspective on how you can monetize your Instagram account, but it will also help you begin a branding journey with a clear goal from the very beginning.
Before diving deep into how much money can be made, let’s first point out the ways in which it can be done with everything to know about doing business on Instagram.
First things first – Articulate clear goals for your account and create accordingly
You genuinely need to define your niche and audience. This is the audience you will cater your content to.
You must find the perfect balance between a topic that is highly specific and niche, while still serving a large enough audience to be of value.
You can usually find out how active an audience is on Instagram through searching how many hashtags are being used that belong to that industry. See example below:
I can’t dig too deep on targeting today, but for the sake of this – follow a few key steps, and maybe research them more after reading this.
- Once you’ve chosen and audience, follow and monitor the activity of that community for a while, and begin picking from the successful factors.
- Next, Create a calendar of posting, define short term goals for results, and check your account regularly for your followers to like ratio.
OKAY! Now that you have a goal for your account, decide what type of account you’ll create:
- Lead Generation
- Website Traffic
- Niche Account
- Ecommerce Account
Lead Generation/ Website Traffic
Make your instagram into it’s own marketing funnel.
Set it up so that you have a clear call to action – like an ebook download, then make them submit their email to download, and begin marketing to their email with tailored content.
With a lead generation website you can collect emails from your followers to start building a list for whatever service you would like to promote in the future. For example: offer a free ebook or webinar with the website link in your bio. (Also applies for increasing website traffic.)
A niche account is an account focused on a specific industry or audience. In this case the account becomes popular and shoutouts for advertising occur, like in this account for example:
During the early stages, people will message you images in exchange for a shoutout. Don’t charge in the beginning as they’re doing you a favor by providing free content.
Once you pass about 15k followers, you can begin charging anywhere from $15.00 and up for shoutouts.
You could reverse engineer the process of how to monetize your followers by focusing on a niche account only. Build the audience that would cater to your service/product through the content posted first and then switch the account to the service or product you want to sell.
However, do not be in a hurry to do so, because the larger the audience the better it will convert when you switch.
If you ever get tired of how consistent the work has to be, or just tired of the process in general of a niche account, you can have an exit strategy:
You can either sell the account or turn it into a product e-commerce account.
The e-commerce strategy would be to also grow within a niche but letting your audience know you sell products since the very beginning of the page. This would be done by creating an account that posts all the products you have available on your website.
You could have the link to your website in your bio and every time you have a sale place the link that goes straight to that product in your bio.
To connect directly with other businesses who might be interested in working with you and getting their products in front of your audience, create a free account on Trafeze, the network for solopreneurs.
Content, Content, Content
Whether you have a lead generation, niche, or ecommerce Instagram account content will always be your key differentiator.
The key to standing out from the competitor is to have content that is more appealing than other accounts in your niche.
Face it, there are over 450 million accounts on Instagram. Not only does it take strikingly beautiful content but it also takes some hacks and tools to do so. Let’s focus on content for now and I will soon give you the secret for growth.
Besides the size of the audience in Instagram the amount of cash floating in it is absurd. According to emarketer.com Instagram will bring in $595 million in mobile ad revenues worldwide this year and 2.81 Billion by 2017
People are clearly buying after browsing Instagram.
Whether it’s free stock images or pictures taken by you, make sure add a quote over the image every once in a while.
While you do all of this look into the accounts you look up to and notice their patterns. What I mean by patterns is study their color palettes, study their captions, their emojis and which style of image and caption combination gets the most engagement. Go all in, break it all apart.
This is why the shoutout for shoutout strategy is so effective. Accounts with good content will be messaging you images for you to post so it’s a time saver and you don’t have the pressure of constantly having to find or create good content.
The Autopilot Secret
If you are creating a niche account that doesn’t mean you can’t also grow your product/service account simultaneously. However, I understand how time consuming this can become.
There are services out there that can schedule posts and make you manage time a little bit better.
The strongest service I’ve found is SociallyRich, the best automation service for Instagram growth.
SociallyRich let’s you target people according to hashtags and followers of specific accounts. Essentially you take your competitor’s followers by automating activity which gains their attention and in return they follow you back.
You can automate things such as liking, following and unfollowing. They have their own recipe as of how to do this and at which rate to do so.
I would highly recommend trying their 3 day free trial on their website. It’s the easiest way to get your feet wet and understand the structure of growth through automation.
Just like I mentioned before in order to stand out in a platform where there are 450 million other accounts you must be very aggressive. That’s the reason why a service like this is a must.