When I started my brand new Instagram page in 2020, I knew I was going to monetize Instagram with digital products. So the very first thing I did was create a lead magnet funnel to attract potential customers. I did this even before I knew what I was going to sell or what products I’d eventually create.
I went head-on first on growing my email list because this is the very first step to converting followers into buyers online.
It is important to keep in mind that Instagram is still a Social media platform before it is a tool that can be leveraged for business. With this in mind you understand that your efforts must first begin as social networking, growing a fanbase, getting people to consume your content and buy into your ideas and values.
To make money on Instagram by going in first to sell will be very futile and ultimate detrimental to your business /personal brand.
Listen to this episode now to learn my exact strategy for turning a small Instagram page into a money making page for you!
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Making money on Instagram can be easy if you know the steps to follow.
So in this post I am going to be as straight to the point and direct as possible so you know what to do and apply it in your own Business. You do not have to copy my own business model. That is completely unique to me and how you will monetize your Instagram will depend on your own unique offers, passions, gifts and services.
So as you go along in this post, keep in mind what it is you do and how you intend to provide Value. Of course you already know that making money is a by-product of giving value. So to answer the question of how I made my first $10,000 on Instagram, I will tell you quickly so you can run along –
Business Consults and 1:1 Strategy: This isn’t one I do a lot of because I honestly prefer to send people to my online courses and Ebooks but it is one of the offers that brings in good income. My Strategy sessions are $200 per Hour at the time of this writing and that is most likely to change in the coming months
Ebooks: I currently have only 1 Ebook in my portfolio but it is one of my most requested products to date. It is the Ultimate Guide Instagram Hashtags -HACKING HASHTAGS and with a Price point of $29, has sold over 200 downloads so far
Online Video Courses: I have several mini videos courses and masterclasses that I have created and promoted to my audience based on what people were needing help with. I have also used this method to really understand what my audience is seeking and how to focus my offers. Right now my online courses are doing very well and it is where the bulk of my income comes from.
Now, if you are interested in the actual steps of things that helped me make that money so you can do it for yourself, then keep on reading.
Whatever value you provide, whether that is directly with your products or services or indirectly by representing other brands, it will always start with Content.
Step 1: Create Content that Converts
When you Start, Focus on the Value you Give, not just on trying to Grow your page. Growing on Instagram is a by-product of value in Content, and making money on Instagram involves knowing how to leverage the traffic you get to sell your offers.
The first thing to think about is: “What kind of content can I create online that will make people aware of my services or products and who am I creating content for?”
This is where a lot of people get it wrong. You cannot monetize your Instagram without the right content to attract the right people. For instance, the content you will need for your type of business if you are a Hair vendor will be different from the content I will need as an Online educator and coach.
When I began focusing on my Instagram in January 2020 at only 2000 followers, that’s exactly what I started with:
What do I have to give that is Valuable and what kind of Content do I need to create to attract the people who will need my services?
What I had to give was my knowledge about Content Creation. This was what I started with. I knew that I wanted to help creators make better content and grow on Instagram because I had done it with other pages, and very early on, I knew that I wanted to Monetize with educational materials (Course and Ebooks)
So I began to make content about content creation tips and Instagram growth ideas.
I also used Hashtags to target the right audience and I had my own specialized engagement strategy.
These 3 things must go hand in hand because these are the elements of a growing Instagram page.
Your content, hashtags and engagement strategies. If you do not know how to use Hashtags yet, you are missing out on a big piece of the Instagram puzzle. Growth happens because of Content and Engagement but Hashtags on Instagram will ensure you are found by the right people who need your products and services.
If you do not get clear on your Ideal audience, you will attract just anybody to follow you on Instagram. A lot of people want specific demographic of an audience, but their messaging attracts just everybody and it becomes difficult to monetize. Which is why you may have 10,000 followers and not one person is interested in what you offer.
So understanding your audience is key. When you know who your content is for, you can then target them with Hashtags and a streamlined, specific engagement strategy.
The more I created content for my audience, the better I understood what they were needing help with. When I started I was teaching about Video creation and just general tips. I was also very eager to monetize because I already knew I was going to teach courses, so I jumped in straight and Created an Online course teaching How to Shoot and Edit Videos with a Mobile Phone.
I found a need!
A lot of people were talking to me in the DMs and asking for help with Video creation. This is something that I am very knowledgeable about and I have made a lot of great Youtube videos just on my Mobile phone over the years. So I figure, ‘Heck! I can teach this as a course and I can earn money for what I know’.
So I created my first course on Mobile video creation and editing to help creators use just their mobile phones make video content. This is how you make money. By filling a need, providing the solution to a problem. This was my first sale on Instagram and it earned me my first $500. I was excited!
3. Niche down deeper and become the go-to Expert for a Specific thing
Now as I continued to create content on this page, I was learning so much about how Growth on Instagram actually worked and I was growing my account so fast by applying my own strategies. I fell in love with hashtags and how they worked, so I spent a great deal of my time trying to understand hashtags.
Soon, I was creating content about Hashtags because I knew so much about them. What happened next is still my biggest lesson to date. My DMs began to fill up with requests for help with hashtags. I didn’t even realize I had done this, but I had created so much content about Hashtags that I had now become the go-to person for tags.
Not only that, people began to recommend me in comments of other pages as the person to talk to for Hashtag related issues. This single thing had suddenly placed me as a needed expert.
What did I do?
I made one single digital product to answer everybody’s questions about Hashtags.
I created my first Ebook. It became a simpler way to monetize my Instagram and I have received so many great results for clients and my students who have gone through the guide. My Ebook The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags has since earned me over $2000 and I have not used any ads to promote it.
When you start creating even more specifically in your Niche and you can own something, you make people tag you as the person with the solution for that problem. This is important because when you do decide to create a Product or offer a service, people already trust you for that and you have social proof and testimonials to show for it.
I do not have to go crazy to promote my Ebook. People know that I understand how Hashtags work and they are ready to pay me to help them.
4. Create Products and Offer Solutions or Services for the problems your Audience has
Against my own rules of having very few products and specific services, I have created several digital products over the course of the last 5 Months to test out what my audience is really interested in.
I personally love creating and selling digital products so honestly, if creating different digital products is not your jam, you can totally offer one product over a long period of time. For me, I am very knowledgeable in a vast number of things and I love to teach so it is a no brainer for me to keep on having classes and products for my audience to learn from me.
When I realized my audience needed help with growing on Instagram, I created the 1000 in 30 Days Mini course bundle. This has become by far my most rapidly selling product and I have enrolled over 100 students since it opened a month ago.
When I began to have people request for help with Converting their Followers into Buyers, I took that feedback and created a course bundle with several classes teaching how to grow and monetize on Instagram. This bundle of classes has been especially helpful for my followers who are also interested in creating digital products, ebooks and courses and monetizing their Instagram.
Basically, you can do whatever you want once you really understand your audience.
But to understand your audience you first have to create several Free Content so they can begin to talk to you and tell you what they need help with.
Once you figure that out, the next step will be to create a digital product that your audience can pay for. The easiest digital product to create today is an Ebook and you only need an idea worth paying for to get started. To learn How to earn Money selling Ebooks, Click Here to take the $2500 in 30 Days Ebook strategy class
5. Promote your Product and Offers Shamelessly
One of the major issues I have seen with people and why I think it may be difficult for you to make money with your Instagram right now, is you are afraid to sell. You think selling is dirty. You’d rather keep on creating content for Free and not talking about what people can pay you for because you prefer to live in obscurity. Meanwhile, deep down inside you are seething with hate and going crazy over the fact that you are spending time on Instagram but not making any money.
I learned quickly that to earn Money on Instagram or anywhere at all, I needed to learn how to sell. To sell, I needed to talk about my offers and my products.
Think about it this way. Whatever you are giving or doing for people is helping them. Is it not? You are providing value, are you not? So what you are doing inevitably is being of service. Selling something that helps people is a Service. The moment I began to think this way, everything changed.
I started to let people know in my posts, captions, and stories that I had the solution they needed. Promoting your offers and products must become a part of your strategy else you are not going to earn with your Page.
I had to learn really quickly that Instagram did not care about me as a creator.
Instagram cares about Instagram. As soon as this sinks in for you, you realize that you as a creator or user of Instagram must create your own Strategy for how you will convert followers into buyers.
And where does this conversion happen? IN THE DMs.
Think about it, you get to have only 1 Link in your Instagram bio.
That Link itself has to be well optimized so you can get people hitting the link. If you want to see more about this and how to optimize your link in bio, drop a comment below so I know and will write on that in another post.
Now, because Instagram itself has been set up in a way to train people not to leave Instagram, it so happens that people don’t like to click the link in bio. This means if you want to sell on Instagram, you have to be pushing your leads and prospects into your DMs and move them up from there.
As soon as I learned How to sell in the DMs, my sales on Instagram took off! I went from making one sale here and there, to getting hundreds of people in my DMs and converting them to buyers.
You can do this too if you are serious about earning money on Instagram and I have created a simple strategy that you can follow step by step.
So far, my earnings have been thanks to Instagram DMs and Email Marketing. Now, the big guy! Let’s talk about Email Marketing.
7. Use Email Marketing to Convert Followers into Buyers
I cannot tell you enough how important Email Marketing is for your business. If it has been scary for you start with Email, don’t sweat it. I have a Free Masterclass for you that will help you get your footing right with email. You can watch it here.
You really do not expect your followers to buy straight from you on sight. Some of them do. But it is definitely a very unpredictable and unlikely way to scale your business if you are going to have something that sustains you.
You want to have a system that lets you take your followers into a nurture sequence where you can then slowly or quickly convert them into leads and buyers. I love to do this in the DMs and with Email marketing.
When you watch this Email Marketing masterclass you will have a much broader sense of how to do this for your own business. Using Email and my DMs are the two most effective ways I have implemented to make more sales on Instagram. If you are ready to start using Email,
If no, then there is either something wrong with your Content strategy or you need a new plan for why you use Instagram. When I started paying serious attention to my Instagram, what I really wanted to do was learn How people make money on Instagram. As of this writing my personal Instagram page has 350,000+ followers.
But that was not motivation enough for me.
I knew I had to start afresh, with a different name and without using my personal brand as leverage.
Just like you, I had read a lot about how people made money on Instagram, I had watched several Youtube videos and read so many blog posts just like this one you are reading now. The truth was I needed to test things for myself.
I was already thousands of Dollars monthly as an Influencer with my personal brand account, but I needed something different.
Today, 4 months into my grind and 14,600 followers later, I have successfully made a lot of Money from my new Instagram account@creatorialz
And the verdict is in! You don’t need a lot of followers to make money with Instagram or any online platform.
What you need is a very targeted message, a Niched and highly engaged audience and something you can sell.
It is so very important that you optimize your Instagram account for conversions and really begin to speak to your ideal audience/clients with your content.
Content is King they say, but King of what? What is your King doing for you if it is not helping your Business goals?
If you’d like to learn How to Optimize your account and grow your first 5000 Engaged followers, check out my new Masterclass on Instagram growth here.
Next to that is my 1-on-1 Coaching with clients who are seeking more advanced, personalized strategies for their accounts and businesses with Instagram.
When I started this account, I knew this was exactly how I wanted to make money. I have always been passionate about teaching and so being able to earn real high Dollars from teaching online is impressive.
Today I am blessed to say my Instagram side hustle pays me money every single day, and for you reading, I want you to know you can do the same.
These 2 Major sources of Income have helped me understand more and more what is important when it comes to actually making Money online.
If you don’t have something you are selling, a product, a service, or your personal brand, then really why are you making content?
5 THINGS TO DO NOW to Start Making money on Instagram
As always I will outline a few steps that you must take if you want to start earning money with your Instagram
1. In the beginning, forget about the Money
I know! This doesn’t sit well with everything I have previously said, but hear me out. People are not on Instagram trying to buy anything, they are trying to build connections, learn quickly and be entertained.
So don’t try to be so quick to Sell on Instagram. Instead, Share. And share a lot.
2. Really Identify who your Target audience is and what they need help with the most.
In the beginning, this may be hard and you may have to start with just doing and sharing what you know. But with Action comes CLARITY so keep on making content.
3. Focus on actively engaging in the communities where your ideal audience and customer is so that you can grow your first 1000 followers.
Why 1K? Because once you hit your first 1K, getting to 5K is easier. And 5K is such an important milestone on Instagram because people really begin to take you seriously and Instagram starts promoting you as well.
4. Keep your Business goals at the forefront of your strategy and create content that helps you reach those goals.
Know why you are creating content and do not just create for the sake of filling space. That is a sure way to Failure.
5. Know what you are selling and when the time is right, start making your offers.
I decided personally to wait to get to 5K to begin making any offer. This was a personal choice. In another post I may write about how to determine when the right time to sell is.
If you want that post, please signify in the comments.
But generally the right time is when you have demand.
I decided to start early so I could throw myself out there. You do what works for your business and your goals.
If you are ready to take Instagram seriously
and potentially turn it into a Business for yourself, the first thing to keep in mind is your Audience.
You need people who will pay you for the products and services you offer.
Now to get more people to your profile and increase your followers, you definitely need to do the right things to get your account optimized and running.
Are you using your Instagram captions effectively to boost engagement and sales?
Many people do not understand the power of the Instagram caption.
The way I see it, you use your captions to ‘capture’ and retain your audience’s attention.
There is a grand misconception that people in the 2020 world are no longer reading and do not care for the written word. While this is true to some extent, we cannot completely generalize on that fact and say ‘Everybody’ is not reading.
This of course will be a lie.People are reading. You are reading this now are you not?
So when you think about it, people do want to read – they are not just allowing themselves the time to do so no matter how bad they want to. But what if you could capture their attention with your words? Wouldn’t you want to write and lead them through the actions they need to take to help your business on Instagram.
The Power of Instagram Captions
The power of captions begins in the very first two lines. Because this is the first thing anyone sees. If you miss the opportunity to grab your audience’s attention in the very first two lines, you might as well forget about trying to get them to read it.
The best instagram captions do well from the very beginning.
The mistake a lot of people make with Selling with captions, (and I have made this mistake many times myself ), is to go straight for the sale. “Buy this now, available in store. Click link in bio.” etc
You must understand that not everyone viewing your instagram is well acquainted with your brand and what you offer, so why should they go straight to buy?
How to Write the Best Instagram captions to boost Engagement and Sales
Here are 4 things to keep in mind when writing your captions. These tactics will help you Sell with your Captions without Trying too hard to sell.
1. Not everyone is going to click the link in bio –
The link in your bio is important. Use it the best way you know for your brand. But also keep in mind that not everyone cares to click. The mind-state of the average Instagram user is to go from post to post, swiping and swiping.
If you are serious about making the sale, do not throw it away by only asking them to click the link in bio.
Instead, also ask for a comment response. Or a DM. Keep your audience connecting with you deeper. So you could say – “If you want a copy of this, type “I’M IN” in comments below and I’ll send it to your DM
This way you not only get them to engage with your content, which will boost your post, you also keep them as a potential customer by starting off a conversation.
If you make a post intending the sell, you want to carry the reader along on a journey that tells them more about you, your brand, the product in question etc. But keep in mind, this caption is not a copy to promote the product. It is to emphasize how the product or service will help your audience without mentioning the product/service.
The best way to write your captions on Instagram is to make sure your words flow like a story, in form, and sounds like music to the ears. You want to take advantage of storytelling in your captions because this is what gets someone reading.
If your captions read like a story you will be able to capture the attention of your reader, till they get to the last two lines which is your Call-to-action
3. Have a Proper Caption structure
If you write all your words muddled together without proper spacing, no paragraphs, no line breaks, you make it really difficult for anyone to read.
It appears like a whole bunch of text without form.
The right caption structure will incorporate all these relatively seamlessly.
Make sure to break your text apart in sections, with line breaks in between every important new point. Don’t write too many long sentences or paragraphs.
Mix long sentences with shorter ones and switch again. When your audience looks at your caption it appears easy on the eye and will tempt them to read through.
4. Use your first two lines of the caption Powerfully
Like I said before, if you miss to capture your audience in the very first two lines you lose them completely. How can you do this in a way that they have no option but to read through?
Understand that the human mind likes to be challenged? And on Instagram, people are not challenged enough. The best way I have found is to ask a question. ???
Ask a question that directly relates to what your audience needs. What is important to them? How do you help them? Why are they following you?
For example, if you sell Lace Wigs and Hairs, you could say – “Do you wash your wigs? And how do you do it? I have found that the best way to care for your weeks is by….” and then you lead them through a scenario and a story, make it personal but also make it about your audience.
What to do now
Begin practicing right now with your captions. You must get your audience become acquainted with reading from you. The more you use captions the more they expect it from you. And if you follow the tactics shared, you will do fantastic with captions.
As you can see, all of the tactics shared with you require you to have an audience. Your audience is the bread and butter of your business on Instagram. Focus all of your energy on growing your audience. This is the vital part of your instagram business.
If you enjoyed this post, share your thoughts in comments and ask me questions! I’ll be chatting with you all.
Ready to take your Brand and Business to the next level? Speak with me on the Phone and get one-on-one Coaching. I will help you craft a personal strategy for your brand, your content creation and your Instagram plan. Ready? Book a Call with me