In an instant—my account was deleted.
At the end of 2018 my Instagram page (with115,000 followers) was shut down. I love to make people laugh so I built a meme page that “went viral” before I had the chance to make money from it.
No kidding, in total I earned approximately $60.00 from that page and that was from two people who paid me to give some birthday shout outs to their friends.
Your next obvious question might be what I did to get it shut down or how did I grow an account to that size without paying for followers or ads. I grew it organically and a strategic name change along with a new logo helped with that.(I’ll never forget how much flack I received from some of my followers when I changed the original name)
Without making this too long, some people started reporting my page consistently because they were jealous that my page was funnier and received much more activity than their pages.(Basically I would borrow pictures from other pages and re-write captions to make them much more funny)
I protested my page being closed and filed an appeal, but nothing helped. My core followers were outraged by my page being shut down and I started a new page. Less than 2 weeks later I had another account with 4500 followers.
People were trying to find me.
Once my new page started getting reported over and over, it was also shut down and I left Instagram in defeat. I like to call that period, the 2018 Instagram purge. There were several other page admins that I was friends with that had over 60,000 followers.
They were also shut down during “the great purge” and had to start all over again too.
Why am I telling you this?
1. I want you to know that prior to 2018 organic growth was possible on Instagram.
2. Followers DO NOT equal money on Instagram.
There’s a rumor going around that once you get to 10k followers you’re automatically monetized. That’s simply NOT TRUE.You don’t automatically start earning money from Instagram just because you have 10,000 followers.
Instagram is NOT set up like YouTube. So don’t believe the lie. (Some “premium” features are unlocked that help you promote yourself easier but that’s it)
My mentor crossed the million dollar mark in revenue by running ads before she ever reached 10,000 followers.
3. You can monetize a following on any platform if you know what you’re doing.
4. You need to decide what your monetization strategy will be once you get these followers you’re so desperately trying to get.
You should never be at the mercy of a platform you don’t own in order to grow your business. Many of the gurus will tell you that you need to get people off of social media and move them to a place you control like your website and email list. (stay tuned for a blog post about the powerful combo of ads plus list building)
All the social media platforms are designed to keep followers hanging out and using them instead of making it easy for users to go somewhere else. Of course this is why so many business owners spend their time riding the social media bandwagon chasing after followers only to end up with no additional revenue to show for the trouble.
So you might be saying well Bianca, how do I move people off the platforms that I don’t own and onto my website and eventually to my email list?
You start running ads!
Seriously, it’s now a “pay to play” atmosphere if you really want to grow and scale quickly. Have you ever seen a “sponsored ad” float through your news feed from someone claiming that they can show you how to grow a business without using ads or that you don’t need ads to grow a business?
But they’re running an ad to tell you that you don’t need ads?! How idiotic is that? So I’m going to break down 3 myths about ads for you.
3 Scary Ad Myths
Myth: They’re Expensive
Truth: You can get started for as little as $5 a day. They’re one of the cheapest ways to reach more of the right people so you can get new customers and clients.
You might be thinking that $5 a day isn’t little. But think of it like this, would you be willing to invest $1000.00 a month on ads if I gave you $8000.00 back? Of course you would! That’s what running ads has the potential to do for your business.
Myth: My customers aren’t on Facebook or Instagram
Truth: There are over 2 billion users on Facebook & Instagram worldwide. So whether your ideal customer is a doctor or stay-at-home mom, they’re using Facebook & Instagram. Your customers and clients are there, you just need to go and find them.
Myth: They’re complicated
Truth: They can be complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. But Facebook is constantly rolling out updates to make the process easier. And there are many professionals like me who give training to help you learn what to do.
If you’re boosting posts you should stop right now because the boost button is easy to click on but wastes money. You’re not going to do much for your business boosting a post because the goal of boosting a post is to get you more engagement.
So if you want to drive people to your website, get them to sign up for your email list, or make a purchase, you’re going to have to get comfortable with the ads manager.