There are tons of ways for you to make money online and the barriers to entry are lower than ever before. If you put in the work and put out a compelling product, you could be the next YouTube superstar. But even if you don’t become an Internet sensation overnight, you can leverage your online influence to grow your bottom line too. It can be a tremendous income source when done right.
You might remember when I talked about what it takes to be a successful brand ambassador for example. That kind of relationship far extends beyond a single sponsored post, for instance, to a sustained promotional partnership where both the influencer and the brand can benefit tremendously. Influencer marketing is a huge deal, so it makes sense that many people want to get their piece of the pie.
Celebrity in the Making?
And you’ve probably heard the old adage said time and time again that it takes money to make money. That’s true to some extent and you may have heard about how 26-year-old Lissette Calveiro really took that to heart. She said she wanted to become a big influencer on Instagram. She had dreams with dollar signs in her eyes, except all she ended up doing was putting herself $10,000 in debt.
She bought fancy clothes and went on trips not for her own enjoyment, but solely so that she could post about them on Instagram in hopes of gaining a significant following and attracting brand deals. As cliche as it might sound, she really did do it “for the ‘gram.”
She was shopping “for clothes to take the perfect ‘gram.” By her own admission, Calveiro “was living a lie.”
Where Did It Go Wrong?
It’s true that there are people who are making a decent amount of money on Instagram, just as there are people making money on YouTube, through blogging, and any number of other channels. It’s true that if you want to make it big, you should be taking advantage of Instagram Stories and the whole bunch of features that Instagram affords its users. When you share good content and go in with the right marketing and business plan, the potential is practically limitless.
And that’s largely where Calveiro likely went astray. She didn’t have a plan. She simply threw her money (and money that wasn’t really hers, hence the piling debt) at the challenge and hoped that she would profit in the end. That’s not how business works.
You wouldn’t expect to open up a more traditional brick-and-mortar type business by simply throwing money at it and hoping that customers show up. You want to target the right customers. You want to have the right marketing mix in place. You want to have a business plan that gets you to anticipate cash flow and potential areas for growth.
If You Fail to Plan…
While you shouldn’t wait until you have all your ducks in a row, because the conditions will never be perfect, you should approach any online entrepreneurial venture the same way that you would approach any sort of business decision or exploit. If you want to make money on Instagram, maybe you should start by following the right people and learning more about Internet marketing in general.
Just putting up some fancy faux vacation pictures with expensive clothes isn’t going to automatically win you an army of loyal fans and followers. It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that many of these so-called Instagram models are almost a dime a dozen. There’s more going on behind the scenes if you want to turn a buck. So, get a plan together.
What brands are you going to target? What followers are you going to target? What is the most cost effective way to attract legitimate, real followers who actually engage with your content?
Going into debt for your business is not inherently a bad thing. Indeed, a lot of businesses go into debt early on out of necessity. What is a bad thing is when you buy and pay for things that don’t really deliver any real sort of ROI. Don’t fly down to the Caribbean just so you can snap a picture on the beach, because the thousands of dollars you just spent won’t be recouped by a brand deal when you’ve only got a couple hundred followers.