Ten tips and tricks I learned losing and making thousands of dollars on Instagram:
1. Buy an account on Instagram if you already have a product to sell
Before buying an account, try a few test product placements to see how well they perform. If they perform well, then buy the account. In other words, don't go in blindfolded. Big mistake.
2. You can still use automation to validate Instagram purchases
You don't need a 100,000 follower account to validate whether someone will purchase your product. Instead, automate six to seven accounts tied to landing pages to see which one converts best.
Once you have validation, turn off automation, so Instagram doesn't ping you.
3. Purchase based on your realistic lifestyle
If you purchase a travel account, then make sure to travel. Similarly, if you purchase an inspirational quotes account, then make sure to slap your face on a few quotes. Then, leverage your account following for speaking gigs.
Otherwise, you'll realize the maintenance cost is too high for the benefit you're receiving.
4. Vanity metrics don't equate to sales
Treat your Instagram account like an MVP (minimum viable product) of trying to find a niche that converts well. It's not about likes and engagement; it's about conversions.
5. Post a lot on Instagram and other social media channels
All of your friends should know you as the person who posts often. Consistency makes you memorable.
6. A/B test pictures, then double down on what works
If your followers like Golden Gate Bridge photos twice as much as other photos, then every other post should be of the bridge if it leads to higher revenue.
7. Focus heavily on engagement circles and collaborations
Most engagement circles die fast. Organizers don't put in the energy to maintain them. However, if you can keep people in line, then you'll have a powerful asset.
8. Post pictures you enjoy
If you're managing an Instagram account, the chances are you'll spend a lot of time looking at it. If it's not content you enjoy seeing, then find a different niche. Money isn't fun if it ruins your online consumption habits.
9. Follow others who did it from scratch
Today, it's much harder to use Instagram automation without getting penalized. I'd put a heavy focus on driving your Instagram following from other channels, too. This includes email, Facebook Fan Pages, Reddit, and your personal profile.
10. Adopt video to build a stronger brand and sell
Use video marketing to build your knowledge, like, and trust factor faster than with writing or imagery. First, use video as a complement to what you already do. If people like it better than your other content, then do more video.
In other words, keep testing to see what moves the needle.