If You’re Not Making Money on Instagram, You’re Doing It Wrong

As long as you haven’t been living under a rock the past couple years, you’ll know that Instagram should be a key component to your online marketing strategy, especially as a service-based business, where the competition often believes Instagram will not work for them.  Newsflash: it can and it will.  Your people are out there.  So it behooves you to show up there, too, and start making money on Instagram.

Guest post by Melissa Camilleri, Founder of Compliment, Inc. and the 21-Day Insta-course

Likely, you already have a presence on Instagram.  If you’re anything like I was when I first started using the platform, your growth has been slow going and your reach not quite multiplying in the way you see it happening for other businesses.  It’s frustrating to be in this space.  In fact, I know that feeling well.

It took me one full year to grow my following on Instagram to 1000.  But I was determined and focused.  I observed and took action. I put in place some key strategies that took my Instagram (@shopcompliment) from 1000 to 17,000 the following year.

These days, I’m adding an average of 1500 new followers per month and get 70% of my website traffic and conversions from Instagram.  I’m selling five-figures month after month, and my Instagram strategy is a large part of that. I have no special photography or tech training under my belt.  Just sheer will + an iPhone.  There are some key things you can do to make sure  your efforts on Instagram are giving you a solid ROI for your time– no matter  your business.

Here are four things you can start doing today to give you the foundation to start actually making money on Instagram.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information. 

A fantastic blog post from top Instagram Influencer Melissa Camilleri as she outlines exactly what you need to do to start making money from Instagram

1.Show Up Consistently

It is essential that, if you have an Instagram account, you post at least once a day to stay involved in the conversation.  Posting consistently will keep you top of mind in your customers’ heads.  Did you know that studies show that a potential customer has to interact with a brand a minimum of 7 times before ever taking action?  The more you post, the quicker this will happen.  I do suggest posting  no more than 3 times per day, with your posts at least 3-4 hours between posts. Anything more frequent will just clog your followers’ feeds and get annoying.

2.Get Social

Interact with the people who comment on your photos.  @Mention them back.  Ask them questions.  Share your gratitude.  And don’t be afraid to leave comments on other people’s pictures, too. Be generous with your likes.  Follow back people who are consistently interacting with you.  It’s called a social network for a reason!  Let people get to know you, and seek ways to get to know your follower

3.Post With Your Ideal Customer In Mind

Ask yourself what your customer likes about your brand?  Think about what is on her mind at the time of the day you’re posting.  What does she talk about with her friends and where is she when she buys from you?  Ask yourself: what are her dreams?  What are her problems and how does your product solve them?  When you write the captions of your photos, keep her in mind. Write directly to her.  You’ll find that your engagement will grow authentically with people who are excited about what you’re putting out into the world.

4.You Must Understand That Your Numbers Are Less Important Than Engagement

The number of followers you have is definitely important. Followers act like little votes of confidence and give your brand credibility.  And because people do what they see other people do, the more followers you have, the more followers you will get.

However, what good is a bunch of followers who don’t ever buy your stuff?  (I’ll give you a hint: NO GOOD AT ALL.)  Numbers aren’t everything. Engagement is what matters most.  You build engagement by building relationships.

By putting some key strategies into place (like the ones listed above) you can make sure that you are building trust and turning the followers you do have into raving fans and eventual customers.

About Melissa

making money on instagram

Instagram course

Melissa Camilleri is the Founder + Creative Director of Compliment. ‘Compliment’ is a gift brand Melissa launched from scratch in 2011, while she was working full-time as a high school English and AVID teacher.  She credits Instagram for helping her grow her business from  a production line on her dining room table to the socially-responsible corporation it is  now.  At the urging of her business-owner friends who wanted to replicate her marketing success, Melissa dusted off her teaching hat and created the 21-Day Insta-course  to help others market their products, services, and brick and mortar shops and start making money on Instagram.  Tens of thousands have attended her virtual courses, participated in her workshops, and studied under her guidance.  She believes we rise by lifting others.  She lives and loves in Northern California.

Say hello to Melissa on Instagram @shopcompliment.

Want the step by step guide to making money on Instagram?

The 21-Day Insta-course - making money on instagram

The 21-Day Insta-course

Melissa has currently opened up registration for her 21 day Instagram course, and you can grab the course now by clicking on the link below.

The course is delivered daily, straight to your inbox, and it will give you actionable tasks each day that will grow your following of authentic, engaged customers.

You’ll learn:

  • how to craft your bio so that people want to buy.
  • discover how to communicate your brand values through images.
  • how to engage your following through hashtags, direct messaging, comments, and geotags.
  • what and when to post.
  • how to find and collaborate with key influencers.
  • plus how to find your ideal customer on Instagram.
  • how to present your company in the best, most aesthetic way online.
  • and how to manage your time on social media.
  • & much, much more.

You’ll also get:

  • 21 lessons and action steps that you can implement with the group or go-at-your-own-pace
  • an audio of each lesson so you can learn on the go.
  • downloadable PDFs to accompany the lessons.
  • a directory of course participants so you can connect on Instagram and elsewhere online.
  • access to our private Facebook community where hundreds of other business owners gather to collaborate, share insights, and cheer one another on
  • FREE group coaching and collaboration with Melissa during the course.

Register now for the 21-Day Insta-course with Melissa Camilleri of @shopcompliment and start making money on Instagram.

Find out more about the course here and how you can register>>

What To Read Next

Want to know how to grow your email list? Read this step by step guide for how I gained 500+ subscribers using Facebook ads, for under $0.50 per lead

Or perhaps you want to master SEO? Check out this fantastic case study from my guest Matthew Woodward where he talks you through a real life example of getting 60,000 visitors per month from Google for just one website

19 Comments on If You’re Not Making Money on Instagram, You’re Doing It Wrong

  1. Esteban
    March 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm (8 years ago)

    Interesting read. I always liked the idea of making money through instagram but currently can’t seem to find anything interesting to post on a regular basis.
    Also struggling to get more followers because of that.

  2. Tim
    March 17, 2016 at 6:27 am (8 years ago)

    Love the post! If anyone is interested in learning more, checkout my website, InstagramTeacher.com

  3. Gaurav Kumar Jaimini
    April 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm (8 years ago)

    I am a student of electrical engineer ,3rd yr……
    I am from India …and want to do some different ….

  4. Leah Opalla
    July 3, 2016 at 1:38 am (8 years ago)

    thank God for bringing me into your website.It is so helpful to me…and got “sorry” for myself for using IG wrongly. From now on, I’ll start using it beneficially. Warm greetings from the southern part of my country Philippines.

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    September 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm (8 years ago)

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  6. Joseph Latham
    October 29, 2016 at 6:42 pm (8 years ago)

    That is some great tips. Instagram is so un-tapped now. I really like this info. I am going to grab your course.

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  8. Matt Mills
    January 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm (7 years ago)

    It’s quite easy to make money online. You can start your own business easily. Just create a website. You’ll have access to the entire web and unlimited selling potential.

    The risk and investment is so minimal, and the earning potential is huge. You can outsource freelancers for cheap to do all the technical parts.

    Just find your niche, you don’t need any previous knowledge or skills to build a website. All you need is the perfect idea!

  9. Dean Botha
    April 27, 2017 at 3:43 am (7 years ago)

    Fully agreed ! Instagram hit 700 million users this month. Its a gold Mine

  10. Chris
    August 3, 2017 at 10:16 am (7 years ago)

    Sometimes people get it wrong focusing on how it all looks, but it’s also about the strategy. I use Plann (have you seen the app? It’s awesome!) to make sure I get my strategy just as good as the images.

  11. sushil pandey
    August 17, 2017 at 11:30 am (7 years ago)

    really great information for social media marketers

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  15. Pankaj Gupta
    March 22, 2021 at 7:36 am (3 years ago)

    I am a Social media Marketer and this a best article i have found

  16. SocialBoosting
    April 3, 2022 at 7:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Yep, I do agree with you. We should earn from Instagram. By the way, I appreciate your discussion. I hope I wll try all these for my Instagram profile. I am going to bookmark teh site for further assistance. Thanks and please keep posting things like this.

  17. SocialMediaContent
    April 18, 2022 at 8:00 am (2 years ago)

    Yep, you are right! I do agree with you. I am earning money with Instagram and it’s really awesome and pretty simple. I appreciate you for sharing these words with us. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!


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