Writer/Blogger Turns to Instagram!
Becoming an Instagram Influencer
Ever since I started an Instagram to promote my art and my book series, Dolphin Princess, it has been an interesting venture.
On my Instagram: @cherrysodacollage, I show pictures that have to do with collage art, as well as the essential Cherry Coke (the "cherry soda") that would turn up every once in a while. The point of having this business Instagram is to market the ultimate product, which is, in my case, my artwork and my books.
What Possessed Me to Take to Instagram?
Since I had released my first book, Dolphin Princess, back in mid-2018, I've been coming up with ways of promoting it. There was word-of-mouth; I had launched a blog about it; I printed out business cards... I was going in many different directions with this. But all of that wasn't going anywhere.
I was sitting at the desk one day, and I was thinking: What was I doing wrong?
And to make matters worse, I was feeling depressed that day. I was running low on money, and I needed to pay for things: medication, a renewal to Geek Squad, student loan payments, etc. I just spent nearly thirty dollars on groceries the other day. How was I going to get through this?
But then, I was watching YouTube videos on how people would use Instagram to make money. No kidding! These people would make money just by posting to Instagram every day!
These people were something called "Instagram Influencers," because they would sell something through that platform, whether it's photos, products (illustrated in photos), etc. And Influencers would usually have a lot of followers, and have a lot of viewership. That was something that I needed, was viewership... someone to buy my book, someone to see what I have to offer to the world.
But with that said, I did my research first.
In most cases, you have to have a certain number of Instagram followers, in order to start making money on there. In my case, so far, I only have a handful (though, I'm hoping that would change for the better).
Also, I learned that in order to make money being an Instagram Influencer, I had to have the following:
- A niche/product
- A name, AND
- A lot of patience
1. A niche/product
I'm a writer. I wrote a book (two books, actually). But is that all?
I liked the idea of being a writer on Instagram; however, saying that would only give me a certain group of followers. In other words, that would limit my views.
But then, I realized that I was good at collage, because that was how I had created the cover art to both of my books. And simply working on a collage artwork is satisfying and fun; I simply love doing collage.
2. A name (for my Instagram page)
Surprisingly, this part didn't take long to figure out.
I would usually start my day with a Cherry Coke. No matter what I was doing—writing, blogging, working on collage—Cherry Coke was my go-to drink to have with me, while I worked at the desk.
So, I was thinking: Why not incorporate Cherry Coke into my Instagram handle? Though, I had to settle with "Cherry Soda," because I was thinking that "Cherry Coke" was trademarked, and I wanted to be on the safe side and go with the generic phrase.
And that was how the handle @cherrysodacollage stuck: combining drink with hobby, I'd say.
3. A lot of patience
This has to be the hard part of this whole thing.
Just because you aspire to be the next Instagram star, or at least be an Influencer, doesn't mean that you'll grow in popularity overnight. It takes a lot of patience (and also perseverance—I just noticed that I forgot to mention that earlier).
When I had started @cherrysodacollage, I only got a handful of followers. That's how it is: People trickle in; and if they like what you have, then they'll stay.
Though, the key here is perseverance. If you post every day, then that tells people that your page is active. But be reasonable. If you're posting every day and not caring about quality, then you'll scare away your followers. Whenever I post a picture, I would make sure that my pictures are of good quality before pressing "Share." (In fact, Instagram gives you the tools to edit and add things to your photos.)
So, can you actually make money on Instagram?
Well, it seems possible. But you have to work hard at getting to your first paying gig, or getting a company to approach you about a paid sponsorship.
But with that said, I'm only just starting out. Therefore, I may not have a good answer for that question.
But what I can say is that with every good thing, there's always a catch. It's like saying, "Oh, you want that iPhone? Then you have to do Steps 1, 2, 3. And then, you'll have that phone." Research. Setting up. You have to do so many things, before you finally reach success.
And above all, it takes time. It takes time to get people to like you on Instagram. It takes time for people to care about your product.
So, when you see videos on Instagram Stars/Influencers sharing their stories on how they got started, just know that there's a lot of work involved in using Instagram for a business—you won't be a star overnight.
Want to Learn More about My Collage Work and My Books?
Check out my Instagram page, @cherrysodacollage, where I post about my collage work, as well as promote my book series, Dolphin Princess. My profile pic has a Cherry Coke in a red coozie!