Step-By-Step IG Business Model
- Written by Ashley Ann
There are tons of people out here in these streets who are very popular, but they're not profitable at all. They would have us think that they are out here living a particular lifestyle and they are out here broker than broke.
A lot of people go out just trying to collect followers. They don't really have a plan in mind of what they're going to do as far as the business and how they're going to monetize their podcast, their book, their store, their wigs and weaves or their makeup, you know, whatever it is that you do, your consulting, your teaching. And some people also aren't aware that you can drive a lot of traffic into your physical businesses. So if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you definitely can use Facebook, Instagram, and your live streaming platforms to drive a lot of traffic to your company. Instagram is dope because about 51% of millennials and generation Z use it every day. And in the United States, they're spending an average of 53 minutes a day, which is almost an hour a day on the Gram. And most of them admit to checking the Gram at least three times a day. And what is the number one rule of marketing? To be where your customer is. So marketing on the Gram is a great way to reach millennials and those Gen Y that are also there.
The Gen Y crowd is typically a little more established, meaning they have more disposable income. So many of them have between $300 to $800 a month in additional income that they can spend. And a lot of people are surprised, but there are also tons of millionaires floating around on Instagram. So many people always ask me how I can move some of my higher-end products and services or my one-on-one's because I'm able to target and get in front of the right customers. They get to know more about me, and I build up a good rapport. I've put out consistent content. So I'm able to position myself as a resource pretty easily and start building a relationship with people. Then we can roll that over into sales.
Now let's discuss benefits and valuation. So if we can work backward, think about the desire, why exactly someone would want your product or service and think about how your products and services will make people feel. If you can think about that, it will make it easier for you to start trying to figure out what exactly to offer them and how to get in front of these people. So when we're thinking about our benefits and offers, that will lead us to who exactly we're offering these products and services to. So what I see going on is some of y'all coming out here in these streets (on Instagram and offline) trying to sell to everybody. If you try and sell to everyone, you're really selling to no one. Everyone may have the ability to consume your product or service, but that doesn't mean they really want your product or service.
They may not have an interest in your product or service or see a value in it. Everybody might not be able to afford your product or service, and people may doubt it, or straight up, people may just think it's stupid. Do you know what I'm saying? For whatever reason, people could be highly skeptical of what you are offering. And we want to do our best with sending our marketing dollars and our efforts to the right types of people, right? We want people who are going to see the value. We want to market to people who are going to find interest, people who are going to spread the word, people who can automatically see how this can enhance their life, or if they can automatically see it, at least they're willing to listen to us and allow us the opportunity to explain to them how this is going to enhance their life. So this gets into who are we offering our products and services to.
So what I see people making a mistake doing is they try and blanket by doing the same thing for everyone. And it does not work that way. I always like to use the example for y'all that are my single clients versus my clients who have children. If you're single and you have no kids, you're going to be doing totally different things with your income. And you're going to have a totally different lifestyle than my clients who have children who are parents because your motivation for generating your cash, reaching your goals, and getting to your business are way different. A parent may be thinking about putting up for their child's education, trying to make sure that their kids have their own, have their own financial sources, living benefits, and make sure that their children can go to a private school. A single client will try to get to their goals, they're trying to build and put things in place, but they're probably going to spend more of their expenditures. They're going to spend more of their income on lifestyle things like travel and food. They may be spending a lot more on entertainment or cocktails because they don't have the responsibilities of other human beings. So if I'm marketing to these two different groups of people, I can't market my content to them in the same way. If I put up a post about financial security and creating a better future for your children and you're single, you're not going to relate to that because you don't have children yet.
Whenever we start thinking about who we're offering our products and services to, we really want to start thinking about the different niches of people who could consume our product or service. And we want to start thinking about why they actually are consuming our product or service. All of this will lead you to your content because we can't talk to everyone the same way. That doesn't mean we can't talk to the different groups; you can absolutely speak to the different groups of people and have different lives, motivations, morals, and responsibilities. Something that resonates with the person to the right will not resonate with the person to the left. So if you can start thinking about the different niches of people that actually are going to consume your products or services, or that you want to consume your products and services and why they would consume that product or service, that's going to help you start to figure out what type of content you should be pushing out in Instagram land.
Because at the end of the day, whether people want to admit it or not, there's so much research done on this, and it's documented that we are creatures of emotion. I think many times when people think about emotion, they think about someone being sad, crying, overjoyed, really happy, or excited, but emotions are how we make our decisions. So even if someone is a logical person, they may be using logic, their decisions are still based off of what they have the feeling of, what they think is going to be the most significant benefit for them or for the group, or whatever's going to help them progress to whatever their mission is at the end of the day. So this is why it's essential to start building content with some type of emotional connection and has some personality to it.
When we start thinking about the different groups of people and how they use the products and services, suddenly, it will start to give you more ideas about the content you can create for the audience. Then once we start thinking about the people and why they're using it, we want to start thinking about how we want the audience to access our information. And a lot of you guys don't think about this at all. For most of us, we're going to have multiple channels or multiple ways that people can communicate with us and get in touch with us. So the gag is, yes, it does go down in the DM on Instagram for sales. I sell a lot through the DM's; stories help me sell, polls help me sell, commentary helps me sell. But a lot of the sales that I am making happen outside of Instagram.
I talk about content, but the content is not just what you're putting on Instagram because your email could be content. If you have a text message list, that's content. If you're a live streamer, the way I live stream, that's content. These are all different ways that I want people to assess my information and my content. If I do a workshop, that's content; if I make an ebook that can be downloaded, that's content. A podcast or something that people subscribe or register and listen to, that's content, but that's a different channel in a different way that people can access information from you.
So I want you all to start thinking about and literally write down how you want people to get your content. Do you only want them to get content from your timeline? Do you only want them to get content from your stories, or do you want to connect with people on other channels? Instagram may be where they meet you, but that doesn't necessarily mean that that's the only place where you develop a relationship. Think about it like you're dating someone that you met a the grocery store. Your every interaction and conversation is not going to be at the grocery store. You all are going to go to different places and learn more about one another. You may go to the park, to the gym, to the movies, or to a restaurant, and it's the same thing with your channels.
So you may have a conversation with your audience by email or text, you may invite them to a live stream, or they may read one of your books. They may get a worksheet from you or download an audio file. However, it is that you want to communicate with the people. I'm not going to say any and every channel, especially for those of you that are just starting or at the beginning stages, because, to be honest, there's a learning curve with everything. If you try and put yourself out there like I'm going to touch people in these 13 different ways, that will be overwhelming. Then what happens is people just freeze. They get so overwhelmed with so much to do with so many new tools and apps and concepts and too much information. Do you know what I'm saying? You know it's good stuff, and you know you should be doing this, but you don't know what to do.
How many of you have gotten to that point before you just because you're trying to do everything you're trying to do too much? That's why I tell people when you're just starting, don't put that pressure on yourself or feeling like you have to be everywhere and do everything or have all these different touchpoints or content, channels, and canals. You just build-up to it. A lot of y'all look at me and are like, dang, you are beasting. How are you getting all this stuff done? I've been doing this for like 13 years. I've been doing social media specifically for a little over 10 years. I've been in the business of marketing and monetizing social media for a good 11 years. That's how I started building my business. So when I first started, I wasn't doing everything. I just did Facebook. That was all I did.
Then from Facebook, I started learning how to list build. I was taking other classes, and I figured out how to incorporate those together. Then one day, I started using Instagram, so then there was another little channel. Then I started using my LinkedIn and putting content out there. And then I began thinking I would like to have some courses, classes, or something that people could get into and could learn. Then it went from there when I found a live-streaming app, and I could talk to people. So you see, it was a gradual progression. I already had a system and things going on, then over time, I figured out how to get better with it. And it's always a progression.
So don't put yourself under the pressure cooker that you have to do all of these sorts of types of things. I would tell you maybe to pick three and then focus on those three. First, decide what you are going to get built up. So say you decide to start with Instagram, you're going to put down that you're going to do timelines, stories and use hashtags to make sure you show up in the shared stories. Then you may say, I'm definitely going to list build by building my text message list because I feel like I would do better with texting than emailing because you don't have an international client base. Now, if you have an international client base, you for sure will need to do email as well. That way you have the ability to communicate with people in different countries. You're going to have to figure that out, so some of you may say, I'm going to do email and text while some of you will pick either. Then you're going to decide the third way, you want to be able to communicate with people. You may say, "I don't really have time to do a webinar, but I love writing." Or you may say, "I love doing. these podcasts, and I love my interview series." So your podcasts may be the third thing that you focus on.
Now, those of you who've been in the social media streets for a minute, like me, we've been shuffling around. We're some OGs, so we're going to be the people with 13, 14, or 15 different channels, but we have a system by then, we have a team by then, and we have rolled into figuring out how to make things better. So, for instance, I started using Loola a few months ago, and Loola is dope because it lets me broadcast to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, 17Live, TikTok, and it does LiveMe. Loola does a lot, so I can simulcast to eight platforms at one time. So that was something that made an improvement in my life. Last year TikTok was on and popping and but did I jump on it at the time? Nope, because I was still in the process of trying to find someone to help me manage my YouTube.
I knew what type of content I wanted to go on my page. I knew how I wanted it to go on there, and I knew who I wanted to reach. I just needed someone to put it there for me and make sure it was happening regularly. So once we got that rolling and got everything I wanted into place, I then said, now, let me go ahead and start integrating TikTok. I then figured out how I wanted to use it in my business, and now my TikTok is blowing up honey bunches of oats.
So I just want you all to understand, when you start thinking about your business model for Instagram, you need to think about Instagram and then where you want to drive people outside of Instagram. Because again, it's like going on dates. You met at the club, or you met in a park; that doesn't mean that you have to be in the park every time you have a conversation, right? So one day, you're going to be in the park, the grocery store, then you may be in the mall, then next time at the movies, next time you may be at a restaurant. So you're going to keep changing places you're meeting while developing and deepening the relationship with your customer base. So if you think about it like that, it kind of helps put everything into perspective so that you're not like, "Oh my, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing."
The next thing we want to get to is how are you going to get people over to these other channels? So you can have this plan in your head and go, "Oh yeah, I want to talk to them here, and I'm I have all this other stuff set up," but how are you going to actually get them there so you can communicate with them? Are you going to call them on the phone and say, "Meet me?" Are you going to drive by their house and pick them up? Are you going to send the car service? Do you know what I'm saying? What are you going to drive over there on a moped and say, "Hop on the back?" What you're doing in these streets to get people over there? So when you start thinking about how you want people to connect to these other channels. How do you want them to meet you in these other places? This is going to give you the outline for your different calls to action.
You're going to say, "Click the link in my bio to check out my latest podcast." Sometimes it's not going to be enough, so you may take it a step further and use your IGTV to post a two-minute or three-minute snippet from one of the conversations of the podcast. Then you can say if you want to hear the full interview or if you want to hear the entire podcast from this week, click the link in my bio and tap the second button. You're going to write it down as a way that you can get people over to the other channel. You see, people who are really huge on YouTube do it all the time. They'll put up a preview or whatever the skit is that they did on YouTube, and they'll say to see the rest, click the link in my bio to push them over towards it. It's the same thing. You may take a snapshot from an article, and you may say to you to see the rest of this, click the link to go to my blog or tap the link below. You may take it a step further (you'll see me do this a lot) by saying there are 12 ways that you can convert a follower into a buyer; here are the first five, and if you want, if you want the other 7, text COINS to 313131. So now I've invited you to come into my text message list, and I'm giving you some exclusive content just for my Royal Court members. Or I may say, "I answered your 15 questions today about building a webinar. So, if you want the information on building a webinar, click the link and sign up for this, or come into my live stream tonight and we're going to be talking about it at 11:11 PM." I hope that makes sense.
So you need to start thinking about how are you going to connect this? What can you do to bridge the gap, to make someone want to go on a date with you, and make someone want to get to know more about you in another location? So, the first step is thinking about all the other channels and locations where someone can meet you. The second step is starting to jot down how do you get these people to interact with you? How do you get someone to hang out? How do you actually develop a relationship? How, how are you going to get them there? Those are your calls to action. Because many people struggle with the call to action because a lot of the time, you all think the only call to action is to tell someone to buy something, but, in reality, there are several different types of call to action. A conversion is major if they've done it, and I don't count all my conversions by how many people buy things. Sometimes I count my conversions by how many people subscribed, how many people visited a page, how much time they spent with me inside of a live stream; there are all these sorts of different types of things to help you get to where you need to go. Blink, Blink, Blink ... Y'all picking up what I'm putting down?
Once we move through, how we're actually going to get them to engage with us through these other channels or how will we get them to come out on a date. The next step is where I see a lot of people struggling. And that's how will people even know you exist? If we're still using the dating analogy, this is how are you going to meet somebody? What app will you get on so these people can swipe left or swipe right on you? What clubs are you going to go to? What church will you go to to see if you can meet a good God-fearing woman or a good God-fearing man? All of that good stuff, just like real life, where will you meet these people?
Let me tell you something like every day, every day, every day, every day, every freaking day, you have the responsibility to meet someone. You are in business. You have a brand, you have a project, you have a voice, you have a show, you have a book, you have whatever, and we need people to know that it exists. We need them to know that you exist, that your company exists, tour product exists, and you have to market it. There are three ways businesses grow. They grow from new customers, from increased transactions, and from return or repeat customers. That's how businesses grow. You have to do a combination of all three.
The beautiful thing about social media is you're not limited to where you can drive to in the car or where you can fly to. I love that at any given time, I could be speaking to thousands of people at one time, literally from all over the world, all over the country, right there on one app. You're not limited to your geographical location. When you are talking to a client one-on-one, that's only one person. On social media, you can speak to tons of people. I get people from everywhere, especially when I live stream late at night because of the time zones. Now some of you guys have local businesses, and you're probably don't care about people from all over the world, and you just want people who are from where you are to come and patronize you. You'll need to get into paid ads because that would be how you target only the people in a specific zip code to see your ad. You're also going to have to get out and network with other people who are active on social media and other influencers in your communities. That way, they can help spread the word about your boutique, store, salon, spa, cleaning business, lawn service, whatever it is that you do. You can use zip codes and tags that are just meant for people in your city or state.
So when we start thinking about awareness, how will people know that you actually exist? You need to write down what you plan on doing to let the people know about you. So are you going to use hashtags? Are you going to do paid ads? Are you going to get out here and learn how to use the Facebook ads manager? (I would recommend it.) Are you going to learn how to give a retargeting campaign? Are you going to do sponsored posts? Are you going to get out here and do collaborations with other people in Instagram land so you can cross-promote and grow audiences that way? Are you going to do skits with other people? Are you going to do polls? Are you going to use the new features that Instagram lays out?
So that way, they can give me a boost for using them. You need to really start thinking about how you are going to meet people? Are you going to do campaigns? Will you find 10 small influencers and give them free stuff? In exchange for them making a post for you once a week for a whole month, one in the stories and one on the timeline so you can reuse it and put it out there. How are you going to meet people? I need y'all to start thinking about that. That's a part of your business model.
And from there, you're going to know if you want to do collaborations with some people who have complementary products and services to yours. You'll then want to reach out to them so you can collaborate. And think about going to do sponsored posts, so you'll need to find who has the attention of your audience. Then you would drop ads on their pages. But that's is how you get your direction of what you're going to be doing. This is basically telling you how you're going to be marketing. So that way you can meet people in business. When we talked about developing the relationship, that's how you're starting to increase your transaction amount. And that's how you're going to be creating repeat customers and lifetime customers. So it all works through a process. I hope it makes sense.
The next thing inside of your model is how many days are you going to post? So when you pick your channels and we know what type of methods we're going to be using in front of people. Now you need to write down realistically, how many days can you post? If you're going to live stream, realistically, can you live stream every day of the week? Can you live stream three days a week? Can you make a commitment to every Thursday at five o'clock and post five times a day, eight times a day, 10 times a day on your Instagram timeline? Are you going to put something in your story four times a day, and at least one of those times, you're going to use one of the new stickers? Are you going to use the hashtag sticker so other people can see your local stories? So begin thinking about how far and how often you can post? How often can you do these things that you want to do? What are the goals you need to get figured out? Because now you're putting out some specifics and in the process of actually building a real marketing plan. How often can you run an ad? Are you going to boost one of your Facebook posts every week? I've been doing this for years now. Every week, I take at least $10 and boost one of my posts for three days, depending on what it is, I may turn around and boost that post for a hundred dollars. If I feel like it's essential. That's inside of my schedule, and I wrote it down. So that is part of my marketing plan too. And my goal in Instagram land, like at least three times a week at a minimum, but every day I literally try and do either a shout out for shout out or a sponsored post on somebody's page.
Every day I want someone new to know about me that didn't know that I existed before. So that's one of my goals every day, every day. I'm out here every day with an ad dropping somewhere on somebody's page. I boost the post at least once a week. I go live from Monday through Thursday. Y'all picking up what I'm putting down? But you have to write it down. I didn't start off like that. I just went piece by piece by piece.
The next thing you need to ask yourself is what voice you will take? This falls again under consistency. You have to figure out, do you want to be casual? Do you want to be conservative? Do you want to be informative? Do you want to be ratchet? Do you want to be fun? Do you want to be funny? Do you want to be serious? Do you want to be thought-provoking? Whatever it is, I need you to be consistent. And understand whenever you choose your voice, everyone's not going to like it. So shout out to all my Kingdom members. You all like the way I deliver content.
You like how I'm kind of chill, and I just keep it all the way real. I love it. And then some people come in, they go, "Oh my, she is so loud or so ghetto. I don't like her. I can't believe she has a business. Why are you all taking advice from this woman?" I'm not for everyone. For some people, I'm too much. They think I'm too much with all my hair. They think I'm too much with my blink, blink, blink and bloop, bloop, bloop, all my dimples, eyelashes, and good skin. Some people don't know how to handle me, but the people who like me are who I'm here for. Some people don't know anything about me, and they'll say things like, "She's a scam artist." And I'm like if that's how you feel, but understand it's not my job to convince those people. I'm not out here trying to convince them of anything; I'm here to inform and educate. You can pick it up if you want it, or you can leave it alone. That's your business. So when you choose your voice, just please keep in mind that at the end of the day, you're not going to be everyone's cup of tea. And that is okay, there's nothing wrong with that. The people who want to work with you will work with you. The people who want to consume your information will consume your content. The people that feel like it's not for them, then it's not going to be for them. They'll go on over to somebody else. It is what it is but choose a voice, be consistent with the voice and what you're putting out there.
This next one will take another pretty extensive piece of time because it's a lot of research. It is so worth it because it kind of brings us back to targeting. What type of content does your audience like? This is where you are pretty much doing a competitive analysis. I'm not saying to look at your competitors. At the end of the day, we want to look at what is working or who they're speaking to. So I typically use my competitive analysis because I like to take an opposing position. I've never made this a secret to The Kingdom. Most of the money that I've made is because I do things in a way other people don't do them. So whatever their position is, I like to take opposing positions, and I'm not afraid of it. I like to challenge things because I've always figured out a different way. I feel like there are multiple ways to be successful. I don't feel like there's one path. So I got out here, and I figured out a way to make it happen. There are other business builders out there that like to make fun of me. They purposely joke, "She over there talking about free 99. We don't do none for free over here. All we do is get paid." But in my position free99, gets you paid99. I teach my clients how to serve. And if you're an excellent server, your by-product is going to be. Your by-product is going to be the money. I teach my clients how to chase goals and how to be service-oriented versus chasing money. And my clients are doing really well. And I actually have a better track record than all of those people. I have way more six and seven-figure clients than them. Even combined. I've helped over a hundred people make a million dollars. I'm good, but that's not coming from my mind. It's because I'm a God-loving entrepreneur. Shout out to the big God, and in the Bible, it tells you that you can create status, power, and elevation through becoming a great servant. So if I can become an amazing server in my business, if I can really make sure that I'm trying to take care of people and help people, if I really can make sure that I'm pouring out into my community, that is going to pay off for me. I was like, this is something I like to do anyway because I'm naturally a server. I've always been like that, so that's the method I teach my clients. How many of you have gone to someone else's free class webinar? Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and more people are telling you not to do anything for free.
More people tell you just how to make an offer, but not really how to build a relationship, not how to position yourself as a resource, not how to get consistent with that content and your voice. So I purposely went and looked to see what my competitors were doing. And I noticed there's a big, huge hole for me. Second thing. I figured out how to make money. All these other people were giving a big picture. I'm one of the few people that will give you the nuts and the bolts, like the way I've gone through this stuff. How many other people do you know are out there telling you how to build a business model? How many people tell you all what tools and apps to use and how to put them together?
How many people are out here giving you your numbers and the goals you should be trying to meet? It's not coming. I give you the tools to build the boat. Some people are going to say, "Build a boat and get off the Island." But you won't have any idea how to build this boat. I am the person that says, "Find this cactus; it has sharp needles, pick them off and string them together. You're going to make a chainsaw out of this. Now cut down 15 coconut trees, take the coconuts and do XYZ with them." That's me. I'll tell you to go down the street, turn around two times, sit down and do the hokey pokey and all of that kind of stuff.
So I feel like if you look at competitors, you can figure out what they're not doing and serve your market. For example, the reason my event design and production company blew up the way it did whenever I started, I was one of the first event planners in my area to start offering payment plans. No one else was doing that. I was the first person that was said, "I will finance your baby shower. I will finance your wedding." I was one of the first ones. So I looked and saw what was in my market and what clients really wanted or needed, and I said I can do that. I can fit. I can figure this out. So a lot of times you can look at your competitors. Not to jock their style, I mean, don't sit there and get obsessed with them.
I don't really pay attention to what people are doing like that. However, about four times a year, I do a SWOT analysis, and I do a competitive analysis. And if there's something that I feel like I can offer a different perspective or a different turn, I'm gonna do it. But I will tell you this. If you're going to use that strategy, you better have some thick skin, and you better be a little tough because the people are going to come for you.
We are out here in these social media streets, and people will say anything. There are keyboard thugs in real life. So figure out what type of content people like. Do a competitive analysis to figure out a different perspective. Then go and look at your complimentary products and services. Find the people that do things that complement yours and go and see what type of colors they're using. What time of day they're posting. Look at the images. Look at how they're putting content out there. So you want to start looking at all of that. Look at the language they're using. Look at the types of fonts that they use. And if people are responding well to it, that's going to give you some insight into how you should be positioning and packaging your content to put it out there because some of you are brand new. And so, you're in the process of building your audiences. Since you really don't know who they are yet because you don't have any feedback. That's why we're going to get that together in that way.
This next one requires a little bit of research but is nowhere near the last step. How will you create content? Are you going to use an app? Are you going to use PowerPoint? Are you going to go and get a virtual assistant and pay them to make your content for you? Will you type it out? Will you use your phone? Just figure out how you're going to make it and write it down. So now, you know what tool you're going to be using to create your content and push your message out there regularly. Do you need to buy a new camera? Figure it out. How are you going to put it out there?
Next, you need to figure out something you can commit to because as you start to grow on Instagram, so will your community. I like the fact that people are actually sliding into your DMs and talk to you. I love that. That's my favorite part about Instagram. So you have to decide how often you will check your DMSs How often are you going to respond to comments? And how often are you going to engage on other people's pages? So for me, there were like 10 pages that I had the notifications turned on for because I really liked their content and audience. And I liked being a part of their community, so I turned their notifications on. So if they made a post, I wanted to go and comment on the post. I also wanted to see what other people were saying and contribute to conversations. Which is another effortless way that you can grow your Instagram.
I would also spend three times a day going through comments. I'd probably take about 30-minute blocks out the day and just go through my post and respond. You can typically tell when I'm doing it because I hit like five or six comments. I would look three times a day because, again, I like Instagram. It's one of my favorite platforms. I really enjoy being on it. So I'm there all the time. I check my DMs pretty much one time a day. Sometimes if I have a slow day, I'll be in there all day, but most of the time, I check them one time a day. And my goal is to answer 100100 DMs s every day when I'm inside of there. Again you just need to make a plan. Something like either you check it in the morning, in the evening, or in the afternoon. You plan when you will post and if you are going to stay on Instagram for 15 minutes after you post and respond to what comes in, but just figure out how often you want to do it. Then ask yourself do you need any help to do this? Decide if you can do it all yourself if you want to hire a VA to go to Fiverr and outsource. Maybe have them respond for you, create pieces of content, if you want to have your content repurposed, and have someone else do that.
And that is how to actually create a fully functional and operational business model for Instagram.
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