September 12, 2018

Let’s Talk Money + Instagram

I never thought I’d get to stay home with my babies and make money… from an app. What?!

I was the least techy person alive as a teenager (and beyond honestly) and I never would have dreamed my life would revolve around technology. Ever.  But I love learning, and I love a challenge and I’ve loved getting to build a business that lets me be at home, hustle during nap times, and provide a bit for my family! With that said, I know money and social media can be a strange one for people so I wanted to be fully transparent and put it all out there.

Firstly, let’s dispel a myth I get asked about. Instagram does not pay you to post or have followers. I mean, I wish, but sadly no. It takes WORK, real live work to make money through the app, and it’s all kind of ‘via’ the app rather than directly from it – but Instagram has been an amazing space to grow a little world based around the very real life ways we lead a simple, healthy life as a family.

I also want you to know what my life actually looks like… I’m using instagram well for the way I want my life to look. Which means, instagram isn’t killing me, or my other goals in life but I do maximize the options within that. My number one goal isn’t money even though that’s what we’re talking about here. It’s also not to have the most followers. My number one goal online is to serve the people following me, to create content that actually helps people and is useful in real people’s real lives. But you can do both. So I make the amount that I want, that feels great with how it relates to my overall life.  Because I can tell you, having peace and balance when you’re using Instagram for any level of business is essential or it will get to you!
But money, that’s why you clicked on this post. It’s not intended to be a ‘How To’ guide – that post can come at a different time, but for transparency here are the ways we’ve found income from social media:

1. Local sales

This turned into an up-till-3am-most-nights-for-a-year job by mistake, but that’s a different story! This was the first way we used Instagram to become a business. I quit my prior day job to build a business be a full time mum, and stumbled on a business creating paleo doughnuts. If you followed us back then you know the story! Although that income wasn’t directly from instagram, it was having an instagram platform that allowed me to build a local business and provide 5 coffee chops and lots of local customers with clean baked goods. I don’t do it much anymore (we do still partner with one shop who makes our recipes for in house and to order) but I loved getting to bring that to our town, and it was the start of me being able to work from home when I first had Clayton which I was SO grateful for.

2. eBooks

When I made my first ebook I had no idea what I was doing. I’m actually not at all techy but to keep the costs down so I can make them affordable, I do all the shooting, styling, formatting and editing myself. A friend shot The Whole Doughnut but after that it’s been all me. It takes a lot (more than I imagined when I first said online that I’d do one ha!) to make them happen with two kids in tow, but I love the creativity, and getting to get the recipes out there! (See them all HERE!) 

3. Affiliates

In short, there are lots of companies who will ‘thank’ you for sending purchasers their way. Different companies do it different ways, but for me it’s one of the most honest ways of making money through the app. I talk about products I love and when someone purchases something they want, I get a small cut without you paying any extra. I only talk about companies we use personally (with products we’ve paid for ourselves!) so it’s a really honest way to make a bit of money for spreading the word about products that can genuinely help our following. A few examples of places we make affiliate income are:
  • Amazon – any time you click on a link I post that takes you to Amazon, I get a small percentage of your sale without you paying any more. I love that Amazon has everything so it’s also a great way just to reference items even if people find somewhere else to buy them.
  • PACT organic clothing – I first discovered them for organic fair-trade kids underwear at an actually affordable price. But now both Jared and I love them for basics and underwear – I live in their sleep tee more than I should admit to! (Here I get money for people’s first purchase, not on-goingly.)
  • Everlane – A great first stop for ethically made, transparently produced clothing. They’re not perfect, but they’re great. We both own multiple things from there.
  • SafeSleeve Radiation Reducing Phone Cases -The phone cases both Jared and I have and love!

4. Classes

I love it when life hops off the app and I meet real people!  Teaching monthly workshops (and occasionally private ones too) is SO much fun. See my instagram story highlights so find out what they look like!

5. Ko-fi

Some of you may have seen this at the bottom of my blog posts now. One night I was scrolling a zero waste blogger’s site at 4am with Roey (such was life) and I saw the option to give her a coffee at the bottom. I loved the idea knowing there was no other tangible way for me to return the favor for the information she’d given me, I thought it was clever! So, I added it to our site redesign!

6. Sponsored Posts

They’re such a weird world that I’ve honestly considered not taking any sponsored posts. But if a company wants to reimburse me for my time in shooting and posting about a product I already love, then I’m down! Right?! It funds the time I spend putting out free content and and so effectively gives me the time to do it. I’ve done probably 10-15 #sponsored posts in the history of Instagram, I’m very picky about which ones I take and hence I’ve done so few. To say yes to something I have to love it, it has to be something we use, plastic packaging free, plastic free, and if it’s food it usually needs to be organic… you can see why I’ve only taken a few! My favourite ones are where I reach out to a company rather than being approached cos then it’s truly know I’m not being bought. I already bought the product with my own money! The next one I have coming up is a company I reached out to, so watch out for it! Some examples of companies I’ve worked with are: Wholefoods, Vitamix, Stasher Bag, Chameleon Cold Brew, and Pela Case (a zero waste phone case company we used to use before we switched to the anti radiation ones!) All companies we adore and personally use. If you ever have questions about a sponsored post just ask!

7. Getting gifted stuff

This seems cool, and it totally is, but it doesn’t pay bills. Sometimes it does indirectly if I get sent something I need or will need in the future, but mostly it’s just fun and makes me look cooler and flashier than I really am 😉 For transparency I try to remember to hashtag #gifted when I’m talking about a product that was sent for free!

And all the little stuff too.

You don’t get to access any of these 7 points without daily some instagram basics that are key to using the app, but I hope that all helps to shed light on how we use the app and where the money can and does come from! There are more ways to use the app for business, but these are all the ones we use and it’s been a gift to get to create content to help and inspire but also provide income for my family at the same time!  If you’re thinking of using instagram for business or have any questions shoot me an email or a DM!

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