Life is sure funny. When you’re younger you look up your mentors, parents, older folks for advice, but as you get older, all of a sudden one day your parents ask you for advice and call you up asking for feedback. Anyone else have this happen to them? I am about to turn 37 next month, and as I look back at how things have changed over the last 12 years of my life, I sure ponder some of it. I know call to my younger sister Flavia all the time for advice and for today’s post, I am actually going to share what I’ve learned from my sisters Ana and Janay and how they are becoming an irresistible brand on Instagram, bringing in almost all of their paying clients from this one fantastic platform. Instagram is a great social media platform, especially for beauty, lifestyle, food, photography, art, travel and many other industries too. I do not feel it’s limited to just women and beauty, of course. There is a world of opportunity with Instagram, so let’s learn how to use it to get you and your business more paying clients.

how to make money with instagram

I run a weekly Blab show with the awesome Erica H. Vincent called Get Found Get Booked, and few weeks ago we had the privilege of interviewing my baby sisters, as I saw they were really sizzling their Instagram page.

Backstory: My mother, Jaira Lima, has owned a waxing salon since 1999, but last May after my two youngest sisters received their cosmetology licenses, they started a new brand called Hair By Lima. In a short few months, they were filling all their seats with paying clients, and here is what I’ve learned from them.

  1. The riches are in the niches. So, hair is a saturated market, correct? What did my sisters decide to do? They decided to focus on one hair-coloring style called balayage. Therefore, about 90% of their hair posts are about hair transformations they’re making by using this process. They have a new logo and a new brand focusing on hair coloring, and specifically balayage. They have just ranked on the 1st page of YouTube with their video.
  2. Know your audience. Their work began to pick up with more older teens and now young adults, so these are modern, fun, glamourous young ladies. My sisters wisely showcase content that young adults would like to see. But, they don’t limit their work to only young adults. They are now starting to get clients in an older age range, too, so they will be showcasing that group and adding posts that matter to that group. This is part of watching who your audience really is or what changes are taking place. Remember, they have been in business for only 5 months, so their ideal target audience may continue to change, and they are ready to adapt if it does so.
  3. Observe competition and innovate. As avid Instagram users for their personal profiles, they had been following other hair salons, stylists and beauty bloggers and saw that the before-and-after photos of clients were always a big hit. So, they thought to themselves, what can we do better? VIDEO. They introduce these slow-mo videos of their clients with flying tresses in slow motion after their hair is finished. So they stepped up the game big time, and others began to follow them.
  4. Show, not tell. As Erica pointed out during our interview, these videos show emotion. My sisters are showing how they’re making someone feel and not just how they look. When you see the videos, you want to be that girl in the video. You want to be featured… you want to be the spotlight.
  5. Showcase your audience! By having your audience members take the spotlight, this puts the focus on what my sisters can do for them and not just on how pretty or stylish or talented my sisters are, but again, how my sisters can make them feel.
  6. Hashtags baby, hashtags. Instagram is a platform where one can use many hashtags, especially in the comments section, so they use the “explore trends” section to see what’s popular. Then, they use what’s popular and add hashtags regarding to work that they do and where they do it: adding state, city, balayage, etc.
  7. Geotagging PLEASE. If you are a local business, you must make use of the geotagging feature, which means sign into your business location in the maps listing area.
  8. Use the platform as it is intended to be used. As I’ve stated in the past, Instagram should not be used like Facebook or Twitter. It’s a place for curated content that matches your brand and brings out the best of your brand, thus making you irresistible. I discovered I’d been using Instagram wrongly when I took Hey Sweet Pea’s Instagram class, which you really should take. They are masters at teaching irresistible branding. Instagram is not a place for too many selfies, it’s not a good place for live event posting, and it’s not the right place to get too personal. Even your personal posts need to be curated to match your brand. It’s a visual brand platform, and my sisters are doing this beautifully. They take time using apps to edit their video down before posting. They also always use the same wall for brand consistency, and they use hashtags wisely.
  9. Tools matter. They use the following apps to make them stand out on Instagram. Nocrop, Instashot,  Repost, Splitpic and Photomirror. Watch the full interview to see the workflow how they record and edit the videos. 

Please follow them on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hairbylima and their website is http://www.hairbylima.com

If you want to hear more from these college-preneurs, then watch the full interview here, as they show you more apps and how they’re killing it on Instagram and making money on Instagram too.

Feuza Reis