You can totally make money using Instagram if you are strategic. Furthermore, it's totally possible to get clients/customers and make a sale with a very small following. On the flip side, I have talked to people with thousands and thousand of followers who have never seen a $1. Let's avoid this scenerio shall we? In order to get followers that will buy, you need to target people strategically. So here is my tried and true strategy.
First let's get one thing out the way. There is a strategy for targeting followers on Instagram that has been spreading around the social media marketing world. The strategy is as follows: in order to get someone to come check out your account and hopefully follow you, you like three pictures and comment on one. I have found this doesn't work as well as people say it does.
I have been experimenting (I run three Instagram accounts at the moment) and I have actually found that if you like + comment on ONE photo people come check out your account and follow you at a higher rate.
This makes perfect sense because when someone likes a bunch of photos, but doesn't follow me it feels really spammy. Do you find this annoying?
New golden rule: like and leave a heartfelt comment on ONE photo.
This strategy has been gaining my clients about 10-20 followers for every 25 minutes I spend commenting. You can target followers by searching relevant hashtags to your business or diving into a complimentary business's followers and targeting them. Stay away from your competitors followers. Although many people do this it's distasteful. Industries are surprisingly small and it will come back around on you. So focus on people that are complimentary to your business, not the same business.
Let's say you are a graphic designer. You may want to target followers through an event like @altsummit. They have a lot of creative entrepreneurs following them. You can also search creative hashtags like #crafttherainbow. Many creative business owners use this hashtag and it's a fun one to scroll through and connect with people who could benefit from your services.
*Remember that this strategy is about connecting with your ideal customer/client base. Like pictures you actually like, and leave authentic comments. You want to build relationships, not just gather lots of followers for the sake of gathering followers.
So try this out and let me know how it goes!