In this day and age, being able to build a following as an entrepreneur is tantamount to success. Not only does having an owned audience allow you to post ads you’d otherwise have to spend thousands on deploying, but it can also be used as a strong networking tool. I spoke to Joey Ruben, a 16-year-old Instagram mogul who has built pages with millions of followers, to learn what kind of tactics he uses to build such massive followings. 

What Is the Best Advice You Can Give Our Readers on Gaining Following?

Joey Ruben: The most important thing I can teach is to not take the quick payout to make a few bucks. Instead, always look to the future and plan out your moves in advance so you are already a few steps ahead of the game. An example of this is, when you are growing a following on Instagram, you can easily monetize your audience from the beginning and make a few dollars; but, the problem with that is that your account gets saturated and you lose your loyal followers, which is what the account would be built on.

Instead, what you should do is avoid posting advertisements at the beginning. Instead, grow your account out, gain a large loyal follower base, and then post a few advertisements here and there. This will make you more money because of how many more followers you will have, as well as having more engagement per post because your account will not be as saturated.

What Kind of Perks Come With Having a Large Audience?

The biggest perk for me would be being able to advertise my own web stores for free instead of having to pay someone else to do it for me. Another large perk that comes with having a large audience would be the experience it gives you for future careers in marketing, and even how to influence people in general.

The last perk I have experienced, which is likely the most apparent one, is the money. Most kids my age are fine with working a normal job and making minimum wage, but with a large social media audience you can make way more than minimum wage and you can work way fewer hours while still profiting more than an average job.

What Are Some of the Best Ways to Monetize an Audience?

I’ve found that there are 3 best ways to monetize an audience. My first way would be the simplest one, which is selling paid posts. By that, I mean getting paid by a company or individual to promote them. My second way, which I personally prefer, is affiliate programs where you are paid based on how you perform.

For example, I was paid $0.80 per download of an app through my referral link. With ease, I had gotten 15,000 of my followers to download the app within a few months. The third way is the most complex, and that is creating your own eCommerce store.

Instead of having to pay other people to advertise your products, you can post them for free on your accounts. This way is the most profitable if you do it correctly, although it takes lots of practice, dedication, and the willingness to fail in order to succeed.

How Can I Use My Page as a Networking Tool?

Often times, creating a large social media account has more benefits than what people think. For example, you meet contacts who will help you along your entrepreneurial journey (provided you do the same for them).

I have met many contacts over the past few years who have helped me better understand how to monetize my page, how to stay humble, and pretty much anything else I needed help with that had to do with business or the internet.

You can also use your page to expand your network through collaborating with other accounts. Providing value to others is the #1 rule to follow when trying to grow a healthy network.

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James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India.