Protect your Instagram income: How to keep your earnings safe

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Every day, if not more often than that, I see people who have successfully built their Instagram profiles lose it all because of hackers and/or Instagram having reason to believe their TOS has been breached. It’s devastating for people who have worked so hard to build their businesses online. What strikes me every time I see this happen is the panic about whether an account can be saved and whether they will ever get it back. Whether your are a micro or major influencer who monetises their platform I want to share with you the things you need to be doing right now to protect what you have built so you don’t leave yourself exposed and your income in jeopardy should the worst happen.

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Photo by Kerde Severin on

What is Instagram Income and How Can You Protect It?

Let’s start at the beginning and dive into the many ways people make money on Instagram and why it can be a great way to build a stream of income. Instagram monetisation has been around for almost as long as the platform itself and there are many different ways in which you can grow and monetise the brand you are building.

  1. Add a shop to your profile and sell physical and digital products.
  2. Brand Sponsorships: Where a brand will pay you to post about their product or service.
  3. Subscriptions (if you are in the US).
  4. Affiliate Links: Where you would share products you love and when people purchase through your link you get a small kickback at no extra cost to the consumer.
  5. Selling your own products and services directly through your grid posts, stories or Reels.

Here is the kicker: If you’re running a business through Instagram only and have no back up plan you need to fix that today.

5 Steps to Secure Your Instagram Income & Grow Your Business

  1. Turn on two-factor authentication to ensure your account is as protected as possible from outside threats.
  2. Avoid connecting your account to any website and/or app that you aren’t sure of the credentials of.
  3. Create multiple streams of income both on and off Instagram.
  4. Use a mailing list.
  5. Avoid running competitions.

We don’t own our followers

When it comes to Instagram there is one hard and fast rule to remember: We do not own our followers. Therefore the most important thing we can do is find a way to connect with our followers in a space that isn’t Instagram. When we set up our Instagram profiles, start posting and gathering followers we are under the misaprehension that this space we are creating belongs to us and that we are in control of what happens there. Really the opposite is true because our profiles, our followers and our very existence on the platform is owned by Instagram (or its parent company Meta). We are just renting space, albeit for free, and they can decide at any moment to change things up.

Stop getting annoyed – Instagram isn’t the problem

Instagram is an introduction, a place for people to find you, for you to serve your audience. It isn’t and should never be the only place where you make money, run your business or share you offerings. Instead it should be part of a much wider plan where you are able to connect with your followers in a number of different places that are controlled by you.

So how do you go about that? There is a number of ways in which you can serve your audience with content that isn’t a platform controlled by someone else. The best way to be able to connect with your followers and the people who really support you is through developing a mailing list.

Get yourself a mailing list. Today!

I know mailing lists seem boring and are usually the last thing we think of doing but indulge me for a second. Let’s say Instagram went down tomorrow or you were permanently locked out of your account, how would you connect with your followers? If you don’t have a way to connect with everyone who follows you then you need a mailing list.

A mailing list is a place where people who love you and support you leave their email address and give you permission to contact as and when the need arises. Some businesses like to email their email subscribers weekly, some monthly and some more ad hoc. The important thing however is that you own those names and email addresses on your mailing list for as long as they wish to be a part of it. If you lost access to your Instagram account you would still have a way to contact your followers and would still have a very viable way to run your business.

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