I Grew My Instagram to 90,000 Followers - This is How Much I Made From It

Jenn Leach


My Instagram account grew to over 90,000 followers within 12 months. I was afforded the opportunity to grow my business because of this, along with experiencing other perks which I will share below.

Here's my story.

This happened back in 2016 and at the time I was working my corporate job during the day and running Instagram at night. A few months prior I had launch an ecommerce store and my audience was finding me on Instagram. I took notice and started devoting much of my free time to the network so I could interact and engage with my audience there.

My ecommerce store was a fashion-forward womens fast fashion boutique. I ran it entirely online using the Shopify platform.

Did Instagram actually pay me for having 90,000 followers?

Not quite but, I did make money because my strong social presence on the platform. This is how it went...

First, came hustle.

I grew my following to around 4,000 followers and I was so proud of that. This was before the massive growth my Instagram account experienced, which eventually took me to over 90,000 fans.

To get to 4,000 followeres in the first place, it took a lot of effort.

I was sharing my Instagram profile everywhere I could, including posts on Facebook, in my email signature, everywhere!

It can take some time and real dedication to grow your social following.

I was so proud to have grown my following to it's current level at the time, around 4,000 followers and I was prepared to continue doing what I was doing to further it's growth.

What I wasn't prepared for was the exponential growth my account saw over the course of the next year.

How I Grew My Following with Shop Hops

Because I was on Instagram so much I began to notice these Shop Hops happening.

I started noticing them more and more. This is what I learned:

A Shop Hop (or loop giveaway) is where a group of collaborators (these are other Instagram accounts like boutiques, influencers, etc.) sponsor a giveaway.

It would be around 20 to 30 collaborators in the Shop Hop, each person throwing $20 in the pot, for the grand prize.

20 people x $20 = $400 grand prize

Then, the host of the shop hop would take $400 and buy the grand prize, whether it was an Apple gift card, PayPal cash, or another prize.

There were some pretty insane prizes for these giveaways like:

  • Louis Vuitton handbags
  • PayPal cash
  • Gift cards to popular retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Target, etc.
  • Apple Macbooks
  • Christian Louboutin heels
  • And, more!

The giveaway would run for the period, with each collaborator promoting it to their audience.

Imagine the traction a giveaway could get with 20 sponsors each promoting it to their audience on social media, their blog, mailing list, etc.

It was huge.

How could participants enter the giveaway?

To join the giveaway for a chance to win, participants had to follow every collaborator, like and share the giveaway.

At the end a winner was chosen and awarded the prize.

That’s how it worked.

One of these shop hops or giveaways could easily increase your Instagram fanbase substantially, like around 1,000 to 2,000 new fans!

So, it took me a year or so to grow my following to 4,000 and with just two shop hops, I could double that growth and have 8,000 followers?


The giveaway usually ran for 48 to 72 hours and after it closed, you had up to 2,000 or more new fans on your Instagram account.

After the giveaway was over, some shedding would result. So that means that some participants would unfollow you but most of them didn't, leaving you in the positive for follower growth.

It was an amazing feeling and really incredible to see that in just a few days my Instagram account could grow so much.

Through Shop Hops I grew my account to 90K+ Instagram fans.

What My Instagram Posting Schedule Was Like

I posted to Instagram everyday. That includes weekends.

I posted for Shop Hops about twice a week.

There were few scheduling tools available back then. I used the tool Later occassionally but mostly posted myself.

Today, many more automation tools exist so it'd be easier for you to post consistently and often.

How Much Did I Make With 90,000 Fans?

I made up to $30,000/month!

The majority of my sales came from Instagram.

Sales happened every single day and I finally got to experience the feeling of making money in your sleep!

How Did I Cultivate Instagram to Make Money Online?

First, you've got to be active on the platform. I was active through the shop hop participation.

I posted to Instagram 5 to 6 times daily. I held regular flash sales twice a week, selling my products directly to my audience.

I kept my profile up to date. I talked to customers, answered all my direct messages, tried to be as responsive as possible and held customer events, like giveaways that only my shop hosted, recognizing buyers, hosting "be the buyer" events, giving away and selling fun mystery boxes, and a lot more!

Sharing products and making announcements on Instagram helped too.

Social media was a big part of the success of my company.

In addition to Instagram, I was on other social networks too like Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and others.

Do You Still Participate in Shop Hops on Instagram?


And, that's only because that ecommerce business sold a little while back so I had no need to continue participating in shop hops.

I was seeing some incredible growth and success online with the store but ultimately it was harping on my work life balance which was impacting my life. I made the decision to sell the business and transitioned into a different field.

Some of my friends on Instagram I would participate in the shop hops with continued on and today, many of them have up to 400,000 to 800,000 Instagram fans, making a full-time living online. It's really incredible to see!

How to Get Started Growing Your Instagram Account Fast

If you're interested in trying a shop hop, they are still plentiful on Instagram. Search for terms like "loop giveaway" or "shop hop" and you'll find pages that manage these giveaways exclusively.

You can follow the instructions on their page to pick which giveaway you want to join and get started.

To get you started, you can check out www.instagram.com/classy_giveaways which is a page with over 100,000 followers, very seasoned in this space, that hosts these events.

Final Thoughts

And, that's how I made money from 90,000 followers on Instagram.

There are many ways to monetize your Instagram account. I just took advantage of one opportunity, which helped me make money online, build up my business, and eventually quit my corporate day job to pursue my business full-time!

Have you monetized your social network?

Tell me how!

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Millennial entrepreneur and writer bringing you fresh content and ideas about making money, side hustles, personal finance, budgeting, and lifestyle. Connect with me: www.millennialnextdoor.com

Houston, TX

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