Instagram Income or Insta-Hoax?

Some people are going to be angry that I’m writing this piece, but I can’t sit on this information any longer — and I won’t. It’s mostly because I’m angry — and I honestly don’t want you to be angry in the same way that I’m currently angry. I’m angry over dollars spent and and time wasted. See, here’s the thing. I fully believe in living the Instagram lifestyle. I firmly believe that you can make a living via Instagram. I do — but I just want to save you all the time and effort that I’ve spent on the wrong things!

First, a bit of background. I’m a DJ, yet, I have also worked a variety of other odd jobs to sustain my lifestyle. As a recent transplant to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C. — I quickly found that the Hollywood lifestyle wasn’t quite as glamourous as I was previously led to believe. The salaries for what one would earn in D.C. are nearly 2x higher than what one will earn in LA. However, being in close proximity to the entertainment industry also has its perks and advantages, so here is where I reside.

Interestingly, my time period here in LA has been fruitful as I’ve been able to develop quite a large social media following from previous gigs, collaborations and such — which led me into the arena of social influencing, which has been quite the fun journey. See in case you don’t know, social influencers are really all the rage for brands to connect with potential customers. The influencers promote the brands and customers can either get an introduction to the brand via the influencer, or develop some level of engagement with the brand because of the influencer. It’s a win-win situation by all accounts. Anyone can collaborate with influencers through any number of methods but I’ll list some of my favorite here so that you can check them out yourself…

Meanwhile, this past year, while working the occasional odd job, spinning some amazing events in LA, and developing a better lifestyle for myself — I began seeking out alternative ways of earning income as I wasn’t rich by any means at the time, and I thought to myself — aha — the wave of the future is making money online! Hell…thousands of people are making Instagram Income as we speak!

So I set off on a journey to discover the best ways to do this — and found many multi-level marketing schemes for making money and quite a few of them seemed very legitimate, while some were completely questionable. I’m sure you’ve seen them — IG accounts (usually beginning with sixfigureSOMETHING) with pictures of wads of cash and people constantly counting money asking you to DM for some cash flipping scheme or some other such nonsense. Now these accounts — listen, I understand it, the best way to advertise is to sell a lifestyle — but who walks around with stacks of cash? Really? That’s not the way of the new rich. That’s the way of the new scam!

But this isn’t an rant on those types of accounts — surely you’re savvy enough to recognize the blood scrawled writing on the wall beneath the shiny allure of mountains of cash. No, I want to reveal something even more sinister — there is one company whose allure is so luxurious and breath-taking that I was taken in. Without completely exposing this company — what I will say is that they will lure you in with the premise of living the luxury lifestyle if you’ll only sign up to sell their services! In fact, you’ll receive nearly 100% commissions and residuals on all referrals. Wow!

I mean WOW! (Where’s the emoji button when I need it?)

I was blown away. This isn’t something you see everyday! And listen, with my background in marketing and advertising, I thought for sure this was going to be the wave of the future for me to make some additional income outside of my work in entertainment. I could build an empire they promised. All I had to do was buy the service and become an affiliate. Easy as pie they said!

Wrong!

Wrong!

Wrong!

Be very careful with these types of multi-level, network marketing set-ups particularly if they sound too good to be true. Unfortunately, I fell for the okey-doke! I forked over nearly $60 for the membership packages (plus an upsell — I’m a sucker for an upsell). And then down the rabbit hole I went, discovering the different processes and procedures for setting up my affiliate account and getting the links to promote it — when lo and behold I discovered a disclaimer buried way down deep beneath the all the instructional text.

In order for me to get paid from affiliate commissions, I would need to obtain an Insurance License — which would cost nearly another $200 dollars. Gotcha! In order to obtain an Insurance license — one has to a) study and b) pass an test for certification and then c) pay per state to sell insurance in that state. Now, why wouldn’t company X firmly state that disclaimer in the text at the beginning of the process? Surely this is something individuals need to know in order become an affiliate and earn the nearly 100% commissions!

Surely there should have been some disclosure upfront — yet there was none. There was not one mention of this in the intro-sales video on the lead page. Nothing. True — the company does what it claims — it automates sales once your victim enters their sales funnel, however, unknowing would-be “affiliates” will be greeted by quite the surprise upon entering the agreement.

But wait — there’s more.

Many of you business owners are familiar with Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising — so I won’t go into that much. What I will say is that Facebook advertising is quite a cumbersome process — mostly because Facebook has some pretty stringent guidelines for their ad approval process. It can literally take days to figure out the right text/image ratio to pass the approval process. I’ll share more on that in a later post — but in the meantime, can someone find a clever work-around for this? Ugh. I swear if you know of some methods, drop them in the comments section!

Having explained to you the insanity of getting an ad approved — you should know that this particular company’s automated system has been banned by Facebook. Ok really? I wonder why? Hmmm…I can’t think of a reason why Facebook would not support this company’s process….? I’ll let that sink in for you.

While I will not name the company in question — what I will say to you is this: Get your insurance from AAA or State Farm instead.

I’m writing this because I don’t want anyone else making this same mistake. I don’t want anyone else fooled by this company’s practices. And I also want you to know that it is very possible to make a living online. Because of my own experiences with companies like this as well as my own distaste for the 9–5 lifestyle, I’ve started my own online business — helping people like you and me brand themselves, sell their own products and services, and partner with brands for sponsorships and partnerships.

I want people to know it IS possible. And there are reputable companies out there like Jatch.co that can actually help you organically grow your social media following, find great leads and help you sell the right way — and you can even become an affiliate with no need to get an insurance license. Look at that!

And before you question this last bit of info — no, I’m not yet an affiliate with Jatch.co — so there’s no paid incentive here. I’m studying it and have done enough research to see that it’s pretty legit, so try it for yourself. I’d love to know your thoughts.

Follow my story on IG: @djrichieskye. And if you really love the advice, let me help you avoid future scams by joining me on www.youbethebrand.com.