We are bringing you a case study from Brett Williams, a graphics/ webpage designer, and founder of designjoy.co, who made $2 500 in 72 hours after buying an Instagram page for $1 400. He did all his by promoting his services on the newly acquired Instagram page.
In this article, we are taking you through how he was able to find the account, negotiate for it, and how he got his first design client that paid him $2 500 within the first 72 hours.
Brett is the founder of a quite successful online design service called Design Joy which offers custom design services on a monthly subscription basis. Along the journey of building the design service, Brett neglected building an online audience and sharing what he had learned over the years. This brought him to have an idea of buying an already existing online audience which ended up being an Instagram page in the design niche with about 58 000 followers.
How He Discovered the Account
Brett started searching for popular design accounts on Instagram, through the search box, and mass messaging them.
“I copied and pasted the same message over and over, inquiring whether or not they'd be interested in selling their page. As I began messaging more and more accounts, I started running out of accounts; that is until I discovered a handy little button on the profile page of most accounts.
If you go to an account, you'll notice a small dropdown arrow to the right of the Follow & Message buttons (that is, if the account has this enabled. If you tap on it, it'll show a list of related accounts, including many that don't show up through general searches. Suddenly the pool of potential pages to buy grew exponentially!”
After messaging around 30 accounts, Brett got his first reply which turned into negotiations.
Coming up with a value for the account was a bit complicated at first because the account hadn’t been monetized at that moment. However, to Brett, it was like, "If the price feels right for both parties, then it’s a deal."
His initial offer was for $1 200 for the account with 58 000 followers, but after a few rounds of negotiating, they landed at $1 400.
The Buying Process
"This part made me nervous. I was buying something that technically will never be mine (it's Instagram's after all). What if I make the payment and the guy totally ghosts me? What if the account gets lost in the ether in the process of being transferred? All of these concerns were real and valid, so I asked myself if I were to lose $1 400, would I be okay? The answer was yes, so I went for it.", Brett says.
To purchase the account, Brett drew up a quick contract and initiated a payment via Paypal, since it offers some level of security as it holds funds in an escrow account for a few days to ensure both parties are satisfied. Luckily, the purchase went off without a hitch, and the account, together with the email associated with it were transferred to him.
Making His First $2 500 from the Account in Just 72 Hours
The sounds like it happened insanely fast, but there was a little background work in those 72 hours. After purchasing the account and rebranding it to his business’ name, Brett created his first post explaining who he is and how he built his design subscription service.
Surprisingly to him, many people, including some designers, were not familiar with the design services subscription model. The post he made left many comments coming in and DMs of people who were interested in the service. Within the first 3 days, he landed a customer who paid $2 500 for the monthly subscription service.
This transaction immediately helped him cover the expenses for buying the account while he remained with a $1 100 profit and an audience of approximately 60 000 designers ad design enthusiasts.
Brett admits that it would have taken him years, and hundreds of hours to build an audience of such a size. So he had to work smarter, and not harder. This formula can be replicated but it can happen only in specific scenarios: