What It's About
When a designer discovers that Instagram is for more than selfies, he creates a new revenue stream.
Words of Wisdom
While it wasn't an overnight success, the specificity and focus entirely on logos is why it’s so popular. I went to look at the account and for each post, he has not only thousands of likes but also lots of designers commenting on what they like and don’t like about each logo. So in an important way, he’s created a community. More than 500k followers!
The Logo Inspirations Instagram account is how Jonathan has turned curating logos into a side hustle, but Jonathan didn’t always like the social media platform. In fact, he started off hating it because he never liked posting selfies.
Notes from Chris
For 29-year old Sri Lankan native Jonathan Rudolph, design has always been something that he was interested in. As a child, he loved sketching cartoon characters from comics like Batman and X-Men. The love for design was cultivated further as he watched his grandfather make beautiful handmade cards. That would inspire him to create and design beautiful things as he grew up. For a while, Jonathan thought he could become a full-time freelancer and leave his day job. But the freelance work quickly dried up as he faced increasingly stiff competition. Upwork (back then it was Elance) had grown as a platform, and more designers were competing for a limited number of projects. Jonathan’s lowest point came when he was offered $175 for a logo project, and he accepted. That project would take him three weeks to complete. Jonathan would get a better break that led to a highly profitable project in 2014. His wife had created an Instagram account under the name ‘The Graphic Illusionist’ and posted up some of his designs. He was initially skeptical. He hated Instagram because his wife usually used it to post couple selfies. However, the account got his attention when it started to gain more likes and followers than either of them had expected. After exploring the platform more, Jonathan found that there were a number of design curated accounts with huge followings. However, there weren’t any dedicated to finding the best logos on the web. Having collected stamps and paper clippings of exotic cars as a child, Jonathan saw an opportunity. He decided to start curating the best logos by walking the streets and taking photos. That’s the story behind how his new Instagram account, Logo Inspirations, was born. Posting consistently helped grow his Instagram account quickly. Jonathan would post a couple of logos he saw daily, and he’d maximize the reach of each post by using the appropriate hashtags. He had done his homework and discovered that even in the design space, there were some hashtags that simply had a wider reach than others. Within the first year, Jonathan would gain 100,000 followers. Despite this large following though, it was only when he changed his tactics that Jonathan would find any real success—and turn his curation into a growing business. He was contacted by a company named LogoCore which offered affiliate commissions for every sale of their logo design program. At that point, the Logo Inspirations Instagram account had grown to 250,000 followers. Within a few days, Jonathan made $250, which blew his mind. With affiliate marketing, he didn’t have to pitch companies at all with affiliate marketing. He realized this was the revenue model he would pursue. With a working model in place, he began to look more seriously at the project. He scheduled more posts on his Instagram account as well as on his blog. He joined affiliate programs by companies including Skillshare and Book Depository. The income he makes from affiliate marketing has now reached $1,000/week, and shows no sign of stopping as Jonathan continues to grow his platform. By the way, this revenue is close 100% profit, since there are very few expenses in this business.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Logo Inspirations: Take a look at some of Jonathan's curations on his website or Instagram account
- Upwork: The freelancing platform that Jonathan used to get his start in design
- LogoCore, Skillshare, & Book Depository: Some of the affiliate programs that Jonathan signed up for
- Hootsuite | How to Use Instagram for Business: A Complete Guide for Marketers: From the boom in popularity of Instagram Stories, to the recent expansion of advertising opportunities—it’s a good time to be using Instagram for business. Learn more about utilizing this social media platform here!
- Instagram Calligraphy Project Earns $9,000 in Year One: A corporate employee in Texas enters the online world of calligraphy and hand-lettering, then changes along the way to suit her strengths
- Bikini Model Creates Multi-Million Swimsuit Line: A swimsuit model uses industry connections and social media savvy to launch a high-end shopping site taking on major swimwear companies from the beaches of Miami
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