Today’s teenagers have grown up with social media and mobile apps. So business tools like Instagram seem to come pretty naturally to them. For this new generation of entrepreneurs, Instagram is proving to be invaluable. And even business owners who are well past their teenage years could potentially learn a thing or two from these young people.
One teenage business owner making a name for herself on Instagram is Zandra Azariah Cunningham, founder of Zandra Beauty, a beauty company that makes products to empower girls. Zandra’s business journey started when the makeup-obsessed teen’s dad wouldn’t buy her anymore lip balm and suggested that she instead make her own. She ran with the idea and has since grown it into a fully fledged makeup and skincare brand.
Instagram Tips for Teenpreneurs
Zandra recently shared some insights on her business journey and tips for other business owners looking to leverage the power of Instagram in an email interview with Small Business Trends. Here are some top tips.
Show Your Everyday Life
One of the best things about Instagram is the ability to form authentic connections with others on the platform. In order to do that, you need to be willing to share real moments from your everyday life and some behind-the-scenes shots from the operations of your business. This can help potential customers get to know you as they would with friends or individuals using the platform. It can also simply help you start conversations with other users.
Cunningham says, “I have used instagram to show people what my life looks like so I could build a connection with my audience. Specifically for other youth who wanted to build a business; it’s great for them to see that I am the one actually doing the work. When consumers see and feel the real people behind the brand they pay attention more and want to learn more. I didn’t know much about feed curation and making it pretty, to this day I use Instagram to share my story and my mission plain and simple.”
Stick with It
Instagram is also free to use and has more than 800 million active users. That gives businesses the opportunity to reach tons of potential customers. However, it can sometimes take a bit of time and commitment. Cunningham just wants entrepreneurs to know that the investment is worth it.
She says, “I always advise other young moguls to take advantage of Instagram’s large platform and reach. When starting out, it’s hard to make that initial impact in the market without spending a ton of money. Instagram is a free tool that supports small business looking to reach other small businesses and customers. Stay committed, and I promise you’ll see that your consumers will follow and want to support you and your mission.”
Believe in Your Abilities
For young people that might not think they have enough knowledge or experience to start a business, Cunningham also wants her story to serve as proof that running a successful business as a teen is possible. In fact, entrepreneurs of any age can struggle with that belief. But with access to tools like Instagram and success stories like Cunningham’s, you can get past those doubts and make it work.
She adds, “I want people to know that real success is possible for kids like me. If I can build an empire as a kids so can they. It all started with lip balm and now I have built a brand that includes a non profit that supports girls and women globally, a young mogul business prep school and there is more on the horizon. Without Instagram, it would have been so much harder to grow my brand into the social good company we are today. I’m proud of that.”