If you want to sell your products and courses, you need to have millions of followers. More than that, they have to like your posts, comment on them, and share them. Anything short of this will mean business failure.

Teen influencer Arianna Renee has a following of 2.7 million on Instagram but couldn't sell 36 shirts.

Except none of that is true. Let me introduce you to Ariana Renee.

When TikTok was still musical.ly, this teen rose to superstar heights and has a staggering 2.7 million followers on Instagram. A few months back, she decided to launch a new clothing brand. The company she partnered with required a minimum of 36 orders of her signature t-shirt in order to move forward.

Do the math. 36 orders from a fan base of 2.7 million. A mere 0.00133%

Teen influencer Arianna Renee has a following of 2.7 million on Instagram but couldn't sell 36 shirts.

So you see … you have all of these obstacles and blocks in your own way – reasons that you aren’t or can’t succeed but the size of your ball field doesn’t always mean you’re going to be a winner.

Teen influencer Arianna Renee has a following of 2.7 million on Instagram but couldn't sell 36 shirts.

Let’s break this down.

  1. “I poured my heart into this drop.”
    I talk to so many people who tell me that they just HAVE to keep moving forward because this is their passion and reason for living. There’s a place for passion but it’s not always the right thing to push ahead with. Take Dan Henry, for example. He’s made millions online and is super awesome at what he does but do you know what he’s actually MORE passionate about? Music.
  2. “I flew out a photographer & a makeup artist & I planned weeks ahead & was lucky enough to gather some friends who modeled for me.”
    This reminds me of the people who focus on important (but not THE most important) things in their business. Like spending 5 hours on social media graphics when their time would be better spent focusing on content strategy or the outline for their product. While you and I could manage to pull out a decent marketing plan in a few week’s time, me thinks that the time spent went into the fun stuff and not the really important parts.
  3. “Knowing I’ve become super irrelevant, I already knew it was gonna be hard.”
    This might piss me off more than anything else. It’s like deciding to have a baby because your relationship is in trouble. When you’re irrelevant, you don’t soldier on. You figure out how to become relevant again and recreate your brand and business.
  4. “But I was getting such good feedback that people loved it & were gonna buy it.”
    This burns my insides. Do you know what friends, family, and people who want your approval do? They appease you.

    Of COURSE it’s a brilliant idea. YES, I’d definitely buy that course if you made it. Recently, in a Facebook Group, I gave some advice to someone who was in a similar situation – about to create a course based on the feedback that they had been given by their people and a bunch of randos in this particular group.

    When I suggested that she pre-sell her course to ENSURE a successful outcome she sloughed it off saying she was sure she was on the right track because people were telling her they wanted it. READ. MY. LIPS. The only way to know if people are going to buy it is if they actually buy it.
  5. “I sent out PR packages to friends but I didn’t get any feedback from them. The people I thought who would support me really didn’t nor did they share any of my posts. I’ve supported everyone’s music or whatever they’ve asked for my support on & I couldn’t even get it in return.”
    You can’t rely on your bestie’s to promote your stuff. Sure, go ahead and post things on your personal profile and ask them to share it around – I do that too! But it can’t be the pillar of your marketing plan.
Teen influencer Arianna Renee has a following of 2.7 million on Instagram but couldn't sell 36 shirts.

But then I checked out her IG.

  1. If I had to guess based on the comments I see on her photos, her account is jacked with male followers. Nothing wrong there – except when you go to sell women’s clothing to them.
  2. When you look at her photos, the aesthetic doesn’t match the t-shirt she created. Most influencers wear and use the products they’re promoting … you just can’t see her wearing something like that.
  3. There is a huge difference between a follower (on any platform) and a customer. I have 10K followers on Facebook – but that doesn’t translate into 10K customers, right? <<– now you see the importance of knowing your target audience.
  4. Fake followers are notorious on any platform. The people who slide into the comments with a 💯 or “great pic!”. While we’d all like to see our numbers climb, it’s just a vanity number. Just ask Ariana.

📷: Clark Van Der Beken, Alex Holyoake, and Nick Fewings