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    April Showers Bring Cash and Insta Followers

    April Showers Bring Cash and Insta Followers

    April Showers Bring Cash and Insta Followers

    The week before spring break, I was the epitome of unproductivity. I spent around 3 hours a day grinding video games. I also needed an idea for to raise money for RISE, the spring charity. Bored and lethargic, I glazed over the prolific doodles in my APUSH notebook- and had a stroke of inspiration. Instead of wasting time on video games, I should start drawing and selling my art online for chairity!

    The next day, I snuck the family iPad to school to work on my designs. I also wanted to convert my art into stickers, so I found Redbubble, a website that handled all the printing and shipping. I only earned a small portion of my sales, but at least I didn’t have to pay anything to start. Finally, I started posting on instagram to publicize my sales. I was ready, right?

    At first, my parents weren’t too happy about my plans. They thought I would be too distracted from my studies, but I convinced them that my entrepreneurial skills would come in handy. My dad relented and let me use his Paypal to set up my shop.

    It actually took 5 days for Redbubble to process and approve my shop. I was so excited to actually start selling! My friends were interested in my stickers, but no one bought anything at first because they didn’t have money. I mass messaged all of my friends and marked down the prices to 3% in hopes of attracting customers. Many friends asked for commissions and I needed ideas, so I drew portraits of my friends at their request. Finally, one of my friends and someone from New York bought my stickers. I only made $2, but I was so excited.

    I sold more stickers, but I became more interested in my Instagram metrics than the actual sales. I had a creator account, so I could track my reach and insights on every post I made. My follower growth was slow but steady. In addition to advertising my art, I also promoted school events and memes to spice up my profile and expand my reach. On the days that college decisions were released, I went outside and filmed reels to comfort the anxious seniors. The reels sort of blew up and had hundreds of views. My friends shared the reel to their friends and told me about how touching it was. It was very exciting to see the impact of my creations!

    After spring break, I felt a lot more productive and renewed my sense of purpose. I’m glad that I found a method to inspire myself and others, and even make some money in the process!

    If you’re curious:

    Instagram: Tina Gao (@topgao720) • Instagram photos and videos