Profitability vs. Popularity


I think there are two different goals you can have, especially in your 20’s: profitability or popularity.

I want you to think hard about which one you are because I think a lot of people are probably going, “Well, CLEARLY I care more about making money,” and “I don’t care what others think I’m just doing me.”

No. Cut out all the stereotypical millennial crap and really think about this: do you care more about being profitable or popular?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine this.

  • Do you worry about how many followers you have on social media?

  • Do you worry about how much money is in your bank?

  • Do you check how many likes you got on a post?

  • Do you keep track of how many email list subscribers you’ve gained to turn into paying clients?

THERE ARE NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS. I am not trying to sway you one way or the other.

If you want to make boat loads of money and not be liked, you do you. If you’d rather make a difference in the world and not make a penny, awesome.

I’m just here to be your guide and teach you that there are two different goals. In fact, I am SO neutral in this that I have had BOTH of these goals at different points just in the last 6 months. Let me explain!

The Popularity Phase

Last summer around when I started Coffee with Kristi, all I cared about was being popular. I knew it, I didn’t hide it. I remember saying to Addison, “I just want to be a household name in the girl boss industry, like Rachel Hollis or Jenna Kutcher.”

I thought that if I was popular, the profits would soon follow. I told myself that the more eyes I had on me, the more my business would grow. I was under the assumption that popularity EQUALED profitability….

>>So why wasn’t my bank account growing in tandem?<<

This past Fall, I had around 6,000 followers and an average engagement rate of 15%. That’s AWESOME! I was averaging around 400 likes a post, which is great, and I was loving life on that front….

But I was broke.

To prove my point and make this way funnier, I’m going to read you a series of yo mama jokes that are so bad that they’re hilarious. Here we go:

  • Yo' Mama is so poor, I sat on a garbage can, and she told me to get off her roof.

  • Yo mama’s so poor, the ducks throw bread at HER.

  • Yo mamas so poor, she can’t even afford to pay attention.

  • Yo mama’s so poor, she chases the garbage truck with a grocery list.

LOL okay, all jokes aside, I seriously was so freaking broke that after I paid my rent one month, I legit had $9 left in my bank account. And that didn’t count utilities!

But something shifted for me in December 2018. Something shifted when Addison and I had to budget hardcore for a Christmas tree, and our moms each sent us a huge box of ornaments because we couldn’t afford to decorate it. We got dollar store Christmas stockings and the tree skirt was a piece of fabric from Jo-Ann’s because ya girl couldn’t get a “nice” one, even from WalMart.

Something seriously shifted in me this Christmas. I was like, Why the heck am I hardly making enough money to pay my bills? What would it look like if I stopped focusing on growing my Instagram and more on my bank account?

Everything changed, friends.

The Profitability Phase

Out of our desperation, in January Addison and I launched How To Launch a Podcast In 30 Days, which paid our rent entirely that month. We were ecstatic to have made a couple thousand dollars on something we made ONE time.

Next, in February, I decided to launch my first VA Mentorship program How To Be A Virtual Assistant In 30 Days, which if you listened to Episode 39 you know I made over $1,000 on it. I was so. freaking. happy.

Then finally in March, I challenged myself to take on twice as many Dubsado set-up virtual assistant clients than normal, yet turn down the smaller projects and pass them off to some of the girls who went through my program. That way, I would be taking on the most profitable project I do AND add on more valuable to those who go through the mentorship by giving them my referrals. It was a win-win and it seriously did pay off.

So what happened?

Throughout all of this as I improved my finances, learned to say no to the things I don’t love doing, and cut down on my non income-producing activities during the work day, I felt so good. But what happened to my popularity?

Welp, to put it simply, it plummeted.

Remember before how I told you that my Instagram engagement this Fall was up to 15% with 6,000 followers? Yea. Well, now I have just a little over 5,000 and I calculated my engagement rate over the last week—it is at an average of 1.68%. 1.68%!! That is SO low I was SHOCKED.

But here’s the thing: I love that this happened in the same exact month--my finances tripling and my engagement plummeting--because it is the perfect, most vulnerable example of profitability NOT equaling popularity.

I make more money on my VA for a day instagram account with 800 followers than I do on Coffee with Kristi with 5,000. That is the truth, my friends.

So, I said in the beginning of this post and I still mean it: I am not trying to sway you one way or the other on this subject.

If your goal is to be an influencer with a million followers and keep your day job, go for it girl. But I hope this episode showed you that if you have been caring more about being popular rather than profitable, just know that it is not “inevitable” that you will be profitable too.

>>Strategy and good business practices is what will make you rich, not a high follower account.<<

I truly believe you can make more money with 1,000 followers than 100,00 if you have the right strategy--and this March, I have been the prime example of this.

So friends, I hope you choose profitability OR popularity, and regardless of what decision you make you realize that they do NOT, by default, go hand-in-hand.

Kristi Monte