Mastering Instagram Marketing to Grow Your Revenue with Josue Pena

I’m joined today by probably one of the most influential people you could meet in the last five years. Josue Pena is a specialist at making people famous on Instagram. That’s right. If you want to be famous on Instagram Josue Pena is who you want to talk to!

Becoming an Instagram Expert

Adam: How did you come to be known as an Instagram expert?

Josue: I’ve been doing this Instagram thing for about six to seven years, starting in 2012-2013. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic, and my goal was to become a professional soccer player. So I thought, I need to put myself out there and build my social media.

Because it makes logical sense that a club will sign somebody who has a bigger following, who can sell more tickets, rather than somebody who’s not.

In 2016, I got the chance to become a pro because of my social media following through an agency called Soccervista. They wanted to use me as a case study to showcase it and I had a social media following. I was a semi-pro and played against other professional teams, but I realized that I wasn’t going to make millions of dollars doing that.

So I decided I’m gonna do something else that’s more rewarding, has more freedom and I can ultimately make more money and do what I want. 

So that’s what I did.

In 2016, my first paying client owned a big insurance company and wanted to grow his following on Instagram, and saw that I was able to do it. He said, “Yeah, I’m just going to pay you to teach me, how much is it going to be?”

I just blurted out the highest number I can think of and it was $3,500 a month. I mean back then, I came from DR (Dominican Republic) as an engineer with a degree in engineering and an MBA but was used to making like $400 a month as an engineer in the Republic, so $3,500 was almost like an entire yearly salary. 

That’s my kind of story, how I got into the business and then fast forward, ups and downs, sideways, lost it all, built it all back up, and stuff like that. And now we’re here.

Is Instagram Marketing Dead?

Adam: Is Instagram over? Did TikTok just completely take over it and now there’s no point being on the ground? 

Josue: I would say no. Because still to this day, when you go to a conference, people ask you for your Instagram, not your TikTok and people use Instagram DM’s more than TikTok DM’s. TikTok just added TikTok stories, which I think is interesting. Obviously, they’re trying to compete but I see them both as complimentary.

People know me as an Instagram guy, but we take a more omnipresent approach, where we tackle pretty much every platform.

Instagram or Youtube to Become Famous?

Adam: If someone said, “You know what I’m sold? I definitely wanna become famous on Instagram.” Is there a point where they should do YouTube instead because YouTube’s been around longer? 

Josue: So I would say this, YouTube is a juggernaut. YouTube is not a social media platform. It’s a search engine that just has videos. So it’s two different platforms. The thing with YouTube though, is that it’s a much longer play, so it’s a lot harder. That’s why Instagram is 9 times out of 10, the best play because you can grow very quickly. 

Instagram is 9 times out of 10, the best play because you can grow very quickly.”

Then ultimately anyways, if you start building your YouTube channel, you can send the traffic from Instagram to your YouTube channel. So it’s like you’re double-dipping by that point and you can grow the user channel faster just because you have your Instagram account.

So to start, focus on one, master it, and become the best at it. But then afterward, the goal is omnipresence. So everything, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, everything.

Mastering Instagram Marketing

Adam: How do I, or somebody else, get good at Instagram? 

Josue: It’s funny to say you got “famous” because I do a little bit more than just famous. In my opinion, being famous is more of a vanity metric and you should focus on the revenue, not just the following. Now, one does correlate to the other when it’s done correctly, but you should focus on the revenue, not the follower.

So our approach is mainly to grow the accounts profitably, not just to grow the account for the sake of numbers. There are tons of different things that you can do on Instagram to grow, but if I had to say stay away from one thing, apart from buying fake followers, it would be doing giveaways. 

To grow, number one is making sure that whatever business you’re in, whatever offers you have it’s clearly stated on your Instagram because your Instagram will become a mini funnel. People will go to your Instagram account and they need to know exactly what you do.

Exactly how you help them, exactly what problem you solve and what actions they need to take. From there, similar to a funnel, a landing page with your name and email there on your Instagram account. It should be “click the link in the bio” or “DM me whatever word or whatever.”

Then from there, it needs to have a clear content structure that allows it to presale the offer for you. That’s what we call the foundation and we do not move forward until we have that clear.

Because like I said, that will pre-sale people on my offer, so when I get to sell them or get the opportunity to sell them, everything’s much easier. We’re spending $100 and making $2,000-$3,000 back in a seven to 14-day window!

How to Increase Revenue Through Instagram Marketing

Adam: So how does it work?

Josue: Number one like I said, the foundation offers. Two, premium offers. Premium offers must be in place to make it profitable, make it long-term, and also get you better quality clients. Low-paying clients will be a pain in the butt versus people that pay a premium. 

To grow and make sales, you need a sales process. I like to use a lot of DMs and we have automation in place to make sure that people DM us a specific keyword. You trigger the automation, you send the, let’s say a video training or via sale or to book a call or something like that completely automatically.

Then on top of that, you can pre-qualify people in them and follow a very simple script.  

Then ultimately the marketing piece comes into play. And right now what we’re seeing is shoutouts and Instagram ads, Instagram DM ads are absolutely crushing it.

It’s in the business manager, it’s a setting that says “Instagram DM” and it allows people to see an ad, click a button and it automatically sends you a DM and you automatically send a reply all from within Facebook. That’s obviously very powerful and we’re seeing like $5 a lead, $4 a lead, which is super cheap.

Then shoutouts allow us to spend $100 and get a hundred followers back. Those one hundred followers watch your content and get pre-sold on it. Then all you have to do is close one person from 100 people or one person from 200 to make your ROI.

At a cost per follower of $1 or $2, so 50 to 100 followers, we take them through the sales process, get them a phone, and if you close one or two you effectively turn $100 into $2000 or $3000.

Adam: How much does it cost for Shoutout? Is it like a lot of money? 

Josue: It depends. What paid shoutouts for those that don’t know, is simply going to a bigger influencer page and then paying them for a promotion. It’s a very simple process.

Last month in March, we spent $8,945 and made $175,000 in sales and $153,434 in cash collected. We have clients who spend $200,000 or $300,000 a month and they’ll make $2 million from it in a month.

Lanell (Live Listener): Does it make a difference whether it’s a Business page or a Personal page? Are you seeing more people do better with a personal face versus a business page? 

Josue: The way we work is always with a personal brand. So we like people and people buy from people. We see this all the time, like Grant Cardone, he’s built his wealth from a personal brand, Russell Brunson, the same thing. So that’s ultimately what we’ve seen work the best.

But having said that, we do have a way where a business can have a face behind the brand. As long as it has a face behind the brand that’s pretty much all you need.

Adam: What are the risks of doing this? What are some of the issues you’ve seen or problems that can happen? 

Josue: I had to go through a lot to figure things out cause we were growing so quickly that things just got outta hand sometimes. But what we saw is that it might be hard to understand the quality of traffic on Instagram is trash percentage-wise, but because it’s so cheap it’s extremely profitable.

Let’s say you spend $100 and you get 100 followers from that. Probably close to 80 followers of that are going to be Indians because India is the second-largest population in the world after China and they have billions of people. And there’s no way to get around that. 

So you got 80% are going to be Indians and people that are not qualified, but 20% is going to be good. From that 20%, you’re going to get one or two to close the deal. But you spend $100 to get that and you made $2000-$3,000, so it’s worth it ROI-wise.

But percentage-wise, Instagram traffic is trash when you compare it to Facebook, where you can target super specific through a pixel. But obviously, your cost on Facebook ads will only get you 3x or 4x or less because the cost for acquisition is a lot higher. 

Also, if you’re like me and you hate creating content, you need to be ready to pay for some content. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it needs to be something formatted in the way that Instagram likes it. What we’ve seen the most is that DM’s work the best.

If you don’t wanna do DM’s, hire a DM closer or get a DM closer in place. And make sure they know that this is gonna be worth their time. 

But ultimately, the reward is 100 times greater because you’re not only building your business, but you’re building a digital real estate asset that increases in value over time. Meaning the number of followers you’re getting today is going to keep growing.

It’s going to get you connections, get you opportunities, not just in your business, but also in general. If you want to get in whatever room and you’re verified with a hundred thousand followers, it’s a lot easier to meet and network with them.

Adam: So what would you say S.M.A.R.T Businesses do?

Josue: Smart businesses do Instagram. They use Instagram and use it to not only grow the following but to monetize it in a very easy way. As I said, the easiest way to do that is through a course, products, coaching program, stuff like that because they have a high ROI behind it and it works with eCom too. That’s one thing smart business owners do but the flip side is also to invest. Meaning they not only invest in marketing but also invest their money to make even more money right now. That’s why I would say smart business owners grow their active income with Instagram and then make the passive income at crypto. That’s what I would say.

Adam: How many Shoutouts should somebody be looking to do daily if they wanna grow their company? 

Josue: So my goal is, let’s just say you’re starting from scratch, $500 to $1000 as an initial budget is more than good enough. You don’t need more than that. That will get you probably like 10 to 20 shoutouts depending on the niche and the accounting and stuff like that. But even with 10 shoutouts, you only need to close one sale to do a 3x like one sale at 3k, you only need to close one sale. And if you spend $1000, you can probably get 500 to 1000 followers from it. Closing one sale then is very easy. We have people that launch a Shoutout today, spend $200, and make $8,000 three days from now.

The beauty about it is that there is no pixel. You can be very aggressive with your marketing. You can show behind the scenes, you can show before and after pictures, and you can give guarantees on stuff that you can’t do on any other platform. And the reason is that there’s no AI that’s going to ban you. So if you’re in fitness, you can show before and after pictures and be very aggressive in your marketing and have a very direct response. 

It becomes an email list that you control, that you own, and have access to. You can pretty much say whatever you want and that’s ultimately why the ROI is so high because you’re being very direct in the marketing and very straight to the point, something that you can’t do on Facebook. 

Adam: What makes a good shout? What should we keep in mind when building a shout?

Josue: It again goes hand in hand with what your offering content structure follows. For example, let’s say Adam and you have a business and you help people get shredded and get the girl their dreams. Basically, all you do is take a selfie of your former result, your own testimonial.

It’s like, “Hey guys, the number one thing I see men struggling with to not get the girl of their dreams is that they’re not only not in shape, but they’re also struggling to know how to approach them. They’re scared and they don’t even know how to talk to them. So right now we’re looking for five men who want to not only get shredded over the next 90 days but most importantly, date high-quality women. If that’s you DM me the word, special discount and I’ll send you some details.” That’s it. 

That right there is a 30 seconds video then you can use that same video, not only on your profile, but you can also use it on the Shoutout page, but you can also use it on Instagram ads. So you’re creating content in a way where you can repurpose it all across the board without having to create more. I honestly hate creating content but this allows me to spend two hours a week creating all the content that I need for all my marketing and all the platforms. So it’s it. That’s what I would say makes it a good Shoutout, the offer, the marketing hooks, and the structure of the content itself that you follow. 

Adam: If somebody wants to learn more about you or find more from you, where can they do that?

Josue: Shoot me a message on Instagram. Actually, let’s do this. I recorded something two days ago and this I think is gonna be super valuable for people and it’s only for my internal clients. We launched a new business about 45 days ago, so DM me on Instagram, with the keyword “Smart Business” or just “Adam Lyons” so I can know you came from Adam and I’ll be happy to send it over to you. It’s @pena 

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About Adam Lyons

Beyond his own portfolio of growing companies, Lyons is an advisor for over 500 brands across the US and Canada. Lyons has been featured on the Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Forbes, Bloomberg Business and the NY Post. He has been awarded 3 different ‘Wicked Smaht’ Awards due to his innovative business strategies and multiple 2 comma club awards. Companies he has worked with include PepsiCo, Nike, Nescafé, Discovery Digital Networks and many smaller brands.

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