S.Avanna Jones is a classical pianist pursuing her master’s degree at Brigham Young University.She just happens to have over 35,000 followers on Instagram.
Her growth on the platform is exactly what you’d expect. She posted casually for a year or so before the video went viral, but Jones never wanted to be an influencer. In fact, she actively resists labels.
In 2019, Jones started an Instagram account to combat the “isolation” that comes from being a pianist. “I can spend up to nine hours alone in her practice room each day,” she says. “Unlike other instrumental players in an orchestra, band or symphony, the piano is a solo. My account was initially a community-building effort: to find the world outside the practice room. ”
She sporadically posted videos of herself playing music for a year to her 300 followers without any hope of grandeur.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” she says. “I wasn’t smart about posting, but I didn’t really care.”
That all changed when Lille compared playing the piano four years ago to playing the piano today caught a virus.
“We realized we had a really large audience,” she says. “I hadn’t found them yet.”
As her follower count grew, she spent more time planning her content and planning her posting schedule. Now she posts a reel every day.
“As I grew up, I realized that Instagram doesn’t promote every post to every follower,” says Jones. “Creators, and regular Instagram users alike, think that posting too much annoys your audience, but the reality is that not everyone who follows you sees all of your posts. You can really get followers by just publishing your content in the first place and getting people to watch it.”
Jones’ posts address other professional musicians: pianists in her age group. The first post on her account is nearly illegible to non-musicians, which she says was intentional.
“My account is different than what you would expect from a traditional ‘influencer,'” she says. “I wanted to meet other pianists, connect with them, and find new places to perform. “
According to Jones, there are four niches for musicians on the Internet. A performer (who Ms. Jones identifies her account with), an educator, a cover her artist, and others who switched from music to something else.
“Among all these options, a performer account felt like the right route to reach my goals,” she says.
But can an Instagram account like LinkedIn really work? Jones says it’s been pretty good so far.
“This year I’m flying to California to record an album with someone I met on Instagram,” she says. “It’s a success for me. That’s what my social media is for: networking. I’m not trying to sell you vitamins.”
But it’s not just vitamins.Jones isn’t trying to sell you anythingShe has received sponsorship offers from various brands, all of which she has turned down.
“All my income now comes from Lille,” she says. “The classical music community … I don’t want to say ‘pretentious’ because I am part of it … it is very professional world. “
However, with the rollout of the Reel Play Bonus program, Jones said her income earning potential has been stretched to the limit.
“Each person who posts a reel will have monthly income capped based on the number of followers once invited to the program.”
Jones says he can’t make more than $8,500 a month.
“I’m not online for the money,” she says. “And I don’t want future conservatories where I audition, or even other professional musicians, to look at my account and find a reason not to take me seriously,” she says. I’m a musician first, and then if people want to see me as an influencer, they can if they want to.”
Her social media platform of choice underscores that decision. Social Media Jones’ choice to limit her account to her Instagram was intentional.
“I tried TikTok and didn’t like the classical music audience there,” she says. “TikTok users are often young, and the app itself has a three-second attention span.”
According to Jones, it’s the other way around on Instagram.