By David Gould, Staff Editor
Marketing-minded Proponent member Nick Kumpis has a good thing going with Instagram Reels, an extension of the Instagram platform that’s designed to compete with surging TikTok. Having built his Instagram followers roster to over 10,000, the Santa Clara (Calif.) Country Club director of instruction received an invitation—you might call it a challenge—from Instagram.
“One day in June I looked at the top of my Instagram page and it told me I was eligible for Bonus Reels,” says Kumpis. “I did a web search and found out they had $1 billion budgeted for the program, which got my attention. Then I asked my 14-year-old daughter what she thought—she told me, ‘Dad, you should do this.’”
The formula in his case was maximum monthly earnings of $1,200, based on whether he could reach—or how close he could come to reaching—11 million views. “It seemed like an absurdly high target, but the IG audience is so enormous you just need a microscopic piece of it,” explains Kumpis. “In my original 30-day period I reached 8.5 million Reels views.”
To date his PayPal account has racked up $942 for only a few hours’ work over a six-week period, and his Instagram followers roster has nearly doubled to 23,000. While the money isn’t overwhelming, it’s certainly welcome—especially since he creates and posts video on social media anyway.
“In this business it’s really helpful to find ways of making money that don’t involve more teaching—even online teaching,” he says. “Creating these videos is work, but it’s not a lot of hours and more importantly it’s not an energy drain on me, especially since I can repurpose what I’ve already got on file.”
He finds it particularly enjoyable to add music to various segments of each Reel, finding strategies that have been proven to please the IG viewership. “They seem to love driver swings, and they know how to search them out,” says Kumpis. “I shot a lot of swing video at the PGA Championship and it was educational for me, studying the players, so obviously it’s an eye-opener for the general viewer.” A Rory McIlroy driver-swing Reel shot at Southern Hills—with the accompanying music switched up at impact—got 4,000 views in just a couple of days.
Kumpis, at age 44, is established as a coach but also feeling as entrepreneurial as ever. He knows that growing his social media presence can feed any number of personal enterprises. “One of the reasons I wanted to work with Instagram Reels was to support Smartline Putting, my green-reading system, as well as the putting training aids that I sell,” he says. “I’ll be doing some posts on my putting products in the near future, to an audience that’s grown a lot. That translates to more free advertising because of finding a way get in front of more eyeballs.”