There are a lot of stories about how much money people can make being “social media influencers.” But what exactly does that mean? How much can you make on Instagram? How many followers do you need? Here’s what you need to know about how to make money on Instagram.
How To Make Money on Instagram
If you’ve developed an engaged and growing audience on Instagram, you could start working towards making money. Here are seven ways you can make money on Instagram.
- Become a brand ambassador.
- Promote your products or services.
- Get paid for your Instagram photos.
- Repurpose and sell your old stuff.
- Create your own Instagram shop.
- Open your own e-commerce store.
- Monetize your content.
1. Become a Brand Ambassador
Once you’ve built a following on Instagram, look to see if you can become a brand ambassador for companies that want to reach your followers. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram users with more than 100,000 followers can make around $700 to $900 for each post they create. This price can be even higher for users with at least 500,000 followers, earning between $2,000 and $3,000 for creating sponsored content.
Instagram influencers who can engage with their followers could potentially connect with brands. Before reaching out, make sure you know how to do the following:
- Market yourself when dealing with big brands.
- Earn free merchandise instead of cash payments for promoting campaigns.
- Avoid scams or other missteps like accepting cash outlay to promote brands.
2. Promote Your Business, Products or Services
If you have a service, product or skill to share, you could turn your followers into customers. For example, use Instagram to advertise your tutoring, makeup or freelancing services. If you’re skilled at making handcrafted items or clothing, take pictures of those products and put them on Instagram. Converting your personal account into a business account will open up new possibilities.
Some ways you sell products on Instagram include:
- Open a shop on Instagram to tag products that people can buy directly in your shoppable posts.
- Add the shop link to your profile.
- Start a live shopping stream.
- Add product stickers to your stories to tag products for sale.
- Add a shop tab to your Instagram profile. The Shop tab is where your profile visitors can find all the products you’ve tagged in your Instagram posts, including the content that features them.
- Create curated product collections.
- Enable Instagram checkout so people can buy and pay for items directly.
For further exposure, running ads on Instagram is a good way to increase exposure for your products and services, and it doesn’t have to cost you a bundle. Instagram has a comprehensive advertising guide on its site to help you get started.
No matter your product, business or skill, you can market yourself to your followers and earn money. Post pictures of whatever it is you’re trying to sell, and let your followers know how they can contact you for more information.
3. Get Paid for Your Instagram Photos
Maybe you don’t have a business you want to promote or products and services to offer, but perhaps your Instagram photos are jaw-dropping. If so, you could make a ton of cash on Instagram by selling your photos for a fee.
Try selling your photos independently, like Daniel Arnold. The photographer was struggling for money, but he made thousands of dollars in one day by offering an Instagram sale of his photographs, Forbes reported. He had users email him screenshots of the 4×6 prints they wanted to buy from his Instagram archive for $150 each, and the response was overwhelming — he received almost $15,000 worth of requests.
4. Repurpose and Sell Your Old Stuff
Cleaning out your closet can be great for minimizing clutter but it can also help you make some extra money. The good news is that you would also be upcycling and repurposing things like home goods or clothing that might have been discarded otherwise.
Selling your old stuff is a great side hustle to make some cash without having to become an influencer.
5. Become an Affiliate
Affiliates differ from influencers in that they are more associated with making sales for partner brands and earning commissions. Though similar, the direct sale is different than just spreading the word.
A unique promo code or a trackable link keeps score as to how many clicks are being generated into sales. These affiliate links should be placed in your bio or Instagram stories you produce. Depending on what brands you work with will determine what affiliate market or affiliate programs you subscribe to.
6. Open Your Own E-Commerce Store
The beauty of being an Instagram entrepreneur is creators from every arena have the opportunity to directly sell their products. If you don’t want to be an influencer, affiliate or brand ambassador because you just want to sell your wares, opening your own e-commerce store is a viable option.
By selling your products or services directly you don’t have to worry about another party’s interference. Instagram offers many tools for individuals and businesses looking to participate in e-commerce. Popular things to sell on Instagram include:
- Services you provide
- Physical goods
- Handmade goods
- Digital items
7. Monetize Your Content
Establish what your purpose for creating your content is, and once you have that down, you can form a business plan. To start earning immediately you can even add in-stream video ads. But first, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my product?
- What is my niche?
- Who is my audience?
- How often can I post?
Having followers that are engaged is also key to being an influencer. If your followers frequently like, reply to and share your posts, they’re more valuable than those who just scroll on by. That’s why it’s important to allocate time towards engaging your followers by responding to comments and continuing interactions to build loyalty; it can help you monetize your audience in the future.
How Many Followers Do You Need To Make Money on Instagram?
If you have a niche that you can tie to a specific product category that’s big on Instagram, you may be able to be an influencer with just 10,000 followers — or even fewer. Your hobby or passion may be profitable — fashion, travel, fitness and food are popular categories.
Increasing your followers should be an important part of your Instagram plan, so make sure you’re always engaging with your current followers and seeking new ones.
The Best Ways To Build Your Instagram Following
As mentioned already, in order to start making money on Instagram, you’ll want to increase your number of followers. Start by connecting with people you know, then branch out to similar users and watch your audience grow. Here are a few ways you can attract and retain followers:
- Post images catered to a specific audience: Your pictures should be interesting and relevant to people who fit within the target demographic you want to reach. For example, if you want to represent products related to home décor, you should start by posting pictures of your home, household items or products you love.
- Add hashtags to your photos: Hashtags can extend your reach by guiding people to your photos on your Instagram page. Research your desired brand, industry and audience to learn what hashtags people are searching for and add them to your photos.
- Improve your photo quality: The higher-quality images you post, the more attention your photos will receive. Take the time to learn some photography skills and download an editing app. For example, Perfect 365 can produce “flawless” selfies, and Snapseed is great for retouching and improving the quality of photos.
How Much Extra Cash Can You Make as an Influencer?
As an influencer, you can charge for sponsored posts based on the number of followers you have. According to Influencer Agency, you can expect to earn between $800 and $1,500 per post if you have 25,000 to 50,000 followers. You can expect to earn $1,500 to $2,000 per post if you have 50,000 to 100,000 followers. If you have over a million followers, you can charge $10,000 per post or more.
Instagram users don’t get paid by Instagram, and the platform itself does not pay for posts, likes, ads or shares. If you want to make money from Instagram, it’s up to you to post the content the people want to see and share and to make relationships with companies that will pay you to bring their message to your followers.
It will take time and commitment to fine tune your brand and build a loyal, growing and engaged audience, but the effort could be rewarding. Especially if you enjoy the creativity of taking photos and putting reels and stories together.
- How do you get paid on Instagram?
- Some of the most popular ways to make money on Instagram are selling a product or service, becoming a brand ambassador or getting paid for sponsored posts. To make significant money you'll need a growing audience of responsive followers, so be sure to work on engagement.
- How many followers do you need on Instagram to make money?
- You could make money on Instagram with just a few hundred followers if they're the right audience and you're selling the right product. However, many brands will require you to have a specific number of followers and level of engagement before they will consider working with you.
- Do you get paid for views on Instagram?
- Unlike other social platforms, Instagram does not pay creators for likes, posts or views. You'll need to sell products or find sponsorships with brands to make money on Instagram.
Tess Frame contributed to the reporting for this article.
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- Influencer Marketing Hub. 2022. "Instagram Influencer Sponsored Post Money Calculator."
- Shopify. 2022. "How To Sell on Instagram (A 2022 Step by Step Guide)."