Instagram has almost one-billion people on the platform, and this is only set to grow. It has grown considerably in the past 5 years, and it is the best photo/video-sharing social app to reach and engage a wide audience. And you can make a lot of money from it.
And it’s not just for good looking people.
Even better, whoever you are, you can make Instagram work for you. Everyone wants to understand how to make money on Instagram. Let’s see.
There are three broad ways through which you can make money on Instagram.
Instagram Influencer is perhaps the most sought-after profession on the photo-sharing platform. Today there are an estimated 500,000 active people who earn a decent living by being Instagram Influencers. Typically known as ‘sponsored content,’ becoming an Instagram Influencer to make money requires more than just having a decent following, you need to be able to persuade your audience to buy the product you are promoting. The appeal of being an Instagram Influencer is that it doesn’t involve the headache of having to inventory or deliver the products by yourself; neither does it need for you to have any product list. In an ideal world, you get to be yourself, create high engagement posts, and promote brands, services, or products that truly fit your niche.
So how do you make money on Instagram by becoming an Influencer? Follow the steps listed below.
Being an Influencer is much like having your brand. You need to think, breathe, and live your brand, and that involves sticking to your domain of expertise. Are you a bodybuilder? Your domain is fitness and bodybuilding. Are you a fashionista? Then you have a ready-made domain in fashion, clothing, etc. Are you a vegan? Then you can become part of an upcoming and high volume influencer in veganism. You might be a traveller, a blogger, a vegan, but the idea is to stick to that one domain that you resonate with the most and then build your brand and ‘influence’ over your target audience.
No Instagram Influencer is complete without their audience. The audience you serve makes you valuable, and therefore brands pay you to engage with them. Almost 80% of Instagram influencers have an audience base of somewhere between 15,000 to 100,000 followers. If you’re not there yet, don’t worry, building an organic audience takes time, and there are no shortcuts.
To build your audience, start by putting up posts that ensure high engagement, learn from your audience on what they would like to see, and sometimes take their feedback to fine-tune your offering. Commit to consistent posting, the ideal posting calendar is one-per-day, but most importantly, commit to posting content on exactly what your audience wants.
Now that you have a sizable audience base, you must leverage this to work with brands to create highly engaging posts that serve your audience best. Remember, sponsored content can be quickly dismissed as they are perceived as a marketing tactic; as an Instagram Influencer, you should be able to seamlessly integrate the sponsored content with your regular posts.
So how do you partner with brands? Well, there are two ways to go about it —
Pitch to them directly — As an influencer who knows its niche, you can directly look for brands who you resonate with and contact them yourself and tell them what you can offer. You must be able to persuade the brands you are interested to work with by giving them details about your audience engagement rates, audience size/approach, and other relevant details.
Sign up with an influencer marketing platform — There are a lot of influencer marketing platforms available on the web that connect Instagram Influencers with brands who want to use instagram marketing as a part of their digital campaigns. AspireIQ, Upfluence, and Famebit are some of the best-known platforms to start with.
An affiliate marketer is different from an Instagram Influencer. An Instagram affiliate marketer is someone who is selling for someone else, but unlike an Influencer, the brands don’t pay upfront. It is a position where you sell/promote other companies’ products or services online and get paid a certain commission for each sale. How does this work, though?
Instagram rolls out product tags that affiliate marketing can make use of to redirect people to the product page or e-commerce website. Also, Instagram has a feature called Checkout that allows people to buy directly from the Instagram page; this helps increase sales directly from your affiliate marketing page.
Like an Instagram Influencer, choose your domain that you would like to be known for. Loved cooking? Start an account where you can share recipes and cooking ideas. Love reviewing electronic items? You can do a host of posts and IGTV videos talking about the various features of different electronic items. Unlike sponsored content, this approach is more about making sales.
And only when someone buys the product, you make money. On the bright side, you need to worry about fulfilling orders or keeping inventory.
In this approach, you need to sign up with the affiliate associate program and cannot directly contact a brand or company. Only if a company offers affiliate programs, you can work for them. Amazon is the best place to start. You then get your account and a link to the product that you can customize and creatively input it in your account.
Use your creative skills and design graphics, videos to post about the product, and once a customer buys it, you will earn the amount with an agreed-upon commission. You get to pick products from trendy catalogs as well as unique collections every week. The margin will be credited directly into your bank after the delivery of the product.
If you’re yourself a retailer or have your products or services, making money on Instagram can become even more fun and exciting. This is a great way to promote and showcase the products that you are selling. For instance, you love travelling and have a repository of vintage products and accessories that you have collected or know someone who manufactures it.
If you don’t have any products to sell, you can offer your expertise or service like — consultancy, writing, video production, marketing, etc. to serve your audience and then earn a fee out of it. Either way, whatever you choose to sell on your own, over time is the best practice as it creates a loyal and engaged customer base who buy directly from you, eliminating the need for any intermediary.
People earn side incomes and make decent money from Instagram, and you can do that too. If you make your page/account filled with unique and engaging content, you can appeal to a wide range of audiences who, with time, become paying customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re an influencer, affiliate marketer, or a seller yourself — you need an engaged audience to make money on Instagram. Nevertheless, Instagram is all about building an audience base before you can think of making money, but the path is laid out for you, and you can build connections as you grow through the process. Use the 3 foolproof ways to make money on Instagram and start your journey today!