Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms owned by Meta Platforms, Inc., with over 1 billion active users and growing each year. This social media platform has become an important aspect of the lives of many people as a means of sharing their life stories with their friends and family.
However, Instagram isn’t just a social app for showing everybody what a great life you’re having, it provides multiple tools and serves as a platform for creators and brands alike to make some serious cash.
In fact, during Facebook’s first Creator Week in June last year, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Our goal is to be the best platform for creators like you to make a living. And if you have an idea that you want to share with the world, you should be able to create it and get it out there easily and simply — across Facebook and Instagram.”
And he’s not kidding as new tools like Instagram’s Affiliate Program were rolled out, amongst many other new features and re-designs.
If you want to get in on the action and build a successful social media empire, you’ll need to learn how to use Instagram effectively. I will discuss how to make money on Instagram as a creator and as a business owner.
Here are some of the most common and best ways to make money as an Instagram influencer or creator:
1. Partner with a brand
If you are an influencer with a following of 5000 or more, partnering with a brand would be the most common way of monetizing on Instagram. There are two ways to go about it – either doing a sponsored post with a fixed fee for the brand or becoming a brand ambassador to represent the brand’s products over a longer period of time.
If you have built a following around a particular, for instance, fitness, you can reach out to fitness brands asking if they would like to collaborate with you to promote their fitness products like dumbbells, lifting straps, etc on your Instagram profile.
And of course, the juicy part that everyone is interested in is, roughly how much can an influencer charge for a sponsored post?
The fee you can charge will vary depending on several factors such as the size of your following, the type of niche you are in (there is more demand for certain niches like fitness and beauty), and whether it will be a permanent or temporary post and the type of post you are doing, for example, standard posts would normally cost more compared to story posts.
The ultimate price depends on the negotiation between yourself and the brand you wish to work with, but here are just some figures according to a report:
- 1k-10k followers: $10-$100 per post
- 10k-50k followers: $100-$500 per post
- 50k-500k followers: $500-$5k per post
- 500k-1m followers: $5k-10k per post
- 1m+ followers: $10k+ per post
- Celebrities can earn several hundred thousand to over a million dollars per post and this will normally be done through the agency representing the celebrity. How most of us wish we could be under this bracket!
2. Affiliate marketing
Another great way for Instagram influencers to monetize on their followers is to promote affiliate offers, this is called affiliate marketing. What exactly is affiliate marketing, you might ask?
Affiliate marketing involves you acting like a salesman for a brand’s product, this requires you to get an affiliate URL link (with a special ID unique to you) that will lead people to the seller’s e-commerce website when the link is clicked on, and when a purchase is made through your affiliate link, you get a commission for it.
Now hold on to your horses, I know what you’re thinking, where in the world do I find affiliate offers to promote? I got you covered because here’s a list of 14 Best Successful Affiliate Marketing Websites that you can check out.
Also, Instagram recently launched its very own native Instagram Affiliate Program where you can find branded products to promote on your Instagram profile to earn commissions.
Source: Instagram Creators
Just note that you will not be able to use URL links in your Instagram posts, so you will need to add all your affiliate links into a link-in-bio tool like Linktree and put your Linktree link in the bio of your Instagram profile.
3. Sell merchandize
If you prefer to keep the profits for yourself instead of getting paid on commissions, you can also consider selling your own merchandise where you have full control over the prices of the products.
Products can be sourced in bulk for cheap on Alibaba, some manufacturers would even help you to print your own branded logo onto the product if you meet a certain minimum order quantity (usually over 500 pieces).
When the products have reached you from the manufacturer, you can start to go trigger happy with your camera and take lots of photos and do video reviews of your product to share with your followers!
However, I know it can be a hassle to fulfill every single order from your home or office, perhaps you do not like the trouble of packing every single order and sending them to the post office for delivery (although a lot of couriers these days would pick up the parcel from your place).
You can consider the model of dropshipping where you do not need to hold physical inventory. When a customer purchases from you, you can simply place the order with the supplier and provide the supplier with your customer’s address.
(Note: please remember to tell your supplier not to put your invoice into the parcel as this would make your customer really upset if they saw the actual cost price of the product!).
4. Offer a workshop or class
Got certain expertise or particular skill like painting or playing an instrument that you want to teach your followers? Why not create an online workshop that you can offer to your followers?
It does not need to be complicated, if you are a fitness influencer for instance, you probably already have a particular fitness routine that you follow in order to achieve certain results for your body, the only difference is that this time, you are recording it down on video, explaining the process, and using some software to do video editing.
There are some online platforms out there like Nasacademy that can host your online workshop and allow your followers to pay in order to access your content.
There are many kinds of businesses that can use Instagram as a means of making money, here are some of the most common and best ways to make money as a brand owner:
5. Run Ads on Instagram through Facebook Ads
If you are a business owner of a branded E-commerce online store and you need highly targeted traffic to be channeled to your online store to make purchases, a fantastic thing to do is to run Facebook Ads and optimize your ads for Conversions. Facebook will be able to place your ads on different placements on both Facebook and Instagram, such as the feed posts, stories, Instagram reels, Instagram shop etc.
There are many videos on Youtube and courses that you can purchase that can teach you how to run and scale up a successful Facebook Ad campaign.
Remember to always test a campaign with a small budget with different ad creatives (different images, video, copywriting) and test different interests under the detailed targeting option at the ad set level. Turn off ad sets and campaigns that fall below the breakeven ROAS (Return On Ad Spend), and scale up or duplicate campaigns that are doing well.
Furthermore, in order to create a high-converting Instagram Ad, you might need to test video ads in addition to image ads. This might require you to do a video recording of your product explaining to your audience their pain points and how your product can help them solve their problems.
However, what if you are targeting an English-speaking country like the USA but you come from a country like France or Germany and do not have a natural-sounding American accent? Are you going to practice an American accent for a couple of months before doing a voiceover? Or pay hundreds of dollars to hire a voice actor? Definitely not!
A more economical option would be to use a text-to-speech software, there is some software out that has very natural sounding ai voices that sound human-like. These tools will help you in creating a very convincing video ad that will be highly converting.
Another way of promoting your brand is to partner with influencers that are related to the niche of your brand. If you are selling baby toys, then you would want to look for an influencer that has a family with little kids and reach out to them.
You can find influencers directly on Instagram by searching for hashtags related to your niche, for example, #familytime or #familygoals if you are selling baby toys, look for posts with high engagements (e.g. 500-2000 likes, 100-500 comments, depending on the size of the following you are looking for) and check out that influencer’s Instagram profile to see if his or her profile is in line with your brand identity and if you like what you see, you can reach out to that person through a private DM
However, expect that only a small number of influencers will ever reply to your DMs or emails because they are constantly flooded with messages every day especially if they have over 100k followers. It is a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of all potential influencers that you have found and keep track of those whom you have messaged and received a reply from.
Make sure everything is agreed upon in black and white – how much and what kind of posts to be done and the total price, whether it should be an image or video, what copy to include in the description and what words to say, and when the posting should be done. You might even want to draft out a contract for both parties in case there are disputes later on.
7. Set up Instagram Shopping
If you already have an Instagram profile for your brand and are currently showcasing your products there, why not capitalize on Instagram Shopping to allow your followers to easily make purchases by having Product Tags in your Instagram posts? This will take your followers to your Instagram Shop when they click on the ‘View Shop’ call to action button.
This is a convenient and direct way to allow your followers to immediately make a purchase when they see something they like on your Instagram profile, without them having to navigate through your online shop to find the same item.
The more convenient it is for someone to make a purchase, the more likely they are to do so and this will definitely help increase your conversion rates.
As Meta continues to pour in capital to improve Instagram with new features and designs to help creators and brands make a living, so too must you use this to your advantage.
Furthermore, if you are already an active Instagram user and love taking photos and videos and posting them online, you might as well try to monetize this as a side hustle with the above-mentioned methods.
As quoted by Tony Robbins, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” So start on your path of success today and take massive action!