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How to Make Money on Instagram? 4 Ways to Build Your Career

CEO Updated: December 01, 2023
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With more than 1 billion users sharing hundreds of millions of images and videos every day as of 2021, it’s not all that shocking to know that a lot of big Instagram users are raking in big bucks from the millions of people who follow them and engage with their posts.

What is even more inspiring is that most of them are just normal people who have remained persistent in posting and interacting on their accounts to build up their followers over time.

How to make money on Instagram?
How to make money on Instagram?

If you enjoy engaging with Instagram and have a large number of committed followers, or if you’re at least willing to invest in time and effort to start developing it, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to start making hundreds or even thousands of dollars from this one social network on your own.

There are many ways you can start earning, and while they seem “simple” on the surface, bear in mind that any kind of online income generation strategy takes time and time to work before you start seeing real results. Here are four popular options that you need to start making money on Instagram relatively quickly if you have great posts and a big follow-up.

Can You Make Money on Instagram?

Is it possible to make money on Instagram?
Is it possible to make money on Instagram?

Yeah, you can make money on Instagram. As long as you can express your business visually and creatively for marketing purposes, you can tap into millions of users of Instagram. Now you might think: right, I get that it’s possible, but how exactly can I make money on Instagram?

To get started, here are a few ways you can make money on Instagram:

  • You can focus on sponsored posts for brands that want to reach out to your audience, making you the perfect medium to do that.
  • You could become an associate and gain money by selling goods that belong to other brands.
  • You can even sell your own goods, which could be physical or digital, or even a business. Basically, you can sell services and goods just like in any eCommerce business environment.

Enthusiasts of this social media site are also searching for new ways to make money from Instagram. Don’t worry; we ‘re going to unravel the mysteries of how people make Instagram money in detail in this post, keep reading on.

First thing first: Attract followers

Attract followers on Instagram
Attract followers on Instagram

First thing is: what’s your current number of followers? You will know from the outset that most brands expect a good and committed follow-up to create a working relationship. If you’re lacking in this field, there are a few easy ways to increase the number of followers when creating a skilled quest for your account.

  • Fill out your bio with all the information you need: this includes your contact information, what you post about and where you’re from. Add a few keywords and even a few hashtags to make sure you can quickly locate the right kind of followers. Also, provide options like “book now” links in your bio in order to book appointments through Instagram.

Something like this: Beauty Blogger from San Francisco with a travel fascination. Company inquiry: [email protected].

  • Post regularly: To increase your numbers, you want to post multiple images every day… but be cautious, don’t post them all at once, or this will actually work against you! If you can’t commit to a lot of posts, then just make sure you publish one quality photo every day.
  • Take good photos: That takes me to my next point. Make sure your images are of the highest quality with attractive effects. There’s no point in posting a weak image, so really take your time to make sure you ‘re producing the highest quality images.
  • Use relevant hashtags: It’s unlikely that your photos can go very far without relevant hashtags. Get acquainted with the best ones to do with your field of interest and make sure you include them in every single article. I use the TagForLikes app for ideas and to save my custom ideas.
  • Engage with your followers: You can’t expect any interaction to come directly to you. Make time every day to engage with your followers or anyone involved in your industry by commenting on and enjoying images. People will be drawn to test your account and hopefully join your loyal followers if you connect with credible content.

Okay, so you boosted your number of followers – sweet! It’s time to start making money now.

How to Make Money on Instagram?

Ways to make money on Instagram
Ways to make money on Instagram

Instagram is perfect for selling well-photographed items. Put this another way, if your products are photogenic, you ‘re most likely to be able to sell them with Instagram.

Also, in case you’re photogenic yourself or can take some awesome pictures, you ‘re more likely to have a big follow-up that can be capitalized to sell. In general, there are at least four business models to make money on Instagram:

Become an influencer and make money from endorsement posts

Kylie Jenner as an Instagram influencer
Kylie Jenner as an Instagram influencer

With your role as an influencer, you can reach out to brands that you can promote in your posts. An influencer is someone who has developed a reputation for doing and sharing stuff online. These people have a strong follow-up and can inform their audiences about trends because of the degree of confidence they have created in their online presence.

Brands prefer to work with influencers to make sponsored posts that help spread the word about their goods. Influencers need to handle many things at once, like the size and scope of their Instagram pages or confidence and dedication they create on their content.

Top influencers make thousands of dollars an endorsed Instagram post. Imagine doing one sponsored post a day, you can easily make tens of thousands of dollars a month. A typical influencer post includes the creation of content, such as an Instagram post or an Instagram story, that includes the promotion of the brand or its products.

As an influencer, you need to understand who your audience consists primarily of, so you know which brands would best fit your audience. If you have moved to an Instagram business account, you can check your numbers a little more through your Instagram Analytics report.

Now, maybe you’re wondering, how do I find brands to work with that would be willing to pay me all this money for a sponsored post? Well, if you’ve built an impressive online presence, chances are that major brands will reach out to you.

But, you can also find brands that you think best suit your personality and values. You can reach out to brands by yourself (through Instagram or through their websites) and try to secure a contract, but you can also list yourself on the influencer platform to improve your chances of becoming a major brand.

How to find brands to work with

If you’re big enough, the chances are that the brands will find you. But you should also look for brands to work with who are on a similar level in terms of personality and beliefs, so the audience won’t feel like you’re sold to the corporate money.

You can reach out to them and try to make a deal, but you can also list yourself on one of the many influencer markets out there to increase your chances of being discovered:

  • Fohr Card: Fohr Card integrates your Instagram, blog, YouTube channel, and other social platforms to generate an influencer “card” that shows your different profiles and the overall reach of brands shopping around for a partnership. You also have access to a list of brands and their wishes, so you can take the initiative to reach out to them.
  • Grapevine: If you have 5000 or more fans, you might have the ability to work with brands on the Grape Vine marketplace.
  • Crowd Tap: Do small content development activities to create incentives. This is great if you have a smaller audience. Only available in the U.S.
  • indaHash: Brands are bringing together campaigns that you sign up to join. Post a picture with required hashtags on Instagram and get paid for it. You need 700 committed followers to be qualified.

The rules differ when it comes to sponsored content, but to be on the safe side and value the interest of your audience, consider adding a # sponsored hashtag to denote sponsored posts. If you need reassurance, about 69% of the influencers in one report said that being transparent about sponsorships did not affect how consumers perceive their recommendation.

The rules vary when it comes to endorsement content, but to be on the safe side and value the interest of your audience, consider adding a # sponsored hashtag to denote sponsored posts. If you need reassurance, about 69% of the influencers in one report said that being transparent about sponsorships did not affect how consumers perceive their recommendation.

As an extra advice, be careful not to lose the confidence of your current audience in making money from supported posts. That is why it’s always a good idea to show with an Instagram hashtag that it’s an endorsement post (for example, by adding #endorsed or #sponsored).

Become an affiliate marketer and make money by selling other people’s products

An Instagram Affiliate
An Instagram Affiliate

You can sell the goods of other businesses and get a share. Many companies are marketing their goods through affiliate programs. There are a lot of people who make Instagram money this way.

The distinction between the influencer and the affiliate is that the affiliate is working on making sales to the partnering company in exchange for a fee. The influencer, on the other hand, is mainly aimed at creating awareness. Affiliate marketers make money on Instagram via a trackable link or promotional code to make sure that any clicks are converted to sales.

Build entertaining posts, so that you can advertise the goods without being salesy or pushy. The thing is, as you can only have one link on your Instagram bio, you would want to add a landing page to your affiliate link. In each post, you should include a caption telling that the product can be purchased via the Instagram Bio link.

At first, it might sound like a challenging game, but affiliate marketing has a variety of expansion options if you’re planning to grow. You can increase your presence by including a website and/or other social media or marketing channels.

Try reaching out to one of the many online traders that offer affiliate programs that you can participate in. Or you can also explore popular markets such as:

  • ClickBank: An affiliate network with a tier-based commission that is open to all.
  • RewardStyle: An invitation-only fashion and beauty influencer network paying 20% commissions.
  • Amazon’s Affiliate Program: A popular option that offers a 10% commission.

While it sounds like a number game, affiliate marketing is an art, so you’ll have a greater chance of success if you have a strategy to get into it. So, broaden your online presence to include a website and other marketing platforms.

If you need more insights into how affiliate marketing on Instagram works, you can see our Affiliate Marketing on Instagram guide here.

Make Money on Instagram by Selling Your Services

Sell photos on Instagram
Sell photos on Instagram

You can make money from Instagram by selling your services. There are a ton of Instagram accounts that sell services such as photography sessions, tattoos, personal training sessions, eyelash extensions, and hairstyles.

Most of these small companies are run from home, so they do not have (or even want) a company website to share their talents. In this situation, Instagram is the best way to reach out to people and attract clients.

A great way to get out there is by discovering accounts within the same niche and geographical area, filtering those with a huge follow-up (10K and upwards), and following as many of their followers as possible. Chances are, this is the crowd that’s going to want to see your posts. And if you can deliver a better or cheaper service than your rivals, they are more likely to book an appointment with you.

Sell your own physical products.

Sell physical products on Instagram
Sell physical products on Instagram

You can sell any physical product you make yourself or buy from suppliers. This conventional eCommerce retailing usually involves stocking some inventory, which means that you would have to spend some start-up capital on stocking some products.

It also requires a warehouse where you can keep the products, such as a spare room at home or a rented store. For example, if you buy some product from a manufacturer based in China, you will need a place to store it until it is ordered and shipped to customers.

As of February 2018, items can be sold directly to Instagram via Instagram Posts and Stories. By simply tagging products in your Instagram images, you can take your Instagram followers to your product pages where they can quickly purchase products.


Final Words

So now you know the four potential ways to make money from Instagram, you’re all set to start building your empire. Whatever path you want to go down, keep your personal brand in mind, and treat you as a company. The more you understand what you can bring, the better your message would be for potential collaborators!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. Sam aims to support more than a million online businesses to grow and develop.

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