The likes of Mrs. Hinch or Kylie Jenner may have you wondering if it’s actually possible to earn money from your own Instagram account. It’s mind-blowing to think that some celebrities (and non-celebrities) can earn thousands, even hundreds of thousands, from just one Instagram post!
But do you need millions of followers to be able to make money from your account? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Maddyness.com reports that micro-influencers with 1000 – 10,000 followers earn on average just over £1,000 per month. However, the more followers you have, the more money you can earn. Mega influencers with over 1 million followers earn in the region of £11,000 per month.
So, you know it’s possible to earn an income from your account but how exactly do you do it?
I’ll be taking a look at some of the most common ways that influencers earn money from their Instagram accounts.
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Affiliate marketing allows influencers to earn commission from sales they inspire. Whenever someone buys something or signs up to a service via your link or promo code, the sale can be traced back to you and your commission paid by the company you have partnered with.
Once you have built up a decent following in a particular niche (such as fitness, beauty, personal finance), you can start to approach companies for affiliate offers.
Some of the more popular affiliate networks include Ultimate bundles, Awin, Amazon Associates and Skimlinks.
Sell your own products or services
Many influencers make money from their page by selling their own products or services. For example, many personal finance influencers make money by selling budget sheets or debt trackers they’ve created. They simply design the template in Canva or another design platform, turn it into a PDF and then offer it for sale on their page. Links in Instagram posts don’t work, so you need to create a link in your bio that takes the reader to the product on your website.
The beauty of this is that once the initial work of designing the template is done, you can sit back and watch the money roll in without doing another thing. It’s pure passive income. You can do the same for creating courses, coaching programmes or ebooks. once the initial work has been done, it becomes completely passive. Obviously the more followers you have, the more people you can get your product in front of and the more money you can make.
Sponsored posts for brands
This is one of the most common ways to earn money on Instagram. Companies will pay you to put their product out there in front of your audience. This won’t work if you only have a few hundred followers though, as brands will want their product/service to be showcased to as many people as possible. Ideally, you’ll need above 5000 followers and a high engagement rate (the rate at which your followers interact with your posts, including sharing and commenting) for brands to be interested in working with you.
Remember though, you need to stay true to your identity. Any brands you promote on your page should be a good fit for your niche. For example, if you usually post about eating out and anything food related, suddenly promoting weight loss products for payment is going to damage your reputation. Take care to only promote things that you care about or use yourself, or at least fit in with your regular posts.
Start an Instagram shop
With an Instagram shop you integrate your e-commerce store with your Instagram profile. By doing this, you can promote your products directly to your followers through your posts, stories and the shop tab on your profile.
The Instagram Shop feature allows your followers to easily check out your products in the app and then head over to your ecommerce shop with just the click of a button. This removes the need for lots of messy links.
Anything that helps to make viewing and purchasing your items as easy as possible is more likely to make you money. After all, if your followers can’t see your products, they won’t be able to purchase them!
What you need to make money on Instagram
While it’s relatively easy to make money on Instagram, it’s important to remember that you will need a few things in place in order to succeed.
If you only have a few hundred followers to begin with then your potential audience size is low. This isn’t going to be very attractive to companies who will be paying to get maximum exposure. They are looking to pay influencers with a large following so that their product or service is seen by as many people as possible. They hope to make money from those followers; so, the more followers you have the more money the company will make. They are not going to waste their money on influencers with a limited amount of followers as it won’t be cost effective for them.
While it may be lovely to have lots of followers, unfortunately, it’s not enough on its own. If you want to make money from Instagram, these followers need to be engaged. If you get hardly any likes, comments, shares or saves on your posts, then you’re very unlikely to make any money from your Instagram page.
On the other hand, if you only have 1000 followers but they are fully engaged and are sharing your posts and commenting and liking, then the potential to make decent money is there!
In order to increase your engagement rate, you need to be genuine. Your followers need to be able to trust you and find your posts interesting. They need to know what your page is about. If you don’t have a focus and post about beauty one day and mental health the next or jump from cooking posts to baby related content, your audience won’t get a true sense of who you are and what you’re about and they will lose interest. This will see your engagement rate plummet. So, be true to yourself, focus on a topic you’re interest in and passionate about and be consistent.
While it is entirely possible to make good money from your Instagram page, even with a relatively small amount of followers, it’s important that you work hard to build an engaged audience. You can do this by being genuine, posting about something you feel passionate about and have a real interest in and being consistent with the type of content you post and when you post.