How to make money with Instagram
Many of us spend a lot (too much) time on Instagram. It's a very popular social network.
And it may not have escaped your attention that some people seem to have managed to build a real business thanks to Instagram.
These new "influencers" are more and more visible on social networks and have managed to put their audience to good use. For a good reason: they have everything that brands are looking for, namely an interested and listening audience.
If you're interested in this approach, you should know that there are several ways to make money on Instagram - and we'll walk you through them in this article.
The different ways to earn money on Instagram
There are 3 main ways to make money on Instagram:
- Sponsored content for brands. Here, brands pay you to publish posts on your Instagram account highlighting their products or services.
- Affiliate partnerships. With affiliation, you earn money by selling other brands' products. We'll explain how this works a little further down.
- Selling your products as an entrepreneur. Here, the field is free: you can decide to sell physical products, digital products, or even services.
This is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think about making money on Instagram. And it's normal: it's the most known tactic.
You've most likely already encountered sponsored posts on Instagram.
A sponsored post is when a brand pays you to publish content on your Instagram account (whether it's a post or a Story) highlighting their products or services.
As you can probably imagine, one of the prerequisites for sponsored posts is to have a fairly large number of followers. It is among other things the number of followers that you have that will define the number of offers that you can hope to receive from brands, but also the price at which you will be paid.
But that's not the only thing that matters. Other metrics that are a bit more technical are also important, such as the engagement rate on your posts (we'll see this point in a bit more detail in the rest of the article).
In any case, the more your account is followed and engaged, the more you can expect to earn.
When you start, some brands may start by offering to send you their products for free in exchange for a post.
Please note: as soon as your posts are published as part of a collaboration with a brand, you are required to mention them in your post.
Unlike sponsored posts, affiliation is focused on generating sales for the partner brands, not just showcasing them, in exchange for a commission.
If you've ever seen influencers post links to brands or unique promotional codes, they are probably affiliate links.
These links or codes that you post on your Instagram account allow the brand to track the number of sales you've generated. You then earn a commission for the sales that come from your account. These commissions can be a percentage of the sale or a set amount that is paid to you for each purchase.
This means that here, you only earn money when your followers buy the product in question (or subscribe to the service). So you'll need to convince your audience to buy the product, not just liking your post.
As with sponsored posts, it's important to stay ethical in your affiliate partnerships and not promote anything and everything so as not to damage your credibility. You should promote products that you like and/or use.
You are also required to indicate when the links you promote are affiliate links.
Which affiliate products to promote?
- For starters, you have two options when it comes to making money with affiliate marketing on Instagram:
- Start with your brand. That is, keep an account with your name and image, in a specific niche (lifestyle, sports, or any other passion) and showcase products that you use or recommend.
- Create a dedicated account for affiliation in a specific category. For example, create an Instagram account dedicated to animal welfare and put affiliate links in that area. It'll usually be harder to get your name out there with this tactic, but the advantage is that you can create multiple accounts in several different areas. And it's a good solution for the shyer among us.
To find products to promote, you can go through affiliation platforms. These sites aim to connect brands and advertisers. Some of the most popular ones include:
How to feature affiliate links on your Instagram account?
You've probably seen Instagrameurs highlighting affiliate links in their stories, encouraging you to "swipe up" to access the product.
This is one of the best features to promote affiliate links. Especially since you can only have one link at a time in your Instagram bio, and links below posts are not clickable.
Unfortunately, swiping up is reserved for Instagrammers who have more than 10,000 followers.
An alternative solution to be able to highlight multiple links from your Instagram account is to go through a solution like Linktree. It allows you to add several links in your Instagram bio by grouping them all through a Linktree link.
Sell your products
Here, we are more in the idea of launching your own business and promoting it with Instagram.
So the goal is to create a product or a service and to put it forward on Instagram. And it can be anything and everything, depending on your skills: handmade masks, clothing, jewelry, or even services like software or apps.
Then you're going to have to work on building an audience that will be interested in your product - and therefore post quality content. You may also need to consider doing some advertising on Instagram, which of course requires a financial investment in addition to creating your products.
One of the advantages of Instagram is the possibility today for your followers to buy directly from your account thanks to Instagram Shopping. This feature is still little used in France but is starting to develop well in the United States. We can therefore hope that it will be deployed more and more in our country.
To take advantage of it, you need a business account (free, to be configured from your Instagram profile), and to create a product catalog.
You will also need to create your eCommerce store outside of Instagram. This is what will allow you to receive orders, track inventory, etc. I especially recommend using Shopify, which I have used myself in the past.
Even if selling your creations on Instagram can be done in parallel with a job, it's a bit more restrictive here. Partly because the work is double: you will have to both develop your audience and sell your products (although you will certainly need a few fewer followers than in the two previous cases).
Personal and financial investment maybe a little more important.
The advantage is that you are 100% responsible for your business and its direction. You are not dependent on brands and their willingness to work with you.
How to get started on Instagram
1 Find a niche/theme for your account.
The ideal way to succeed on Instagram is to give your account a fairly specific theme.
Even though many influencers seem to be launched in the rather broad field of "lifestyle", the more you specialize, the more likely you'll attract followers interested in your content.
There are a lot of themes. Some of the most popular ones are cooking, fashion and fitness. But you can technically choose any theme.
2 Build your audience
This is of course the most difficult step.
Because it's not enough to find a nice nickname and post a picture of your spaghetti bolo from lunch with a few hashtags to build an audience on Instagram Otherwise, your cousin would already have thousands of followers.
building an audience takes time, but it also requires commitment. And to respect some basic rules like:
Post at the right time, and consistently. Regularity pays off a lot on Instagram. Use post-scheduling tools, like Tailwind which I pse and like.
Post what your audience wants to see. That is, depending on the theme you've chosen, you'll need to post content that will interest your followers. And that includes posting quality content. This is really what will make the difference. Avoid poor quality photos, graphics made in minutes on Paint, etc.
Use the right hashtag, ad the right number. Mastering hashtags is an art. Without using them, your content may never be discovered. Using too many can get you punished by Instagram. #risky
Engage your community. The best thing to get your account discovered is to have an active community. That is, followers who like, comment,d share your posts.
Build relationships with other influencers or businesses, and participate in the conversation around topics related to your account.
Avoid at all costs illegal techniques such as buying followers, which will come back to you at some point.
3 Get in touch with brands
There are three ways to partner with brands:
- Contact companies directly. Do it in a polished and professional manner. Ultimately, you need to give them a good reason for wanting to collaborate with you. You can write to them on their Instagram account, or even contact them from their website. It's usually best to have a certain number of followers before jumping in.
- Use an influencer marketing platform. These platforms aim to connect brands and content creators on Instagram. Some of the most popular ones include Octoly, square, and HivGivenchyyfor example. If you're heading more towards affiliate marketing, go back to the list of platforms presented earlier in the article.
- Wait for brands to contact you. If you are popular enough, brands will likely after a while. Of course, it's less easy for you in this case to find brands that match you to work with, and you may have a bit of sorting to do. You will also need to have a fairly large number of followers.
How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?
You're probably guessing, but there's no universal answer.
But in any case, it's probably less than you thought.
The truth is, while it helps, it's not all about size. There are other factors to consider as well, such as:
- The niche you're in. Some niches are easier to monetize, simply because the number of possible partnerships is greater. For example, the field of fitness can allow you to work with brands of sports equipment, clothing, food supply. ents, etc..
- .e engagement of your followers. We talked about this above, but if you have a large number of followers who don't like, comment or, share your posts, you're bound to be less attractive to brands.
The great thing about Instagram is that you can do it on top of your salary to start. And therefore take the time to develop your community little by little, without risk. Because quite honestly, not everything will happen overnight.
In any case, to give you an idea, some partnerships can be born from 1 000 subscribers.
How much can I expect to earn on Instagram?
First good news: influencer compensation has exploded in 2019. To be more precise, the average price of a sponsored Instagram post has gone from about €122 in 2014 to about €1,491 in 2019.
But we're talking about an average here, so it also takes into account influencers with several million followers. And this is not a figure that you have much chance of reaching if you have "only" 5,000 followers.
One study showed the following numbers:
- Accounts with less than 10,000 followers earn an average of €74 per post
- Accounts with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers can earn about € 170 per post
- Accounts between 100,000 and 1 million followers can earn more than €560 per post
- For accounts with more than 1 million followers, the numbers vary.