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How to make money on Instagram?

I started my journey on Instagram a couple of years ago and since then I have been able to build a stable income and make my own way of travel. The number one question I get asked is "How to make money on Instagram?".

How Many Followers Do You Need To Make Money On Instagram?

You might think that you need millions of followers to really make a good living on Instagram, and that takes years to build. But I’ve learned that whether you have 10k followers or 1 million followers doesn’t matter as much as you think.

1. Working with brands on Instagram

Once you’ve gained some following on Instagram, brands will pay you to promote their product. You’ve seen all the #ad posts on your feed – bikinis , wetsuits , kites , flights, hotels, technology. This is the most obvious way to make money on Instagram and the one most influencers rely on when they first start out.

How much can you make from brand collaborations?

Most guides on how to make money on Instagram will focus on this revenue channel. They’ll tell you, you just need to make it to 1 million followers, charge $10k per sponsored post and you’re all set. You just need to do a few posts per month, right?

In reality it doesn’t really work like that. Finding brands to work with, negotiating rates, managing your content schedule, keeping track of all the sponsored posts requirements, and making sure you have enough good deals each month can be too time-consuming. Managing all of this takes A LOT of time. Having an agent can help. But still, there are only a certain number of posts you can do each month. The biggest problem with this revenue channel is that it’s not scalable. And you need to have a larger following to start making decent rates.

Your rate for a sponsored post on Instagram will be based on how many followers you have. As a general guideline, for every 100,000 followers, you would be able to charge between $500 to $2000 for a sponsored post.

That does not mean you need to have 100k followers to start charging. In fact, we think you should charge for sponsored posts no matter how many followers you have – even if it’s less than 5000.

Where you fall within that range depends on a few things:

  • How strong your brand is. If you’ve built a strong recognizable brand, you are more likely to have real influence on people.

  • Your connection with your audience and your engagement rate. High engagement rate means your audience is paying attention to what you are saying to them and are more likely to purchase something you are recommending. It also means more people are seeing your posts.

  • The match between your brand and the brand you are going to promote. Even if you have a strong brand and engaged audience, your ads might not be effective if you are trying to promote products that are not relevant to your followers.

  • Your negotiation skills. This is really important in such a saturated field. How well you present yourself, how you backup your rates with stats and results, as well as how confident you are can have a huge effect on the rates you are able to negotiate.

  • The kind of companies you are working with. Not all brand collabs are equal. Of course larger brands or ones that are more successful are able to pay more for promotion. In general clothing and swimwear brands have lower rates than consumer product companies or airlines.

2. Content creators

Another way to make money on Instagram is through original content creation. Many of the brands you see on Instagram also need daily content just like you. And usually they don’t have someone in-house  to create photos and videos to meet their needs. So instead, they pay influencers to create content for their own social media channels or website.

This is a great way to make money if you don’t want to commit to posting too much sponsored content on your own account.

3.Starting Another Channel

Once you have a successful Instagram, it’s just a waste not to have another channel. Whether it’s a blog, YouTube or Pinterest, you will be able to grow quicker than if you start from scratch. You already know how to create good content and build an audience. And your different channels will feed off of each other, making it easier to generate traffic and revenue.

4.Creating Your Own Product

For me creating and selling something of your own is the best way to make money on Instagram.

  1. Because it’s your own. You can design and price it however you want, and you can completely control the quality and customer experience.

  2. You can choose exactly when and how to promote it. No need to give yourself deadlines and stress over deliverables.

  3. 100% of the profit goes to you.

  4. It’s scalable. A lot of work goes into closing a brand collaboration and usually you only get paid once when you finish. With your own product, you only need to work on creating it once. And it can keep bringing you consistent income over time.

  5. You can create something bigger out of it. Once you create your first product, you’ll just want to keep creating! The feeling is addictive and only the sky is the limit to the kind of company you can build.

  6. You don’t need a huge following to make money. If you are targeting your audience well, you can sell a lot of product with not a lot of followers. While you need at least 100,000 followers to start charging brands a decent rate, there is no minimum followers to start selling a product. You can sell a lot with as much as 10,000 followers if your account is very targeted. This is one of the main benefits of having your own product!

  7. You know your audience. It’s no coincidence that a lot of hugely successful brands these days start out on social media. As an influencer, you are already so close to and in touch with your audience. You get direct response about everything you do, you know what they like and how they react to your product. And you can respond more quickly.

Have any questions about making money on Instagram? Let me know in the comments! I am always happy to help.

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