How to Make Money on Instagram: The Ultimate 2021 Guide

instagram marketing, make money on instagram

Last Updated on April 5, 2021

Instagram has been around since 2010, and many users have amassed more followers than they know what to do with. Initially a mere photo-sharing app, it has quickly turned into a safe haven for people looking for inspiration.

The popularity of Instagram among younger audiences makes it easy to reach and engage with them. And that’s where the opportunity to make money on Instagram comes in!

There are nearly 1 billion Instagram users, and 60 percent of this population discovers new products through the platform. One-third of the users have purchased something there on mobile. How many of your followers do you think are part of this number?

7 Proven Ways to Make Money on Instagram

Unlike other social media sites, Instagram does not allow clickable links on posts, making it difficult to send traffic to multiple web pages at once. But this doesn’t make it any less reliable for making money online!

You can make money on Instagram as an influencer, affiliate marketer, or business owner. It’s possible to wear more than one of these three hats as an Instagram marketer. It all depends on your engagement rate (not follower count) and whether you have your own products or services.

Here is more insight into making money on Instagram in 2020.

1. Create Sponsored Posts

Instagram has quickly turned into the go-to social network for becoming an influencer. More people than ever are using the platform to pursue popularity and build a following. Because 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, you can rake in some good cash by publishing sponsored posts.

Many businesses are shifting to influencer marketing as their preferred strategy for reaching new buyers. While it’s true that you won’t land a deal with Nike or Microsoft as an average influencer, you can contact smaller brands and get some gigs. If you grow big enough, more prominent brands will start reaching out to you.

Here is an example of a sponsored post:

Instagram Sponsored Post
Image Source

How to find brands for sponsored posts

So, aside from direct contact, how else can you find brands willing to pay you? Here are some of the best influencer marketplaces to check out:

  • indaHash: If you’re a small influencer, this platform is great to start with. You get a chance to work with some of the best brands and make money with Instagram. All you need to do is fill a form and connect your account.
  • Glambassador: Here, you can collaborate with brands matching your niche for free. As a Glambassador, brands can easily find you through your profile. You can also apply for active campaigns in their directory.
  • Intellifluence: The Intellifluence influencer marketplace is free for anyone who wants to earn money from Instagram followers. After joining, you need to create an interesting bio that can serve as a resume for getting work. Payment occurs in the form of free products or cash.

How much to charge as an influencer

You can either charge per post or for an entire campaign that goes over a particular period of time. Since the deal is negotiable, there is no specific amount of money to charge. However, a good number of reports state that $10 is the ideal price for one post if you have 1000 followers on Instagram.

It’s good to look up some Instagram influencer earnings calculators online before making a decision. If the brand contacted you first, the best practice is to let them make the initial offer. Just remember that you’re in control!

2. Become an Instagram affiliate marketer

Affiliates work by promoting products and services in exchange for commissions. Typical affiliate programs involve unique links and promo codes for tracking. Even though Instagram only allows one clickable bio link at a time, it’s possible to drive traffic to it and make huge earnings.

Moreover, it’s now possible to add swipe-up links to your stories. If the call-to-action is niche-specific and interesting to your fans, they won’t hesitate to check out the page. One advantage of these links is that they act as limited-time-only promos that prompt users to click fast before the offer expires.

Check this example of an Instagram story with a swipe-up link:

swipe-up affiliate link
Image Source

Here are some places to find products to promote:

  • ClickBank. Being one of the largest affiliate network sites online, ClickBank is worth your sign-up. The only shortcoming is that some countries are restricted from becoming an affiliate on the platform.
  • CJ Affiliate. This ClickBank alternative also has lots of product options. It’s easy to filter products by category, serviceable area, and more.
  • Amazon Associates. Another great affiliate program to join and earn up to 10 percent in commissions. Whatever your niche is, you can share an Amazon product with your followers to make money on Instagram.

Another option is to find individual companies with an affiliate program by searching “the niche + affiliate program” on Google.

Remember to shorten your links using a service such as bit.ly to make your links a little attractive.

3. Sell Your Own Products

Many businesses have identified Instagram as an ideal platform for generating sales. And the number is only increasing!

This upward trend of selling on Instagram is because people use it to find product recommendations. Instagram responded by adding sales features such as the shop button, product tags, and in-app checkout to make shopping easier on the app.

While an Instagram business account works well, your personal account can make all the magic happen. You can choose a day or two each week to promote products that your followers resonate with.

It can be quite hard to get fans for an Instagram business profile from scratch. That’s why I recommend that you start by using your current account if it’s the only one you have. Along the way, you can use it to send buyers to your new business account. Moreover, an attractive profile with some personality is much better for bringing sales than a faceless one.

Creating a website for your business is essential for getting more buyers. One easy tool to start an eCommerce site is Square Online. If you already have an online store, you can link to it through your Instagram bio.

4. Become a Brand Ambassador

Another advantage of being an interesting Instagram user is that you can land a brand ambassador job. Brands like having someone to spread their word on a regular basis. I’ve seen many new content creators bag these gigs after going viral on Instagram.

Going viral isn’t a “must-happen” thing for companies to consider you. But any eye-catching Instagram profile has one or two posts that got a significant amount of likes and comments. All you need to do is be fun, unique, cool, or whatever word you think suits the concept.

In most cases, companies will find you and make the proposal. However, you can also apply for a brand ambassador program. Regularly browsing through the accounts of brands in your niche helps spot these opportunities, and you can strike while the iron is hot.

Being a brand ambassador brings a standard salary in the range of $40 to $50,000.

Take the example of Nusret Gökçe, a Turkish butcher and chef nicknamed Salt Bae. He became famous for his technique in preparing and seasoning meat. In September 2020, Marfrig (a leading beef production company) chose him to promote its brand in the international market.

instagram brand ambassador
Image Source

5. Find Clients for Your Freelance Business

Another way to take advantage of the high number of brands on Instagram and make money is by finding clients. Aside from posting high-quality photos of nature on Instagram, you can offer photography services.

That’s not the only example! If you love puppies, how about starting a pet sitting service and posting about it? Or write about those cute little ones for related brands? Whatever your skill, it’s possible to find willing buyers on Instagram.

If clients see how determined you are with your field of expertise, it’s easier for them to hire you. Your Instagram bio is most suited for announcing your skills. Visitors to your profile can quickly know what you’re all about before scrolling further.

Every once in a while, post some of your best works if possible and say something about being open to new part-time jobs. Remember to use relevant hashtags to boost the reach of such posts.

For instance, something in the format of “# niche + freelancer” or “# niche expert + for hire” can put you in front of the right clients. Also, use related hashtags to search for freelance jobs on Instagram.

6. Sell Your Photos

Another way to make money on Instagram is by selling photos. Many brands love using authentic images in their content. Their presence on Instagram makes it easy for them to notice your photos. And that is why this is an awesome opportunity.

As you already know, Instagram is one of the leading photo-sharing networks. You can take advantage of this by using the platform to showcase your portfolio. You don’t have to fill your account with photos. A few high-quality ones will do the trick.

If you’re a model, identify the brands that might require such services and make a proposal. But that’s not the only type of photos you can sell. Any interesting pictures of landscapes, animals, or food can also earn you money.

While professional photographers are the ones most likely to make sales, almost anyone can be successful. You can hire a pro to take photos for you and then sell them on your account. Other than that, starting simple and improving your skills is the way to go.

7. Offer Account Management Services

Social media management has become one of the top ways to make money on Instagram and other sites. If you’re good at growing Instagram followers and getting significant engagement, becoming an Instagram account manager is something to consider.

You might be surprised by the number of people and businesses struggling to get 1k, 5k, or 20k followers. Such account owners will be pleased to hire you, especially when your follower count surpasses theirs.

There is no degree required to land an account management job. But it’s also good to have a certification or two to improve your success rate. For the most part, what you’ve done and can do with your skill is what matters.

This position requires you to know the trending topics and hashtags in a particular niche. You’ll be required to create high-quality posts and monitor them through metrics such as likes, comments, and shares. It’s all about maintaining and growing the account that some individual or company assigned you.

How Many Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram?

The short answer is, just a few.  Assume that you only have one follower. And it’s a person that has been looking for a product or service you sell. They probably will buy it from you as soon as they see your post.

The chances of such an example occurring in real life are slim. But, hopefully, you get the whole point.  Having 1000 followers that are very niche-specific can get you more sales than 10000 followers spread over a wide variety of interests.

Moreover, a good number of users buy from an Instagram account they don’t follow. In short, you can make money with 500, 1000, or any other count of Instagram followers. The more, the merrier!

How Much Money Can You Make on Instagram?

If you’re a top-tier influencer, you can make millions with a single deal on Instagram. But if you’re not established like Kylie Jenner, who makes over $50,000 per post, your income depends on several factors.

The money you make as an affiliate marketer or business owner depends on the product’s price. For influencers, there are three categories:

  • Micro-influencers (less than 10k followers). One study indicates that such accounts made $88 for each post.
  • Mid-tier influencers (10k to 100k followers). These accounts can make an average of $200 per post.
  • Top-tier influencers (100k to 1m followers). The price here varies a lot. The average is $670 for one post.

Always remember that what’s most important is engagement.

How Do You Calculate Your Instagram Engagement Rate?

You can calculate your engagement rate as follows:

  • Find the total number of likes and comments you have for one post.
  • Divide the result by the number of followers you have.
  • Multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Start Making Money on Instagram

There are several opportunities when it comes to making money on Instagram. The silly photos of bad hair day or funny videos of your pet can generate income for you if you apply the right techniques. Try something out and be consistent!

One more thing! Get this free eBook for more ideas to make money:

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About Mike Stuzzi

I'm a blogger and Internet entrepreneur who loves writing about money. I help Millennials become money-minded, make money, and manage their finances effectively.

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