There is no doubt that Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites since it rolled out in 2010. It is undoubtedly the most famous photo-sharing platform. With a billion users worldwide, there is no doubt as to its marketing power. With its huge potential to rake in money for an individual or a business, many want to know how to earn money on Instagram. There is no surprise there as we are probably spending so much time on it, so why not use all that time to earn money? Here’s how to get paid on Instagram
Over the years, Instagram has evolved from being a just a photo-sharing app to a shopping juggernaut. For example, it helped propel a Kylie Jenner into being the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. It has also helped build hype over Selena Gomez’ and Taylor Swift’s new albums. It has even helped keep the Kardashians and many other celebrities relevant.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, thus, it is ideal for selling products that look good on photos. If your products are photogenic or let us use the term “Instagrammable”, most likely you can sell them on the app. Also, if you are photogenic or can take amazing photos, you could build a following and use it to earn money.
How To Get Paid On Instagram, Plain And Simple
According to Hootsuite, three of the most popular ways on how to get paid on Instagram are as follows:
- Become an “influencer” and post content sponsored by brands
- Be an affiliate marketer that sell other people’s products
- Strike out as an entrepreneur and sell your own products
Let us talk more about each tip, shall we?
“How To Get Paid On Instagram” Tip 1: Become an Instagram influencer
You could choose to focus on being an Instagram influencer where you can earn from sponsored posts for brands that cater to your target audience. As of the first quarter of 2019, there are over half a million active influencers on Instagram (Source: https://influencerdb.com/blog/state-of-the-industry-influencer-marketing-2019/).
To give you an idea of the sheer marketing power of Instagram, marketers around the world spent more than $5 billion on influencer marketing on Instagram in that year alone.
This made Instagram the most popular social platform among influencers.
The world’s top influencers could cash in thousands of dollars per sponsored post. Imagine doing one sponsored post per day and how much money you can earn in a month! The figures could be mind-boggling.
If you want to take the influencer route to earning on Instagram, you have to strive for a decent-to-impressive follower count and a competitive engagement rate. This is possible if you are adept at making strangers on the Internet like and trust you enough to translate to sales for the brands you are endorsing.
What makes being an influencer so appealing to so many users is that all you need to do is be yourself and post about the products, services, or brands that help make your life what it is. You do not have to create or conceptualize your own product, all you need to do is post with your partner brands’ products and tell something about these and why you trust them.
But it is not that easy finding brands who will trust you and it will take time to build a strong following. You also have to balance your need for revenue with your values- after all you sure would not be too comfortable endorsing a brand you do not believe in. You have to make extra sure that everything fits your branding to a tee.
How To Become A Successful Influencer On Instagram
In a nutshell, here are a few pointers on how you can be an effective influencer (and get paid on Instagram):
Pointer #1: Come up with a personal brand and make sure you love it and are passionate about it. Do not force yourself into an image just because it seems popular. Users value authenticity above everything else, remember that!
Pointer #2: Know your audience. A typical influencer post includes the creation of content such as an Instagram post or an Instagram story that promotes the brand or their products. You need to understand who your audience mainly consists of, so you know which brands would best fit them and their needs and wants. If you have switched to an Instagram business account, you can research your numbers a bit more through your Instagram Analytics report.
Pointer #3: Build your audience. This does not happen overnight that is why patience and hard work matter. One way to grow your audience is by posting consistently, but make sure that your posts would appeal and speak to your target audience.
Pointer #4: Work hard in partnering with brands that you trust and believe in. You can pitch to them directly or you can sign up with what we call an “influencer marketing platform”. There are already quite a number of them out there like Upfluence and Famebit.
If you are able to create a remarkable online presence, there is a good chance that big brands will be the first ones to reach out to you. But, you can also find brands yourself that you think match your personality and values the best.
Pointer #5: Post honestly. Make it clear to your audience if what you are posting is spons Do not lose their trust in the process of making money from sponsored posts. A good idea is using the Paid Partnership tag or by using a hashtag indicating that a post is sponsored.
Pointer #6: Should you become a successful influencer you have to know your worth. Be in the know as regards rates for posting Instagram Stories. Know which engagement rates you should target. Learn how to properly negotiate with brands. Do your research so you would have a good idea of the current landscape in your niche.
Pointer #7: Related to this, know who your competitors are by monitoring their social media accounts so you can stay updated on the conversations in your chosen field. You cannot afford to be left behind with the very stiff competition among influencers.
“How To Get Paid On Instagram” Tip 2: Become An Affiliate Marketer
Another way to get paid on Instagram is by being an affiliate marketer. This strategy is more about about making sales. Put more clearly, an affiliate earns money by selling products that belong to other brands. An affiliate works towards selling the product unlike influencers which work primarily towards creating awareness.
Affiliates play a huge role in Instagram marketing because the number of followers surely matters, but it has to be translated to sales and this is where affiliates come in.
As an affiliate, you need to come up with a solid strategy to grow your audience without putting them off. You can recommend your favourite make-up brush, a new book, or even organic cat kibble. In doing so, you provide either a link to buy the product or a promo code that usually comes with a small discount. The merchant can track sales back to your efforts and you earn a percentage for every sale.
Now that Instagram has introduced product tags and Instagram Checkout it is much easier to buy directly on Instagram, and affiliate marketers can use this to their advantage to increase their sales.
Here are quick tips to help you become a better affiliate marketer:
- Just like influencers, affiliate marketers must choose a niche and focus on this. You can choose a product that you want to work on and you can start by doing product reviws.
- Affiliate with brands either directly or through an affiliate network which are intermediaries between brands and marketers and work in such a way that they could offer you a wide range of products to choose from. Among the more popular affiliate networks are Amazon, Rakuten, and CJ Affiliates.
- Regularly post about the product/s. Similar to influencers, affiliate marketers must be transparent about their posts. You have to let your audience know if the post is paid or sponsored. You cannot afford to lose their trust.
“How To Get Paid On Instagram” Tip 3: Sell your own products
Lastly, you could make money on Instagram by selling your own products. Rather than creating awareness about other brands like what influencers do, you sell your own.
You can sell your photos or paintings. Additionally, you can also sell your services like consultancy or your skills as a photographer or tattoo artist. You can even sell physical, digital, and service-oriented products, pretty much in the same way you would if you have a physical store.
If you already have an existing business, marketing on Instagram can boost your sales.
Here are tips on how you can effectively sell your own products on Instagram:
Pointer #1: Your product must be well thought of.
It must stem from your interests and passions. It would be a huge plus if your products spring from what you are already doing.
Pointer #2: Build your product.
We simply cannot overemphasize the importance of this step. To be able to sell something, it needs to exist in the first place. Don’t sell airware. If you must rely on someone else to get your products for you, then make sure to find a reputable supplier.
Pointer #3: Set up your account so that your audience can directly buy from it.
Maximize Instagram’s features like the Explore tab, product tags, shoppable Stories, and Instagram Checkout. Set up a business account so you can maximize these features. You also need to create a detailed product catalogue to assist your audience when they are perusing your offerings.
Pointer #4: Expand your e-commerce infrastructure and content marketing.
Do not just rely on Instagram. Set up a website which could provide more information to your audience. Set up a Facebook page for more reach. And if you think it advantageous, set up a Twitter account, too. Creating a blog or YouTube channel could sustain interest.
Pointer #5: Post ads, boost posts.
Try to reach farther and wider than the boundaries of Instagram. There is more to the web than just IG.
Pointer #6: Regularly post about your products.
Vary posts from photos to videos to Stories. Be creative and put your customers’ experience foremost. Good thing we already have Instagram analytics that will help you in measuring your success and in identifying gaps.
Pointer #7: Make sure you are hands-on.
Monitor inventory yourself or if you do not have enough time, you can outsource to a third-party logistics provider. You could also have the manufacturer deliver the products to the customers themselves (dropshipping). Make sure you are willing to put in 100% of the work toward fulfilling your orders.
Pointer #8: Make sure that you respond to customer inquiries promptly.
Deliver on promises. It was found out in one study that 71% of people expect customer service responses in less than an hour on social media. A near-immediate response is crucial to strengthening customer support strategy.
Pointer #9: Be professional at all times.
Take deadlines seriously. Read and honor contracts.
Pointer #10: Do not buy fake followers.
Obviously, it is absolutely embarrassing when people find out that you’ve been buying followers to beef up your follower count. What’s worse, it also tarnishes your credibility, which is crucial to your success as an influencer.
Pointer #11: Use Instagram tools to help your business.
There are dozens of tools out there to help you automate your posts, edit your photos and video, or analyze your account’s performance.
Instagram is constantly evolving and fans of this social media platform are also constantly innovating themselves. This makes it safe to say that Instagram will continue to be a huge force in sales and marketing in the years to come!