You pick up your phone and open Instagram. You scroll down your feed, mostly containing photos and videos of food, scenic views, many different products, and of course, memes.
After a while, you remember that you took a very picturesque sunset view yesterday, so you hit that plus sign and upload it. The image racked up quite a nice amount of likes and impressions through your quite massive follower base.
You scroll for some more time, turn off the app, and move on. You open it again later to find many more notifications on your post.
The cycle begins again the next day, and maybe you’ll post a food-making video then. During all of these, though, did you ever think of monetizing your Instagram account?
Well, your account is just sitting there, being used as a social media platform. Why not earn some money with it along the way?
Instagram is one of the largest social networks around, with more than 1 billion registered users and half a billion active concurrent users. It is also one of the best platforms to reach younger audiences out there, seeing that at least 64% of its users are aged 18 to 29.
Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for business today. Photos evoke many feelings, and enterprises leverage the site’s focus for image content as a marketing and advertising channel.
However, not only large businesses earn money from Instagram. To give you an idea, an Instagram influencer earns up to thousands of dollars for a post.
Think of all that money you are missing out!
Many Instagram users are monetizing their accounts. If you are thinking about it, then let this post be the sign that you need to continue.
Monetize the hell out of your Instagram account! Let’s discuss how to make money on this social media platform.
But hold up, your account will not be instantly marketable and won’t attract enough money-making opportunities. You might first want to set up your account to invite contacts and potentially net you that opportunity.
iOs Vs. Android
Cameras are mostly unneeded unless you are looking to monetize your Instagram through photography. Unless you are a professional photographer or someone who delves in artistic photograph shots, then there is almost no need for a bulky DSLR-grade camera.
A regular Instagram user would use their phones as cameras. The question now is whether to choose iOS or Android.
If you want to post decently high-quality photos and videos from a phone, then iPhone is probably your safest bet. They have one of, if not the, best camera hardware and software available in the smartphone market today, though Android-powered devices are catching up.
Android excels in productivity. Android phones can directly access pictures from within cloud storage, or upload them in said storages for safekeeping.
Some android phones also take stunning shots which are social media-ready already.
Instagram continues to prove that it is one of the most monetizable and, by extension, the most valuable social media sites out there. Unfortunately, this means that the site is a hotbed for scammers, phishers, and hackers.
Ensure that you also put an emphasis on your account security through these steps.
- When you create a new Instagram account, create a new email address also. Do not let anyone know about it; don’t even write it in your bio. Give in a unique security password, and use this exclusively for the Instagram account setup.
- Another layer of protection is linking your phone number to your Instagram account. As with the email, do not display it anywhere on your account. In the event you get hacked or lose your password, your phone number will come in handy.
- Connect your Facebook account to your Instagram. Your Facebook Connect details and credentials will allow you an Instagram password reset should you lose your password, or when your account has been compromised.
Setting up your account
Your Instagram account will contain the details about you, and is the main window to your Instagram “soul.” This is where the people look at if they want to know more about you.
Here are some tips to make your profile page look attractive.
- The bio is your first chance to announce yourself to the world. These few snippets of text will help visitors decide whether to follow you or not. Potential followers will only take a few seconds looking at your homepage before coming to a decision, so keep your bio short. Make sure it is descriptive enough, with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you want to do business through Instagram, then keep it professional.
- Keep your Instagram profile picture or avatar clean and straightforward. As much as possible, do away with the text. If, however, you would want to use an abbreviation as your page name, then use a simple and professional-looking font.
- The only clickable URL or link that Instagram allows on your profile is a URL on the bio. Use this to your advantage by linking a personal website, blog, store, or whatever you want to market yourself further.
Run the link through a link-shortening service, such as bit.ly, to make it more attractive.
If you want to dedicate your account to making money, then keep the account public and open to everyone. Visitors are turned off by clicking your account and seeing that they have to follow a private account just to look at what you post.
Make your account marketable
Let me outline this: an Instagram account won’t always earn money immediately. Monetizing your account takes more than a quirky Instagram name and profile.
You need to have “attention” that you can “sell.” In short, your account must grow its audience before you can start making money off of it.
You need to have these things first before being able to earn with Instagram.
The influence and follower base
Why are businesses willing to pay you? Because they like to gain reach and exposure through access to your audience, with the ultimate aim of them purchasing their products.
Think of your account as an advertising channel.
Now when you are starting, your follower numbers are most likely on the lower side. You must grow your reach organically, ideally, to a few thousand followers.
Reach alone is not enough, however, compelling content is just as relevant so that your followers will be inclined to take action.
A bigger fanbase, logically, results in more views. But that has almost no point if there is no engagement with your content.
The measure of your engagement will be the people commenting, liking, and sharing your posts. An engaged community will make brands more likely to invest in you and your audience.
So, how will you achieve these things?
In a visual-driven social media site such as Instagram, content is king. You can theoretically double the rate at which your account grows through posting unique and quality pictures coupled with exciting captions.
- If you are getting photos from the web or other sites, then make sure that the images are no smaller than 1080 x 1080 pixels. This allows for the maximum resolution available.
- A little caption goes a long way. You don’t need to write something long; descriptive and short can do.
- Take note of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. A poorly written caption affects your image negatively, while a properly written one makes you look clever.
- Hashtags are a way to improve the reach of your content. I suggest using at least 10 to 15 hashtags for significant effect.
- However, you cannot just slap any hashtag there and call it done; it is imperative that you choose the right ones. Use creative and witty ones relevant to your post.
Be regular. Think of your Instagram engagement as a relationship. Nurturing it requires constant and frequent communication.
It helps to make a fixed schedule and stick to it. Align the times when your followers are most likely online as well.
Continue it by regularly talking with your followers in the comments section.
- Continually strive for higher-quality content. There are thousands of content creators also looking to get big on Instagram, and standing out requires a constant drive for improvement.
- Consider leveraging video media through IGTV or Stories.
- However, quality content and captions can only carry you for so long. Growing your reach will be easier if you form relationships with other content creators in your industry or niche.
- Get in touch, ask for shoutouts, engage with their community, and form content collaborations.
Money making ideas with instagram
Now, let’s say you’ve followed all of the above pointers and grew your follower base. You took all kinds of photos from all sorts of angles, edited them to improve the look further, and wrote interesting captions.
After spending time interacting with your followers, you are now getting the fruit of your labor – the mentions and likes you worked hard for.
Turn those comments and likes into money—time to monetize your account.
Here are some of the ways you can earn money on Instagram. Some are ordinary and straightforward, and some require an extra bit of work.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Content
- Sell Your Goods
- Embedded Marketing
- Use Your Talents
- Digital Real Estate
- Social Media Managing
Let’s take a look at this one by one.
Affiliate marketing involves working with brands as an “ambassador” of sorts to promote their products. In exchange, you get a cut on every purchase.
- You sign up as an affiliate.
- If the company accepts, you will be given a unique code, commonly referred to as an “affiliate link.”
- Use that affiliate link in your posts. Insert it naturally and creatively.
- You will receive a cut of the purchase made through your custom URL.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to start earning with Instagram. It does not require that much technical expertise, many brands already have self-enrollment systems in place, and it is pretty easy to set up.
You can use links in posts, stories, or product tagging to drive the traffic that you need. Since you hold no inventory, it won’t hurt to try out a wide variety of products.
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If you are unsure where to begin, look towards an affiliate marketplace to connect affiliates with brands looking for them. Examples of these are ClickBank and Amazon Affiliate.
Stick to niches that fit your interests, or you believe in personally, as it will be easier to create authentic posts and reactions that will resonate with your audiences.
Earn commissions through driving traffic can be easy, simple, and useful. If you do not want to create or sell a product yourself, affiliate marketing is the next best thing.
According to an Influencer Marketing report in 2019, 80% or 8 out of 10 buyers bought an item because of the recommendation from an influencer. This technique, commonly referred to as influencer marketing, is very prevalent nowadays.
And with how brands are continually allocating increasing budgets to their influencer marketing schemes, this trend will still probably continue.
As an influencer, brands will collaborate with you to create and post sponsored content on your Instagram account promoting their product or service. Often, the post centers around the product itself with a review from you, as the user.
It differs from affiliate marketing in that content creators are paid for a flat price, rather than a commission per purchase. If affiliates receive 20% of each sale of a product, brands sponsoring content will give you $1,000 for a sponsored Instagram post.
Direct product placement is achieved through giveaways, unboxings, and tutorials. However, campaigns can be geared directly to the company, or by showcasing special occasions or events.
A high follower count, however, will not instantly lead to significant earnings. A profile with high engagement rates, even with a relatively smaller follower count, will net more profits than one with many followers but low engagement.
Well, how do you enter into such an arrangement? Well, there is no clear way. But I can give you some tips to go about it.
- Find out if your followers also want the brands you want. Same as with affiliate marketing, promoting a brand you know and are passionate about will result in more engaging content.
- Engage with the brand. Leave comments and likes to show that you are a fan.
- Once you see a fair bit of interaction from them, slide into their DMs to see if they are interested in doing business with you.
- Alternatively, you can also work with an agency to connect you with brands. Companies such as Mediakix come to mind.
Shoutouts are a more informal form of brand sponsorship. It works like selling ad space in the real world; only here, the ad space is your Instagram feed.
Clients can buy a posting slot from your content posting schedule, where you will post about their products or service. It lasts for an agreed length of time, and you are paid based on engagement rate, follower count, activity, or any other metric stipulated and agreed upon.
When you want to leverage Instagram as your eCommerce platform, you have two choices; you can sell your own or be a dropshipper.
If you have a strong personal reach and branding, and you do not want to advertise other products, you can always promote your own.
So long as your products have a fan following, applicable to your niche, and resonate with your followers, then Instagram can be a channel where you can sell them.
You can promote physical goods such as clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, accessories, and food. Digital products, such as artworks, comics, and device wallpapers, can also be sold.
It’s a lot of work. But if you have the time, energy, resources, and passion to do it, then why don’t you?
If you don’t have these but still want to sell something, then you might want to set up a dropshipping plan.
Get a manufacturer and make a dropshipping scheme for them. You will arrange the shipping of products from the manufacturing business to the consumer.
You do away with the production, inventory management, and many shipping problems. If you are unsure what to sell, take a look at your audience and interact with them daily.
Instagram knows that the platform is used for selling, and they facilitate it. They added ‘shopping’ tags that allow you to tag a product and include a price as well as a direct link in one post.
Product placements are conventional advertising techniques, and it has found its way to Instagram. With the rise of video content, product placement comes into clear view.
Known as “embedded marketing,” examples of these would be Heineken in James Bond movies, or Audi in Marvel flicks.
Instagram is not the first choice when it comes to video, but the stories feature is a good avenue for some product placement. They are very accessible and make the product placement feel more authentic.
The “swipe up” function is also a boon; one click and purchases are made easy.
Live video streaming through IGTV is also an option. Using it for longer videos is fine, though utilizing it as a standalone avenue for product placement is not yet fully explored.
Normal product placement through images is also fine.
Just like with the above, it’s best to contact brands directly and talk to them about your proposal.
A piece of advice – if your product placement screams ad too much, then it won’t feel as authentic.
Be as genuine as possible, and use subtle product placement techniques.
Video product placements are paid based on views. Depending on your follower base and the brand you are advertising, there are potentials for thousands of earnings.
A rule of thumb is that the more views you have, the more money you get.
Use your talents
Creating information-generating products gives value to your audience while being another source of revenue. Collect the skills related to your niche and convert them into a digestible format for your followers.
Use your talents to educate your audiences and help them solve their problem. Examples of these are ebooks and multimedia content on course platforms such as Udemy.
Instagram is excellent as a place to promote your offering and show your followers just what kind of knowledge they will get. You can post standalone content, such as “How-To” videos or “Tips and Tricks,” or “Ask Me Anything” through the Stories function.
This tried and tested combo of combining promotion through IG to sell informational products works for many niches. You just have to be creative when creating posts.
To earn net gains through this method you need to put in some more work on your part. However, they require low investments and yield high profits.
You can sell your products at a wide range of prices, depending on the expertise and demand of the knowledge you share.
One of the most sure-fire ways to monetize your Instagram is through a series of video subscriptions, kind of like Netflix. This is an excellent content booster, and you’ll be able to design a world of education or entertainment where you are entirely in charge.
If you set up your video streaming service as a per subscription basis, then you will earn passive income enough for maybe a livable wage.
Digital real estate
Another money-making venture on Instagram is selling accounts, referred to as digital real estate. When you are an Instagram influencer, you can quickly grow an account.
Brands and companies are looking for efficient marketing avenues. They may not have the resources, time, nor capability to get an Instagram account up and running to marketable status quickly.
Digital real estate sells convenience. The Instagram accounts you make will already have an engaged community that has grown to a marketable size.
Businesses will already be able to start social media campaigns and initiatives without going through the hassle of growing an IG account from scratch. There are many platforms where you can sell Instagram accounts, such as Social Tradia and Viral Instas.
Are you already experienced in the ways of growing, interacting, maintaining, and boosting an Instagram audience? Turn that hustle into money by managing other people’s Instagram accounts.
Many businesses or entrepreneurs would also like to use the benefits Instagram provides, but have no time nor expertise to do so. That is where you come in, to give them a substantial Instagram presence.
As a social media account manager, you are responsible for establishing the brand and growing its community engagement. You will build the voice of the brand through constant interaction with your followers, influencers, and other brands.
If you want to be one, apply for open Instagram social media manager positions. Prepare your best pitch to land that offer.
Tools you can use
To make things easier, there are numerous analytic tools and software you can use. You do not need them all though, but here are some worthy ones to note, aside from the ones mentioned above.
Buzzoole is a platform for influencers allowing you to identify brands within your niche. With this, you know who to do business opportunities with.
Buzzoole’s performance analysis tools allow you to see just how much influence you have, which is another advantage of this tool.
One of Buzzoole’s top competitors is Tapinfluence and is loaded with equally powerful features.
It has a clean and clear visualization to facilitate data gathering and strong segmentations filters.
Linkin.bio is hard to classify. But what it does is transform your Instagram photos into a shoppable feed. Followers browsing your account can click on the images to be redirected to the product page, or a related article.
Linkin.bio also lets you track analytical stats to allow you to make better decisions.
This helps Instagram users, as well as influencers, reach their intended followers with hashtag enumeration, identification, analysis, and suggestions.
There is a wealth of scheduling apps out there, but if you want the best ones, in my opinion, I would recommend Hootsuite or Latergram. Scheduling apps are useful, whatever one you decide to use.
They save time and effort because you can already schedule posts from a day to a week ahead of time.
Relevant: Read about the right way to contact influencers and bloggers here
Earning money, not just through Instagram, is not exactly a walk in the park. However, social media affords us another avenue of money-making that people and brands can utilize.
For a budding content creator, Instagram is a welcome platform to be on. It focuses on visual media, so you have at least an idea of what to do: post visual content.
To earn money through your Instagram, you need to accumulate experience as an influencer. Once you do, brands will be clamoring for your expertise as an Instagrammer.
They will pay for your services in exchange for the efficiency, convenience, peace of mind, and results that you deliver.
And that’s it in today’s article about earning through Instagram. Do you want to try it out for yourself?
What do you want me to cover next? Leave your insights in the comments section.
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