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If you are a regular Instagram user, earning money with Instagram may sound like a dream come true. Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users.
If you are able to attract and monetize even a small percentage of those users, you may be able to pad your bank account in a big way.
How to Earn Money With Instagram
Turning your social media obsession into a side hustle could be a fun way to earn money. You will need to get creative in order to really monetize your Instagram account.
Even if you already love Instagram and have carefully curated your account, you may need to make some adjustments before you are ready to earn money from it. You need to ensure that your audience is ready to receive your monetization attempts well.
Do not bombard your followers with irrelevant or inappropriate offers. Otherwise, you are bound to lose them.
As you learn more about the platform and your audience, you will be able to adjust your strategies to bring in even more money. Here are a few great ways to get started.
1. Create Sponsored Posts
Brands will work with Instagram users who have a large following that marketers want to appeal to. If you’re hired by a brand, you’ll typically need to create original content that features the brand in a positive light.
For example, you may post a picture of a product and write about why you use it. Many of these sponsored posts include links to the brand’s site, @mentions of the brand, or branded hashtags. Some companies may even require that you use all three, depending on the nature of the sponsored post.
If you create content that drives traffic back to the brand, then they will typically ask you to create even more sponsored content. Some brands may also ask you to join an official ambassador program.
As you choose brands to work with, make sure that they truly resonate with your audience. You should never take a sponsored post deal unless you believe that the product will help your audience. It is too easy to lose the trust of your followers otherwise.
If you create sponsored posts for brands that will work in the best interests of your followers, then you will likely have more long-term success.
Where to Find Sponsored Post Opportunities
If the idea of creating sponsored posts sounds like a good fit, then you will need to look for brands to work with. The best place to start is by thinking about brands you use on a regular basis that you would definitely recommend to your audience.
Approach the brands that you think would resonate well with your audience. Although cold pitching can be slightly scary, it is important to approach potential brands in a professional way.
Always come prepared with the statistics about your followers and think about how you would like to be compensated. Your time and followers are extremely valuable. Never sell yourself short.
If you need more help finding brands, then check out these websites:
- Activate. Through Activate, you can browse different available campaigns. When you see a potential fit, reach out to work out the details with the brand.
- Influenz. Influenz is designed specifically to help Instagram users find sponsorship opportunities. Simply send in your proposals to companies that are looking for influencers.
- TapInflunce. In order to sign up with TapInfluence, you will set up a profile that companies can look through. If you look like a good fit, then the brand will reach out to you directly.
- Izea. Izea calls itself the biggest marketplace for connecting influencers and brands.
These are just a few of the options available. If you do not have luck with one platform, then try another. It may just take a little time to find the right platform and brand to work with.
2. Create and Promote Your Own Products
Instagram is a powerful tool that business owners can use to gain more customers for their own products and services. When you gain followers, you are also gaining potential customers that you can build a relationship with.
Building a loyal tribe of Instagram followers is one way to help take your business to the next level. You can post pictures of your products that highlight them in uniquely beautiful ways. Instagram is the perfect place to post relevant pictures that are appropriate for your business’s audience.
A few different ideas for your business’s Instagram account include:
- Exclusive offers. Create specialized offers just for your Instagram followers. This will give them an incentive to buy your product and remain a follower of your account.
- Behind-the-scenes shots. Your customers may be curious to know what happens when they aren’t in the store. Shots of what it takes to pull off an event or create a beautiful product can help to boost your sales.
- Share customer stories. With the permission of your customers, you may share photos of people actually using (and enjoying) your product. You can even include a testimonial in the text of the post. These kinds of posts can help to convert followers into customers.
- Pre-launch products. Everyone wants to see the next greatest thing. If your business is gearing up to release a new product, then you may want to consider posting fun images of the product before it launches. This can give your customers an idea of what is about to be released and builds excitement that may help boost sales.
These are just a few ways to get your business Instagram account started. Always be creative with your Instagram account and be responsive to the preferences of your followers. If no one liked the behind-the-scenes shots, then you know to avoid those in the future. Each audience and customer base is different, so you’ll need to adjust your approach as you go along.
3. Affiliate Marketing
You may have seen “#affiliate” on a social media post. When someone is using affiliate marketing, they are earning a commission every time a reader clicks a link that leads to a sale for the associated brand. The influencer promotes the product, but only earns a profit if their link leads to a sale.
You can use affiliate marketing on your Instagram account. The process is simple.
First, find a product or brand that you would like to promote. Next, find its affiliate sales program and secure your unique affiliate URL. Finally, create an Instagram post that utilizes the specialized URL. When your followers click through and buy the product, you will earn a commission for each sale.
This is a relatively simple way to earn profits through Instagram. However, you should educate yourself on the specifics of affiliate marketing in your home state before you get started. You need to be transparent with your audience about the use of affiliate marketing. Otherwise, you may run into legal problems. The rules are fairly simple to follow, just make sure you understand which ones are relevant to the state where you’re based.
Where to Find Affiliate Marketing Opportunities
You can find affiliate marketing opportunities with many different brands and products. If you have a specific product in mind, then check out the company’s website. Most companies already have an affiliate program. Reach out to find more information about it.
There are also several affiliate marketing platforms that you can work with to promote multiple brands and products. A few of the popular ones include:
- Amazon Associates. Amazon is a household name that delivers some great products. You can sign up to be an affiliate through Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, you can create an affiliate link for anything that is on Amazon.
- ShareASale. Through ShareASale, you have the option to promote hundreds of products through affiliate marketing.
- ClickBank. This is another popular affiliate marketing network that will allow you to create unique links for hundreds of items.
4. Sell Your Photos
Instagram is mainly designed to help share your photographs with others. So, you could just use the platform to promote your photography. It sounds simple, but it can be an effective way to earn money if you are a talented photographer.
Whether you are a professional or not, Instagram can be a place to market your art to a large audience. You will need to work to build a following, but a loyal tribe could pay off. Using hashtags effectively can also help to expand your base of potential customers.
If you choose this route, then make sure to add watermarks to your artwork. It would be heartbreaking to have your photos stolen off of Instagram. Watermarks help to diminish that risk.
Each time you post photos or art for sale, include details about it in the comments. Potential buyers will likely be more interested if they are aware of your inspiration or how you made the picture.
Instagram is just one way to promote your photography skills. Check out this article to learn more about making money from your photos.
5. Use the Video Feature
Brands may be willing to pay you for placing their products in your videos. If you are good at creating short videos for Instagram, then this method may be lucrative for you.
Reach out to brands that would work well for your audience and offer to include them in your videos. You will need to get creative with this method. Find ways to connect the product to your audience with the video.
This is very similar to sponsored post creation. However, the product should be featured in a more casual way in the video than it would be in other sponsored post content.
6. Sell Your Account
If you have worked hard to build an Instagram following but want to quit, then you may want to think about selling your Instagram account. This is an easy way to cash out if you are too tired or too busy to capitalize on your audience.
Where to Sell Your Instagram Account
ViralAccounts and Social Tradia are both online marketplaces for Instagram accounts. You just need to list your account on the platform, then the potential buyers will analyze it. If they like what they see, then they will give you a quote. Always get multiple quotes before you decide to buy or sell anything.
Before You Get Started
All of these ways to earn money on Instagram sound great, but you will need to build a strong following before any of these options become lucrative.
If you plan to monetize your Instagram account, then you need to build a loyal fan base that trusts your opinion. Here are a few ways to get started building your account’s reputation.
Post on a Regular Basis
In order to gain more followers, you should publish several high-quality posts per day. You should not publish all of the posts at one time. Instead, schedule them so they’re spread out throughout the day. Otherwise, multiple posts may work against you.
Post Good Content
Of course, this one is obvious. However, the importance of high-quality photos cannot be overstated. No one wants to see weird or irrelevant photos show up on their feed.
Make sure that you take great pictures. Do not be afraid to use special effects to make your pictures stand out. The pictures you take are helping you gain (and keep) followers.
Instagram has hundreds of thousands of competitors wanting to capitalize on the same users. Ensure that your content stands out from the crowd.
Fill Out Your Bio Appropriately
You do not have a ton of space available to direct followers back to your business or website. So, you need to use the small space you do have effectively.
Make sure that your bio contains all of the information that followers would want to know about you. Include your contact information, if appropriate, and a theme or tagline that describes your content.
You can also include some keywords and appropriate hashtags to help your future followers find you easily. Remember that your account is just one of many. You need to help your audience find you and follow you easily.
Hashtags are how people find your great content. You need to include relevant hashtags with all of your posts.
Do some research on the hashtags that others in your space are using. Try to include at least one relevant hashtag with every single post. You are missing the chance to gain new followers if you do not include these hashtags.
Interact With Your followers
It is easier to just post pictures and leave it at that. However, by engaging with your followers you create a connection. Audience members that feel connected to you are more likely to stay a part of your following.
Try to communicate with your followers every single day. Do not fake it, just try to create a genuine connection with your followers. They may spread the word and help you gain even more followers.
Remember That Building Good Things Takes Time
Everyone would like their Instagram following to take off overnight. However, you should expect it to take time to build a strong following.
It may not be easy, but it can be worth the effort. If it were easy, then everyone would do it. Just focus on building a loyal following and then implement the monetization strategies as they feel appropriate.
If curated appropriately, Instagram accounts can be a good way to earn money. You will need to make an effort to build an audience large enough to monetize. However, the payoff may be worthwhile.
Consider using a variety of monetization strategies in order to gain the best results. It may be the most effective way to monetize your Instagram account.
Instagram is not the only social media account that you can earn money with. You can also make money with Facebook and Twitter.
Are you considering making money with your Instagram account? Which strategies would you pursue? Let us know in our Facebook comments.