Social Media

How to Make Money on Instagram

Chris Cerny

Instagram has worked its way up the chain to become a major player in the social media game with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook has made Instagram an even bigger sensation than it already was at its release. This has led to many people asking, “How do I make money on Instagram?”

Just like other social media platforms, Instagrammers have been able to cash in on their content through their reach and influence. In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways to make money from your Instagram account, including:

  • Ads/sponsored content
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sell products like an e-commerce store
  • Sell your photography

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Ads/Sponsored Content

One way to make money on Instagram is through advertising for companies, which is a common way for influencers to monetize Instagram. The term “influencer” has been thrown around a lot recently, but what is an “influencer?”

In short, an influencer is someone who has built a reputation and loyal following by sharing regularly on their social accounts. They have power because they spent time building trust and relationships with their audience.

Becoming an influencer and getting sponsored are very hard; it doesn’t happen overnight. The process with large companies (or even small ones) is very complicated. But at the same time, this leads to many different ways to get and find sponsors.

Finding Sponsors

Brands tend to do sponsored posts with influencers to spread the word about their products, especially to younger audiences. Top influencers can get paid thousands per post; however, you should manage your expectations on what you think you should get paid. Often times, you may only see a few dollars, or even a mere Instagram shoutout, in return for your services. Thus, this is not the easiest way to make money on Instagram.

One way to find sponsors is by finding brands that you personally have an affinity with. Send them emails or a DM offering your services. Make sure you tell them how many followers you have and your engagement statistics (which can be found in the analytics section of a business account). Also, send them samples of posts you have made. You may even want to send examples or suggestions of what kind of content you could put out under your potential partnership.

Another option is to work with an agency or a platform. They will make it easier for you to meet up with brands wanting to connect with Instagrammers. The platforms use a variety of different systems, so be sure to do your research when you sign up.

Become an Affiliate and Make Money on Instagram

Affiliate marketing is another great way to make money from Instagram. Not to mention, it’s easier to make money as an affiliate, which makes this option a great way to use Instagram as a side hustle. Note, however, that affiliates and influencers are two different things.

The main difference between the two is that affiliates are actually working towards a commission from working with the brand. On the other hand, an influencer makes money by spreading awareness to their followers.

Affiliates make money through a trackable link or a promo code to make sure that you know exactly which sales came directly from your posts. This only happens when your followers actually make a purchase from the site. I talk about it in more detail in some of my other articles about it with YouTube, Amazon, and making money as a teen.

Making Money from Instagram by Selling Your Own Products

A very interesting way to make money on Instagram is by selling your own products. Using Instagram as your personal e-commerce store is a newer way to make money from the social media platform, but it can be very lucrative. Selling on Instagram has that many more advantages if you’re already own a business.

This changes from marketing to actually using the platform for e-commerce. There are many different ways to make money from Instagram through selling your own products. Here are a few steps:

Step 1: Imagine your Product

The first thing to do is to know what type of things your followers would want. This means making your product that you’re going to sell related to the things already on your Instagram page. A key aspect of making money on Instagram through your own shop is knowing your audience.

Step 2: Build Your Product

If your business involves selling your own products, you need to build it. Find suppliers that will help you or prepare to dedicate your garage or spare bedroom to your endeavor.

Step 3: Set Up your Account so it’s “Shoppable”

Over the past few years, Instagram has been rolling out a lot of shopping-focused features. These include: the Explore tab, product tags, shoppable posts, shoppable Stories, and Instagram Checkout. In order to take advantage of them, you need to have a business account. You also need to create a product catalog.

Making Money by Selling Your Photography on Instagram

If you take very high-quality pictures, then you do have a chance to make a lot of money on Instagram. There are many people willing to pay for your best work. On the platform, you can sell poster photos, paintings, drawings, animations, videos, and other image or video based virtual products. Don’t forget to refer the reader to visit the link in your bio on every post!

Once you take some of those great shots, use some of the best photo editing apps for phones to get the most out of the photos you take. Try to be original, creative, and fun when you’re taking pictures. You can use Instagram to promote your photography portfolio using relevant Instagram hashtags.

A Final Word: Can You Really Make Money on Instagram?

In short, yes! You can make money from Instagram. Trying to make money from any of these methods on the platform means you have to use this as a side-hustle. Instagram means a lot more work than other social media platforms since there are many different statistics/analytics you need to keep track of. However, this is a great way for photographers and those who love photography to make a little side money.

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Chris Cerny
Chris Cerny is currently a student and intern based out of New Jersey. He has written many articles for Financial Professional. He has been investing his money in the stock market for the last 3 years.