From being merely a photo sharing app, Instagram has turned into one of the top social media platforms. After launching Instagram stories in 2016, it’s growth exploded and now it has more than 700 millions users.
Instagram has a very diverse user base. So everyone has the opportunity to make money from it. Take, for example, Theresa Nguyen. She is a teenager who posts videos of her homemade slime. With just 400 posts, she has more than 1 million followers. She also has a website where she sells her slime. She’s making more than $3,000/month from it.
Or take Sara. While on a four-month maternity leave, she created an Instagram account where she posts lifestyle pictures from her life. Now she has more than 186K followers. Brands pay her money & free products to post about them. Last year, she made more than £120,000.
But you don’t need a huge following to make money from Instagram. Jenna Farmer is a qualified nutritional therapist. She also writes about nutrition. Her Instagram account has less than 4,000 followers. But brands pay her £50-£100 for a mention on her Instagram page.
In this post, I will take a look at some ways you can make money from it, whether you have a product to sell or not. This post is packed with actionable strategies. If you read it carefully and follow my advice, you’ll start making money within a month.
Before I start talking about how to make money from IG, I need to talk about the prerequisite. You can’t just start a cute account, post pictures from your daily life and expect to earn money. You need to post interesting photos and establish a compelling Instagram personality.
You’ll also need to engage your followers. You need to get your followers to comment, like & share your contents. If you have only 5,000 followers but they are highly engaged, you can make quite a lot of money. But if you have 50,000 followers but most aren’t engaged, you won’t make much.
Tactic #1 – Sell your photos
There is a great demand for stock photos. If you are a professional photographer, you can sell your photos.
If you want to sell photos, capture authentic ones. Brands value authenticity. So forget staged photos & take photos that are in social settings. Also, ditch square photos. Most photos published on IG are squared ones but they aren’t considered as the work of a photographer. Take photos in landscape/portrait format. Instagram allows photos and videos with aspect ratios between 1.91:1 and 4:5.
Instagram works as a powerful portfolio website. You can promote your photograph for free. You have unprecedented access to influential personalities. You can pitch to brands as DM.
You can also sell photos on different sites. Foap is one of the popular ones. You just sign up, build a profile, create a portfolio of your best images & wait. Interested brands will buy your pictures and you will earn $5 for each image. You can sell an image unlimited times.
Tactic #2 – Sponsored posts
This is the most common tactic for earning money on IG. There is two strategy you can follow to do this. One, create an account & post pictures that interest you. Slowly you build your influence organically & various brands approach you.
The other one, you notice a highly lucrative niche, create a persona that posts high-quality content in that niche. Using this strategy, Anthony Carboni makes $20,000 – $25,000 per month from 30+ Instagram accounts.
How much money can you make by sponsoring a post? According to Due.com founder John Rampton, you should start with $0.25-$0.50 per “like” and $1.00 per comment. Just multiply that by the number of likes and comments you get on an average post. You can also use this tool to calculate the fees you can charge.
Confused how sponsored post works? It’s very simple. You create a sponsored post, include a hashtag, mention, or link to promote a brand & publish it. If you have a large following, brands will reach out to you. But initially, you may need to reach out to brands.
Tactic #3 – Affiliate marketing
In this tactic, you need to pay influencers to promote your product. First, you need an affiliate product to promote. There are many affiliate networks that offer a wide range of products. The most popular ones include Clickbank, ShareASale, OfferVault, Peerfly, MaxBounty & Teespring.
Go to those sites & find a product in your niche. Make sure those products are already working well for other affiliates & customers are giving good reviews. Once you’ve found a good product, mention it on your Instagram profile.
Now go to Shoutcart. Here you can buy shoutouts from quality influencers. Shoutout means influencer will post a screenshot of your account on their profile. You’ll get some exposure & increase your follower. Other platforms you can buy shoutout from are Buy Sell Shoutouts, Plug Hype, Jumpfame, Grin.co & Shoutmarket.
Don’t buy shoutout from accounts with less than 25,000 followers. Make sure they get 500+ likes in each post. Once you get a shoutout, you’ll receive an influx of traffic & some fantastic sales figure.
Tactic #4 – Sell from your online store
This is the hardest but most profitable tactic. You open an online store (using Shopify, Etsy or Zazzle), create an Instagram account around your business, feature your products on your account & make money.
To sell products from your Instagram account, you need to make your follower trust you. You need to make them connect with you. To do this, put a face on your brand. Post behind the scene pictures. Show how you create your products.
Publish user-generated content. If people buy your product, ask them to share a picture of them using your product. Then publish it from your account. If you don’t have many people using your product, give them a challenge and ask to share their picture doing it. Then publish the pictures. This way you’ll make a connection with them.
Your products don’t have to be physical. You can also sell digital products.
Tactic #5 – Become an Instagram consultant
You can make $15/hour to $75/hour as an Instagram consultant. If you have good experience and expertise, you can make even more.
You don’t need a huge following to work as an Instagram consultant. If you have more than 25,000 followers, you are good to go. Once you have this amount of followers, you need to identify a list of prospects who would be willing to hire you.
Create a compelling sales pitch & reach out to businesses on Instagram itself through direct messages.
But before you contact prospects, consider offering free help to local businesses & non-profits. This way, you’ll build a portfolio that you can show your prospects.
You can also market your service by writing guest posts. If you can write in popular blogs, you’ll increase your exposure & clients request.
Have you tried to make money from Instagram before? What was your experience? Let me know in the comment.