YouTubers with 7 million or more subscribers can earn up to $300,000 to partner with brands. Though it may not be viable for regular folks to gain this level of notoriety, even with just 100,000 followers, an Instagram user could earn $5,000 for a post made in partnership with a brand.
If you’re a regular Instagram user, there are ways for you to monetize your account. Here are a few tips to get started:
Grow Your Following
If you want to make money through Instagram, you need to make sure that brands would want to partner with you. This means you need to start by growing your following.
Users with more than 100,000 followers have a good chance of finding brands that would partner with them. But even if you have just a few thousand followers, you could still work with brands that need micro-influencers. Use these tips to grow your following on the platform:
- Create high-quality content that would appeal to people in your niche. Make sure all images are vivid and relevant to the products you wish to promote, whether it’s beauty products, fitness products or clothing.
- Use relevant hashtags so people can easily discover your content and possibly even follow you. Tools like Hashtagify.me can help you discover popular hashtags to use in your posts.
- Ask relevant accounts for a shout-out. You can conduct a hashtag search to find popular Instagram accounts that share content from different users in your niche. Go through their content and contact them to share your post if you notice that they regularly do shout-outs. For instance, @global.travelz is an Instagram account with more than 180,000 followers. If you look through their posts, you’ll see that they’re mostly user-curated photos related to travel. Instagram users who wish to grow their following and build a name in the travel niche could ask them to share their content.
You can even observe top influencers and see what they’re doing to engage their audience, from choosing an aesthetic to posting at consistent times.
Understand How Much You Should Charge
Once you’re able to gain several thousand followers for your Instagram account, you need to understand how much you’re worth to brands. This helps you avoid overcharging or undercharging your clients.
Some influencers may overestimate their worth and charge several thousand dollars when they’re worth only a few hundred. Others may underestimate their worth and only charge a few hundred dollars when they could charge more than $1,000 for each sponsored post.
The Webfluential Influence Estimator is a useful tool to gain a better idea of how much your posts are really worth. The tool will calculate the number of followers and quality of engagement to see how much you should be charging per post. Keep in mind their free tool only calculates Twitter value. You will need to register as a Webfluential influencer to find out the worth of your Instagram posts.
Find Brands To Partner With
After this, you can start looking for brands that will pay you for your Instagram posts. If you have millions of followers, you’ll already have brands approaching you for partnerships, so you probably don’t need to read on. But for emerging influencers, you’ll have to do the grunt work and look for brands to partner with on your own.
The good news is that there are several influencer networks and influencer marketing platforms that accept micro-influencers. If you’re a part of this network, the company will put you in touch with brands that are in need of relevant influencers. Here are a few good networks and platforms you can sign up for:
- Buzzweb: If you have more than 5,000 followers, you could join Buzzweband monetize your Instagram influence. You can use the platform to calculate your potential monthly earnings based on the size of your following. And you can apply to be a part of as many campaigns as you wish. After your post is approved, you get paid within 24 hours.
- Influence.co: Influence.co extends to more than 1,000 brands across 65+ countries. You can look for ones that you wish to partner with and directly submit an application to join their campaign. If you’re still a micro-influencer, this is much better than waiting around for a brand to approach you for a partnership.
- TRIBE: TRIBE is an excellent platform for influencers who only have a few thousand followers. The process of working with brands on the platform is fairly simple. You just need to find brands that you already use and are a fan of. You can then create a post for that brand and submit it for review. Once approved, you get paid within 48 hours.
- TapInfluence: There’s alsoTapInfluence, which estimates your monthly earning potential once you create your profile. You can choose the topics and subtopics you specialize in, then set your rate. The platform then matches you with brands whose needs match your characteristics.
- Fullbottle: If your content tends to get high levels of engagement, Fullbottle would be an ideal platform for you. On this platform, you don’t charge per post but, instead, get paid according to the engagement your content drives. You can bid a certain amount for every like on the Instagram post you create for a brand.
The most difficult part about monetizing your Instagram account is growing your following. But the tips provided here can help you overcome this challenge. And once you have sufficient followers, you just need to connect with the right brands to start earning through Instagram.
Originally published at Forbes
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.