There are several ways to monetize Instagram once you have the essential reach and following. However, the numbers are not everything! Instagram is and has always been about beautiful photos. So before you start counting your money, pay attention to the quality of your content. Otherwise, your IG success might be short-lived.
Here are the most common ways to monetize Instagram:
1. Collaborations with brands
The most obvious way of profiting from being an influencer is by promoting brands and being paid by them to do so. There are different possibilities within such collaborations and it all depends on the individual case. It’s up to you to negotiate the details. However, this is particularly beneficial for popular influencers with a large following. They are usually contacted by the brands or agencies representing them and offered pretty good deals. If you’re a micro influencer, you will most likely be offered the product as compensation, no cash.
Here are a few different ways of collaborating with brands:
* Sponsored posts and stories
The easiest yet usually the least profitable (unless you’re a macro influencer and charge thousands of $ for a single post). You get paid to post a photo featuring the product, tag the brand, use the brand’s hashtags, etc. Remember that such content should always be marked as sponsored. You can just use hashtags like #ad, #advertisement or #sponsored for that. If you’re not sure, how much you can charge for a post on your feed, you can check out tools like Social Blade or HypeAuditor for estimations. However, those are just guidelines. If you create exceptionally good content or your niche is a really rare one or for some other reason your profile is special, don’t hesitate to ask for more money!
* Brand ambassador
This is more of a long term collaboration. For that to happen you need to represent the same values and/or lifestyle as the brand. This kind of collaboration often takes place in the sports industry, where brands have entire teams of athletes that they sponsor. Nowadays, those are not only pros but often influencers from the same niche as the brand. And it is not only limited to sports anymore, fashion and beauty brands to name a few also have their ambassadors.
* Affiliate promo codes
This is a win-win situation for both the influencer and the brand. You can earn money but only if you generate sales for the brand. It usually works like this that you get your personal promo code with a discount for your followers. When they buy something using your code, they claim the discount, the brand gets a sale and you get a % of the profit. At the end of the day, everybody is happy, but only provided that you are a skilled salesperson or your community is so loyal that they follow your recommendations. Remember to only promote products that you can vouch for, otherwise, the community will stop trusting you and there won’t be any more sales.
2. Selling your own products
This is something that gives you the most independence and potential as far as making money is concerned. You can sell what you want and don’t have to share the profits with anyone. But what can you sell? Well, that can be anything that your followers would buy. Start by making research and finding out what other people in your niche are selling. Then ask your followers what they would buy from you and what they need that they cannot find elsewhere. Creating most products requires some money input at the beginning (designing, manufacturing, creating an online store, etc.). However, in some cases, you don’t need anything but your own time and creativity. One of such cases is creating your own fashion collection with Modsly. You can get it going in just a few hours and it doesn’t cost you anything!
3. Finding clients for your services
Some people treat their Instagram account as a portfolio. This is common among photographers, graphic designers, sketch artists, painters, fashion designers, makeup artists, tattooists, etc. Whether you have your work displayed somewhere else or not, Instagram is a great place to find potential customers. In order to be successful at that, you should use relevant hashtags and make sure that your description includes all the necessary information like what you do, where you’re located as well as contact details.
4. Helping other people with their Instagram accounts
Running other people’s (or companies’) Instagram is an actual job. If you rock at this and have your own account as proof, don’t hesitate to reach out to whoever you believe could benefit from your services. You can also look at job boards and search for Instagram marketing, Instagram Account Manager and similar. Another way of monetizing your Insta knowledge is by offering consultations or creating an online course and selling it (via your Instagram account obviously;).
5. Driving traffic to your blog
If you have a blog, you probably already know that there are many many ways of making money through it. Instagram can help you find new readers and drive traffic that can have a direct effect on the earnings from your blog.
What else you need to know to better monetize Instagram
You can use one or all of these methods. Or you can get creative and find other means to monetize Instagram. In any case, remember that money is not everything. Your followers won’t appreciate it if instead of giving them valuable content, you start trying to sell them stuff all the time. Have you ever been to a bazaar where sellers basically attack you with their commodities? Did you feel comfortable? I guess not. Now, have you been to Disneyland? Did you have fun? Did you buy anything? I bet you did bring a nice souvenir or some gifts for your family and friends. Now you understand? Your Instagram account should be Disneyland, not a bazaar?