Making money with Instagram; that is the dream of many millennials and Gen X young adults. Often the only thing that comes to mind is becoming an influencer, but that is certainly not the only way to earn a nice penny on the side. This also allows you to work with affiliate links and set up your own webshop. In this blog, we go over the different options and answer the question of how many followers on Instagram gets you money.
Is it hard to make money on Instagram?
Whether making money on Instagram is difficult depends on the niche and the way you pick. When you choose a saturated niche, in which there are already thousands of Instagram accounts active fishing for the same target audience, it is harder to make money. Therefore, always do your research well beforehand, and where possible, choose a sub-niche you know a lot about.
In doing so, you will have to put time and effort into all the earning models below anyway. Your followers don’t just grow into the tens of thousands organically. You will fail a few times, experience setbacks and want to give up. But true go-getters will be richly rewarded!
Different ways to make money with Instagram
Check out the 5 ways to make money with Instagram below and research which one best suits your needs, time and budget. For example, starting your own website costs more than working with affiliate links. Also look at what you think you will enjoy most, when you choose a new revenue model you should not get tired of it after only six months.
Collaborating with brands as an influencer
Surely the most famous way to make money on Instagram is to take the influencer path. By building your own fan base on Instagram and sharing quality and inspiring content, brands will want to work with you. This involves you creating content in collaboration with the brand, and posting it on your own social media page.
Not only Instagram accounts with many followers can get paid for collaboration. Nowadays, companies often appeal to micro-influencers as well, as this group is known for being close with their followers. So you certainly don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to make money on Instagram.
You can then get paid as an influencer in two ways:
- A barter deal: you get one (or more) products in exchange for the collaboration.
- An exact amount of money: you get 1 fixed amount for the collaboration
Every company works differently and has a specific way of paying out. See what you are most comfortable with, but be realistic. You may be offered mostly barter deals in the beginning because you still have a small audience, and only later can you actually ask for money.
Be sure to note which company you are collaborating with and how often you post a collaboration post as an influencer. Of course, it makes more sense for a fitness coach to partner with a company that sells prep meals than a jewelry line. Make sure you maintain credibility. Even when you only post collaborative posts, this can be irritating to followers.
Another way to make money through Instagram is by applying affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you focus more on actually selling another company’s products or services, and less on increasing their brand awareness.
This is usually done through an affiliate code or special link you receive from the company. You may not be able to include this link in a post, but you can put it in your bio when you have more than a thousand followers. Does a follower (or someone visiting your profile) buy a product through this link or code? Then you get a certain percentage over the purchase.
To engage in affiliate marketing through Instagram, you don’t have to have a face account. There are also plenty of accounts that make money with affiliate marketing without showing their faces. This allows you to show products with your hands without putting your face in the picture. Or explain certain services through an animation. Creating informative and quality content is paramount here.
Does affiliate marketing strike your fancy? Then these are examples of great companies working with Instagram users:
- Amazon.co.uk: the most popular website to do affiliate marketing for, here you will receive 10% commission.
- Bol.com: receive up to 8% commission on the buyer’s total shopping cart.
- Coolblue.co.uk: receive 8% commission and get useful promotional materials.
Open your own webshop
You can also choose to open your own web shop, so you don’t have to promote other people’s products or services. To do this, pick a niche that appeals to you personally, and about which you know (or want to learn) a lot of information, and get to work on informative content that appeals to the target audience of this niche.
By offering quality products and also sharing interesting content (that goes beyond just commercials), you will quickly make your business and shop grow bigger. Optionally, you can also choose to do collaborations and send your products to micro-influencers, who share it with your target audience.
A good example is Loki the Wolfdog, one of the biggest entrepreneurs within the dog niche.
Selling products through Instagram shop
This revenue model for Instagram is similar to the previous one; in fact, Instagram also has its own online shop on which you can sell products. This way, customers are not redirected to your shop through a link, but they buy the products within the Instagram app itself.
To open an Instagram shop, you must first have an Instagram business account and create a Facebook catalog. Then link your Facebook catalog to your business account, and you can request a shop account. This is then controlled by Instagram itself. After approval, you can get started with your Instagram shop!
Still, an Instagram shop also has some disadvantages compared to an in-house shop:
- You’ll have a harder time building an email list
- You always depend on your Facebook catalog
- You have fewer features in the Instagram shop
- You could do worse on SEO optimization
Get started as a social media manager
Increasingly, social media managers are taking over companies’ Instagram pages. Whereas as a content creator you only create the content of Instagram pages, as a social media manager you manage the entire page. From coming up with content, to posting and coming up with a good caption. Only the taking of photos and videos themselves is left in the hands of the company.
Companies choose a social media manger when:
- They don’t have time to put into Instagram
- They know too little about the platform
- They are not up to date with the latest trends
- They have no ideas for new content
As a social media manager, you can work anywhere and don’t need x number of followers yourself. All you need is a laptop with a camera (for the many zoom meetings with clients) and enough knowledge about Instagram.
There are several ways you find clients as a social media manager:
- On Instagram itself: with your professional profile, approach customers yourself and make a nice offer. You can also let them know directly what you have in mind for them.
- On freelancer platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork: the easiest way to attract hundreds of clients from all over the world. For this, you do surrender 20% to the platform itself.
- On LinkedIn or Indeed: check out the job postings or place your own ad offering your services.
Make sure you have created a nice portfolio that you can show to clients. They often ask for this before they want to work with you. You can easily create a portfolio yourself in Canva, a free website with templates that allows you to create a professional-looking document within an hour.
How many followers on Instagram can you make money with?
You can already make money as an influencer on Instagram with a thousand followers. In fact, on this number you can put a link in your bio, which can be used for both collaborations and affiliate marketing.
Generally, the more followers you have, the more money you make. So certainly don’t stop putting effort into your account at a thousand followers. Companies are more likely to work with you if you have more followers, page visitors find you appear more trustworthy, and the number of followers can be an advantage in competition.
As you read, there are plenty of opportunities to make money with Instagram. Will you get started with affiliate marketing links, or do you prefer to become an influencer? The choice is entirely up to you!
Want to know more about the Instagram platform? Try our secret tools! Or Read this blog, where we delve deeper into a good Instagram marketing strategy.