Imagine converting your social media prowess into cash and swag on Instagram. Making money on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media platform, is not a far-fetched concept. In fact, there are some people reaching such success with money-making techniques on Instagram that they can pay living expenses, or make a healthy living financially. Furthermore, in addition to cashing in with currency, Instagram users are acquiring a plethora of products in exchange for their promotion of brands. You can, too. Here are five ways you can make money on Instagram.
. Social influence marketing
. Affiliate marketing
. Selling photographs
. Promoting your products or services
. Selling your Instagram account
Social Influence Marketing
Social influence marketing is a relationship between a business and a social media user with influence.
Influence on social media equates to a following of no less than 5,000 users, all of whom the influencer gained organically. Organic growth occurs when the influencer works to earn the following of other users without employing shady tactics such as buying an audience.
Influencer marketing is the technological equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising. Studies indicate that 20 percent to 50 percent of purchasing decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations (1). Therefore, businesses embrace the opportunity for social media influencers to promote their brand. In fact, Instagram influencers are collectively on the receiving end of more than $1 billion spent by businesses on influencer marketing each year (2). But there’s more to influence than popularity.
To be a true influencer, the user must have not only popularity, but also the ability to convince their multitude of followers to take action. The influencer has to build trust throughout their audience. Sharing a branded post to thousands of users has no value unless a vast majority of those users are inspired to act. The influencer’s audience has to be able to connect with the influencer, their beliefs, and the products the influencer promotes.
Society has shifted. It used to be that superstars were social media influencers. Today, social media influencers become superstars.
To establish yourself as a social media influencer, you must identify with a specific niche. Nobody likes to be sold to, and spammy content is quickly discarded as rubbish. When you support a particular cause, however, you adopt the audience who also supports that cause. Therefore, your business relationships and affiliations should align with and support that cause. Additionally, it’s important to keep your thumb on the pulse of Instagram. Be aware of algorithm changes, new features, and trends.
Provide value to your followers. In addition to pitching products, consider publishing a steady stream of useful content that informs, educates, and inspires action. In doing this, you establish yourself as an expert in the field you’re promoting. Furthermore, an influencer must engage with their audience. Interaction with fellow users fosters relationships. Relationships grow trust. Trust leads to respect, and that respect often translates into action.
After constructing a social media presence with an audience built on trust, it’s time to seek out the brands who are also seeking social media influencers. With a strong resume and a sense of determination, influencers can easily find businesses whose brand needs to be promoted. Many of these brands can be found directly on the social media network where the influencer thrives.
Earn cash or products by establishing yourself as an influencer and connecting with brands who align with and support your passion. But be patient with the process. Social influencers aren’t born overnight. It takes long-term commitment to establish a presence on social media.
Affiliate marketing is not the same as influencer marketing. Influencer marketing relies on large audiences who are receptive to word-of-mouth advertising. Affiliate marketing, on the contrary, directly correlates to sales of products. Each time a product sells, the marketer promoting it earns a commission.
Affiliate marketing is not new, but the internet has changed the methods through which affiliate marketing is accomplished. Rather than going door-to-door or cold-calling prospects, social media users can reach larger audiences with less effort.
Similar to influencer marketing, however, affiliate marketers require large audiences to whom they can provide valuable information that leads to the sale of a product. Affiliate marketers can provide useful content via blog posts and websites.
For example, an affiliation with a bookseller would produce commissions from each book sold. Rather than shamelessly plugging books, the marketer could write quality book reviews that include links to purchase the book, or a list of ways a particular book can improve productivity or quality of life.
Another example is an affiliate marketer selling kitchen cookware. A marketer for cookware could produce content about recipes, or tips about caring for the products. When you sell cast-iron skillets, it makes sense to teach others how to season cast iron for best use, or to share tips and tricks for cooking with cast iron.
The key to affiliate marketing, as with influencer marketing, is to establish yourself as an expert, connect with businesses who align with your industry, and provide valuable content that builds trust with an audience.
Sell Your Pictures
Instagram is a photo-sharing social network. Although many of Instagram’s users share casual photos of every-day experiences, among the network’s users are amateur and professional photographers. For this reason, Instagram is a hot-bed for selling fine art photography. But it gets better.
Through third-party websites such as Instaprints or Twenty20, you can sell your Insta images on a plethora of products. In addition to standard prints, Instagram photographers can sell their pictures on canvas, metals, posters, cards, coffee mugs, tee shirts, smartphone cases, and more.
Most people won’t find selling Instagram pictures to be a get-rich-quick endeavor; however, it is possible to garner a good chunk of change. One man, Daniel Arnold, is reported to have made $15,000 in a single day by selling his photographs on Instagram. Forbes reports that Daniel, an established and highly-esteemed photographer, also had a ridiculously large following and valuable content to support his artwork3. As with social Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing, Daniel built his expertise and social status over time.
Selling your photos on Instagram requires strategy and patience. Not only must you produce work worthy of being old, but you’ve also got to market your work to the right audience.
Promote Your Products or Services
Whether you’re selling cosmetics or handbags, fingernail stickers or vitamins, Instagram could be a lucrative place to promote your products and services. Hairdressers, wedding planners, real estate agents, and a multitude of other industries are represented on Instagram on a regular basis.
To promote your products and services on Instagram, create a recognizable signature, a brand that is easily recognized. Provide value to followers through tips, tutorials, or other relevant content on other platforms such as a blog or website. Get creative and crafty with your product descriptions. Include your e-commerce link in your Instagram bio. Use hashtags so your products or services are easily found by a search, and make purchasing a simple, uncomplicated process.
Additionally, Instagram offers the ability to create advertisements promoting your product, and insights to help you gauge the success of your ad.
To boost marketing power, consider teaming up with social influencers or affiliate marketers who can push your products to a larger audience.
Sell Your Instagram Account
There are big bucks in selling high-quality Instagram accounts comprised of large audiences. From as little as $35 up to a whopping $30,000 or more, Instagram account holders are cashing in their accounts. But that’s no easy feat.
For an Instagram account to be worthy of sale, it should have around 40,000 followers at the minimum. Furthermore, the account must be in good standing, meaning it has no warnings or suspensions. Typically, significantly priced Instagram accounts that are for sale focus on a particular niche such as fashion, cosmetics, health, fitness, or lifestyle.
While selling an Instagram account isn’t necessarily a long-term money-making strategy, you can earn a significant profit by selling your well-established, niche-focused account.
Making money on Instagram may not be quick and easy, but it is possible for users to monetize their Instagram accounts. Can you imagine working from home part time or full time by earning an income from the time you spend on Instagram?
Even if you’re not a powerhouse social media influencer, you can make money on Instagram through social influence, affiliate marketing, selling images, promoting your own products or services, or even selling your Instagram account. And that’s just the tip of the Instagram iceberg.
To ensure your success in making money on Instagram, grow your audience honestly by providing value. Don’t buy followers, and don’t create spam-filled posts that give users a bad taste. Protect your account against warnings or suspension.
Making money on Instagram takes time. Focus on a niche, establish yourself as an expert, organically grow an audience, provide useful content, and engage with other users.