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How To Make Money On Instagram: 7 Effective Strategies

Money never sleeps and neither does Instagram. Chances are high that you are one of the 500 million people a day logging into Instagram. If you’re wondering if there is more to the endless scrolling, the answer is yes! There are many ways to make money on Instagram, whether you’re a business owner, blogger, up-and-coming influencer or more. In this article, we will explore the 7 most effective strategies to monetize your Instagram.

How to Make Money On Instagram

  1. Sell your products or services

  2. Sponsor content by advertising

  3. Become an influencer

  4. Become an affiliate marketer

  5. Use Instagram to make money on YouTube

  6. Sell your photos or photography presets

  7. Offer Instagram digital marketing services

Strategy 1: Sell your products or services

They say ignoring digital marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone. Making an Instagram for your business or brand is you telling people about it, at scale! 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it on Instagram. By creating a business account on Instagram, you can display high-quality images of your products or services that both educate potential customers about your company as well as drive traffic to your website. Make sure that in your Instagram bio you include a link to your website for easy purchasing. You can post content that features your products, promotes deals and highlights new launches. You can even utilize a content calendar to help you better plan your posts.

  1. Step 1: Build your website

  2. Step 2: Create your Instagram business account.

  3. Step 3: Upload images that display and promote your product and offerings.

  4. Step 4: In your bio, add a link to your website.

  5. Step 5: You may also want to use relevant hashtags, the best Instagram tools and the latest features, such as Shopping Tags, to grow your account.

Here is an example of how the BFB hair extension company displays and sells their products on Instagram in a creative aesthetic way.

Here is an example of Jaspers Boutique using the Instagram feature called Shoppable Tags.

Strategy 2: Sponsor Content by Advertising on Instagram

Sorry to break it to you, but the best things in life are not always free! To grow your business and make a profit long term you sometimes need to invest upfront, in this case in paid advertising. Once you’ve created a strong organic Instagram business account, you can start boosting your posts into the feeds or stories of your target audience currently less familiar with your brand. By using advertising on Instagram you pay-per-click on your sponsored content. You can use Instagram’s analytics to see which content has the best engagement, click-through rates (CTR), clicks to your website and sales. Consider varying formats from stories ads, photo ads, video ads, or carousel ads. As you optimize these ads, watch your revenue grow. There is no minimum spend to begin running ads.

  1. Step 1: First create a regular Instagram account (Strategy 1), and convert it to a business account.

  2. Step 2: Choose which image you want to sponsor. It is advised to pick one that organically has already gotten a lot of engagement to help you predict that it’s a strong piece of content. Next, click on the bottom right “promote” button.

  3. Step 4: Select your goals for the advertising campaign and set your budget.

  4. Step 5: Launch your campaigns and optimize them based on performance.

  5. Step 6: Wait to see sales on your website!

Here is an example of a sponsored story ad by Lacoste.

Strategy 3: Become an influencer

“People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves,” said Samuel Hulick. When consumers look to influencers, they admire a person’s lifestyle and anything that comes with it, even the products they use. What is an influencer you may ask? Nowadays it can be anyone who can effectively sway an individual’s purchasing decision. As your followers grow you will start to see brands reaching out to you for collaborations and promotions. You can get gifts or money in return for your posts endorsing their brand, with the hope that your loyal audience will take action and likewise show interest in their brand. You can directly reach out to brands you believe in and see if they would be interested in partnering with you. Alternatively, you can join influencer marketplaces and see which brands are currently looking for collaboration. Often influencers receive a unique discount code to help track sales that come through them and make commissions per sale.

  1. Step 1: Grow your Instagram account by having as many fans and followers as possible.

  2. Step 2: Begin reaching out to brands you’d like to work with and offer them to promote their products, making sure to explain to them why you believe your followers would be the right audience for their brand

Here is an example of how influencer Leonie Hanne promotes the brand Chloe in her post. She often gets paid to create similar content for other fashion brands such as Dior and Feni.

Strategy 4: Become an affiliate marketer

Today, businesses are no longer B2B or B2C, they’re human to human (H2H). Similar to Influencers, as an affiliate marketer you use your human touch and personal voice on behalf of brands and directly send traffic to a site like Amazon. The Amazon Associates program rewards you for the clicks you drive to their site using unique tracking codes that confirm you sent the consumer to their page. After you’ve successfully joined an affiliate program, you will feature the products in your content, add the affiliate link in your bio and send relevant people to these sites.

Below is an example of how to enroll in an affiliate program with a company such as Amazon.

Strategy 5: Use Instagram to make money on YouTube

Just like companies work together to cross-promote each other, so can your social media channels. YouTube is similar to Instagram in the way that both platforms are very visually appealing and have overlapping audiences that spend time on both channels. However, from a monetization model, YouTube has a model that rewards its top performers in a more direct way using technologies such as Adsense. You can use Instagram to grab the attention and interest of your followers and direct them to YouTube to watch and consume your content there, and YouTube will pay you based on their monetization model.

Strategy 6: Sell your photos or presets

“Do it for the gram!” This Millennial and Gen Z saying means you do things in your life so you can take pictures and show off on Instagram. On Instagram photos are held to a high standard to be considered visually appealing! You can use this to your advantage and make money by selling your photos or filters to other businesses or consumers. For instance, you can use the high quality photos you have already taken and sell them to other companies that can reuse them for different purposes.

  1. Step 1: Take high-quality photos.

  2. Step 2: Submit them to the companies you think would buy them from you or use them for their own platforms. Here are some ideas of places that buy and sell stock photos.

Using the Adobe Lightroom photo editing tool, many Instagram users create their own filters, called presets and sell them to consumers, businesses and their followers. People sell presets anywhere from $3 to $80 or more.

  1. Step 1: Sign-up for Lightroom. There are free and premium versions.

  2. Step 2: Create your own custom presets in Lightroom using this Adobe guide.

  3. Step 3: Promote the presets for sale on Instagram.

Here is an example of how the blogger Jana is selling her presets on Instagram.

Strategy 7: Offer Instagram digital marketing services

By the time you got to strategy 7, the likelihood of you being an industry Instagram expert is high! You’ve likely seen success in driving revenue and growing your business through Instagram and have learned many valuable lessons and best practices along the way. Therefore, you can now monetize your wealth of knowledge by consulting other businesses in your space on how to build their brand on Instagram. Many companies hire freelance Instagram marketing strategists and pay them per post.

  1. Step 1: Post content that displays your digital marketing offerings and expertise.

  2. Step 2: Apply to jobs that are seeking to hire a Social Media Manager. LinkedIn could be a great place to start looking for these openings.

Here is an example of how Dot Lung offers Instagram strategy services.

How much money can you make on Instagram?

Now, the million-dollar question “how much money can I actually make on Instagram?” The amount of money you can make on Instagram as an influencer varies from $88 per post for smaller accounts to $670 or more for more established influencers. Reports show that most businesses that began investing time and money in their social media strategy, including Instagram, have seen a revenue growth year over year. The amount of money you make depends a lot on the number of people you reach and the quality and intensity of your marketing efforts.

Experiment with these 7 different approaches and see which one brings you the most success. Don’t forget to add Instagram and social links to your website to help you gain followers and exposure. Remember what Warren Buffet said, “if you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die,” and to remind you, Instagram never sleeps.


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