Instagram, an application that was started as a way to share photos is not one among the top social media platforms in the world. Launched in 2010, it shot up to fame with one billion monthly users in 2018 and continued to experience a growing trend. In the past decade, Instagram has grown from one million users to more than a billion and has become the ultimate app for communication and entertainment. The growth was pretty impressive, which showed how well people responded to visual content.
The fact that people responded well to visual content on Instagram was a vital factor that marketers considered, which made them committed to serving the audience through great content. By building a following, offering great content, and running attractive ads to sell products and services, marketers developed strategies to generate income. This became the most apparent strategy to make money online. Sounds clichéd right? Have you heard of anyone who made money on Instagram?
Some people who made money on Instagram!
Have you heard of Theresa Nguyen? She was just a teenager when she started making money on Instagram. She makes videos of homemade slime that attract a lot of attention and likes from thousands of Instagram followers. A clever CTA drives her real Instagram followers to her online slime shop where you can order colorful and attractive slime from a teenager. Interested? Theresa Nguyen is not the only teenager; Sara Y. and Rachel Albus have thousands of followers as well, with which they make decent money.
Next on the list of people who made money on Instagram includes Sara Tasker, a speech therapist who became a micro-influencer with more than 170 thousand followers. But if you think that you can make money only if you have followers, think again! Jeena Farmer, a qualified nutritional therapist has approximately 3,500 followers. But several brands pay her for mentioning them on her page. There are many others on Instagram who are making decent money within the comforts of their home. All you need to do is understand how!
How to make money on Instagram?
Instagram has gained so much popularity now that there are billions of users who constantly use it to share visual content and communicate with others. People are on it day and night, spending money rather than earning it. There are three major ways in which you can earn money on Instagram.
- Be an influencer
- Be an affiliate marketer
- Be an entrepreneur
Instagram is a gigantic social networking site that has immense opportunities for everyone. You must ensure that you choose the right path for you to make money.
How to make money being an influencer?
Instagram is a platform wherein a lot of established influencers like celebrities are already actively posting photos and videos. Additionally, there are five hundred thousand influencers already active on Instagram. With so many influencers, why would Instagram pay you?
Did you know that brands pay you a good amount of money just to promote them? All you need is a good number of followers. If you are a person who can gain a stranger’s trust and convince them to follow you, then you are all-set. You don’t need an e-commerce site to generate money. But beware, there are several scammers out there who maliciously target ambitious influencers for their personal benefit.
What should you do?
You will start by getting as many Instagram followers as you possibly can. If you have sufficient followers, you can just about be yourself and post amazing, positive visual content about a brand, a product, or service. To get started as an influencer, you must –
- Choose a niche: While choosing a niche, make sure that you have studied your personal brand well enough to understand the target market, whether your real Instagram followers match with the target market, if you have the potential to influence others into trusting you and your brand, and so on. Many brands prefer micro-influencers as they are perceived to have a real connection with the audience. It only means that the more specific you get, the better chance you have of earning.
- Grow your audience by building trust: Trust is not easy to build, but your growth depends on how well you influence others into trusting you and what you promote. You can start by committing to post consistently and post content that your audience prefers.
- Partner with brands that you would want to promote: You can partner with a brand by contacting the brands you pitch and offering them compelling details of your audience, or sign-up with an influencer and let the brands find you. The plus is, brands are eager to find influencers.
- Be transparent with your posts: Did you know that you are legally obligated to be very clear and transparent when you are posting an ad? To ensure that you are not breaking any law, use the #ad hashtag in the first three lines of your sponsorship.
Now you are all set to be an influencer!
How to make money being an affiliate marketer?
Affiliate marketing is more to do with sales, and less to do with marketing a product, service, or a brand. In this strategy, you will only make money if your followers buy something and a meagre ad# hashtag and Instagram like is not sufficient. The plus is that you don’t need to stress out about fulfilling orders or producing the product, but you will need a strong strategy to grow without annoying your followers.
What should you do?
Affiliate marketing is associated with scams and has a bad reputation. But if you have an ethical approach, it is an ideal way to earn good money. As Instagram rolls out product tags, you are not limited to mentioning ‘link in bio’, and customers can approach you directly and carry out the purchase on Instagram. To become an affiliate marketer on Instagram, you must –
- Choose a niche that you feel is most suitable for you. You can start as a product reviewer and extend your audience. The niche market you choose must be specific to your followers as well as your expertise.
- Once you choose a niche, find merchants you can affiliate with. You can either be affiliates with brands directly or join an affiliate network, or both. Affiliate networks offer a huge range of products to choose from.
- Post about the product. Just like influencers, you must ensure that you are transparent with your post and clear about the nature of your relationship with the product.
You can offer discounts, free products, and such to ramp up your chances of establishing yourself as an affiliate marketer. But remember, you must keep up with the promises you make.
How to make money being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur on Instagram to earn money is nothing short of starting your own business. It goes beyond the realms of marketing, and right into the jaws of e-commerce. Unlike affiliate marketing, which uses other’s brands to sell, you will be selling your own product, service, and brand. If you already own a business, then it is high time you start marketing it on Instagram and make some money.
If you do not own a business, and yet you want to make money being an entrepreneur on Instagram, then you must –
- Decide what your product or service will be. You may be a small-scale producer of handmade items, or offering a service of tutoring, or even a painter who wants to sell them. Define what your business is.
- Build your product and keep them ready to be supplied.
- Take advantage of the Instagram shopping-focused features such as product tags, explore tab, shoppable Stories, shoppable posts, and Instagram Checkout, and set up your account. Please note that you need to have a business account to enjoy the benefits offered by Instagram.
- Set-up a website that offers more information on the products and services offered by you. You can also run a few ads to build customer awareness, but make sure you keep audience experience in mind while doing so.
- Post your products on Instagram, and with the Instagram analytic tool, measure your success.
- The most vital step is to fulfill customer orders. You can either take help from third-party logistics companies or handle inventory yourself.
Remember, if your customers trust you, you will have more followers. This is possible only if you are more realistic.
How about some tips for earning money through Instagram?
You may be tempted to try any one of the above strategies to earn money on Instagram. If you do, make sure that you follow only the best practice and be realistic. Some of the tips to grow yourself and earn decent money on Instagram include –
- Understanding what you are actually worth and having realistic expectations
- Make good use of social media monitoring and keep a tab on your competitors.
- Make sure that you respond to a customer query on time.
- Professionalism will take you a long way and influence your success.
- Beware of fake Instagram followers, as they can hinder your growth.
- Promote yourself or your product, service, or brand on other channels for more exposure.
Instagram is a great social media platform that offers opportunities to earn some money. There are other ways in which you can earn money on Instagram as well, but the three major strategies focused above are considered the best. Remember, the competition is fierce, but the possibility of success is huge if you are realistic and true.