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10 Easy Ways to Make Money On Instagram

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March 21, 2020

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Approx. read time : 19 min

Have you came across the stories of Instagrammers that are earning good by just snapping pictures and sharing those every day? Yes. After this, you might also taken have a look at your own small group of followers and then thought, “Even I can do that”.

There are bloggers, YouTubers and others having a great deal of audience that engages with the content produced by them. Similarly, there are Instagrammers that have great reach and influence which many businesses struggle for.

With the combination of these two things, the Instagram creators can discover multiple ways of potential revenue, if they want to build an empire or simply just earn some extra cash and free stuff.

It can seem to be a challenging job to make money on Instagram, if you have less than 10,000 followers.

But are you aware of the fact that Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users? These are a lot of people simply waiting to find out about you and the things you can offer them!

In this article, you will learn different ways to make money on Instagram, even if you have less than 10,000 followers.

The Importance of Having 10,000 Followers

When you get 10,000 followers on Instagram, it is like the turning point as there are several opportunities knocking at your door. This makes your efforts of earning money easier.

Also, there are brands that are interested in partnership as well as you get the desired “Swipe Up” feature on your stories. This feature is popular among brands as it boosts conversion massively by 15-25% per story.

Wait! That doesn’t mean that you can easily start earning more with less than 10,000 followers.

May you be an individual influencer or a business; there are several best ways you can make at least some money on Instagram prior to getting to the 10,000 follower mark.

Let’s dive in!

Instagram for Individuals vs Business Owners

For making money as an individual, you need to focus on attracting brands.

The single reason brands are going to give their money to you is because of your influence on their target audience. So, you should mainly focus on building relationships and engaging your audience.

If you are a business, your goals will differ slightly.

Rather than using your content as real estate for brands, you will want to get maximum of your crowd to engage with your own content as possible.

This doesn’t mean you will spam them with the ads. Instead you should create an engaging content that stands out from your competitors posts.

Click and share amazing pictures with a story in the description, or showcase an example of when your product helped someone.

It is important to create an interesting, engaging content that is related to your brand’s industry. So, maintain consistency in posting and build relationships with other users.

It is easy to build relationships via sharing Instagram love such as liking other users’ photos, commenting on their posts and replying to their stories.

Prior to moving on to different ways to earn money via Instagram, let’s understand the basics first.

The Basics of Earning Money on Instagram

If your basics aren’t clear, you can never start earning money on Instagram.

Simply creating an account and posting photos won’t help you to earn. You should complete the requirements first and then you can monetize your Instagram.

First of all, find the aim of your account and business. If you are an individual with more followers, you are already an attractive advertising real estate.

The reason behind brands and businesses will pay you is because of your influence, engaged following and relationship with other influencers.

After learning your basics, you should get to work.

If you are creating a business account on Instagram, your aim will be slightly different. Your view of seeing your content will be different. You will aim at attracting as much eyeballs to your content as possible.

It’s quite natural that many people don’t necessarily want to follow brands to stay away from their promotions and offers.

Your role here as a business should be of creating an interesting content that outperforms the posts made by your audience friends and family.

After doing that, you should just remain consistent and offer great value with your content. Think about the posts that will motivate such as how your product has helped more than 1,000 people already. Or create some funny stories about the way your product changed somebody’s life.

Ultimately, the point is doing more than just making posts about your products and its features.

Are you still there?

Fantastic.

Let’s move on.

Focus on Your Engagement

When it comes to engagement, it doesn’t matter whether you are a business or an individual.

You can influence people only when you have an engaged following. People can’t be forced to care about something without them caring about you first. If your audience doesn’t react to your updates and posts, it will be harder for you to monetize your account and build value.

You might have been told by many that numbers are very important and you should have six to seven digit followers to have an influence.

Even studies have proven this. In recent times, brands and businesses are seen opting for micro-influencers due their engagement levels. Same is the case for businesses.

The question you should ask yourself is: is it better to have 1,000 active followers that you really know or 10,000 followers who don’t remember why and how they followed you in the first place?

You can judge your performance by knowing the way people engage with you. As per some studies, getting an average of at least 1% to 3.5% audience views is a healthy engagement rate. But it is still recommended to get 5% to 10% views, if you have around 10,000 followers and 1%-5% views with 100,000 followers.

But there will be some exceptions. If you offer a service or are an Instagrammer who is investing time, you won’t need to have a large reach to generate income. For example, if you are a video editing expert offering your services and use Instagram as a way of your work promotion, even a small audience base would be enough.

Think of Instagram as a platform for displaying your skills and networking opportunity to gain clients. Simply start by posting your skills, commenting and messaging your potential clients.

Instagram – A Perfect Fit for All

With Instagram, you can easily display your products and drive traffic to your store. If your shop is always up and running you should follow the below steps:

  • After creating an Instagram account, post content to fill it.
  • Ensure your posts are of high quality (both image and content quality).
  • Interact with accounts that also run an ecommerce store and share same types of products.
  • Engage with their audience that comments and likes their account’s posts.
  • After doing this, the potential customers will surely get attracted towards your account. If they understand your products and services, they will surely check your store too and may become your customer.

Different Ways of Making Money on Instagram

Let’s now check the different ways to earn on Instagram.

1. Promote Your Brick and Mortar Business

With a brick-and-mortar store, you only have the customers that can visit you. But with Instagram, you create an opportunity for anyone to visit store anywhere in the world.

The type of brick-and-mortar store matters a lot here. If possible encourage your customers to take pictures and videos and upload them to Instagram with a particular hashtag and location markets.

Due to this, a buzz around your brand in your neighborhood will be created and this will attract more visitors.

Because you own a physical location, think on the type of events that you can organize and what you can do to make your place interesting. Instagram will become your way of reaching your audience.

Also, promoting your business on Instagram offers best return on investment.

Last year, around 46% of the audience has used Instagram for shopping products online.

Simultaneously, at least 75% of Instagrammers react when they see an add on Instagram.

If you already have a business that is growing, you will find it easy to use Instagram for your business instead of starting from scratch.

Pros of growing your business on Instagram:

  • As compared to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., Instagram has a more engaging audience. Due to this, the organic marketing reach on Facebook has fallen down to 63% while it is growing on Instagram by 115%.
  • Ads posted on Instagram aren’t offensive and customers like to interact with their favorite brands. There are chances to get more potential sales on this platform because over 65% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly.
  • It is also possible to engage with customers in real time. Once you post your products for sale, you can expect people to comment and inquire about it after some time.
  • You will find several benefits of expanding your business on Instagram but there are some things that need to be looked after.

Related: 10 Smart Ways To Promote Your Business Through Instagram Stories

2. Leverage Existing Customers

If you already run a business, you will have some amount of database of your customers.

It can be in the form of an excel spreadsheet, your email provider or a CRM. But will not matter. Send a message to them and let them know that you are now available on Instagram too.

You can also mention what your posts will be related to and the schedule of your posts. Prior to sending this message, you can select between two strategies:

  1. Account launch teaser
  2. Already established account with great valuable content

It depends on you which strategy you should implement, if you are hoping to get your followers first and then make your first post or fill up your account with content and then start marketing it.

But as you already have a business and customers, I would recommend you to select the first option and get your most loyal fans and customers aligned for your first post/offer.

No, don’t stop.

If it is possible to export your existing customer data from your CRM, go to Facebook Business Manager. Now, create an account, an ad account and link your Instagram account to it. This is a very simple process to follow.

After doing that, go to Ad Account > Audiences and create a custom audience.

Select customer file for source and upload your customer emails to Facebook. After this, you will be able to show ads to that exact group of people but ensure that you have setup a Facebook/Instagram account with the same e-mail address.

Based on the size of the customer list, you can also differentiate audiences as customers that have done more shopping at your store and regular clients. With this you will be able to offer them varied promotions.

Is this good? If yes, then why?

As your Instagram account is new, you need to reach out to people and recommend them to follow you. As of now, you can also run ad campaigns directly by running shopping posts as ads. Businesses can tag products directly in their posts with Instagram Shopping, making it easier for people to know and engage with your products.

So, it is better to start with this, instead of just posting content and waiting for the followers.

Remember, there is a possibility of leads getting converted into new sales if you run ads to those customers who already know and trust.

Because no one will target the above mentioned list of customers, you will get very cheap cost per click and high conversion. This might result in a very profitable campaign for business.

3. Become An Influencer

You need to remember that the more efforts you put into building your audience and your influence, you are going to make more money. But it isn’t very easy to build real genuine followers.

There are several people who don’t know the efforts to be taken as an influencer. Creating a high quality and valuable content requires a lot of time. Additionally, it takes time to interact with your audience.

A more personal approach is what people expect.

Who would you follow from the below examples?

  1. An inspiring person that has posted high quality content, 20k+ followers, hundreds of comments on each post and hasn’t replied to your DM that you had sent a week prior.
  2. An inspiring person with high quality content, 20k+ followers, hundreds of comments on each post and a reply to your DM that you always send.

Though being a silly example, you would select the person that really cares for you and replies back right?

But what’s the problem with the ones that aren’t replying to their DMs and comments?

The answer is very simple, because it takes a lot of time.

In case you are trying to run your Instagram for full-time, you will be busy in creating content, interacting with partners and planning your feed. Due to this, it can become tricky to engage with your audience. This can happen especially when you have 20k+ engaged followers.

Thus, you need to boost your Instagram profile to become an influencer.

Nowadays, influencer marketing is flourishing and so, people keep on searching for “how to become an influencer”, “tips to become an influencer”, etc.

Let’s check the reality behind becoming an influencer.

Becoming an influencer doesn’t mean the work is over. You need to create content, offer value and then gain the influence to further influence your followers. An influencer is a person with one follower but can help you in taking big life-changing decisions. One isn’t an influencer if he/she just receives more number of likes to their posts.

The basic point is that your followers should call you their influencer, instead of you proclaiming yourself to be one.

You can also organize some events or do something that is interesting at your location. Instagram is going be a way for reaching your audience.

Related: Harness the Power of Influencer Marketing for Your Social Media Strategy

4. Shoutouts

If you promote an account of a brand or an individual, you will get paid. Generally, it works in this way. You can get a DM from the one who wants to promote his brand and might ask you for a shoutout or if you could ask someone to do that.

There are some influencers that many times also refer to this as collaboration too.

Based on your niche you can start around with $100 for 1 shoutout on your feed, only if you have real genuine and engaged followers of 50k+. This is because people will observe your engagement carefully.

In case, you have purchased followers or you are faking some of your engagement then let the person know about it and charges less for the shoutout. Remember over-delivering is always good instead of under-delivering. This will help build trust of the person asking for shoutout and will continue doing business with you for a longer time. You might also get other accounts from the same individual.

5. Sell Your Own Products

Do you create fitness or travel guides or any ebooks? What if you sell physical products such as jewelry?

You will find several people promoting their products exclusively on Instagram and have a small website to display the products and take payments. This means it’s not compulsory to have an eCommerce store to do this.

You can also tag a product in an image and then sell products on Instagram. With this type of post, users can get the access to know the details of the product and its price. Additionally, they also get a link from where the product can be purchased.

You can do it without 10,000 followers unlike the “swipe up” feature in stories. You simply need to have a business account along with a connected Facebook page, complied with the merchant agreement and sell just the physical products.

Use of hashtags will help you get in front of the right crowd. With a good hashtag, you will get added to a page with images that are related. So, if someone is searching for a necklace, they will see your post along with others.

But, only a great content will help you stand out from others.

6. Sell Your Services

You can also sell your services on Instagram earn money.

Tons of accounts on Instagram sell services such as tattoos, photography sessions, eyelash extensions, hairstyling and personal training sessions.

What are these? These are just the small businesses that are operated from home and may not have a company website to share their skills. In this case, you can easily reach out to people and attract clients via Instagram.

For you to be one of them, it is essential to search accounts within the same niche and geographical area, filter those with more followers (10K and above) and follow their maximum followers possible.

There are chances that this is the crowd that wants to see your posts. Also if you can offer a better or cheaper service as compared to your competitors, they will surely book an appointment with you.

You can gain referral easily via word of mouth and that too without 10,000 followers.

7. Become An Affiliate

Become an affiliate for multiple brands and receive a commission on the product or service you are selling. Affiliate links on Instagram contain a trackable link or a promo code.

There’s a difference between an influencer and an affiliate. An influencer tries to grow brand awareness while an affiliate focuses on getting people to click links and make sales for gaining a commission.

If you want to engage your audience, create engaging posts. Inform them in the caption about the product link in your bio.

Though you have less than 10,000 followers, several companies will hire you as an affiliate. Generally, those will be smaller companies. For instance, may be a new apparel agency. Don’t become unhappy, if you get small commission as something is always better than nothing.

After working with multiple affiliates, you can build your connections further and even go for larger companies that are interested in sharing a higher percentage with you.

Related: A Complete Guide to MilesWeb Affiliate Program

8. Do Sponsored Posting

Individual influencers can consider this channel as it is the common way of monetization. In this, you create an advertorial content for a brand in the form of stories or posts and get paid for it.

For doing this, it is not only important to have a strong presence within your followers but also trust and engagement.

Therefore, you should ensure that you are just partnering with brands that you love, would actually use yourself and are related to your niche.

For example, if you are advertising some security software and your account contains all about human health, there wouldn’t be more engagement. Due to this, no return will be gained on the investment of the sponsored brand and also your audience will lose the trust on you. This will highly affect your reputation.

Furthermore, if your Instagram feed is related to website development, you can easily advertise web hosting services to host the newly developed websites. This will help you get more engagement.

In a nutshell, you should be able to know your audience.

Wondering, how to get brands to sponsor you with only a couple of thousand followers?

It’s very easy.

You just need to have a remarkable online presence and a great relationship with you followers. Also, brands might reach out to you first. There are many smaller companies looking for influencer marketing on Instagram that will approach you though you have fewer followers. The fact is that they also need to start somewhere.

9. Promote Your Own Ecommerce Products

Are you an ecommerce store owner? Have you created an Instagram account for it?

Not yet?

Create it immediately. Instagram is one of the best platforms to reach your audience and create awareness of the products that you are selling. Imagine your Instagram page filled with attractive pictures with people displaying the products.

Though you don’t have a model or celebrity to showcase your product, you yourself can do that. Or maybe use good backgrounds for making the product stand out.

For both the cases, you need to buy a good camera. This is because if your images are of good quality, users will be able to see your product keenly and are likely to buy.

You can also promote your products by showing sales and flashing sales in the bio of the image. Advertise holiday special sales by using emojis to catch the eyes of your users as well as post it in your stories as everyone won’t see it on their feed.

You can showcase your creativity via stories and engage people with the content. Using different stickers such as locations, polls or countdowns for creating the fear of missing out on offers will surely work.

Though you lack the “swipe up” feature on your stories, including stickers such as “tap here” will help users to directly land on your post. Using “link in bio” can also encourage users to check your profile and click the website link.

Lacking the magic of Swipe Up? Just add a poll to your story and ask viewers to click “Yes” on whatever’s is there on the other end of the link. Then simply copy and paste the link in a message to each person you has replied “yes”. You can also hire a virtual assistant for doing the copy and paste work for you.

Keep in mind that just having 10,000 followers won’t help you in business promotion. There’s no proven fact that you will get high traffic and sales from Instagram directly. It means you need to promote your product on other platforms too. But yes it is important to build a relationship with you audience and so Instagram is a must.

10. Dropshipping Products

You can promote the products that you dropship similar to ecommerce without holding any inventory.
When an order is placed, the supplier ships the product directly to the customer’s door. There’s nothing to worry about storing, packing or shipping items.

Since there’s flexibility in dropshipping, several dropshippers use Instagram on priority for advertising their products due to less risk of experimenting with which items will be sold better. Also, it’s free! In this way, if your orders on Instagram get sold or not, you won’t be wasting the startup capital.

Dropshipping doesn’t require you to have 10,000 followers to make money on Instagram. Just connect with your audience and ensure to add a clear call to action for the customers to understand where to go while purchasing the product.

The Takeaways

Instagram ranks among the fastest growing social media platforms and if you still haven’t created an account for your business then you’re likely to lose the opportunity of earning good money.

It isn’t hard to make money on Instagram. You just need to select a strategy that you want to go for and start working to make it live. Avoid focusing on multiple strategies at once as you will need a team and a high budget to manage them all.

Do you think there are more ways to make money on Instagram? Please feel free to share any other way to earn money from Instagram in the comment.

Pallavi Godse

Pallavi is a Sr. Digital Marketing Executive at MilesWeb and has an experience of over 4 years in content development. She is interested in writing engaging content on business, technology, web hosting and other topics related to information technology.

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Have you came across the stories of Instagrammers that are earning good by just snapping pictures and sharing those every day? Yes. After this, you might also taken have a look at your own small group of followers and then thought, “Even I can do......