It is frustrating to see influencers making thousands of dollars per post on Instagram while we struggle just to see our follower count rise on a daily basis. We all want to be the next influencer to land big sponsored deals that pay for us to travel the world and eat the best-looking food, but it’s hard to know exactly when your account is ready to start making money.
How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?
When brands are looking to work with influencers, they want to know that their marketing budget is well-used. What brands really look at is how well your audience is engaged, no matter the follower count because that means more product awareness, and potential sales, for them. Brands also look at how your follower count and engagement rate fit in with your niche and the quality of your posts.
While the number of followers you have can be anywhere from 1,000 to 1 million to make money from Instagram, one thing that is constant is high engagement rates. There’s no point in posting content on Instagram if your followers aren’t seeing or interacting with it.
The key to making money on Instagram is not a follower count. It is having good a engagement rate. Your engagement rate is the total number of likes and comments on a certain number of posts, divided by the number of posts, divided by followers, multiplied by 100. (There are plenty of online tools available if you don’t feel like doing the math yourself!).
When your engagement rate is high, that tells brands that your followers are hearing what you are saying and, better yet, listening! They will invest their money with you because it will, in turn, result in your followers buying their products.
Your niche matters a lot
Did you know that 7 out of 10 people rely on social media to make purchase decisions AND almost half of them rely on the opinion of influencers? Whether you know it or not, people out there are looking for recommendations to follow and yours is one of them! If you are passionate and knowledgeable in a particular niche, you could be earning money just by promoting brands and products you already love!
Some of the most profitable niches on Instagram are Health/Wellness/Fitness, Travel, Fashion, Beauty, Business, Wealth/Finance, Luxury and Lifestyle. Users in these niches work with a variety of brands, create a wide range of content, and have great success in monetizing their Instagram accounts.
Don’t limit yourself to sponsored posts
Partnering with brands isn’t the only way to monetize your Instagram account. On top of working directly with brands in sponsored posts, you could also use affiliate marketing to make an income on Instagram. Affiliate marketing is when a brand pays you a commission after someone buys a product that you recommend. Usually, with a promo code or affiliate link, the affiliate marketing networks you are a part of will track the number of sales your recommendation garnishes and will pay you a percentage of the profit when it’s all said and done.
Selling affiliate products is as simple as recommending a product as long as you always remember to include your tracking link or code. The best place is to start is with products you already use and recommend and researching if those brands are already a part of affiliate marketing networks.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of affiliate programs available for you to join and in every niche imaginable. Some of the top affiliate marketing networks to join when just getting started include Amazon Associates, Linkshare, Shareasale, and Commission Junction.
Earn even more with your own products
By far the best way of monetizing your Instagram account is by selling your own digital products. Just like Lucy Davis, an Instagrammer in the fitness niche who earned over $20,000 in six months by selling her ebook online and promoting it on Instagram. Selling on Instagram isn’t as difficult as it may sound. It can be as simple as writing an ebook in your niche and marketing it to your followers!
Even though there is no numerical threshold you have to cross in order to consider yourself an influencer and start making money on Instagram, that doesn’t mean you should give up on growing your audience. Growth is always a good indicator of a successful, thriving account and once you have 1,000 followers, a lot of monetization opens up for you.
All in all, as long as you are seeing great engagement and creating quality content, you are on the right track to making money on Instagram.