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How to Become an Instagram Influencer and Actually Make Money

By: Viral Nation | 5 mins read |
Can you make money as an Instagram influencer? The short answer is yes. Now that social media has allowed content creators to make money on their platforms, being an influencer can be really appealing considering the potential within these platforms is immense — and that has become clear to a lot of people.  Instagram, as the second-most downloaded app in the world in 2021, has around 1.22 billion active users. It's not hard to imagine that you can earn around US$1,000 to 8,000 per month when being an influencer on that platform.  It comes at no surprise that many would like to become Instagram influencers after learning what potential earnings can be. However, while many might believe that being an influencer is a simple job, getting a steady income from Instagram is not easy — for that, you need to have a well-thought out strategy. 

Becoming an Instagram Influencer

Before you can make a good amount of money on Instagram, it's important to take the appropriate steps to create a strong foundation for yourself and your platform.  First you need to determine a market that suits you and your values. You can make content about something you're passionate about or something which you know well. An Instagram influencer will need to post creative, engaging content consistently so it might be easier to post about something you’re passionate about. That way it will be fun for you as well and never feel like you’re working. Knowing your target market can help you save time when researching and producing content because you can already relate to them on a more personal level. With a solid following and clear niche, you have the power to influence. After determining your niche, you have to create an interesting Instagram profile to help you get people's attention. The bio should tell your story and who you are. Next, comes the fun part: Sharing your story through photos and videos with catchy captions to attract viewers. Connect your story with your followers on a personal level to begin building relationships and trust. The more relatable you are to your audience the more they will engage with your content. Last but not least, posting consistently is key to your Instagram influencer strategy. Most influencers post daily, but some post several times in one day or even a few times a week. Increasing the frequency with which you post content can increase engagement rates, but staying consistent is more important so your audience doesn’t forget you exist. Now that you’ve started your journey to become an Instagram influencer, keep reading to find out how to make a steady income from it.

Different ways to make money on Instagram

Influencers have several opportunities to gain a profit from their Instagram efforts. The amount of money you can make on Instagram is determined by your credentials, audience size, engagement, strategy, hustle, and luck. With your creativity and clear niche, you can influence your followers. Here are several ways to earn money from Instagram:

Collaboration with Brands

The most common way for Instagram influencers to earn money is through brand partnerships. You can find any brand, big or small, that shares similar values as you to partner with. It’s essential to have similarities or represent a brand you feel passionate about to stay authentic and genuine to your followers. Brand partnerships can take many forms. The brand may pay you to create an Instagram post featuring a specific product, or it may provide free products in exchange for content. To begin collaborating with specific brands, you must first build your portfolio as an influencer by creating a few posts that feature some of your favorite things for free. Once a brand sees how you engage with followers and your brand grows, they will be more likely to reach out for a collaboration.

Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs mean you connect to a business that sells specific products or experiences. The business pays you to market its products. If your audience buys the products through you — usually when they use a specific discount code or link in bio — you get paid. This program incentives influencers to perform their best because you only get paid if you do so.

Live Badges

Instagram's Live Badges can be used to earn money directly on the app by U.S. Instagram influencers. Viewers can purchase the badges to show their support to creators during a live video, which ranges in price from US$0.99 to US$4.99. When a viewer purchases a badge, a heart icon appears next to their name in the comments. To enable Live Badges, you must first be approved to monetize your account. You can enable badges in Profile by selecting Professional Dashboard. When approved, you will see a Set Up Badges button; tap it to enable your Live Badges.

Promote your blog or vlog

Other than selling brands' products, you can advertise your own product or your account on other platforms as well. It helps a lot, particularly if you also produce content on other platforms, such as YouTube. The more content you put out into the world, the more likely users are to come across it. Building a strong, loyal audience will help increase your credibility amongst influencers and brands will be more inclined to partner with you. After knowing how to make money from Instagram, how much money can you actually make as an Instagram influencer?

How much can Instagram influencers earn?

Instagram influencer marketing is expected to grow to US$15 billion by 2022. As a result, many people are interested in becoming Instagram influencers and getting paid for it. Brands wouldn't miss out on using influencers to promote their products so long they can reach a specific target group that the brand wants. In 2021, Hype Auditor polled around 2,000 influencers, mostly from the US, about their earnings. Obviously, the more followers, the more the influencer earns. If you have a larger audience you can reach and speak to, brands will be willing to pay you more. On average, an influencer can earn US$2,970 per month.  Micro-influencers with one thousand to ten thousand followers earn an average of US$1,420 per month. These accounts also have the potential to earn up to US$88.00 per post. However, to establish a larger, long-term presence, most do not charge upfront. There are also mega-influencers. On average, they have over one million followers and earn US$15,356 per month. Kylie Jenner, for example, reportedly can earn US$983,100 per ad or sponsored content post, with 365 million followers and an estimated average price per post of US$1,494,000. Being an Instagram influencer is not easy, but as long as you know where to start and have an authentic identity, you should be able to make money from it. You can start by approaching a brand you want to work with, with the goal of eventually being approached by brands once your name becomes bigger and you become more credible.