Regarding making money online via social media, people always ask the question, how many followers do you need to start making money on Instagram? I get asked this question a couple of times. To be honest, the answer is quite relative than straightforward.
If you are not familiar with Instagram, it is a photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook Inc. It is one of the various platforms social media influencers can make money off, but not directly.
Instagram does not pay you for content you post, however, you can still make money via other means on the platform.
Going back to the question asked above, let's get you an answer below.
How Many Followers Do You Need to Start Making Money on Instagram?
For a fact, there's no strict minimum, but I would say 10k followers. Here's why. Since Instagram does not pay for content, there are several ways to make money on the platform. Some of these methods include the following:
Ways To Make Money on Instagram
Partnering with brands is the most popular way of making money for influencers on the Instagram app. This could happen in different ways. Either the brand pays you to make a post about a specific product, or they offer free products when you represent them or their product.
You can start by delving into niche blogging. This involves posting content around a particular niche, say sports, food, finance, restaurant, and the likes. In the process, you get followers who engage with your content.
Brands will prefer influencers who represent the niche they currently do business in, so as to maximize their advertising budget. Niche-based advertisers will do well to pay niche-based influencers for promotion. In maximizing their budget, the brands would reach out to influencers with a large or unique following, so as to get value for money.
In promoting content, you have to do well to follow Instagram's branded content guidelines. Failure to do this will result in the app taking down your content, or closing down your page.
As earlier said, 10k is not a strict minimum, as there are also nano influencers who also make money online with less than 10k followers.
Selling Your Own Products
Instagram is a great marketing tool with prospects of a large reach-in audience. Selling your products is one of the ways to make money on Instagram. You can build your followers by advertising your merch on your page. To do this, you would have to make some graphic content and pimp your product.
In selling your own products, you could advertise your products organically (via regularly posting the products), or running an ad campaign. Ad campaigns on Instagram are a smart way to introduce your products to a large user base. The higher your budget, the higher the ad reach.
In the end, you build your followers, make some money, and then various brands would want your services. That equates to more money for you, if you have a large following.
Offer Paid Tutorials, Masterclasses, Information
Another way to make money on Instagram after increasing your follower count is by offering paid tutorials or classes. You may provide a paid online masterclass if you have a certain area of expertise. Fitness influencers frequently use this form of monetization.
They do this by posting free workouts that lead to a comprehensive training plan that requires payment. Graphic illustrators use this method too. Offering paid information requires you to have an external website or YouTube channel. This is because the free information you post is incomplete, and will require completion outside the platform if you want to make money selling it.
The free information you post should be legit enough to make someone visit your external page and pay for the full information. In creating this content, you also have to abide by Instagram's content policies while at it.
Affiliate marketing is another way to make money on Instagram. It involves making a review of a product and spurning people to buy it. It is said that 7 in 10 people rely on social media to purchase a product. The social media reliance on products revolves around influencers. People need your opinion on a product to encourage them to buy it.
For every purchase you encourage, you get a kickback from the manufacturer or the vendor. This is usually through a link already set up, and it generates huge returns. This method of making money on Instagram can be niche-based as well. Check out some of the most popular niches on Instagram below.
Influencers in these niches collaborate with different brands, produce a unique range of content, and have had excellent success monetizing their Instagram accounts.
Most of these ways of making money on Instagram are mainly for individual accounts. It doesn't seem a good fit for business brands to promote other business brands. However, brands can still make money on Instagram by doing the following:
Setting up an Instagram Shop
With Instagram Shops, you have a direct way of making money by selling your merchandise on the app. It's pretty easy to set up. Just click the link and put your business online.
With the shop setup, you can have more engagements with your followers (or clients) via the comment sections or your DM. When you post content with a buyable item, a small shop icon will display on the post, indicating that the item is for sale.
Promote Discount Sales / Special Offers
You can promote special offers on your products. Clearance sales discounted sales, and giveaways are ways you can increase sales on the app. This you can activate, by running ads on Instagram and increasing your reach to potential customers.
You can also do the following as a business brand on Instagram:
- Set up countdowns to new launches
- Partner with other businesses
How many followers do you need to start making money on Instagram? 10k followers as I said earlier. However, you need to know these numbers are relative and do not mean anything if you don't do the following:
If you do not have engagements on your page, it will seem static. By engagements I mean, how people react to your content. They do this by either liking the post or expressing views in the comment section.
A higher engagement rate is the key to most brands working with an influencer. Good engagement rates are said to range between 1% - 3.5% of followers. Anything above 3.5% is said to be a very good rate and will thus attract more money.
If you settle for creating content with a certain niche, the number of followers you have may not be relevant from the start. Brands that are big players within your niche will still reach out for partnership deals.
In all, consistency is key to making money on the Instagram platform. Do your best. Make engaging content, use hashtags, have a daily routine for posting, and you will make money on Instagram.
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