In the past year, Instagram has become a real force to be reckoned with in the marketing world.
Update Note: If you want to post more than one photo in a day, spread them out by sharing one every three to four hours. AsBouskill advises: “Spread out your Instagram posts so that you don’t oversaturate your followers with images… Make your followers want more.” Here are five popular options you have to start making money on Instagram.
Since January, it has gained 100 million monthly active users, with the total currently sitting at a hefty 400 million monthly and 75 million daily users.
That’s pretty astonishing. So it’s no surprise that brands are nowdedicating a substantial percentage of their social media marketingbudget to this image heavy channel.
So what does that mean for you?
If you’re prepared to put in the time and commitment, you can easilyfind yourself in a position where you can start making serious moneyfrom your Instagram account.
Still not sure what to do?
No sweat! I’ll guide you through the main ways to cultivate an income through Instagram and make a name for yourself in all the right places.
Ready? Then let’s begin.
Instagram is a fantastic social platform for promoting products and services to sell
What You Need To Do First: Attract followers
First thing’s first: what’s your following like? You should know from the start that most brands will expect a strong and loyal following inorder to build a working partnership. If you’re lacking in thisdepartment, there are a few simple ways you can increase your amount offollowers whilst building a professional look for your account.
- Fill out your bio with all the right information:This includes your contact information, what you post about and whereyou’re from. Add in a few keywords and even a couple of hashtags toensure you’re easily findable by the right kind of followers. Somethinglike: Beauty Blogger from San Francisco with a penchant for travel.Business inquiry: [email protected]
- Post regularly: To grow numbers, you want to beposting several images every day… but be warned, don’t post all at onceor this will actually work against you! If you can’t commit to that many posts, then just make sure you are publishing one quality photo everyday.
- Take good photos: Which leads me to my next point!Make sure your images are of the best quality with attractive effects.There’s no point posting a weak image, so really take your time to makesure you are producing ones of the highest quality. (I’m currently using a Canon DSLR camera to take photos. You can buy one from Amazon (click here).
- Use relevant hashtags: It’s unlikely your imagesare going to travel very far without relevant hashtags. Familiariseyourself with the best ones to do with your field of interest and makesure you are including them in every single post. I am using theTagForLikes app for ideas and to save my custom ones.
- Engage with your followers: You cannot expect allinteraction to come directly to you. Make time every single day toengage with your followers or anyone involved in your industry bycommenting on and liking images. If you communicate with authenticcontent, people will be drawn to check out your account and, hopefully,join your loyal rank of followers.
Okay, so you’ve boosted your follower count – sweet! Now it’s time to start making money.
How-TO: Make Money on Instagram
1. Become a Brand Ambassador
This one is geared towards those with the weighty followings. I’mtalking upwards of 10K followers and the ability to pull in hundreds oflikes and comments within minutes.
Sound like you? Then try this on for size.
It’s likely that you are already in a good position to attractsubstantial sponsorship deals from brands looking to have influencerspromote their products.
That means companies might be willing to pay you to regularly showcase their goods to your audience.
Take a look at the right photo for an example.
You could either reach out to a brand’s marketing department directly with a proposal or you could apply through an agency instead.
Ones such as SixPushMedia focus on bringing influential social media users and advertiserstogether and help to make the job heaps easier for you as they cultivate the crucial connections.
Here are some networks where you can find brands to partner with:
This type of work can have you earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars just through a single post.
Some of the top Instagram users can find themselves earning sixfigure sums just through this type of partnership. It’s one that takes a ton of work on your end in the initial phase, but once you’re in astrong position you’ll find the deals come flooding in.
If you are involved in travel, you can also take also take adifferent path as a brand ambassador by becoming a local ambassador.Through this you can arrange tours and instameets based on your expertknowledge and prominence in your area. Set a fee for these meets and,hey presto, you’ve found another income revenue!
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is basically when you promote a product and getpaid per sale. You’ll often see bloggers doing this with sidebar banners promoting their partners (affiliates), or even through specific product inspired posts. Well, it’s not much different with Instagram.
With Instagram, you post attractive images highlighting theirproducts and drive sales through your affiliate URL (this should beprovided by your affiliate).
There are quite a few companies you can work with here. Here are some:
Here’s an example, see how Kristyn from GlamourZine promote those over the knee boots?
You can put your affiliate URL on your captions or on your bio. You can either use bitly.com to shorten and customize your affiliate link OR you can hook up your blog and Instagram profile so that when people purchase through your link, you get a sale.
It really couldn’t be easier. This type of marketing is particularlypopular with clothing on Instagram, as you can post your “OOTD” (outfitof the day) with the affiliate link sending followers to your fulloutfit details.
For those involved in the travel industry (or simply those that loveto travel – ahem, all of us!), you could try to set up and use affiliate marketing when taking part in reviews for hotels and venues. Simplydirect followers to book through your link!
It’s also great for beauty bloggers, as you can invite people to“shop the look.” These methods are subtler and, as such, more effectivethan a direct sales type pitch.
3. Sell your photos
An obvious one, surely? Why not use Instagram for it sole purpose… to showcase your photography?
If you’re a professional (or amateur but keen!) photographer,Instagram is a great way to advertise and sell your shots to eitherindividuals or agencies. Add a watermark to your snaps and use thecaptions to list all selling details in a concise manner.
As always, make sure that you have an active presence so that theright type of accounts are following you. Use appropriate hashtags topull people towards your shots and get a conversation going withinfluential photography agencies.
There are also a few sites that you can use to actually put your Instagram photos for sale, including:
4. Promote your business, products or services
If you run your own business, then Instagram needs to hold an integral place in your marketing matrix.
If you sell products, use it to post beautiful shots that can’t befound on your website. Here are some creative ways to promote yourproducts or services:
- Behind the scenes. “Behind the scenes” type imagestend to be hugely popular – picture gorgeous handmade soaps being giftwrapped, jewellery being pieced together or delicious cakes straight out of the oven. It’s appealing and adds a certain realness to what you’redoing… and people love that.
- Your customers’ photos: Linked to this is the useof User Generated Content on your account. Get customers to share theirimages of your products and re-gram (download “Repost for Instagram” app to repost your customers’ photos). This is a proven successful methodof selling and would make a great addition to your account. It alsocalls for you to start up your own unique hashtag which you can thenpromote to all your customers: it’s a seriously slick way to makeyourself stand out from the crowd. For example, White Castle asks theircustomers to use #MyCrave to their photos. Now when they see them usingthat hashtag, they can repost (or regram) their photos to theirInstagram account. Here’s an example:
- Infographics + exclusive offers. You can alsomarket your services through Instagram with snazzy infographics andexclusive offers. Using Instagram to feature special offers is also agreat tool to up your follower count as it’s a bonus they won’t findanywhere else.
The brilliant thing about using Instagram to promote your business is you can get mega creative with it. Think outside of the box and reallyuse it to your full advantage. You’re sure to see the sales flying in.
5. Sell your Instagram account
Had enough of Instagram? Ready to move on?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that all your hard work hasn’t gone towaste. You can actually sell your Instagram account if (for whateverreason) you can no longer manage it.
There’s a few site that support you with this, two of the best being:
Now’s the time to make it happen!
So now you know the five handy ways to make money through Instagram,you’re all set to start building your empire. Whatever avenue you decide to go down, be sure to always keep your personal brand in mind andtreat what you do as a business. The more you understand what it is youcan offer, the stronger your message will be to potential collaborators!