How Do Instagram Influencers Make Money?

If you are one of the 86 percent of young Americans who want to be a social media influencer, then you might be wondering how to make money on Instagram.

While it may seem like an easy route to take to earn thousands of dollars, you might be surprised to learn that there is more to it than just posing in front of a camera. In fact, there are many ways to earn money as an influencer.

How Do Instagram Influencers Make Money

Despite the large proportion of 13 to 38 year olds wanting to become influencers, only 12 percent of people consider themselves to be one.

In this article we shall take a look at how influencers make money on Instagram, and what the reality is when it comes to getting paid.

What Is An Influencer On Social Media?

An influencer is a person who has expertise in a particular area and uses that knowledge to gain a reputation online. They engage regularly with a huge number of people online, and accumulate thousands of followers.

When an influencer becomes well-known within their field, they can also make money from it and move into the influencer role as a full-time job. However, not every influencer is successful in this area.

Also, some people choose to do influencing as a side hustle, or for fun. When this happens, it can be when an influencer only has a few thousand followers, or has a very niche target audience.

How Many Followers Do You Need To Be An Influencer?

To be an influencer on social media, you will need to have followers. Without them, you cannot gain the title of an influencer. However, there are different types of influencers depending on how many followers you have.

Nano-influencers are those who have a thousand followers or less within their niche. While you can still make money and receive free items, you will not be able to live off this kind of success alone.

The next type is a micro-influencer. Most of the influencers today are within this bracket. It is those who have around a thousand to 40,000 followers. This type of influencer can earn some good money.

The type most influencers aim for is to be a macro-influencer. This influencer can often leave their normal day-to-day job and earn money directly from social media. A macro-influencer has around 40,000 to a million followers – if not more.

However, you don’t need to aim for this status to earn lots of money from social media. A nano- and micro-influencer can make great money on a platform like Instagram (see also “How To Clear Instagram Cache“). Next we shall talk about the ways of how to do it.

What Ways Can You Make Money As An Influencer On Instagram?

Here are some of the ways to make money on Instagram as an influencer:

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts is one of the main ways Instagrammers make money. In this instance, it means you earn commission, rather than an ongoing sum of money.

When it comes to a sponsored post, it means that a company has asked you to talk about their product or brand in some way in a positive light. This is in the hope of gaining more sales for their company.

However, this is often easier said than done as it can be difficult to talk about a product without directly selling it. Even so, you must also state that it is an ‘ad’ – otherwise, you will get into trouble!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing, along with sponsored posts, is one of the most popular ways of making money as an Instagram influencer.

When you see a coupon code or a link to a product under a post, it means that the influencer will earn a small commission if the product is bought.

A lot of people choose to go with Amazon, but there are also specialized influencer programs too.

In fact, more and more brands are creating affiliate programs. It is a great way to create posts and earn some money. If you gain a lot of sales, then you can earn quite a lot of money.

However, you will want to stick with brands and products that are natural to you. If the product or service doesn’t suit your followers, then it is unlikely that you will make the sales that you need. So choose wisely!

Offering A Service

A lot of influencers often sell a service too, especially when it comes to fashion, beauty and fitness. While some of these people may not have started their social media journey with a business, they may have fallen into it.

For example, a fitness influencer may have begun by promoting their own healthy lifestyle.

As time has gone on, they may have turned their online ‘fame’ into building a personal training business. They may even do online coaching, or an online course.

This means that you can use a platform like Instagram to offer a service too, as well as build your own brand – and that includes you as a person too, not just the business. An influencer is often the face of a business.

Offering a service – whether photography, fitness, or an online course – means you can successfully promote your business to a larger audience and get paid.

How Do Instagram Influencers Make Money

Selling Own Products

Selling your own products counts towards making money on Instagram. This is because you can sell directly to followers, as well as promote your business.

If you are wanting to sell a physical product then you will want to think about what else you will need to do.

For example, a website is a must. While it is great to have an Instagram to build up followers, you will want a ‘base’ for your company (see also “Best Instagram Follower Apps“).

You will also want to figure out exactly how you are planning to distribute the products too, and where you are planning to get them made.

There are a lot more things to think about when selling physical products, but it is worth the hassle to get everything in place first.

Brand Collaboration

When an influencer starts getting a name for themself, sometimes brands (no matter the size) will ask for a collaboration.

This could be something like a skincare brand who wants to work with an influencer to bring out a limited edition line of cleansers and moisturizers, etc.

While the influencer likely won’t have to do a thing when it comes to the production, their name will be put alongside the branding. Then all the influencer will need to do is promote the products.

In turn you get money, and both you and the brand gain followers and extra cash.

How Much Money Can You Make On Instagram?

There is no one size fits all payment when it comes to earning money on a platform like Instagram.

One reason for this is because influencers and brands tend to be very private when it comes to how much money is being spent.

When it comes to something like Instagram, other ways of making money can also count.

For example, if you create a Reel that goes viral while promoting something you sell, you will then possibly make lots of money from people buying your product.

Also, if you link to your website and thousands upon thousands of people click on it from your Instagram account, you will make money from ad revenue (see also “What Are The Pros Of Multiple Instagram Accounts?“).

It all counts towards the financial gain that you are hoping for by becoming a successful influencer.

Even so, there have been some reports of how much money some people have made on a platform like Instagram.

For example, Business Insider has stated that an influencer on Instagram can make as much as $901 per post with 1,000 – all the way up to 10,000 – followers.

On the other hand, someone with such a big following and huge social status like Kylie Jenner can make nearly a million dollars per sponsored post or ad. While this is only a ‘guess’ of what she may earn, it isn’t surprising!

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to make money as an Instagram influencer. If this is something you are interested in pursuing, then it is great to know that there are many ways to earn some extra money.

However, despite how it looks on the outside, being a paid influencer isn’t an easy job. It is more than just creating content for social media.

You may find that you need to learn how to promote yourself as a brand, but also create content that sticks with the guidelines of a brand you are working with.

You may also find that you will need to work on your self-image and brand identity on a daily basis, as well as post regular content.

You will also want to build your follower numbers, and find ways to keep your content fresh and relevant.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make money on Instagram, whether you are a nano-, micro-, or macro-influencer.

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