Yup. Instagram started as a photo-sharing app but has since evolved to a go-to social media channel for eCommerce businesses with photography-facing products. Add that to other users who use Instagram for the fun of it, and you have lots of ways to make money on Instagram.
This guide will walk you through seven brilliant ways to make money on Instagram. Pay attention to these tips and act on them to start profiting from Instagram.
1. Promote Your Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money on the internet — Instagram is no different. In essence, what you need to do is sell other people’s products to get a cut. Of course, this will take some consistent efforts on your end; but it is possible nonetheless.
To become an affiliate, you’ll need to affiliate yourself with a brand through their affiliate program. Essentially, you’re identifying and stating your interest to work with this brand and help them sell their products.
If your application is successful, they’ll provide a unique code or link that you could embed in your posts when promoting their products on your Instagram page. Then, you make money when followers purchase this product through your link.
The basic concept is easy, but as we mentioned earlier, consistent effort is what makes you the bucks. You must consistently create engaging content on your page to compliment the products you’re promoting.
Depending on the affiliated brand niche, you want to write a copy that motivates, inspires, and encourages your followers to buy. This means posting cute photos for the fun of it won’t cut it. Instead, you have to be intentional about learning how to write better.
2. Sell Digital and Physical Products
Like Amazon, you can sell physical and digital products on Instagram too. This is a great way to grow your brand if you’re an entrepreneur or a digital content creator.
You could get creative and start with less capital by dropshipping products on demand. Skip the learning process involved creating physical products like T-shirts or jewellery and focusing instead on leveraging the services of established businesses already manufacturing them.
The dropship setup is super simple and slightly differs when you’re the original creator. All you need to do is:
- Set up an Instagram business account
- Look for a preferred product manufacturer
- Map out your price for each product
- Create shoppable posts on Instagram
- Link shoppable posts to your eCommerce store
That’s how to go about it in a nutshell. Of course, you can skip the second and third steps if you’re an entrepreneur or original creator and head on to promote your products directly on Instagram.
3. Become a Brand Ambassador
Brand ambassadors promote a brand by increasing awareness that drives sales. Thus, the job duties of a brand essentially differ from that of an affiliate or an influencer.
This is because brands endorse who they want to promote their businesses. Unlike an influencer who publishes sponsored posts — most times, as a once-off deal — brand ambassadors promote businesses by speaking positively and regularly about it to their followers.
On some occasions, businesses reach out to people with substantial followers on Instagram and deal with them. Studies also show these businesses are willing to pay top dollar for it.
However, you can become a brand ambassador even if businesses do not reach out to you. To do this, you must position your brand as an authority in one niche.
So, for instance, if your brand promotes weight loss through the ketogenic diet, it makes sense to align with brands that manufacture keto-compliant products. You can also postworkout videos for variety. In that case, since they have the same objectives, you could reach out to fitness brands and become their ambassadors too.
4. Publish Sponsored Posts
Many brands collaborate with influencers to promote their products, services, or brand. By becoming an influencer in a particular niche, you can make money on Instagram by advertising a brand’s products and services on your page via sponsored posts.
A sponsored post uses custom URLs, captions, or branded hashtags to create user-generated content and showcase a brand’s product or services. As a micro-influencer, you can make up to $400 for publishing them on your page.
Unless you’re a celebrity of sorts, you just can’t up and become an influencer. Instead, you’ll have to choose a niche with a lifestyle that suits your brand image and organically grow your following.
That way, businesses in your niche can contact you when they want to leverage your audience’s engagement. Nevertheless, if you’re starting, you could jumpstart your efforts by being proactive on online communities such as Tapinfluence and Shoutcart.
5. Create Captions for Businesses
If you have a flair for words, you can make money on Instagram by leveraging your creative prowess.
With a succinct and brilliant caption, you can generate engagements and sales for small and medium-sized businesses each time they upload a photo. Established or more prominent brands might not bother with this because they’ll probably have an in-house marketing staff.
If you’re starting, your client base focus should be on startups or small businesses. Since they have fewer resources and time to spare, they’re likely to outsource this part of their business to freelancers to focus on other things.
To start selling Instagram captions, you must first show what you’re capable of to potential clients. What better way to do this than with your account? Put up witty content on your Instagram page. This will serve as proof of your expertise.
Keep the ones with the most engagement in your portfolio. You’ll be needing them for samples as your business grows.
6. Create Sales-Oriented Visual Content
Instagram is a visuals-first platform. That’s why selling sales-oriented graphics, posters, photos, or other visual-based content can make you some money on Instagram.
These visual content could be as simple as art illustrations to sophisticated content such as digital arts or photos. You can also drive a better bargain if you tailor the visual content you produce for one brand at a time.
For instance, curating user-generated content (UGC) for brands can make your visual content stand out from the crowd. UGC is unique and drives more conversions since the audience creates it.
Whatever the case, there are always people looking for some visual content for their business. If you’re unsure where to begin, try online marketplaces to sell your original photos on Instagram.
7. Offer Services in Social Media Marketing
Even though Instagram has evolved to be a powerful marketplace, almost five out of ten companies don’t have a social media strategy that drives awareness and sales. And that’s understandable since social media marketing has a unique learning curve to it.
That said if you know your way around the technical side of Instagram; how to read analytics, Instagram hashtags, can manage influencer outreach, and sponsored ads optimization, you can make decent money on Instagram. Moreover, by selling these specialized services, you offer premium value to businesses.
Of course, you can also offer non-technical social media marketing services like Instagram account setup, Instagram account management, or content creation. However, when starting, work with NGOs or local businesses to boost your portfolio, and broaden your expertise. Pro tip: Create a new email account for these services so that your outreach email id is separate from the id you use for Instagram. Doing this helps you keep track of your leads.
Instagram is more than a social media platform. It’s a goldmine for business owners, content creators, and entrepreneurs looking to make money online. Although how you make money on Instagram depends mainly on the techniques you leverage.
On Instagram, you could employ several strategies and work on them concurrently, as one strategy doesn’t cancel out the other. For instance, you can grow your following big enough to become both a brand ambassador and a brand influencer for different brands. Or you can become a brand affiliate and still sell your products on the side.
As expected, this would take some time dedication, but making a decent income on Instagram is possible; you just need to plan around it before you quit a full-time job.