Over the years Instagram has evolved itself from a simple photo sharing app to one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. According to Instagram Business, 60% of people use this platform to discover new products, 80% of them follow at least one brand and 200 million accounts check out a business profile each day.
This growing trend has invited a legion of companies large and small that are eager to expand their presence and sell more products on Instagram. Instagram in turn has adapted itself and the platform has been enhanced and armed with a number of effective marketing tools which have made it even more attractive to companies, especially brands in the fashion, fitness, beauty, food, travel and luxury industries.
How does this benefit you as a user? You can harness this trend of popularity, grow your Instagram following and once you pass that thousand followers mark - you can start earning side income from your Instagram account.
1. Get Your Posts Sponsored
Perhaps one of the most common ways of making money from your Instagram account, is having your posts sponsored by brands who want to increase brand awareness and sell products and services through Instagram.
Instagram has a number of tools which you can use to add flavour to your offerings. You can collaborate with brands and sponsor them through single images, a series of images, videos, and even stories. Each serves a different purpose and can be used in a different way by your endorsers to drive traffic to their Instagram profiles and online stores, all while building trust and awareness around their brand.
Although it is common for larger influencers who have built a reputation and a large following to be approached by brands and influencer marketing agencies alike, you can also take initiative and use platforms like AdMass to find offers from brands and start earning money from your posts faster.
A good way to stand out before you approach brands which you want to collaborate with is to make sure that you have a good engagement rate. You can check your engagement rate using our free Instagram engagement calculator.
2. Put Affiliate Links In Your Bio
Sometimes companies would like a more “permanent” representation, in which case they often find influencers who are willing to put a link in their profile bio that points to their Instagram profiles or websites.
This is most commonly used for links pointing outside of the Instagram platform as sponsored posts are not highly compatible with website advertising since you cannot put links in your regular posts (although Instagram stories are often used as a work around).
Often brands may combine this method and buy sponsored posts where you tag their Instagram channel, and in addition buy an affiliate link to drive traffic to their online store or website.
3. Become a Brand Ambassador
While sponsored influencer posts and affiliate links in profile bios have proven to be some of the most effective ways to advertise on social media today, a lot of bigger brands like Bang Energy have embraced this powerful marketing channel so much, that they choose to build longer relationships with their influencers, and have them promote their brand and products in a variety of ways.
A lot of influencers often begin building their reputation and experience with sponsored posts which tends to be an easier way to break into the influencer marketing industry, and from there find longer lasting relationships as their work begins to speak for themselves. Once you become a brand ambassador, you may be required to combine the use of sponsored posts, affiliate links and additional techniques to represent the brand which signs you.
If you are just starting out and do not have a strong Instagram presence from exterior factors (you are a celebrity, model, or have built an incredible Instagram following), this method may not be for you.
4. Sell Products Or Promote Your Store
A little easier than running a business and a little bit more advanced than just earning money from collaborations, this method can often be combined with other methods mentioned above to make even more money from your Instagram account.
There are three types of products you can sell through Instagram:
- Physical Products - These are physical products for which you have to maintain an inventory and ship out to your customers. This is the most elaborate method of running an online store
- Drop-shipped products - This is the method that allows you to run an online store without having to hold an inventory in place. Arguably the best way for a smaller company to get into selling physical products online, there are many online services that can assist you with this strategy. It is important to go with a service that is most compatible with your online store. For example Oberlo, is extremely popular with Shopify, while Modalyst is often the top choice for Wix users.
- Digital Products - This is the easiest way to sell products online since the products are digital and live online. This makes inventory virtually not a factor (at least in most cases where seats are not limited, such as sales of seminars for example), and is a highly scalable method of distribution since there are no lead times that come into effect when considering logistics and distribution.
Whether you are selling it directly through Instagram, linking your online store, or using a combination of both, this method can be used to both extend your brand popularity and awareness, and increase the revenue from your Instagram account. This method is especially popular among fitness, beauty and fashion influencers.
5. Use It To Grow A Side Business
Do you have a skill or a hobby which you would love to turn into a little side business? Perhaps even grow it into something full time?
Since the inception of Instagram there has been an army of fitness trainers, chefs who specialize in healthy gourmet cooking, and motivational gurus who have used this platform to grow a profitable business which gave them full financial freedom.
If you have a skill that you can monetize or a hobby which you would love to turn into a career then Instagram can be the perfect marketing tool, especially if you fall under the most common industries present on Instagram such as fashion, food, fitness, luxury, travel and beauty.
Need some inspiration? There is a great book written by Chris Guillebeau which talks about how you can take control of your life and start a small business today with as little as $100.
6. Get Free Products For Expert Opinions
Although this strategy is often expressed through sponsored posts, affiliate links or becoming a brand ambassador, another great way to make money from Instagram is to earn it in the form of free products, services or discounts.
Looking to get a new watch or a suit? Perhaps you want to try that new expensive restaurant right around the corner? There are many contests, giveaways and other amazing opportunities which can be used to get something for free when you post about them on your social media account.
Some of the most common brands that engage in this are fashion, fitness, beauty, food and luxury brands (although in the case of luxury brands you may need to have a very large following in order to get something for free).
7. Grow It And Sell It
Build and they will come. This is true when it comes to all things, even social media accounts.
A good social media account is like owning a good real estate property. Not only can you generate money through the account as you grow it through the number of methods mentioned above, but once you build up your following to a substantial amount you can get approached by companies who want to buy your social media account.
Transferring social media accounts is usually done through an escrow and can be quite an extensive process when compared to a sponsored post, however it is one of the best exit strategies that exist when making money from Instagram accounts today.
While there are a lot of ways to make money from Instagram, the most successful influencers tend to engage in as many combinations of methods as possible to expand their opportunities. You can start with as little as one thousand followers and virtually no money, and potentially grow it into a business that can sustain you with a substantial income, and allow you to have the freedom to work on your own terms whether you wish in the world.
Want to start today? AdMass has all the tools and resources you need to find collaborations and grow your Instagram presence through direct shoutout to compatible influencers.