Instagram has become a disruptive force in the world of e-commerce and digital advertising. With a heavily active user base and easy access to the platform, there are tons of opportunities to make a decent living right from your mobile devices.
On top of advertising, Instagram is quickly joining the ranks of Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Alibaba as an effective vehicle for brands to drive e-commerce sales. According to Vishal Shah, Instagram’s Head of Product, “the ad business is still Instagram’s primary focus, but e-commerce can boost the ad business and vice versa.”
Wouldn’t that be epic? Earning money from sponsored posts and selling products and services through Instagram? Just like YouTubers, bloggers, and anyone who has amassed an audience on Instagram, you too can build a strong following and eventually monetize your Instagram account.
That said, growing an audience and making money on Instagram won’t happen overnight – unless you go viral. But otherwise, it’s a slow and steady climb. If you are fully committed, you can start making money on Instagram through two of the most viable avenues in 2019: brand collaborations and e-commerce.
We’ve put together a simple guide to help you explore these income streams and cash in on Instagram this year and beyond.
There are a few basics that you’ll need to take care of before kickstarting your Instagram money-making journey. Remember, you have to treat yourself like a business, else other businesses aren’t going to treat you like a business.
Here are several things to do at the initial stages:
- Think about the budget that you will need to support your lifestyle;
- Grow an organic, engaging audience, if you don’t already have one;
- Decide how much to charge.
Make Money on Instagram by Partnering with Brands on Sponsored Posts
The first step to partnering with different brands is to find the ones that you would like to work with. By now, you would have already built a targeted Instagram audience based on your niche. Next, reach out to your favorite brands via email or direct messaging. Make sure that those brands are relevant to your Instagram account. Introduce yourself, tell them about your page and what you have to offer them. Also, don’t forget to provide some useful stats about user engagement on your profile.
Alternatively, you can sign up on influencer platforms and influencers networks to get discovered. A more subtle approach would be to tag brands in your posts with their products to get noticed. Use relevant hashtags that brands often follow. Who knows? They might just end up reaching out to you for a collaboration.
Make Money on Instagram by Selling Digital and/or Physical Products
Whether it’s a fitness eBook, an online course, a video series or a smartphone case, you can make money on Instagram by selling different products. Whatever you are planning to sell, make sure that it’s something that your audience will be willing to purchase. Scan through your direct messages and check if there are lots of questions and demands for specific products. You can then create a poll on your Instagram Story to determine if and how much your audience is willing to pay for the product.
Another profitable venture is selling your Instagram photos. Post beautiful, high-quality photos and use your profile to showcase them. Add a watermark to each photo and briefly include the selling details in the caption. Again, use relevant hashtags that will attract brands and agencies that are looking to purchase high-quality photos.
These are two of the most rewarding ways to make money on Instagram. If you are going to use the platform to explore different income streams, you have to treat it like a business. Provide unique, high-quality content and carefully choose the brands you wish to work with. Also, determine the demand for a specific product before putting it up for sale.