5 Easy, Guaranteed Ways To Monetize Your Instagram Profile
Instagram is no longer a social media platform where teenage girls share photos of all the amazing things happening in their lives.
Corporations, large companies, small businesses and online marketers are beginning to see and use Instagram as an insanely valuable money-making platform.
To show you the potential that Instagram has for the aspiring individual wishing to monetize their Instagram profile, here are some incredible statistics compiled by Brandwatch:
- Instagram’s ad revenue is projected to reach over $10 billion in 2019.
- Instagram has 500 million DAILY active users (and 1 Billion monthly active users).
- More than 70% of all brands are on Instagram.
- Engagement with brands on Instagram is 84x higher than Twitter, 54x higher than Pinterest and 10x higher than Facebook.
Not only has Instagram become a full-time job for many people, but there are also MULTIPLE ways through which you can monetize your presence on the platform.
All of the hard work that you have put towards building a loyal following and presence in your niche can finally pay off!
In this article, you’re going to learn about 5 of the most profitable ways to consistently make more money through Instagram.
There are indeed many ways to monetize Instagram, but these are by and far the best.
An Important Thing to Know Before Monetizing Your Instagram Profile
Ideally, you will want to have a bare minimum of 10,000 followers before you seriously consider monetizing your profile.
While you could start making money with a very engaged audience of about 1,000, you will notice it’s far easier to start monetizing with a higher follower count.
Like it or not, your following on Instagram will be a major factor in the amount of money you can command for activities where you are using your influence to help others.
Research from Shopify also indicates that your niche, levels of engagement and the monetization options you pursue will affect your profile’s money-making potential.
(We highly recommend you read the last link above to learn more about various marketplaces that connect brands with up and coming influencers)
If you currently have less than 10,000 followers, expect to work very hard on your grind for directing organic traffic towards your profile.
You may have to spend extra time out of your day and invest some of your hard-earned money into growing your account.
That means buying shout-outs from larger Instagram accounts known as “influencers” (+100k followers), and spending a LOT of time engaging with other accounts in your niche.
Liking, commenting, following…expect to do a lot of that. You’ll likely have to pair up with smaller accounts and build each other up on the way towards your first 10,000 followers.
Nobody who starts off on Instagram is ever too good to roll up their sleeves and put in some good old-fashioned work.
Your first 10,000 followers will be the most difficult to acquire, but we promise that things will start to get easier when you reach that milestone.
Along the way, you need to get serious about your brand and your mission.
That means knowing the message you want to convey, who you want to convey it to, and who you don’t want following your brand. This should be reflected in the content you publish.
It means knowing exactly where your target market is hiding on Instagram and how you can engage with them so they become a part of your loyal audience.
Nobody said that learning how to sell on Instagram was going to be easy!
Monetization Method #1: Become an Influencer Who Does Shoutouts For Other Pages And/Or Gets Sponsored By Various Brands
When you get big on Instagram, people will eventually come to you and ask if you can promote their products and services (or their profile) for a dollar amount.
Businesses and brands will start to recognize that your influence can improve their lead generation system, boost traffic towards their websites and increase their sales.
Although you may get lucky, you should expect to have this monetization method become profitable when your follower count is at least 100,000 or more.
Here’s a brief summary of what people can expect to earn as an Instagram influencer:
An account with 100,000-300,000 followers can charge $20-50 per paid shout-out (depending on additional details such as putting a link in the influencer’s bio, having the influencer write their own caption for the page/product/service, etc.).
Sponsored posts for larger brands/companies generally cost way more than a paid shout-out for an Instagram account, and any form of Instagram Story or video advertisement for a product placement costs significantly more than a photo does.
An account with 100,000-300,000 followers can get 100-300 visitors to any site you link to, and grant you around 75-150 new followers on your Instagram page.
Do you now see why your follower count should be at a bare minimum of 10,000?
Having 100,000 followers is necessary to effectively drive traffic towards an individual’s website and grant them a respectable number of new followers. People want RESULTS when they hand you their money!
And keep in mind that these are ballpark rates.
If this is your first time becoming an influencer, start at the ballpark rates and gradually raise your prices as you get better at promotion and your follower count increases.
Beginners should be more flexible to negotiate prices and gradually become more firm with their value as time moves on.
Of course, exceptions can be made for long-term partners.
If you can negotiate a package deal where someone pays you slightly less in exchange for a lasting business relationship, that should be something to take into consideration.
And before you get started, don’t forget to make it crystal clear to people visiting your Instagram page that you are available for paid promotions.
Put your contact email in your bio and don’t forget to be responsive when people reach out to you.
NOTE: It goes without saying that the products, services and people you promote should be directly related to your niche and the target market you serve.
Your audience trusts you and expects you to be casual (not aggressively sales-y) about what you feature on your page.
Monetization Method #2: Sell Your Own Products and Courses
It’s one thing to get traffic towards your Instagram page, but if you are serious about turning your Instagram account into a reliable source of income, consider going above and beyond.
How about directing targeted traffic towards your website to generate more subscribers for your email list?
How about guiding your visitors towards a coaching service, information product or physical item that you can sell under your own name?
A sales funnel can be described as a journey that your potential customer goes through when discovering your brand, starting from somebody who’s never heard of you and ending at somebody who becomes your lifetime customer for anything you release.
You start off by providing your niche audience with free high-quality content, followed by introducing an affordable low-priced item that helps them fulfill a desire or solve a problem, followed by introducing a higher-ticket item that provides massive value.
I hate to break it to you, but you’ll find it really difficult to get your Instagram followers to buy a $497 online course straight off the bat.
But if you offer them a $7 eBook, scale it up to a $27 audio program, and THEN offer the $497 course…you are far more likely to make the sale.
To get started, you’ll need to include a link to your free content (or your low-priced item) directly in your bio.
This is the part of your funnel where you’re shifting from free content towards paid content.
The next step to is to continually direct your Instagram traffic towards the link by writing a captivating bio description, and promoting whatever you’re selling in the content you publish on a daily basis.
We’ll leave you with two super-helpful tips before we transition towards the next Instagram monetization method…
1) Tap into the power of Influencers in your niche.
Now that you understand how you can make money as an Instagram influencer, it’s time to USE influencers to direct a flood of traffic towards your sales funnel.
Using the information presented in Monetization Method #1, you’re going to get influencers within your niche to directly promote your products and services.
Make sure that when your product/service is featured, the influencer includes a link in their bio and directly tells their followers to click on the link in the caption when they are writing the promotional post on their page.
Instead of focusing on growing your page (although you may find that happens as a nice bonus), your primary objective is to increase the number of qualified leads and generate more sales.
2) Use private label rights (PLR) products to make money.
Don’t feel like investing all your hard-earned money and time into creating a product or service?
Do you vomit at the thought of renting out a storage room to hold all your physical inventory?
You have one other option available to you: Sell PLR products to your audience!
Videos, software packages, lead magnets, eBooks, clothes, miscellaneous merchandise and fun little toys…the sky is literally the limit:
There are an unlimited number of stores online that will allow you to take your name (or brand), slap them on top of various products and sell them as your own.
All you have to pay is a small cut of every sale you make to the company (or a one-time fee, depending on the nature of the product) and you are good to go!
Make sure to include a physical picture of the item when you are promoting it to your audience. Conversions and sales are much higher when users see a physical, tangible product right in front of them.
Monetization Method #3: Offering A Paid Subscription Service To Your Audience
It’s one thing to successfully make a sale to your customer.
But what if you could consistently make that same sale to your customer every single month without fail?
You would have what people call a “recurring revenue model”, or a subscription-based business:
“A recurring revenue model is how a business makes money by trading access to products or services for regular, scheduled payments.”
If you take a second to think about it, you are constantly surrounded by businesses who are entirely dependent on this business model.
Do you have a Netflix account? You’re paying them $10 per month for unlimited access to their ever-expanding library of movies and TV shows.
Have a piece of software you love using? They go as far as to offer “tiers” of subscription, where paying more per month grants you access to more powerful features.
Your favorite health supplement that gets replenished every month is not strictly a subscription. But you do have to keep on buying it to reap the benefits!
Do the math: If you were able to get just 100 of your followers to pay you $20/month, you already have a $2000/month passive income stream!
A recurring revenue model offers multiple advantages to people who are serious about making money through Instagram.
Specifically, you have a predictable source of revenue which repeats itself over time, all while making your online business more valuable in its worth and rock-solid in its longevity.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to introduce this kind of model into your services and products, here’s a useful piece of advice:
“The key is to look at your company through your customers’ eyes and identify the various ways in which they rely upon your business. Every transaction, every point of connection represents a possible recurring revenue stream.
The trick is to determine the recurring revenue model – or models – that are right for your customer base.”
And don’t forget: Your customers WILL NOT stay for long if you are not consistently delivering valuable content!
Online marketer Sean McCabe tells you exactly how to get (and keep) subscribers for life:
Monetization Method #4: Become an Affiliate for Products and Services You LOVE!
Let’s say that you’re a little more picky than the average person about what you choose to promote under your own name.
You’re enthusiastic about sharing products and services that you’ve personally tried and enjoy using a daily basis. Who wouldn’t be?
This is the exact same thing as Monetization Method #2, except you’re going to use YOUR influence to target real products and services that have already been made by other people.
You can also use the same tactics, with a few modifications:
- ALWAYS ask your favorite companies if they have an affiliate deal going on. You’ll be surprised at the number of affiliate programs that remain unadvertised. Sometimes companies will even go out of their way to create an affiliate program just because you asked.
- See if your affiliate product is offering any discounts. Instagram users love nothing more than the opportunity to save money on the products and services their favorite accounts are using.
- Make sure to put the affiliate link in your bio and specifically direct people to buy the promoted item using your link (both in the bio and the caption of your post). You will LOSE potential commission money if your audience does not use your link to make the purchase.
- Ensure that the photo/video promoting the product being used by YOU is done in an authentic, real manner. There’s nothing wrong with being an affiliate as long as you are transparent about it.
Becoming an affiliate on Instagram is its own beast, and we could spend an entire post talking about the money-making power this form of selling has on Instagram.
But with the basics presented above, you already know more than 90% of online entrepreneurs who are merely winging it and hoping for the best.
Monetization Method #5: Run Paid Instagram Ads!
You ever see some of those “Sponsored” posts that appear while you’re scrolling through Instagram?
Those are paid ads being run by companies, brands and influencers to sell you on the spot and get you to hand over your email address (or your hard-earned money).
But do they actually work?
You bet they do!
According to data from digital advertising platform Kenshoo, the clickthrough rates on Instagram ads are 2.5x higher compared to the ads on any other social media platform.
And for that reason alone, you’re looking at an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $0.70, which is roughly twice that of Facebook.
But don’t fret, because there are several good reasons why you should start looking into Instagram ads ASAP if you’re serious about monetizing your Instagram page:
- Anyone can advertise on the platform.
- You can target audiences with Facebook data since Facebook now owns Instagram.
- Audience engagement is limitless. Businesses can interact with users in the comments section of their photos.
- Ads look just like any other shared post on Instagram, which makes them feel less conspicuous.
Did we also mention the clickable links you can DIRECTLY insert into your ad and take users towards your sales pages?
It’s an absolute no-brainer. Photos, videos, Stories, carousels – all of it is fair game.
Now, don’t go thinking that advertising on Instagram will be a cakewalk.
Although Instagram ads are far easier to design and track compared to Facebook ads, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty with data analytics.
Customizing the target audience you’re going after, determining ad spend and duration, learning how to read key metrics, optimizing your ads for higher conversion rates…
All of these things are mandatory to master if you want your paid advertising efforts to generate a massive return on investment.
But beyond that, the most important thing to remember about your paid Instagram ad is that it MUST look like something you would normally see while scrolling through your feed.
Just take a look at what luxury bedding company Parachute Home did with their photo ad:
HootSuite observed the ad being targeted to customers of both genders 18-54 age range, ensuring that the profile of their ideal customer was taken into high consideration.
And their ad, while gorgeous, did not break from the branding and type of content they are best known for posting.
Not only did they double the click-through rate of their average paid advertisement, but they made 3.7 times what they spent on running the ad!
Ready to jump in on the action and achieve similar results?
This short yet informative video will teach you everything you need to know about setting up, running and tracking your very first paid Instagram ad:
Go Forth and Monetize Your Instagram Page!
Instagram has dramatically evolved over the past 3 years from a mere photo-sharing app to an online platform that can become a full-time income source for an entrepreneur or business.
Thanks to the incredibly hard work of companies, brands and influencers who have come before you, there lies a golden opportunity to learn from their successes and failures to create a profitable lifestyle business.
Now the cards lie entirely in your hands. You have multiple options through which you can earn a handsome living on Instagram.
It’s never been easier to learn how to sell on Instagram and we’ve provided you with all the information you need to get started.
Now it’s up to you – start hustling and make some money!