As well as being a booming social media platform used by millions, Instagram is also a rapidly growing marketing industry.
It is exactly because of this that anybody can start earning money through Instagram.
Through creating and maintaining a good-looking Instagram page filled with top quality content, users of the platform can reach out to big-name companies and be paid for advertising to their own audience.
Let’s look at the facts:
- A old friend of mine produces music for a girl who was recently paid £5,000 for simply posting a photo to Instagram for Nike.
- Instagram marketing agencies are on the rise.
- …Even starting an Instagram growth company is big business.
Of course, it wasn’t quite as simple as just choosing a photo and hitting upload.
She was required to attend a photoshoot and have Nike get the pictures they needed – but still, five thousand for a day’s work is an incredibly easy way to earn.
In this article, we’ll run through the basics of how to begin earning some serious cash through your Instagram account.
Creating Your Profile
First and foremost, you’re going to need to create an account on Instagram.
If you happen to have been living in a cave for the past five or six years, you probably haven’t a clue what ‘Instagram’ is. Instagram is a social media platform like any other that involves sharing photos and videos to an audience.
It can be accessed through desktops and laptops, however to actually upload content you’re going to need to download the app to your mobile device.
Once done, you’ll be prompted to either sign in or create a new account.
If you’re brand new or are looking to use a separate account to you personal one for marketing purposes, go ahead and hit sign up.
From here, you’re going to need to put in all of the usual personal information required when creating an account for anything – and most importantly, you’re going to need a username.
Your username for Instagram should be short, clever and easy to remember & understand.
If you’re running a niche account (which I’d highly recommend you to do – having an account that’s all over the place rather than focused on one area won’t do you a lot of good) then it’s key to choose an account name that represents the content you’ll be posting.
Some pointers for choosing a username:
- Your username should be as short as you can make it whilst still being representative. Restricting yourself to three characters of nonsense isn’t going to be helpful if those three characters don’t tell your visitors the first thing about your account. ‘Shoecity’, ‘bathbombcentral’, ‘veganshakes’ – these are all snappy and representative. Stick with these guidelines and you’ll be fine.
- Choose something clever. Don’t get too hung up on cracking the theory of relativity and using its formula to attract mathematicians to your Einstein fan-club page. Do, however, try to come up with something that’s clever – if not clever then at least original. Something quirky and unique will get people talking about your page and stick in people’s minds.
Next, you’re going to want to fill in your ‘bio’. This is simply a short summary of who you are and what you do.
Your bio should give a clear but concise description of your content and motives. What is it you offer and for what reason?
You may also include a link to your website (if you own one) in your bio.
This can be another great way to add to your marketing portfolio and redirect businesses to a space that gives them a more detailed description of your interests and expertise.
You may even wish to have a link to your resume/portfolio itself in your bio.
Deciding on a Theme
Having a theme/niche is absolutely key to the success of your Instagram page.
If you’re posting content that isn’t consistently relevant to a particular niche, you simply won’t build an audience.
Think about it – how many people out there (that actually discover your page) are going to share exactly the same interests as you? Probably very little.
If you’re always posting random, unrelated pictures that only interest you but don’t follow a specific theme, you likely won’t be capturing any particular audience but more a few stragglers that happen to stumble upon your page.
Decide on a theme and stick to it if you wish to build a large and dedicated following.
You should also make sure to ‘fine-tune’ your every post and its description.
By this I mean you need to spend time tweaking your images using photo apps & editing tools to make sure that the content you’re uploading is of a high quality and standard.
Your descriptions should also be informative and entertaining – not too long-winded.
If you’re advertising for a company in a post, you should included a short description that explains what the product is you’re advertising and why it’s useful.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Be sure to research which times of the day are best for posting on Instagram.
Not many people will be using Instagram at 4am or 10am, for example, because people are likely to either be working or sleeping.
The Crowdfire app for iOS offers a totally free feature that allows you to publish posts at the ‘best time’ – when social media users are most active.
This can be a great way to increase your reach and boost your likes & followers from a post.
Additionally, you should make an effort to post more than once a day.
While you should avoid spamming your followers with constant content, simply because they’ll unfollow you to free up their feed, posting multiple times per day at different times is a super easy way to ensure that your posts are reaching a wider range of people.
Different people will use Instagram at differing times of day and so posting a few times per day is a great way to reach multiple types of audiences.
Using Affiliate Marketing to Earn Money Through Instagram
Affiliate marketing, as we’ve mentioned before, is the process of advertising a company/business’s products and being paid each time your advertisement creates a successful purchase.
Once you sign up for an affiliate program (for free), businesses will send you links specific to your username which you can use to advertise.
They may choose to pay you each time your link is clicked on or each time a person purchases through your link
Affiliate marketing may require you to take photos of yourself using the products your advertising, so be aware of this.
To begin with, go ahead and follow the brands and businesses that you wish to market for on Instagram – these will be specific to your niche and interests.
For brands to become aware of your account, you need to begin interacting with their Instagram accounts.
To do this, simply start liking and commenting on their posts.
Keep doing this as often as you can (without being spammy) to attract the attention of those brands.
Eventually, they may notice your account and follow you back (or even approach you asking if you can market for their products).
Make sure not to spam brands with pointless comments.
Instead, try to give useful feedback on their posts and add value to what you’re saying. Try supporting their products or commenting on your experience in a positive way.
Next, you’ll need to find an affiliate marketing program that suits your brand.
Begin searching around for programs run by the brands you wish to market for.
Sites such as Clickbank offer easy to use systems that allow you to choose between a number of affiliate marketing programs to choose the one that’s best for you.
Simly head on over to clickbank.com to get started.
You will, of course, ideally need to get the attention of the brand you wish to market beforehand.
That way, you’ll have already interacted with that company and have some experience with them under your belt.
Try reaching out to brands on social media as said before by commenting and liking their posts.
If possible you may even wish to send them a direct message offering support of feedback – try not to ask straight up if you can become an affiliate for their brand before having a decent Instagram account setup with a fairly large following (around 500 followers).
If it’s available, sending an email to your chosen brand is also an easy way to contact companies and enquire about becoming an affiliate marketer.
Having your email in your bio will make it easier for companies to get back to you and for new brands to contact you if they so wish.
The key to succeeding with Instagram is to be patient.
Companies will eventually contact you so long as you stay committed to improving your account and sending out top-quality content.
Selling Your Account:
There are many businesses out there that don’t want to go through the trouble of growing an Instagram account from scratch, as it can take a lot of time and effort. These businesses would prefer to buy Instagram accounts. So, if you want to make some quick cash from your Instagram account you can just sell it.
The amount of money you earn will depend on the number of followers you have and how much engagement your account drives.