How to Make Money as an Instagram Influencer

Try these tips to make money as an Instagram influencer

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram
Introduction

The business of being a social media influencer is very much a legitimate source of income, and for many Instagram users, it's become a full-time career. Here's what you need to know about Instagram influencers and how to become one yourself.

What It Takes to Become an Influencer

A social media influencer is essentially someone who can prompt others to participate in an activity or purchase a product by creating and publishing content on a popular social media network such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, or TikTok. An influencer has a high number of followers or subscribers and a high ratio of regular interaction and engagement with their fans.

An account with a million followers that only averages a few likes or comments, per post, wouldn't be considered an influencer's account, despite having a large number of followers. However, another account with only a few thousand followers that receives a few hundred likes or comments, per post, could be considered an influencer because their followers appear to respect their opinion and support whatever content they create.

Instagram influencer standing standing in front of vehicle

Instagram's Influencer Appeal

Social media influencers tend to target younger demographics that may not consume as much television or print magazines as previous generations. For this reason, Instagrammers who have high engagement with their audience are often chosen by companies to promote their products or services.

An influencer's marketing campaign on Instagram could consist of a single paid post on an influencer's account, but it may also include a series of posts, Instagram Stories, written reviews and endorsements, videos, and live video broadcasts.

In some cases, the influencer takes control of the brand's official Instagram account to drive followers and interaction, or create a sense of identification with the influencer's audience.

How Much Instagram Influencers Get Paid

The amount earned for posting a brand's paid post varies greatly depending on a range of factors such as how many followers the influencer has, the amount of effort required, the brand's marketing budget, and how many other influencers are being hired to share similar content.

Instagram influencers can be paid anywhere from $5 to $10,000 or more per campaign, and there is no established industry standard. Many influencer agents and services often have a recommended price range based on an account's follower number, but there is no set amount.

Becoming a Paid Instagram Influencer

For people with a solid Instagram following, becoming an influencer can be a lot less intimidating than most would assume. The three methods most useful for becoming an influencer are:

  • Get an Agent: This is the high-end option for influencer gigs and is mostly used by individuals with either a lot of followers, or professional models and artists. The agent helps their influencer client land the typical jobs in their chosen industry and reaches out to companies to inquire about potential social media advertising campaigns on their client's behalf.
  • Negotiate Directly: If an Instagram account shows high engagement in a niche topic such as travel, beauty, or gaming, companies often reach out to the account owner directly with a proposal by email or direct message (DM) on Instagram. This is more common than most people think, so it's always a good idea to activate notifications for Instagram DMs. You don't want to miss out on an opportunity.
  • Use Third-Party Apps and Services: By far, the most popular way to start as an Instagram influencer is to use one of the many free services that are designed to connect influencers to brands. These services usually take care of all of the payment processing and legalities, and they offer tips and advice to new influencers who may be unsure how to negotiate or format a post correctly. One of the best services to check out is TRIBE, which is free to join and has quickly become one of the most popular ways for influencers and marketers to connect. It updates almost daily and allows brands to provide direct feedback to users through the app. Similar apps offer the same service.